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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:10 pm

I support the idea for more broadly themed months! Months themed off of things like particular consoles, genres, or generations would leave a lot more room open for participation, I think :)
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by laurenhiya21 Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:20 pm

I also like the idea of themed months. I don't like playing games that I don't think I would like, so I skip out on a lot of months that don't interest me (that and I keep forgetting that this exists :oops: ). Having more choice for each month would make it a lot more likely that I could play something that looks appealing to me.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by CRTGAMER Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:30 pm

To be honest, I think many just prefer to play a game not locked to a schedule.

Maybe no need for a published article or annual vote? There are already published articles of games in Hidden Gems, Most valuable, Inexpensive Games, etc to pull and even vote from. Perhaps add a link of an official created Thread for each game in the already reviewed published articles? Make the link visible in the published articles. Maybe just hotlink each boldfaced title of a published game for past Together Retro Threads and as each new official thread gets created?

The Together Retro OP should at minimum all systems supported, couple screenshots (important) and not a review, but a description of the game quoted from the game box or yes even the Wiki description. Of course links back to the published articles for the game.

The original game disc or cart should the primary way to play, but emulation maybe okay to encourage more to try a game and bring discussion? Include other games in a given series; even similar style game to expand the discussion.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by dsheinem Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:08 am

Let me suggest a completely different direction...

Each month, 3-5 members (from a pool of perhaps 25 or so potential contributors) agree to play a game (or a series, or a game in a series, etc.) individually. At the end of the month, each writes their own reaction to that experience: it could be an in-depth review, a specific kind of critique, a series of reflections, a transcript of a discussion of the game, a historical overview of the game's development, its legacy, etc.

What happens, then, is that once a month the 3-5 essays are published in one long post to the main site as an one in-depth look at a game. The collaborative post can then be linked to a forum thread where people can discuss the essays, play the game, do both, etc. into perpetuity. This would be a way to bring in some of the more prolific posters in places like the "Games Beaten" thread or some of our members who have websites/blogs about the games they play.

Here are some examples of what I am thinking:

January 2018: Ack, Noise, and Exhuminator all play Super Metroid. They may play the same ports, different ports, fan conversions, etc. (it doesn't really matter). They don't discuss the game with anyone while they are playing it. By the end of the month, they each prepare an essay on the game. Ack's covers the game's development and its place in gaming history, Noise's covers the game's various ports and conversions (as well as the legacy of what it has inspired), and Exhuminator's is a straight-up review, full of detail and impressions from the perspective of a seasoned gamer. Those essays are published as February's "Together Retro: Super Metroid" entry. The entry is linked to the TR forum section, where they and the game can be discussed.

February 2018: Fast, Elkin, AJ, Racket, and I all play a different game in the Ys series. We each write a fairly detailed review of the game we played, and maybe Bone offers a few paragraphs contextualizing the series. These essays are published as March's "Together Retro: The Ys Series" entry. The entry is linked to the TR forum section, where they and the game can be discussed.

March 2018: Exed, Ivo, and Bogus all play .hack//G.U. At the end of the month, they jump into a chat room with a moderator who has also played the game asks them all a series of questions and facilitates a discussion around the game. That transcript is cleaned up and published as the April TR entry to the front page, and a forum thread is linked accordingly.

I could see lots of different ideas for people to make a monthly contribution - essays, video reviews, artful photographic journeys through games, creative review approaches, interviews, poetry, etc. I think this idea would allow for the most creative people on the site to express their reaction to the game in ways that are unique to their strengths as contributors.

This idea fixes a couple of problems: it ensures that there will be multiple people weighing in on a game in any given month, it keeps the front page articles interesting and varied, and it potentially offers a lot of substance for people to dive into in the forums.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by Exhuminator Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:10 am

I see Dsh's idea as an interesting way to generate meaningful articles for the main site itself. I don't see Dsh's idea as a good solution to draw in larger numbers of forum members' into communal retro gaming. Dsh's concept is intellectually oriented, whereas TR has traditionally been experience oriented. Both paths can be taken however, it's not a binary choice necessarily.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by dsheinem Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:02 am

Exhuminator wrote:I don't see Dsh's idea as a good solution to draw in larger numbers of forum members' into communal retro gaming.


