Story-line content generation

Storyline GMs?


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Hari Seldon

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#1
Interested to see what the current community opinion is on the concept of Story GMs. This is not intended to be a poll on if people think the concept can/will be executed well or poorly but what peoples preferences are on their existence at all. Do people believe they are a benefit or a hindrance?
 

Shakespears

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#2
Storyline GMs can be useful but also can be counter productive. The main thing when it comes to storyline GMs is how selfless and inclusive they are. What I mean by selfless is not putting their own agenda above anything else. Generated storylines can be interesting but shouldn't take priority over anything that the players already have going on. In addition to selfless, storyline GMs shouldn't only focus on their fellow gms and friends included, which leads into the inclusive mentioned before. Storyline GMs should be practically stalking random players to look for new avenues and people to try to push larger stories through to have impact on more people rather than just a few HC and friends. The "npc" backed stories have to stop, they were never that good nor were they really interesting or inclusive.
 

Cadonez

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#3
I think player made content should have extra staff support to make them more immersive, but no created storylines.
 

TheJoker

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#4
I like having a story but not too intrusive to the way we play more to supplement the game definitely nothing like forcing faction wars or restricting player choice, more like character story's adding some interesting tale's into the game, for example, there was a gm in fom who made a detective character solving a murder and he would place clues in the level's so players could follow along and solve the case. So i guess more like interesting side quests? you don't have to do them but if your bored its another thing to get involved in.
 

Arkavus

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#5
I believe Storyline GMs should be there to make sure faction leadership actually creates content and to assist in any way they can. They can help any player government that's formed too.
 

Jord

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#6
I believe Storyline GMs should be there to make sure faction leadership actually creates content and to assist in any way they can. They can help any player government that's formed too.
That's basically the idea. The storyline GMs will support the players rather than force a storyline. We will also have dynamic events which should help to create some content in between.
 

Synpse

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#7
It's better to just let the players make the story. Forcing a story just totally ruins thr experience and the player will feel stuck because his actions won't really matter that much.
 

Hari Seldon

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#9
I believe Storyline GMs should be there to make sure faction leadership actually creates content and to assist in any way they can. They can help any player government that's formed too.
The problem with "make sure faction leadership actually creates content" is that an afk (or deliberately passive against the wishes of his faction) HC is actually content. If you have nothing to do but feel like that is the HCs fault because they are missing an oppertunity you are given motivation to either talk to/lobby the HC &/or wider faction to support your point of view and change the policy if they are present and not getting involved or seek to replace them by whatever mechanic the HC is determined in that faction if they don't listen to the faction's membership or just aren't present. If it is a case of things being static due to player relationships i.e. The CPC FL letting Syndicate members out of prison/get away with crimes because they are IRL buds then again should be up CPC members(/government oversight/corporate pressure to put away criminals and keep their member's streets "safe") to throw him out and get someone who will generate dat beef content with the Syndicate. It shouldn't (need to) be a GM sidling up to him and offering re-education on how the RP of that faction should be run.

Having a hand from on high that will come down and sort out a HC that isn't on and doing stuff "enough" de-motivates players to sort their own faction out. If you need a GM to sort that out the game is going to end the same way FoM did because people have stopped caring about it all and are logging in to shoot the other colour power ranger.

Not sure I see the rationale for assisting factions with powers above what normal players have, anything that will require dev work to enact would essentially have to circumvent story GMs anyway.

That's basically the idea. The storyline GMs will support the players rather than force a storyline. We will also have dynamic events which should help to create some content in between.
So the worry for me is that most people's view on what an ideal GM team looks like is highly coloured by FoM's "golden years" and then the long death spiral when I am highly dubious that the style ever worked at all and was just spoiled by misapplication.

I can see why you might have a GM running NPC things that players can never really effect like say controlling how a stock market spits out using the majority of assumed but not actually present corporations to create an economic crash that will effect the factions or having one behind the xenos spawn strategy or have "normal citizens" enact an organic migration effecting housing and employment markets on various colonies ect

The trouble there is finding the right balance for these that mean they augment current faction interactions by adding to the calculus rather than override the pre-existing tensions.
 

Shakespears

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#10
The problem with "make sure faction leadership actually creates content" is that an afk (or deliberately passive against the wishes of his faction) HC is actually content. If you have nothing to do but feel like that is the HCs fault because they are missing an oppertunity you are given motivation to either talk to/lobby the HC &/or wider faction to support your point of view and change the policy if they are present and not getting involved or seek to replace them by whatever mechanic the HC is determined in that faction if they don't listen to the faction's membership or just aren't present. If it is a case of things being static due to player relationships i.e. The CPC FL letting Syndicate members out of prison/get away with crimes because they are IRL buds then again should be up CPC members(/government oversight/corporate pressure to put away criminals and keep their member's streets "safe") to throw him out and get someone who will generate dat beef content with the Syndicate. It shouldn't (need to) be a GM sidling up to him and offering re-education on how the RP of that faction should be run.

