Discussing The End of Story Games



  • Sad, of course, but I (for one) fully support your decision. You've already gone above and beyond for our sake, and I want to thank you for keeping this space open as long as you did.
  • Yes, thanks for everything. It has been wonderful.

    I hope that other spaces appear.
  • This is understandable, of course - there’s no sense in us pouring outrage to force someone not interested in a task to keep performing it. We are grateful for the moderation and leadership here and the work that’s been done.

    However, it’s also tremendously sad. This has been a meeting place for like-minded people for nearly two decades, and I am not aware of any alternatives. (We have discussed alternatives a good dozen times or so since G+ announced it was shutting down, and I haven’t heard of anything similar in existence at all.)

    For many of us, it’s a meeting place and a social circle (my current gaming group is all Story Games members).

    There are archives of amazing conversations going back 15 years; so many great threads, discussions, links, compilations.

    All of that is just going to be... gone? That’s a hard reality.

    There are even entire games and designs that exist purely as threads on this forum (e.g. Roll for Shoes, which became “Internet famous”, gets linked to from other places a lot).

    Is there, at least, a way to preserve an archive somehow/somewhere? (I don’t know enough about how this technology works to be able to say whether it’s something relatively simple, or a Herculean task outside human reach.)

    In short:

    Thank you for everything you’ve done. This is a wonderful and unique place.

    Losing all the archives would be a tragedy.

    As we’ve discussed in the past, there doesn’t seem to be a real alternative to this forum.
  • God I'm sorry :bawling:
  • As sad as it makes me, it seems very necessary, all things considered.
  • edited May 27
    I wanted to reach out again and say thanks to everyone over the years who contributed positively to the community here. I'll likely do a series of video blogs once work calms down a little about the experience of watching it form and grow.

    Just remember that this place started on pretty much a whim I had one workday long ago, to bring some friends together and gather new people with similar interests into a community focused on play over design. If you feel the pull to do so yourself, definitely have a go at it: As cheesy as it sounds, the future is indeed in your hands.

    I can't wait to watch you all expand, grow, and change the play scene.

    Thank you.
  • It’s funny that Story Games is shutting down at its most lively point in the last... at least half decade.

    I don’t think I’ve seen this much activity here in many, many years.
  • I've never really been very active here, but being here has given me so much insight into both playing games and the process of designing them, and I would love to follow people to wherever the next place is.
  • It’s funny that Story Games is shutting down at its most lively point in the last... at least half decade.

    I don’t think I’ve seen this much activity here in many, many years.
    I think that is why it's shutting down
  • Gee... And I was just about to get back to this place!

    Sorry as I am, the decision is completely understandable.

    So my next thought is: where to next? I mean what's left when g+ and story games is no more? Mewe? Rpgnet?
  • edited May 27
    I figure it'll need to be somewhere that can separate discussions by threads. I'm quite fond of Discord, but I imagine finding past conversations would be difficult short of scrolling up forever, even with Discord's abilities to create channels within servers. I wouldn't mind a Discord server in addition, however, just to act as an intermediary "life raft" while we figure it out before the big shutdown.
  • Thanks so much to @Andy and @James_Stuart for moderating. I've very much enjoyed my time here.

    I am also on the Burning Wheel forums, the Gauntlet forums, and the Gauntlet Slack. I hope to see folks elsewhere on the internet!
  • good bye everyone :bawling:
  • But I just joined! Is this my fault?

    Seriously though, this place is great and I really hope this community finds a place to rendezvous and regroup.

    I'll add my voice to saying I hope it's not a Discord. I'm active on the DW discord, and though I've had some great conversations, within a week they're lost to history unless you don't mind endless scrolling...not to mention that even with different channels it's impossible to keep the conversation on one topic as people poke their heads in and out and bring up new subjects.
  • Sadness. I would like to follow Sandra's conversations wherever they end up ending up...
  • @2097 @Paul_T: This decision isn't actually a function of busyness. From my perspective, Story Games is the technical work, a few small mod interventions, and a few bans a year. That hasn't really changed over the last 2 or 3 years.

    @ChumofChance, @Neurotrash: I think I've been most impressed with Discourse as forum software, and there's hosted discourse plans at $20/mo.
  • It has been fun while it lasted, I’m glad that it lasted as long as it has. Best wishes to James, Jason and Andy.

