One of the most daunting things about hosting a 20-year-old collaborative space saga like OtherSpace is…well, it’s been around for two decades and a lot has happened. We’ve actually got a few participants whose characters have existed from the beginning, which means they’ve seen governments rise and fall, alien invasions, life aboard a Galactica-style colony ship, return to a dystopian nightmare future in the 31st Century, then evacuate the known worlds to live aboard a space whale before finally coming home to the year 2651.
It’s a lot to wrap your brain around. Scary, to some.
That abundance of history is its own barrier to entry that some wonderful roleplayers might never get over. Yet I want to do what I can to encourage more people to dive into this hobby of collaborative storytelling. I had similar plans back in the early 2000s, when we started Star Wars: Reach of the Empire. The idea was to attract folks with a familiar established theme and then, perhaps, they’d give OtherSpace a try.
It was a huge undertaking, really. Starting up a MUSH required space on a server, building grids for people to explore, devising coded systems, and then there was all the work of publicizing the game on sites like MUD Connector and Top MUD Sites.
So here we are, 20 years later, and I haven’t found more free time. In fact, it’s much diminished between job and family obligations. However, the overhead for setting up a Slack site is minimal. It’s possible, to my way of thinking, that a buffet of choices might provide a new generation of storytellers to join us. Why not a bunch of storytelling outlets? Why not ALL the playgrounds?
It’s probably total madness on my part, but again, it costs nothing for me to start a Slack site. We have nothing to lose and so much to gain in the revitalization (I hope) of this community with new blood.
So, as of today, we’ve got the following sites at our disposal (with links to their Launchpass pages so anyone can sign up and help develop the sites as we go):
- OtherSpace: The classic space opera set in the 27th Century.
- Star Wars: Reach of the Empire: Our first spinoff game imagined a Star Wars universe in which Luke Skywalker died on Tatooine in a landspeeder accident. Not so this time, although the story does begin right around the era of A New Hope.
- Necromundus: Another of our original spinoff games, in which characters have died in their realities and end up in the bizarre netherworld of connected realms known as Necromundus.
- Star Trek TOS: It should be no secret that I grew up loving the original series era of Star Trek – I was born the same month and year the pilot aired on TV.
- Game of Thrones: Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and the occasional gruesome death. This one takes place before Ned Stark loses his head.
- Firefly: For those times when we aim to misbehave, in those years before Wash got impaled by the Reavers.
- Tolkien Realms: Grew up reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I’ve never done much roleplaying in the realms of men or Mordor. Now could be my chance.
- Babylon 5: The last, best hope for peace – back before the Shadow War.
- Transformers: More than meets the eye, but hopefully better than the movies.
- Marvel Heroes and Villains: What’s your superpower?
- DC Heroes and Villains: Mine seems to be setting up Slack sites.
Some of these might go nowhere. More could be added over time. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not much investment of energy to create one of these. Of course, the effort to build, publicize, and maintain even one of these can be draining. So I hope you’ll all pick a pet project and join the saga!