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

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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 1:15 am

Swedgin! wrote:

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?)

Yes, albeit with a bit more snark and a higher word count than I would have used. Wink

Swedgin! wrote:
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).

You could spponfeed people all the information and expert analysis they could ever possibly need but it's still up to them to make the right choices, and no matter how much preperation some people put into it, the winner still might be someone who pulls eight movies out of his ass. That's life, and I'm okay with that. I guess a big part of the fun for me is doing the research and finding the diamonds in the rough that lead to victory, but when everyone shines a spotlight on the best picks, it's not as fun for me.

Also, my worry is that too much information will lead to too many people choosing the exact same slates, leading to eight-way ties atop most leagues.
Swedgin! wrote:
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.

If you choose to go ahead with this and risk becoming a scapegoat/doormat, don't stop on my account. If most people are in favour of it, the worst that will happen is I get bored and quit playing while everyone else is happier. That would be good for the community, and probably better for me in the long run if we're being honest. There are certainly more productive things I could be doing with my time right now.
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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:27 am

Lionsgate isn't as much of a red flag as, say, The Weinstein Company.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by geezer9687 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:18 am

I have to say, I'm with John on this one. I'm not against information capsules, but I also don't think they should include everything. My main concern is one that John brought up. If there is so much information available at everyone's fingertips, provided by us, it could lead to everyone having very similar slates. When we are telling everyone what will fail and what will succeed, then where does the variety come from. I have never been one to find this game all that difficult. If you put about an hour's worth of time, you should be able to have a pretty solid slate for an entire season. I think that this is not too much of a burden. I am one who actually prides myself on my ability to play the game. I think that what the old site had was as much as we need. Three columnists, each with a specific topic to write about. Those three columns cover every possible angle. Any more information would be overkill. I'm sure that's one reason TPTB at FM never went ahead with more.

Like I said, my main concern is the duplication of slates. There is no point to playing when everyone has the same opinions on what to take, because those opinions are being presented on a silver platter. I'm not saying these opinions will always be right. But the people providing it are trusted members of the community, and their opinions will be strongly considered, leading to more identical slates. Thus, eliminating the competition that makes the game great.

So just letting my opinion be known, but I am with John here. The only way we should overload on info is if we make the draft format the primary option, thus a movie can only be owned by one person, and it would make drafts a lot more fair and draft leagues more competitive, which would be good. But for the salary cap format, where identical slates are allowed, I don't support an overload in info. Do some research people, its not that hard!

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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 8:57 am

Hmmm. Perhaps this is my fault; maybe I didn't state clearly enough my intention to minimize the opinions and prognosticatory prattlings these "capsules" would contain. (Or, just as likely, maybe you guys just don't think I'm capable of finding my inner and long-dormant journalistic straight-out, right-down-the-middle even-handed unbiasedness.) [Grin]

Everybody remembers (from the Other Place) these, right? Did anyone think THEY were that influential? I always considered 'em sort of a quick-hit reference, no biggie, just nice to have at your fingertips... But it sure seems like either some of you remember, or I'm (unintentionally) painting a picture, of something far, far different, more subjective and far-reaching.

I honestly don't care either way, whether this happens or not... It's not like this is that Next! Big! Thing! I was hoping to endeavour to accomplish, in life OR the AlternaFantaverse. Honestly, it's pretty much a thankless task, fairly heavy on the research and light on actual substance (on a title-by-title basis, anyway)... one of those things it's easy to get used to having there, that some players will rely on and use on a weekly basis, and others (like, I presume, johnErle) will largely ignore in favor of their own, specialized research. Since release dates and strategies are wont to change right up until release, it's one of those things that will take constant, in fact near-daily, attention, and it will very likely attract the most attention and commentary only when it's wrong or not updated in as timely a fashion as desired. Again, that's fine: It's the nature of the beast, and anyone who takes this on ought to know it for exactly what it is, right from square one. I'm happy to perform this small but useful function as my first actual contribution to the AlternaFantaverse, but if you guys and TPTB want me to focus my energies on something else, just say the word. Just so long as it (or anything else I lay hands on) fulfills Donte's Prime Directive: If it ain't making the (Alterna)Fantaverse a BETTER place, well, let's just skip it and move on to something more desirable (and achievable).

