Oodles Of Supporter Post Loveliness For EVERYONE!

In the backroom of RPS Towers we have a little corner. Each workday a different member of the team potters around in the corner, crafting a lovely Supporter post for members of the RPS Supporter Program. Some of those posts eventually make it out from behind the Supporter veil and into the wider world where everyone can read them. In case they passed you by we’ve scooped the latest batch up in our big net (it’s the net we usually reserve for capturing freelancers and/or going trick or treating) and collected them here for your delight!

You can find out more about the program or sign up here BUT FIRST, here’s a taster of what lurks within the program…

MGSV: The Phantom Pain Is Making It Too Easy For Me

Graham on whether Metal Gear Solid V is too easy or he just lacks willpower:

“I know there are harder missions to come which will limit your options in certain ways, but I’ve been playing large swathes of the game without breaking a sweat so far. It’s making the experience feel emptier than I would like.”

The Last Eight Years Of Gordon Freeman’s Unpublished Diaries – RPS Exclusive

John has somehow come into possession of Gordon Freeman’s lost diaries:

“An envelope arrived in the post this morning. Thick, stuffed with books. Diaries, in fact. Someone has sent me Gordon Freeman’s diaries from the last eight years. I don’t really know what to do about this. I mean, this is obviously big news, but this is also someone’s private life. But what if it was Gordon himself who sent them? What if he wants the… the misery therein to be exposed?”

One Night With 80 Days

Adam on one of the many emotional and intelligent moments in Fogg and Passepartout’s travels:

“On top of everything else, it’s a game about storytelling. Passepartout’s narration traces the changes he goes through during the adventure and his realisation that the tale he is recording isn’t what he had had initially thought is beautifully delivered, step by step along the way, and the end of each journey is packed with meaning. There’s one particular ending that I hadn’t discovered, however, until that night last week.”

The Beginner’s Guide: A Journey Through Genres

Adam attempts to find games to bring newcomers in to each genre:

“A friend inspired this particular bundle of joy, someone who grew up with an Amiga but developed other interests and hasn’t touched a game for more than a few minutes at a time, either console or PC, for over fifteen years. A recent illness has left him unable to engage in his usual outdoor hobbies and games have filled the gap.”

Some Classic Games Kickstarter Need Not Revive

John on which games are best left as fond memories (in case they are still dreadful):

“Fire & Ice starred a blue coyote, see. Totally different to a blue hedgehog. And he threw ice and fire or something. I think its ultimate undoing was incessantly frustrating slippy-slidey-ice-world sections, which was fairly inevitable with the title I suppose. Oh, and that the art looks like the stuff this kid called Gareth used to draw in his exercise books at middle school, which I thought was the coolest until I’d realised he’d copied it out of the Usbourne Guide To Cartoons.”

This Is The Way The World Ends, Not With A Bang But A Click

Adam and the fall of the soccer superstar he nurtured:

“All of the stories were my stories, even though I’d been on the periphery of the majority. Sure, there were the Starks and Lannisters of the world – Manchester United, fallen from grace, and Chelsea, enthroned and despised, respectively – but there were so many minor players. For a period from 2022-2028, one of the greatest players in the world was a ridiculously speedy wingback by the name of Angel Blaze. I signed him to Everton in 2020 when he was 16 years old and already had the potential to be a world-class player. By 18 he was a first team player capable of scoring wicked freekicks from distance and almost impossible to pin back in his own half.”

ASA Rulings: Robot Dogs, Sugar Puffs And Time Team

Pip trawls the Advertising Standards Agency for gaming ridiculousness:

“They said that any sense of realism in the filmed footage in the opening section of the ad would have been offset by the music used − a Germanic reworking of the popular folk song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ − and by the presence of the giant robot dog.”

How To (Not) Make Money In GTA Online (Without Committing Any Crimes)

Graham tries his hardest to make money on the right side of the law. He becomes a monster:

“I’m suddenly excited. They’re running because crime is happening. Where there’s crime, there’s maybe some spilled money. I run in the direction of whatever has everyone so scared. I’m a lot like Batman, I think, if Batman were a mostly naked homeless man instead of Bruce Wayne.”

Don’t Watch Me Play

Alec’s fundamental unsuitability for Let’s Plays:

“Almost everything I do in a game is with the intention of some pay-off: be it an actual reward or some sense of closure and satisfaction. But if I play in front of someone else, the game becomes instead about the moment-to-moment actions; they see what I do, rather than what I aim for. To some extent, that is only correct: I am definitely guilty of not stopping to smell the roses.”

