Edit: finally got back from hospital. Realized this thread turned into " this is how i would run this shit". Realized I cant delete this thread.
Just to put it out there, JP did mention that he and Adam are doing an announcements video for sometime next week. Maybe see if that solves your issues. Historically, January is when we see some big shakeups, so I, at least, am looking forward to it!
I hope so, thanks mate. I waited for the end of the year video thing he had, since that didn’t show up… I thought i might as well say my peace before giving up hope.
According to this, they’ve done 140~ more hours of RPG content in 2017 vs. 2016, unless he wasn’t streaming under the standard D&D tag like he usually does for Rollplay back in '16.
I know, you are right. I guess my point is being lost with the whole second language thing. its more like the past few months felt empty. Do you have comparison for those (November, December)? I did type “feel”. We can all agree that the first 6 months were a lot. Look I’m probably just being a needy prick and https://community.itmejp.com/letter_avatar_proxy/v2/letter/c/97f17d/32.png is right. I’ll delete my comment in a couple of hours and give them a week or two, see where my head is at.
You’re not wrong since October 1st there has been 14 weeks and they’ve had 9 shows for Court of Swords. I’m the opposite of you and don’t watch Nebula Jazz. I’d say let’s see what they say next week. I’m hoping they have a plan to improve consistency and maybe they add a third show.
That’s more shows than there are weeks in a year!
There’s usually a period in the year when things get bare - usually it’s con season but I guess with JP refusing to leave his house that wasn’t so bad. Then when Adam was off we had all those One Shots to fill that void. I feel like this period feels particularly bad because there’s been 3 or 4 weeks in a row where shows had to get cancelled.
I wonder how much of the “feels empty” effect is more about the limited variety when it comes to the steady content.
I.e., has the “feels empty” effect been stronger since Blades ended?
Since then, there have been only 2 ongoing shows, both with the same GM, and both the same show over the year.
Even in that, I wonder how much of the effect is less that it’s 2 shows, than the fact it’s the same shows with the identical GM, so it doesn’t “feel” like much variety/option. (Nebula Jazz and COS are very different shows, but having the same GM can be like reading the same author writing in different genres…the creative tone/feel remains similar in a lot of ways.)
Is this the first time since 2013 with only 1 regular GM? Also, there used to be R&D or West Marches that were long running but had built in variety because of changing rules/all the cast changing week-to-week.
Between live shows, guest GMs, and one shots, there has been a lot of other content…but that content is somewhat unpredictable. It also feels like the other content has been heavier at different parts of the year, so there are some gaps where they only options are COS and Nebula Jazz. But again, those gaps could be mostly perception/a result of the unpredictability, since I haven’t gone back and tracked each month with an additional one shot or guest GM vs. those that don’t have them.
(This is me mostly thinking aloud, no firm opinion. I do remember thinking, “wow, that’s a lot of content!” when we had that streak of one-shots with different GMs. Hours wise, I don’t think it was more than having 2 shows every week…just the variety of GMs/genres/game systems seemed like a ton of content).
For a channel that’s meant to run 3 shows a week for 156 shows a year, that’s almost 50%. If we accept Blades was never going to run all year and take it at the 25 episode cap, that trims it down to 131. That’s still 43 cancelled shows in a year, nearly 1/3rd of the shows. I can totally see why people feel these dry patches, because there are a lot of them. The mistake they make is thinking they’re new.
Personally, I don’t mind that much. I know what a nightmare scheduling streamers is and how for many of them, there are a lot of things that come before RollPlay. I’m happy at the Patreon level I’m at for the content I’m getting. If JP magically made things more consistent, I’d probably up my payment, but I’m not currently feeling like my money’s wasted. The lives shows alone have been worth it.
Honestly, I’d say 2/3rds of the total is pretty fantastic. The problem we’ve faced is that it comes in clusters a lot, not spread out.
