Friday, 16 October 2009
1806 PBEM Campaign - Slow Progress
In my last report I was quite excited that after a quiet patch the campaign was going again. But it looks like I was mistaken. For weeks there has been silence, except for one mail to ask for my reaction to a development.
This is the first PBEM I have taken part in and I was not sure what to expect. Even when we were in our weekly routine I felt it was quite slow. But I suppose that is in the nature of a PBEM campaign. As far as I know there are six players, and the Game Master has to wait for all of them to react before he can go on to the next stage. So in our weekly turnaround I would only spend part of one day reacting to my update and sending in new orders. Then would follow two or three days of silence before the next update arrived.
But for the past four or five weeks the weekly routine has gone by the board. We appear to be getting close to an action and there has been very little information on what is happening. Every week or so I get a request to react to a development, then nothing for another week or so. I can't be more explicit because, apparently, the "other side" have gained much insight into the French plans because "Napoleon" was thinking aloud here on the blog! I am sure that there are good reasons for this quiet patch, and I am sure that the Game Master is doing all that he can. But it is very frustrating when I respond within an hour or two, and then nothing seems to happen for a week or ten days. Perhaps the other players are taking much longer to respond to their requests - but who can tell.
Without at least a weekly update it is quite hard to keep an interest going. I hope that I am wrong, but I do get the feeling that it is all grinding to a halt. It would be a shame if it does end like this, because when it was going well it was great fun to take part in.
I guess that's the problem with organising things on the Internet. In a club you know the people you are dealing with, and they know you. You have a shared interest in the other club activities, and you meet regularly when you can find out what is happening. On the Internet you gather a group from all over the world with no responsibilities to the project, other than a casual interest. So if they get bored, they can just disappear. And if emails are not answered it might mean that their computer is down, they are on holiday or they have just lost interest in the project.
On the other hand it would not be possible to get the campaign going in the first place without the Internet. I guess you just need to take this problem into account when planning a campaign.
Anyway, lets hope that it all gathers speed soon and we get some sort of result for all our previous efforts.