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Talk about regional management and politics, raider/defender gameplay, and other game-related matters.
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Alanis Star
Diplomat
 
Posts: 510
Founded: Mar 05, 2016
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Alanis Star » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:56 pm

Escade wrote:
Todd McCloud wrote:That was a good read, thank you!


Thanks, Todd! Hope to get you in an interview at some point especially since the next book is coming out soon!


I love the interview with Reppy! I always am fascinated by the NS stuff that happened in the earlier days. So thank you for delivering it, and it's a neat thing you guys are having here. ^^
Valentine Z's first ever puppet.
• I really want to carry a kitten and pet it.
• A perfect balance between urban and nature.
• Ruled by a magical android from another dimension, always cheerful and smiling.

Northern Ateria wrote:"Aww, you [Clarissa] purr just like a little kitten..." - President Adamaris Leah Harley Mustang
Sapporo Hyperspace Riftgate Laboratory wrote:
> literally all NS nations that controlled the entire Earth ever, said in every place in NS possible, in every second since Max Barry created NationStates

Send a Telegram to Valentine Z if you want a conversation. I'm always open for a little chatter. ♥

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Japanese Schoolgirls
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 64
Founded: Aug 20, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Japanese Schoolgirls » Fri May 03, 2019 7:10 am

I've been actually lurking and reading the Gameplay Magazine for quite a while now, ever since the first release. It's a great series and one of the very few threads I keep up with due to how enchanting each release gets. The structure of the magazine as a whole is an underrated marvel to be honest - the individual articles by themselves are great but what makes this magazine stand out from just a collective of articles and pieces is the 'ride' that takes you as the reader transits from article to article. Each article has sound volume and the content leaves the reader wanting more, whether it be another question for Cormac or another fact about tattoos that we may not have known. By sound volume, I meant that it doesn't face the problem a handful of real-life publications have where they focus on laying everything out messily for the sake of having a longer article. Gameplay Magzine delivers information in a concise enough manner that each line that you read matters to the entire narrative while not being forced to leave out a detail or two. Escade sums up the theme of each piece such that the readers are left well-informed - but at the same time have leeway for them to expand upon their insight of the subject matter on their own should they choose to do.

Always looking forward for more content from the Magazine.

EDIT : Not to leave out the general tone of the Magazine which sparks familiarity with Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle. It's a refreshing take on information dissemination as it introduces what we can consider as new wave of infotainment.
Last edited by Japanese Schoolgirls on Fri May 03, 2019 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
유애나 | YOU & I

| Community is my name and community-building is my game |



H A L L Y U S A N C T U A R Y

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Escade
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Posts: 1019
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:42 pm




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Issue 5
May 18, 2019

In this fifth issue of the monthly magazine, we sit down with three NationStates personalities. First we interviewed TNP delegate and marvelous ghostly presence Pallaith. Next we met up with the effervescent and starry Rigels Light. Finally, we interviewed Community a TPer with a passion for community building and Kpop!

This month, in a brand new food inspired section, we're featuring a culinary delight by showcasing a delicious recipe from Kyrusia's wood burning stove!

Finally, a contest! In honor of Grumpy Cat passing away yesterday and in celebration of meme culture - submit your designs for NS inspired memes. Check out the post for more contest info and guidelines!

While this season of Game of Thrones may make you roll your eyes at the suckage, at least summer is here!

Contents
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Community
Forum |Dispatch

Culinary Delights - Kyru's Spaghetti with Red Sauce and Meatballs
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Ghost (Pallaith)
Forum | Dispatch

Creative Contest: Meme-ify NationStates
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Rigel
Forum |Dispatch


Special thanks to all my interviewees Ghost, Rigel, and Community! Special thanks to Xoriet for awesome recs, the Montresor family for dealing with all my randomness, and Kyru for sharing his best recipes <3 and everyone else who made this issue possible even with finals upon us!
Last edited by Escade on Sat May 18, 2019 5:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Escade
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Posts: 1019
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:42 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Featured Personality: Community


Today we sat down with a player I didn't know until the interview! Recommended as a "he's a sweetheart" by Xoriet, I got to know someone new along with our readers!

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

I have actually learnt about this polsim at around the middle of 2015 when I was still pursuing my tertiary education. I wasn't paying much attention back then during my lectures so I had all the time to mess around with my laptop and browsing Reddit was one of the many ways I spent my time in the lecture hall. There was an AskReddit thread that discussed free online browser games and NS was one of the games featured in it. It was described as a 'sandbox-y and free roam-y game where you can build and control your nation and the ways you want it to grow'. I was immediately fascinated by the premise of the game so I decided to check it out just to pass an hour or two and a couple of hundred issues later, I'm close to 4 years in NationStates.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

Japanese Schoolgirls stems from the very same AskReddit thread. A comment there spoke of a nation mainly built around squirrels or some dorky animal … maybe a marsupial. I had wanted to do the same thing. However, I wasn't too hung up on what entity to base the nation on because I didn't know nor care much about worldbuilding then and also because I initially planned to only stay in this game until my lecture was over so having a well thought out nation concept wasn't number one on the agenda. At that period of time, I was also binging on a lot of slice-of-life and high school themed animes so my mind must have put two and two together in that instant and I came about naming my nation Japanese Schoolgirls. I'm not in any way related to Kawaii Schoolgirls though I find it cool that there's another Schoolgirls-nation out there in NationStates.

My current flag bears the standard black and blue that members of the NPO use so it is nothing much to write home about. The lady in the flag is singer Kim Taeyeon of So Nyeo Shi Dae (Girls Generation). I've put her in the flag to pay homage to her newest mini-album, Four Seasons, and to pay homage to her in general. She's been a huge part of my life ever since 2008 and her group and their talents were the reasons why I was hooked to K-Pop in the first place.

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Kim Taeyeon of Girls Generation


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

My early career in NationStates was comprised mostly of issues answering and posting in the RMB. It was only when I met this player named Arlansepi who introduced me to the offsite forums and the official NPO Skype group (Discord back then was just gaining traction as a platform) that I became a more proactive member of the organization. Ever since then, I’ve been involved in a lot of the community events of the region and eventually became an Imperial Governor with a high focus on community building. I went from participating in events to organising them such as our Spam-A-Thons, Pacifican Art Feature and the NPOdcast. I still pursue community-building albeit in a different level as Pontifex Maximus.

Oh that's really cool, I haven't heard of those cultural projects before but always find content creators or builders super interesting! What region or region(s) are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

The Pacific. What I really love about TP is the loving community it offers. It may not be the most engaged in affairs outside of TP and some of the aspects of the game itself but the guys and girls I have met and hung out with throughout the years have been consistently awesome. It's also tightly knitted I'd say - everyone knows each other and the many things that interests or concern them. So, the sense of family is very prominent.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

The integrated forums is a blessing since it doesn't bring the individual on an endless loop just to communicate with other players. Truth be told, the Gameplay subsection does provide a steep learning curve especially for newbies because you have to know the political landscape of the game in order to really understand some of the things presented in the threads. The individual player just needs to dedicate a bit more time to study and grasp the politics of the whole game and then they'll be on their way to being able to engage other people in the Gameplay subforums.

Discord is excellent and my main channel for communications. It truly is the best platform for any matters beyond gameside.

RMB is a bit restricted because it doesn't provide channels or threads for conversations about the same subject matters but it does it job as a venue to hang out with the entire region and for casual discussions. It could seriously do with more features and functions if it wants to compete with Discord as a social platform.

I completely agree and wish there were more RMB features or better forum integration with regions on game side, would cut some of the multiple sites problem. What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

I would say it would have to be the second coming of UPPERCUT in N-DAY 2018. The first operation by UPPERCUT was lots of fun but N-DAY 2018, in my opinion, was where we optimized our performance. Nukes were more coordinated, strategists were nigh 24/7 and the economics functioned accordingly to the situation. It was amazing seeing that big of a collective function like a well-oiled contraption.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

I would write more books but if we're talking about what I would do to NS as Max then I'd tweak the RMB to accommodate image uploads and more formatting so that it has a similar variety of formatting as the dispatch's text editor.

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The first thing Community would do, as Max Barry, is write more books!


What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

I would play games. A huge part of my daily life is music and I listen to music almost every living second of my life. I’m notorious for being the “K-Pop loving Koreaboo” in TP but I listen to a ton of genres, deep house and hiphop/rap being my other main squeezes. I also like to run and work out a lot and right now, I’ve been working on my endurance so I can eventually finish a half-marathon in record time. Finishing full-marathon in 2019’s the destination so there’s a lot more training to be done.

That's awesome, I almost always am listening to music to or at least for a large part of each day! What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

My favourite anime series would be Psycho Pass, specifically the first season. The cyberpunk theme combined with a concept that could be taken straight out of Black Mirror was a perfect combination and made up for a very thrilling ride all the way to the end. Having an individual’s capacity to commit crime assessed by an operating system was a very interesting basis for the setting. The second season kinda fell flat in my opinion mainly because the villain’s depiction wasn’t really doing him justice and the plot became too convoluted to pack in a season’s worth of episodes.

Favorite book?

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan. It was a series that I grew up with and I remember fond memories of reading the books in the middle of the night just because I was so hooked to the world the series was built on. It was a very refreshing take on the vampire genre and the ascent to the finale was worth it because you’ve read all the struggles of the main character and you would have seen everything fall in place and the finale pays off in a massive way.

Favorite music?

Well, the obligatory K-Pop answer is Genie by Girl’s Generation. If it’s from another genre then I guess it would have to be a very obscure song from the Timbaland discography - If We Ever Meet Again feat. Katy Perry.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

The Sims. It doesn’t matter which game in the series or how many expansion packs you have, it’ll be fun nonetheless. Create Sims that mimic your friends, have Sims paint for the rest of their lives so you can fill up your virtual pockets or just let them figure out how to get out of the pool without a ladder. Each playthrough is unique and certainly will have you entertained for hours on end.

