The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

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The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Donte77 on Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:25 am

I have been doing some thinking about the way we are doing slates.

Each of us is running the league/s that they start and then each of us is responsible for updating each movie and each slate for that league. Some Leagues are updated by the individual slate owner on each forum. This is all very counterproductive.
We need to centralize the work and make it available to all. Whether we have one person do the update for the day and a couple checkers or 1 person assigned to the IMDB each week, one assigned to the BO, etc, we should get this streamlined. I think it is the first step towards getting a working model built that will be easier to use. We have a lot of the old regulars on here but there are very few leagues running.

The next issue we need to address is the way we run leagues. In order for a slate update to be done, it is necessary for each person to remember which slates we have for which leagues. Then go the forum boards, look under that forum post, look through a few pages to find their slate and edit it there. This is fine if you are in 2 league or even 4. But I am in all the supers, a bankruptcy, a couple of Ult and BO leagues and I sometimes neglect to double check them on thursday the way I used to simply because I don't have them written down and I don't feel like wasting another hour searching through all the posts.

Yes we could all write them down on our own computers or paper or whatever but that isn't helping to streamline the game or bring in new members. We have only gained a handful (if any) of players since FM dropped us and we have lost many of our regulars. I am still running the Top 25 Ladder Leagues although they are a top 18-19 instead. The B and C divisions are even smaller I bet.

So we need a way to store the slates on the site. I have no idea how that can be done. I have no idea if it can be done but I feel that it would help us in the long run.

We need a page for the price list for each season that is easy to find (without searching through forums for 15 minutes) and a way to see our slates and leagues.

I really think this is important. I know that many of us are playing in about half as many leagues as we used to simply because it isn't as easy anymore. Apathy is a terrible thing. And I am not blaming or pointing fingers at anybody individually but we are all very susceptible. And this is no way is a slight to Mr. I and Chien (since they know I think they are both awesome) but we have only had one weekly update from them in the 5 weeks we have been on our own. Shryke has done a few but that is a continuity thing. It is another of the ways that made the game better, sort of like listening to a pre game show for this sport. I have even offered my services as an editor for Chien and I will extend the same to Shryke and Mr. I.

I will also volunteer to either do or be part of the team that does the weekly updates. I have been sending my list to J-Man for him to check his updates but again that is counter productive. It takes me about 2 hours to update my weekly numbers and then update the 2 (a measly 2) leagues I am running. If I and Shryke, JackO, Busci, J-Man, and Leestu, etc are all doing this 2 hour job why not divide the work up and each do 30 minutes and then have a central location for the others to find??? That way people can make leagues and not be on their own every week.

Just some thoughts to discuss.

What we really need is input from the mods, Barca especially and anybody with programming knowledge. Any ideas?


PS Also if this gets some interest and ideas, could a mod sticky it? thanks.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Shrykespeare on Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:49 am

Well, my initial thoughts:

Starting in February, I will be glad to post the Universal pricing list for both Ultimate and Box Office (created by myself and approved by Mr. I, Chien and maybe one or two others) on a thread of anyone's choosing, a place where the Fantaverse knows where to look for it.

Per the weekly columns: Chien has not had a column in a while for two reasons; 1) he has been having a lot of trouble with his Internet provider, making it impossible for him to do research, a situation that he hopes to have resolved shortly, and 2) Not that many arthouse film to critique in January anyway. In no way is he shirking his duties, and now that Mr. I is back in the mix, I'm sure things will get back to normal in the meantime.

As for help doing the updates, I think I'm good continuing to do it on my own. Box Office Mojo usually has the final weekend stats up by Monday evening, and I make it a priority to have the updates posted on TFR by Tuesday evening at the latest. About the only thing that I could use help on, given how interminably slow my home computer is at times, is the IMDb User Ratings. It often takes me ninety minutes to double-check all the titles in a three-month period to see if they've changed, and I'm sure someone with a fully-functioning computer could have that done in ten minutes. If anyone would like to help, they can e-mail or PM me the complete list of User Ratings as of Tuesday morning. (Tuesday is better than Monday, as it gives IMDb a chance to get all the votes cast on the weekend counted.)