That all being said, I really don't think any of us are going to have a handle on what we're talking about, here, until I put together that January 30 mock-up / run-through, so I'll try to push that out by the end of this week so we can look at it over the weekend and hopefully come to some manner of consensus decision by the end of the month. I will plan on maximizing said example's utility and minimizing its Nico-, erm, Swedgin!-ness. [Grin] Sound like a plan?

A couple quick (don't laugh; the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, right?) responses / comments before I move on to other topics:

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... Since I've been researching, I've done okay, but I don't remember actually winning anything else...
Yeah. You can definitely overthink these things, mfrendo. Overthinking is not necessarily something I've ever been accused of doing, mind you (remember, I'm an Aggie), but I've definitely heard of it. [Wink]

"I once took the high road, and it took me straight to hell..."
Sing it, preacher.

johnErle:
a bit more snark and a higher word count than I would have used.
We all have our crosses to bear. [Grin]

You could [spoon-feed] people all the information and expert analysis they could ever possibly need but it's still up to them to make the right choices, and no matter how much preperation some people put into it, the winner still might be someone who pulls eight movies out of his ass.
[Nodding] Too true, I quite agree, john.

I guess a big part of the fun for me is doing the research and finding the diamonds in the rough that lead to victory, but when everyone shines a spotlight on the best picks, it's not as fun for me.
And again, we're on the same page. Hm, except for that last part. Let me be clear: It is NOT my intention that this project, that these "caplets", in ANY way resurrect, replace, or renew the sort of competitive-rank process I pursued when I was writing OMO and Bank for Your Buck. As I said earlier, I plan on playing this "straight", offering up the basic information I (and you, corporately) think is necessary to be competitive without opening your own Hollywood studio detective agency, and perhaps some common-sense historical analysis, although from the comments being offered up here, that's looking like less and less of a priority.

Also, my worry is that too much information will lead to too many people choosing the exact same slates, leading to eight-way ties atop most leagues.
I agree, that's DEFINITELY something to keep an eye on, and we can certainly effort that.

If you choose to go ahead with this and risk becoming a scapegoat/doormat, don't stop on my account.
Fortunately, I'm quite skilled -- not to mention, rather experienced -- at being a fool and a disappointment, so I'm not particularly concerned about my reputation. [Grin]

If most people are in favour of it, the worst that will happen is I get bored and quit playing while everyone else is happier. That would be good for the community, and probably better for me in the long run if we're being honest. There are certainly more productive things I could be doing with my time right now.
Wow, ummm... hm. Well, look, partner, you gotta do what you gotta do, but I think I can speak for pretty much EVERYONE here when I say it's not my, or anyone else's, intention to drive interested individuals out of the game. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, neither can any group of people tailor EVERYTHING to the demands or eccentricities or preferences of INDIVIDUALS, otherwise the whole world would be just like California. [Grin] In short: Your concerns are being taken seriously, and so are your opinions, and I hope you'll be patient and stick with us through this (hopefully, abbreviated) period of retrenchment and renovation, and continue with us as we enter what I am certain will be a bright and exciting future here at the AlternaFantaverse.

(Which reminds me: It's high time for me to quit using the "Alterna-", since clearly there IS no "alternative", any longer. We're on our own, and simply... The Fantaverse. However, I digress.) [Grin]

I case I haven't said it, by the by, welcome, john (not sure if I perhaps knew you by another name, at some point back there at the Other Place), and many thanks for your contributions. We may not agree on everything, but it's a good and, as it turns out, necessary conversation, and I for one am glad you're a part of it.

Lionsgate isn't as much of a red flag as, say, The Weinstein Company.
LOL! Or, Yari Film Group. (Or, depending on what happens next week, WB / Legendary Pictures.)

geez:

I have to say...
No, you don't. [Grin]

...I'm with [j]ohn on this one. I'm not against information capsules, but I also don't think they should include everything. My main concern is one that [j]ohn brought up. If there is so much information available at everyone's fingertips, provided by us, it could lead to everyone having very similar slates. When we are telling everyone what will fail and what will succeed, then where does the variety come from.
[Nodding] Duly noted, my friend. I'll be relying on you, and john, and others to make sure I'm not crossing the line between information provider and advocate.

I am one who actually prides myself on my ability to play the game. I think that what the old site had was as much as we need. Three columnists, each with a specific topic to write about. Those three columns cover every possible angle. Any more information would be overkill. I'm sure that's one reason TPTB at FM never went ahead with more.
[Grumble...] Okay, well, I'll try not to take that too personally. [Laughing]

Another reason was that there was just one full-time editor to go around, and half his time was spent on Mase (or, me).