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Thanks to Community for the detailed interview!

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Escade
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Posts: 1019
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:43 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Culinary Delights: Kyrusia's Spaghetti with Red Sauce and Meatballs


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In this issue we are trying the first in a series of Kyrusia's delicious recipes!

Spaghetti with Red Sauce and Meatballs

Ingredients
- 1 pound spaghetti noodles
- salt, for pasta water
- olive oil/EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), for pasta water

Ingredients for the Meatballs
- 1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin (ground beef will work)
- 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Romano cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pulverized
- Salt and pepper

Ingredients for the Sauce\Gravy
- 2 tablespoons EVOO; enough to cover the bottom of your pan in 2 turns
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large cloves of garlic or 4 small cloves (if you prefer a lot of garlic with more bite)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomato
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- (Optional: Handful of finely-chopped parsley)
- (Optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
- (Optional: 1/2 teaspoon marjoram)

Note: You *can* substitute with a store-bought sauce. See directions for details.

Additional Recommended Ingredients
- Grated cheese of choice, if any
- Strong-crust bread or garlic bread

Steps to Culinary Delight!

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. Add salt and olive oil. When it boils, add pasta and cook to al dente.

3. Mix ground sirloin/beef, Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Hands work best for this. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on a nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with EVOO.

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Kyru recommends Worcestshire sauce


4. Bake meatballs for 10-12 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

5. Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic, and finely chopped onion. Saute 5-7 minutes, until onion is soft and just translucent. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs.

5*: If you are using a store-bought sauce, follow 5. When you add beef stock etc., simply add your store-bought sauce and then add the herbs. Beef stock and crushed tomatoes are not necessary if you're using a store-bought sauce.

Depending on taste, pick one of the following:

6a. Add meatballs to sauce. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.

7a. Serve meatballs and red sauce over spaghetti.

OR

6b. Let sauce simmer on low for 10 minutes.

7b. Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce (and grated cheese, if you wish).


Finally,

8b. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce (with extra cheese if you wish). Serve with crusted bread or garlic bread.

Helpful Hint:
For any of these recipes, substitute double the amount in fresh herbs for zestiness and flavor!
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Enjoy this culinary delight, brought to you by the ever diabolically determined Kyrusia! If you haven't already, check out his GP magazine profile here!

User avatar
Escade
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1019
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:43 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Featured Personality: Ghost (Pallaith)
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Our guest today is Pallaith, a player I first met when working in Foreign Affairs. Ghost (or Pallaith) was one of the few players who was forthright with what he meant and tried to keep a balanced view on gameplay. He's the kind of person who will tell you exactly what they think about a situation even if it's tough news. This refreshing quality led us to talking OOC quite a lot and I enjoy knowing him in both IC and OOC spheres. He's been delegate of TNP and has a wide breadth of accomplishments in game and is also a really cool person.


How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

The first time I heard about NS was when I was still active in my old gaming clan. A couple of our members were familiar with it, including one who is known around here as Church of Satan. We thought it might be an interesting game for the group to play, but most of them lost interest after a few days. I was the only one who stuck with it, and from the day I first made a nation, April 10, 2013, I never stopped playing. I didn’t made my first puppet, Pallaith, until September 20, 2015 which is the nation I used when I joined TNP, and I only know those dates because I kept meticulous records in factbooks back then, including my responses to issues.

Gaming clan sounds a little bit like a ninja clan :P What is a gaming clan? What games did you or do your play together?

A gaming clan is an organized group of players who frequent the same game and want to combine their efforts and band together around that common interest. It also allows them to compete with other groups instead of only competing against themselves, and it gives players a shared identity so wherever they go in that game, or other games if they branch out, people will know who they are and who they represent.

My clan was called Cops and Robbers [CnR] and it was a clan that formed from the PC version of Halo. The name came from a particular style of play we employed that was a little more complex compared to the default game modes the game had. It had more of a basis in roleplay, because one side would attempt to capture the other team and the side being captured would attempt to avoid capture and break out the ones who were captured. It was the only game we played for several years until some players started getting into other games and we tried to branch out. Minecraft was one of the first, then a ton of people got into League of Legends, and we just started dipping our toes in all sorts of stuff which never really caught on. For some reason NationStates was one of those games some of us tried but never really got adopted as a featured game.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

My online persona has always been Ghost. My first nation, Ghostopolis, was named after that so my gaming clan could identify me. I originally used an image that was an avatar I had used that befit the name (you can still see it on the season 1 trading card for Ghostopolis ;) ). Eventually I designed actual flags, and Ghostopolis features Yin Yang signs that are tilted to represent ghosts, as I thought they bore a resemblance. I tried my hand at doing a custom flag for all my primary puppets, though honestly I am not terribly fond of the designs and will probably be redoing them at some point, though I am quite fond of the flag for Wesgeist, which is identical to Ghostopolis aside from the ghosts all facing left and being a red flag, to signify it is a nation in a leftist region.

Pallaith was initially conceived as a breakaway nation from Ghostopolis. The capital city of Ghostopolis is Pallaith, and Pallaith is a portmanteau of pallid and wraith. I designed the name originally to be a Sith name for me (Darth Pallaith). The only reason I am better known by that name now instead of Ghostopolis is because I wanted to keep my original nation in my home region and sent my only puppet at the time to TNP to check it out. I did not anticipate the major success I would have there. I used a red and black based flag, pretty basic and simple in design, but currently I’m sporting the old Pokemon ghost sprite to revel in nostalgia and a property I have always enjoyed. Plus it’s a ghost, and it used to be the basis of my old Teamspeak icon in my gaming clan days.

Which code do you follow? P.S. People forget the Grey Jedi code :P
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Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

I started playing on April 10, 2013. Someone who played NS before advised me to get out of the GCRs since I would find it difficult to find success there. I took his advice and picked one of the regions that sent me a recruitment TG. Unfortunately, it was The Royal Alliance, a small monarchist region run by conservatives. Really an odd, ill-fitting choice for someone like me, but I figured I would give it a try. I’m surprised how long I actually stayed there, because it’s hard to get anywhere when you rp with godmoders who are politically opposed to you. I became a deputy shadow minister and even ran for prime minister representing my party, but of course I didn’t win. I was also busy with a gaming clan so I wasn’t spending a ton of time in NS anyway. I was losing interest because of the environment and when they essentially threw me out of government, I had no reason to stick around. I answered issues and voted in the WA and catalogued every vote I cast, but I was going through the motions. I got sick of the region’s leader poking and prodding me looking for a reason to further harass me or get an excuse to kick me out, so I chose a new region. Over the months I was in TRA I followed WA activity closely, and took note when one of those players had a good showing in Z-Day 2. Versutian Federation had been a standout in the original event and capitalized on their reputation for the second one. The Black Hat Guy was really cool so I decided I would park my nation in their region and joined in December 2013.

It's interesting how many players share a story or moment about Versutian Federation or The Versutian Federation. As a cross point of sorts, many of us (myself include) have had interactions with the region or its players.

VF’s founder got himself deleted early in 2014 so we all had to move to a successor region, The Versutian Federation. By this point I was just minding my own business while the region slowly ebbed and struggled to remain relevant. I watched impassively as a new constitution was drafted and used to make its author a dictator, then watched as he was deposed and the constitution was restored. I also stayed silent while some key players branched off and formed their own region and the delegate of TVF feuded with them. I must have been in some kind of mood one day because I broke my silence and wrote a long RMB post criticizing the delegate for his obsession with the feud. He resigned the following day and told me months later that my post was the reason why. After that no one wanted to be delegate, no one wanted to run for office, elections stopped being held, and we dropped to something like 62 nations. There were so few nations that I accidentally became delegate because of the endorsements I had gathered, which was like 8. I decided what the heck, I’ll do something, so I accepted a request from The Embassy. The former delegate I shamed into resigning noticed and unendorsed me, and the position defaulted to another player who had been Minister of Justice but was not active in the game. I decided to make a serious play for delegate and spent the next few weeks brainstorming with who was left in the region’s active base. They decided to give me a try as interim delegate and when we held our first elections in a while in October 2015, no one challenged me.

Once I was actually committed to being involved, we got to work. We had competitive elections, we saw growth, thanks in big part to me pulling in friends from outside NS, and I set out to make TVF one of the larger UCRs in terms of endorsements. I got as high as 41 votes in the WA though so...didn’t quite get there. I was delegate in TVF from October 2015 to August 2016. I was never challenged, and resigned a month into my fourth term. Stuff in the WA was making me tired, and we started to experience a contraction. We fell below 100 nations for the first time since Z-Day 4, and I felt that new blood was needed to lead the region forward. Coincidentally, we got our Discord server the same month I resigned, and that brought us back to life. The only remaining player who had access to our founder account showed up there, and it was the first time many of us spoke to him since he was active in TNP. He brought along a friend from TNP, Praetor, and they talked about the election that was around the corner there. They were both running for Vice Delegate and talking about how this was the best time for newer players to get involved.

I moved my puppet Pallaith over there to check it out, applied for citizenship, and was official just in time to vote in TNP’s September 2016 election. I was encouraged to apply for a position in the new delegate’s government, but he decided not to appoint me to the position I initially applied for, which was Minister of Communications. There was a greater need for a Minister of World Assembly Affairs, but I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it. I did consistently record and explain every vote I cast in the WA, and followed the discussions, so I was not the worst choice. Still, someone who had been a citizen for only two weeks seemed like an unlikely pick for a government role. I guess Plembobria disagreed (or was just desperate) because he picked me and the rest is history.