I'm glad you pointed this out, Donte. It does kind of hamstring us that we have to do our leagues this way, and in only a bare-bones kind of way, but I'm sure we're all hoping that it's a temporary stopgap measure. I haven't seen Barca around much, and I don't know if creating a new version of FM is in the cards (but that's not for me to say). What I CAN say is that I hope to have news about the possible face lift given to my own site (TLMR), thanks to fellow player MrHam and his web-designer friend. Once we get a framework for that in mind, we have made mention of the possibility of creating a new place to play the game. But that's all hypothetical and speculative at this point. At the moment, we'll have to be patient.

I said in my final FM column that something else, something bigger and better, would come along, and, given the Fantaverse's collective IQ and stubborn streak, it probably wouldn't be long. You're absolutely right, apathy is the Fantaverse's Public Enemy #1 right now, which is why it's up to us to keep the ball rolling until the guys we cheated off of in computer class are able to build that better mousetrap.

I love the Fantaverse, and I'll defend this tiny piece of real estate with my dying breath, if I have to. If only there was someone among us who was drinking buddies with Donald Trump, or Bill Gates, or any of your more successful Internet millionaires that could throw us a bone in this transitional time. But I don't know if such a person exists here, so for now, I'll just hope. To quote Andy Dufresne, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no truly good thing ever dies."

Thanks,
Shryke

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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by undeadmonkey on Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:51 am

great idea donte! This would make it a lot easier. let me know where i can help
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by NSpan on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:05 am

for the time being, i don't see why we're not just running ONE ultimate game, ONE box office game, and ONE bankrupts game per month.. (i suppose superleagues are a reasonable exception.. but in general, i don't see the need for competing leagues that serve the same purpose)
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by undeadmonkey on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:41 am

I agree with Nspan. and I had mentioned it at the time we started, but i guess others had other ideas. It would make it so much easier
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Swedgin! on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:48 am

Well. This bears some real thought, and that's actually beyond my ability right now, as I'm heading out to a TEN-player game of Twilight Imperium 3rd ed. that is planned to take all weekend. But I'm throwing my hat into the ring: I have no technical skills whatsoever, but I have some ideas about how I can best "help" the site and the game along in the coming weeks, months, and years. Remember those little "information capsules" that were available, that included the film's poster, headlining cast, opening date, a brief synposis, and other vital information? I think I can do that going forward. Of course, maybe it's not necessary any more. I'd welcome any feedback.

I'll be checking in every now and then throughout the weekend, and posting / updating my FY - B.O. and HY slates, as well as my Bankrupts and Regulars League entries. Other than that, over and out, and good luck to everyone in this, our inaugural weekend on the new site!

And a very heartfelt THANK YOU to EVERYONE who's made this possible. You know who you are. [Grin]


...and this is only a SIX-player game. Kneebiters
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by silversurfer19 on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:52 am

Yes, most definitely. I think starting next month there should be a limit to the number of leagues being created until we have a much more streamline system in place. This was our collective efforts can be unified to only a maximum of 3 leagues on the site, as well as Shryke's leagues. That would enable the people who are running the leagues to actually just focus on them and it would also make it easier for players with less slates to keep a check on.

I really wish I had some skills in IT so that once one person updated each area of the scoring, it would automatically update everyone's slates like FM used to. The way we are doing it now is very laborious and time consuming. Any ideas would be welcome, but I'll try to think of some things myself over the next few days.

By the way, I've stickied this thread to keep us all aware. If there are any other things I can do as a moderator, let me know and I'll put them into place.

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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Donte77 on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:53 am

Let me address NSpan first since that was the last post I read. It is not a bad idea but I really like being in multiple leagues and having multiple slates. I think it is like batting practice or doing simpler math problems to build up to algebra and then to calculus. We could conglomerate into one league but we still have the problem of the next season starting every month. That is 3 slates per category per person in addition to the bankruptcy and Supers.