    I hope it isn’t inappropriate to mention, but I’ve found quite a good story game based community over on the Gauntlet forums, which might be worth people trying out. https://forums.gauntlet-rpg.com/

    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
  • @plane_sailing: It's not, the Gauntlet forums are good stuff!

    (Also, for reference, the Gauntlet forums are using Discourse.)
  • edited May 28
    Please, please, please...if you go to a new place keep your same alias, so I know who I am talking to.
  • Please, please, please...if you go to a new place keep you same alias, so I know who I am talking to.
    Oh that's a good point. I post elsewhere under my name, Michael Dunn-O'Connor.
  • Thank you James, Jason, and Andy for all the incredible work you’ve done over the years, all the connection you’ve fostered, and all of the time and energy you’ve given to story games. You are all heroes and inspirations!
  • I would very much like to keep these conversations and relationships going, if we can organize a transition to another space.

    I can’t stand things like Discord or social media for this kind of discussion; I think the long-form conversations and the ability to archive and reference are absolutely key to all this.

    Speaking of which, is there a way to arrange an archive of a Story Games for posterity? So much wealth of wisdom, information, and great ideas will be lost!
  • I just registered blorby-games.com gonna put up a vanilla site there♥
  • edited May 27
    Speaking of which, is there a way to arrange an archive of a Story Games for posterity? So much wealth of wisdom, information, and great ideas will be lost!
    I don't know the technical details, but it is possible to have an entire site archived on the Wayback Machine (archive.org). The entire old forum for Cubicle 7 games was saved there before it went down. I think it might be necessary to use a bot to crawl the site and submit each page for archiving.
  • James is looking into archiving options.
  • edited May 27
    Thanks to James and team SG. I've seen wisdom and knowledge walking together here.
    Due to "no paywall, no social media" policy, I probably won't follow very long the next generation. No time for sadness though. If the whole site is archived, how much Gigo are we looking at ? The repetitive task of subumitting pages, that's the sort of things I can handle for a few hours.
  • And if, say, a few folks with technical savvy and interest in moderation were to volunteer to take over S-G, might that change the conversation?
  • Very sad, and I appreciate the work the admins have done to create and hold this space for so long. Looks like I’ve been here nearly ten years, though mostly as a lurker, and god knows I don’t spend much time _playing_ these kind of games of late.

    I’ve done a lot of research (and some development) of social software since the mid-90s, so I’ve got opinions of what would work as a successor. I agree with the previous commenters that a chat system like Discord or Slack is not a substitute. Not just because the history is lost behind an endless scroll, but because the shape & substance of discussion is greatly affected by the real-time messaging. It’s telephone vs. letter-writing. (And any system that updates in real-time devolves into chat, even if its UI supports long posts and threading; this I learned from rom Google’s Wave.)

    Discourse is pretty good. But what I like better is a system that blends forum and email; the best instance of this I’ve seen is groups.io. (If you’ve used Google Groups, it’s like that but improved.) You can set up groups there for free, or there are fairly cheap plans that scale larger.
  • Thank you for running this forum for so many years. I'll sorely miss it but I think it's the right choice to close it down rather than trying to directly pass the mantle.

    I've just registered at the Gauntlet and hope to see you there (or elsewhere -- I'll continue here at story-games until the very end, hoping to find out where everyone else ends up).
  • Sad.

    Even if my postings were short and infrequent I benefited much from story-games.

    I´d like to stay in touch with Wilhelm (I´m your german translator of "Okult") and Lisa Padol (I´m just reading "Digger"), two members I feel especially connected with.

    I´m interested in future alternatives.
  • Oh man, I don't want this place to end! I know many have seen me post some, but I lurk way way more.

    That being said the grandiose intuitive organizer in me loves the thrill and possiblilty of creating something new and maybe being and the center of it!

    So I'm sad but excited to see what's next. And am very tempted to set something up (or assist or suggest). I think it's very possible to keep what made this forum great and to make some small improvements as well, why not?
  • I was proud to be here when the doors first opened. Proud to have helped give the site its name. Proud that it knows when its job is done.

    My concern, as for so much at this juncture, is that the Internet has been consumed by a small number of entities. We used to gather by interest. Now the brands gather us close and drink our blood, sweat, and tears.

