Enquirer Home Page | Twitter | Back to Improbable Island

 Forum Index > Off-Topic > Out-of-Game New Topic Post Reply
 I wish someone had told me --
 |  Printable Version
Count Sessine
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 05:21 PM UTC (Read 13609 times)  
Forum Moderator
Moderator

Status: offline

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 1402

The other thread is over -- there's a duck. Besides, what I want to do now is ask for constructive input.

So. New thread.

For many players, a name is already a character concept. When people first come to the Island they're asked to pick a name before they have any real notion what the Island's like or what sort of characters might be suitable. This has been the case since the beginning -- and thus has arisen, by happy accident, a firmly-established culture of "pretty much anything goes." This at its best has led to much zany wonderfulness. Certainly nobody wants to kill that.

All the same, it's worth remembering that most of the new (main*) characters who are just borrowed from whatever other imaginative world the player happened to be thinking about at the time they registered, are that way because the player has no idea what they're getting into. (Raises hand.)

If there were an explanatory link about names that people could choose to click on the sign-up page, what should it say?

At the very least, it could warn that titles are changeable in the game (i.e., the game assigns titles, and custom titles are also available), but login names are permanent.

What else?

Remember that this would be something people would see before they'd have any sense of commitment to the game. Keep the tone positive, not a list of current grievances and 'thou-shalt-not's. What do you wish someone had explained before you entered that login name?

--
* Alts are different. Let's save them for another thread some other time.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Makiwa
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 06:29 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 08/21/10
Posts: 155

This raises a very interesting point and I stand alongside Sessine with hand raised.

Those who know me a little will know that this is my first foray into RP (and luckily, I've since realised, II found me first) and the only thing I can think of is recommending spending some time trawling through the forums and reading, reading and reading some more. I can think of no other way that a potential new player can get enough of a feel for the place before deciding on a permanent character name and disposition.

FWIW.




It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Buddleia
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 06:30 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 04/23/10
Posts: 343

Ok, this is way too long, but it's what I can think of right now.

Note: the name you enter here will be your login name, and the name of your character on Improbable Island. Everything you do in-game will have that name attached to it.

(You can have a title, too, which can be changed! The game generates you titles depending on how far your character has advanced, and you can customise these and change them. But the name is permanent.)

Improbable Island is a wonderfully silly game. It's a text based adventure, and full of hilarious monsters and things to explore, but there's also a story. And there's a rather active roleplay community.

The rules (all four of them) are very unrestrictive about roleplay. How you want to play a character is very much up to you. However, a word of advice: bearing in mind that there is an established world to play in here, perhaps you might like to play a character who fits in rather than contradicts it. Of course, you can import ready-made characters from other stories and other worlds, if you want. But this is the only place you can play an Improbable Island character!

Names only really matter once you've started to think about roleplaying, which probably won't happen until you've been playing for at least half an hour. Or maybe a fortnight. A keyboardsmash, favourite handle, or character from a film/series/book/game works perfectly well for a "hm, what's this game like? looks fun..." sort of introduction. But if you're going to read and participate in the stories here, and play a character here, it might be more enjoyable if you read the introduction scene thinking about "who will this character be?", and chose a name with that in mind.

Or, if you chose a throwaway name, and later decide you want to roleplay - you could make a new character with the name you want once you know what you're getting into.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Liebs
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 06:45 PM UTC  
Forum Newbie
Newbie

Status: offline

Registered: 06/13/11
Posts: 9

I had little to no clue that II was such an RP-heavy game when I signed up, and because of that I entered my college nickname. In my player description, I started out with what was more or less a self-insert. Then I went "oh, hell, people are really into RP here, this ain't gonna fly," sat down and thought about it, and came up with who I think Liebs is now. It has definitely forced me to be creative, which was a blessing in disguise! However, it is terribly likely that had I known about the RP community beforehand, I would've gone in an entirely different direction with her (or him? Who knows!).

All that blathering about myself is to say that yes, I think this is a fantastic idea. I think something as simple as "We have an active RP community here, and it's entirely up to you how much you want to participate in that" in addition to the warnings about changing titles but not names would suffice. I don't think it should/needs to say much more than that -- we certainly don't want to scare anyone off.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Harris
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 07:37 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Interestingly enough, I am a combination of Mak and Liebs, primarily. Found this place through one of the Season One banners sitting on Girl Genius (that referenced foetid midgets brothels AND chainsaws-chuks. How could I not click?) and sat down and read all of the race descriptions that used to be readable before you created your account, then two weeks later, I sat down to make my account...and Season Two had been rolled out. The difference in the homepage was confusing, so I wish someone had told me "hey, we're getting an upgrade!", but I made it through that pretty quickly.