Shryke: I really hope it did not sound like I was saying they (or you) were slacking. I know you 3 did a hell of a lot of work and put so much thought into your columns. I know I read every one you three did since I started on hear over a year ago. I think we all loved reading them. It is not something that can be thrown together in 7 minutes. I didn't realize David was having internet trouble and of course I do not just expect you three to do the work. I just meant that it is another aspect of the old model that is not as crisp as before. I know that I am not good when I don't have a deadline so I understand why and I am aware of it.

One thing I think would help is having a place to see the updates movie list on the site. So at any time you can go "Hey how many PTA did Gran Torino make for the December season?" and be able to see that without searching though the endless weekend numbers on BOM. As you said you do your own updates and we are doing a lot of the same work since I do my own also. If we all co-op we could get that done easier and faster. For instance maybe get some volunteers and have 1 whose only job is updating IMDB for a season or maybe 1 person takes all the movies per month and we collect the data in a central place. I am on a T1 internet connection and get fly through imdb ratings in short order but I am terrible at spreadsheets (still cannot use your model) and so I am changing each movie, slate, rank individually and then reordering the position of players via the cut and paste method. Yes I am that slow and/or stupid.
If you really like doing your own updates, do you wanna send them to me? Wink

I just feel that sure we can keep doing it this way but it will never grow or get better. And if it never grows or gets better eventually some people may stop playing because of boredom. And then more people stop playing since there are no people playing and then TFR dies like FM. That would be a travesty.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:05 pm

I don't even really "play" the fantasy portion of the site. I make a slate and essentially forget about it. 1) I have no idea where it is. 2) I don't remember how many I made. And some other reasons that I can't really think of.

I know I'm not adding anything, I'm just agreeing that the actual fantasy game has fallen off for me personally, simply because it's waaay more of a hassle now.

I'm totally down for whatever re-vamping we can do, and I'll help with something. I'll paint the goddamn set if need be.

For now, I'll just continue to enjoy the Free-For-All section.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by JackO on Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:52 pm

I agree with Nspan about consolidating the leagues. It is a real bitch to manually update slates for Ultimate. As you can tell from my three updates it went from a nice pretty organized table to a complete clusterfuck names, points, and money. Now if the job was divided up that'd be a heckuva lot easier. Anyways, I can help you out with the IMDB scores , Shryke. I got cable internet and it loads pages quickly.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by englishozzy on Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:18 pm

I agree with having more people helping out on the site. There will be plenty of times (like myself atm) where a person could be out of action for a couple of weeks for some reason. Therefore leaving their responsibility not being maintained while there away.
And as were talking about help, i should be getting my new computer and internet installed in the next couple of weeks and im pretty fast on the spreadsheets, especially with excel. If you need my help for any reason just let me know.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Keyser Soze on Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:38 pm

Hey gang, I'm in for whatever I can do to help. I've got a few ideas, but it just seems whenever I type them out, it seems as though I'm slamming someone else for not doing more work. I realize that we need to do more to simplify the process as that is the only way we are going to attract new members/players. Unless you were a member of the old group, I can't see what would attract a new member to join and start playing along.

I think slimming down to fewer leagues until we get the foundation in place might be a good idea for the time being.

Swed said "Remember those little "information capsules" that were available, that included the film's poster, headlining cast, opening date, a brief synposis, and other vital information? I think I can do that going forward. Of course, maybe it's not necessary any more."

Hey buddy, if you know of some way to get those little information capsules going again, I'm all for it. There are a lot of times I just don't have the time to research what all of the $2 and $3 movies are that I have never heard of, and those little capsules were god sends especially for the fact that they may have introduced me to a film I might never had heard of otherwise.

Like Banks said, I'll help paint scenery, put up flyers, or just get coffee for the cast and crew. Let me know what I can do to help.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by mfrendo on Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:53 pm

Having "information capsules" back would be awesome...
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by silversurfer19 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:54 am

Okay, following on from some of Donte's suggestions, I have put into place a thread which will deal soley with the weekend actual results. This consists of all the PTA, Top 5 and IMDB results for all movies in the games since the start of December. I will endeavour to update this every week, providing a quick and easy place for league runners to access knowledge of all of the above. I think this will save a heap of time, especially the imdb part. The thread will, however, be locked. This is to ensure that the thread is soley used for the actuals only, and not for any other comments on the results from that weekend. It can be unlocked and updated by any of the mods, so if I am unable, there are more than enough of us here to fill in my place and keep the updates coming.

