February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Recognizing those who strive to help players, fix problems, and ultimately, ensure a fun environment for all roleplayers.

February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Anomaly » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:55 pm

February 2018 Contributor of the Month: Djinn


Please join us in congratulating Djinn for being February's Contributor of the Month!

Since Djinn first joined the staff, he's been involved in a myriad of different projects, assisting and significantly contributing to the growth and development of cities like Uthaldria, Rynmere, Rhakros to name a few... he's been a powerhouse of a developer and a pool of inspiration for the staff team as a whole. He's been a driving force in finishing pending projects and getting the ball rolling past the finish line, singling out priorities and prevailing until long since pending content was finally released to the public. He has been present and forward in his dealings with the community and has been involved in some of the most exciting stories (and foreshadowings) of 2017. He is a boon to the site and the Developer team, and for that, he is being recognized as February's Contributor of the Month!

Enjoy the interview!

1. You aren't new to the play-by-post forum roleplaying scene; tell us a little bit about your history to kick this off!

Well, I've been doing play-by-post for... 11 years now? I started messing around with chat sites before that, but found Aelyria in 2007, I think. Maybe? It's been a long time, and I was never a serious fixture there. It was too high fantasy for me. Not detracting from the site, because I've seen some truly tremendous writers there. But I'm not really into elves and dwarves that much. I get my fix there from Tolkien.

2. Have you been involved as a moderator in a game like Standing Trials before, and how would you say the experience compares? Or, alternatively, have you moderated something that can't compare?

I was an AGM for Aelyria for a small amount of time, but did kinda the same thing I do here. I handled religion stuff.

3. You've been heavily involved in a number of areas since you joined the staff and dipped into the roles of Developer and Storyteller with a lot of overlap. Do you have a preference for one or the other, and if so, why's that?

I am, and always will be, a Developer. For me, creation of an interweaving and believable narrative is the true calling of a worldcrafter like myself, and while I do enjoy telling stories, it's often only to emphasize the content I've created. It's a form of creative self-aggrandizement, I realize, but I never claimed to be humble or virtuous.

4. Knowing that you've made major headway in a number of areas as a Developer, is there anything in particular that you have a fondness for when it comes to creating, developing or writing? Any pet project you'd like to highlight?

I have always loved religion systems, especially alternative religion systems. Standing Trials is a bit more standardized than I'm used to, especially because I tend to just create religions and cults for fun in my spare time, but I think what truly caught me here was when I re-developed Kasyni. Whisper's original mark was so wonderful, and I thought that I could try to spruce it up from a story standpoint, and with her guidance, I undertook my first serious crack at a mark.

I will say that blessing creation is strenuous and tough, but I think it's excessively rewarding. There is something encouraging in seeing a blessing you've created, or helped to create, gain popularity on Standing Trials, like I did with Kasyni and Tarouz.

I'm really just lucky Whisper agreed to let me look at it, because if she hadn't, I may never have gotten into blessing development.

5. What is your favourite genre? Does this translate into your storytelling?

I love this question. I'm actually a massive fan of horror and sci-fi both, and the more they mix, the better for me. I think that it's pretty obvious from some of my threads that I like horror, as I often incorporate themes of desperation and hard choice / sacrifice. But the sci-fi comes through as well, especially when it comes to pushing the boundaries of the mental and psychological.

6. When you are Storytelling here on Standing Trials, what do you consider to be especially important when you structure a storyline and present it to your players? Do you have a particular formula, a method, a plan as you run your players through a thread?

Absolutely not. I believe that player choice is the most important ingredient to a great quest thread, and while I have a loose structure and story, I adapt to what the players choose, at every single crossroads. I simply give them a setting to tell me their stories, and I apply real-world consequences to their choices. Sometimes, I may be a little unfair or rigid in my decision to punish players for their bad choices, but I bet they'll think twice next time they want to walk across a slippery ledge in an ice cave, you know?

7. It's easy to get tangled up as a staff member, caught up in a myriad of projects and lists of duties and chores that never seem to end. Barring all of it, however, if you could sit down with permission to focus on a single thing, what would you love to do as a Storyteller or Developer on Standing Trials? Is there anything you'd like to add to the game, a particular area you'd love to focus all of your time on...?