I think the hardest part, in NS, is finding capable players willing to put in the work or be part of an active, dynamic team. A lot of the time you see players trawling for titles or significance who have no merit or ability to actually earn the title or significance. Plembobria saw someone who was capable and scooped them up :P

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

I’m best known for being in The North Pacific, where I have been elected Delegate three times, but I got my real start in UCRs, most notably The Versutian Federation. TNP is exceptional to me though, because I’m one of the seemingly rare people who actually likes democracies and thinks they’re pretty fun! It’s very professional, some might say it takes itself too seriously, but it’s got a bunch of goofballs too. And I firmly believe this, because it was true for me, for all the experienced, serious business type people and culture TNP has, it is one of the best, if not the best, places to rise, to be given an opportunity even if you’re new and inexperienced. You can learn a lot from getting involved, from the history, the culture, the veteran players all around you.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

Discord revolutionized communication for players in this game, and I can personally attest to how it has expanded and given life to regions that lacked it. This was probably more true in UCRs then GCRs, of course, many of which already had some of the strongest forums in the game. That’s definitely true of TNP. For more mature and established communities, forums are better for history and institutional memory. Discord serves a useful purpose for handling the bulk of daily activity, and is definitely better suited for the players we have in NS nowadays. The RMB is an acquired taste, and suits a different kind of player. People who like to frequent it tend not to enjoy offsite areas, which kind of creates a feedback loop where the RMB becomes less attractive for players who thrive in forums and Discord, and therefore the separation widens. The best communities are diverse and can accommodate these different types of players.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

I’m one of those people who loves the annual NS events, all of which are standouts to me. I missed a lot of the ig historic moments in GP and other areas in NS over the years, but those annual events have really been something special since I started playing. As to which of those is my favorite, I can’t decide between Z-Day 5 or N-Day 3. My first Z-Day in TNP was really special because I got to help coordinate in the biggest region in the game and that was no small feat. I even got to give rousing inspirational speeches that I still fail to live up to today, and I made enemies and developed nemeses. Obviously N-Day 3 is a standout because our UPPERCUT alliance smashed AA. The event was basically over within the first hours but the memes were fantastic. I had more fun in N-Day 2 and there was a lot more suspense, plus there was that whole Saint Josephtan thing (praise be!).

I loved the Uppercut alliance, it was one of the stand out moments to me in terms of the NS created games! Any other key moments from NS history?

As for other key moments in history, I loved the introduction of regional officers, I got a perverse satisfaction at the Predator fallout (I had a moral objection to raiding back in the day), and I watched the Milograd coup of TSP with great interest since it happened right after I joined the game. I also really got into that Secretary-General election in 2016 (long live potato!).

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

Enjoy the luxurious life of a well-respected and fabulously wealthy author and online browsing game creator, of course. Maybe make some generous donations to a nice stranger in America. Oh, and maybe try making some decisions by fiat to implement some of the community’s ideas to spice up NS. Big fan of that faction idea for one thing.

It would be awesome to see NS gameplay spiced up! What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

I had a career in a gaming clan before I invested all my online time in NS, so I still talk to the friends I had from then and play games online with them. I always have a book I am trying (and mostly failing) to continue reading, along with a few stories I need to resume work on, because someday I would like to create some content of my own to share. It’s all very early-stages though, and I don’t have the patience to be an author, but collaborative work with other people, sure. When I do venture outside I like to have my iPod, or these days, my phone, because the music I listen to tends to help me digest the day’s events by allowing me to set a soundtrack to it, and it inspires my creative writing which still mostly takes place in my head. I’m a big TV watcher, and some of my favorite hangouts involve binge watching Netflix with a friend because I prefer watching stuff with other people so I can share the joy or snark if the situation calls for it. As is evident from my presence in this game, I’m a political junkie so I am always listening to podcasts, watching videos, tracking cable news, and frequently checking Twitter.

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What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

You should know this upfront before I start to answer these questions. I am not a fan of picking favorites for the most part. I enjoy a lot of things but the passion and devotion that comes with having a favorite just isn’t something that comes naturally to me except for some extraordinary cases. I end up pointing to a handful of things. Having said that, I’m a big TV watcher. I do believe that The Good Wife was the best show on television when it was on, and The Good Fight is a worthy successor, do not miss those shows before you die. I swear this is a coincidence, but yet another show with ‘Good” in the title deserves mentioning. The Good Place is currently the best show on television at the moment and you should all watch it, though from what I’ve gathered people in NS do show it lots of love. I also highly recommend Better Call Saul, I am constantly debating with myself if it’s actually a better show than Breaking Bad. My top show list mostly consists of shows that have ended, like House, Lost, Justified, and of course as a political junkie I would be remiss if I did not mention The West Wing or the sublime Parks and Recreation. A show I gradually came to really adore by the time it ended was New Girl, it’s still on Netflix, watch it while you can!

I’m not a good person to ask about anime, I was always a casual fan and didn’t really dive deeper than the big mainstream series. I actually enjoy reading manga over watching anime, and by far the one I enjoyed the most was Death Note. That writer/artist team of Ohba and Obata is a good one, I savored Bakuman, but never watched the anime of it. They have another series but I haven’t gotten around to checking it out. Of the newer stuff out there, I think Shokugeki no Soma and My Hero Academia are the standouts.

Favorite book?

If you haven’t encountered them before, check out A Series of Unfortunate Events. There’s a really solid adaptation on Netflix as well, but check out the books, they will be different and have a very particular voice the show just can’t capture, though it comes close. I don’t know if this counts, but I love the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars books, they really speak to me as a former English major and a lifelong fan of Star War, and I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve enjoyed pretty much every novel set in the Star Wars universe that I’ve read, but I’m particularly fond of James Luceno’s stuff, and I daresay the novelizations did a better job telling the stories than the movies did (even when the movie is the original work, the book is still better). I’m not a huge comics guy, aside from manga which I do read a lot, but I really enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim series. My experience reading online comics led me to discover Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics and through that I read the Machine of Death books, those are really cool if you are looking for a fresh short story collection. Like many people in NS, I also read and loved the Harry Potter series. I bought the Game of Thrones books but I haven’t read them yet! Just seemed like something I should get around to doing at some point and I do like the show, but there’s only so much time in the day unfortunately.

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I didn't even know there was a TV series, just the books and the movie! The series looks a lot better than the movie...


I read a lot of books over the years, mostly for school, but a few stuck out. Up the Down Staircase was really cool in concept because it’s told through letters. I like books that play with structure like that. Catch-22 is as great as its reputation suggests and I recommend it, but it’s not for everyone. Maybe I’m weird but I found plays like Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to be hilarious, and the movie for the latter is awesome. If you can find it, check it out, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are a great duo. And if you have to choose between 1984 or Brave New World, go with the second one, I think it’s actually more relevant to our times.

Aside from those, most books I read these days are non-fiction and politics oriented. I have to recommend Rick Perlstein’s books, he really gives you a clear sense of the period from the 50s to the 70s and how it particularly transformed the Republican Party. Those books are very long, but fascinating. I can’t read them too long though because they fill me with rage. I also enjoyed Jeffrey Toobin’s books on the Supreme Court, and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals is every bit as good as they say, but you should think of it as four biographies in one because Lincoln isn’t going to be the only prominently featured person. For lighter fare, I have always enjoyed David Sedaris’s essays, if nothing else, read the one about working as a Christmas elf, it’s awesome.

Favorite music?

I lean on the rock/alternative side of music, and I’m willing to try a lot of things. To name but a few, A Silent Film, Animal Kingdom, Electric Guest, Miike Snow, Silversun Pickups, Tame Impala, Two Door Cinema Club. More mainstream, I have been enjoying Muse and Arctic Monkeys for a while, though they were both acquired tastes at first, and it’s still a little weird for me to call them mainstream, and I enjoy Foo Fighters more and more as time goes on. Venturing out toward pop, I’m actually very fond of The Script, and consider it to be an apt name since I like their lyrics in most cases, and I am an unabashed fan of Maroon 5, reputation and recent bleh work notwithstanding (Songs About Jane is my desert island album). In that same vein, I have to give Green Day honorable mention because of Nimrod, there just isn’t a bad song in the bunch. In addition to them, I am very much a child of the 90s whose nostalgia commands loyalty to many of the songs of that era, Third Eye Blind is the top of that tier for me. I also enjoy classic rock, both of the 70s variety and the power ballad 80s style. This is epitomized by Journey, which I will love forever and am not interested in peanut gallery haterade (they call Steve Perry the Voice for a reason!). And despite the cheesy reputation, I dare you to give Daryl Hall and John Oates (as they prefer to be called, Hall & Oates is common shorthand) a serious listen, they had a super prolific career spanning 3 decades and quite the variation in sound. They even have a disco album which is just...weird.

I’m highly selective when it comes to rap/hip-hop, I am generally fine with R&B but a little picky, and can probably count on less than two hands the number of country songs I like. Got to give some love to Gary Clark Jr., he’s the only modern blues-type musician that really stands out to me, but I admit it’s not a genre I pay close attention to so I’m sure I’m missing some others. I’m trying to get more into Gorillaz because they have a lot of cool stuff, but it’s a bit outside of my comfort zone.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

I put most of my game playing hours over the years into single player shooter games, but in recent years I have really enjoyed team-based coop games. By far the most time invested has been on Age of Empires and Left 4 Dead 2. The atmosphere is much spookier in the original Left 4 Dead but the greater variety of weapons, enemies, and locations makes the sequel superior overall. By the way, I’m always open to newcomers jumping into one of my games, I do play a lot of collaborative or team based games like Payday 2 or The Forest, a bunch of my friends have been really into Ark lately. I almost want to warn you against this one, but Factorio is really immersive and if you like puzzles and exploration/resource allocation, you will just wonder where all the time went when you snap out of the daze. I also enjoy board games and card games in person, I could give you a whole list, but the game I really want to jump back into playing is Ricochet Robots. I guarantee you will love it! Card game-wise, if you have a bunch of people, try Pit, it’s a classic and newer sets include an annoying bell you can ding a million times, everyone will be yelling over each other and waving cards in their faces, just like the real stock market.