If there is anything else I can help with as a mod, just let me know.

EDIT: I've added total BO to all those movies too now, so hopefully that should also help.

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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by MisterInformative on Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:54 am

For the record, my layoff in columns had nothing to do with a lack of editor, but moreso that it was over Christmas, when family and (for me, at least) work are much greater commitments. I wasn't left with enough free time to even check the forums regularly, much less write columns.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Swedgin! on Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:48 am

(In response to positive feedback by Keyser, mfrendo, and others...)

All right, then: If the Shrykester, Information Meister, Indianapolis Smith, Herald, and Barky (the "Furious Five" Elders of the AlternaFantaverse, unless I'm mistaken -- please correct me if I've missed or misidentified any members of the Quorum / Senate / Governing Council of Independent Thanes) agree / concur, I'll begin work on "information capsules" for all eligible films beginning, say, with those opening Friday, February 6 (Coraline, He's Just Not That Into You, Pink Panther 2, Push, Chocolate, Fanboys, and Free Style), and I'll try to eventually work my way up to running 3-4 months ahead, longer if necessary / requested. I'll ask TPTB (hey, guys, how's it feel to be known by that acronym?) [chuckle] to set up a sub-section of the Forum somewheres so that I can begin posting these "information capsules" (if anyone feels creative and wants to suggest a better name for 'em, by all means, let's hear it!). I don't know if anyone wants to make 'em locked, or sticky, or smelly, or whatever, but I figger that's a decision well above my paygrade, anyway, at least for now.


(r. to l.) Indie Jones, silversurfer, Shryke, Mister Informative (top), BarcaRulz (bottom), and, erm, Missus Swedgin! [ducking]

Here's the information I'm thinking of including, then -- hopefully this represents a modest improvement on the old format, even:

[1] Title (duh)
[2] Current poster - chugsthemonkey's already done an enormous amount of work on this, I can run with the effort he's already put in
[3] Release date(s) - if a title will experience a "staggered" opening, for example a limited run in, say, New Yawk and Ell-Ay before expanding to 12 major markets, then slated to open wide two weeks after that, I would make note of this
[4] Release Type - limited, major market, wide, saturation, etc.; this will dovetail nicely with [3] above
[5] Studio(s)
[6] Director
[7] Major star(s)
[8] Brief Synopsis - stop laughing
[9] Runtime - this may be one of those "hit and miss" areas, since I won't always have reliable information on that prior to a film's release, but I can sure try
[10] Behind the Scenes - interesting facts, trivia, speculation, rumor, and the sort of useless and only minimally entertaining running commentary you've come to expect from yours truly

...How's that sound to you guys?


Shryke efforts motivating yours truly

Okay, now, here's the tricky part: WHAT ELSE CAN YOU THINK OF THAT WILL ASSIST YOU IN CHOOSING YOUR SLATES, AND PLAYING YOUR GAMES?

I'm serious. This is one of those features I was constantly lobbying to "improve" at the Other Place. I always got great feedback from THOSE TPTB, but nothing ever developed, and it drove me ever so slightly mad. If I'm going to take this on -- and I'm happy to, and I think I can do a pretty damned decent job of it, actually -- I want to DO IT RIGHT. So it's going to have to be YOU GUYS (& Gal) who I rely on to give me feedback, keep me focused on your gaming priorities, and provide me with the information I need to make this the best feature we all, together, can make it.

ARE YA WITH ME?

One of the thoughts I had was to provide, if available, pre-opening IMDb scores... A lot of especially indie and foreign films have already established quite a track record before opening on our own hale shores, and this is an easy thing to investigate / update, maybe once or twice a week. (I heard ya, Kaiser, and I agree... You shouldn't have to hire your own research assistant to play this game! ...After all, that's what I'm for.) [Grin] Another was to bring back the "projections" (IMDb, Opening Weekend B.O., Total B.O., Top 5 points, PTA...), but that could be problematic. I would definitely need input from TPTB before even attempting something like that.