In all honesty? More races that are interesting to play. Standing Trials has so many unique races, and they don't see enough play, but I want to move into some villainous races, some isolationist races, some that are animistic and some that are futuristic. I think a few of the races present now can all be rolled into one and given subraces (Human: Biqaj, for example, because let's face it, they're pointy-eared humans.)

8. This may be a difficult question: What would you consider to be the most difficult part of being a staff member?

This isn't difficult at all. For me, it's dealing with how passionate my fellow staff members can be. I am not an emotional guy, discounting blistering rage, and so I tend to bristle at those who are exuberant in their defense of their opinions. I don't pull punches, and I have absolutely zero tact, so I often come across as brusque and insensitive, which I admittedly am. But I also like to think I'm fair, and I'm always willing to discuss nearly anything (except cannons) if you can present me with a logical approach that isn't "Because I want it this way" or "It's always been this way".

9. What would be your first and most important advice to someone who considered trying to contribute to Standing Trials as a staff member in the future?

Whew, uh. A few things, I guess, come to mind here. First, grow thick skin. There is a lot of creativity flowing behind the scenes, and it gets hot back here. But absolutely do not be abashed or afraid of asking to join. We're all volunteers, and with the exception of Pegasus (who is a wizard who can freeze time), we all have to manage our time around here. So if you only have a little, so what? We have a place for you. If you like creating 1,000 subspecies of cave fungi, Augiery is looking for you. If you prefer to run plot heavy quests, we have a spot for you, with a lot of oversight. :P

Tl;dr: Just join, and figure it out as you go.

10. What is it about Mortalborn that get your creative juices flowing enough that you have a whole workshop just for them? Not to mention the several Mortalborn you've drafted in the past!

I ALWAYS get this question. You know, it's just something about playable divinity. Sure, blessings can do it too, but that divine lineage is something I've always loved. As for why I created a workshop... Well, other people seem to be intimidated by the prospect of a Mortalborn. I know plenty who have wanted to create one, but didn't, because the prospect is daunting. I created the Mortalborn Workshop to give those who have no idea where to begin a spot to kick off, and maybe benefit from my overly active divinity brain.

I've helped... like 13 people start fleshing out ideas. I'm a hero.

11. You're a bottomless pool of good and exciting ideas. Do you have any particular inspirations in your work? Any literature, movies, music, or real world history? Any fascinations or curiousities that drive and fuel your imagination?

Lemme divide this into areas:

People - Plague. Seriously, that sounds like pandering, but it is not. Plague is a supercomputer of narratively-focused ideas, and I would kill him and absorb his soul if I could. Alas, he is safe. Harpy, as well. Whenever I am in a funk, she is there for a sounding board, and some of my best IC ideas have been carefully stolen from her, repurposed and called my own. And Muse and Khymarah, because they tell me when I'm being stupid and trying to cram too much into a small space. (Leave it alone, Zip.)

Other creative sources: Nothing specifically, other than my love of mythology and horror / sci fi. I actually don't care much for fantasy, so I tend to adapt ideas I've had for other genres to this one, and try to add something "magicky" to it.

12. Would you consider yourself an immersive writer? What sorts of personalities and archetypes do you enjoy writing more, or mesh better with as you play them?

I am, definitely. I tend to play more "normal"ish characters, even when they aren't normal. I like to explore to mortal side of mortals here, and even a Mortalborn has a "human" side. It's from that side that truly unique stories grow.

If I had to choose, though, I'd say the nerdy weakling. Everyone in fantasy is always a mega-hot warrior babe or a beefcake with a battle axe, and though Standing Trials isn't the worst perpetrator of that stereotype, it does apply at times. And writing Aeodan has opened my eyes to how awesome using your brain can be! Linguistic science, yeah!

13. Be honest: Have you ever written yourself to the point of tears? Have you been so wrapped up in a story you've been telling that it's moved you that far?