Like I said, my main concern is the duplication of slates. There is no point to playing when everyone has the same opinions on what to take, because those opinions are being presented on a silver platter. I'm not saying these opinions will always be right.
Yeah. The more I read, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that if I take this on, I will AVOID putting any of my OWN opinions in there, and just "stick to the facts". (Ma'am.)

But the people providing it are trusted members of the community, and their opinions will be strongly considered...
Awww, you like me! [Grin]

...The only way we should overload on info is if we make the draft format the primary option, thus a movie can only be owned by one person, and it would make drafts a lot more fair and draft leagues more competitive, which would be good.
Well, look, I'm not getting into that. I always liked the draft option, but in THIS format, I don't know that it makes sense. This is a question for folks well above my paygrade, and I'm quite happy to let them have the headache. [Grin]

...I don't support an overload in info. Do some research people, its not that hard!
But -- and I say this with the greatest appreciation for what you're getting at, here, you and johnErle -- it CAN be time-consuming, especially for people with families and dial-up (not necessarily in that order). Not everyone sits on a trunk line (like I do) or has their very own server (like I do), and we should be sensitive to those who CAN'T devote the time to plow through IMDb and BOM and Rotten Tomatoes and Variety and Dark Horizons and so on and so forth to formulate their slates. This is a game, not a job. (At least, not a terribly well-paying one.)

One last thing: Someone (perhaps john) came out against the "capsules" providing theater count information for openings and expansions. But isn't that exactly the sort of bare-bones, public-knowledge information that any casual user of Box Office Mojo might be expected to ferret out? Would it be so wrong to have it at peoples' fingertips? Help me understand why this would be a bad thing. Make your argument, I'll listen to ya.


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

Post by geezer9687 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:18 am

Well, I'm not really against theater counts. I am glad to see that these will be more of a bare-bones, fact based, information center. I was never accusing anyone of anything, just offering my opinion on what these capsules should be.

To be honest, I don't think that there will be a big "issue" with these once they come out, and the arguments being forged here will probably not even really be necessary. I can't wait to see what they come out looking like, and of course I'll be here to keep you in check Swedge-O-Matic.

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

Post by Buscemi on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:22 am

Why does everyone think that Warner Bros. is going to lose the case? I don't see what they did wrong.

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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:28 am

I don't think they did anything wrong, but the legal technicalities seem to rule in Fox's favor. (Unfortunately, because except for their specialty division, it seems they can't do anything right.)
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by geezer9687 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:30 am

What does that have to do with anything in this thread?

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

Post by Buscemi on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:33 am

MisterInformative wrote:I don't think they did anything wrong, but the legal technicalities seem to rule in Fox's favor. (Unfortunately, because except for their specialty division, it seems they can't do anything right.)

Well, they did get Slumdog Millionaire after Warner Bros. dropped it. I believe that's a good enough settlement.

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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:27 am

I can understand what john and geezer are saying, but i think that they're not quite understanding. At FM, if there was a movie i hadn't heard of, i would click it and the little bubble would pop up and give you some information on it and that's all Swedge is offering here, with a little cherry on top, specially with number 10. I love hearing Swedgin's views on stuff, lots of times it's something that i would of never thought of. Which is all great and dandy, but its not like everyone will follow his lead and end up pickin the same slates.

I hope, i'm making sense. Maybe what's bothering yall is that there's a little more information than there was on FM. That could be easily fixed. We could drop #9 and #5, and downsize #3 and #4 to just saying if its opening limited or wide. I would be satisfied with that, but please dont take away #10, or im going to sick donte on you with his bunny suit or whatever it was.



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
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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 10:35 am

If I remember correctly, didn't FM also give estimated box office for each movie as well?
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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:37 am

Yeah, but the source of said estimates was unknown and often inaccurate (although, as predictions, we really shouldn't expect them to 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 10:53 am

Responding (very briefly for once)...

Well, I'm not really against theater counts. I am glad to see that these will be more of a bare-bones, fact based, information center.
I think I'll start off small, reproducing what we had over at the Other Place, with maybe one or two tweaks, for the Jan. 30 "tryout", then we'll see what everyone thinks and where we are and whether we develop the concept from there. No sense trying to reinvent the wheel if we're happy using cinder blocks.