Having a hand from on high that will come down and sort out a HC that isn't on and doing stuff "enough" de-motivates players to sort their own faction out. If you need a GM to sort that out the game is going to end the same way FoM did because people have stopped caring about it all and are logging in to shoot the other colour power ranger.

Not sure I see the rationale for assisting factions with powers above what normal players have, anything that will require dev work to enact would essentially have to circumvent story GMs anyway.



So the worry for me is that most people's view on what an ideal GM team looks like is highly coloured by FoM's "golden years" and then the long death spiral when I am highly dubious that the style ever worked at all and was just spoiled by misapplication.

I can see why you might have a GM running NPC things that players can never really effect like say controlling how a stock market spits out using the majority of assumed but not actually present corporations to create an economic crash that will effect the factions or having one behind the xenos spawn strategy or have "normal citizens" enact an organic migration effecting housing and employment markets on various colonies ect

The trouble there is finding the right balance for these that mean they augment current faction interactions by adding to the calculus rather than override the pre-existing tensions.
I believe what @Arkavus was referring to is GMs should support HC content rather than trying to push their own. Throughout FOM numerous plans HCs came up with would be interfered or destroyed by GM pushed storylines or disagreements. The idea is to give all players a chance to build the plots they choose with the tools given(Factions, lore, mechanics, etc) without forcing them down a certain road. The other way GMs can support player storylines around more is just by spreading "known information and discoveries" through various outputs like how they old NPC shit storylines were.

All in all, everyone wants there to be as much player freedom as possible with only specific limitations in place to have some organization and provide a positive area for creativity. An example of this is the limited number of factions rather than everyone being able to make their own.
 

Synpse

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#11
The problem with "make sure faction leadership actually creates content" is that an afk (or deliberately passive against the wishes of his faction) HC is actually content. If you have nothing to do but feel like that is the HCs fault because they are missing an oppertunity you are given motivation to either talk to/lobby the HC &/or wider faction to support your point of view and change the policy if they are present and not getting involved or seek to replace them by whatever mechanic the HC is determined in that faction if they don't listen to the faction's membership or just aren't present. If it is a case of things being static due to player relationships i.e. The CPC FL letting Syndicate members out of prison/get away with crimes because they are IRL buds then again should be up CPC members(/government oversight/corporate pressure to put away criminals and keep their member's streets "safe") to throw him out and get someone who will generate dat beef content with the Syndicate. It shouldn't (need to) be a GM sidling up to him and offering re-education on how the RP of that faction should be run.

Having a hand from on high that will come down and sort out a HC that isn't on and doing stuff "enough" de-motivates players to sort their own faction out. If you need a GM to sort that out the game is going to end the same way FoM did because people have stopped caring about it all and are logging in to shoot the other colour power ranger.

Not sure I see the rationale for assisting factions with powers above what normal players have, anything that will require dev work to enact would essentially have to circumvent story GMs anyway.



So the worry for me is that most people's view on what an ideal GM team looks like is highly coloured by FoM's "golden years" and then the long death spiral when I am highly dubious that the style ever worked at all and was just spoiled by misapplication.

I can see why you might have a GM running NPC things that players can never really effect like say controlling how a stock market spits out using the majority of assumed but not actually present corporations to create an economic crash that will effect the factions or having one behind the xenos spawn strategy or have "normal citizens" enact an organic migration effecting housing and employment markets on various colonies ect

The trouble there is finding the right balance for these that mean they augment current faction interactions by adding to the calculus rather than override the pre-existing tensions.

I agree with you to a certain extent but I don't think the dev's would make the same mistakes as FoM did. So I'm pretty sure they'll sort that out. They do care about their players a lot.

I think that there's a couple of measures that can fix that problem:

- In order to get to R7 you would need to study a documentation and take some kind of "test".
- Introduce a mechanic that would allow some kind of impeachment so if the players felt like a certain R7 was dragging that faction down or just making the game boring they could (should) participate in a referendum.
 

