Dateline Jan. 24, 2003: Interview With Team Noah Boddy, Part 1 of 3

June 4th, 2010

This just in from the intrepid Sin_Vraal out in the field:

I still don’t know who it was that attacked me.

I had 3 whole pages, you see, 3 of them! I was looking over my NoahBoddy interview notes when a cab came around the corner and clipped me, sending me flying! I hit a wall with a crunch, and must have passed out for an hour or two, for when I came around, all of my papers were gone! Well no, one of them was half wrapped around the grate of a nearby storm drain. I grabbed it before it could blow away, and have attached it below so it doesn’t get lost again.

I limped over to a phone booth and whipped out my PDA. NOBODY runs me over! I of course called my dear editor, Bill, to inform him that I wouldn’t be at work again today.

“No? Let me guess – been boozing it up again, eh?”, he snorted.
“Oh no, boss, really, I was just victim to a near-miss!”
“A near miss??”
“Hit, damnit, I was hit — by a big car! Unfortunately, it wasn’t a total miss, or I’d be coming in today!”

After the obscenities died down and I was able to explain what happened, good Bill grumbled a goodbye and slammed the phone.

Determined to get to the bottom of things, I dialed my good editor-friend SpaceBass - And what he had to say hit me nearly as hard as the car.

Narrative continued at unfiction.com.


PART ONE OF THREE
INTERVIEW WITH TEAM NOAH BODDY


Vraal: What were your main reasons for closing the game?

NB: Several reasons motivated the Noah Boddy group to close the game — although closing is actually a misnomer. The game has been on hiatus, much like a television series during the summer season.

Let us make one thing clear - we have ALWAYS intended to come back and finish the game with its original 26 week schedule: 1 ‘opening’ clue, 24 ‘weekly’ clues and 1 final tie-everything-together and get the winners week. But in the process of doing this, several things began to happen and it forced the team to look at the situation as it stood.

1a. Time issues: The Noah Boddy team is comprised of several people who do other things for a living. None of us is a full-time employee of Noah Boddy Productions. And as the game was originally envisioned, it could have been done within the context of our >free time”. As we have stated from the beginning, this is an experiment – we’re trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t. Part of what didn’t was the issue of how much time would have to be devoted to the game from a >creator” standpoint. Quite honestly, the game began to take too much time from those pursuits that allow the team to make a living so they can RUN NoahBoddy. Some of the time issues were because of real-life situations, but most of the time issues came from other factors, which in turn became the other reasons for us to place the game on hiatus until they could be fixed.

1b. Design issues: It became clear to the Team that there were some serious design issues that needed to be addressed in order to make the game work more smoothly. First and foremost of those was the idea that we truly needed more than one board for the game to work — we needed an >in-character” or >in-game” board and a board for >out-of-character” or >out-of-game” board. We honestly believed that more people playing the game would be veterans of the Internet and that’s turned out not to be the case. Which, while extremely exciting for us, means that we have to guide players more effectively, and that required us to look at the options for >re-doing” the design for the game. To put it bluntly, it became too confusing for players to have some people discussing the current puzzles while others tried to communicate with the game characters all in one giant bundle. So we had to re-think things. Which we’ve now done.

1c. Problems: Anyone who was playing the game is aware that we had players who became problematic. Whether they were determined to attack the team or the players or just confuse the issue, we reached a level where the game became attacks instead of teamwork and anger instead of passion. Part of our decision to take a hiatus was the hope that time away from all of this would give players the chance to cool down and return with a better frame of reference. And our plans for the coming designs and better >framework” for the game should help keep people motivated and interested in the right directions. We also have new plans in readiness should any future problems arise. All of that took time to get in place.

1d. Business: We were being considered for funding and sponsorship, but knew that funding and sponsorship would be difficult to maintain with all of the flaws that the general game play was facing. We needed to take a look back, ourselves, and see what really needed to happen to make this a viable, able to be sponsored game.

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