I ran the numbers on Court of Swords for 2017 just for fun. These percentages are for each quarter and then for the year. This is based on 52 weeks out of the year, 48-50 weeks a year may be more realistic so the numbers could be a bit higher. The year started off strong while the second half was a lot rougher. The weeks are based off of Youtube Part 1 upload so it may be off slightly. I couldn’t find an easy way to get the numbers from Twitch.
CoS has always been the most consistent show, too. Nebula Jazz has cast members that often have other commitments, and Blades… well, died. There’s no question that Q4 was rough, but it always is - especially since any shows at all in December is always fairly hard to get organised. Q3, equally, is a lot of heavy con season and people going on holiday.
I think we’ll always see a dip in Q3 and Q4 each year.
Yeah I bet NJ would be a lot lower if I ran the numbers. I’m not saying I have a solution for this either. I have heard a lot of the streamers are going to a lot less conventions this year. Maybe JP could have a scheduling session with each cast now, ask them all to say which conventions they are going to and work out a make up date for those weeks? An alternative for an unexpected miss by a cast member other than JP and Adam could be to play without them an do the hand wave of that character disappearing?
R&D and West Marches was also hugely unpredictable. R&D was fairly consistent when it was on, but there were significant gaps. West Marches had enormous scheduling problems and the show couldn’t manage one-session adventures anymore (lots of long arcs that demanded an unpredictable length of commitment leaving the show in scheduling hell). It’s one of my all-time favorite Rollplay shows, but the business ambitions of the show (cycling guests and with regular short adventures in the vein of one-shots) did not line up with the creative ambitions (mechanical overhead emphasis on role-playing with numerous flashbacks, mechanical overhead with town features, hexcrawl, etc. all being time-consuming long-form content that was not suitable for a cyclic cast of “one-shots” at higher levels of D&D - basically adding extra crunch to a fairly crunchy system).
But ultimately, it’s hard to guarantee commitment to scheduling consistency with Rollplay in general because this is the “flexible side-gig” for almost everyone in the cast, and JP’s not about to put his foot down and tell his friends that they can’t have personal plans that conflict with days he “owns them” like a more regular job. That would be fucked up. But it’s important to consider that this is why other regular creative shows focused on long-form content actually have scheduled break periods with off-seasons. Rollplay offers a metric fuckton of content hours per year, eclipsing whatever “top 10 TV shows” you have on your list if you watch all the Rollplay content, for a semi-regular schedule consistency with an “always on” season.
But honestly, if I could offer an idea to JP to help the scheduling gaps, it would be to schedule each year with 2-3 months’ worth of off-season for shows with overlap of other shows covering the gaps. It breaks up the pace of the shows to keep them fresh, encourages cast members to plan out their years and send their schedules over to JP far in advance, gives time for the lagging viewers to catch up to shows they missed, and doesn’t keep people stuck in a vortex where they feel like they’re owed content every single week. Would also provide an opportunity to set up some one-shots or mini-arcs way in advance, too. Maybe less stress at the very least. But that’s just my random idea: there’s problems with that plan, I’m sure, but I think planned off-seasons would make their jobs easier in the long-run.
I enjoy the huge one-shot diversity we get now with Patreon, but I do miss having a regular third show. Hopefully they have plans cooking with certain someones being interested in GM-ing more…
The problem with the off season idea is there a lot of people who are split between shows now. I don’t watch NJ and other people don’t watch CoS. If you said there would be no CoS in Q4 I would probably drop my sub for that period. You will also lose momentum and a following of a show if you take that much time off.
As I’ve been thinking about it more (simply thinking about the perception of enough content vs. the facts of content), is that variety of content is an important factor. A lot of times this discussion focuses on consistency or total hours, and doesn’t look (as much) at how much variety there is.
This might also matter more depending on what kind of watcher/follower a person is; I don’t have time to consistenly watch more than 1 weekly show–at most–so number of hours and consistency don’t impact me as much. Variety of content will pull me in to watch more than my weekly 3-4 hours, so it feels like more content. It purely comes down to perspective/watching habits.
