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IAmInfinite

Rebel Mini-Challenge

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And that's the end of the first mini that we came up with. I'd say a pretty good success with plenty of scores on both side.

Some drop in retention of numbers but that's to be expected. 

 

Any ideas on how to keep people engaged?

And any ideas on what the next theme should be?

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I think part of the retention drop was due to life, some of which was caused by the new school year starting. Hopefully things will start settling down now.

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I think Zeroh's right, but also if we could promote more conversation in the challenge thread that might help keep people interested? I'm not sure if that means "more story" or "more engagement from mini leaders" or what. Thinking about it is starting to give me ideas, though (which kind of go in a natural order sort of but you can also look at them one at a time)... spoiler'd for combined length:

 

Spoiler

We could do another weekly theme based mini like this one and have a daily question for each day of the week relating to the theme. For example, if that week's theme is self-care, we could have questions like "What's your favorite place to be?" and "What was the calmest moment you've ever felt in your life?" to spark some discussion and maybe encourage people to think outside the box about how they can achieve their goals. Ideally, that kind of mindset might spill over into thinking about other areas for improvement, too: if the question is "How can I do x more regularly" a way to reframe it might be "What was the best time I ever had doing [something similar to x]? What steps can I take to recreate that?" More discussion could generate more ideas and help people who have "writer's block," as it were.

 

Spoiler

I've really liked the look of some of the collaborative minis I saw when I was doing research for writing this mini. Collaborative minis take the "winning/losing" anxiety out of the equation (although I can see how for competitive people they might seem pointless, in a way you're kind of competing against the challenge itself, so it's not like there's nothing there). They give everyone a sense that they're working together and lower the entrance requirements for people who sign up late. Since everyone is on the same "team," it's easier to manage the mini all in one thread and encourage everyone to communicate to help their fellow guild members.

 

Spoiler

If we were to do a PvP challenge again, I think I'd want to create some threads for the teams to hang out and chat. Upfront I know this sounds both divisive and like a huge pain to deal with, but I think it would give people more of a sense of camaraderie with their team and increase the feeling of competition, which honestly is what PvP challenges are aiming to take advantage of. For our first mini back after quite a hiatus, I think it was probably good to have everyone together because we were all kind of figuring out what to do as we went, but in the future that type of mini might be better served with a little more structure. 

 

Spoiler

Regarding people just figuring out how minis work, and on the note of providing more structure, I think it's important to keep in mind that the Rebel Guild will always have a large number of people who are brand-new to NF floating around. I have it on good authority that in the near future there will be a return of the "Level 1" subforum to be managed within Rebel, which may result in some filtering out between the NF newbies and older hands, but regardless of who our audience is I still think it's probably a good idea to consider with every mini that there will be at least a few people who have never done a mini before. For them, it might help to have a clearer outline of how best to participate -- not just how to join the mini, but how to encourage their teammates, discuss their progress, ask for help, etc. People aren't born knowing these things, so if we could figure out how to model them that might encourage more engagement. 

 

That's all I got for now! Sorry for a little bit of a mind dump, wanted to get things written out asap so I didn't forget. 

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I really like having the questions. Would daily be too often for proper conversation?

And we can definitely try out a collaborative mini, we're still definitely in experimentation stag. People may react differently, and that's fine. We'll figure out what works and what doesn't and adapt it for the next time.

My only issue for having two group threads is that I'm not sure the numbers would be worth it. We had roughly four active people in each team. You could just as easily create a group messaging system (though that would require someone to take the incentive, but definitely an alternative)

More information on how to participate in the challenge itself and in the spirit of the challenge. Sounds good!

 

To-Do : 

Figure out the next challenge theme

Set up the Hall of Fame thread (attach it to Menu so we don't clog up the forum?)

Write the next challenge 

- collaborative

- clearer instructions

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I didn't get involved in the mini this round because life happened, and I'm terrible at coming up with stories, but I'm willing to hang out in the thread and help with whatever y'all need.

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22 minutes ago, IAmInfinite said:

I really like having the questions. Would daily be too often for proper conversation?

And we can definitely try out a collaborative mini, we're still definitely in experimentation stag. People may react differently, and that's fine. We'll figure out what works and what doesn't and adapt it for the next time.