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Age of Empires and the infamous "wololo" meme that you won't get unless you play the game :P


So you wake up one morning and a receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

Assuming this happens sometime in the future when I’m not delegate of TNP, I’m tempted to pick TNP because there’s a high likelihood I will feel compelled to give my own spin on whatever is happening at that time (speaking from experience here). But given the opportunity I guess I would have to pick TWP. Aside from that being the only way I could probably get delegate there, I’m just really curious to see what it’s like working with their team at the highest levels, because it has a lot of cool people and I wouldn’t mind getting a closer look at what they can do when it’s time to get serious. Selfishly, I would like to lead the charge on changing their WA-skeptic course, so I think I would make WA engagement a huge part of whatever work I do there. I think I would also relish the chance to let loose with the banhammer and make up my own cause to fight like the other officers in TWP.

That's an interesting response to this question and different from the norm! Thank you to Pallaith for this in-depth interview (and for giving me great advice for my last vacay)!
Last edited by Escade on Sat May 18, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:43 pm




Creative Contest: Meme-ify NationStates

How many times have you seen a NationStates inspired meme (sometimes the same one used excessively) and thought, "I could do that too, but funnier or better in some way!"

Now, you can :P Inspired by the passing of one of the original (OG) meme inspirers - Grumpy Cat (aka Tardar Sauce) - the best memes from this contest will be showcased in the June 27th 2019 monthly issue of Gameplay magazine!

Need some help? Use a meme generator such as this one!

Guidelines:
1. Send your memes via TG to Escade or via Discord (via DM or the Gameplay Magazine server) using IMGUR!. Submissions must be received by June 18th (so one month from this post) to be considered)!

2. Submissions should aim for humor (which has various types such as sarcasm, irony, etc) and be rated PG 13.

3. Judges from disparate parts of GP will make the final decisions for which memes will be showcased.

3. Be creative, have fun!

Here are some non-NS examples:

1. Grumpy Cat
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2. Baby Shark
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(hai, Mallorea and Riva)

3. Harry Potter
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Your meme should be NS related! So get ready, get set, go forth and meme!
Last edited by Escade on Sat May 18, 2019 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 4:44 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Featured Personality: Rigel
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Today we sat down with Rigels Light, an NSer who I first really got to know during the last Harry Potter festival because of her very cool tattoos and our shared love for some of the same character ships <3 Since then I've hung out in VC with Rigel and some other cool people, heard her sing, almost got sucked into the League of Legends hype, and generally enjoyed her sense of humor and vivaciousness and her super cool art\aesthetics!

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

I actually learned about NS from a Imgur Post. Scrolling through Imgur in the middle of the night and came across an ad that really sold it to me. My First Nation founded right around July 5th, 2016. But Rigels Light was founded on July 17th, 2016. So just under 3 years!

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

This is actually a question I get a lot XD. So, My Grandfather loved the stars. Anything to do with them and their legends and how they came to be. Some of my favorite memories are sitting in the truck bed of my papa’s truck, in the middle of the night listening to the legends from his ancestors and the different lessons you could learn from them. His favorite constellation was Orion, The Hunter. Rigel, Orion's beta star is the 7th brightest star in our sky and the brightest star in Orion. After he died, I was pretty lost. So, I remembered him and the talks we used to have about life and everything. He inspired my love for stars and they’re always a way for me to remember him. My Current flag is a galaxy with the Constellation Orion on it. Rigel is the left foot of Orion, for those interested.

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Like many NSers, I am fascinated with constellations and I love this origin story!


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

Ohhhh Man. Ok. So My “First” Region was a Feeder. I stayed for 3 days and then stopped logging in. I was...Unamused, to say the least. I decided about a week later that I was gonna give it a try. I created Rigels Light and moved almost immediately into Illuminati. I tried to be a good little nation, but that region had a penchant for chaos as I’m sure everyone knows. I learned a lot of things that have helped me get to where I am now because the region was so chaotic. I think the most significant thing I did to further me in the game was just listening. I met a lot of really influential people because I was in Illuminati as a wee nation and I just learned to take the advice they gave and listened. Some of it wasn’t great. And some of the best advice I’d ever gotten was from people that have since been outed as horrible people. But I listened, and I learned from the people around me.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
I’m currently a guardian in Osiris! I love it there, we’re all pretty chill people and we don’t have the hassle of having too many people. To me, it feels a little less than a random cluster of nations, and more like a group of friends. We’re all pretty nice there too. Well… mostly #BullyCulture

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
Oh boy, this is a big question. I’ll admit, I’ve fallen into discord like no ones business. I think that’s mostly because it’s an easier platform to access when I’m not on my computer. Not to mention, instant feedback is always something to look towards. Forums lack the instant feel unless you know the other person is online as well. Back in my beginning days though, I was RMB only, I kinda miss it. But as times change and the game changes, you have to adapt with it. Now that I’m getting back into a small UCR in its beginning stages, I can feel my RMB roots coming back though, and I’m pretty excited for it XD

I've noticed a couple of players turning to or giving some of their focus to UCR projects. Are you ready to share anything more about the one you're working on?

Karma! Ahh, ok. Karma is a project that Altino got the idea for shortly before she became Pharaoh. She proposed the idea to a bunch of us, and we loved it. So we started helping her build it. But when she became Delegate, it kinda took a hiatus. We've recently started to work on it again. And while it's still in the building stages, we're all pretty excited for it!

With that kind of star power at the helm, we expect great things! What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
I actually have a couple. My first “Major” raid. Illuminati. I was in a pretty tough position there. I was all for it being raided, but on the other hand, sentimentality is a hell of a thing. I was both devastated and elated. In the end, I got to meet some people who became really important to me. So while it might be a pretty small event in the grand scheme of things, it’s one of the defining moments of my NS life.

As a Spectator though? The St. Abby pile-off. It was awesome. Seeing everyone so active and engaged was pretty frikken cool.

I also have to give a shout-out to the HP festival. The amount of people it brought together from across all lines. R/D. GCR/UCR. GP/RP. It was fantastic and wonderful and I cannot wait for the next one <3

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
Is this where I say the whole “I’d shut NS down and watch everyone scramble”thing? Cuz I wouldn’t actually do that. I do think I’d hop on a random nation and just go through the big regions. See how the players interact with everyone. Maybe do an AMA? I know. Super boring. But I’m more someone who just likes interacting with people. So probably just that.


What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
This is where everyone finds out that I’m just a super nerd. I play Video Games, I write, I read more than is probably healthy. I play a lot of D&D. I mean… A LOT (4 games a week! >.>) More often than not, I’m on discord talking to friends while I play a game of some form. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to be in a VC with me while I'm playing a game, you'll soon find out that I am very.... dedicated to my video games. And very vocal when losing XD. Just ask Malphe about the Valkyrie that took 23 deaths to defeat. LOL

What kind of writing do you do? What genres do you write in? Do you write fan fiction of any kind? I know that several of us really appreciated the piece you wrote for the HP Fan Fiction contest, it was very well-written and memorable.

Oh, ya know what, I never really thought about it, I tend to just write, lol. I've done some poetry. I've written a fair few fanfictions (including the one I wrote for the HP festival) and I'm actually working on a short story about Idunn and Bragi (From Norse Mythology) in modern times.

But my biggest project right now is a book I've had on the back burner for almost a decade now. It's a labor of love and I'm determined to see it through this time.

That's so exciting! I feel like we need a writer's group for those of use who let any number of distractions (including NS itself) get in the way of our creative projects.

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Dungeons and Dragons, or similar roleplaying games, have been depicted on TV shows such as Stranger Things and Riverdale and Community.
Here's a great guide to getting started in D&D! The writer states "One of the great things about D&D is that you only really need a copy of the rules, some pencils and paper, a set of dice, and your imagination."


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
Wow, I didn’t expect these to be so hard to answer XD But I’ll do my best. My Favorite movie is a toss up between The Princess Bride and Beauty and the Beast. But the original 1994 version. I think I went through 5 or 6 VHS tapes in my childhood.

Favorite TV show is kinda weird, I don’t really watch a lot of TV so the things I do watch are probably my favorites. In that case, it’s The Magicians and Game of Thrones. I’m a huge fan of fantasy things. Both Modern and High Fantasy, so both of these shows kinda just work for me.

My favorite anime is easy. Deathnote. It was my favorite Manga, I was almost obsessed with it in High School. I used to have all sorts of memorabilia from it. (I still have the fleece throw blanket on my bed >.>)

The Magicians is so so good right now after some bumps along the way! Game of Thrones, much more mixed feelings about this season and a bit disappointed but after having been with it for so long, I guess I want to see where it ends (and then write my own fan fic ending). What is your favorite book?

I have two, actually. One technically isn’t a book but an Epic Poem. The Illiad by Homer. I read it when I was in 8th grade and it just stuck with me. I love Greek history and mythology and this is just one of my favorite stories.
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The other is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I’ve read a lot of books over the years, but I still have my first copy of this book. It was given to me by the woman I volunteered for at a library. It’s old and worn but if I’m going on a trip or something, this is the book I take with me.

Favorite music?
Oh, man. Another tough one. My music taste is pretty eclectic. I can go from listening to Heavy Metal to something like Josh Groban in an instant.

Favorite songs though, come from two different genres.
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. And Imaginary by Evanescence. If I need a quick song to listen to, it’s almost always one of these.