With TPTB's permission, I'd like to go ahead and begin creating a "test" of this concept, let's say for the Friday, January 30 roster... there are just four films opening that day, so mocking that up in the format I've outlined above shouldn't be too difficult. Then we can maybe open that effort up to comments and criticism and analysis and get the feedback we need! Sound good?

I'm excited about this. We're moving things forward, and, like I said we would, on OUR terms. Good stuff.

I look forward to reading everyone's responses.


Patiently awaiting your feedback
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Shrykespeare on Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:17 am

That sounds absolutely terrific, Swedge-O-Matic (hey! A Shryke-name!). Anything that you can do to add pertinent and relevant information in the form of something that makes the game more flashy, more substantive can only help what is currently a rather static and drab game.

If you want to be the guy that that takes on this burden, hey more power to you. Take the ball and run with it. I’m sure the mods and I will be there to clear out any remaining defensive backs that may be in your way, while you sashay into the endzone and do your touchdown dance. (Sorry for the football metaphor, but I’m still on a high after the Cardinals’ drubbing of the Panthers this evening… hip hip hooray! Ya boo! Phillips is a German and he have my pen!) (BONG!!! Start again…)

Sorry. Monty Python references aside, I can’t wait to see what the finished product might look like. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Go for it, pally.

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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Swedgin! on Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:56 am

...Swedge-O-Matic (hey! A Shryke-name!).
[In best The Architect glower] Please.


I'd smack you if you didn't disgust me so

Anything that you can do to add pertinent and relevant information...
Well, let's not be unreasonable.

If you want to be the guy that that takes on this burden, hey more power to you. Take the ball and run with it.
Indeed. I will take my one ball and run away.

I’m sure the mods and I will be there to clear out any remaining defensive backs that may be in your way, while you sashay into the endzone and do your touchdown dance. (Sorry for the football metaphor, but I’m still on a high after the Cardinals’ drubbing of the Panthers this evening… hip hip hooray! Ya boo! Phillips is a German and he have my pen!) (BONG!!! Start again…)
And again... I'd smack you if you didn't disgust me so.

(Then again, I'm a lifelong Red Sox fan, and I know too well what it's like to consistently root for a team that not only breaks your heart, but rips it out of your chest, shows it to you, then flings it into a nearby pasture where it's chewed on absently by a random cow before being trampled underfoot by a heedless procession of bovine nastiness, pulped into frothy, bubbling gore and carried away by millions of independently motivated biting insects into their damp and mouldering underground lairs, where what's left of it alternately feeds their maggoty offspring and rots until it becomes just another ingredient in a layer of poisoned topsoil on a dying planet circling an unremarkable star spinning slowly out of the ecliptic of a worthless galaxy in a universe that doesn't care. I feel ya. Erm, congratulations. Hm. Awkward.)

Sorry.
It happens.

Monty Python references aside, I can’t wait to see what the finished product might look like. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Consider me number two. Erm. Hm. Also awkward.

Go for it, pally.
It's like your my mafioso uncle, dropping me off at a whorehouse for my "initation" into the rites of manhood. Erm. Hm.


It helps to have the proper perspective
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by BarcaRulz on Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:04 pm

I apologize for not being able to be here more often, serious time constraints.

Anyway, i am on board with the information capsules. We can get a prototype going, and next time i have a little time i'll make the sub-forum for them. I'll put it where the columns and advice topics are.

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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by A_Roode on Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:21 pm

Yikes, I need to remember not to be away from this site for more than 36 hours at a time!

