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 Should playbys be necessary?

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Heartbeat
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PostSubject: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:11 am

I might of have misread some thing but I thought I was told that I couldn't get my sheet reapproved without a playby. I said that I would just draw one that fit my character and was told I needed it. I decided that since drawing and editing is all hard work am just going to wait until I feel up to it. Which means I won't be here playing. Do you see the problem with that?


One. Needing a playby especially for someone who doesn't have one in mind means forcing someone to take another chararacter's face and call it their own. This is a disaster for the truly original-minded who cherished the image of their own creation.
Two. Some people are excellent writers and just want a well written two or more paragraphs. This is a site all about writing. No one wants to spend their precious time searching for some half decent picture to throw in just to get by.
Three. For people taking the creative approach like me it is very time consuming. Not to mention not every one is knowledgible in photo software or even drawing. What about them? They're pretty much forced to deal with number one and two.


If this still doesn't reach you as a terrible idea then I don't know what does, but until then personally I am taking my time which means no in-play time. The number of people that fall into one thru three may be small but does that make them any less members than the majority?

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Last edited by Heartbeat on Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:47 am

Quote :
The number of people that fall into one thru three may be small but does that make them any less members than the majority?
Regardless of what else I say, that quote there should be a fairly reasonable response your post already. But I'll get back to that and address your points on their own first.


1) I personally feel you're exaggerating how devastating this will be to someone as well as ignoring the sheer number of manga/anime style images available online.
http://safebooru.org/
http://www.animecharactersdatabase.com/
http://www.deviantart.com/

Those three sites there have, quite literally, thousands of images available. They're not the only places you can find them either. A basic Google search (Or use your favorite search engine) with a few basic adjectives will likely find at least some possibilities too. While I understand your statement that it is a "disaster to the truly original-minded", I think that there are enough images out there that you'll find something to click. If not, then perhaps you have a friend who is willing to draw a custom character for you as well, or a fellow site member who has the time and inclination.
I've made sure that there are plenty of options to find a face for a person's character, and I have assisted a few people in finding a Playby using these tools. While I understand that there are those few who search for a very specific "spark" for their image, my only request is to lower your standards and accept that it doesn't have to be perfect.

2) I could argue that no one wants to spend their time writing an appearance, and could better spend their time finding a half decent picture to throw in. I would hate to waste someone's time, honestly, but at the same time I have provided many tools to help speed up your search. Again, I think you underestimate the number of character images available online with a bit of digging.

3) I know for a fact I have absolutely no skill in drawing or photo manipulation. (I could barely crop my photo for an avatar picture.) However it is as anything else, a trade off. If you want a perfect image for your character and you are certain that only you can make it properly, then your high standards come at a higher cost, in this case your own time. The more you ask out of your Playby picture, the higher the cost ends up being. While I certainly am not suggesting you just use the first image you find, if you're willing to keep an open mind and leave some wiggle room in your appearance, you may find that it isn't nearly as bad as you think.


Now to come back to your final point:
Quote :
The number of people that fall into one thru three may be small but does that make them any less members than the majority?
Does it make them any less of a member than the majority? No. But right there is your answer. Majority. As much as I genuinely hate to have to play the "Greater Good" card, that's what this essentially is. The number of people with issue against this is considerably smaller than those who are neutral or support it.



I'll try and explain my thought process for WHY these are required though, to attempt to help you maybe empathize with the decision itself and realize it isn't just a whim.


  1. A picture's worth a thousand words
  2. Minimal strain but helps many members
  3. Promotes use of avatars
  4. Calls to visual learners
  5. Makes a more colorful site
  6. Helps maintain accuracy


A picture's worth a thousand words
As cliche as it sounds it really is easier to use an image to express what you're describing. I can write you a ten page description of something, going into every tiny detail, but a picture gets the point across faster.

Promotes use of avatars
If you have a picture of your character already, then now you have much more reason to use an avatar of said character. This leads to people being much more likely to recognize the character, if only by face, rather than trying to recall "Wait, which Uchiha was I supposed to meet?"

Calls To Visual Learners
You can write a ten page description of someone's appearance, and certainly it will tell you every little thing about how they look. But on the other hand, you can write three or so paragraphs and provide a picture, and the only weakness is your viewer's attention to detail. I am personally a visual learner, and I have a very hard time reading (or writing) an appearance that really tells me what you look like. I juts don't build the image in my head. I know for a fact there are other members here with a similar situation.