Which is why until this fall, (in my perspective) there has been a ton of content in the last 1.5 years, with so many one shots, liveshows, guest GMs, etc. and then the 1 show with Jesse in December made me feel like there’s a lot of content even during a holiday break.
I dropped numbers out there to show both sides of the argument; only hitting 2/3rds of the “expected” show quantity is going to create people who feel like there are droughts. But when organising 14-16 streamers with their own personal lives and concerns that take priority over your show, hitting that quantity of output is exceptional.
As you say, it’s definitely a case of “people with a lot of free time feel the content breaks the most.” There’s also the fact not everyone watches every show - people who just watch Nebula Jazz are probably a lot grumpier than people who watch everything JP puts out.
But seriously, the first half of this year was a content boom on RollPlay - and that decline has largely been out of JPs hands. I sort of regret listing out what the “max” numbers could have been, because I personally don’t expect (or necessarily want) them to hit them - and I have even less idea how he could do so. For the minimal amount I pay on Patreon, getting 1 show a week more than covers the expense for me.
Consider their competition: Critical Role runs once a week, and just Critical Role (they all do other stuff too, of course, but in terms of tabletop content) and they generally don’t miss many. But that’s because they run with missing cast members, which is something they can do because they have a much bigger cast. They also aren’t juggling 2-3 different shows. As someone who prefers RollPlays more intimate small casts, I’d rather take the cancellations than have JP run 2-3 person sessions whenever someone can’t make it and have people in a very small group fall out of the loop.
I think people are also forgetting back around August how there was that massive splurge of one shots. But honestly, this thread started as “I don’t watch one of the main shows of Rollplay, so I feel like they haven’t done anything” and that is being used as a stepping stone to say not much has been accomplished.
No, a lot has been accomplished. Just having more than the previous year, is an accomplishment. With the amount of variety that’s popped out in this one year(three main shows and several one shots), hitting the same, or even a little less would have been an accomplishment just because of the sheer amount of guest players and guest gms that JP managed to get a hold of. And that’s not even counting all of the behind the scenes and additional material posted on patreon, the new shirts and artwork that was produced, everything. “But uh, they didn’t give me 365 episodes/shows, so obviously they didn’t give me enough.” Maybe, maybe not. But 88 is a lot more than what Critical Role put out this year. Think on that while your touting the praises of a production that is funded by actors who have money to afford an actual studio.
Not to diss Critical Role, but it’s very easy for a studio to produce several shows when they have easy access to money. Fighting and struggling and producing shows over failing skype with webcams and mikes, while havig to juggle several dozen other schedules, and still having a name recognition on par with Geek and Sundry as a whole is an achievment in and of itself.
True, but this is the format for consistency for the vast majority of long-form shows across media. JP is in a space where there’s this audience presumption that Rollplay will happen every week of the year unless there’s an announcement telling us they’re taking a week off. Those weeks off have been irritating those “entitled” fans for years, and that’s become more problematic since Patreon launched.
However, I don’t think they should take whole quarters off. That would be excessive for this medium. A month off in the Q4 holiday season, a month off around cons, etc., with an intended void-fill with one-shots and short arcs like they did in August iirc. Because as far as the Patreon goes, the most significant goal achievements of the Patreon that changed Rollplay on the viewer-side are the one-shots and live shows, so extremely brief off-seasons that are filled with interesting variety content should be a good opportunity to showcase more of those one-shots as planned far in advance without having a sub dump (besides viewers that are averse to the one-shots altogether). It’s not perfect, but it’s a potential framework that can be built upon.
Another possible idea: get lists of the most Rollplay-consistent cast members and run short campaigns with those people during con/holiday seasons, like the CoS October arc. JP, Zeke, and Adam would be on the short list, just gotta schedule around the mid-week so Zeke can still do events around the weekends.
Or, whatever. Just vomiting up some unsolicited ideas.