My favorite band however, is Avenged Sevenfold. Has been since I was 14 years old. Unholy Confessionswas a door to a world of music I’d only ever heard in passing. I heard it once and was swept away.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
Ohhhh This is tough But my gut reaction is probably Dungeons and Dragons. The things you learn in that game have helped me overcome some really tough situations in real life. And you get to roll some dice with friends, that’s always a good time.

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Eladrin are a race of fey beings and are a celestial and chaotic good alignment. In the realm of D&D, all Eladrin have Darkvision (the ability to see in the dark), are immune to electricity and petrification, and can speak with any creature that has a language. The celestial paragons of the Eladrin form a Court of Stars!

What's your favorite D&D character and class to play? Any favorite moments from a campaign you want to share?

So my favorite class to play is a Cleric. But my current favorite character is my Level 8 Arcane Trickster Rogue, An Eladrin named Kae'lest'e ShadowsSong, AKA Kae'l. It's a character I play in a game with a bunch of other NSers! He's known for his sarcasm and ability to jump in, poke people with sharp objects and hair flip his way out of danger.

Oh, and the hair flip thing isn't an exaggeration. He's got long red hair that he's really proud of. He's actually cut someone's fingers off for messing with it before.

Ooooh that sounds like a very fun character to play :) So you wake up one morning and a receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
Well. I think we all knew this answer was gonna be The Pacific, and aside from the obvious reasons, it's so I can FINALLY get that sweet, sweet Cabalist masking in the NSGP server. Aside from that. I think the most important part of being a delegate is to have fun doing what you do, so naturally, in true Rigel fashion, I would wreak havoc. Controversy creates activity, after all.

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We get focused so much on "peace" that we forget that chaos cultivates change, progress, creativity and means we are alive.


I agree controversy and chaos create activity :P Thank you so much for this interview, Rigels Light and hope to hit up another VC with you soon :)
Last edited by Escade on Sat May 18, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Honeydewistania
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Right-wing Utopia

Postby Honeydewistania » Sat May 18, 2019 5:28 pm

Nice articles... but impact text is soooo 2009
Honeydewistania (Nation mostly does not represent real life views.)

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GA#502 Repeal "Freedom to Seek Medical Care II"
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SC#315 Commend Vippertooth33
SC#320 Condemn Noahs Second Country
SC#324 Commend The Red Fleet

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sat May 18, 2019 5:52 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:Nice articles... but impact text is soooo 2009



LOL I had to look up what you were talking about :P Hey, Vines died some odd years ago but I still watch them on Youtube (check out Lele Pons vines compilations)...

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Lyrical International Brigade » Sat May 18, 2019 6:54 pm

Escade wrote:...
Kyru recommends Worcest[er]shire sauce
...


OK, but the important question is how does Kyru pronounce "Worcestershire"??? I've heard people say this word in some ludicrous ways in my time, lemme tell ya. Anything over three syllables (and one "R") is crazy talk!

[/masshole]
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆
Detached military expedition of Sierra Lyricalia
Admiral, Huey P. Newton Squadron
⟨ Красный Флот ⟩ {The Red Fleet}

"Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite..."

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Postby Kyrusia » Sat May 18, 2019 7:34 pm

Lyrical International Brigade wrote:
Escade wrote:...
Kyru recommends Worcest[er]shire sauce
...


OK, but the important question is how does Kyru pronounce "Worcestershire"??? I've heard people say this word in some ludicrous ways in my time, lemme tell ya. Anything over three syllables (and one "R") is crazy talk!

[/masshole]

I pronounce the name of the English rendition of a Roman fish sauce as /worst-urr-sure/ and /worst-urr-shire/ in about equal proportion.
//409:teknogeist//
FT ADVICE THREAD // NSFT DISCORD

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Postby Japanese Schoolgirls » Sun May 19, 2019 2:17 am

Honoured to have been part of this issue. Wonderful stuff from the others as well~
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H A L L Y U S A N C T U A R Y

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Escade
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Gameplay Magazine - Issue 6

Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:13 pm




Issue 6
June 16, 2019

In this sixth issue of the monthly magazine, I just want to thank everyone who has worked with me on these issues and also the readers. When I first envisioned this project, I didn't expect to keep going. That we've reached six months feels good. Thanks Montresor family and everyone else who responds to my DMs and helps edit. You are beloved <3

In this edition, we sat down with three NationStates personalities. First we interviewed NationState's own Captain America, TWP delegate Halo. Next we met up with the hilarious and erudite McStooley. Finally, we interviewed Salaxalans, a Spiritusianite, with a passion for potatoes and good books!

Contents
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Halo
Forum | Dispatch

Arts & Culture - Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: McStooley
Forum |Dispatch

Happenings: June 2019 Highlights from the Gameplay World - TEP\TP Roleplay Festival
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Salaxalans
Forum | Dispatch

Special thanks to all my interviewees Halo, McStooley and Salaxalans and to everyone else who proofread and helped spiffy this issue up!
Last edited by Escade on Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:13 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Featured Personality: Halo
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Our guest today, is Halo also known as The Holy Principality of Saint Mark, a player well know for his "halo effect" of spreading sunshine wherever he goes. Halo is also the current delegate of The West Pacific.

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
The daughter of one of my nurses, I'm an allergist, played NS through school. My nurse was always talking about it, and I love games, so I thought I’d check it out. That was just over three years ago.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
I’m a religious person in real life. Saint Mark is both my patron saint and the patron saint of a city I love … Venice.

OMG, Venice is like one of my dream cities! Have you ever been?


Yes. For our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I spent four nights in Venice, then took the Orient Express overnight to Paris and spent four nights there. It was a wonderful trip!

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The winged lion, this one on St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, is the official symbol of the Venetian Republic and a symbol often used by Halo as well!


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?
I was “born” in The West Pacific and that is where my first nation has remained. After a couple of months of answering issues and lurking, I decided to become more involved. I tried learning to raid and my failures are legendary. After that, I went deeply into foreign affairs, serving as an ambassador to several of our allies and eventually becoming the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I was also TWP’s first Speaker of The Hall and helped write its “Etiquette”. Under Badger, I was made a Guardian.

Although my main focus has been TWP, I am a bit of a cosmo at heart, having served several other regions … Priest of Osiris, Arbiter of TEP, Archbishop of Albion, RO of The Sasquatch Republic, Pyo Sage of Karma, etc. Most of my TWP diplomatic postings lead to me becoming involved in those regions. What can I say … I like people.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
TWP remains my primary region, of course. I think its two best qualities are that it is meritocratic and is home to a number of living legends. If you work hard in TWP, you will be rewarded and will advance. Even though there are so many old-timers who make the region their home, they don’t interfere with this process. Their role is to be a rich source of NS-lore, offering stories and guidance, but leaving the decisions to us new players. I think a relatively new player being allowed to advance to a position of power in a region is uncommon, but it’s the rule here. The TWP Delegate is no figurehead or politician!

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That's an interesting distinction. What would you say are the negative qualities of being a region led by a figure head or a politician? To what do you attribute TWP escaping this trap of NationStates?

First, I really do believe that it's a good thing that NS has so many different types of regions. NS is a game and games are supposed to be fun. Having more options allows a player to find their fun. I personally, however, am not a fan of having a democratic region. Democratic regions seem to get bogged down in minutiae and are slow to respond to the needs and wants of their citizens. One might say that a democratic region has the benefit of being able to easily discard a bad leader, but politics can keep a bad leader in place just as long as a non-democratic one at times. In TWP we vote on our Delegate twice a day! :-)

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
Each is valuable in its own way. The RMB is the heart of the region, but Discord allows much easier and much more frequent communication. The forums are perfect for posting events that can be viewed over time. It’s a great place for archiving the important activities of the region.

I think that's an interesting transition that forums have made - from being the central hub of activity to being the repositories of information.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
I would shut down NS so I could be free of this addiction. :-P

Being one of the people who has tried to quit, it's so easy to get sucked back in especially if you communicate with NSers outside of NS. I did quit for almost two years but alas....

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
I enjoy camping, dining, travel, D&D and movies.

You had such an interesting story about camping and the kinds of trips you go on - do you really hunt for Big Foot? Tell us more!

My son is on the autistic spectrum and his passion is Bigfoot, so several years ago we started attending expeditions with an organization that looks for Bigfoot. Once or twice a year we will camp out for three nights and search the area for the signs and sounds of Sasquatch! We have heard things I can't explain and have seen tracks many times. My son claims to actually have seen Bigfoot. Over the years, I have gone from being a non-believer to thinking it seems like it could really exist.

It's also a nice way to spend time with my son doing something he enjoys. It's great watching him converse with people who listen to him.

That's sweet and awesome!


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
I love any movies about superheroes, especially in the “Marvel” universe. My favorite TV shows are either fantasy (I’ll miss GoT!), mysteries or historical.

So first, favorite character (or top two) from the Marvel-verse?

My favorite personality in the Marvel-verse would be Captain America. He is how I would strive to be. I also love the innocence and discovery of the early Spiderman. My favorite powers, though, would be those of Dr. Strange. He can do so many cool things!

I totally agree about Spiderman (especially the Tom Holland version) and that like "fresh" feeling. Also Dr. Strange has some seriously Inception + Avatar : Airbender + some other cool stuff going on. Then, what did you think of the GoT ending? And what did you appreciate most about the series and what did you hate?

The penultimate GoT episode was HORRIBLE! I hated what they did to Dany. Given that happened, however, I guess they wrapped it all up OK in the last episode. A friend of mine in NS, Seven Deaths, had a great suggestion, I thought. He said that They should have had Greyworm and Jon duel at the end. Jon would win and then be King. That would have been cool.

I loved the character development in GoT. I wish it had gone on for a few more seasons so that they wouldn't have had to rush reaching the conclusion. The whole last season seemed forced.

