I've played three or four big Universalis games "by post." Each one just lost momentum and ground to a halt. They might have *all* been on various incarnations of Trevis' wiki, but I'm not sure -- the first of them were like eight or nine years ago now.
I've been in a couple of free-form by email or post games, ten or more years ago. They were kind of similar and also kind of solitaire play, at least sometimes. I think I lost interest and ditched one of those games on rpol and another we all just quit.
I started hanging around here at Snail's Pace around the time that The Mez was grinding to a halt, right as Michael Pfaff was starting up The Chateau.
I'm not clear on what happened with The Mez.
For that matter, I'm not clear on what happened with The Chateau. I emailed Michael about it and he responded but not with much detail. I'm hoping that given the time that's passed he'll be willing to talk about it a little.
Then the Menagerie croaked. As far as I know Brendan isn't around -- he hasn't been to SG since April. It seemed like he bailed for several weeks, came back with some new vigor and disappeared. So we'll only know what happened with that if he pops back in to tell us. (Or, if any of you are in contact with him and know stuff you can share, that would be cool, too.)
Trevis' game on his wiki just did a reset, largely because a single player fucked things up and it was too much investment to fix and then a couple of the players took that opportunity to bail out but a couple or three others faded away before that. The posting cycle over there is slow even by the Snail's Pace standards that we seem to have congealed around.
I played a couple of Microscope games on Google Wave when that was a thing. They played through to satisfaction but we quit the Microscope game we played here, mostly because of me, I think. I just wasn't feeling the game and continuing was a chore.
And now I think we're stopping Dungeon World. (This is what prompted me to post, but I've been thinking about this for a while.) That's sort of similar. At least some of the players clearly expressed luke-warm interest and the GM wasn't really feeling it.
I'd be interested to hear other examples, whether success stories or failures. I'm trying to categorize these "failed" games but I keep coming up with nuance that busts up the categorization schemes I work on. For sure, some of them seem like good things that they "fail" (like if people aren't enjoying them) and others (most, probably) are bad things. Even that might be tough though if some players think of a particular halted game has having been fun and others dull.
Is there anything to learn from this? It seems like I've puked up some brief anecdotes but I'm failing to connect the dots.