I was never accusing anyone of anything, just offering my opinion on what these capsules should be.
And I for one am very glad to hear it (and johnErle's, and everyone else's). I like a good give-and-take now and then, so long as the rest of the time, all of you follow my lead in mute and total obedience and gratitude. [Grin]

To be honest, I don't think that there will be a big "issue" with these once they come out, and the arguments being forged here will probably not even really be necessary. I can't wait to see what they come out looking like, and of course I'll be here to keep you in check Swedge-O-Matic.
I agree, and, again, I'm very glad to hear it! In fact, I would expect nothing less from ya, geez, old man. (Sorry, that came straight out of the Department of Redundancy Department.)

...I'm NEVER actually going to live "Swedge-O-Matic" down, am I? Bastards. [Grin]

...At FM, if there was a movie i hadn't heard of, i would click it and the little bubble would pop up and give you some information on it and that's all Swedge is offering here, with a little cherry on top, specially with number 10.
Yeah, that's about right. Bear in mind, this is all just hypothetical at this point. I have a green light to proceed with this little experiment, that's all.

I love hearing Swedgin's views on stuff, lots of times it's something that i would of never thought of. Which is all great and dandy, but its not like everyone will follow his lead and end up pickin the same slates.
What, you mean you people don't all plan your lives around every single little word I say, every half-formed thought that leaks out of this rapidly degenerating cobweb factory I still laughingly refer to as a mind? No, don't say any more. Spare an old man his illusions (really, DElusions)... they're all I have. [Grin]

I hope [I'm] making sense.
If I had said that and my long-suffering spouse were here, she'd no doubt reply, "Well, there's a first time for everything, sweetheart."

Maybe what's bothering yall is that there's a little more information than there was on FM. That could be easily fixed.
Yeah... don't read it. No, I'm kidding, really.

We could drop #9 and #5, and downsize #3 and #4 to just saying if its opening limited or wide. I would be satisfied with that, but please dont take away #10, or im going to sick donte on you with his bunny suit or whatever it was.
Christ, I'm awfully flattered and totally f@$%ing nauseated, all at the same time. It's as if Russell Brand was hitting on me. Stop with the images. Please.


Donte's autobiography? No, seriously. ...Is it?

No, really, I appreciate that, phantomprimate. I'm reminded of that scene from That Thing You Do!: "Hey, isn't that our fan?"


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

Post by geezer9687 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:54 am

They did have estimates, but those estimates were so far off for about the last year that FM existed that I stopped even looking at them for that time period. It got completely ridiculous. I pity anyone who actually used them.

And UDM, I am not opposed to info capsules in the way Nico has presented as it stands right now. I was just saying that I don't want it to go overboard. We'll obviously have to wait until he writes out his test run to know what they will actually look like.

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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 11:21 am

Swedgin! wrote:Christ, I'm awfully flattered and totally f@$%ing nauseated, all at the same time. It's as if Russell Brand was hitting on me. Stop with the images. Please.

Speaking of Russell Brand, I just finished his autobiography today. It's a funny-ass read. You can tell it wasn't a ghost writer just from the rhythm and wording, which was awesome. Starts off with him in a sex addiction clinic (need I say more)...
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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 3:33 pm

Swedgin! wrote:Hmmm. Perhaps this is my fault; maybe I didn't state clearly enough my intention to minimize the opinions and prognosticatory prattlings these "capsules" would contain. (Or, just as likely, maybe you guys just don't think I'm capable of finding my inner and long-dormant journalistic straight-out, right-down-the-middle even-handed unbiasedness.) [Grin]

Everybody remembers (from the Other Place) these, right? Did anyone think THEY were that influential? I always considered 'em sort of a quick-hit reference, no biggie, just nice to have at your fingertips... But it sure seems like either some of you remember, or I'm (unintentionally) painting a picture, of something far, far different, more subjective and far-reaching.

What they had at FM was fine, but what you've suggested seems to go well beyond that.

FM simply provided a release date (which wasn't always accurate) but never mentioned whether it was wide, limited, or whether an expansion was planned for the future. I think that's pivotal info, especially in Ultimate leagues, and people shouldn't have it handed to them.

FM never mentioned pre-existing IMDB scores for European films, but that's something you've already mentioned as a possibility.

I can't remember if they provided the studio or not, but that does influence my choice.