I have the will to help however I'm needed if not the technical prowess. I'll be better at the ideas and feedback aspect once I plow through some of the back log at work. See you all in February ... 2014 *lol*

I'm here if you need me and I can be used. Like UDM, I'm basically just chilling on the Free-For-All board right now, but look forward to getting back into the games as we move into the Superleagues.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by johnErle on Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:07 pm

Swedgin! wrote:

Here's the information I'm thinking of including, then -- hopefully this represents a modest improvement on the old format, even:

[1] Title (duh)
[2] Current poster - chugsthemonkey's already done an enormous amount of work on this, I can run with the effort he's already put in
[3] Release date(s) - if a title will experience a "staggered" opening, for example a limited run in, say, New Yawk and Ell-Ay before expanding to 12 major markets, then slated to open wide two weeks after that, I would make note of this
[4] Release Type - limited, major market, wide, saturation, etc.; this will dovetail nicely with [3] above
[5] Studio(s)
[6] Director
[7] Major star(s)
[8] Brief Synopsis - stop laughing
[9] Runtime - this may be one of those "hit and miss" areas, since I won't always have reliable information on that prior to a film's release, but I can sure try
[10] Behind the Scenes - interesting facts, trivia, speculation, rumor, and the sort of useless and only minimally entertaining running commentary you've come to expect from yours truly

...How's that sound to you guys?

If we're all receiving this much information at our fingertips, doesn't that take away much of the challenge and fun of the game?

EDIT: And another thing to consider is that the first time you make a mistake or neglect to mention some key piece of information, you might have people accuse you of sabotaging their slates.

I say let everyone fend for themselves. We all know where to find this info, and if we don't, do we really deserve to do well in the game?
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by mfrendo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:52 pm

I don't think the "fend for themselves" idea is working too great. Takes too much time to really pick a good slate. On the other hand, I don't think THAT much info is needed at fingertips. I think the following should be included:" title, poster, release date (only one, no dates for wider openings of limited films), synopsis, director, stars, studio, and runtime. Tht way, there isn't too much info, and the game stays intriguing, and there's enough to pick movies from without time for other research, if needs be.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by Swedgin! on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:39 am

johnErle:

If we're all receiving this much information at our fingertips, doesn't that take away much of the challenge and fun of the game? ...And another thing to consider is that the first time you make a mistake or neglect to mention some key piece of information, you might have people accuse you of sabotaging their slates. I say let everyone fend for themselves. We all know where to find this info, and if we don't, do we really deserve to do well in the game?
Hm. I can honestly say I didn't expect to hear THIS perspective, but, then, that's why I opened it up for everyone to contribute and so ALL opinions could be heard, considered, and discussed. So, I certainly do appreciate what you say, john, particularly because you're voicing a point of view I wouldn't otherwise have anticipated, and thank you for offering it up for our (hopefully) thoughtful contemplation.

I feel I should point out that these "information capsules" (grrr, I hate that name; somebody work up a better phrase for 'em before I grind my teeth into pearly nubs) are nothing new; they were available from Day One back at the Other Place, and I for one referred to them constantly. However, that being said, I'm emphatically NOT in favor of continuing to do things, just 'cause, well, that's the way we always did 'em. And, too, I should mention that, for me at least, those little "caplets" were the BEGINNING of my research / knowledge / wisdom...a primer, a jumping-off point, and NEVER the full measure of data I utilized in choosing films to populate my slates.

I can sort of see where you're coming from, when you say that (paraphrasing, here) if you, as a player, are too stupid, lazy or ignorant to take the time to find the information you need to be a competitive gamer, then, well, you don't DESERVE to win, anyway, and shouldn't expect to be pampered or backstopped by those of us who actually give a damn enough to collect basic information, tie it up for you in a nice bow and place it on the table before you, and would you like a cookie, too? (That about sum it up?) That would argue, however, for making the AlternFantaverse a true meritocracy, where the disciplined and dedicated and demonstrably able are rewarded, and all others eat cake, and personally I'm not up for that. In this game as in life, there ought to be accomodations made for insensible, blind, dumbass luck, and more power to those who are fortunate enough to possess it. Also, I've never been one to draw a straight line between, say, education and ability, or effort and outcome. Again, that's not life, else being successful would automatically argue for being intelligent, one's position would be an excellent indicator of one's quality, and the foolish would never be confused with the powerful. Case in point: For example, arguably I've (rather sporadically, granted) been one of the most research-minded players in the game. Rather famously (and, actually, shockingly), I'VE NEVER WON A GAME. It's true. Doesn't bother me a bit. I play games to have fun, not to earn bragging rights; to learn, to experience, to talk smack, and I don't count the trophies on my shelves or weigh the medals in my drawer or dust the ribbons packed away in boxes somewhere. You should see how many times I've had my ass handed to me in chess, or Axis & Allies, or Twilight Imperium (like I did last night).