Having no idea what sort of game is yet, I logged in, and went through the current account creation process, figured out that this'll be text-based (from the fact that I was getting naught but text), finished, and HOLY CRAP did I find a hardcore roleplay community.

I had a loose character concept that I tried to make jive with what the race writeups told me (read: I made an Arthur Dent ripoff), and jumped in. Weeks passed. I roleplayed. Maybe four people talked to/played with me. I clicked on the Enquirer (hey, it took me a few weeks to figure out that it might be something other than a newsfeed!), read the AND IF YOU'RE NEW... section, and some others (various Bios and bits of Bios, bits of the snippets, etc.), then sallied forth with renewed purpose! Following those guidelines, (bungling some omore, but it really was me just being a doofus) and the manners me Mam taught me (and taking great glee in figuring out how to abuse my character when no-one was roleplaying with me), I made it into my first clan not long thereafter (doffs hat to Adder).

I guess the only request I'd make would be: Please make it clearer that the Enquirer is useful for getting started in the game! In someplace that isn't the Enquirer itself!

...and a "hey, we're getting an upgrade!" notice somewhere on the homepage, when Season Three is only weeks away. With the S2 changeover, I was clicking around trying to find what I'd done wrong in pulling up the site for an hour or so... Oops!


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Ada
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 07:47 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 428

Does the game warn you that it's a game for writing in at all when you sign up? I don't recall anything like that. Even if you'd told me "hey this is the name of your character and you have to stick with it", I'd have chosen this name. I think a lot of people who sign up with names from something else like Katniss Everdeen or whatever would probably choose that name even knowing they can't change it - it's not common to be able to change your username anywhere on the Internet, and anyone who plays MMOs is used to seeing a lot of people running around with names like "PeenerNeener42" or what-have-you. (Katniss Everdeen or Ada sounds great in comparison.)

I'm with Liebs - I had no idea it was so RP-heavy, and just jumped in. I think Budd's second-to-last paragraph is the important bit there. I think more of the problem is that the rp angle isn't mentioned, not that it isn't clear it's your character's actual name (though, no harm in saying that either).




(Oh, and a question for the people saying we should tell everyone to read things on the Enquirer - think back to who you were when you joined. Would it really have helped? Honest question here; maybe I'm an exception. I know that, for me, it didn't at all. I am one of those people who wants to read everything before joining a game, and I found nothing that helped me! It was overwhelmingly confusing, and I learned a lot more from the Island itself, once I'd gotten into it. I certainly used the list of characters on the Enquirer for tips to help me once I'd gotten started and interested in rp, but before I made it into the game, none of that made any sense to me at all.)


 
Profile Email
Quote
CavemanJoe
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 07:48 PM UTC  
Forum Admin
Admin

Status: offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 2281

PERIODIC PSA:
Season Three would be six months of hard work if I sat down and started right now, forsaking all of my plot points and S2 improvements. Right now there are no plans to start Season Three any time this year, so don't worry about it in the slightest. Smile

BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED POST:
Do you think it's time to make a quite expensive Lodge item to change your name? One that you can only buy once per account?


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Ada
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 07:51 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 428

I think that Lodge item would be a really great idea.



Edit: Though, now that I think about it, I wonder who would go for it? Too late for me, for sure, and at this point I wouldn't want to change it. And a newbie could just make a new account.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Matthew
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 07:55 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 578

I think a lot of people would like that. You'd have to make sure to specify it would also change your login name, too.

edit: ^^ Veteran players who hate their old name, have been gone for a long time, and nobody would recognize them/give a shit if they had a new name anyway! I know one of those.

Quote by: Ada

(Oh, and a question for the people saying we should tell everyone to read things on the Enquirer - think back to who you were when you joined. Would it really have helped? Honest question here; maybe I'm an exception. I know that, for me, it didn't at all. I am one of those people who wants to read everything before joining a game, and I found nothing that helped me! It was overwhelmingly confusing, and I learned a lot more from the Island itself, once I'd gotten into it. I certainly used the list of characters on the Enquirer for tips to help me once I'd gotten started and interested in rp, but before I made it into the game, none of that made any sense to me at all.)



I had the benefit of being recruited to the Island by a player rather than a site ad, which gave me foreknowledge to the tune of Budd's post. And, yes, it did help me, for what it's worth.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Genevieve
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 08:06 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 164

I think the lodge item would be quite helpful, actually. Because I've noticed a lot of older players who did something on accident like put a number in their name have quietly and politely asked a mod to fix that little issue.

