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A letter from the Head GM
To the Sindome Community

I have a specific way of running the game and working with the staff and players. The fact that I have taken long breaks, been lax about enforcing policy at times and also wary of creating new policies has left the job of managing the game that much more difficult.

I have returned many times from an extended break and found new admin and players alike pushing back against policy changes or rule enforcement -- something that saps my energy if I am not careful.

In the past I have responded badly to my authority being questioned -- both by staff and by players. In part due to my belief that my contributions to the game over the last 10 years speak for themselves.

During my time as an admin both before I was Head GM and after, I have kept an open door policy regarding OOC discussions of plots, rules, policies, game direction and scope. On many occasions I have engaged in debate about fundamental aspects of the game with players and admin alike. I am very approachable and open to hearing new ideas, commentary and constructive feedback.

So on the occasions that I am too tired, stressed, busy, unable or unwilling to have a proper discussion about something and instead make a decision -- which is my most important function -- I expect that decision to be supported and accepted without issue.

When the situation is right and I have time, I am always willing to revisit the decision and engage in a discussion about the how and why and as always, very little is so set in stone that it can’t be overturned.

I've thought all that and expected it all to be obvious. And it is obvious -- if you take in, sift through, and arrive at a conclusions about information in the same way that I do. Which not everyone does.

Everything is beta, even my interactions with staff and players. It’s a constant iteration toward something better. Each setback is a chance to learn and grow.

I value the input, feelings, judgements, and opinions of every single staff member past and present. The same goes for players. Everything you say matters to me. I dismiss nothing. My decisions always reflect what I feel is best for the game. Both in the here and now and long term.

The game is at a point where if I am to be an effective administrator I need a constant stream of feedback from my staff and from the players. I have have always had an open door policy regarding OOC discussion with other staff or active players.

If you don’t like something OOCly about the game I am happy to talk about it in a positive and constructive manner. I will however shut down a discussion, debate or friendly conversation that starts out or becomes negative.

I am an admin on Sindome because I enjoy it. I don’t enjoy being told that the way I do things is wrong or bad in a way that makes me feel like an awful person. Mix in some good with the bad, and make sure you have a suggestion for how the situation can be changed for the better.

Do not criticize just to criticize. If you don’t have a potential solution but want to brainstorm solutions or just make me aware of a potential problem within the game or with me, let me know that is what you are doing and that it’s meant to be constructive and not a personal attack or bashing session.

If you’re primary motivation is to rip apart the hard work of others because they did it wrong or you can’t tolerate it because you would have done it differently you will find no sympathy or patience from me.

A persistent attitude of negativity will see a person (be it player or admin) asked to leave our community. We will not let callousness and negativity in regards to the work or RP of others effect the dedication and love that the rest of our community puts forth so freely every single day.

Slither

You GM's are truly what makes Sindome the interesting and dynamic setting it is. Thank you ALL so much!!

I'd like to share my experiences in this post. Hopefully, without distracting anyone from Slither's message.

I have to say I've been very guilty in the past of having a severely negative and self-centered attitude when it came to interacting with the staff and some players and it caused a lot of damage to friendships and my capacity to be a member of the community.

I wholeheartedly regret my behavior and offer up no excuses for it either.

As a lot of you have come to learn, Sindome is more than just a random text based game. It's a deep community full of uniquely creative and intelligent people. The game is so carefully, and wonderfully put together code and theme wise that you can find it difficult to bare similar games out there.

We all get attached to one or more aspects of Sindome that make this game, and community great and often it's easy for tensions to run high. I would implore anyone to do what I couldn't in the past and take a step back when you feel defensive. Log off, cool down and think things through before projecting an unfiltered mass of negativity at the staff. Email or voip if available is likely your best bet, since you'll be able to filter out any aggressive text or think twice before speaking.

I used to think that because I felt I was right and someone was wrong that it somehow mattered in the grander scheme of things, but that's not true. The staff is there for the entire community, and sometimes a single incident involving one player's frustration can cause a ripple effect of stress and distraction, disrupting the efforts of multiple staff members as they try to tend to others in need of help, puppeting or plot oriented stuff.

I have discovered real life friendships with maybe a dozen Sindome players and staff members over the course of a few years and all of those are gone now because for whatever reason I thought myself and my issues were more important than anything else that could have been going on.

I've also been guilty of playing characters and disposing them in relatively short order after GMs had planned out plots, put in work with me over xhelp, or otherwise dedicated time they could have used on someone or something else.

I didn't respect or acknowledge the hard work that went into things that I couldn't see. I learned that you should treat every character you play, every word you utter to PCs, NPCs, OOCly to players or staff with a respect for the impact it could have on someone else's time and you won't run into my current situation.

Everyone wants to have fun, and it's best to collectively accomplish that goal if we leave our real world frustrations at the login screen.