tankthebirb - Game Master Application

"When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy."
― Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"
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tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby TankTheBirb » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:22 pm

BYOND Key: tankthebirb
Discord ID: Tank#8673
How old are you?: 24 (B-day 1998-03-14 in case I suck at math ever)
When you are most active? (including timezone): UTC-4, 1700-2300 weekdays, weekends are flexible
Roughly how much time do you dedicate to the server each week?: Probably more than I think but at least 20 hours. It varies
Names of notable characters you play in Vorestation: Sidney Polimitor, Natalie Aquicia, Wingman, ETA, Eluta-Nakaka, and more
How long have you been playing Space Station 13?: less than a year
How long have you been playing Vorestation?: almost a year
Explain what most interests you about being staff: Helping the staff team and the community, since the former seems overburdened and the latter could use another set of eyes and hands to help keep things chill.
Explain what you think you will least enjoy about being staff: I was an admin before for furry_irl. So basically the stuff that is corrective or not actively trying to make someone happy. Like don't get me wrong, I don't mind using mod tools on someone or sitting them down for a talking to, but that isn't fun. It's just sucky stuff you gotta do to keep it fun for everyone else.
Describe what role-playing means to you: Roleplay is a collaborative writing experience first and foremost. Secondarily it’s used as a vehicle to convey a story, an experience, and/or an emotion. This could literally just be “we are horny” or escapism from a real life stressor. Most importantly it’s a social experience, with all the associated implications of that. It's important to make any roleplay environment comfortable for those involved, otherwise a lot of people are just gonna go elsewhere because it isn't fun for them anymore.
Define what a "Problem Player" is in your own words: Problem players are people who find SOME way to drain the fun for others with their behavior. SOMETIMES THIS IS NOT INTENTIONAL. If their characters are unfun to interact with, and they’re not much better OOCly… they’re probably a problem player. Sometimes they’re just new, other times they’ve been around and just nobody set them straight. It is usually productive to talk to these people.
Define a "Toxic Player" in your own words: Not all problem players are toxic players, but all toxic players are problem players. Not only are they draining and probably a pain to work with OOCly, their behavior is likely to require mod tools in the present or near future. They may be manipulative, combative, and hostile to the idea of fun. They may form cliques, or they may push away everyone. You just don’t know. You can talk to them but sometimes you have to "prune the weeds to save the garden" so to speak.
Define "Admin Abuse" in your own words: When a moderator makes someone uncomfortable using their position or powers, without satisfactory reason. A griefer being banned is not admin abuse, the reason for them being uncomfortable is fine since they should have not been a griefer (duh). An extremely obvious example of admin abuse would be changing someone’s character vars to name them “butt pudge” and making them uncomfortable with this. You could also consider over-moderation an admin abuse, however, the reality of complex situations means that it's a terrible example. The interpretation of the player and the admin team is usually what makes it admin abuse or not, with multiple factors at play.
In your opinion, what the biggest problem with the server right now?: understaffing, so you can't really tackle any other problems effectively. My guesses from experience lead me to believe that most of the staff are overworked given that the intended structure seems to be only admins handling punishment and GMs getting to do fun things. But I think the majority of the moderation I’ve observed ingame was done by GMs. So there is definitely more to it that I won't see or be able to assist with until I'm privy to that knowledge and can work in staff channels. Because it could also be observation bias, which is why this is a guess and not absolute.
How would you have it resolved?: Accepting people you find qualified, competent, and reasonable onto your team. I cannot make recommendations on that as it has to be done by people who know the existing system and team culture. This was a problem I helped resolve before on furry_irl by taking the initiative and recognizing moderation gaps and taking metrics. We established procedures and I made tools and resources for people to use.

Consider the following questions, and answer in your own words: in your own words :tankdance:

  • What kinds of events are you most interested in running in general?:

    Primarily smaller stuff that’s basically just spice. Modifying a POI slightly to make it fresh, or trying to use environmental story telling to tell a story. If I had to run a larger one, it would be something like a "practice emergency drill" or something with some action and excitement but something people could adequately RP in, not like, hell raising combat.

  • Describe a larger event you would like to run.:

    I had the novel idea awhile back to let people get their catharsis against “Slave Galley 1” or some similarly edgy named Elysian ship. The prompt was “SDF forces have asked for the nearest response ship to move to [coordinates] and attempt to intercept [edgy ship name]. It has illegally trafficked sapients on board.” The actual enemies would be any ghost/staff volunteers who want to fire a 9mm pistol at the crew and maybe add a turret, the crew who lands on the ship being required to effectively hijack it to stop it. The sapients, to make life easy, are a combo of cryo pods and a LOT of positronics. They’d also be open for ghost spawns. Basically it’s a combat event to let people introduce characters this way. Also I'll get into why this event is a good thought experiment but not something I'd actually say is a good idea to run.

