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racketboy
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Together Retro: The Official Forum Thread

by racketboy Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:19 pm

Welcome to the Together Retro classic gaming club!

To get started, you can read my introductory post:
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2008/03/ ... intro.html

In this section of the forum we will have discussions pertaining to the club itself and the games featured throughout the club. Topics concerning the currently featured game will be pinned on the top.

If you have general questions, please ask them in this thread.

Thanks!
thor9754
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by thor9754 Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:38 pm

so to be in this club, all we have to do is play Defender for the next month, and then discuss what we think of the game, and see how good we can get at it? is there an official list to sign up anywhere or nething like that? i think i'm in though, i'll look for the defender rom right now...
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racketboy
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by racketboy Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:43 pm

thor9754 wrote:so to be in this club, all we have to do is play Defender for the next month, and then discuss what we think of the game, and see how good we can get at it? is there an official list to sign up anywhere or nething like that? i think i'm in though, i'll look for the defender rom right now...


Actually, Defender will only be for a couple of weeks.
And there is no signup other than joining the forum, which you obviously have already done.
Just join in on the discussion and have fun!
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by thor9754 Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:52 pm

cool, sounds great... bout to try and go get a decent score...
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marurun
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by marurun Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:16 pm

OK, here are my thoughts on Together Retro, out in the open for all to read. Keep in mind these thoughts are colored by having participated in selecting games, writing blurbs, and brainstorming with fastbilly1 and Racketboy over the direction we should be going. I will also note that I have a particular bias.

There are 4 key goals of Together Retro:
1. Highlight important AND/OR hidden gems for various retro gaming platforms.
2. Focus on playing and discussing these games together.
3. Keep a timetable that ensures busy people with lives and work/homework to do can still get some play time in.
4. Create something sustainable that can keep going for some time, over many iterations.

These goals must be balanced against:
1. The need to maintain the other regular functions of the side, like forum participation.
2. The need to continue to write and post interesting topical entries to entertain and delight the readership.

The biggest struggle, then, is the timetable of new Together Retro game announcements.
1. We want people to be engaged and to talk about the game.
2. We don't want readers moving away from the other aspects of the site and forums. Together Retro has to co-exist with the rest of the site, not subsume.
3. We need to try to keep people engaged.
4. The various contributors to Together Retro need to be able to keep up with the pace without being overwhelmed.

My concern right now is that if the average game lifespan is 2 weeks, it's more than enough time for those with too much free time or short attention spans to tear through almost any game short of an RPG. I'm worried that within the span of 2 weeks, however, we'll burn out contributors way too quickly and find that the pace is simply unsustainable. And if we're putting out new Together Retro entries every 2 weeks it'll start to overwhelm regular postings and become less special.

The other side of that coin is that a much longer term, like a month per game regardless of the game, might cause those with shorter attention spans to give up waiting, flit off to other things, and never come back. And, a longer span might make it harder to EVER get around to some really great games that deserve our attention. There's a danger that after the first week or so discussion would just fall off and that would leave 2 - 3 weeks of relatively low forum interaction in the Together Retro section. But at the same time, even further apart, I think traffic would pick up again with each new posting, even if they were only every month. And that would allow us to keep a regular schedule and not be afraid to tackle any game of any genre.

So, what does everyone thing? Can we keep up a 2 week pace and keep this sustainable while preserving the other aspects of Racketboy's site, or will the planners burn out and the posts become too humdrum and humble to keep people's attention? Or would a 4 week/monthly schedule make Together Retro entries more special and help with the overall health of the site and sustainability of the Together Retro project, the associated risks being that people might burn out?

Now you may wonder why I didn't make this a poll. I don't want numbers. It's easy to vote. I want to know what people think and why they think it, and that's something a poll doesn't tell you. So talk back and tell me, us, what you think!
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racketboy
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by racketboy Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:15 am

I think you summarized things quite well.
I for Kid Icarus I threw out an "extra credit" opportunity with the Gameboy sequel.
Perhaps we should come up with one of those for each entry for those that have more time to spend on the games.

We should also try to rotate in those longer games every so often (possibly have one after Ristar) so the main contributors can catch their breath a bit.
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by Ivo Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:44 am

racketboy wrote:I think you summarized things quite well.
I for Kid Icarus I threw out an "extra credit" opportunity with the Gameboy sequel.
Perhaps we should come up with one of those for each entry for those that have more time to spend on the games.

We should also try to rotate in those longer games every so often (possibly have one after Ristar) so the main contributors can catch their breath a bit.


What you need is flexibility.
Alternating short and long titles, and not keeping a rigid "schedule" for new installments seems to be the key. The 2 weeks playtime per game can't be rigid for RPGs and longer games, for example. But there are short games for which 1 week might be too much (and people that haven't had time to play it during that week can certainly catch up and play the short game later). So sometimes I think you can opt for a "double" feature with 2 short(er) games, for example - this is similar to the extra credit thing, but doesn't need to be related games (also has advantage of capturing some people that won't bother for one of the games, but will want to play the other).

Ivo.
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by Ack Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:15 am

You could also use sequels as Extra Credit. If you start using other games as Extra Credit, it might upset the people who can't enjoy the original title. A sequel, however, will let those who move quickly through the first game see how a series evolves while still giving the other participants a chance to play the title, or at least one from the series that you've recommended.
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marurun
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by marurun Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:59 am

There are many games that may be ill-suited to double-billing, but some indeed might be OK with it. If we're looking at an arcade title with a focus on scoring it might be nice to provide a comparison point. Alternatively, most games do have some kind of sequel or prequel and it might be nice to highlight such if we don't intend to use it as a primary focus for a while.
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by Suetekh Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:17 am

I think giving each game up to a month is a good idea for most games that take more than a few minutes to play. Defender was a good example of when to keep the lifespan shorter, as most of the time the games would be over in a matter of minutes, the only incentive to play was to get a higher score. Longer games, like platformers (Kid Icarus) etc, need more time to play through to completion, or at least to get a good feel of the game. If people do finish or tire of the game earlier then the 'extra credit' idea is great, to keep the discussion going with out having to create a whole new feature game.

Making it a game a month would also give me, personally, a chance to catch up on games that I cant start right away. Typically, unless I have the featured game sitting at home I probably wont get around to getting it untill at least the end of the first week, which only gives 1 week to play it. If I have a busy week / or weekend I will probably miss out all together. Which has happened to me with Kid Icarus.

Obviously other people have different time commitments / or better time management, but it sounds like the people in charge are struggling to maintain the 2 week turnarounds, which I can understand completely.

If you do tire of a game, and also any 'extra credits' then there are plently of other games out there to entertain you, for this reason I think it is better to keep the time frame uniform so that people know when to check back for the next game.

So in conclusion 1 game a month + 'extra credits' is fine by me, and that is my 2 cents! :D

Keep up the good work!
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