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The Writers' Block

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:48 pm
by Frisbeeteria
This thread is a place where aspiring issue authors can discuss ideas, problems, creative solutions, and other aspects of the NationStates issue creation process.

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Edit by Candlewhisper Archive:

The usage of this thread has changed over time, and it's more or less become the default place for issues-related chatter. So long as you stay within forum rules, pretty much any conversation relating to Issues is welcome here.

This can include discussion of existing issues, though please remember to be constructive and polite, and remember the rules on Bad Faith posting.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:49 pm
by Nation of Quebec
Original post by NoQ removed for updating reasons.

Addendum by Candlewhisper Archive, last updated 13th March 2019:

I have removed NoQ's list of suggested issues from the game, as it was somewhat out of date. Please use the below list instead:

Multiple gaps exist within the issue base. Please consider closing these with good quality issue drafts, which will be prioritised for publication:

No Adultery - Adultery is banned by several issues, and the ban is reversed in one issue that has quite stringent validity criteria. Low priority: An issue that reverses this with non-stringent entry requirements.

No Cents - As per 343, small denomination coins have been withdrawn. One reversal exists at present, but requires you to have another rare policy active. Low priority: An issue that reverses this with non-stringent entry requirements.

No Courts - This policy indicates that lack of traditional courts, which basically means a judge, verbal arguments and evidence for prosecution and defence, and formal sentencing prior to punishment. There's actually reversals in the game but they're all a little unsatisfactory, as they reverse the policy as a side effect of mentioning a solution that involves courts. I'd rather flag these as options not valid if you don't have courts, but to do that... High priority: An issue that reinstates courts.

No Senate - Triggered by abolishing the upper house in 560. No reversal exists. High priority: An issue that reinstates the upper house.

No Zoos - As per 431 and 547. One reversal exists, but only as a side effect change. Low priority: An issue that specifically relegalises zoos.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:19 pm
by Frisbeeteria
An Issue Author’s Primer

Basics of writing issues can be found in the How To Write An Issue sticky at the top of the Got Issues forum. I’ve included some additional useful authoring information below. None of this is new; it just hasn’t necessarily been collected in one place before.

The NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT** should be any author’s first stop. You want to add issues that haven’t been well covered in the past. This thread may be a source of ideas as well.


The charts on various nation pages reveal a lot about the game. The Trend chart shows the three basic freedom scales: Civil Rights (personal freedoms), Economy (economic strength) and Political Freedoms. Understanding these three items is key to understanding issue authoring.


The People chart shows Leading Cause of Death. They are: Old Age, Involuntary Euthanasia, Work, Heart Disease, Malnourishment, War, Disappearance, Suicide While in Police Custody, Murder, Capital Punishment, Ritual Sacrifice, Scurvy, Nuclear Spill, Exposure, Vat Leakage, Accident, Space Shuttle Mishap, Bungee Jumping, @@animal@@ Attack, Lost in Wilderness, Cancer, Sunburn, and Acts of God. Note that issue effects have a bearing on these - you won’t have deaths from capital punishment in a nation that has banned it. You can figure out the rest.


The Government chart shows the various governmental departments in your nations. They are: Administration, Foreign Aid, Commerce & Industry, Defense, Education, Environment, Healthcare, Law & Order, Public Transport, Religion & Spirituality, Social Welfare and Social Policy & Equality. Not every nation will choose to have all of these departments. Your issues will help them make those decisions.


The Economy chart shows how much of the economy is made up of Private Industry, State-Owned Industry, Government, and the Black Market.


The Analysis page is one of the most useful for aspiring authors. You can get all sorts of ideas for changes to your nations from the various charts. See this thread in Technical for a complete list of Census Score categories.


Ballo’s spoiler list shows the industries of NationStates. @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@: is your nation's biggest industry from the list. The industry list: Arms Manufacturing, Automobile Manufacturing, Basket Weaving, Beef-Based Agriculture, Book Publishing, Cheese Exports, Door-to-Door Insurance Sales, Furniture Restoration, Gambling, Information Technology, Pizza Delivery, Retail, Soda Sales, Tourism, Trout Farming, Uranium Mining, Woodchip Exports. There is a little wiggle room when using these industries. For instance, if you want an issue about the dairy industry, it’s probably safe to use Cheese Exports to represent it. Pizza Delivery can be used to represent the entire fast food industry, and can conceivably represent the entire restaurant industry. Use your judgment, and remember that these are only suggestions. Issue Mods will make the final determination of [stats].

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:20 pm
by Frisbeeteria
15 April 2012: June 5, 2017 Issues Discord chat channel for aspiring authors, issue editors, and issue staff is now open.

Sanctaria wrote:**Attention**

We understand that issue writing is a long drawn out process1 and that the guidance2 from Issues Editors and Mods, as well as other players, is crucial to developing the best possible issue.

In that vein, and because we all love you3, we have decided to launch a new sort of service where Issues Editors and Mods will be at your beck-and-call4 to give advice in writing your issue.

We are very proud5 to inform you all that various Editors and Mods can now be found on Discord 24/76! Just pop along to http://www.discord.gg/MqzCPkw where you can ask questions, give advice, laugh at really bad attempts7, or just chat.

So! We hope to see some/most/all of you there whenever you need us!


