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Scorpiusx on Curse of Ne-Gok-Sa - June 2016

Posted June 23rd, 2016 at 03:12 PM by HS Codex
Updated June 28th, 2016 at 05:09 AM by Xotli

scorpiusx on:
The Curse of Ne-Gok-Sa
By The Grim Reaper’s Friend


The game of CoN (Curse of Ne-Gok-Sa) here on HSers has seen waning numbers of players since the discontinuation of HeroScape. For quite a while now, a small knot of old-timers and new players still interested in the game has been all that remains of the once-glorious CoN community. Until recently. The CoN forum has seen an incredible explosion of new players, eager to join in and bolster the ranks. Interested in how such a feat occurred, I tracked down the individual responsible, scorpiusx.

We sit down in a virtual server, the user control panel mysteriously festooned with expensive Ticalla leaves, and I ask my first question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I know a lot of people on HSers don’t know what CoN is. Before we get started, could you give them a brief run-down?
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiusx
The Curse of Ne-Gok-Sa is a forum game on Scapers that LordRaidor started up almost ten years ago. It is a Heroscape-flavored variant of “Werewolf” or “Mafia”: classic mystery party games. The game is played between a small group of mind-shackled “puppets” and the large group of warriors who are desperately trying to find them. The puppets and warriors take turns voting each other out until one side reigns victorious. For the warriors, it is all about figuring out who these puppets are and taking them out; for the puppets, it is all about staying hidden and deceiving the warriors long enough to win. All this, while also getting to play as any number of Heroscape figures.

So to be succinct, it is an immense amount of fun.
“Thanks, Scorp,” I say. “On to what brought this interview about: the recent increase in players.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I understand you went on something of a recruiting frenzy. Can you tell us what brought that about?
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiusx
Probably me being literally insane?

In all seriousness, CoN had been in something of an inactivity slump for some time. Having the CoN subforum hidden makes recruiting new players very difficult, as they can't just happen to glance at a CoN thread and start reading through it. So we didn't have very many new people coming in, and while there are many veteran players who love the game and have played it for years, life will often keep certain players busy enough to where they will shy away from CoN and eventually just stop thinking about it.

So I did a dual recruitment: I messaged some active people on this site who I thought might be interested in our tight sub-community to see if they would try their first game, and I contacted a lot of veteran players who hadn't played in a while (whether through private Scapers messages or my extensive Facebook contacts I have built up over the years). The response from both was tremendous: a host of new players flocked to their first game and a slew of seasoned players came back looking to recapture the special magic only CoN can provide.
Scorp pauses and asks me if the answer is too long. In all reality it probably is, but I merely shake my head. Our readers deserve in-depth replies, I reason to myself.

“So Scorp,” I say, “I know a lot of players, myself included, were caught off guard by the sudden influx of players. There were so many that we had to split them up into two games. That’s something that hasn’t happened for … how many years?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
What do you think this means for the future? Do you think we can expect to see double games again?
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiusx
For those who aren't acquainted with CoN, the maximum game size that we usually allow is 24 players in a game. Any bigger and we have to split the participants into two separate games. I believe the last time we had two games simultaneously was about three years ago. So it's been quite a while, and I am ecstatic with the turnout we just had for this round of games.

As for the future, I can only hope the interest keeps up to this degree. While we may not have enough participants for two games this particular round, we still have a healthy number of signees already. What is most important, though, is that people have had a lot of fun these past couple of rounds and the interest and love of CoN has been rejuvenated, and that feeling is sure to keep some people coming back for a few more games. And while some may have to take a few games off due to life circumstance, the CoN community is like a closely-knit group of old friends, and that inevitably brings people back.
“That sounds promising. I’d like to take this influx of players as a sign that HeroScape is still very much alive, despite what WotC might say. They can kill the game, but never the community!”