Hari Seldon

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#12
I believe what @Arkavus was referring to is GMs should support HC content rather than trying to push their own. Throughout FOM numerous plans HCs came up with would be interfered or destroyed by GM pushed storylines or disagreements. The idea is to give all players a chance to build the plots they choose with the tools given(Factions, lore, mechanics, etc) without forcing them down a certain road. The other way GMs can support player storylines around more is just by spreading "known information and discoveries" through various outputs like how they old NPC shit storylines were.
Status quo policing and prioritising a GM story is an obvious mistake to the extent I don't think anyone is making a case for it or for there to be any suspicion that ex-FoMers as GMs in particular would start doing it. Certainly not the point I was making.

I don't think I understand what you are saying there with spreading known information, what does this look like? NPC background dialog updates to reflect goings on "Have you heard that *Player ID* from *Faction* is planning *to bitch slap someone*" ? Official Forum posts? Poking HC to make sure they know what the other HC is up to?

All in all, everyone wants there to be as much player freedom as possible with only specific limitations in place to have some organization and provide a positive area for creativity. An example of this is the limited number of factions rather than everyone being able to make their own.
As you say there is a limited number of factions for good reasons but at the same time the factional RP flavours do spread roughly speaking across the full gamut to provide space for whatever it is you want to get involved in. GotC cells (, civilians if they are in game and to a lesser extent Syndicate gangs and FoE choirs/cells/whatever they are called) are more or less micro-factions. Testament to good lore that even if say you wanted to be in a local militia or outer colony police force you might be able to do that with a security force sub-division within the colony owning corporation.

My point here is not to question intent or estimate competency but raise the question of if the Story GM approach is the best way to get to the goal.

They do care about their players a lot.
To a creepy extent some might say and being clingy doesn't always help ;)

I think that there's a couple of measures that can fix that problem:

- In order to get to R7 you would need to study a documentation and take some kind of "test".
- Introduce a mechanic that would allow some kind of impeachment so if the players felt like a certain R7 was dragging that faction down or just making the game boring they could (should) participate in a referendum.
Agree to disagree, R7s should be allowed to do whatever they can get a mandate to do with the faction. How that mandate is authorised and controlled should be down to what the faction is. Corporations do not pick CEOs by democratic elections of their entire staff on a 1 vote per person basis. Having a military leadership determined by popularity amongst the soldiery might be funny for the historical context but it isn't sensible for something hoping not to be colour splotches at war even if you are making sacrifices for the sake of game-play.
 
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#13
I have been playing minecraft for 6 years and see no reason whatsoever that procedural generation can't work. This game's staff should be kept small on the front of storyline.
 
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#14
Events that can only be made possible by GMs after discussing/communicating with R7s BUT within the realms of RP. Like, there will have to be characters that are known GMs so players know the power they have to assist R7s in content creation. Its a blurry line to traverse. It will most likely have to be part of original staff so theres no bias. Cant be a position that can be applied for after games release.
 
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#15
Some of the best stories from the beginning of FoM were those that played out through players and their ability to roleplay a character. Story GM's were acutely aware of the dynamics of certain factions and their leadership or lack thereof. They helped, like an old wise seer in the ranks, to guide leaders in directions that proved to help lend to the stability of the entire Dominion. However, I would have really enjoyed seeing these GM's spin tales and stories to the lowest of the ranks, even new members of the Dominion, perhaps helping them see their own potential one on one, offering small monetary or item help from time to time, perhaps shaping characters, so that the less experienced among us could see that roleplaying was the only way to make a storyline by the players memorable.
 

Demetri

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#16
I played a few FiveM GTA V RP servers which RP is forced and those who are whitelisted tend to like it that way. It doesn't take much to build a genuine backstory made by just one individual, now this being an MMO ,RP would be a little bit lax and you can't force every player to stick to a story it just doesn't happen like that but you can encourage it.

The one thing that really didn't make me actively roleplay day to day was because you had to type, nonstop to keep a decent RP scenario going, I'd often get bored and the time it takes to type anything could happen in that time. I noticed with FiveM and Arma Life that proximity VOIP made RP a lot more fun. Just my two cents.

Other than that I enjoyed content creating on the forums, was always fun!
 
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#17
If done right, players really can and do drive the story. You'd be surprised to know what happens behind the scene. I could write a book about how we framed R7's and put people into power and staged wars. The difficulty is GM's letting it happen and knowing about it. We even got a message from GM's once saying something along the lines of, "We know what you're doing, stop it, it ruins it for other players." It was bannable but dear god was it fun. So much money made in wars and so much drama we caused. Nobody wanted a 14 year old R7 trust me.

I would love to do it again but have it be written in history or drive the story forward. I think as someone said above, most people are for player driven stories so we should be talking about how to implement something like that technically. Everything in FoM was a tug-o-war so eventually everything would go back to the same place. Can the game be so advanced and complex that a faction can make a big enough change to drive story forward without involving/planning with the dev's is the question.

