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A Guide to Online Game Management

Written by The Staff


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4. Communication
As mentioned in previous chapters communication with both players and game masters is absolutely crucial for the smooth running of your game.
Technical details
  • Ask players for their email address, even if it is a forum game. This will facilitate communication between players and moderators. Put them under a link, to prevent email address harvesting by spammers.
  • Encourage the use of ICQ and other private messenger systems
  • Even if its a chat or PBEM game, provide one or more forums on the website for OOC talk. This has the advantage that people considering joining can read them, as well as old threads being archived. Besides simple chatter other subjects for such forums include suggestions, design and disagreements between players or a player and a moderator. There are some good commercial options for forums but there are also several sites that will allow you to host a forum for free.
  • If you are running a PBEM considering using a mailing list. This will greatly enhance the ease of use. Again, there are several organizations offering this for free.
  • Have a FAQ sheet to help starting players. Your GM's can refer players to this document without going into a lengthy explanation of the rules.
  • An email newsletter will help keep your players and moderators updated on the latest technical updates as well as running adventures. It is an excellent tool in keeping both of them involved with the game. Remember to send this out at regular intervals but at a maximum of once a week to prevent overburdening mailboxes.

5. Marketing
So you created this wonderful game. But how do you get players and future moderators?

There are several sites that allow you to place an advertisement. Most famous (and still the most effective allround) is PBEM.com which also has a list for web-based games, IRC's and MUDS. Other important sites include the RPGFinder and the Amethyst Alliance and RPG.net; games&players forums. Consider reposting the advertisement once it has run of the first page.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool. It starts with your own: invite your friends and acquaintances (but do not go asking people you do not know. That is not a personal invitation, it is spam and nothing irritates a player more.) If your players and moderators are happy they will invite their own friends and your game will grow naturally. Remember though that this can also turn around into a negative circle. Once your game has a bad name its difficult to recover from it.


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