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Working together vs Own Projects
This is just something I noticed a lot during shifts and also in suggestions on the forums and wish to discuss.
Since we keep designing the game to have people work together but put in QoL stuff that makes the working together obsolete, cause the person who you need might be missing.. but at the same time you can do it yourself but it's frowned upon.

THUS...I come down to the cause root of the problem.

Aka working together on things that needs to be done or other people's collective projects.. vs own projects.
And nothing reflects this more then the Antagonist that was hated the most.. CONSPIRATORS!

An antagonist group who has a secret radio channel to communicate with eachother and meet to setup plans to do things.
When you work together.. you get amazing scenerios from silly birthday parties with murder, to kidnapping, to turning the whole station into a DnD station where everything is decided by rolling a D20.

But most of the times this antagonist group was hated cause...
"I wanna do X"
"I wanna do Y"
"We are doing the suggested objective no?"
"--Logs off--"

And this is where we can start our discussion, cause... there are a lot of players who simply "refuse" to listen to the radio or calls or take forever to do a simple task.
This is especially true with Engineers (and mostly with mechanics in the past, couldn't get em to fix an APC)
Who end up building stuff somewhere else or experimenting with wiring, insted of fufilling your request to fix the dang computer that blown up in chemistry.

It has slowly but surely made certain people go: "Well I should do it myself from now on"
This goes for doctoring too, people tend to try and self treat and making medbay miserable, but when it gets could take a while for an engineer to show up and fix it.

So this sounds like problems right? How do we fix it? Well.. that's the problem.
If we fix it...we will disallow people to do their own things in the shift.

Example being: "A scientist wants to try and make some secret chems for fun, but can't cause they are stuck making other chems for medbay."
It forces the person who wants to solo.. to keep working for others cause they are the only one to do this.. and thus for 1 hour or 1 and a half hour.. the player didn't get to play what they wanted to do.

The reverse however is just as annoying, but insted of the engineer example where you COULD do it yourself.. I am going with another.
"The chef wants to cook specific food but needs certain ingridents and meat from Botany and the Ranch, too bad the ranchers and botanists will not provide him as they are doing their own things. And cargo cannot provide these "Specific" ingridents."
Guess chef is SoL...
But if we give chef botany access.. we know the chef will just become a glorified botanist and that's not right either...

And this is where the problem truely lies.. the balance between working together vs being able to do your own stuff.

I wish to discuss this to everyone, since i value both.
Working together makes scenerio's bigger and more fun... it allows a group to achieve amazing things.
But.. being able to do it by yourself means not waiting for everyone.. it means also antagonists can do great setups without tipping off security.

Where do you lay on this...? Do you lean more on working together or working alone? And why?

As for me... I lean a bit more on working together as it just makes the game feel more alive.
SS13 is a social game. If people aren't willing to do a little give-and-take with interacting with others and doing their jobs...well, why are they playing in the first place?

If you just wanted to grow crops as a botanist and wanted to see a steady progression from your efforts, you could just play Stardew Valley. If you wanted to make a colony in space with an atmospherics system and the potential to make wacky gizmos, you could just play Oxygen Not Included. If you wanted to experience that sense of discovery found from hunting for secret chems or A-Zone locations, play a good open-world game without a guide or wiki. If you want to kill people in space...well, you've got a lot of options for doing that, and a bunch of them have more lively multiplayer scenes than Goonstation does. And let's not kid ourselves; even given the immense amount of love and effort put into polishing this game, it is ANCIENT, and hardly one of the highest-performance or smoothest experiences you could have. There are thousands of games that outclass Goon's branch of SS13 on individual aspects of game design and performance, and give better singleplayer experiences compared to each of Goon's departments.

SS13 is interesting and special because of its interlinked systems and interlinked departments and all of the other people engaging with them, not in spite of it. I'd dare say that people engage in their own special projects (instead of fixing the hull breach in medbay) because they want to eventually be able to show them off to people, and probably not for the innate satisfaction of doing it.

Long story short, I'm a co-operation first, niche projects second kind of person. Thankfully, as a botanist, those things can go hand-in-hand, since a lot of your produce can end up helping the station meaningfully in one way or another. Anyone that doesn't want to be beholden to the demands of a certain department can just play as a staff assistant, or buy the Space Diner Patron Spacebux purchase and screw around in space. You'd be surprised with how much you can get done on your own with the tools left scattered around the station + the fabs + the debris field, if you are content with being antisocial for an entire round.

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