Mandatory Optional Realities

optionalThis week, I happened upon a relatively new RP game-focused site called Optional Realities. I reached out and couldn’t be happier that Jeshin offered to showcase OtherSpace among the games on their connections page and allowed us a subforum in their community section.

I recommend visiting their site, checking out other games in the mix, and get to know some of the other folks who enjoy real-time roleplaying in text-based games!

Operation Fever Dream

It’s been about a year since I launched the OtherSpace prequel “reboot” experiment, leading up to the mission of the faster-than-light starship to reach Alpha Centauri.

Overall, it’s been a wash.

On the success side, we’ve seen a handful of players embrace the storyline and run with it, from the establishment of Ulm Station in Earth orbit to the development of the Tilsworth-Cooke FTL drive.

On the failure side, we’ve never found much in the way of momentum for either in-game or play-by-post activities. Nor have we seen more people drawn to OtherSpace as a result of our efforts.

Ultimately, it’s all my fault. And something’s got to change. Must change. Will change. Probably for the last time.

Effective June 28, as we celebrate the 17th anniversary of OtherSpace, we’re jumping ahead a century to the year 2650 – same as when we started back in 1998. We’ll pick up after the Vanguard starship Gettysburg returns from her accidental voyage to the Kretonian homeworld, but with two important lore changes:

The drive glitch doesn’t trigger supernovae that destroy Val Shohob or Otheria, so the Mystics still have a home and the Kretonians don’t have any motivation to attack the Orion Arm.
In the wake of the Hiver-controlled drives failing when the players defeated the Il’Ri’Kammi during “The Price of Expedience” story arc, all FTL ships are now equipped with Tilsworth-Cooke drives.
Narratively, we’re going back to the balance between the diverse worlds of the Stellar Consortium, the roguish elements of the Fringe, and the cold-blooded warmongering of the Parallax.

What does this mean for the characters aboard the Fort Clatsop?

Well, they can keep doing what they’re doing, if they like. Or they can fast-forward 100 years and play one of their descendants (except for Captain Grange, who couldn’t have kids after his rapid-aging accident)!

Systems-wise, crafting’s coming back – driven by roleplaying/storytelling and Saga Points. Instead of mining for ore, you’ll write stories, participate in events, or run them to earn skill-related widgets needed to get schematics to build armor, weapons, and robots (among other things). We’re making classic OS ships available in CSpace, and naming classes after veteran players and staffers.

But none of this matters if Colchek and I just throw on a fresh coat of paint and call that good.

A return to this era means the return of a bunch of my old characters – not just to the forum RP threads, but in-game. So, expect to see Stumppaw, Lord Fagin, Majordomo Abernathy, General Avocet, Vechkov Prague, and maybe even Vampire.

And while I might not be able to spend hours on end playing on the MUSH, I should be reliable enough to plan at least one night a week and one weekend day that I can dedicate to events or activities that help move the story forward.

If this doesn’t do the trick for developing a new critical mass for OtherSpace, then I’m probably going to consider other options – perhaps an entirely new theme, all the way across town from anything we’ve done before.

Or I could just put a lid on the story and call it finished.

But until I have to make that call, let’s have some fun!