  • How might you go about selecting volunteers for your event?

    Recruit ghosts, staff, and people I know who might have fun getting shot in the head by zealous roboticists wielding laser cannons with a questionable understanding of "collateral damage". Actual OPFOR presence required is like 1-4 people at most. If the crew goes all out for weapons, the OPFOR gets bigger guns or some merc simple mobs. The problem here is that I have to find people for both sides of the event who are going to enjoy exploding and treat the prompt seriously. Slavery, is a real issue. Human trafficking happens all around us and making it an event is at best going to make people mad. It wouldn't be as fun as I thought at idea planning and conception.

  • Consider your event, what kinds of problems do you think you might run into, both in running the event, and from the players during the event?

    Oh so much can go wrong. Players might not take the hook. Players might take the hook but bungle the response. Command might be enthusiastic but the players don’t want to do it. Or vice versa. People might go SSD at unfortunate times because irl exists. The players may go overkill with like a TTV on a RESCUE mission. The event might not actually be fun for people and may be too heavy to interact with personally, where the implications at a distance were fine. The need to use the SD means it could only happen on ⅓ of the weeks of the year. It’s a combat event and those are going to be super hard to manage to keep fair. The OPFOR players might get captured and not in a pref-compatible vorny way, leading to a far longer existence than they may have had time for. The player response might be mostly non-combatants and the combat tuning needs to be adjusted.

    And at the end of it all, would it really be fun? Would people really want to play as slavers to get shot and killed so someone can *prbt over their corpse or do terrible things to it? Would people want to form the entry event of a new character to the server in what is arguably in an insanely traumatic and public experience? Probably not! So it's a bad idea but it's a good example of how one can think things through but still realize it's a bad event idea. Also there are more problems with this event but I don't wanna list them all since it never happened and most likely won't happen.

  • How would you handle those problems?

    A lot of these could be mitigated with some careful wording and some rules to the prompt. No ions, no explosives, no EMPs, and telling the crew that the other ship is not well armed might tell them to temper their response. Maybe have a CC character give a briefing of known factors, but leave some unknowns to make is a surprise. Admin messaging identified key players to see how long they can play the event might help. Admin subtles to steer intent and direction may be needed for correcting confusions. Using OOC communication or encouraging it might help people realize OOC needs of players. Basically, careful monitoring to make my bird brain explode. However, the core problem still remains, as was addressed at the end of the previous section.

    Moving on from talking about your event specifically… AS A NOTE: If you want I can put my ideas for actual events to run in a comment below, but I think analyzing my failed idea is a better tell of my style and logic than my good ideas.

  • You noticed that the an exploration team has made their way to virgo four, how might you spice up their time there?:

    I presume y'all just mean "people exploring" and not the explo department since that's soon to be chopped.

    Anyways, my jam. Environmental story telling is powerful. First thing that comes to mind is some blank carbon mobs or randomgen characters dressed in exploring/miner gear arranged around a circle, with blood EVERYWHERE but notably… only one set of footprints leading away. Who knows what happened, there isn’t a definite answer, but maybe people stop to consider some possibilities before looting the bodies. It's something that could easily be engaged with, and if say, a ghost volunteers, I could spawn them in as the person who walked away and let them make the story.

    But also you can do things about the journey. For example, message the z level about shifting sands and floors, and then use buildmode to put in some rock walls on their past travel routes, reshaping where they've already been but are not actively looking at. Sure they could tunnel out, there is always a way through... but you can bait them to engage with the prompt by slapping down some shiny thing for them to engage with and take home. Like a lost, well equipped ERT member with a note referencing 3 other similarly well equipped members who met their ends somewhere inside. But what if one survived? Ghosts, if wanted, could volunteer to join in and play a survivor.

    Basically there's a lot you can do but some people just wanna shoot more simple mobs so I throw down a "GOOTS CAVE" gps signal and spawn like 50 geese in a cave and watch them tunnel into it and get swarmed lmao. Or a single vore mob with a size mod of 2 that I made eat like a bunch of other mobs so they kill the initial one (rightfully) and the clown car catastrophe explodes out of it. Custom GPS Signals and stuff like that are subtle tells that "hey, this isn't a polaris POI or a randomly generated game mechanic. Have some fun with it, someone made it for you."

