Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Continuing the blog without Trickster

Written by Ilmari

Even if Trickster is willing to move on to new challenges, it would be shame to put The Adventure Gamer completely out of business, especially as we are just on verge of the golden age of point'n'click. Some of us readers got the idea that the blog could continue as a community effort, which sounds great, but we'll still need to figure out couple of things:

1) Who does all the administrative work, like adding the reviews into blog and putting scores into the spreadsheet?

I've already volunteered for the job, but if someone wants to become a co-admin, I'd love to share the honour.

2) Who will play the games and do reviews?

I've also said that I can play and write reviews occasionally. Still, I won't be able to do that continuously, so here the efforts of the whole community would be most required. I've already got few volunteers for a reviewer pool: Aperama, Joe Pranevich, TBD and Deimar at least have expressed interest (sorry, if I overlooked someone). Still, the more committed reviewers we get, the better. Note that I've already said that I can do the introductory post for any game, if the reviewer doesn't want to spend time for that.

3) Who will get to play what game?

Here are the games remaining for the year 1990:
Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls
James Bond: The Stealth Affair
Rise of the Dragon
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

I think it's best to figure out first what to do with these games, before thinking about the later games. So, anyone particularly interested of any of these?

4) What about scoring?

In the past, we could rely on Trickster having a consistent idea how to score the games. As a guest blogger, I noticed how hard it was to take care that the scores I gave followed the same logic as Trickster's scores. So, do we still want to score games? If so, do we still use the PISSED-system? Do we need to discuss what are the criteria for the scoring or should every reviewer just play by his/hers gut instinct?

5) What to do with CAPs?
One of the most original features of this blog has been the CAP system, and it's been an important part in bonding the TAG community. Do we still want to hold on to the system? If we do, who gets to decide who gets how many CAPs (community vote?, admins?, something else?)?

Also, while Trickster was still blogging TAG, collecting CAPs had a clear purpose, because they could be used for moving Borderline and Disregarded game to Trickster's playing list. Do we still need such a system (at least it was always fun to see what games got enough points) or is it completely useless?

So, this is what I had in mind - let the discussion begin!


  1. Updating: Aperama has said that he could begin playing Countdown over the weekend.

  2. I'll have an intro post and at least a first play session written up by my Sunday, on the proviso that I don't run into any troubles getting the game to start. (I've literally never even owned the game in an abandonware setting, so I'm really going in blind.)

    As for the questions raised:
    1) I'm not the most knowledgeable as it comes to blogger, so I'm not the one to look at - though I'll try to get my head around things if you want me to look into such.
    3) I'm sure we'll be able to work something out. I'm kinda thinking we organize when we have a definite idea of who's in.
    4) I reckon the scoring is a pretty ancillary portion of the whole vibe. Let everyone use their own judgement, but keep the old system.
    5) CAPs are fun. Maybe keep them as a prize exchange system or something? I'm kinda short on ideas how to keep it going, but definitely still like the idea.

  3. I am really excited by this news!!! I can chip in with a review once in a while, starting around January of next year. In fact, I would be honored.

  4. If nobody else is willing, you can count me in for Spellcasting 101.
    I don't have a lot of experience with IF though, so if anyone else more knowledgable comes out, I will gladly cede.

  5. I'm happy to help with admin duties, Ilmari.

    I'll also happily take on KQ5.

    I would prefer a consistent scoring system, and just accept that different reviewers will give varying importance to different categories or give high/low marks more readily. Any review site has the same issue and I think it still helps to give a score despite the fact that a different person would give it a different one. Also, the spreadsheet would be a lot less exciting without scores :)

  6. A suggestion: Put the post's author name near the title. So it'll be clear who wrote it. In this post, I have no idea who is speaking and I actually thought The Trickster is talking in the third person.

    So we can do something like:

    Return to Zork
    by MrValdez

    1. Oh, I saw the Ilmari Jauhiainen's name at the bottom. Still, we should see if we can move it to the top.

  7. As I was the one who proposed it, I will take Elvira.

  8. Great to have so many enthusiastic people here! I myself could take Rise of the Dragon, if no one else really wants it, since I've never played the game.

