Author Topic: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM  (Read 354 times)

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Online Stormtrooper (OP)

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And so this is the end of this AAR. To anyone reading this: thank you very much for reading this! :D I hope you liked what you did just read. If you have any final comments to say, what you did like, what you didn't like, whether I should do another AAR in the future or not, suggestions for improvements or theme for the next one, this is the right place and right moment to voice it.

For now I definitely need a good break from aurora, let alone writing an AAR, but might as well do another one if you'd like.

In this post I attach the final save of this campaign, for anyone interested to take a look.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 12:20:17 PM »
First of all congratulations on finishing a project! Not a lot of people manage this and you should be proud of having done so.

I did skim through your AAR but wasn't able to follow closely or comment, I did like what you were doing with it narratively though. I thought there was a good balance between not feeling limited to the specific mechanics Aurora plays with where you wanted a different narrative, but not pushing outside those mechanics so much that the game and narrative conflicted with each other and made things too complicated.

Personally - and this is what I personally like in an AAR, not a comment on the value of anything you've done - I would like to see an AAR with lower posting frequency (easier to catch up on, 5 posts at once is a lot to go through any more than skimming) and not so many images and instead much more writing and narrative in each post. This would mean playing much more slowly of course but I think it is worth it. Personally I just find good writing more engaging than scrolling past a dozen pictures of missile volleys - though a balance is needed as a few pictures help a lot to keep track of maneuvers and such.

Otherwise, a bit more explanation of extra-AAR concepts that aren't native to the game is always helpful to give readers context. For example, "Dark Forest Theory" could be explained, either narratively or as an OOC aside. I may have missed it in skimming, but I didn't find an explanation in the AAR and ended up Googling to find out what the idea was - after I realized it was a theory and not just a name for a particular region of space!

Ultimately, you should write whatever is fun for you, though, and not worry too much about the commentariat. This is the secret to a long-lasting and successful AAR after all.
 
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Online Stormtrooper (OP)

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Re: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 12:50:51 PM »
Hey, thanks a lot for all this! It means a lot to me and is very encouraging! :D

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I would like to see an AAR with lower posting frequency

Ok, you surprised me with this one - I feel like ever since you started your duranium legion it had much higher posting frequency than me. As for those "5 posts a day", I don't get what you mean, the amount of content published at once did not change at all, I only divided it into more posts because I saw the scrolling times were too high so I wanted to divide it so that less actual content would be present per one forum page, making it a bit easier to navigate. Besides, it's not like the pace I post is the pace you have to read it in, the older ones won't get deleted just because I moved forward ;)

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and not so many images

yeah, at first I was like "imma gonna post all the systems for reference", but later I actually got tired of this but kept with it for the sake of consistency...

As for battles, thoguh, what do you suggest? What should be cut out? I was posting a lot of screenshots because I often liked the way npr ships arranged and many of them just looked cool IMO so I wanted to show them. And I feel like even if I posted less of them, the actual writing would not be affected, that was just the way I described battles. What kind of narrative did you had on mind? How these battles could be improved in your opinion?

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Otherwise, a bit more explanation of extra-AAR concepts that aren't native to the game is always helpful to give readers context. For example, "Dark Forest Theory" could be explained

Sorry buddy, that is entirely on you as you admitted to just skimming through instead of reading carefully.  8) Quote from my AAR:

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Not longer than two weeks after the official start of the project, a professor of sociology, ironically living in isolation, publishes paper titled "Art of survival in Dark Forest" in which he posts the results of his recent research focusing on interactions between alien civilisations inhabiting the universe.
According to it, universe is a truly dark place to exist in - he doesn't seem to be surprised that all sentience discovered up to date ended up being hostile.

The differences and distances separating aliens are too large to allow easy communication, meanwhile once a particular race reaches interstellar era allowing for ease of messages flow, destroying life on a planet inhabited by pre-interstellar civilisation is a piece of cake and is a safer option than letting less developed civilisation survive, thrive and expand to the stars.
Alliances are not possible, because even if both races knowing about existence of each other had good will, there's too much uncertainty and suspicion involved, far more than what could exist between any two members of the same society, inevitably leading to war on a cosmic scale.

It's a disturbing vision, but the evidence gathered from the past century seems to confirm this theory. Many people don't want to believe this, but they lack necessary arguments. For many others it's just nothing but confirmation of how cruel, cold and uncaring the entire universe happens to be, nothing they couldn't see themselves.
With the recent fiasco of COVID-19 operation as Invaders began to spread rapidly humanity found itself surrounded in a Dark Forest.