I do see your point. I just don't agree with it. It ain't a perfect world, after all.

Which brings me to your other point, about me (or whoever may author these "caplets") assuming responsibility for whatever incorrect, incomplete or unintelligent information I compile and pass on. You're quite correct, and it's entirely possible mistakes / omissions will be made. However, it's not the first time I'll have wielded such power or assumed such responsibility. I was once a featured columnist at the Other Place, myself, and occasionally (often, even) offered up unpopular opinions on films yet to open. What I said had ENORMOUS influence on many many somewhat less-rigorous players, as Shryke and Indie and Mister Eye will no doubt tell you. (And, really, we all should walk a block or two in Mase's shoes!) I make no guarantees, I offer no apologies. I'll do the very best job I can, and when it's my opinion I'm offering, and not mere quantifiable fact, you'll know it, because writing these "caplets" is going to be very, very different from writing a column. But NO ONE should rely overmuch on what I post; these will be offered for convenience and efficiency to new players and those who don't obsess over the minutae of slate-building, in an effort to make the game somewhat simpler and more user-friendly, sort of like the post sheets at your local racetrack. After all, not everyone has the ability, time or inclination to go down to the stables and check the horses out themselves, do they? These blurbs should be the BEGINNING of one's decision-making process, and serve as a helpful reminder along the way, and that's about all anyone should reasonably expect out of 'em. Moreover, I want them to be posted as threads so others can comment and offer their opinions and even contradict me, to build a dynamic and growing knowledge base of information and opinion as films come closer and closer to their release dates.

In short, if anyone's looking to use these "information capsules" as a bona fide, can't-miss crib sheet, they'd be mistaken. But they might help narrow the field for you, and encourage you to focus on the films that really appeal to you. If nothing else, they should make the job of identifying and prioritizing likely picks a little easier, and hopefully enough players will agree that we can move forward on this.

But I'd be interested to her contrary points of view, and try to talk their authors out of 'em. [Grin]


Eh, what does he know?
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by johnErle on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:57 am

mfrendo wrote:I don't think the "fend for themselves" idea is working too great. Takes too much time to really pick a good slate. On the other hand, I don't think THAT much info is needed at fingertips. I think the following should be included:" title, poster, release date (only one, no dates for wider openings of limited films), synopsis, director, stars, studio, and runtime. That way, there isn't too much info, and the game stays intriguing, and there's enough to pick movies from without time for other research, if needs be.

Considering how much work certain people are putting into maintaining these leagues, and how much work would be involved in accumulating all this data in one place, saying that choosing a good slate is too much work strikes me as a tad selfish.

Choosing a good slate IS a lot a of work, especially in Ultimate leagues, and that's the way I think it should be. If you can win the game without any effort, I don't see the point. Are we playing chess here or tic-tac-toe? I know I lost a few leagues because I never looked into movies like Role Models, and the people who chose that movie deserved to win, while I didn't.

All the info we're talking about is a few clicks away on other sites, so how hard is that? But if Swedgin chooses to go ahead with this, I agree that he shouldn't include the dates when limited releases go wide. That makes finding the next Gran Torino too easy. I wouldn't recomend listing the studio either, because the word "Lionsgate" is an obvious red flag that points out flops from a mile away. There's no harm in listing the info that used to be available at The Place That Shall Not Be Named, and maybe a bit more, but I certainly won't be the one volunteering my time to do it.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by mfrendo on Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:00 am

Kind of ironic, but going with what you were saying earlier Swed, I won my first league ever played, back when I was just messing around and not researching too much (I believe there were like 30 or so people in it...). Since I've been researching, I've done okay, but I don't remember actually winning anything else (hopefully the tag team league will remedy this...).
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

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