Coming from a background on IRC where one had a single chat room for RP and a single chat room for OOC talk to a medium where one can have nearly any amount of channels they’d like on a server it was easy to just make a channel for everything! However, as per the results of the user survey, I recognize that it can be quite overwhelming to do that. I know that I’ve got a number of issues there, specifically with the number of channels for a lot of the categories, many of which go unused most of the time. Now, an unused channel here isn’t a big deal, it can just sit there unused without a major issue.
That being said, it is a bit of an issue in that it becomes overwhelming for new players and even hard for older players to know where to play. Originally, 90% of the play was supposed to take place in the tavern on (at the time) Blazing Umbra station. Even when the tavern moved to Nimbus, that is where I envisioned most of the play taking place. However, that is still a hold-over from IRC days where one had a single RP channel – maybe you had auxiliary channels but usually not so much because people didn’t join all of your channels so a lot of times no one knew what was going on in the auxiliary channels.
Now we’ve gotten to the point where the RP is shifting around to different areas, the paradigm that everyone goes to the bar and that’s where everyone interacts is dated and doesn’t really work all that well. At the same time, having a channel for everything possible also doesn’t work very well. Thus, I’m trying to think of different paradigms to structure the server with.
Starting out, I’ve removed a number of channels, notably the starship-specific channels in favor of a more generalized
#starship-2, other than the
#stellar-horizon channel which gets its own area as it is tied to the postings on the forum. I’ve also removed a number of channels that were not being used or somehow redundant. I’m still looking for ways that channels can be done and organized in such a way that it is easy to navigate for both new and old players.
I’m also considering creating just like 2-3 channels for each setting that get used as needed (so like
#blazing-umbra-4 or some such, I’m not sure yet. When one looks at the server, we usually don’t have more than 4-5 RP’s going on at the same time and less than that in a particular setting. however, I am concerned that this would get generally confusing. As with everything, it is a balance.
Commentary is welcome.