  • You noticed that a miner or an explorer has run into some trouble out and away from the station, do you help them? How, if so?

    Var edit some life into them and see if I can make it a “I shouldn’t have lived” scenario. Particularly if they won the fight but went into crit. If they just straight up died then uhhhh, oof for them, we have sleevers. If help is on the way and they’re barely alive, keep them alive with var edits so medical has a cooler interaction than dragging a corpse back to triage. Maybe even use a shadekin or a non specific character slot to be an “angel” that their oxygen deprived mind produced to keep them going, but just to encourage them to keep crawling. Not like, actually deus ex machina them back to life. The best case is they have no idea they were saved by admin action, the second to best case is they have a plausible IC explanation for what happened.

  • You noticed that four people who look like they might be trouble have appeared on the station. Their flavortext and ooc notes perhaps leave something to be desired and they are obviously working together. But they don’t seem to be hostile, they seem to have some kind of silly gimmick going. A concerned ahelp has come in about it. What do you do?

    Monitor their activities and how disruptive they are. Sometimes this is funny. Sometimes it isn’t. Address initial concerns in the ahelp and then move to punish if things go poorly like OOC rule breaking or just generic grey tiding. Not much more I can say without better context.

  • Someone is vocally upset about how things have played out during an event that you were involved with, what do you do?

    Take it as feedback and figure out if it’s valid or not. Look for definite mistakes I made (person did not want to be directly involved but was accidentally involved, person was harmed by my or another staff's actions, person was not given informed consent to an element of the event that distressed them etc) because that’s where I can improve. If they’re angy because they’re a bar statue who didn’t do anything cool by being a bar statue, I got nothing for them really. If they're angy because the event they were in was upsetting, I should at least figure out why that is.

  • Someone is being verbally abusive and disruptive in general. How would you handle this?

    Ask them to stop and tell them that isn’t acceptable. Try and figure out if there’s a logic to why or if they’re always like this. Escalate the punishment appropriately with this server’s escalation policy. I am assuming there is an escalation policy. If they can be changed then let them change for the better. If they cannot or it is unfeasible, mod tools exist for a reason.
What prior admin/moderator/management experience do you possess, if any?: I was an admin for the furry_irl discord server for like, a few days short of a full year around the 2018-2019 timeframe. I left the team due to severe burnout. I can assure you that while I have to protect involved parties, it was very much stress above the expectations of what I hear about here. I do project management for school teams and I enjoy team level organization and management.

Finally, what unique aspects of yourself can you bring to the staff? What can you bring to the team that is, in your opinion, needed?: Second question first, I’m another body to address issues with. Back to the first, I’m already experienced in server management, team management, training, procedure and tool creation, and kinda just all around admin stuffs. I’ve also got experience with making hard judgement calls and trying to identify the best course of action in a complicated situation. Also I’ve played around with vars and can make donksoft suppression guns.
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby biggs » Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:05 am

The birb has arrived, and with a good app! To get things out of the way quickly, yes, I support this.

That out of the way I can give some more personal thoughts on what you want to bring to the table, and also things to consider as well. You're definitely very competent, and I think you're correct about what you could do to help. There's a case to be made that you'd even be well suited in an Admin position and you certainly have the experience, but I think even more than that what we'd really benefit from is more people who excel in what you think you'd do most. Individual spice. This is what keeps the variety going in the mundane round to rounds to keep people engaged, when they aren't simply making their own fun with wild engineering projects or the like. Honestly, I fully acknowledge this is where I lack in spontaneous creativity at times, sometimes I do spice people like, but I draw a lot of blanks, and another individual who's good at just coming up with little ways to make people's rounds exciting sounds wonderful. Cody excels at this a lot more than I do, and I think you would too. Of course, I urge you if you find it to be an environment you want to step up further in down the line, definitely give it some thought!