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One of Halo's favorite books that follows two stories: that of a serial killer plaguing Chicago and how the Colombian Exposition fair was planned and run. Interesting parallels.


Favorite book?
I love to read … one book, huh? Well, “Devil in the White City” was amazing!

Devil in the White City is a true story about a serial killer that plagued Chicago at the time of the Colombian Exposition. It is really two stories ... one about the serial killer and one about how the fair is planned and executed ... intertwined. I thought the fair part might be boring, but the whole story is so well written.

I would have to say mysteries are my favorite genre.

Favorite music?
I love classical music, especially Mozart, Bach and Hayden. Since I was in college in the 80s, I also enjoy most 80s music. There is very little music that I don’t like, though.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
D&D, of course! Also, CK2 is amazing! I think practically everyone in NS already plays these, though. :-P

I don't (yet) but slowly and steadily I'm being drawn into D&D :p

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
I already hold my dream delegacy and I’m trying to do my best to improve our players’ experience there.

Thank you to Halo for the interview!

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:14 pm

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Gameplay Magazine - Arts & Culture -
Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates

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Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates

Note: This article was originally commissioned for Issue XXIX of The North Pacific’s regional newspaper, The Northern Lights (TNL). The full article will be posted in TNL and it will be cross-posted in parts for Gameplay Magazine.

The number one question players in NationStates often ask is some variation of “How do I develop my community?” or its fraternal twin, “How do I engage players in my region?” In this series of articles, I’d like to provide some of my thoughts on the topic of developing player engagement by developing a strong culture and community.

Part 1 - Develop Your World
- Provide your players with a singular or unique experience by developing a detailed world for your region. Build a cohesive culture to give players a home to rally around. This is also where you assemble your team of like-minded individuals who work towards this common goal together.

Part 2 - Know Your Players
- What does your ideal community look like in terms of people and activity? What kind of players do you want to attract? Are you interested in quality or quantity or a median point between the two? Are your goals realistic based on the amount of time, effort and practical experience you have with community building?

Part 3 - Burn Out and NationStates
- How many players do you know who have said something like, “Region or players of region don’t appreciate or recognize my hard work?” I’ve lost count. Building a region isn’t easy, maintaining a region isn’t easy. The Ozymandias effect sometimes obliterates everything a group of dedicated players have done. This part is about how to focus less on what other people think or do and more about what you can do for yourself to avoid or mitigate burn out.

Part 4 - Questions and Answers
- There are a lot of "How do I.." kinds of questions from “How do I advertise\hype my event\region\etc?” to “How do I make other people join this event that I created?”. This section will be devoted to answering some of the oft-repeated ones in one place. In addition, players in good standing who have questions about any of the above are welcome to DM me or post below and I will add to the list as appropriate.


1. Develop Your World
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What is culture? It’s a set of shared values, ideas, interests, and goals. What does this mean for a region? This is the symbols, theme(s) and customs that unify your region and demarcate it as a unique place - as a space to spend time in. Building a cohesive culture gives your region and players something to rally around.

Many regions attempt to do this in some manner or form (with titles, names, flags, etc). Some regions (like Balder and Osiris) have pre-built mythological imagery to work with. Others have cardinal directions, for example, that give them a lot of leeway (sometimes too much choice can result in a muddled mess). A political creed, a philosophy, an aesthetic can all be the central theme of a region. If you can’t describe your region’s identity or culture in a few words then go back and treat it like a world you are building. Look up and answer a set of worldbuilding questions online and, with your team, plan out your community as if it were a world. Of course someone will say, “I’m creating a region not a roleplay community..” but a region is a space where people roleplay and in the case of NationStates, roleplay a political simulation of sorts.

It’s always surprising to me if a member of a region can’t explain their flag or what their region’s color scheme means. Or if I ask the creator\leader of a region, “Hey, what is your region about or for?” and their response is unclear. Some people might think such details are frivolous or shallow but if you think of your community as a world, then your worldbuilding should be detailed, imaginative and recognizable. Your theme is your brand, it’s what creates a feeling of being part of something that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Are you recreating French history and the War of the Roses? Are you creating a modern day America? What role do members get to develop personas for in your region?

However, themes should also be adaptable and what we sometimes see in NS is stagnant regional themes. Often regions have accumulated the debris of older players decisions and choices clogging up the arteries of the region. One of the best ways to incorporate new players, and give them a sense of being part of the fabric of the region is to run a theme\flag redesign\color scheme competition. You might articulate some things that remain the same (symbol of a lion, or a lotus, or a lyre or the colors red, white, and blue) but allow players to envision new designs and to move forward. If something hasn’t been active in a while and attempts to restart it failed, put it in a fancy mausoleum or museum section of the forums. Getting mired by the past leads to there being no way to the present or the future.

A bonus to doing the work of worldbuilding is that when you potentially decide to develop your roleplaying community; there will be a whole set of guidelines for roleplayers to already work with and expand upon.

My first and foremost suggestion is really develop a full and engaging world (themes, symbols, customs, laws, colors, Discord bot names and commands) that players will want to live in. Words AND visuals are important. Your best bet is to co-create this with players who share your interests and imagination. This is your team or the group of people who you have enchanted (or at least inspired) by your vision and who will help you accomplish important tasks. If you can’t assemble a team at this initial stage you need to rethink something. The reasons might be benign for why players don’t want to support you (too busy in real life, etc) or might highlight that you need more experience or planning. Also if you can’t put together a team now, how will you recruit players later on? So assemble a team of wonderful people you actually like to hang out with and create your own world.

I’m also not advocating writing a 100 page guide on the world (although that can be a future goal). Start with outlines and then do the work of filling them and even using them to draw in players. A theme that operates on Norse mythology for example could use the nine worlds as nine houses or representatives or operate as one of the worlds (let’s say Asgard and frame their allies\enemies as the other worlds). Small details like referencing the Bifrost as the Foreign Affairs conduit would help make the theme a cohesive experience. Or political\government groups\ministries could be separated by the God or Goddess they choose to revere the most (and therefore embody the values of). Does your region celebrate Loki as their esprit de corpus or does it revere Odin or Freya? Each choice gives a slightly different flavor to the region and helps provide different goals (to cause or engage in chaos\mischief vs. to lead by example through wit and wisdom, etc).

The tie-ins don’t have to simply be classic, they could be to the old deep mythology or a mixture of the classical and the modern (via the MC universe). Worldbuilding is a form of play and attracts creative people which should always be encouraged. Someone might argue that a theme limits the region but taking the example of Norse mythology - there’s nothing to stop you from visiting or adopting the customs of “another realm” for a week or a month if your region wants to run a particular themed event that is inspired by let’s say Aztec myth, Spongebob or Death Note.

Anytime a new region comes into existence and the creator\leader cannot explain why the region exists or what it’s goal or theme is, the death knell sounds. A game, like most forms of entertainment, offers an experience that cannot be easily replicated elsewhere. So offer an immersive world.

In the next part of this series, we'll look at players and their importance for community building.

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:14 pm

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Featured Personality: McStooley
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Our guest today is, McStooley, a personable player to chat with or VC with about various topics and who has recently adopted one of the most adorable puppies of all time. Oh and he was, among other things, a former delegate of The East Pacific.


How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
How did I first learn about NS? Oh man…. That takes me way back to a time I barely remember. 2005ish or thereabouts. A friend mentioned the game and got me into it. I think I only looked at it for about 3 or 4 months before I abandoned the nation, who’s name has been lost to the annals of time. Mostly because I just don’t remember what it was, and that’s 14 years ago.

I came back again due to another friend mentioning NS about closer to 5 years ago now? I came back with the nation McStooley, and other than a brief period where real life got the better of me, I’ve been here since.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
The story behind my nations name is both simple and complex. The short version is that I was a severe alcoholic. The long story is that a friend always joked that I had bar stools at several local bars with my name engraved on them. Thus he dubbed me “Stools,” until another friend brought up that I was of Irish descent, and thus McStooley arose.

As for the flag, it’s kind of a mixture. The original design was planned to be a company logo. At least, that was the plan. It seems that distilling liquor in my area is a rather pricey license. One that a small startup can’t particularly afford, knowing they would not make money for several years. The shield the dragon originally carried had the ingredients to make whisky on it, until I later mentioned that I was a Warhammer 40K fan. I was given a copy of it with the Chaos Star of Khorne on it, after some conversing. I would like to thank Sev for that. I have been using it since.

Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?
As I said earlier, I don’t recall much about my early career, so I just start with a few years ago as my official start. I had started in a small UCR that a friend had made for all of us to join and mess around in the game with. We didn’t touch the forums or interact with others outside, and most of our conversations happened on Skype. Everyone would eventually decide to stop logging in, leaving poor widdle me all alone. When this happened, I decided to join the GCR I had spawned from, which landed me back in The East Pacific.

Within TEP, I at first just answered issues mostly, until I started to notice people talking about topics I enjoyed on the RMB. This got me talking to people in the region, and the delegate at the time, Ramaeus, got me to join The East Pacific forums, where I would become a citizen, and eventually join the government. This would lead me to taking an official position leading the Magisterium as the Provost, and from there to being a twice elected Delegate of TEP. Sadly, real life came about during my second term and I had to abandon my post.


What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
I am currently a part of several regions. The East Pacific, The West Pacific, and The Pacific.

All three of these are great regions, but the one that I would say I am the biggest part of is The East Pacific, despite the nation of McStooley being in TP. TEP does have quite a few of my puppets in it.. I will always be a bit biased when it comes to TEP though. It is the first region I was actually a part of, it is the region that made me get into the other areas of the game than just answering issues. And for that, The East Pacific will always be the Best Pacific. TEP has always had fun too. Especially with the random theme months, and how each delegate changes drastically what themes tend to get brought in for which times of year.