Football Manager 2035

Graham takes a twenty year holiday before heading to Leeds United:

“I find this stuff fascinating and have so far been inundating Adam with speculative fiction. He seemed entertained, but I also have this guilty feeling that it’s a little like telling someone about your dreams. I dreamed last night that Everton player Kevin Mirallas would be manager of Chelsea come 2035. I dreamed that my lead striker at Leeds United would be agitating for a move to “bigger club” Brentford, EPL champions of 2030 who are currently 8th in the league.”

Football Manager 2035 + 10 Days

Graham is no longer the manager of Leeds United because he is awful:

“Let me explain. When I interviewed for the position at Leeds, I was asked about my previously poor dealings with the press. I didn’t know that I’d had any poor dealings with the press. In twenty years of holiday I hadn’t really had any dealings with the press, although this might be the precise problem. It’s possible that I had failed to respond to two decades worth of press enquiries. It’s possible that my phone has been ringing and my inbox has been sending out of office responses for the majority of the 21st century.”

10 Anxieties Experienced While Playing Fallout 4

Alec on why Fallout 4 has reduced him to an anxious heap of a man:

“Why does this campaign keep going on and on and on and on, it’s been like 40 hours and I just want to know how it ends now and oh god I have to finish but now it’s 2am and my kid will scream me awake at 7am and…”

Four Examples Of Excellent Interface Design

Graham applauds a quartet of fabulous game interfaces:

“By setting the menus entirely within the world, Elite’s interface is one of the many ways in which it sells its space captain fantasy. The peak of this is the overlays that appear on nearby ships, telling you, for example, what direction they’re travelling. Those aren’t magical game overlays, but information that’s being projected onto the windows of your ship – which means if those windows get smashed during a fight, the overlays disappear, too.”

Fail Forward: How Television Fails At Discussing Games

Marsh is fed up with how TV continues to approach gaming:

“Instead of focusing on a particular game I want to talk about how the mainstream media tends to describe gaming only in terms of its danger or its use and why neither of these things amounts to a particularly enlightened discussion.”

The Pipwick Papers

Pip continues to talk about things that are not videogames:

“I spent a month focusing almost entirely on keeping up with League of Legends for their World Championship, now it’s over and I’m doing that thing where you try and remember what life was like before a big project. Mostly emails, it seems. While I regroup I’ve been reading up on taxidermy, Reddit Star Wars theorising and a $180 maths book.”

If you fancy joining the RPS Supporter Program you can find instructions right here! If you’re already a member you’ll be able to find all of the posts from the supporter archive here. Just remember you need to be logged in to see the secret ones!

16 Comments

  1. slerbal says:

    Thanks for updating the Support RPS page to say what you actually get rather than making empty and unnecessary promises. The new design is much nicer. Also this article is a good encouragement – showing all the articles that have been written even if these are the ones that have been-declassified ;).

    I’ll have a think about unlapsing :) (is that a word?)

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      how about relapsing?

    • melnificent says:

      Initially they weren’t empty promises…. they just sort of slipped into RPS Diary mode after a couple of months. Articles became a bit more sporadic from what was promised, and no info about why it had happened sort of made me drift away from the supporter program.

      Oh well, for those that subscribe expect all the promises for about 6 months and a gradual meander to less.

      *The gifts are nice though.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    There were a lot of people, including myself, who didn’t even realise their 12 month supporter status had ended. Send out reminder emails already! :)

    This also shows that the design of the support tag/page isn’t great, with the posts released for everyone jumping to the top of the page it is really easy to lose track of what’s a new or old post and it’s just a little messy.

    While talking of UX stuff, taking you to your profile page when you log in rather than back to the page you were originally on is a bit of a poo poo too.

    These are only niggles that come to light for a website I read every day of my life though, RPS is still the bestest.

    • prof_yaffle says:

      Seeing your comment made me go and check my profile. Sure enough my supporter status had also run out. I agree sending reminder emails would be a good idea, or at least make it more obvious somehow.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      The bit that still really bugs me is that RPS silently logs you out every few (days? weeks?). Since supporter posts are hidden from the regular feed, this means you’re missing articles without even realizing it. The auto-logout predates the supporter program, and appears to be deliberate, but I can’t imagine what it’s meant to accomplish.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      Yeah mailed Graham about this before. It’s a shame as I’m sure there a bunch of people still clueless about lapsing their supporter status!

      To be honest I hardly read the supporter posts when they are released because I mainly use RSS. Usually I will check back once in a while against the Supporter tag to read what I’ve missed, shame though as I miss out on commenting when people are participating :( would be great to have a supporter RSS feed… even an email reminder would do!