The intro text, if a player reads it fully, describes that they're asking for your name, and not a username. I feel like that is both explanatory and confusing. It was confusing because when I first joined, I thought "Oh, one of those where I do my actual data then come up with a nickname, hyup." and then I was Genevieve for two and a half years. I did not mind that, in the end. How it is explanatory is.. he's outright asking you for your name. I think just adding a box at the end of the sign-up process saying "If you hit 'get on with it' right here this is going to be your name, not just your username you log in with, but the name every other player on the game sees you having. Your title will always be changeable, but this will be your Name. " or something like that. I can't remember if there's an "ARE YOU SURE, DUDE?" after every sign-up option, but I think having a big one right at the end with the name disclaimer would be good.

And if you're wonderning, why'd I change her name when I re-joined? Because she wasn't me any more.


I know a mid- uhm.. game? play-time? story? story. A mid-story name-change is something people may want, but a red box at the end of the sign up process, before you're off to Punishment may prevent people from being PENISPENIS8743, if they plan on staying, I guess.


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Ada
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 08:13 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 428

Pretty sure one of the mods will name you something hilarious instead if you try to sign up with PENISPENIS. Razz


 
Profile Email
Quote
Genevieve
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 08:16 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 164

Quote by: Ada

Pretty sure one of the mods will name you something hilarious instead if you try to sign up with PENISPENIS. Razz



But, Ada. PENISPENIS is hilarious! Why else do you think someone would sign up with that name, if not for the sheer lulz of it all.

But yes, I get your point, some names get changed because PENIS


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Count Sessine
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 08:37 PM UTC  
Forum Moderator
Moderator

Status: offline

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 1402

If new players are given a bit of context beforehand to think about the name they're choosing, that would, I think, reduce the demand for an expensive name-changer item.

Basically, if a player makes any sort of reasonable case, we mods have already been granting name changes.

People who register with offensive names do receive name changes for free, right away. Not that they're going to stick around and play -- I've noticed those, just about universally, stop somewhere around Corporal Punishment and never come back* -- but there's no reason other players should have to look at 'Poop' or "you moron" in the list of contestants until the abandoned account expires.

--
* Or maybe 1% of them go out and come back in again with a better name.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Trowa
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 08:41 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 426

This is probably the biggest point right here that is not readily apparent on the front page: that this is a role-play intensive site.

NOoo, I know you don't have to roleplay! But the fact is, I didn't know there was any roleplaying here until after I joined. I thought this was a text-based adventure game with possibly a bit of player interaction (why else would there be a list of online players at the side?), but for the most part I thought I'd be primarily reading bits of story and making choices like a "choose your own adventure" thing.

...that's the reason I have a single-name character, anyway. Oops!


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
Profile Email
Quote
Awesome Fred
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 09:23 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 586

There was a time on the internet when I was a wild west bandit.

*gunshot sound*

When I played Starcraft: Brood War online, and my account "Mystic0342" had 2 wins, 15 losses, and 0 disconnects.

*shot glass slamming on the table*

I logged out, signed up for a new account, and walked right back into the saloon with a new name: "Belzakath11". I was a fresh face, 0/0/0.

Nobody knew my past.

I was new blood.

But after some time, even though I did better than before, my record was still pretty bad.

I still stayed down at 12/37/2, and I knew people didn't want me on their team anymore.

So I left.

*spits into metal pot*

And in walked "LordDarkShadowChaosBlood". I was a fresh face, 0/0/0.

Nobody knew my past.

I was new blood.


=============================================================

This game by design is populated highly by good-natured people. I don't think the "accountability" of a permanent name is keeping current trolls from trolling. (I never liked that argument against anonymity.)

Sure, if you want to make some money, making a paid name change is totally fine. But don't make it Once-Per-Account, just make it Once-Per-Purchase. Make it Title Change expensive (with no Reusable option). But you don't even need to make it expensive. It's a name change. An admin or mod can see who it is behind the scenes, it's just a username to the rest of the world.

It should really just because thought of as Title 1 Title 2. I am currently

Title1: Uncouth Ruffian
Title2: Awesome Fred

That's all there is to my Island identity. Let me change it. Let me relive my cattle-thieving days.







EDIT:

Is it against the rules for me to have an alt or multi (what word do we use on this site?) with the word "Poop" in the name? Because I think it would be fantastically amusing to play with someone titled and named "The Floral Poopscaper". I support letting people change their name because they're tired of it, but only discriminatory names seem like fair ground for a forced namechange.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Full Metal Lion
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 10:47 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 439

Quote by: Count+Sessine

The other thread is over -- there's a duck.