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Fate/Zero is a Japanese novel and anime series. It is one of the highest-selling anime television series (Blu-ray box in first week-sales).


What has been one of your favorite themes? If you were delegate what theme would you adopt?

My favorite theme? Some of those would have to have come from back when I was Minister of Culture and Education of TEP way back in the day. Working with Delegate Ramaeus, we would come up with themes fitting game or show releases. One time, we did a month long theme for the Fate series of anime. I think it was for the release of Fate/Zero release. We had prominent figures in the region take up names representing heroes, and then had the people of TEP vote who would win or lose in one on one battles until only one person was left.

I love this idea, it sounds like a lot of fun :)

I myself did a theme for the release of Dark Souls 3. It was partially because I was a big fan of the series, but also because I knew it would irk one of my cabinet members. They were not a fan of the game at all, and hated that some of us thought it was a great game. Definitely let that one go on a little longer than needed because of that! xD

Don’t get me wrong though, TWP and TP/NPO are also both great regions. The NPO has a lot of great people in it that helped me get back into the R/D aspect of the game for a time. It gave me a new respect for it, although R/D isn’t entirely my thing. TWP also has a ton of great people. Many of which were influential in my early NS career too. Although most of them are mostly retired from the game now and mostly just hang out.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
The offsite, regional forums, I feel have been a great boon to helping keep NS alive. It helps the community of each region thrive, with different areas for each topic that the in game forums just don’t have. Although I have mostly avoided the in game forums, so that statement may be entirely false.

Discord, like Skype before it, I feel has also been a great way to bring NS communities together. It gives a quick and easy way to get messages out to those that need them, to give people reminders about happenings in the community and such.

For the RMB, sometimes that can get a bit out of hand, but it’s a great place for people to get started in their region. And getting more people to interact with their community is a good thing!

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
I don’t know if I can actually say much for this one. I tend to not pay attention to GP all that much, until about half way through last year. In that time, only one major moment has really occurred, so I would say my favorite historical moment is the NPO-APC war? It made for some hilarious reads.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
If I was Max Barry for a day what would I do? That’s not a question I’ve really thought about. I think I’d take the money and run. Set up my own business with it. Start producing a fine whisky or open up a bar.

What would be the NS bar's specialty drinks?

I feel like you may be asking what my favorite drinks are that I would want on the menu.
One would definitely be something fruity, filled with rum, and would get you made fun of for drinking anywhere that wasn’t a tropical beach. Something like a Mai Tai. And no, that’s not going to be the theme for the place. The Manhattan will definitely be on the list though. It’s classy, easy to make, and delicious. Last but not least on this list, the Tom Collins, and it’s variations. It’s a great summer drink. Tastes kind of like lemonade.

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
It varies day by day, but these days, I’m a little boring. I find cleaning around the house to be quite enjoyable. I know, lame. But apparently most of y’all think I’m an old codger anyways.

:O someone's going to start a rumor that you're also the player Codger

But I do still find time to play games and watch tv or movies these days, more so than I used to. Going for walks or playing with the puppy (Ganon, or Ganondoof when he’s being silly)

Ganondoof is so so adorable <3 You have to tell us the story about how his name came about! Especially so people like me don't think it's a Gandalf reference :P

Hahaha. No. Definitely not a Lord of the Rings reference there. Ganon, or Ganondorf (depending on the game) is the antogonist in many of the Zelda games. My roommate is a big fan of it, and she came up with it. With him being a little jerk, it just seemed right. He’s always getting into things he shouldn’t be, or chewing on my coffee table. Can’t be too angry at a 14 week old puppy for doing that though. It’s what they do.

Reading is always an enjoyable pastime. It’s easy to get lost in the worlds others have created.

I almost always have music playing when I’m not at work. This varies from metal to rock and roll, to classical, to hip hop, to rap, to country (not that country rock or hiphop stuff these kids think is country). Pretty much just any music, as long as I’m not watching a tv show or movie.

What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
My favorite movie is an easy one. The Princess Bride. It’s got some amazing actors in it, such as Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Peter Falk, and the Dread Pirate Roberts. We can’t forget about all the great lines from the movie too. It’s an instant classic.

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OMG, yes! What is one of your favorite lines or moments?

Only one of them? But there are so many great lines to use! “We’ll never survive!”

“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has,” is always a great quote to use when doing something dangerous. “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches,” is perfect for when describing your love for someone. “When I was your age, television was called books,” is a fun one to use against younger folk too. And, of course, probably the best known, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”

As for TV? I would probably have to say Stargate: SG1 and it’s spinoffs. Not the original movie though. It was nowhere near as good as the show.

Favorite book?

Ooo. Now this is a tough one. Should I go with the leatherbound copy of the Necronimicon, which is the centerpiece of my collection.

The Necronimicon? It sounds like some manual for necromancy...

This book is a collection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. A man whose works are still referenced throughout popular media, in games, books, movies, tv shows, you name it. The stories use psychological horror, something quite forgotten about in a lot of horror movies these days. The Cthulhu mythos is one of the best horror mythos, in my opinion. My copy is leatherbound, which fits with some of the themes in some of the stories quite well.

Maybe Night Watch by Terry Pratchett? Maybe the Wheel of Time series which I have re-read each time a new book came out? The Harry Potter books have a good place in the running for favorite book too.

I have to ask, favorite HP character, fave book, what House you would want to be sorted in and fave ship :P

Never really thought on that one, but I would go with Hagrid, probably. He has a fantastic beard, and a big, old puppy. Favorite book is probably Goblet of Fire though. It tells you that cheating is the way to success, and that bad things happen regardless of how much you try to do good. And that it ends on a series of down notes. As for which house? Hufflepuff for life! They are smart like the Ravenclaws, cunning like the Slytherins, brave like the Gryffindors, but they just do what entertains them the most. It’s like they took the best parts of each house and decided to not take the negatives. I never got into the whole “these two characters should totally be a couple” thing that a lot of people do.
But clearly anyone who doesn’t agree with Snape x James is just wrong.

I have read the books written by fellow NS members that have been enjoyable reads. It’s hard to choose on this one. I own a small library, which I need to set up at some point as an actual space instead of just the many, many boxes they take up.

:O I have never read those lessons in Harry Potter (maybe it's time for another summer reread). Oh, a small library so you're sort of like living Belle's dream from Beauty in the Beast :P

Favorite music?
This is an easy one. I’m a big fan of metal. I’ve scoured the net to find various groups from around the world. Some areas are great for it, others not so much. Everyone always thinks the Scandinavian countries, the US, or Germany, when it comes to this genre, but Spain, France, much of Africa, Japans, China, they all have great metal bands.

Most have ridiculous names, mind you, but that’s part of the fun. For favorite band, it’s a three way toss up between Manowar, Iron Maiden, and Korpiklaani

But if you want my favorite song, that would be a completely different genre, as that’s Piano Man by Billy Joel.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

Dark Souls. Best game ever. I have put far too much time into the game and I regret none of it. And I continue to put more time into the game. Games 1 and 3 are one of the few games always installed on my computer at all times, ready to play at a moments notice.

I died so many times the first time I played this, I just gave up :( What do you enjoy about the game? (Characters, visuals, storylines, how like manically hard it is) :P

Death is a part of the game. The easiest achievement to get in the first game is given to you for dying. It is a difficult game to those who are un-initiated into how the series plays, but overall it’s not a difficult game. The mechanics are easy to learn, the fights are generally easy to learn. The difficult part is the timing of everything. It comes down to skill on that part. There aren’t that many in the way of characters throughout the games, but online play does teach you the wonders of jolly cooperation. The storyline is vague, with tidbits of lore found mostly in item descriptions, but even with that, it gives a sense of deep history and story to a near storyless world. PRAISE THE SUN! \[T]/

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
If I woke up one morning as a delegate of a region? I may just resign. Been there, done that! Not sure I want to do it again. He said running for Delegate in TEP again, for the… Uhh…. Whatever amount of times this is now?

Honestly? I would probably choose some UCR over a GCR, just because I could probably get away with being more ridiculous than normal there. Or, if it was one the GCR’s, stage a coup, and give myself dictatorial powers, just so that I can then remove all power from myself, while keeping the prestige of the office. Make everyone else do work while I just sit there and go “yup. My idea. Sure was,” and go back to my drinks or books.

Is there a particular region I would do any of this in? Nah. Not really. Most of the regions I’ve dealt with personally, have been pretty okay, and thus could work.

Thank you to McStooley for the interview and so much love to Ganondoof :)

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:15 pm

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Happenings:June 2019 Highlights from the Gameplay World - TEP\TP Roleplay Festival
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The TEP\TP Roleplay Cruise Event
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During the first week of June members of The East Pacific and The Pacific embarked on a cruise together. This festival marked the increasing friendship and alliance between the two regions and focused on roleplay. Both TEP and TP have a strong roleplaying base on the each region's respective forums, RMB's, and Discord's (complete with entire and very active Discord's dedicated to the art and form). TNP is the only other major GCR that is also home to a vibrant and active rolepalying community (perhaps that's a future event to be planned ;).

A roleplay festival is an event that can bring together different types of roleplay styles, worlds, and also introduce non role-players to the experience in a short, casual frame. While the TEP\TP theme was a cruise, players brought their own sense of whimsy and interests and pretty quickly Marvel characters from Deadpool to Iron Man and lesser known ones took over the cruise and engaged in some mischievous shenanigans.

Overall, those interested in more roleplay events have to determine how much they want to guide the event and how much of it they want to allow to develop organically. There might be some purists who did not appreciate the advent of the Marvel universe but it was the kind of dynamic and unexpected turn that showed both regions that Marvel universe is quite relevant and enjoyable to players (so the next step should be to find a tie-in event or activity to help bolster and maintain that).