Ruinfall. The post where Aeodan kills himself in response to Edalene's death. I was in a weird Twilight Zone between extreme rage and forlorn loss. Edalene and Plague didn't consult me beforehand, and I was so distraught, I almost quit the site. For real, it was rough. Both of them thought I hated them. Maybe a little.

We're all back to being peas in pods.

14. The community has elected to recognize you for your past and present, significant contributions to the game of Standing Trials and the community as a whole, and we're very grateful for everything you have done and continue to do! Have there been others along the way who have particularly inspired and motivated you as a player and staff member? Give them a shoutout!

Hah. I've done this, but let me exhaust it a little more.

Harpy, when I first came back, I found myself listless and without purpose. I came back for somebody, and that person chose to explore other options, and when we agreed to write the Burnetts, you sparked something in me that is still burning now. Here's to a year next month, darling.

Plague, you've been an extremely large motivator for me. From telling me I'm being a massive whiny baby, to encouraging me to explore the ideas I've presented, no matter how fledgling they are, you have been a gigantic inspiration and are a large part of the reason I remained here after a few scuffles.

Muse, you've been around a short time, but I am amazed by the creativity and energy you bring. Your ideas are always thoughtful, and you always have a kind word, even when I'm being rash and unreasonable. I'm glad I bugged you into joining staff, because I think you'll leave your mark here.

Khymarah, I feel the same here as I do with Muse. You are the yin to her yang, and the two of you have inspired me quite a bit in your short tenures here on ST. You both also singlehandedly revived my passion for Rynmere, which MAY be the downfall of the entire site. I blame you.

Nymph and Rumour both, you two are excellent developers and creators, and both of you have dealt with my craziness when it comes to development. For putting up with me during my Dali-esque bouts of insanity, you guys deserve actual medals.

There are more, but I'm getting emotional.

15. The soapbox is all yours. Is there anything else you'd like to say while you have the floor?

There isn't much I haven't covered here, but let me just say this: I appreciate the recognition here, but I'd have liked to see this month go to Nymph or Muse. They have been so amazing on staff, and everything I do here is because without it, I'd probably be in jail. They are the ones who deserve the recognition. I'm just here to work. I just don't do it quietly.

Seriously, for the 340 of you who voted for me this month, you're all special snowflakes. Send me a DM on Discord, and I'll hook you up with one wish. No promises they won't turn up badly.

I love you all, and simultaneously hate you all. Because I'm edgy like that.
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Pegasus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:20 pm

Very very very well deserved! Congratulations!
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Khymarah » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:32 pm

Congrats and well deserved! Aww shucks, break out the tissues! <3
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Jedith Skylar » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:09 pm

You don't pull on Superman's cape,
You don't spit into the wind,
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
And you don't mess around with Djinn .
Congradulations Djinn

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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Kovic » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:28 pm

Well deserved, buddy. <3

... could've tried to give bigger answers. Stop developing stuff and make a 1000k word interview response, ffs XD. I swear, one day ST will flay you and you'll end up living in the lore. :x
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Lei'lira » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:31 pm

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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Muse » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:16 pm

It's about damn time.

Well deserved, Djinnface.

Tough love from me will probably be forever, so get used to it, especially when you're all grumbly and stuff. I have no mercy. I appreciate your regular harassment to join staff, for it seems to have been a good idea so far, I think ... yes? Maybe?

Most of all, though, I seriously appreciate all of your creative insight on so many things! #goteam

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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Patrick » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:41 pm

Loved reading your interview buddy~

Believe it or not you're just as deserving as the other nominees of this reward, and definitely earned through all your dedication and effort. Again congrats, I sure am proud to see you earn the title. :D
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Harpy » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:27 pm

I am so happy you got this. So deserved.

You're wonderful. Seriously. You're the reason I stay here, what we write together, and you're a friend for life.

Congratulations, babe.
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February 2018 Contributor of the Month...!

Postby Nymph » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:11 am

This is incredibly well deserved. I knew you would win and have absolutely no qualms with losing to such a fantastic developer such as yourself. Whether or not you would have liked someone else to win, tough luck. You deserve the recognition. Period. Enjoy it for the month. Your work is appreciated and always will be, even if you are a pain in the arse to deal with sometimes.
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