We've had a hell of a year so far. SWRP's growth continues, improvements are consistently being made, and we're getting wiser towards our mistakes. As the technology and learning curve of this website increase, productivity and entertainment follow suit. Now that I had my time away as an Admin and expelled my negative energy on a few unfortunate targets, I believe we can start looking forward to what's really important: this community's future. So I've been giving the Factory and the Staff team my usual speech of "let's do better", but at the same time I know that we're on the back half of 2014. Which means we're that much closer to Episode VII coming out. With the movie will come renewed interest in the Star Wars franchise, and any Star Wars role-play community stands to benefit.
So today I drafted the concept of "Content Lanes." It's a concept we've already been following, but I really want to drive home this idea that there are multiple roads to increasing the activity and entertainment of this website. Yesterday, I yelled "wiki". Today I'm shouting "credits". And months ago, we established the Factory.
These three - the Factory, Credits, and the Wiki - are the beginning of this "Content Lanes" concept. Entirely separate entities who's roads all lead to the same place: role-play. Who's goal is the same: role-play. Which is what people come here to do. It's in the title. People don't solely come here to create Factory stuff, people won't solely come here to play the lottery. If these are you favorite activities, so be it - but in the end, all of these Content Lanes serve one master - Role-play. So I wish to amplify that.
These Content Lanes are the solution, and here's what they cover:
Already a tried and true Content Lane, the Factory's sole purpose is for user-generated content to be created and improved upon, and then sent to the role-play threads. While there's plenty of room for improvement in this lane, this is definitely the most refined method we have and the most popular. It has a massive Factory Staff, a dedicated pair of Factory Admins, and a wonderful following of role-players who thoroughly enjoy creating stuff. Creation in it's purest form, aside from Role-playing the Factory serves as a clear example of the progression of this community.
Concerns: We've always labeled the Factory as optional, and that's what I intend it to always be. But we've inadvertently clashed at several points with this concept - for example, I spoke with the One Sith administrators the other day and they told me one of the major reasons they failed the Invasion of Carida was due to a lack of Factory created ships, and that this was an argument that Role-play Judges/Factory Judges actually levied against the One Sith. While this is but one example, I wish to avoid situations like this. I don't believe any one player should ever be told they have to submit something to the Factory - while on the other hand, I do believe we should prohibit role-players from possessing certain things unless they are submitted to the Factory.
It's a necessary evil, and many more battles will be fought about these issues concerning the Factory and it's "optional" existance. But one thing's for certain - I will not let these battles put a stop to the growth of it's concept.
The newest addition and feature to the SWRP community, credits are to work as a form of "dispensable cash" for player characters. Unlike the Factory, which is more of a single writer experience, Credits require interaction to be of any use to the community. In fact, their existence revolves around player interaction and the amplification thereof. From enhancing the experience of hiring a bounty hunter to providing incentive for mercenaries, Credits have yet to show their true potential. While they have no substantial content of their own, I believe credits will - in the future - greatly enhance player interaction and involvement within the community. Only time will tell.
Concerns: Too many to count. First and foremost - player acceptance of the system. I understand change can be difficult to accept, but a community that becomes stagnant is a community I don't want to be a part of. Credits were designed as an alternative content lane that amplify role-playing to a new level; time will only tell if it succeeds at this goal.
Dubbed "The Holonet", this content lane only recently came into existence as an alternative method of providing content management. While the concept of the Holonet is still extremely rough, the expectation is that the Holonet will replace the need for external website references for Star Wars lore and instead replace it with our own alternative translation, adapting canon lore to SWRP Chaos lore. While I'm sure the expectation of the newly dubbed "wiki team" is that we'll just be copying and pasting characters and factory content in to this wiki format, I find this idea to be extremely redundant and unecessary. Instead, I would like to see articles pertaining to planets, locations, species, etc. that have been adapted to Star Wars RP Chaos lore. Coruscant got invaded? Visit the Coruscant page to find out why, without ever having to leave our website. What is the Republic? Visit their wiki page to find out exactly who they are and what they do - as well as find resourceful links leading back to their faction. Who was Teferi Efreet and what did he do? Visit his page, read his bio. My plans for the wiki extend beyond anything the other Content Lanes can provide - and ultimately, I want the wiki to be the last stop shop for all things our role-plays, our factory, and our credits system don't provide.
Concerns: The scope of the project is enormous and the work involved will be intensive to a degree we've never experienced. It will take quite some time before it becomes remotely what we want it to be, if it is saw through to the end.
Big ideas start small, but all these content lanes lead to an exemplary role-playing experience for a pop culture phenomenon that we all know and love.
And that culture is about to be fed on a massive scale December 18, 2015.