State of the Game Summer 2020

Howdy Drifters,

We hope that this announcement finds all of you staying safe and healthy during this trying time. As you might imagine, beyond our recent decision to cancel for the Summer, Staff has not been able to dedicate much time to game-work. We appreciate all of your public and private feedback regarding this decision. We all miss the game and our community terribly, but this was a necessary decision to make as the risks still far outstrip the benefits.

That being said, since we did get together to meet we thought we’d pull back the curtain a bit so all of you know where we stand with things going forward. First, we want to assure you that it is our intention to return to game as soon as is practical. We have made a tentative timeline behind the scenes for reviewing available information and will make an announcement some time in October regarding our November game’s status. Science and the state of the world seem to be totally new every week and while we remain hopeful that November is possible, we will assess based on what the actual situation is come October.

We are working on ways to make the game even better than before and we want to share some of those background projects.Our vision for AtE involved taking a lot of the feel of a Western game into a more modern setting, where we could explore more unique concepts and conflicts. The underpinnings of the Western setting is something that is not always actively examined, and still has inspiration in a time and place that had deep-rooted racism, sexism, homophobia, and other kinds of bigotry.  Over the course of these last years, we’ve made missteps into those territories due to lack of due diligence. Rather than waiting to discover our next mistake, we are actively pursuing sensitivity reading from those outside of staff. We hope to provide an even better and more welcoming experience to everyone as a result. We are very excited to announce that once they are reviewed, we will be releasing Origin documents  for Burners and Tunnelers (Dahlonega) as freely available PC Origins.

You can also expect some tech updates to the forms as well as refinement of our processes. We’ve received some feedback regarding Staff communication and Character Retirement and we want to let you all know that we are listening. As our game has grown from a couple dozen friends to a larger community, we’ve experienced growing pains of communication and this is one of those signs. We’re currently working on an official Retirement checklist. Once it is done, it will become the template for a document shared between the player and staff to help plan and execute a fulfilling end for every character.

While we cannot say when the next game will be 100% we can say one thing we have planned – more downtimes. When we have determined that game will go forward, we will be announcing dates for another downtime cycle available to all players who have played at least one game.  We hope this will help everyone refresh on where they were since the last game. Please note that if you have a completed project or module that got bumped due to time constraints that you do NOT need to put more downtimes into those projects, and we will be working on getting those on screen as soon as we all can see each other.

What if you want more ATE time now? We’ve had the question a few times and we want to say affirmatively that if you want to have in-character conversations with other PCs, please feel free. Also, we are going to be announcing a regular Discord  voice meetup for OOP socialization. Staff may not always be there, but this will be a regular time for any who are interested to hop on voice chat and get some social time. We imagine this may break into smaller rooms, and that’s great. There will be no in-game reward for this or special exclusive information for any IP communication, this is just for people who want a social outlet and to connect with the rest of the ATE community.

Some of you have asked how you can help out, and we’re glad you asked! As our staff has shrunk and our player base has grown, we find ourselves in need of more bodies in order to make things work. We are currently in talks with some players to act as Marshals  while on multiple monster shifts.. In some cases, these players will be Marshaling until their character retires and may then choose to join Staff. In other cases,  they may wish to continue this status indefinitely. We are also making a staff application form available for anyone interested in this Marshal position or who would like to join Staff directly. That form will be available shortly.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We miss you all! Stay safe, and we’ll see you at our next game.

-The Staff