Except I guess it is also partially on me, too, because now that I've re-read it, I see it wasn't phrased quite clearly. I should be more precise here, this description isn't very clear as to what this theory actually is, I see here I didn't even mention the competition for the matter needed for survival, only the part about hostility being safer option, difficult communication and chain of suspicion. I didn't even use "Dark Forest Theory" explicitly here...   ::) (but you thinking it was a region of space and not a theory was entirely your fault still  ;))

Anyways, someone mentioned this earlier in the feedback thread if I remember correctly, but what kind of explanation do you have on mind? Inside or oustide AAR? Could you also point out other examples of what was unclear for you?

Anyways, thanks a lot again for some input, hopefully my next one will fix all these problems.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:52:59 PM by Stormtrooper »
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 01:55:16 PM »
Ok, you surprised me with this one - I feel like ever since you started your duranium legion it had much higher posting frequency than me. As for those "5 posts a day", I don't get what you mean, the amount of content published at once did not change at all, I only divided it into more posts because I saw the scrolling times were too high so I wanted to divide it so that less actual content would be present per one forum page, making it a bit easier to navigate. Besides, it's not like the pace I post is the pace you have to read it in, the older ones won't get deleted just because I moved forward ;)

This did get a lot better after the beginning. I remember when the AAR started I was reading through the intro post and quite intrigued, then saw there were already about ten more posts and quietly set it aside for later.

I think I misspoke, "frequency" is not the right word, as you're correct that I do post more frequently myself. What I mean is more the volume of posts made in a short period, mentally there is a difference between seeing that an AAR thread is updated and thinking "oh yay, a new post!" versus seeing several posts all at once. This may be an idiosyncrasy of mine, though - I always have something on the backburner, currently in fact I'm working through Kurt's SF campaign, so adding more material to that backburner means it's liable to sit unread for longer than I'd like.

Of course I'll reiterate, if you prefer doing it your way, by all means do as that's the most important thing.

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yeah, at first I was like "imma gonna post all the systems for reference", but later I actually got tired of this but kept with it for the sake of consistency...

It is an author's prerogative to change their mind whenever they like.  ;)  Personally, I feel if something gets tedious to keep up with it is better to drop it unceremoniously to keep up morale. The readers not only don't care, but likely will not notice if you distract them with a glorious space battle.

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As for battles, thoguh, what do you suggest? What should be cut out? I was posting a lot of screenshots because I often liked the way npr ships arranged and many of them just looked cool IMO so I wanted to show them. And I feel like even if I posted less of them, the actual writing would not be affected, that was just the way I described battles. What kind of narrative did you had on mind? How these battles could be improved in your opinion?

I think the main thing is that the screenshots should support the narrative - for example it is much easier to show fleet positions visually than in words - and the narrative should give a context for each screenshot, sort of a symbiosis effect really. From the reader's perspective, I think one assumes that each screenshot is conveying important information and without to connection to the text it is easy to get a bit lost trying to keep track of that information from one image to the next, to the next, and so on. This is how I think of screenshots in general - as a means of conveying information. And of course sometimes they just look cool.  8)

One perhaps "trick" that I try to use to expand the in-game events into a coherent narrative is a "cause-event-effect" structure. Basically, what actually happens in-game is a series of events, however in the RP context every event has a cause (usually in the form of a rationale leading to an order being given, in my case anyways) and an effect. This can be useful as an effect can in turn be a cause for the next event, thus you can begin to link successive events with narrative which tells an engaging story. Of course not every "event" needs such detail, the level of detail which is interesting is decided by the author after all. Similarly the actual structure does not need to be so rigid, you can for example give the "cause" as an overriding rationale early on and then as several different events happen because of that rationale you can describe the impact on the broader situation.

For the battles specifically, I flipped back through a few updates and there's a fair few occasions where the positions of two fleets do not change much between screenshots, other than getting closer to each other or showing weapon hits. In my opinion, things like that can easily be summarized in the text - which helps the images that remain stand out more, very effective if you want to highlight the cool parts more.

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Sorry buddy, that is entirely on you as you admitted to just skimming through instead of reading carefully.

Assuredly.  ;)

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Except I guess it is also partially on me, too, because now that I've re-read it, I see it wasn't phrased quite clearly. I should be more precise here, this description isn't very clear as to what this theory actually is, I see here I didn't even mention the competition for the matter needed for survival, only the part about hostility being safer option, difficult communication and chain of suspicion. I didn't even use "Dark Forest Theory" explicitly here...   ::) (but you thinking it was a region of space and not a theory was entirely your fault still  ;))

This was more how I read it, the "Dark Forest" seemed to be an understood concept already and the paper being described talked about how to survive in said Dark Forest. That said, the actual description I think was clear, it was the title throwing me off.