My only issue for having two group threads is that I'm not sure the numbers would be worth it. We had roughly four active people in each team. You could just as easily create a group messaging system (though that would require someone to take the incentive, but definitely an alternative)

More information on how to participate in the challenge itself and in the spirit of the challenge. Sounds good!

Yeah, I agree that having separate threads is not super useful when the groups are so small. They also make more sense in PvP challenges that have a little more strategy to them instead of everyone just doing everything (there are some really complex minis in the archive), because then the teams can feel "safe" discussing their plans and encouraging each other. But that also might really only work in a bigger guild, like Assassin or Warrior, where there's a lot of engagement and competitive spirit already. 

 

22 minutes ago, IAmInfinite said:

To-Do : 

Figure out the next challenge theme

Set up the Hall of Fame thread (attach it to Menu so we don't clog up the forum?)

Write the next challenge 

- collaborative

- clearer instructions

I was thinking for a theme maybe instead of something fandom-specific we could try out something more generically nerdy, like a space adventure or dinosaurs or something? Just spitballing here. Alternatively, there are some ubiquitous children's stories (like Alice in Wonderland) that might make for a good foundation. I'm a little hesitant to suggest kids movies because a lot of people on NF didn't necessarily grow up with Lion King or what have you. 

 

19 minutes ago, fleaball said:

I didn't get involved in the mini this round because life happened, and I'm terrible at coming up with stories, but I'm willing to hang out in the thread and help with whatever y'all need.

Thanks, Flea! Here's hoping during this next challenge life is a little more under control for all of us! 

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What do ya'll think about a accidentally going back in time to the dinosaur era and having to use collaborative skills to survive (and maybe find a way back home?)

As for the challenges, I'm thinking basing it on Water, Fire, Shelter, Return.

This means that the challenge will be food based (drinking enough water everyday or should it be reducing bad drinks or should it be having half your meal as any colour other than white and brown)

And energy based (repetitions of an exercise, which one?)

Shelter based (you don't want to get eaten, so do something to relax your mind and patch up - same as last challenge, self care)

And making your way back to the future (picking up the scattered bits of the time machine - same as last challenge, exploration. Or should we change this one?)

 

 

I will also be adding a post to the Menu as a little Gallery of Fame, with the title, mini story of winning, and the MVP of that challenge. 

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9 hours ago, IAmInfinite said:

What do ya'll think about a accidentally going back in time to the dinosaur era and having to use collaborative skills to survive (and maybe find a way back home?)

As for the challenges, I'm thinking basing it on Water, Fire, Shelter, Return.

This means that the challenge will be food based (drinking enough water everyday or should it be reducing bad drinks or should it be having half your meal as any colour other than white and brown)

And energy based (repetitions of an exercise, which one?)

Shelter based (you don't want to get eaten, so do something to relax your mind and patch up - same as last challenge, self care)

And making your way back to the future (picking up the scattered bits of the time machine - same as last challenge, exploration. Or should we change this one?)

Haha I already started writing something that's pretty similar to this. I could tweak mine to match up with your ideas or we could make two separate ones, whichever you prefer. Great minds think alike, I see!

I was planning walking (to accomplish story-stuff, continuing throughout the challenge), water, shelter, boss fight (exercise), and knife skills if we get that far. More tied to how quickly we accomplish things along the way than strictly week-by-week, open for anyone to jump in anytime, and with a bunch of Murphy's law tossed in to spice things up. Lmk what you think. 

 

Quote

I will also be adding a post to the Menu as a little Gallery of Fame, with the title, mini story of winning, and the MVP of that challenge. 

Sounds good! Thank you!

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Maybe have various jobs/tasks/"groups" that people can choose from? Like... Some people work on getting food and water for everyone, some people can work on building a shelter, some people work on getting the time machine fixed, and some people work on keeping everyone safe from the dinos? The key being in letting people choose what they want to do, and allow people to do more than one if they want. 

 

Edit: could just combine food/water/shelter to simplify.

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Hmm... it's a good idea, and I've seen it done well in a few other challenges. The way I was writing this one, each new challenge "prompt" is added to the existing list, but when a new one crops up the old ones don't go away. So you can still choose what you want to do, but there would be less time to focus on some of them than others. That's kind of just how it worked out naturally with the story I'm writing, but I could see with a different story it might be better to have everything presented upfront right away. 