    So TBD wil be a co-admin. I'm just going to need some e-mail address to add you to the blog (if you want to send it to me by e-mail, I'm on gmail with the obvious first name.last name -beginning). If anyone else wants admin rights, there's still a chance ;)

    Also, if any of the reviewers wants the authoring rights, that is, rights for adding texts to this blog, I'll be happy to comply (less work for the admin). You can just send me an e-mail, and I'll add you as an author.

    As for MrValdez's suggestion, that's a good idea (especially as the person who has written the text might now be different from the one who has posted it). I think simplest trick is just to begin the body of the text with "written by XX". Does it look OK?

    1. > Does it look OK?

      Yes. I saw the Countdown post on my rss feed. I immediately saw who wrote it.

  9. You will need readers as well, so:


  10. First, I recommend that we have multiple sets of game posts at once-- but that the site admin should space them out so that there is a new post every 2-3 days. Different volunteer bloggers will post at different paces and I sully suspect that none of us will be as committed as Trickster was (or those like him on other blogs). Having a few games going at once will keep content flowing.

    I would also volunteer for the first open game on the list, the James Bond one-- assuming I can find it.

    1. I like this idea. I think it worked well having 2 games at once when we had guest games on the blog and we'd get more regular posts that way, particularly as none of us are as experienced as Trickster and will therefore likely start off with longer breaks between posts.

    2. First problem, does anyone have the "James Bond" version of the game? The one that I have is the European version ("The Stealth Affair") and does not have the Bond license. I have the Bond manual and the non-Bond game and I fear I may get tripped up if they do not match...

    3. I second the idea that we could be having couple of games going on at the same. Would two or three still be a good maximum?

      James Bond/Stealth Affair: I thought that the two had only some differences in dialogue (the name of the hero being replaced by James Bond in the US version). Can anyone confirm this?

    4. I started into the European version last night and have completed a draft of the first post. I did not make it far! How should I get it to you? I will clean it up and can mail it tonight.

    5. We should probably decide later how the posts are delivered to admins, but for now, yes, you can mail it to me: I have an obvious Gmail-address.

      And just to make it clear: this is the first play post, right? Will you be doing the intro post yourself or would you like me to write it?

  11. Also, for volunteer posters, can we set up a Google group or something that would let us communicate on a back-channel? We need a way to provide the coordinator with the post drafts and such.

    1. A Steam group is also an option, on the broader scale.

      I've also been thinking - should we ask Trickster to blog on the guaranteed-good games? I'm sure that come MI2, Day of the Tentacle or QFG4, we'll have enough people willing to do them regardless - but I think it somehow appropriate given all of the crud he waded through for us. (If he's willing, of course!)

    2. Yes, some group thing would be nice, so that we wouldn’t always have to fill the comments section with our chattering. Do we prefer Google or Steam?

      Aperama: As much as I love the idea of Trickster making a guest post now and then, I’ve got the impression that at this moment he still doesn’t want to commit himself to any regular or semi-regular postings (after all, he is just about to start a completely new blog). But things might change, and I am sure he will find time to make occasional guest appearances in the future!

    3. I suggest Steam. Also, Steam has a curator shop. So we can put in all adventure games on Steam in one place. Then, we can link our reviews to each game.

    4. MrValdez: Thanks for the suggestion, but we already created a Google Group (see below). Maybe in the future it might be good to explore the extra possibilities of Steam, but for now, I think, since we are just beginning to get the hang of the group publishing, it is best to stick with what we already know and concentrate on getting posts done.

  12. Message for all volunteer posters: I've created a Google group for communication on schedules and such: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/adventuregamer

  13. i read in your previous post that you are consideing to quit the blog. Why not expand it instead? you like other game genres, cool. Open a section about them. Maybe you dont have to be so thorough and could leave more time between posts. cheers.

  14. Glad to see people are keeping the blog going. Kind of fun to read about these games instead of suffer them.