Forum vs. NOVA/PBeM

Discussion in 'Role-Play Discussion' started by Antares, May 15, 2016.

  1. Antares

    Antares Newcomer Game Owner

    So what is the general preference anymore? I personally can't stand Forum based games. I hate that because from time to time I find Forum based games that have phenomenal writing, but I've never been able to keep up. For me, PBeM (especially via NOVA) are so much easier to track and keep up with.

    What do you guys think?
  2. TF72CO

    TF72CO Newcomer

    I personally use NOVA/play-by post. That way I have the ability to try and keep everyone together.
  3. Star Army

    Star Army Resident Game Owner

    I can't keep track of emails. I need the organization that a forum provides. I hate email.

    Nova has some good features but ultimately can't compete with forums in terms of the core function of writing posts.

    Plus, full mobile support is critical.
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
    Mim and Elena like this.
  4. Death Kitten

    Death Kitten Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Game Owner

    I absolutely don't get the appeal of RP in forums. It feels so disjointed to me... but then I'm the sort of RPer that when I get comfortable with my logging partners, we'll butt into the middle of each other's responses, rearrange things for each other, proof read, etc to make a better finished piece for everyone else to read.

    Honestly, when I was introduced to Nova I never looked back at a pbem. The only thing that irks me about Nova is there still isn't a clean way to use it on mobile, and since I'm on the go so much, I find myself fighting with it from my phone regularly. I absolutely can not wait for Nova3 to release, I *need* the reactive style. Which reminds me, I need to reinstall the preview and start playing with the skinning.
  5. Elena

    Elena Resident Game Owner

    I wrote in Nova and while I like the fact that it allows for collective posting and rearranging of parragraphs before publishing so that it avoids "post splicing".

    The fact that the order of writing matters (you can't write in liquid time and arrange the threads chronologically in story time by time stamps and a board calendar, as the forums allow) is what I don't like the most. The fact that you can't see a joint post until it is completed and published (while you can see threads in progress on forums) doesn't allow you to reference other things happening in parallel in the story. It also doesn't allow for customizing much...

    Forums are more flexible with this, a thread can last more, you can read easier the story and it can be arranged in a board calendar how you wish, no matter when it was actually written. It matters only what spot of time in the story it covers.
    Mim likes this.
  6. Death Kitten

    Death Kitten Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Game Owner

    In theory, the new version of Nova will allow you to arrange the order to posts when the release, ie if posts A B & C come one right after the other, but D comes between A & B, then when you release it, Nova will be able to add it so that the order is A D B & C. At least that's the goal he's aiming for, but the feature hasn't been written yet. I agree that will be very useful, as simply putting BACKLOG in the title or something like that is irksome. I don't mind so much that you can't see what else is being written at the same time as my logs, but that's probably partially because that's what I'm used to.

    Also, as for the customizing, honestly you can do a lot with it if you're willing to get your hands dirty with code. The problem is the skinning system is absolutely convoluted. I am about to poke my nose into the skinning for the new version, so I'll report back what I find when I've gotten a chance to go wading into it, but I'm hopeful so far just based on what has been expressed by the goals and the acknowledgements of the challenge of the existing system.

    All that said, ug, I've managed forum software before and I am not fond of what's involved in customizing that either. >.<
    Elena likes this.
  7. Elena

    Elena Resident Game Owner

    I have no idea about coding ;) I was more thinking about "customizing" as in adding images here and there or a post template (already made somewhere).

    And about not seeing the "thread" before being finished and posted, the problem is that both of us are living in a cramped ship, and what happens here and there gets, usually, to be common knowledge. If 5 people are writing 2 threads (or logs, how you call it) in parallel, you can't know which had happened in story time before, and so inconsistencies appear. Your character can go to call the captain... but in the other thread which happened in the story just a little before, the captain was already killed (to give a strong example, because it can be about anything else). While if the "chapter in progress" (thread/ log) would have been seen while getting written, the others would have known and took steps (either dating the thread one hour before the other, or calling the first mate instead, as he got to be the acting captain...)

    These apply to any details which are worth knowing and mentioning in other threads...
  8. Death Kitten

    Death Kitten Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Game Owner

    To some degree, open vs closed writing is handled by players talking to each other as they write. I suppose that can require a bit more active effort to stay on top of, but I think the other benefits of Nova balance this out. However, given some players I've RPed with in the past, I can see how open writing could potentially be helpful in keeping disruptive players in check... But the command team can also see logs in progress if this is a concern in a Nova game.
    Elena likes this.
  9. Wolfie

    Wolfie Newcomer Game Owner

    As someone who has basically "grown up" writing with Nova, I can't really imagine using much else for my own simulation. I've tried forum games and games through Wordpress even, but I keep going back to Nova because of all of the features it has to offer a GM and it's players. The only think that I see a forum winning in is a sense of community and visibility. Something that Nova is looking to improve in the future is the sense of community in the game. Forums have areas for OOC interaction, and in Nova you're forced to use PMs or Mission Posts to have interaction, unless you use another medium. Forums simplify that. That alone isn't enough to make me switch from Nova, though.
    Death Kitten likes this.
  10. Dalibor

