Hey everyone. Time to talk about BGS.
First of all, I want to say that I love you all. You put in some amazing stuff, and we love responding to it. But… BGS.
We get a lot of it. This is partly our fault - we run a BGS-heavy game. But we have 424 entries this time, and that’s a lot by any measure. So, I’d like to ask a few things to help make this easier for us.
- Get your BGS in on time. We try to give you ample time to do this, please make an effort to get it in on time. I had three different people submit entries late because of extenuating circumstances, and while I’m very sympathetic and want to support people through difficult times, I’d really appreciate it if everyone treated the deadline as exactly that. Going forward, I’m going to need to use Witchwood’s system for this: if you wish to submit your BGS after the deadline, you get one “oopsie.” Once you have used that up, there will be a 5 CP “late fee” for each day you submit late.
- If you have specialist skills that modify how your other skills work, or RA from somebody, please mention it in your BGS. This makes our lives a lot easier.
- Apothecaries: please separate your BGS into separate entries for separate skills. Distillation and dissection feed into your chemistry skills, yes, but putting them in a separate entry makes them much easier for us to process.
- Focus Chaining/Coordination is for coordinating tasks not people. That means that, if you have the exact same people making two engineering items, or slandering two different politicians with PI, or fundraising for two different tasks, I need two different focuses/coordinates. Think about the number of end goals you are trying to accomplish. That’s how many you need. When in doubt, spend more than you need and ensure it works.
- The only authorized pool, currently, is OChRE. If you use components from the OChRE pool, you can say, “taken from OChRE” in your bgs. The people who do the turn-in for OChRE tell us which check-out pile is for that, and we know what to do. However, please do not treat other PCs as though they are pools. An example of this might be, “components from the Alize” or “components from the ORTC.” That’s a lot of people. And a lot of check-out. So now we’re making guesses. If player X turned in the components you need, I really need you to reference player X and not their larger group, because otherwise, I just start to make guesses, and it doesn’t turn out well for anyone.
- Engineers. Ok, engineers. I actually want to take this at camera 2.
Hey engineers. Thanks for joining me. We need to have some real talk about Slow Engineering and Fast Engineering.
- Slow Engineering works like this. People make parts for use in the following bgs cycle, or they make parts for sale. Newer engineers make money to fund their schematics by making and selling parts to the more advanced engineers who need more parts than they can make, and the more advanced engineers buy the parts they need at game for the things they plan on making. This is a system where you’re kind of overlapping - making final goods now, but also making the parts for the final goods you plan on making in the next bgs cycle. This system is slower, but predictable, and reliable. You know that what you turn in makes the thing you want to make.
- Fast Engineering works like this. You do everything at once. You bring together a bunch of engineers, a bunch of scholars, you get a couple coordinates, and you make everything all at once. You send out a list of things for everyone to make, and you hope they submit the bgs you’ve asked them to. Fast Engineering is dangerous. It’s very prone to mistakes. There’s a lot of moving parts, and a lot of chances for things to go wrong. Fast Engineering, due to its very nature, will occasionally produce bgs that… don’t work, because an important step was missed. There’s just too much going on for this to be otherwise.
- In the past, we’ve tried to be accommodating about this. But that was always unsustainable. So, congratulations. You enjoyed the easier Engineering time. From now on, if you (or someone in the chain) doesn’t make the part you need, or doesn’t have the part you need, or something is otherwise missing from the overall mixture… you will get nothing. We will give you the parts you submitted or made back, but any time you spent on processes is lost (we’ll give you the components back as if they weren’t used). The time you spent on the finished product is also lost.
- If you are doing Fast Engineering, this means that a simple mistake can ruin an entire project. Such is the risk of Fast Engineering. If, say, the thing you are trying to make is literally to replace a lost organ, I’d really really recommend double and triple and quadruple checking that everyone you have asked to make things, makes that thing. Check your math again. Then check it again.
- This new-strictness may mean that you do more of your engineering as Slow Engineering. And that’s fine - Slow Engineering is the system as intended. Fast Engineering has always been about pushing the system to the limit by taking advantage of cross synergies. But you shouldn’t do that every time. That’s for emergencies. Or if you really enjoy the adrenaline rush of putting all your chips on red.
- The one thing we will not be dicks about is if you forget to turn something in. Note in your bgs that you owe us something, and you can turn it in at check-in. We understand that Sunday can happen quickly, and we don’t need you to plan out your entire bgs that morning. However… please don’t make us figure out what you need to turn in. If you are missing a component, and you do not explicitly call out that you owe us at check-in, you won’t make the part, and perhaps the overall project will fail.
- Help us to help you. It is far easier for you to check your own work than it is for us to puzzle out what’s going on, when we weren’t even there for the ideas in the first place. And we’ve been overdue on being strict, and we’re just going to have to be to sustain this into the future. If you are uncertain or feel uncomfortable with that, Slow Engineering is the way to go.
I love you all. Keep doing the amazing stuff you’re doing. But this had to be said, because this cycle has been particularly difficult for us to parse.
Game Director, Port Katherine