For any type of event, but particularly narrative based ones, it helps to have (as in roleplaying games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect) planned events or points for roleplayers to jump off of if things get slow (which they did not for this event) or need a spark.

Some potential plot points that could have been planned for this particular type of event (cruise roleplay) could include:
"A passenger wearing a pink and white dress rushes around frantically, "Hey, I totally misplaced my phone - did you see an iPhone with like a Wonder Woman case anywhere?"
-> Do you aid her search? Laugh at her? Quietly contemplate the idiocy of teens and their phones, OR Choose Your Own Adventure

Or,
"A storm moves onto the horizon, clouds that were only a moment ago pure white and fluff now darken and ominously loom over. .... The boat picks up some speed as it tries to head off the storm...The captain begins an announcement, "Everyone please return to your cabins and follow safety..." before ominously being cut off.

Or,
"We get off at an island {...}, the guide tells you you have three options, explore the rainforest with wild and exotic flora and fauna or head to the beach, or go to the tourist markets..."

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The event itinerary, designed by TPer Community, captures the elements of good design and concise simplicity.


And of course, because the cruise was heavily dominated by Marvel characters (including some unknown ones) potential plot points that could come up could revolve around things like how do superheroes on a cruise keep from destroying everything by simply being who they are. More light-hearted tie-ins could include memes, competitions between factions, or VC discussions.

Treating event or festival roleplays, which begin and end within a specified time frame, as a quest with different plot points that players can opt-in to can make roleplay events more cohesive. It might even turn out that players want to continue the roleplay or at least take parts of it and use it for their other more extended narratives.

Overall, this was another great event and I hope to attend more roleplay events in the future (or plan some :P)!
Last edited by Escade on Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
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Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:15 pm

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Featured Personality: Salaxalans

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Our guest today is, The Salaxalans, one of my oldest and most constant friends in NS. Salaxalans is funny, really smart, adorable, and really great at motivating people to finish books.


How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

I googled nation simulators and saw the Wikipedia article about NationStates! I made an account that same day. This was around October 2012, I’ve been playing ever since.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

I wanted a nation that was a Douglas Adams reference, but it had to be obscure! So obscure… I think only around three people have gotten it. As for the flag, I just scrolled through the list of real flags until I found one that looked cool!

The portrait below was drawn by a former member of Spiritus, they based it on a figure they had a picture of and told me they thought it was a good representation of me. I loved it and it's been my avatar all over the internet ever since!

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Googling Salaxalans to find the ultra secret rare reference turns up..Salaxalans :P The above


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

First thing I did was join Spiritus because the Delegate only had a couple endorsements so it seemed like I could take it pretty easily; there was no established government at that time so it was up for anyone. Turns out I was right and that led to six years as Delegate! I was active in the regional government from the start, running the WA department and being involved in scattered other departments, eventually spending a year as President. Honestly the thing that contributed most to where I am today was just making friends; that always seemed like the most important thing in Spiritus even when our government was bigger and much more active.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

I am still in Spiritus! We’ve all gotten to know each other pretty well and it’s more of a social club than anything at this point, it’s fun.

I love checking out the Discord and seeing your delightful conversations around so many different fandoms (books, movies, TV shows) and legal topics and just such a wide swath of interesting things. What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

I don’t have much recent experience outside of Spiritus so I can’t speak to everywhere but for Spiritus our forums have become less important as Discord can handle much more than IRC was able in the days of yore. Discord is important as it’s where most of the regional happenings are. Our RMB has a lively (and unfortunately mostly separate!) community that’s fun to be part of.

That seems to be an NS thing for a lot of communities - the RMB and the forum and Discord communities being distinct (sometimes with some overlap) but each a different flavor so to speak. How would you describe the RMB community of Spiritus?

Wild, crazy, unpredictable. And fun of course!

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

Oh that has to be the Secretary-General election. A POTATO FOR ALL!

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Why? What happened?

For April Fool's Day 2016 the event was an election for a nonexistent Secretary-General of the WA position. There were a few rounds of voting where anyone could run with the top ten automatically running in the next one; eventually there was a final election consisting of the top five candidates from the third round. It was a close race but unfortunately potato got second! I spent three or four days screaming about potatoes all over different RMBs, we sent out a huge TG blast, we had an IRC debate, it was nuts! It might be my favorite April Fool's event.

It was a snap decision when I saw that the Secretary-General election had started. I basically went "Hmm... Should we have a Spiritus candidate? Sure why not! Uhhh... LET'S MAKE IT POTATOES!!!" and then hit the button.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

Add more potatoes.

Spiritus loves the potato meme, where did it come from? Or what is the origin story of the potato :P

You know I'm not entirely sure... I know there was something potatoey at some point but the thing that made it a thing was the Secretary-General election, when we spread potatoey goodness throughout NationStates!

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

Read a lot, listen to music, play assorted games. I’ve spent a little too much time in LotRO.

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Lord of the Rings Online is an online multi-player game where you can take parts in the events of the world of LoTR! Salaxalan's main character in a hobbit burglar. I always tend to pick wizard or mage characters in games with character class selection. Find out what your fantasy race, class, alignment would be with this fun quiz here.


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

For TV I love the Good Wife, the Practice, Law and Order, the West Wing, Game of Thrones. Movies, I’d say the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Game, Airplane!, the Grand Budapest Hotel.

So that Game of Thrones (TV series) ending, what did you think?

I thought George R. R. Martin gave the writers bullet points with the major plot events that he wanted, and they said "yep that's good let's just film these" without any of the important in between bits where character development happens. They also made a lot of wild decisions that I don't think any character development would have caused to make sense.

My favorite show character would be Catelyn, she was good in the books but not necessarily my favorite, but the actress in the show was incredible and became my favorite almost right away. Leading up to the finale my ideal ending would have been a meteor killing everyone but aside from that I am a big Stannis fan; I think the Big Bad they made him do was wildly out of character and that event aside he shows that he's the only one who should be king. I'm still rooting for him in the books, the way things are at the end of book five he's in a much better position than in the show, plus the situation wouldn't allow for him to do the Big Bad. I have hope he'll get a better ending in the books.

Ooh, well that gives those of us who have been avoiding the books some (potential) reasons to read them. I think it was so disappointing for a number of reasons and those have to do with the difference between good story-telling (which the first four seasons were excellent with) and then the sort of much more rushed and uneven tone that seems to stem from diverting more and more from the books.

Favorite book or books?

That’s tough! But I’d say some of my favorite authors are Mark Lawrence, Terry Brooks, Douglas Adams, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Steven Erikson, Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell… Too many to pick from!

We both read Red Rising together, would you highly recommend the series? Also are you excited about the Dune movies being made right now? Also favorite character and moment in Dune?

Yes I love the Red Rising series so much!! One of the best things I've read.

I am tentatively excited for Dune; it can't be worse than the other movie... It's hard to pick a character but I love Muad'Dib from the third book, when he was a nameless prophet and nobody realized who he was! I also really like Duncan Idaho. I honestly don't know what my favorite moment would be, there are far too many to choose from!

Favorite music?

The Beatles, Franz Ferdinand, the Zombies.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

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Talos Principle has some gorgeous visuals and looks quite intriguing


I don’t know if everyone should play it but the Talos Principle is one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played.

Oh, I haven’t heard of that game? What makes it awesome?

It's the sort of puzzles that I LOVE coupled with a beautiful setting, mesmerizing music, and a good story that is told in an interesting way (documents and audio logs you find throughout the levels) as well as a second only somewhat related story in the expansion. The puzzles become very challenging, especially in the expansion, but they all have a beautiful logic to them.

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

I would reclaim my Spiritus throne! And spread potatoey goodness throughout the region once again.


Thank you to Salaxalans for the interview, for always inspiring me to read\fandom more and for the whimsicalness :)
Last edited by Escade on Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Fedele
Attaché
 
Posts: 70
Founded: Apr 23, 2005
Father Knows Best State

Postby Fedele » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:30 pm

The East has decided to forcefully adopt Community and apologizes to the NPO for any inconvenience this may cause. Hail Franco, dead koalas, etc.

User avatar
Old Hope
Diplomat
 
Posts: 967
Founded: Sep 21, 2014
Tyranny by Majority

Postby Old Hope » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:54 pm

What?

User avatar
Escade
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1019
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Escade » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:26 pm

Fedele wrote:The East has decided to forcefully adopt Community and apologizes to the NPO for any inconvenience this may cause. Hail Franco, dead koalas, etc.


Seconding this <3

User avatar
Xoriet
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1788
Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Xoriet » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:33 am

Fedele wrote:The East has decided to forcefully adopt Community and apologizes to the NPO for any inconvenience this may cause. Hail Franco, dead koalas, etc.

How dare you steal our Community! :o
Legatus of the New Pacific Order

Let's show them that we can
Free our minds and find a way.
The world is in our hands.
This is not the end.

User avatar
Japanese Schoolgirls
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 64
Founded: Aug 20, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Japanese Schoolgirls » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:26 am

I would like to thank the NPO for giving me the oppprtunity to serve the Order through a way which I enjoyed. I'll never forget my comrades and the memories we've made together over the years but I have to Mary Poppins my way to the East. Toodle-doo.
유애나 | YOU & I

| Community is my name and community-building is my game |



H A L L Y U S A N C T U A R Y

User avatar
Xoriet
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1788
Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Xoriet » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:31 am

Japanese Schoolgirls wrote:I would like to thank the NPO for giving me the oppprtunity to serve the Order through a way which I enjoyed. I'll never forget my comrades and the memories we've made together over the years but I have to Mary Poppins my way to the East. Toodle-doo.

It's okay, Commu. We'll kidnap welcome you back later.

You can never leave. We wish you well~
Legatus of the New Pacific Order

Let's show them that we can
Free our minds and find a way.
The world is in our hands.
This is not the end.

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