Frankenstories updates: Hall of Fame, FS Discord server, and more!

Today's missive is all about updates and enhancements to Frankenstories.

Here's the best stuff, in no particular order.

HALL OF FAME!

There are already SO MANY good Frankenstories that we're making an (anonymous) Hall of Fame feature.

It's not quite done yet, but here's a glimpse of the kind of games you might find represented:

Spooky games

Sinister Occurrences in the Mannequin Hospital

Funny games

Horse Flute

Emotional games

The Unknown Asset

Full disclosure: There are also puh-lenty of games that have gone off the rails, so if that's your experience, you're not alone! We're trying to figure out how to increase the chances of a game going well, so if you have any thoughts, do let us know!

THEMED IMAGES!

Weary of fuzzy memes and creepy vintage photos? Now you can choose image themes in the game settings.

In this initial release, you can choose between two themes:

General, which is the existing hodge-podge of Internet id that you have already seen:

Random as in "random"

And Sci Fi, which is a mix of contemporary and classic sci fi imagery:

Sci fi selection

We'll keep adding theme packs and refreshing and revising the existing packs as we go.

Look out for a Christmas pack next week!

(Note that each theme offers images within the Character, Relationship, and Situation composition categories.)

NAME-THE-STORY VOTING ROUNDS!

Tired of your group's brilliant story being called "XYZ's game"?

Now, at the end of the game everyone can suggest a title and vote for their favourite!

This is startlingly fun and satisfying, especially if everyone was into the game.

(Speaking of naming: there is still a request on the to-do list to be able to change player display names: we're working on this. It's more complicated than you'd think.)

CONTENT, PRIVACY, AND SAFETY POLICIES!

Want to play FS but concerned about privacy and safety? We've written a set of policies specifically to suit the Frankenstories context.

They're not obscurantist legal boilerplate (yet). Instead, they are detailed descriptions of our internal policies and practices, as well as advice on how you can use Frankenstories most safely right now in the general play mode, or in the near future in the Writelike-integrated mode (which will have enhanced controls for moderators).

They'll be published in the next update, any day now. Let us know if we missed something important to you or your school.

WE HAVE A FRANKENSTORIES DISCORD! AND YOU CAN JOIN!

If you don't know what Discord is, it's Slack for gaming and other online social communities. If you don't know what Slack is, it's MS Teams for people who love GIFs and custom emojis. If you don't know what MS Teams is, then you should consider joining Discord for the sake of conditioning your nervous system.

If you're already on Discord, please join our server

We're using Discord to schedule free-for-all games in multiple timezones, take image prompt submissions, test new features, share tips and thoughts on the game, and more.

Frankenstories Discord suggestions channel

It's a tightly-focused server, all killer no filler (🤞), and heavily modded (we even canned one of our own games because we broke our own server rules!).

So if you're at all interested in Frankenstories, Writelike, or talking to the team, please jump in!

(If for some reason the invite links don't work, you can also find the Frankenstories server on Disboard.)

YOU CAN PLAY ON MOBILE!

At launch, three weeks ago, you couldn't play FS on phone or table. Now you can!

How the machine is made

Coming up next: Writelike integration with enhanced safety and control

Our next big push will be to integrate FS with Writelike. This will mean you can do things like:

  • Create multiple games for a class (e.g. 3 x 9 player games instead of 1 x 27 player game).
  • Specify the prompt, including uploading your own images and text prompts.
  • See all responses in the voting rounds.

You could divide the class into teams, give each team identical prompts, see everything everyone writes, and then let each team share their completed story at the end so everyone can compare. (We hope this will make it easier for long-tail players to participate.)

We'll also release some new image packs, starting with a Christmas pack for the lead up to the holidays.

Teachers: Please do let us know if you are happy with how your classes are responding to Frankenstories

We can see from the data that there is a long tail distribution of votes in many games.

We're interested in the experience of players in larger groups who are in that long tail. Are they feeling left out, overwhelmed, disengaged?

We're considering what we might do to improve their experience, but direct insight would be helpful.

So if you want to pass along any observations or feedback, please get in touch via email or Discord.

Frankenstories