Runtime is a minor consideration, so I'm not overly concerned one way or the other, but #10 could mean almost anything, and that worries me. For example, if you mention that a movie has been sitting on the shelf for three years and a studio is now dumping it into cinemas in February, that's obviously a sign that they have no confidence in it, but a casual fan might just see a once-big name above the line and add it to their slate.

To be honest, I've never been thrilled with the fact that we've got three regular contributors offering hot tips for the week. I understand that FM was selling advertising, and if more people were visiting the site to read the various columns, then it was better for business, but now it only serves to make the game easier for everyone. Unless the columnists are consistently wrong, in which case they're making things more difficult, which is fine by me. Very Happy

I guess a big part of the fun for me is doing the research and finding the diamonds in the rough that lead to victory, but when everyone shines a spotlight on the best picks, it's not as fun for me.
And again, we're on the same page. Hm, except for that last part. Let me be clear: It is NOT my intention that this project, that these "caplets", in ANY way resurrect, replace, or renew the sort of competitive-rank process I pursued when I was writing OMO and Bank for Your Buck. As I said earlier, I plan on playing this "straight", offering up the basic information I (and you, corporately) think is necessary to be competitive without opening your own Hollywood studio detective agency, and perhaps some common-sense historical analysis, although from the comments being offered up here, that's looking like less and less of a priority.

What may be common sense to you might be something that other players wouldn't have thought of in a million years. Why make things easier for them?

If you choose to go ahead with this and risk becoming a scapegoat/doormat, don't stop on my account.
Fortunately, I'm quite skilled -- not to mention, rather experienced -- at being a fool and a disappointment, so I'm not particularly concerned about my reputation. [Grin]

As long as you're entering into it knowing what's in store. Honestly, though, I can see you pouring hours and hours into this, just like Skryke and others are already doing, and if I see the community taking advantage of that and never thanking you and the others for what they do and whining about every little omission, I might start to sour on the Fantaverse as a whole. I've seen it before where some people are willing to give, give, give while the rest simply take, take, take, and I don't like being around that. Hopefully that won't happen here.

If most people are in favour of it, the worst that will happen is I get bored and quit playing while everyone else is happier. That would be good for the community, and probably better for me in the long run if we're being honest. There are certainly more productive things I could be doing with my time right now.
Wow, ummm... hm. Well, look, partner, you gotta do what you gotta do, but I think I can speak for pretty much EVERYONE here when I say it's not my, or anyone else's, intention to drive interested individuals out of the game. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, neither can any group of people tailor EVERYTHING to the demands or eccentricities or preferences of INDIVIDUALS, otherwise the whole world would be just like California. [Grin] In short: Your concerns are being taken seriously, and so are your opinions, and I hope you'll be patient and stick with us through this (hopefully, abbreviated) period of retrenchment and renovation, and continue with us as we enter what I am certain will be a bright and exciting future here at the AlternaFantaverse.

For the record, I'm not threatening to take my ball and go home like some petulant child. I'm just being honest about how my mind works and what I find enjoyable about this game, and similar games I've played in the past like fantasy baseball. If it becomes too easy, I'll most likely get bored with it and drift away. And I always assume there's at least one or two people out there who think the way I do, so others who enjoy the challenge may disappear as well. Or not. Only time will tell.

I case I haven't said it, by the by, welcome, john (not sure if I perhaps knew you by another name, at some point back there at the Other Place), and many thanks for your contributions. We may not agree on everything, but it's a good and, as it turns out, necessary conversation, and I for one am glad you're a part of it.

I never used the forums at the old place, but thanks for the welcome.

One last thing: Someone (perhaps john) came out against the "capsules" providing theater count information for openings and expansions. But isn't that exactly the sort of bare-bones, public-knowledge information that any casual user of Box Office Mojo might be expected to ferret out? Would it be so wrong to have it at peoples' fingertips? Help me understand why this would be a bad thing. Make your aurgument, I'll listen to ya.