Makes A More Colorful Site
By having pictures of your character, especially on profiles, it draws a better picture for people who are observing. It allows for more vivid battles, as you can picture more clearly these meetings and battles with the pictures there. While you can certainly form a picture from the words, it is really that bad to have people give their readers another tool?

Helps Maintain Accuracy
I have seen in roleplay sites when a person forgets how they want their character to look, and details get changed, sometimes in the same topic or post. By having a picture of your character, you no longer have to try and remember "Was his hair chin length or shoulder length? How broad were his shoulders? Was his chin pointy?" Answers to those questions are much easier to keep straight when you have a picture to use as a guide.



So, essentially, I'm trying to give more tools to the user. While it certainly comes at a bit of a cost, as they say, nothing in life is free. I am genuinely sorry that this decision is getting in the way of you roleplaying, but your arguments so far aren't enough to convince me to change it. If you have further points, or anyone else would like to chime in, feel free to go ahead and I promise I'll read them with an open mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:22 am

I have a few arguments yes, but I put them in a spoiler so it won't overwhelm the thread. Here is the short version. Plagiarism. Inaccuracy. Laziness. Neutrality. More Laziness. Content. I don't expect it to change your decision as much as I respect your decision. I felt like I made a good point though so it was worth it.

Spoiler:
 
If you asked me off the record, I would say that I think it just forces people to settle for less and it gives others a reason to cheapen their writing part. It is real easy to write a summary about a picture. That neutral part you mentioned is the majority and most of them don't care because it's a small issue compared to greater challenges they'll face playing. They won't talk because it's not worth the effort to them. To me it is. My choices are to work long and hard illustrating my character or to pick a double that will never look or feel like them. Your not going to get more quality, you are going to get a bunch of people who settled for sub par just to get past the wait of approval. That is the opposite of the intended effect! Back on the record there are only seven kemonomimi girls on that database site. One is very adult but then again it is from Queens Blade hue, the other ones are either cats or kawaii. None of the rest were adults. I won't use the original image because now that I know what it is like to be an artist on the internet I know that plagiary is wrong.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:25 am

I know I'm really not involved in this, but anyone mind if I also interject my two cents?


For the most part, I love reference pictures. It does irk me a bit sometimes to see fully established and popular characters be used as templates, but I can totally understand their appeal. For me? It usually has to be fan-art for it to trigger my want to write about it. Be it their mannerisms, or expressions in that particular drawing, I can look at at it and think "There's a story that I want to tell with this specific face, and no other."  and nine times out of ten, that's how it is. That character's goals, mannerisms, ideals... They will only work with THAT particular depiction.

This is why I rushed to get my second character's WiP up before I even finished my first. There's a story that I want to tell with that particular drawing, and no other character, or piece of art can replace that because I've already decided in my mind exactly what this character looks like. I feel like Heartbeat is of the similar frame of mind. Asking him to just 'find a suitable picture internet' doesn't work because then he isn't writing about his character, he's writing about Erika from Pokemon or some generic character image off someones photobucket.

Would it be that big of an issue to have an option for literate people like Heartbeat, to just write out their entire application? Possibly have a rule that's along the lines of "If you lack a reference photo, then you can type 6-8 paragraphs describing their appearance, and then add quick keynote of all their important features again at the bottom for easy viewing"? This would keep away people who just want the 'lazy' way out, as no one without a very distinct depiction of their character would be willing to describe it down to the smallest minute detail. Then the keynote at the bottom would help people who are just interacting with this character and only need a quick mental image. I think it was... Steph? In the cbox the other day that jokingly made a good point. This is a text-based site where we should all at least be able to paint a very simple picture in our minds about what we're reading. If there are people who physically can't do that, then what are they doing on this site?

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:51 pm

I like reference pictures too....Even if its a manikin with an outfit on it, makes it easier for people to visualize what we are reading. However I think it should really be optional...We have rights too ya know.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:44 pm

I agree with both sides of this argument, and would rather settle on this middle ground: Playbys should be recommended, but not necessary.