    The only system I know that does what Internet 2.0 did — gather people by shared interest — is Mastodon. It has some huge advantages over forum software, particularly that it puts the conversation in social context, where one is not defined by one’s dedication to the conversation, but instead has all sorts of other interests and concerns that are looped into a whole person, and from the hub of a shared interest, you can find new communities, new interests, new kinds of understanding.

    On the other hand, it uses a Twitter-like timeline. Conversations hold together fairly coherently, but disappear in time and, by design, are not searchable. I don’t know if there’s a way to mark, “This conversation is important to me” or something, but that might be worth investigating.

    In the meantime, Internet fora at this juncture are the equivalent of brick and mortar retail: even when they do their own business, they pay a tax to Amazon; or, in the case of fora, to Facebook.

    There were good, creatively productive conversations that happened here. I want those conversations to continue, and I don’t want to have to pay for people to even see that I posted something.
  • “Not searchable” is a pretty major drawback, in my opinion. Really major.
    And if, say, a few folks with technical savvy and interest in moderation were to volunteer to take over S-G, might that change the conversation?
    I’m going to assume that this was discussed before making the call to shut this place down. What was the verdict?

  • @Jeph: We've thought about it, and we think you should open your own place. (There's a bunch of different reasons here, some technical, some otherwise).

    I think it's pretty easy to do:
    * Grab 1-3 core people who want to own it.
    * Add enough people who are willing to pitch in as moderators to get to about 3-4 people.
    * Take a little bit of time, talk about what you liked, what you didn't like about this iteration of story games.
    * Come up with a mission statement/code of conduct.
    * Throw in or raise $60 for a hosted discourse server for 3 months, or whatever forum software you prefer, plus another $15 for a domain name.
    * Come up with a name, a bare bones logo, etc.
    * Pick a launch date, seed it with a few fun discussions, and go!

    I think something like that could probably get a lot of people here to try it out.
  • Wow, first G+ then this. The net is running out of non-system specific places to discuss independent RPGs.

    Of course you need to follow your bliss. I'll be keeping an eye open here to see where the kind and canny denizens of this site may be headed.
  • edited May 27
    This is one of the sites I have constantly open in a browser tab. But all things come to an end, and I wish Andy and James all the best. They've done an awesome job here.

    There's some big new developments going on at Fictioneers.net and of course I would have been announcing them here in due time, but given this news I'll jump the gun and get you up to speed now.

    0. Individual game threads: Fictioneers.net already includes threads for each game listed, but those threads always got little action since there were more populated places (like S-G) to discuss these games. Perhaps that's a place you'd be interested in interacting (dear reader).

    But further: this summer Fictioneers is adding two new components:

    1. A real forum for discussion of design, hacking, playing, promotion, and searching for players. Spurred by James' announcement this morning, I went ahead and launched it. Got ideas for organization or topics? I want to hear them! The Fictioneers forum is up right now, brand-new and totally naked at http://fictioneers.net/forum

    2. A dedicated PBF system (now in playtesting, and seen only by a few lucky people so far) that will blow you away. PBF crack.

    To begin a conversation along tracks 0 or 1, just make an account at fictioneers.net and start posting any time. I'm also looking for a group or two to expand my playtesting team. If you're interested in some hot PBF playtest action, PM me here or contact me via the site.

    Thanks for all the fish, you guys.
  • Forever lurker here - it's a shame, but maybe this place has run its course? There's been a big uptick in theory-talk recently and there isn't that much else going on here. Maybe a new community that is less explicitly not-the-forge (while still, obviously, not being The Forge) would be useful? Innovation in story games feels like it's stuck in a PbtA-shaped-hole, or the interesting new stuff doesn't really get surfaced and dissected.

    There are also issues with Story Games that probably have technological solutions - inline jargon definitions and an easy way for users/OP to split tangents into new threads would be nice.

