normal Improvements

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07 Oct 2017 13:34 #1 by Gallion
Gallion created the topic: Improvements
Improvements
In almost twenty years of running Knight Realms at various times, areas for much needed improvement have been brought up to me. In this particular round of improvements I would like to use this strait-talk board to provide you with a sincere and productive account of what we plan to do to bring improvement to our organization.

I would like to propose a couple of things for everyone to consider through this process. First, just because my addressing of any one particular issue may not seem to cover all related aspects does not mean that I do not intend to get there. Consider giving me time to tackle each aspect of each issue separately, before you make wider assumptions on whether or not I plan to.

Secondly even though it is your right to do so, please consider not contributing to social media negativity. I understand a desire to vent or start a well-intended discussion, but more often then not it gets very hurtful very fast. People who are honestly trying very hard to help, have reasonable emotions and feelings as well.

I always have been and always will be committed to a process of constant and never ending improvement. I do not do petitions, or angry mobs. I do honest and sincere face-to-face talks with individuals. My door is ALWAYS open, especially at live events. If you want to talk, than I want to talk to you; period.

Over the course of the coming days, weeks and months I will add posts below to describe areas in which I would like to make an improvement in the organization, what our plan is, and by what are we going to attempt to measure our success or failure.

My general aim will be to set up and work on about one improvement a week. I may get more up or less depending on how my work schedule pans out, but my aim is for this thread to become a steady stream of announcements about specific improvements. Please check back here regularly.



- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
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07 Oct 2017 13:35 #2 by Gallion
Gallion replied the topic: Improvements
Area for improvement: Some players have leveled up faster than others at a degree that is described as some to be alarming and suspect of favoritism. People also sometimes feel like some get more than others for comparable work and effort. Very specifically this issue is being listed as there being an inconsistent or unfair difference in the number of build and or SP that someone receives for their goods or services.

Director’s Assessment: The system does in fact lend the ability for a larger gap in advancement speed between players. The more you do and the more you pay, the more you get. I am not looking to fundamentally change that. What I do recognize as a needed improvement is to fix a severe breakdown in consistency. It is my personal belief that this inconsistency has a little bit less to do with favoritism and little bit more to do with organization failures. We currently are way too fast and loose with how we dole out compensation and we do so with very little consistency.

Intended Improvement: Create a clear formula and “Compensation Sheet” that everyone uses moving forward. Make sure this single form covers all situations and make sure that everyone who earns over a trivial amount fills out the sheet and has it processed and filed into records before receiving the compensation. There will be a few more steps in between you and your compensation, but it will result in fairness, accountability and transparency. If ever you think that someone was unfairly compensated in comparison to you we can pull out the records in question and compare. Strictness will be important in that there should be no issues if absolutely everyone is following the same guidelines and rewarded on the same scale.

Measurements for Success: If after six months and then a year we can say with confidence that all large build or service awards have gone through this system and can be referenced as an on file record, then I will consider that a measurement of success and we will need to make sure that we keep with this system. If something slips through the cracks and is found to have not use that system, then I will consider that a measure of failure and will know that we have not done enough and will need to take more steps.

Final Thoughts: I will have this form ready before the October 2017 Event. It will be posted with clear instructions on how to use it. It should be downloadable, but will also be available in a stack at logistics. There will be a binder in which these forms are stored for record keeping. As a result of this much needed consistency players will need to realize that compensation given over the last many years has been inconsistently inflated and the amount now strictly given will be far closer to what was always the intended amount. Compensation will once again be service point heavy and not build heavy and we will constantly keep an eye on how well you can get value out of your service points to make sure that service points are always worth earning.



- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
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13 Oct 2017 09:03 #3 by Gallion
Gallion replied the topic: Improvements
Area for improvement: I have heard that some players feel like there is not enough diversity in various areas of staff and as a result feel like they could use more of a voice.

Director’s Assessment: It is true that many of the staff are close friends and or in the same immediate social circles. I am not looking to drop some of my current staff and honestly I am not going to be able to make sweeping changes here, but I know that we need to take steps to improve in this area. There are also other ways that we can help the players feel like their voices are being heard. I do feel like we are listening to a lot of rules feedback, but I also know that we are not responding individually to the rules feedback due to the debilitating amount of time that would take and so its very hard for some to feel that it is being considered.