Now, I've already stated my disdain for one group of RPers getting some kind of incentive over the other groups; specifically staffs on various sites that offer incentives, but I do see why they should be paid for their efforts and time. Nevertheless, the position is generally a volunteered one, not a paid one. The members of staff should be given their choice in how they want the "main plot" to go (which I've also stated my disdain for, just not here. I also think sites do "main plots" better than games, and that a "main plot" is highly conditional.), that feeling of helping a great community rise, many lasting connections, and then maybe a non-game-breaking or even game-changing bonus for helping out, just to say "thanks for helping."

Now that that's said, I don't think that people with playbys should be given bonuses for having a playby. That's just saying, "hey, throw a picture in your profile and you get x!" It could potentially be done right, to encourage a majority finding a decent playby.

Now, also, I do think playbys are almost necessary. I'll first start by bringing up the first encounter between my second character, Masuno Kukarumo, and his best friend, Kakusan Takanomi/Shikigami. Kakusan mentioned looking Masuno in the eye, whereas in his profile, it specifically stated that his hair was long enough to completely cover and screen his eyes, while still allowing him to peek out, it would be extremely hard to look in. This can be compared to a blackout mask; it lets the wearer see out, but nobody can see the face of the wearer at all. While it could be argued that he might be looking where my eyes would be, he was able to give off a slight detail that would be nearly impossible with the factors; Masuno's hair and the "heavy mist" setting that was associated with that topic, which, I must admit, allowed for some great roleplay. Nevertheless, a playby reflecting a detail such as that would be heavily suggested to avoid said confusion.

As for my support for no mandatory playbys, they are more easily referenced by Heartbeat's and Onyx Leo's posts. They kinda made the exact points I had in mind with this. I've always been one against playbys, and it actually drove me from roleplaying on a friend's site. Nevertheless, I have made my point, and this is only my personal opinion. However, it is also true that Gen has the real final say on this topic, and the points he has made are entirely valid. However, I again do think that they should be not mandatory, but intensely recommended.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:18 am

While I think Playbys are a silly requirement and are usually used as an alternative for those unable or unwilling to write a description, I really can't bemoan those who wish to use them. I've had to in the past, though I wasn't too keen on it and eneded up having said Playbys assigned for me, I worried little of the image and moved on to the writing itself. Though I call them Playbys now because, when I first looked at the profile application, I had to ask "What the HECK are Playbys?", first thinking it was the Member who played said Character.

Anyways, that aside, I mainly want to make clear: We can use our own original images if we so choose to draw them, correct? I'd much rather take that route then search online for something.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:48 am

Dirge wrote:
Anyways, that aside, I mainly want to make clear: We can use our own original images if we so choose to draw them, correct? I'd much rather take that route then search online for something.
Yes, custom art is totally allowable.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:16 pm

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread, everyone. I've been busy with a plethora of things, including getting (And consequently getting OVER) the flu.


So, after thinking it over, talking it over, rolling it over, deciding that I'm really not a fan of bugs and rolling it back, and finally doing the right thing and smothering it in butter and eating it... I have decided that yes, I'll allow people to not use Playbys, but where we normally have a 2-3 paragraph requirement for appearance, those without a Playby will need double that. 4-6 full paragraphs of detail.

Again, apologies for my delay.

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:12 am

4-6 PARAGRAPHS! WHAT THE HECK DO YOU THINK THIS IS GEN! SOME KIND OF CREATIVE WRITING SITE!

...oh wait...

XD But yah, that seems reasonable-ish. I mean, I might of gone... oh wait, 4-6. ("I would of gone for maybe 4 paragraphs" dur dur). Anyways, yah, sounds good. I know needing a Playby has slowed down my Profile-making progress, but I'm still intent on drawing my characters to post with it.

*Might decide to add paragraphs if I get lazy though, XD

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PostSubject: Re: Should playbys be necessary?   Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:48 am

4 to 6 is stretching it a bit but meh. It will work for Kei better to be sure, as that current picture has no real spark it. And I hate to say it, but "those few people who need a spark" and "should lower their expectations" is wrong. It is hard to RP a character you don't like. And using a playby encourages people to make assumptions. Of, he is using Ichigo, he is probably hot headed and etc. etc. etc. that "spark" is important, it is the fun of Rping, and making your own character, without linking it to some other anime character or some such.

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