    I've posted like twice in ten years though, so I'm not going to be leading the charge here. Happy to contribute some time/money/code if need be - the shared understanding of RPGs that this community has is a valuable thing, I think, and I would like it to continue if possible.
  • You can do inline jargon definitions like this <abbr title="rails/impro/sandbox/skills">RISS</abbr> and it looks like this RISS you can just hover over it if you're on desktop
  • @Jeph: We've thought about it, and we think you should open your own place. [...] I think something like that could probably get a lot of people here to try it out.
    My worry is that multiple people would do this and fragment the community. One forum is more valuable than two fora with half the members, and the discrepancy goes up with the degree of fragmentation.
  • I'm kind of with @snej in that I'm hoping there will be a concentrated place to migrate to. I don't want to have to check 4 different sites to find all the great discussion from you all. I'm sure naturally people will gravitate toward one central forum. Just hoping I'll be able to figure out which one it is once that happens.
  • @snej: My honest guess is that while there are a lot of places one could go and fragment (gauntlet, rpg.net, etc, etc, etc), if some group of regulars from here follows that plan and makes a pitch that follows the schema (it'll be like story games, but X), people from here will go check it out or just straight migrate.

    Also, my guess is that if you're worried about multiple people doing it, if a small group of regulars had a quick chat privately, "Hey, the three of us are going to make something awesome, check this space in one week or two", it would forestall five different groups trying to create a forum.

    Possible I'm wrong though!
  • @James_Stuart well I'm basically forum-illiterate so I'll leave it up to the heavy hitters which one is the best, and eagerly await.
  • edited May 28
    BTW, while this is the main thread about the closure in general ("Press F to Pay Respects" thread), once folks reflect for a bit and are ready to discuss next steps, please definitely remember James' message here:
    * We're loosening the restrictions on meta/forum talk on threads that are about making a new space. (Please start all these thread titles with the tag [Next].) All other parts of the code of conduct remain in place, but we encourage you to have conversations about what space(s) to create, and who/how you might run them.

    No rush! I mean, this is all a lot to take in and all; let's still post here in this thread.

    But I'd love to see new threads on such topics: Potential off-ramps, new ideas for the future, ways to stay connected for those who want to, thoughts about your time here, your favorite threads, etc. Once I get my own head together I'll be doing the same!
  • This is gonna be a weird one, but does anyone know a site where I can talk about that possible thin edge between dirty-hippie games and minis game designs.

    It's already a niche x niche subject as-is, but I worked through a lot of ideas here at S-G over the years, and I'd hate to see that ground work die entirely now.
  • FWIW, there is a story games forum on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/storygames
  • Wow. :-(
  • I'm gonna miss ya all guys, even those I won't miss at all. Thanks, thanks so much everyone, I learned practically all I know about game design and I hope some of my crazy ideas were useful to you as yours helped me. I ended up here when The Forge got closed and I'm proud to have witnessed this huge part of RPG history.

    I understand it's a process, the neccessary end of a cycle. Everybody is changing, I started working at home, having less time... and actually less doubts about design, so naturally I ended up posting and commenting less. On top of that you all taught me that there isn't a single best way to create or play RPGs, that even the most cliche heartbreaker deserves respect, so... well, I practically lost all motivation to discuss ways of playing and designing. I mean, even spicy dice and the cult of the GM can totally be a thing, so why argue at all?

    And then there were the theorical discussions. Can't lie, I'm not gonna miss those, they are getting more and more obscure in terms and development and so far removed from practical uses that no wonder I see people still bringing up Forgite jargon and concepts. From the last I understood of it, it basically makes everything a good game as long as it doesn't distract itself by using opposite tools to accomplish a goal that isn't in their agenda... so again, no reason to chime in and ruin everybody's fun.

    I kinda expected SG to dissapear years ago given the interest from everyone was decreasing, but I'm really sad as a new generation has just arrived and it's moving things again. But I had the same happened to me when the Forge closed. So I believe things will be okay. People will find or better yet, create their own spaces. They will have their own discussions and issues with the games created before them. They will make them better.

    And then we will chime in to create PbtA groups and call them "Old School"

    Anyway, thanks a lot everyone, hope we get another place as good as SG soon. See ya there!
  • This is definitely a bummer. My posting here has dropped almost to zero, but I enjoy following (or trying to follow) some of the discussion of more traditional games from a storygame perspective. Too many of the other places I spend most of my RPG forum time on seem to look down on storygames as "NOT RPGS and shouldn't pollute my form" (ok that's mostly The RPG Site in that level of animosity but I've seen that attitude other places also).

    These days I am mostly into early games (OD&D, BX D&D, AD&D, 1977 Traveller, 1978 RuneQuest), but Burning Wheel absolutely holds a spot on my shelf, and I'm not as ready to dismiss Dogs in the Vinyard as Vincent it. But I also haven't picked up a new storygame in years and years...

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