The HTG TV landscape has received a total revamp… okay, maybe I am a bit over with my wording but there are some big changes announced in CzarTim’s podcast and also the written version available right here. With every change, there will be pros and cons but mainly it’s just me trying to plug some views on the changes, so here we go:
- In my opinion, the only thing they provide is a bit of realism to the TV world. However, I do feel that it is not needed not because I feel they are useless but with so much new contents out at a time, it’s very rare for one to check out on the re-run and syndication. Even some new shows have problem getting readers, definitely much harder for the re-run/syndication to get reader.
- Less things to decide and do for network heads
- Simplified TV structure, cleaner TV show list page
- Not much aside from a little decrease of realism. I would go for “fun > realism” because it’s a simulation game and it’s ultimately a game, fun is the main priority after all. I could do without that bit of realism.
- Less income for network head and producers.
3 sessions per year
- For the dedicated writers that just love to write for TV, there’s more episodes per year you can do, up from 12 max episodes per year to 18 max episodes per year.
- For readers that love TV, more to read. The more the merrier, no doubt in this case. If you don’t read TV, it ain’t going to affect you in any way so it’s no con either.
- Increased profit for network head and writers as there’s more show time per year to put content in.
- Eh… none that I can think of.
4 slots per network, not time-based but show-based
- Freedom on page number. Screw 30 minute/60 minute thing, now the producers are free to write how short/how long they want to, it provides good freedom on show length.
- Fairer (arguably). Some shows might find it easier to survive because a good show can only occupy at most one slot, they can’t juggernaut and bully two slots at once. It will also provide an accurate reading to the show’s rating as sometime I find a two-slot show can have some weird ratings over the session.
- Guaranteed 12 shows per week. Network heads can’t make some shows 60 minutes just to fill slots so they really need to get shows now, it’s the only way to prevent an empty slot. Good for audience as they will be getting a solid amount of content per TV week. Might be a little trouble to the network head but the pro outweighs the con, hence I am putting it here.
- Personal pro, now I can do IC reviews without trying to make sure the show length make sense, which is tough when a show is 25 pages running on an hour.
- While this change’s initial intention is to make sure each show can shine, I am not sure if it can work out that way. Let’s look at cinema, there are 1 or 2 new movies out per week on average, that’s a big spotlight for both of them on that week but do they all get the attention? I highly doubt so. Some films are largely “ignored” anyway and I don’t think this is one thing that could be solved by any adjustment on the mechanism side. My advice to the TV producer (apply to movie producer too, I think) is to push your product. Nothing shows you care about your show more than constant advertisements or just anything that display your dedication and passion. Even huge shows like It’s Always Me (Marlowe) and TCW (Lucian) put ads up while they probably need it less than others(especially new shows). My point is, show amount really isn’t the sole problem some shows are not popular among readers, the producers have to do their job too. The admin team can only do so much to level the playground.
- Cut-throat business. With less slots per sessions, it’s a much tougher games out there for the producers the shows have to fight harder between themselves to stay out of the bottom zone of each session. The “survivor” zone is arguably lower in range so more danger to to the mid-low shows.
- Lesser free spots. You can argue that there’s 3 sessions per year now so there could be more new shows but unless some of the top shows are resting in one session, it’s not easy to secure a free slot. Even lesser mercy on failing shows and so forth will really make HTG TV 2013 a much crueler battleground and I like that…but it’s still a con, generally speaking.
1 week of mid-season break
- Shorter TV session, perhaps more attention on the movie industry. To use CzarTim’s word, he doesn’t want the TV to drag on for so long so 1 week of mid-season break and the TV runs on a weekly basis. No more 2 real life weeks per TV week, it’s 1-to-1 now.
- Realism. 1:1 real life week to TV week ratio, that’s definitely more realistic.
- For the “right now” writer, less time to work on episodes. This can be stressful on the writers since they only have 7 days to plan/write/adjust/edit their next episode. “I-write-early” writer will have not much of a problem aside from less time to do some emergency edit and probably less time to advertise the next episode.
- For the network heads, time issue too, they have less time to plan things, get script and so on. More chance of mistakes probably.
- Personal con, I don’t think this is a good idea(for now) as it gives less time for people to read shows. With the 3×4 setting, one of the main points is to give every show a chance to shine but the readers have less time than the 2×6 setup that we have now. To plug in some simple maths, 3×4 = 12 shows per week, 3×6 = 18 shows per 2 weeks = 9 shows per week. That’s an extra 3 shows per week to read if one is going to read all. Well, I don’t think “read all” is on a lot of player’s bucket list, it’s still arguably less time to read shows based on the math.
Revamped Show TS Bonus
- Every show gets bigger cast eventually, especially good for the lower-rated shows that just can’t break into the top half of the sessions.
- Higher TS limit gives more freedom in terms of casting choice. There are also chances that more talents will get work because of that, which is good as I love to see more talents out there.
- More flexibility of TS gain. Last time, it’s a fixed 5, 3 and 2; now, it’s various numbers made up by numbers divisible by 0.15.
- Timeslot comparison might seem fairer to the shows but I find the old method of comparing every TV shows out there to be more realistic as in it reflects real life more so. However, I think from a game viewpoint, timeslot battle does seem fairer to the players, so I guess it has a fair share of pro and con either way. Another argument is that TS reward per week rather than once per season judging by the average is that the average rating of a show in that entire session is a much more accurate indication than a per-week measurement which can be done by “one hit wonder” on occassion. However, it is still a fair 50:50 in terms of pro and con. I can see both methods working well in a long run.
- Too linear, everyone can get it thus making TS bonus look less impressive. Last time, a high TS number indicates the show’s prestige and is also a “trophy” for popularity while now a so-so show can reach a high level of prestige as long as they stay on air for a long time.
- Shows might eventually get so huge of a TS limit that they are constantly out-TSing movie, which I find a tad unrealistic since movie is supposed to be the big deal in terms of star power.
- Less maximum gain per season which I liked because of the massive TS reason but generally speaking, I guess it’s a con for the bigger shows.
- Personal con, less challenging in terms of cast selection. To me, it’s less fun; to some others, maybe it’s a good news since they can use who they really want.
Capping TS Effect on Rating
- New shows has a slightly fairer playground, which is good because there’s always a bunch of new shows coming out and every new producer has to start somewhere.
- Not much, you can argue that the long-term shows deserve that advantage but when it is too much, they are just killing the newer shows by game mechanism, which is bad. Also, the long-term shows can probably do well even without their over 9000 TS anyway.
Revamped Sully structure
- Serious business, more credential to the winner. The current structure is that we will have 2 noms per session and 1 Sully per year. Only the elites are getting in and there’s no doubt that the winner is arguably the top of the tops.
- Less work to find a Sully host and do award update.
- Less Sully? Tougher to get nom might be the only problem I can see but at least when you win one(or get a nom), you will be extra happy.
Simple math says 18 pros and 12 cons which is very good but it’s all just prediction and estimation. Only time will tell if this revamp really helps. It is likely to provide new challenges and obstacles for the network heads and writers alike, which is a kind of fun. Personally, I am already anticipating the next TV session but for now, the cinema will do me well. So, Happy New Year, see you next time and be happy… why am I talking like I am ending a TV show? Meh… whatever.