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Kween in Yella
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Ratchet Consort of Hastur, they/them pronouns pls!
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MurderWeasel
Feb 20 2015, 08:26 PM
It's interesting how that goes--TV1 also saw one school whittled away a lot faster than the other. I wonder what makes the game go that way; it could be random chance,but I get the feeling there might be something else at play.

I've noticed that a lot of Davison kids were carded away in one way or another this game, especially in swaps. Looking at the first rolls, we see only one Whittree kid dying(by swap, interestingly enough), and then one Davison-saving-Whittree swap, one Davison-saving-Davison swap, two Davison-saving Whittree heroes, and one Davison-saving-Davison hero.

This kind of pattern seems to hold pretty strong through the other announcements. There are exceptions, and factors such as handlers only having kids in one school or only having one kid at all, but in general Whittree gets carded for more and carded off less.

It's interesting, because some frontline analytics would suggest this should be the opposite. They have the same number of students(given the latest roster I could find without going through one by one, here) and Whittree actually has more students that simply did not make it into the game, and it looks like they also have more that were given up either through inactivity or adoption. I'm not 100% sure on this, but a cursory glance makes it looks like there are more pure Davison handlers than there are pure Whittree handlers as well, but feel free to correct me on that, I haven't done the math. Logically speaking, they should have the smaller presence.

I don't think those surface analytics do the interactive dynamic of the game justice, though. I think a big factor at play here is groups, especially ones that are interacting without being in the same thread together. Off the top of my head, I can think of two groups for Whittree, and three groups for Davison.

Whittree: Scarlet Devil Mansion(Anzu, Sarah, Caroline), Major Tom's Vagina(Regina, Vahka, Dougie, Pia.)

Davison: Davison Football Team(Matt, Davis, Isaiah, Brendan, maybe more I don't remember), Wafflehouse Crew(Matt, Isaiah, Lucy, Genevieve, maybe more?), Pre-Awesometownia(Seb, Anarchy, Shawn.)

Of these groups, SDM, Major Tom's Vagina, and Pre-Awesometownia have all interacted at the Resort. The Whittree groups have also consistently pulled other characters into the collisions between their groups in ways that affect the narratives of all involved. Awesometownia, on the other hand, remained pretty self-contained, since it formed into one solid group very early in the game, and did not disperse until two of the three original members were dead.

I'm sure there are more groups from both schools that I'm missing, but I suspect this trend would hold through. Whittree kids seem to be involved in more consistent, long term plots, both in pre-game and in the Resort, that require and engage other characters. When I think of the most impactful characters, from the perspective of being in the game at the moment, I'm thinking Jewel, SDM, the shifting team of Yagmur/Tucker/Regina/Bella, AnArchy, Corin, Marcus, all these people who lasted to stretch across multiple narratives and leave lasting marks even in places they haven't necessarily been yet.

That list is dominated by Whittree, and it's not because there aren't a lot of good Davison kids(because there are a lot of great, great Davison kids), but because a lot of the big Davison storylines are very self-focused, leaning on single characters who interact but don't partner up or stay in one mode for long. Really solid kids like Matthew, Davis, Taylor, Sebastian, Isaiah, Genni, Austin, Isabel, Shawn, Erik, Gene, and so many more whose stories and deaths, while amazing, don't have a lot of "ripple" to them, for a whole host of reasons. Their arcs lean more on themselves than on the people around them, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, many of the kids on that list are some of my favorites of the version. But I think, as a handler, that makes it easier to hero or swap them out, because it's harder to see into the future and you don't have as many plans.

I've talked before about my plans with Gabe, and how he was always meant to die, but I think this really influenced when he died to a great deal. Gabe was never, ever going to be a winner, but if I'd felt like Gabe's continued downfall had more foreseeable legs and possibilities than Vahka's story, I wouldn't have swapped him. But consider their positions at the time: Gabe's two main antagonists, Lucy and Davis, were dead. His best friend, Sebastian, was already wrapped up deep in a plot that I didn't see a place for Gabe in. He had no reason to go back to Yagmur and Lisa was already dead, ruling out the new connections he'd made in-Resort. His only other connection was Isabel, who I love to death and regret not being able to interact with more.

Contrast with Vahka, who was in an on-going partnership, as well as six close friends alive(one of whom he'd betrayed and set up as a mutual antagonist, two of which were also love interests), just for his immediate, strong connections. Of those connections, almost all of them were because of his group dynamics, of which Gabriel had none.

I don't know if this is necessarily the right answer for why one school tends to be favored over another, but it's my answer. Group interaction is very important in this medium, and I tend to think of it as one of the key ingredients of success and long-term engagement.

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