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Is there any message you’d like to give to those who haven’t tried CoN yet?
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiusx
There's a reason CoN is still going on ten years after its inception. I haven't played a game of Heroscape in years, but CoN and the community that plays it has kept me coming back for the past decade. It's the reason I'm still an active member here, and the reason I became a site supporter. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

It's a lot of fun, and I recommend everybody give themselves access (just add yourself to the group in your User CP if you haven't done it already), and skim through some threads. It's a wonderful part of this community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I’d like to keep discussing CoN with you, but I have a prior commitment to keep this article short, and I’d like to interview one other person before I leave.
All Your Pie, one of the players Scorp recruited, soon joins us. I shift in my nonexistent chair to face him, perusing my mental list of questions. “So,” I begin, keyboard held at the ready, “I understand Scorp got you into a game after two years of not playing.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
How’s the game differed since you left? Do you think it’s gotten better?
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Your Pie
It's still the same old puppets v. warriors fun. It does seem that the “correct” plays for various roles within the game have crystallized over time, which can lead to boring or repetitive rounds. However, this feels more like a repeating pattern than a general trend—a mechanical change or unorthodox puppet strategy could shake this up in an instant. I definitely get the impression that the game has evolved in the time I've been gone, leaving plenty of situations that are untested grounds which make for exciting games. The addition of new roles or the alteration of old ones is a major factor here, but so is the player base. A lot of first-time players participated last round, so it will be interesting to see their unique take on the game's strategy.

So, yes, I do feel that the game has gotten better in my absence (but hopefully not because of it, heh).
I nod as I jot down copy and paste his reply. I ponder for a moment on what to ask next, until I am struck by a thought. “I think a lot of outsiders that don’t have access to the private forum might be confused about the RP element of things.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Can you explain to them how the RP ties in with the game, and possibly what makes it fun?
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Your Pie
From a pure mechanics standpoint, RP is simply a way for players to vary their games and flex their creative muscles. It can be as simple as writing in a different (preferably readable!) color or writing with an accent. It has no bearing on the mechanics of the game, and can be as involved as you want it to be. If you're intimidated by the RP aspect of the game, it's okay to start simple. Nobody will mind if you're a little light on it, especially if you're a new player still figuring out the basics of gameplay. When you want to start gunning for the post-game Best Roleplay votes, or even when you're just starting out, this thread by Dysole has some excellent tips (though you'll have to give yourself access to the CoN forum to read it).

As for why it's fun, well, that's a little hard to describe. If you enjoy writing, then CoN lets you do that in interesting and varied environments along with other similarly passionate people. If you don't, I tend to think it still helps you stay a step removed from the game, so that things don't get too personal. Two characters can vehemently disagree, but the players can remain perfectly cordial with each other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
As a player recently returned to the game, do you have any message for those who haven’t discovered CoN yet?
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Your Pie
CoN is a lot less dense and arcane than it initially comes off. I was a little nervous coming into it my first round, but the community is very accepting of new players. Nobody will criticize you for asking questions about the rules, or for making mistakes—some of the best players still do both of these things. The only thing you should worry about is if you have enough time to play throughout a full round, but the time commitment isn't overly large, and worst-case systems are in place to cover for inactive players. So, if you've heard about CoN and are intrigued, give it a shot! We're more than happy to have you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Thanks, All Your Pie. Unfortunately, that’s all the interview we have time for.
To the readers of the Codex, let me know if you’d like to hear more about CoN. I’m sure Scorp and other CoN players would love to give you (and the rest of us) more information on anything you’d be interested in. Don’t hesitate to let us at the Codex know.
Total Comments 4

Comments

Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
I regret to announce that ES's Fan Art spotlight got delayed until next month. Fortunately, I had this backup article handy. Unfortunately, Xotli has disappeared, leaving us unable to post with the correct formatting. Fortunately, I was able to jury-rig some formatting in place. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the header. Fortunately, once Xotli returns we will have measures in place to make sure this doesn't happen again. Unfortunately, that means nothing for the present. Fortunately, you can enjoy the article anyway.

~TGRF.
Posted June 23rd, 2016 at 03:15 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
So there's some weird formatting something going on, italicizing the quotes. There is no italics formatting anywhere, so I'm not sure what is causing this or how to fix it. Xotli should be able to set things right once he gets back.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank @scorpiusx and @All Your Pie for being willing guinea pigs interviewees for this article. Many thanks!

~TGRF.
Posted June 23rd, 2016 at 03:25 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
Tornado's Avatar
Great article.
Thanks to scorp for convincing me to give CoN a try.

Come on in. The water is fine.
Posted June 23rd, 2016 at 07:51 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
Old
Arch-vile's Avatar
Great article! I played a bit of CoN a while ago, then only recently got re-involved. It's a lot of fun!
Posted June 23rd, 2016 at 08:54 PM by Arch-vile Arch-vile is offline
 
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