Judging by the number of people who didn't pick Gran Torino in December Ultimate leagues, I'm not so sure that its staggered release was common knowledge. But I did my research and saw that it had an excellent chance of doing well in all 4 categories, so I jumped on it, and when the standings are updated on Tuesday I expect to reap the rewards. I may not win in the end, but it feels like a rewarding pick right now. But if everyone had been handed this info as a hot tip, many more people may have picked it, and that would have been boring.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably point out that before this discussion had even begun I'd already decided to stop playing Ultimate Leagues, and yes, the workload involved was one issue, but not the only one. I was finding it too confusing keeping track of so many different slates with different price tags, so I decided that focusing on just Box Office leagues would be easier to manage. Another reason is that if I was a real Hollywood mogul, I wouldn't give a crap about what those fanboys at the IMDB think of anything. In fact, I don't give a crap now! Plus I think Ultimate Leagues place too much emphasis on PTA. It's fun to try and predict, but I doubt Clint Eastwood is crying over the fact that Defiance won the PTA crown this weekend while playing in all of 2 theatres. It's all about bums in seats, baby, so BO Leagues place the emphasis where it belongs, IMHO.

So, if you want to completely disregard my opinions because of my admitted non-commitment to Ultimate Leagues, I'd totally understand, but these information capsules affect BO Leagues as well, albeit less so.

And in case someone hasn't done so already today, thanks again to everyone who's keeping these leagues alive. It's greatly appreciated, even if I forget to mention it on a regualar basis.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by numbersix_99 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:46 pm

Just to butt in here, JohnE, I don't have a problem with Swedge's desire to include theatre counts/ release strategy in principle. I don't think we should be hording information just because we think we'll get the advantage. It's a bit unfair.

As for Ultimate, I much prefer it. Firstly, it's a harder game than BO, so the challenge is there. Also, if you have any interest in independent films, you'll enjoy this game much more. PTA may not mean much to you, but for independent films it is indeed very important. Often, PTA does have an effect on staggered releases. If a studio sees a huge PTA in its opening weekend it may make its wide release even wider. And if it's bad, they'll drop it like a pile of crap. So PTA is important to the movie industry in those certain instances. As for IMDB, it may be flawed but it is the best way at the moment to gauge the public success of a film. Sure, BO does that too, but there's also the issue of "lastability" in the industry, which has an effect on the home video market. Any new film in the Top 250 will almost always do well on the DVD front, sometimes more than what it made in the cinema.

Personally, instead of BO or Top 5 I'd prefer to see a category called profit, which balances how much the movie makes above its production budget (but the problem is its hard to get the budget figure for some films, and there's also the issue of marketing budgets etc), which is MORE importance to real movie moguls, but I'm happy with the way things are.

As for Swedge's idea, I think it's good, but it does sound like a lot of work for you, so be prepared. Shryke is already putting so much hard work into this!
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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:47 pm

Here's an idea i have had for a while, but haven't mentioned because it sounds a little but like branching away from the Fantaverse to 'normal forum'.. anyway..

I've been thinking we could make this more movie-forum than specialist game forum. By doing this we would have more chance of drawing in new members, who might then go on to join in the games we have (ie: ultimate league, box office league, over/under, streak etc etc..)

What do people think about that?

(Basically, what i'm saying is that we make this more like BoM forums and IMDB forums and have a special FANTAVERSE GAMES sub-forum on the main board).

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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 9:22 pm

numbersix_99 wrote:Just to butt in here, JohnE, I don't have a problem with Swedge's desire to include theatre counts/ release strategy in principle. I don't think we should be hording information just because we think we'll get the advantage. It's a bit unfair.

How is it that I'm the Canadian from the hippie haven of Vancouver, yet I'm the only one that doesn't sound like a bleeding heart, tree-hugging socialist. Wink

It's hardly withholding information since it's freely available to anyone who makes a minimum of effort.

As for Ultimate, I much prefer it. Firstly, it's a harder game than BO, so the challenge is there. Also, if you have any interest in independent films, you'll enjoy this game much more. PTA may not mean much to you, but for independent films it is indeed very important. Often, PTA does have an effect on staggered releases. If a studio sees a huge PTA in its opening weekend it may make its wide release even wider. And if it's bad, they'll drop it like a pile of crap. So PTA is important to the movie industry in those certain instances.

Fair enough, but as you say, PTA is only a stepping stone to more theatres and bigger box office, so I think BO Leagues cover the arthouse hits like Slumdog, Milk, and Frost/Nixon. They don't shoot their wads on the opening weekend like disposable teen horror flicks, but do a slow, steady burn over several weeks and months, so you have to plan accordingly.

Ultimate Leagues are lots of fun, but I needed to spend less time picking slates, so I made my choice.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by numbersix_99 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:39 pm

johnErle wrote:
How is it that I'm the Canadian from the hippie haven of Vancouver, yet I'm the only one that doesn't sound like a bleeding heart, tree-hugging socialist. Wink

Well, I'm sure Canada has a few psychopaths and maniacs. Hmmm, maybe you're one of them....