That being said as well, back to the GM note! It's definitely worth noting that there is a rather notable itch for larger planned events too, with the couple I've ran, it's definitely more of an endeavor than it first appears. For every good idea there's 10 that go in the garbage bin once you learn what does and doesn't work. I urge you to workshop some ideas there and if you feel comfortable with them, try to make them happen. Even before I was a GM I actually had thrown an idea down the line that became the Gorlex Peace Deal event! I don't personally think you ever NEED to run a planned event to be a good GM, but it's definitely nice. I'm sure you remember Lights Out, and you were one of the reasons it worked out as well as it did, because you kind of boots on the ground enforced the prompt, which further convinces me you'd probably do very well in general. If you do have an idea for an event that you think possibly WOULD fit though, I think you should share it, just so we can see that aspect too!
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby cameron653 » Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:10 am

I like your answers the questions and the responses to the scenario based questions are good. From what I've heard you'd be a good fit for the role and your answers make me agree.+support

I particularly like the answer to the "You noticed that a miner or an explorer has run into some trouble out and away from the station" question, seeing as that's precisely one of the things that - currently - happens more or less word for word. VVing their blood volume to be up so they stay alive and possibly having a 'space pirate' or someone stumble upon them and hit them with an autoinjector or two to stabilize them until medical finally gets to them. Or. if they're way too far out for medical to get in a reasonable amount of time/low medical staff, VVing their blood up _just_ enough so they're above the KO threshold so they can try to rescue themselves.

For the exploration question, you've shown you have some good ideas. Some players like PvE and would love the goose cave and some players would like the mob boss nesting doll, while others would love the pseudo search-and-rescue mission with the ERT. Depends on who's out that day, but both are good options which you can generally get a good idea of what type of exploration team you've got out there (combat vs rp oriented) quite quickly and plan events around it accordingly. As a side note, as it isn't really mentioned anywhere, you can pre-make maps then upload them to the round via some of the template commands, allowing for even more shenanigans. There's a lot of tools available that when you stumble across them, will make things much easier.

All in all, I like this application and I hope to see you join the staff.
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby TankTheBirb » Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:18 pm

biggs wrote:That being said as well, back to the GM note! It's definitely worth noting that there is a rather notable itch for larger planned events too, with the couple I've ran, it's definitely more of an endeavor than it first appears. For every good idea there's 10 that go in the garbage bin once you learn what does and doesn't work. I urge you to workshop some ideas there and if you feel comfortable with them, try to make them happen. Even before I was a GM I actually had thrown an idea down the line that became the Gorlex Peace Deal event! I don't personally think you ever NEED to run a planned event to be a good GM, but it's definitely nice. I'm sure you remember Lights Out, and you were one of the reasons it worked out as well as it did, because you kind of boots on the ground enforced the prompt, which further convinces me you'd probably do very well in general. If you do have an idea for an event that you think possibly WOULD fit though, I think you should share it, just so we can see that aspect too!

Oh definitely. In terms of my ideas, I think Lights Out made me realize you can do a LOT with a simple prompt with a sorta "mundane" concept. Like removing power an assumed constant for the round made the play entirely different than with power. And more than one department could do something in an engineering crisis because engineering couldn't totally solve it (by the prompt).

So a lot of my larger event ideas that I consider "doable" stem from that. An any station example is that a CC officer shows up (probably me) to perform "drills" of "emergency situations" where there is, quite literally, either no emergency or a faked one. Like paying someone 500 thaler to smash a window and take something inconsequential. Then, security has to figure out who it is via investigation and properly apprehend the suspect. Obviously since they're literally a paid actor they go free but the idea is to have mock scenarios for the different departments over the course of the shift. CC officer gives them satisfactory ratings, a copy of that rating paper, and a certificate for their department to put on the notice boards that says "CC Approved" or something. Less vorny, more "setting establishing" of a sort without getting too actiony.

Admittedly my brain sucks at generating the cool, vorny events but my brain will eventually click into one at some time. Best I can do is "no comms" where telecoms is just straight up turned off and not allowed to be turned back on for at least a few hours. People can still use intercoms and short ranges, but no proper subspace stuff. Eventually, CC gives the all clear and comms are powered back up. Maybe something like "massive space carp migration, like thousands of the things, do not use heavy subspace sets or you'll attract them." That way the crew can CHOOSE to engage with the funny scene enabling prompt, or deal with me spawning in so many carp that medical starts pre-dosing people on osteodaxon.

But I dunno, I always liked small stuff more. Seemed easier to keep concentrated and focused.
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby VerySoft » Thu Aug 11, 2022 3:30 pm

I supported your app before you made it
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby ResidentCody » Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:40 am

This is an easy support. You already are active enough and in such a way that shows the kind of GM attitude that is good to have around.
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby Kenzie » Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:11 am

Yea I think I support this.
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby Scree » Fri Aug 12, 2022 12:02 pm

yes birb good
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Re: tankthebirb - Game Master Application

Postby PontifexMinimus » Fri Aug 12, 2022 12:48 pm

Bird good.
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