1. It's not a long, drawn out process if you're any good at it.
2. I say guidance, I mean orders.
3. We don't.
4. We won't.
5. We're not. This is just more work that's probably going to cause us more problems in the long run.
6. LOL! Yeah right.
7. Mainly this.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:21 pm
by Frisbeeteria
Response to anyone asking "what does this issue do?!?!" :oops: :unsure:

Frisbeeteria wrote:If <foo> is mentioned repeatedly in the issue description and options, chances are that <foo> will be affected. Whether it goes up, down, or sideways can best be determined by reading and analyzing the text, making a choice, and coming back the next day to see what happened.

This is true for all issues and all options. We really don't need a hundred threads like this.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:22 pm
by Frisbeeteria
The Author's Lounge is a pretty dull name. Anyone got any better ideas? The floor is open for suggestions.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:24 pm
by Great Imperial Bourgeois Germany
Hm... the Collection of Writers?

EDIT: Nah, sounds too much like some weird union.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:24 pm
by Machtergreifung
Authortorium?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:30 pm
by Unibot II
The Chamber of the Order of Violet, Papa Pallocci's Pizza Pagoda, Patriots' Tea and Biscuits Club...

You know silly stuff from issues.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:10 pm
by Panageadom
Personally, I like it. Sounds like a rather pleasant room, cosy in the East India Club with rather too many leather upholstered sofas.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 pm
by Frenequesta
I've never seen "Space Shuttle Mishap" on the charts. Is there a certain issue that causes this?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:45 pm
by Frisbeeteria
Frenequesta wrote:I've never seen "Space Shuttle Mishap" on the charts. Is there a certain issue that causes this?

Some causes of death require a pretty specific combination of effects, possibly including a significant random factor. There are issues that shape the event, but you can't point to one and say "here it is".

Since this is the Author's Lounge, I'll tell authors to not plan on including Causes of Death in issue stats unless it's crucial to the issue premise. There are too many possible factors to guarantee a specific reflection in your national stats.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:37 am
by Ballotonia
How about the name "Problem-Causing Locale". Cause that's where the dilemma's originate from, and so the authors are sort-of to blame for nation's troubles... And I'll make sure to keep a list of the troublemakers, and the problems they cause ;)

Ballotonia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:27 am
by Frisbeeteria
Frenequesta wrote:I've never seen "Space Shuttle Mishap" on the charts. Is there a certain issue that causes this?

It occurs to me that perhaps I could have answered ...

"Not yet ... ?"

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:22 pm
by Dukopolious
How about "The red pen"? Because red pens are usually used to Edit Re-write, and with issues authors are often making drafts, and others players are using their "Red pens" to edit them.

I was also thinking about "The Gilded Quill" If you want to sound elegant. No particular reason behind that.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:25 pm
by Dukopolious
Isn't "Administration" also on the government chart?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:35 pm
by Frisbeeteria
Dukopolious wrote:Isn't "Administration" also on the government chart?

Yep. Accidentally left it off. Added.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:39 pm
by Frisbeeteria
The name I like best out of all the suggestions is a hybrid: "The Author's Tea and Biscuits Lounge". If there is a rousing round of "Huzzahs!", I'll change it. Otherwise, we can leave the floor open for a better consensus choice.

In the meantime, anybody wanna talk authoring stuff? Tips and tricks? What you secretly wear behind the keyboard? Anything?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:01 pm
by Fischistan
Could the order of violet be a religion that doesn't allow medical treatment for certain diseases? Because I have a good idea to turn that into an issue.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:34 pm
by Unibot II
Fischistan wrote:Could the order of violet be a religion that doesn't allow medical treatment for certain diseases? Because I have a good idea to turn that into an issue.


The Order of Violet doesn't allow hair transplants.

:P


It should be blood transfusions, since Violetists want the purest blood available for their sacrifices.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:10 pm
by Fischistan
Unibot II wrote:
Fischistan wrote:Could the order of violet be a religion that doesn't allow medical treatment for certain diseases? Because I have a good idea to turn that into an issue.


The Order of Violet doesn't allow hair transplants.

:P


It should be blood transfusions, since Violetists want the purest blood available for their sacrifices.

Hmmm...interesting. Expect an exotic issue drafting this forum sometime in the next few weeks.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:11 pm
by Dukopolious
Got Issues is probably the least used forum isn't it? Even Arts and fiction has more threads and posts.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:24 pm
by Frisbeeteria
Sirocco was the only NS mod interested in issues for the longest time, and he left the game in 2009. Consequently, issues and this forum have been pretty much idle for the last 2-3 years. His final issue went into the game in October 2009.

When Reploid Productions finally announced winners in Issues Contest #2, which gave us a flock of new official Issue Editors, Sedgistan and I got interested in moderating and creating issues. Sedge is more into the statistical and analytical aspects, I'm more in it for the fun text. Between the three Issue Mods and five or so active Issue Editors, we're seeing a burst of activity never before seen in Got Issues. We've added more than 20 new issues since the first of the year.

Stick around!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:31 pm
by Nation of Quebec
It's good to see some of the older issues finally get into the game now. Writing issues is my favorite part of NationStates and it feels good to have some of your work entered into the game.

I hope that this increase of activity encourages more people to write issues and help out others with theirs.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:16 am
by Frenequesta
Does anyone have any tips on how to give the petitioners in the issue "character"? I feel that's lacking in some of my 'submissions'.