    Dalibor Newcomer Game Owner

    Forums are pretty much bread and butter to me. It's much easier to me to see things evolve post by post instead of waiting for a completed collaborative chunk, and they're beautifully convenient for organization and community discussion. I suppose if turnaround was expected to be quick other methods would have stronger benefits - so really, pros and cons to any method.
    Elena likes this.
  11. Archaeon

    Archaeon Resident Game Owner

    My background is PBeM games and I have to say that they will always hold a special place in my heart. One has been going for many,many years and I still get excited whenever I see a new email come through to continue the absolutely epic stories of the characters involved. I much prefer reading PBeM logs. It's more like getting a serialised story than the toing and froing of forum games. But forum games have become the norm for so many people now. I can't deny that I love all the little character extras that you can do with/on forums. I would miss all the OOC extras that go along with a forum game these days.

    When I first came across NOVA I thought it was a stunning piece of work. I instantly pounced on it in the hopes of using it as a platform for a new collaborative fantasy world I was working with a couple of former PBeM friends at the time. We had two major problems with it that almost immediately put us off and prevented us from using it at all. The first was the rigidity of its setup - everything and I really mean everything - is geared towards games involving a strong hierarchical structure. Aka. Star Trek sims or other militaresque games. It would have taken quite a bit of work to convert it all over to freeform fantasy in a way that felt natural. The other was the bloody awful skinning and the complete lack of mobile friendliness. Combined it was just too much.

    So, I will always love the notion of NOVA and hope to one day make use of it if everything that's promised in the next iteration comes about. But until then I will continue to use forums for the bulk of my gaming and the occasional PBeM for my collaborative storytelling fix.
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  12. Death Kitten

    Death Kitten Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Game Owner

    @Archaeon What I've seen so far of Nova NextGen has been a major improvement. The skinning looks so much more friendly right off the bat (but I haven't actually tried to do anything with it yet) and it's reactive out of the box. It's still early in development, but I'm pretty excited based on what I've seen. He hasn't developed the manifests yet, but what he has in mind sounds much more flexible.

    I still love Nova 2 despite the clunkiness of the skinning, and I've found new hope because @Wolfie has created some reactive skins. I'm currently customizing one of them for my site and I'm impatient to be done so I can install it on my game.
  13. Applewood

    Applewood Newcomer

    Wolfie's skins aren't just reactive, they're quite amazing, and they adapt fantastically to mobile access of the site, especially when paired with her character cards manifest mod, which gives you a bigger "click" area to select a character. This is precisely the kind of skin Nova has needed from the get go, tbh.

    I am overly fond of Nova, personally. I have memory of using a Play By Forum system many moons ago(~10+ years?), and remember instantly jumping on to the SMS beta bandwagon(Fun times).

    I do have occasional issues with the service, though, as some of the updates have had rather infamous bugs over time(Which have usually been easily reparable. Usually).
  14. Wyman

    Wyman Newcomer Game Owner

    I've given forum games my level best multiple times over the years, but it's never panned out. I always end up forgetting that I'm a member, then I end up having to play catch up and find out that I've basically missed the entire plot.

    PBEM is basically a defunct medium, sadly. There aren't any real platforms for it anymore, and most sims are built around the "all in one" Nova site. I tried doing an old school email game a couple years back, but an utter lack of interest and a dearth of time on my part basically sank it before it ever made it out of port. So I guess it's Nova or bust for me from here out.
  15. SymonDrayson

    SymonDrayson Resident Game Owner

    I am almost strictly on Nova right now.
  16. Collapsible Myth

    Collapsible Myth Resident Game Owner

    Started with forum roleplay and always enjoy the organization of a forum. Now I haven't had the chance to join or even run a nova site but looking over at the next gen info I found. There doesn't seem to have been any movement with version 3 being deemed alpha.
    SymonDrayson likes this.
  17. Mim

    Mim Resident Game Owner

    I've always been on forums, merely for their flexibility and the way an admin can set them up. I love the sense of community and the fact that guests can easily read the stories you are writing and the flow of it. I have tried Nova three times, no offence to those of you who use it, but I just don't get it at all. To me its hardly different to email RPing one on one with someone; no one barely but the two of you see it. The other thing with the Nova I couldn't gell with, was the fact nothing gets 'posted' ie finished until the two or three of you all agree you're done.
    Elena and Star Army like this.
  18. SithLordOfSnark

    SithLordOfSnark Resident Game Owner

    I stick strictly to Forum, namely jcink, because it is easier for me to follow.
    Elena and Mim like this.
  19. Mim

    Mim Resident Game Owner

    exactly my reasons :D
  20. Will wlaker

    Will wlaker Newcomer Game Owner

    I'm hands down with Nova. Tried Forum once and didn't like it. Been simming with Nova for about 10 years now.
    The Fleet I run even did away with Forum as a way for us to stay in touch. I created a Nova Fleet Command and that how we all stay in touch now.