 

So here's my thing: last time I didn't put aside enough time to write the challenge and I was really unhappy with how the story parts came out. Even though some people seemed to enjoy it, I felt like a more immersive story would improve engagement and make for a better overall experience. So this time I got started a little earlier, and now I have some things set out for the mini I'm writing. 

 

THAT DOESN'T MEAN the mini I'm writing right now has to be the mini we use, and it doesn't mean other ideas can't be worked into future minis. We're gonna need a lot of minis over time, so it's good to have an abundance of ideas. 

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19 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

Hmm... it's a good idea, and I've seen it done well in a few other challenges. The way I was writing this one, each new challenge "prompt" is added to the existing list, but when a new one crops up the old ones don't go away. So you can still choose what you want to do, but there would be less time to focus on some of them than others. That's kind of just how it worked out naturally with the story I'm writing, but I could see with a different story it might be better to have everything presented upfront right away. 

I didn't really mean presenting everything up front. I was more thinking along the lines of your "prompts". Like, here's some tasks, and then BAM, something happens or something changes, and now we have this new task to deal with too.

 

(Maybe we need to get a little more coordinated with mini-challenge writing?)

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4 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

and knife skills if we get that far

I'm assuming you mean like, chopping veggies and such? Because my first thought was this: 

 

9711432.gif

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10 minutes ago, zeroh13 said:

I didn't really mean presenting everything up front. I was more thinking along the lines of your "prompts". Like, here's some tasks, and then BAM, something happens or something changes, and now we have this new task to deal with too.

Gotcha. Yeah, idr who wrote it (Starsapart?) or where it was (I think it was an Assassin mini, but idr when), but I saw one where it was like... there was an elemental split, and each element was focusing on a few things (like water-flexibility, earth-strength, air-meditation, fire-something) and had a few specific goals within that. Participants were supposed to choose an elemental alignment, but over the course of the challenge everyone did everything, it was just scored such that you got more points for doing stuff in your element. It seemed to work pretty well, but I don't think I read much of the actual story, so I'm not sure quite how it played out. 

 

The one I'm writing really only has one thing (and a few variations of it, but it's basically the same option) being introduced at a time, but it wouldn't be too hard at this point to make it so it at least starts out with two things, and then continues to add onto that. That way people can at least do one from the beginning and continue to pick and choose as more options are added? 

Your idea is kind of making me think of like... branching skill tree minis, which are fun too! There was one that I think Hazard did once that had people unlocking new worlds as they went, and each world had a couple of different challenges. Completing different challenges unlocked different worlds, but I think they did eventually unlock them all. 

 

But the Assassin's Guild gets a LOT of really intense interest in minis (maybe because their GLs write such great ones) so you can make something tough and they'll take it in stride. I have no idea what I should be doing for difficult level in Rebel, and last time and this time I operated based on the assumption that Rebel is kind of less a "We do this specific thing" and more a "we're figuring things out and need to try lots of things" guild. 

 

Quote

(Maybe we need to get a little more coordinated with mini-challenge writing?)

I think that would be good lololol but I have no idea where to begin doing such a thing. Suggestions? 

 

2 minutes ago, fleaball said:

I'm assuming you mean like, chopping veggies and such? Because my first thought was this: 

 

9711432.gif

I did indeed mean safety in the kitchen-type knife skills. Knife-throwing seems like more of an Assassin thing ;) But I mean, hey, we could always try it??? 

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One thing I'm a little worried about with the minis and trying to be cognizant of is accessibility of challenges. I want everything to be mostly free, of course (no gym membership required -- you do have to buy food in most places, but theoretically you would be buying food anyway) and to offer exercise challenges that have a variety of progressions, but some people literally cannot stand without pain, so how can I ask them to walk around the block? What can I ask them to do? I had planned to include among the rules a note that accommodations can be made for injuries and other issues on a case-by-case basis, and maybe that's enough, but I do like to be prepared. 

 

I don't actually know if we have anyone in Rebel who is quite so immobile, but I'm sure there are at least a few on NF, and it's something I'm trying to be more aware of in general. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! 

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40 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

 But I mean, hey, we could always try it??? 

You did say we need to try lots of things. :P

 

40 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

Your idea is kind of making me think of like... branching skill tree minis, which are fun too! There was one that I think Hazard did once that had people unlocking new worlds as they went, and each world had a couple of different challenges. Completing different challenges unlocked different worlds, but I think they did eventually unlock them all. 

