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Small Dynasty Questions

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My apologies if this is a bad thread, if so feel free to delete and/or lock it, but I was thinking that there should be a thread similar to the "small questions" thread in general discussions, but specifically pertaining to dynasties.


I'll start us off with one of my own.


If you were going to write a dynasty that isn't exactly uncommon in it's premise (say, for example, modern day WWE) what's a good way to set it apart from the others similar to it? In other words, what would draw you, as a reader, in to a specific dynasty out of the others that are similar? How would you decide which one(s) to follow?

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There is a stickied thread which I think these question could go in, http://www.greydogsoftware.com/forum/showthread.php?t=522294 but to give my opinion, I find interest in a premise which sets up some kind of challenge for you. It's not essential, but to me games where there is something which limits you, or something you have to overcome can make it more interesting. I find that with keeping interest in my TEW saves, as well as dynasties. I also personally like "realism" in dynasties, but I'd have considered AJ Styles turning up in WWE and challenging Roman Reigns within four months "unrealistic" this time last year, so maybe I need to reconsider that :)


It's difficult with the WWE, but if you can come up with something - either a scenario, or just a self-enforced thing - that means that it's not simply a case of pushing the talented guys and putting on high rated shows (even though that is the idea of TEW as a game) then it would set it apart I think. Of course if you simply write good shows, consistently over a decent amount of time, people will take notice. I think that is how the most regarded writers are set apart, consistency and proving that they can stick with an idea.


As someone who has had a bunch of short lived dynasties, I know how hard that can be, but as far as I can tell, the best received WWE dynasties are the ones which are the longest running and consistantly put out shows people enjoy. There are two great examples of this on the front page. I think what also sets them apart is the time passed in game, as the game world - including their roster - has evolved uniquely (even if two people decide to push similar workers, there will be big differences after say 6 months of shows). I know that whenever I check into a long running dynasty, one of the most interesting things is seeing how the roster / company has changed. If you get passed the first few months (which will almost always be influenced by real world events) it becomes a lot more interesting, especially when most dynasties don't make it that far.


The way I decide which dynasties I follow is to generally check in on as many as I can. Chances are, if it's new and on the front page I'll check it out. If the opening post (or title :o) doesn't completely turn me off the idea, I will follow for a while and try to keep up with the shows (even if it's just skimming through). From there, some will naturally stand out to me and I'll follow them more closely. I am also drawn to long running dynasties, but it's a double edged sword. There are lots of cases of dynasties that I get in on too late and then end up feeling I'm too far behind to keep up. That's something I hope to change with TEW2016.

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I can only comment as a reader of dynasties, as I've only written one diary myself, which isn't even a year old in terms of in-game time. But I've read plenty of diaries and skipped plenty of others. So these comments are purely based on my own opinion and tastes as a reader.


There's a ton of WWE diaries live right now. The question has to be: what will your diary have that the others won't? How will your diary differentiate itself, how will it stand out from the crowd? If someone is reading a WWE diary already which is similar to yours, they'll tend to just stick with the one they're reading. Again, people on here may disagree, it's just one man's opinion. Some of the most interesting diaries are those which pose a "what if" question, i.e. what if one thing had happened differently, how would that change the face of wrestling. What if the Montreal Screwjob had never happened? What if Hulk Hogan never existed? What if WWE never bought out WCW, leaving the struggling company to crawl on in financial danger in search of a different new owner?


Or one of the best ones I've ever read - what if the Territories teamed up to take on WWE back in the day?


The link above brings me nicely to my second point also. You only have a very limited amount of time to capture a reader's attention, before they potentially lose interest and skip on to a different thread. You need to grab their attention early on, either with a blockbuster show, an unexpected yet clever signing, or something that will feed the reader's imagination and let them know your diary will take the reader to places they wouldn't expect. The reason the diary in the link above came to life for me was the lengthy promo in the first show where Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes et al all verbally slam Vince for stealing their talent, destroying the territories, killing so many people's dreams, pissing on tradition etc. I'd never thought of that perspective before. From then on I was hooked.


Personally I couldn't give even the very edge of a crap about WWE or TNA as their real-life product bores me to tears. I turn on Raw or Smackdown every now and again, watch 5 minutes and end up watching my own fingernails grow instead. So for me, if a diary can make me care about a fed I know nothing about, can bring wrestlers I have no prior knowledge of to life, and can make me actually care again, then I know I'm looking at a winner.


Oh, and I like pretty pictures too.

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Interesting question. It does depend on the specific scenario you are considering, because a historical scenario is a bit of a different beast than a current real world diary, which is not quite the same as a CornelVerse one, etc.


A current (or close to current) WWE diary comes with a few specific dynamics. One is how common those projects are - not just on here but anywhere you find fantasy booking projects, whether game-based on just pure fantasy. That commonality makes it difficult to find unique approaches and find things that haven't already been booked. There is also the sheer size of a WWE project - the roster size, four shows per week, etc. And the familiarity that readers have with the company - while beneficial in some ways - is also a drawback, because any changes you make (who you push, fire, hire) can feel "unrealistic" to some readers or potential readers. 20Legend has an interesting point - the "hire indy talent" or "raid TNA" that fantasy bookers have done for years and typically felt unlikely is actually very likely. But doing something like pushing Dolph Ziggler as a legit main eventer or even doing something significant with Zack Ryder or Yoshi Tatsu (when he was still on the roster) can feel unlikely to some readers, even when its well written.


Similar to what 20Legend and dstephe say, my advice is to find a story you want to tell. A story that you need to tell. Because the "fun" of having a diary for the sake of having a diary dies off pretty quickly if you don't get the immediate response you hope for (which can happen for any number of reasons) and you realize what a grind it can be to book and write up four shows per week - dependent on how detailed you write, how fast you write, and how much time you can dedicate, it could take two months real time to get through a single week game-time. That grind kills many many projects before they ever really get going.


Coming up with a unique scenario is one way to do something different. There are endless ones if you are looking at historical situations - whether its a different take on the Invasion, CM Punk's shoot promo setting off a real change of approach in the WWE, etc. For a current day project, an approach I've seen done but that is always going to be unique is to start the project at some point in the near future. Start with current day data but you can either book through a period of time (six months, a year, whatever) or start the game unemployed, sim forward for a time, and then take over the WWE at the start of 2017 or wherever. It creates a very unique situation that is not going to be the same as what someone else has, even if they used the same approach.


Standing out from the pack is hard. And there is no certainty it will happen. There are some really well done projects at any given point in time - well written, well-booked, and with great graphics. Trying to be "better" is hard. So simply focusing on doing your own project as best you can seems logical (to me, at least). Graphics aren't a requirement, and some great projects have eschewed them entirely, but generally speaking, they add to a project and some readers will not bother with a real world project completely lacking in any visual content.

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