I'm sure NPC's can be updated by GM's to reflect current changes but how detailed? This faction took this planet with some lore into why or how? How do GM's get the information? There will be rising stars in battles, can they be recorded? Who records that? Can a battle for a colony completely destroy the colony entirely through the outcome of players and not dev's? The government will play a large role I think, imposing laws that could change the story. If a corporation dismantled the government for example and took all or most colonies, does the lore change, could they become the major governing factor. Does the CPC rename itself until it comes back into power for example and establish a new government. I think the lore can only be influenced so much without involving GM's in the first place. But, if faction leadership were to make plans open with GM's then maybe GM's can work around that and still leave an open outcome.
 

BioXide

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#18
If done right, players really can and do drive the story. You'd be surprised to know what happens behind the scene. I could write a book about how we framed R7's and put people into power and staged wars. The difficulty is GM's letting it happen and knowing about it. We even got a message from GM's once saying something along the lines of, "We know what you're doing, stop it, it ruins it for other players." It was bannable but dear god was it fun. So much money made in wars and so much drama we caused. Nobody wanted a 14 year old R7 trust me.

I would love to do it again but have it be written in history or drive the story forward. I think as someone said above, most people are for player driven stories so we should be talking about how to implement something like that technically. Everything in FoM was a tug-o-war so eventually everything would go back to the same place. Can the game be so advanced and complex that a faction can make a big enough change to drive story forward without involving/planning with the dev's is the question.

I'm sure NPC's can be updated by GM's to reflect current changes but how detailed? This faction took this planet with some lore into why or how? How do GM's get the information? There will be rising stars in battles, can they be recorded? Who records that? Can a battle for a colony completely destroy the colony entirely through the outcome of players and not dev's? The government will play a large role I think, imposing laws that could change the story. If a corporation dismantled the government for example and took all or most colonies, does the lore change, could they become the major governing factor. Does the CPC rename itself until it comes back into power for example and establish a new government. I think the lore can only be influenced so much without involving GM's in the first place. But, if faction leadership were to make plans open with GM's then maybe GM's can work around that and still leave an open outcome.
One of our main goals for MR is to have most of the RP content backed by actual game mechanics, so it's not just ice in cup RP. MR will have two storylines running at the same time, the player's story (all factions) which is dictated by the players themselves, the staff will only act as curators of content, in order words, we will assist the players in their stories as long as it provides quality content for the game. Then there's the game's universe story which we will be evolving as time passes in the game, this might be the introduction of new worlds, new gameplay mechanics, new PvE NPC factions, events, etc. This won't interfere with the player's storyline.

We also will be open to other opportunities such as modifying in-game locations and other in-engine things to support factions in their content creation :D.
 
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#19
One of our main goals for MR is to have most of the RP content backed by actual game mechanics, so it's not just ice in cup RP. MR will have two storylines running at the same time, the player's story (all factions) which is dictated by the players themselves, the staff will only act as curators of content, in order words, we will assist the players in their stories as long as it provides quality content for the game. Then there's the game's universe story which we will be evolving as time passes in the game, this might be the introduction of new worlds, new gameplay mechanics, new PvE NPC factions, events, etc. This won't interfere with the player's storyline.

We also will be open to other opportunities such as modifying in-game locations and other in-engine things to support factions in their content creation :D.
Oh perfect answer. I was confused as to what direction the game was taking and didn't know if this thread was discussing that. If that's the case I see no reason why the universe story needs players (It should be influenced by what's going on with Player stories though). As for player stories, is this something that will reflect within factions/NPC's? What exactly are staff curating?
 
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BioXide

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#20
Oh perfect answer. I was confused as to what direction the game was taking and didn't know if this thread was discussing that. If that's the case I see no reason why the universe content needs players aside from maybe consulting leadership of the factions for input or ideas. As for player stories, is this something that will reflect within factions/NPC's?
The universe content is our way of expanding the game as a live service, so it will be mainly the team, although we'll implement suggestions from the community to tweak and improve it, also if there are some nice ideas backed by a number of players then that could make it into the universe content.

And regarding the player stuff, yes :D, we can tweak faction HQs during elections to showcase the candidates, modify a territory/colony after a big war, etc. The game itself will have most of these features (Deployable furniture, territory upgrades, etc), but if there's anything we can do on the engine side to spice up the game after RP events we'll do so.

The majority of the staff were hardcore FoM players, some from the 05 era, and most of us know deep down what the players want, so we want to make sure the game stays true to it's RP roots and we'll be supporting it heavily as long as it provides content for the players to enjoy.