I remember doing a Kingdom Hearts one like that... I'm pretty sure the next world was unlocked when a certain number of people completed the challenge. And if I recall right, the later worlds had prerequisite worlds. 

 

40 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

But the Assassin's Guild gets a LOT of really intense interest in minis (maybe because their GLs write such great ones) so you can make something tough and they'll take it in stride. I have no idea what I should be doing for difficult level in Rebel, and last time and this time I operated based on the assumption that Rebel is kind of less a "We do this specific thing" and more a "we're figuring things out and need to try lots of things" guild. 

I wouldn't really call them tough... They were scaled to your level and the numbers worked out thanks to some spreadsheet magic. Like, if the challenge was to do push-ups, you would do the variation that was most appropriate for you. Some people crank out really high numbers because there are some pretty damn competitive assassins.

 

1 hour ago, Wobbegong said:

I had planned to include among the rules a note that accommodations can be made for injuries and other issues on a case-by-case basis, and maybe that's enough, but I do like to be prepared. 

That's enough. I mean, from what I've seen it works pretty well. And it does need to be on a case by case basis because everyone will have different things they can and can't do based on their unique circumstances.

 

1 hour ago, Wobbegong said:

I think that would be good lololol but I have no idea where to begin doing such a thing. Suggestions? 

Hmm... When I was working on game design we just talked everything out on instant messenger, and had a drop box set up so we could review various files on our own and then compare notes. There was also a lot of emailing. But there were just two of us, and that was several years ago, so there's probably better methods out there now.

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On 9/15/2017 at 4:14 PM, Wobbegong said:

Gotcha. Yeah, idr who wrote it (Starsapart?) or where it was (I think it was an Assassin mini, but idr when), but I saw one where it was like... there was an elemental split, and each element was focusing on a few things (like water-flexibility, earth-strength, air-meditation, fire-something) and had a few specific goals within that. Participants were supposed to choose an elemental alignment, but over the course of the challenge everyone did everything, it was just scored such that you got more points for doing stuff in your element. It seemed to work pretty well, but I don't think I read much of the actual story, so I'm not sure quite how it played out. 

 

That's probably Anim's Five Rings mini from last challenge.   Participation was decent.  The activities of the mini and general design worked well.  Based on end scores, a couple of the categories probably needed more clarity for what 'counted'.  And social interaction was non-existent, so having teams turned out to be mostly superfluous.

 

 

On 9/15/2017 at 4:14 PM, Wobbegong said:

Your idea is kind of making me think of like... branching skill tree minis, which are fun too! There was one that I think Hazard did once that had people unlocking new worlds as they went, and each world had a couple of different challenges. Completing different challenges unlocked different worlds, but I think they did eventually unlock them all. 

 

That was my Kingdom Hearts mini, done in summer 2016.  I remember putting it together after my daughter was born once she recovered from the surgeries and we finally got back home.   That mini worked pretty well.   I recall the Assassin Guild had somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-70 people that challenge, and around half of them signed up for and started the mini.  Although there's always some dropoff in participation numbers as the weeks go by, we had enough material and participation levels that we ended up extending the Kingsom Hearts: Deliverance mini through two Challenges.  I think the format worked very well.  Plus it had the advantage that we were able to continue creating and editing Worlds that hadn't been revealed yet, so not all of the work had to be done up front before it began.

 

 

 

Anyway.  I hope some of these retrospective notes might be of help to you.

 

 

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Thanks @Hazard! I appreciate the notes, it's good to know what worked and what didn't. Do you have any other suggestions overall? Like "get your act together and plan your minis a little further in advance of the challenges, you idiots" kind of stuff? ;)

 

(Also just wanna say I'm always so impressed at the way you turn up when you're mentioned, even if I don't tag you. Ultimate ninja. :ph34r:)

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On 9/15/2017 at 5:51 PM, Wobbegong said:

Thanks @Hazard! I appreciate the notes, it's good to know what worked and what didn't. Do you have any other suggestions overall? Like "get your act together and plan your minis a little further in advance of the challenges, you idiots" kind of stuff? ;)

 

That's a potentially big conversation that could go on for a while.  Probably better done in PMs.  I'm cool with chatting about my minichallenge design & implementation experiences in more detail.  But shoot me a message if you want to do so.

 

 

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