Speaking of which, did I miss a memo? Were the people accusing Ms. ofDeath of being a troll? Just plain silliness?

Back on topic, I started out on the island, then started again later, and I still have a stupid name. It doesn't matter much to me, so I can't comment on that one particular point.

Quote by: Awesome+Fred

Sure, if you want to make some money, making a paid name change is totally fine. But don't make it Once-Per-Account, just make it Once-Per-Purchase. Make it Title Change expensive (with no Reusable option). But you don't even need to make it expensive. It's a name change. An admin or mod can see who it is behind the scenes, it's just a username to the rest of the world.


I agree. It'd keep people from doing the "new name old name" thing. But maybe have a record of who the person was, before? Like, on the rollover description "Full Metal Lion (Formerly Know As "Full Metal Loin")" and then a list of all the name changes on the character page? It'd keep people from being sneaky. Or was that the point?


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Twosocks Monkey
 Friday, May 18 2012 @ 10:50 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 01/28/11
Posts: 246

It's funny, when I read Sessine's post I thought, YES OF COURSE THAT WOULD'VE BEEN AWESOME... (to you know have more input in that first screen)

But then I realized that really, no I don't know that it will change anything for anyone. I made a poor choice with my main (Rosemoo which is my internet handle EVERYWHERE and has NOTHING to do with my RP) but I've thought and thought about asking for it to be changed, and in the end, have not. Mostly because so many veterans have odd names, and honestly, it makes my main recognizable.

And the short version of my joining (though I've RP'd in Muds and so forth many times) was that I thought I was reading one of those internet story things. I had no idea that after I finished the intro I'd be thrown into NewHome. I figured it wanted me to have a username so I could just keep reading interesting storyness.

When I found out that wasn't true, I just sorta went with it.

Make title changes cost instead of free? Sure. Make it once only...eh...why? TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN CMJ!!! TAKE IT!!!

-Rose

Seriously, I think people would pay THROUGH THE NOSE (gross) for these things. Yay funding.


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Harris
 Saturday, May 19 2012 @ 05:35 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

CMJ-

I'd also say make the item!

Ada-
Reading the Enquirer section "And if You're New..." not only helped give me a solid idea of what sort of roleplay this community was based on and expected, it got me to roleplay more, because I felt like I finally had a clue of what to do as a member of the community, and having one, was more confident.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Nekops
 Saturday, May 19 2012 @ 05:56 AM UTC  
Forum Contender
Contender

Status: offline

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 37

At the very least, it could warn that titles are changeable in the game (i.e., the game assigns titles, and custom titles are also available), but login names are permanent.

What else?
--
* Alts are different. Let's save them for another thread some other time.[/p]


Just knowing that there are titles would be good, I think... My first character login name was Guardian of Nekops, which is my usual handle, but let me tell you... adding more titles on top of that one starts to look silly pretty quickly. I ended up having to reroll as simply Nekops to let myself customize.

*Scratches her chin thoughtfully.*

Gender-neutral names tend to be a plus, I think... I'm not sure how often switching one's gender is done as a serious thing, but if you're interested in doing that at some point you might be glad your name wasn't Tom, or Tiffany. Unless that's the joke, I guess... but knowing that you can fit a lot of information into a custom title so long as your actual name doesn't ruin it would be good for new players.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Cherriki Ten
 Saturday, May 19 2012 @ 06:39 AM UTC  
Forum Badass
Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 90

Quote by: Awesome+Fred

There was a time on the internet when I was a wild west bandit.

*gunshot sound*

When I played Starcraft: Brood War online, and my account "Mystic0342" had 2 wins, 15 losses, and 0 disconnects.

*shot glass slamming on the table*

I logged out, signed up for a new account, and walked right back into the saloon with a new name: "Belzakath11". I was a fresh face, 0/0/0.

Nobody knew my past.

I was new blood.

But after some time, even though I did better than before, my record was still pretty bad.

I still stayed down at 12/37/2, and I knew people didn't want me on their team anymore.

So I left.

*spits into metal pot*

And in walked "LordDarkShadowChaosBlood". I was a fresh face, 0/0/0.

Nobody knew my past.

I was new blood.




I heard wild west music in my head and read that all as Clint Eastwood from Unforgiven.

Truly Epic. Big Grin


"Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." -Mark Twain.
 
Profile Email
Quote
Content generated in: 1.70 seconds
New Topic Post Reply



 All times are UTC. The time is now 01:35 AM.

Normal Topic Normal Topic
Locked Topic Locked Topic
Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
New Post New Post
Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
View Anonymous Posts 
Anonymous users can post 
Filtered HTML Allowed 
Censored Content