Intended Improvement: For the officers, over the next three to six months I will add at least one more officer who is not connected directly to our closest social circles. In an effort to improve communication between players and staff I will seek to create a system of representatives for the players. When we choose these people they will be from various areas of the game and players will be able to bring their concerns to them and the staff will work very closely with them to make sure that those concerns are being addressed. For the rules, although we are two thirds complete, we will begin bringing more players in at separate times to help us brainstorm in person and collaborate on specific areas of the rules.

Measurements for Success: This will need to be a multi tiered endeavor and it will take some time. After six months of having the player reps in place I will start to reach out to those who had already recently brought this issue up to me and ask them if they still feel like the problem persists. If the majority of those people feel that the situation has improved than I will consider that a measurement of success while if the majority thinks otherwise I will know that we will have to do more. I will also seek to ask the player reps themselves if they feel effective and if they feel like their involvement is making a difference and their answers will be factored into figuring out how things are working.

Final Thoughts: When the staff changes are announced you are not likely to end up seeing a more diverse pool of officers, however three to six months afterwards I can reasonably add one or two other officers whom might better fit that mold of diversity. The player representatives will be appointed and implemented far sooner, and will probably be able to get started around the time of the staff change announcement. I suspect that the player representatives will be the most impactful part of this improvement. For the rules we will immediately start seeking more diverse face-to-face feedback, but please do not volunteer for this, as we would be flooded by an unmanageable amount of volunteers. Over the next many events, Tori and myself together will pull people aside at the live games and ask to sit down with them to look over and discuss things and get them involved in a system of face-to-face input and feedback which might spill over to in between the events.



- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms

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08 Nov 2017 08:45 - 08 Nov 2017 08:48 #4 by Gallion
Gallion replied the topic: Improvements
Area for improvement: Some players have expressed a number of concerns related to how plots are run. Some have asked for us to change up the formula of how main mod works or the plot progresses through the weekend. Some feel like we need to reach out more to the player base for NPC roles and main mod boss roles. Some feel like we use rituals too much as a crutch to solving the plots.

Director’s Assessment: I generally agree with these concerns. It has always been hard in my opinion to switch up weekend plot flow because there are only so many ingredients to cook with when it comes to working with the four periods. Also sometimes when we change things up players have in the past complained about the fact that we did so. I don’t believe that storytellers pick their friends and those close to them to play NPC roles out of favoritism as much as I believe they are done out of convenience. I do agree that ritual use is a little heavy when it comes to resolving plots.

Intended Improvement: About a month ago we had a face-to-face Story Teller meeting where I brought up many of these issues for discussion. In the last event the ST tried a formula switching up how main mod worked, and this event coming up a similar thing is being continued. We discussed that at least for a while if we change the formula we should announce it ahead of time so as to not put off the people expecting the old one. We will continue to try to interject different variations into how the plot progresses but some events we may go traditional. As the team we welcome assistance in coming up with new ideas and formulas to work with and if you as players take the time to write down “plot recipes” to share with us we will consider using them. When it comes to NPC roles, we are going to try to do more open casting calls for NPCs. Sometimes it is just too convenient for us to have someone we know well filling a role, but we will be making an effort to reach out more often and try new people for these roles. I have asked the STs to try their best to fill at least 50% of their roles by holding an open casting call or otherwise searching outside the normal pool that is picked from. We also discussed reducing the need for rituals to be done to solve plots, this one is more of a staple fantasy story writing habit and so it might take some more concentration to cut down on this but the team is aware and will be trying.

Measurements for Success: I feel like this is best to evaluate after a full year of working on it. Come the next year we should be able to look back the recent plots and identify an improvement. For this it would be hard to measure success of how you feel on it without your feedback and so we have also created a “Main Weekend Plot Feedback Form” Monitoring your responses on this form will help us determine if you are telling us those problems still exist or if you feel like we are addressing them.

Final Thoughts: Please use the new Main Plot Feedback form. The Story Tellers can view the results and know exactly what you liked and what you did not like so that they can adjust what they do to help you have more fun. I have heard people express that they are concerned at not being able to submit anonymous feedback. You do not need to fear repercussions for negative feedback. The ST team really does wants to know what you don’t like, because its how they do a better job the next time. If you are kind and non inflammatory with your negative feedback no one can look upon it poorly. When writing negative feedback just remind yourself that the STs are people too who just want to help you have fun, then be sincere, and if possible offer solutions. It is also important to take a little time to tell us what you did enjoy, so that we can feel good about those aspects and remember to repeat our good habits. This feedback form will be a direct voice between the players and the people writing and running the weekend plots, and if this tool is used properly it can only help us grow stronger and provide better experiences for everyone!



- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2017 08:48 by Gallion.
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