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Anyways, someone mentioned this earlier in the feedback thread if I remember correctly, but what kind of explanation do you have on mind? Inside or oustide AAR? Could you also point out other examples of what was unclear for you?

Whichever one works best for you. As a reader I choose not to be picky about how an author chooses to communicate the story, as long as the story is engaging and the communication is clear. If I can understand everything that is happening and is meant to be understood, that is sufficient. I say "meant to be understood" - sometimes you may wish for something to be left unexplained on purpose, either to create mystery and intrigue or just because something is not important enough to spend words on.

As for other examples, I think the main ones were those already mentioned by the feedback, about the drive tech changes and such, though I didn't find this too confusing as I'm used to seeing people retcon Aurora tech into their chosen RP universe.

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Anyways, thanks a lot again for some input, hopefully my next one will fix all these problems.

You've certainly got a good base to build on. I look forward to the next work! I wouldn't be too harsh in saying these are "problems", much is up to stylistic choices and differences and even the best author always finds improvements the next time around.

One other point I will raise - if you haven't already (and I'm certain that you have), reading the works of other authors can give a lot of inspiration. My own work takes inspiration to various degrees from Steve's Imperium of Man campaign, Zap0's Race to the Stars, and several AARs for other games I've read over the years.
 

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Re: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 06:04:37 PM »
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This did get a lot better after the beginning. I remember when the AAR started I was reading through the intro post and quite intrigued, then saw there were already about ten more posts and quietly set it aside for later.

That sounds suspiciously specific to me. The reason was simply that I started writing this on discord and when I posted this on the forum, humanity was already exploring stars, so I had quite a lot of stuff to just dump all at once when I made an initial post.

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One perhaps "trick" that I try to use to expand the in-game events into a coherent narrative is a "cause-event-effect" structure.

That's what I've been trying to do, the problem is that you only skimming through this makes it impossible for me to tell whether it was you not reading carefully enough or me failing to use this structure properly.

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other than getting closer to each other or showing weapon hits

Oh come on, don't tell me you don't like this beautiful graphics of aurora when weapons hit  ;D

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My own work takes inspiration to various degrees from Steve's Imperium of Man campaign, Zap0's Race to the Stars

Well, as for Steve's, would you say imperium of man is better than earth alliance? That was the only one I've read and honestly it put me off from his AARs. Short intro which could be tl:dr; as "there was WWIII and nations united afterwards", ship design dump, system survey dump, basically zero roleplay or a cool story, the entire AAR is pretty much one giant battle report. A decent battle report, but just battle report, with pretty much zero lore and that is not what I'm looking for. Does imperium of man attempt to bring all the aspects I missed from earth alliance?

Race to the Stars is not my type of AAR, to be fair, campaigns with multiple earth countries focusing less on a thrill of space exloration and discovery and more on modern-style politics are simply not my cup of tea. At least there's the result of all the inspiration you took in the form of your duranium legion, read intro and skimmed through a few later posts but it's on my "to read" list.  :D

Anyways, thanks a lot for taking the time to write your comments.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: History of Mankind after COVID19 pandemic - POST SCRIPTUM
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 07:02:57 PM »
Well, as for Steve's, would you say imperium of man is better than earth alliance? That was the only one I've read and honestly it put me off from his AARs. Short intro which could be tl:dr; as "there was WWIII and nations united afterwards", ship design dump, system survey dump, basically zero roleplay or a cool story, the entire AAR is pretty much one giant battle report. A decent battle report, but just battle report, with pretty much zero lore and that is not what I'm looking for. Does imperium of man attempt to bring all the aspects I missed from earth alliance?

It's definitely better. Earth Alliance really turned into a mess in my opinion for any number of reasons (campaign setup, ship design, poor NPR AI, multiple Swarms, etc.). Makes sense as most of Steve's C# AARs are test campaigns so not every one has legs. Imperium of Man I felt was much more cohesive in terms of narrative, although Steve in general doesn't do a lot of narrative and writes more from the strategic and tactical angles.

You might actually better like his Crusade AAR which has the same WH40K basis. It is older and played on a pre-release version of C# Aurora but a more expansive and complex campaign. Personally I like the writing of Imperium better but both are good.

If you like narrative and don't mind the age of VB6 Aurora or even more Starfire, Kurt's work which I've been working through lately is excellent. He does a wonderful job of characterizing different alien races as they become major players. His current Starfire AAR which I am trying to catch up with is good but I like the portrayal of the Zog race in his New Terran Campaign quite a lot.

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Anyways, thanks a lot for taking the time to write your comments.

Certainly. I'll endeavor to do more justice as a reader to your future work.  ;)
 

 

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