  3. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    Not sure where best to deposit this (and I’m starting to sound like a broken record here), but I don’t seem to be registered as a supporter (or at least I don’t seem to be seeing supporter content) even though in my profile it says my membership should run until October 2016. Who should I contact to sort this out?

  4. caff says:

    Great bunch of articles. Stuff like this is why you must all join the RPS supporter program. Now. NOW I SAID.

  5. 9of9 says:

    As a (now apparently lapsed) supporter, am I the only one to get annoyed at RPS regularly logging me out (maybe because I log in from another computer?)?

    The thing is I don’t comment all that often and therefore it’s very easy to miss there not being a teeny-weeny icon in the top of the page saying you’re logged on. I don’t know if it’s something with the site or just Chrome (for the record, I don’t have this issue with any other site whatsoever), but on RPS no matter how hard I tick the box to say I want it to remember me, it seems like my login inevitably expires after like a week.

    Though I check the site several times a day, can sometimes be a month or more before I realise that I’m not logged in and haven’t been seeing any Suporter Posts this whole time.

    It’s a cool programme, but I feel like because of the site’s architecture I don’t really get enough mileage out of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Serrit says:

      Yeah it’s a bit frustrating – I’ve “learned” to check for that icon/logged in status at the start of every session, but that’s not ideal.
      The logged in session itself seems to last 2-3 weeks when I’ve checked the “remember me” box – looking at my current “wordpress_logged_in” cookie I can see it’s still got another 5 days to go before next expiry, and it’s been a couple of weeks or so since I last had to log in (I think).

      I haven’t spotted any issues with cross-device login, and am usually logged in on my phone and my main PC browser simultaneously without either logging the other out.

      I suppose if you wanted to get down and dirty you could monkeypatch in some behaviour to check for login status and if not logged in put up some big warning text as a reminder (although wouldn’t help for mobile as I don’t think mobile browsers support extensions such as GreaseMonkey).

  6. _Nocturnal says:

    Here’s the thing. I’ve been opposed to hiding content away from people ever since the program got introduced, but I became a supporter anyway. The main reason is, of course, because I wanted to give back to you guys for all the wonderful writing over the years. The second reason is because I wanted to make a point: I love you guys and I would gladly support you, but I will not support the idea for a paywall. You’ve seen the first part in action, now it’s time for the second part.

    The funny thing is that I honestly don’t feel I need more content from RPS – even if it’s great content like the articles from the list above. I can’t even keep up with your normal articles. I don’t think I’ve read more than three or four supporter posts in all my time as a supporter and I’m pretty sure with most of them it’s been because they were posted for all to see.

    This brings me to another issue: It’s a bit of a hassle to make sure I’m logged in with all of my devices, which means that I’ve probably spent a big part of my time as a supporter logged out and thus unable to see the special content. This is silly. You must know that’s a silly situation to put your supporters in. “Okay, you’ve given us money and we’ve made this wonderful content for you, but now you must change your browsing habits to be able to see it.” Sure, it might not even register as an inconvenience for most people, but still – that’s essentially what you’re saying.

    Then there’s the matter of what happens when I stop being a supporter – I’m not really sure and again I feel we’re entering silly territory here. Do past supporters lose access to the articles published while they’ve been a supporter? It would be a bit of a bummer, because it would mean people like me could never go back and read the content they’ve payed for. And what of new supporters? Do they gain access to all supporter articles or only future ones, since they’ve payed only for the latter? It’s all so very silly – all those questions to figure out and for what? So fewer people could enjoy some of your best work.

    There are things you could do to address some of these issues, of course. Send an e-mail to supporters, showcasing each month’s articles, for example. But I’m not sure it would be enough of an improvement. I’d much rather you guys scrapped the paywall entirely. There are lots of people funded by Patreon, for example, who give away all their content for free, and I don’t see why supporting RPS couldn’t work the same way. A somewhat acceptable middle ground would be to stop hiding articles and instead produce different types of stuff for supporters, like spoken word versions of some articles, incidental video things, etc. I only have so much time in the day for reading, but I may be able to come up with some more for listening to/watching you guys.

    So, yeah. Please change things. I’d love to proudly display that supporter badge again.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I’ve got similar thoughts about the current supporter system (especially as regards supporter-only content, which I quite firmly disagree with on both ideological and practical grounds).

      But also I have stopped worrying about whether I’m missing out on anything. The pain of trying to stay logged in across five or so devices meant I missed supporter content most of the time I was in the system. And then when it lapsed I didn’t notice for several months.

      In the end I decided not to renew it, and instead just left my recurring PayPal subscription running, as it had been for years already.

  7. liquidsoap89 says:

    I’m glad I can support you, and I will continue to do so!