I don't think there is a solution that will do this.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by chuckster Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:39 am

Ack wrote:
If we do go for a general approach to a title, I'd prefer not to see things like "16-bit fighting games" with everyone gravitating towards Street Fighter II or the MK games. I'd love to see someone play Power Instinct. If it's "SNES Platformers" I want someone to go check out Plok or Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday instead of Donkey Kong Country. "8-Bit Action RPGs" makes me worry we're going to end up in an argument about the original Legend of Zelda instead of folks going and checking out The Faery Tale Adventure.

Anyway, that's my concern. I'll let the community decide what they would like.



I agree strongly with the idea of categories over single games, (though I think single games are fine too from time to time), but I too worry about the selection if the category is broad or has just a few select classics which will be overly popular.

If we went in this direction I'd like to see categories maybe one step above the single-game level. "King's Field month" is a great idea because it focuses on a series with a very specific scope and feel. We also have members here that have played most or all of the games and can both help new players and provide insight for good discussion.

Maybe even a bit further, highlighting From Software as a whole, or another lesser-known developer Data East or something like SSI Gold Box games. Those may be too broad but I hope the point comes across. This is just one way for it to come together also, I'm excited to see what shakes out in the end either way.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by noiseredux Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:49 am

chuckster wrote:I agree strongly with the idea of categories over single games, (though I think single games are fine too from time to time), but I too worry about the selection if the category is broad or has just a few select classics which will be overly popular.


I don't really worry about that. I think as long as the threads get some traction, then great. And honestly I'm guessing that like half the folks would play Street Fighter II and half would play, um, Weaponlord. Meaning if some dudes in the thread are playing the tried and true classics and others are venturing off into checking out weird shit, then that's fine w/ me. To me the goal is communal conversation.

If we went in this direction I'd like to see categories maybe one step above the single-game level. "King's Field month" is a great idea because it focuses on a series with a very specific scope and feel. We also have members here that have played most or all of the games and can both help new players and provide insight for good discussion.

Maybe even a bit further, highlighting From Software as a whole, or another lesser-known developer Data East or something like SSI Gold Box games. Those may be too broad but I hope the point comes across. This is just one way for it to come together also, I'm excited to see what shakes out in the end either way.


It'll probably be a balancing act to see how broad or narrow we need to make the categories in order to get people involved. There's definitely lots of ways to go about it from "Atari 2600 Month" to "Sega RPG Month" to "Sports Games Month" to "February Is For Lovers Month" or whatever.

To me it'll be interesting to see how each member translates the theme for his or her own playing habits. Exhum suggested a console rogue-like month for instance, which would be really cool in my mind. And where one member might think of this as Fatal Labyrinth (F yeah), an other might go in the direction of Toejam & Earl. There could be a Nintendo platformers month but a member doesn't own a Nintendo console (it happens!) so they'd have to get creative and look for like the Coleco port of Donkey Kong or um, that Mario Bros game that was published by Hudson in Japan or something.

I'm just kind of rambling. But basically the "themes" are sort of limitless. I like pretty much any of the ideas mentioned whether it be to highlight a single console or a single developer or a single genre or a season of the year or whatever. I don't know. It's at least nice to see some interest and excitement in TR going on in here.
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by marurun Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:05 pm

If we want to attempt participatory gaming, I think going with varied themes would indeed be the way to go. Look at how Dwelling of Duels does their composition challenges. Sometimes it's Konami Month, or Shooter Month, or Scary Month, or Sonic Month. Nice and easy. The hardest part is thinking of themes.

One way to enhance this might also to include some suggestions (along with a brief "why play") from notable forum members for games that would fit the theme of the month. That gets people thinking about the coming month, and might also help some folks choose what to play.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Revamping Together Retro for 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:05 pm

Exhuminator wrote:I see Dsh's idea as an interesting way to generate meaningful articles for the main site itself. I don't see Dsh's idea as a good solution to draw in larger numbers of forum members' into communal retro gaming. Dsh's concept is intellectually oriented, whereas TR has traditionally been experience oriented. Both paths can be taken however, it's not a binary choice necessarily.


+1

It sounds like a really cool idea for site content, but not something that makes much sense to me for larger community engagement.

CRTGAMER wrote:To be honest, I think many just prefer to play a game not locked to a schedule.


+1

I like to read what y'all write about 'em every month, but TR just isn't a thing for me, usually. I have a lot of difficulty having fun with a game unless I'm really psyched to be playing it. Putting something on a schedule just really makes it feel so much more like work to me.
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