It's hardly withholding information since it's freely available to anyone who makes a minimum of effort.

Then there's no problem in Swedge posting that information
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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:58 pm

Actually the information capsules did say if they were initially released wide or limited. I'm like 95% percent sure.

Also, you two, there's no need for name calling.
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Re: The next step in making the Fantaverse a better place (Actual serious post by Donte)(really)

Post by geezer9687 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:07 pm

How is it that I'm the Canadian from the hippie haven of Vancouver, yet I'm the only one that doesn't sound like a bleeding heart, tree-hugging socialist. Wink
Hey now, I am on your side in this one John. I think a simple wide or limited is all that needs to be said, but an exact number on opening weekend wouldn't bother me. But there is no real reason to continue updating every capsule every week with the new number of theaters, or to tell everyone how long it plans to stay in minimal theaters.

And I also agree about your point about saying a film has been stagnant and pushed back and dumped. We have three hard-working columnists that regularly point these sorts of things out. I really don't want the place to be lighting up certain films saying "Don't take this film. I repeat, DO NOT take this film. ARE YOU PEOPLE LISTENING!!!! FOR FUCK'S SAKE WE HAVE TOLD YOU TO NOT TAKE THIS FILM IN 5 DIFFERENT PLACES!!! WHY WOULD YOU EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT!!!" When certain things are made too obvious, it eliminates the challenge, eliminates the skill and research required to succeed, and eliminates, in my opinion, as well as John's, the fun.

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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 Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:22 pm

Ok just finished reading this novel that sprung from my post and had a few more comments.

I don't think I ever wore a bunny suit. Definitely a dress, a gimp suit a few times, women's panties on occasion but never a bunny suit. Smile (you are all welcome for the visuals BTW) What a Face

I am neither for or against little "Pop-Ups" for the movies but I think they should be limited in info if we do have them. Title, Release Date, maybe one or 2 actors, etc without going overboard. I am slightly with John and Geez (how often does that happen?!) on this. I think we should all get the basic info and then it is up to us to pick a slate.

The projections that FM used to have for each movie I am also neither for or against. Sometimes I would use that info, others I would find the ones I thought wrong and pick them assuming that other people would pick those movies because of the predictions.

1 crossed idea between the two above ideas is that if the "Pop-Up" shows "Limited" or "Wide" release then that would take care of one aspect that the "Projections" gave us. Before, the projections would say a movie would make 1.1 Mil and get 3 PTA which told us Limited release. If it said 18.5 Mil 7 PTA and 2 Top 5 then it told us Limited then expanding to Wide. If we included that info in the "Pop-Up" we could eliminate the need for projections entirely. This would streamline the amount of work needed as well as give the player info for when they were designing a slate. But not too much info as to make the game simple.

My main concern though is a "Studios" page that a person could go to in order to view their current slates, leagues etc. Even if we streamline into just a few leagues it would still be nice to be able to see your leagues and standings without hunting through each forum. I think this will help with the drudgery of that aspect. This will also clean the process up and help us to gain players in the future.

I do think that having the movie discussions on the Forum separate from the The Fantaverse Game may be almost impossible since our core is comprised of players from the old site. We are here to play the game and to socialize with our fellow geeks. But if it can be done to add new blood without detracting from the core then so be it. If it ever starts to turn into IMDB forums with the idiots and flames we would lose a lot of the reason for being here.
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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 11:28 pm

Kind of piggybacking on what you were saying Donte, one thing that would be nice is to be able to see other people's picks in the leagues, so we kind of know what were up against, and whether to make some changes...
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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 11:43 pm

undeadmonkey wrote:Actually the information capsules did say if they were initially released wide or limited. I'm like 95% percent sure.

Also, you two, there's no need for name calling.

Where I'm from, bleeding-heart, tree-hugging socialist would be considered a compliment.

I thought it would have been obvious that I was simply marvelling at the whole touchy-feely, let's all share our information, level the playing field, and then braid each others' hair tone that this thread has taken, but if it was perceived as an insult by anyone, I'm sorry about the misunderstanding. I'm all for being friendly and nice to each other when we're just shooting the breeze and talking movies, but if there's a game, shouldn't there be some competition and some challenge? Do the Dallas Cowboys share their playbook with other teams before a game? I think not.
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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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