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A Guide to Online Game Management

Written by The Staff


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3. Specializing
When you are in the growing pains phase it might be interesting to let your GM's specialize into those areas that they are most comfortable with. This will keep them motivated enough to keep going in full speed while you are making sure more moderators come to you. At this point it is also a good idea to formalize hierarchy by specializing. Generally this takes the following three step hierarchy:
I. Assistants
In charge of part of the plotline or certain locations, working under supervision of a GM.

II. Game Masters
In charge of plotlines and/or a certain area.

III. Senior Moderators
In charge of overseeing several GM's, as well as a certain aspect of the game.
Any more levels is overdoing it.

4. The fine art of moderating
Your Game Masters cannot function without a good set of rules of conduct. We suggest you include the following:
  • Details on what you consider "good role-playing"
  • Demand a professional and courteous attitude towards players and fellow Game Masters at all times, both in and outside the game
  • Don't allow your moderators or players to flame or be disrespectful to each other. This will only ensue into an authority conflict.
  • Try to move conflict to email or a specially designated board and don't let normal play be interrupted by it.
As the owner of the game always uphold the authority of your Game Masters. If they need a dressing down, do so privately over ICQ or email and not somewhere public. Try to support GM's who find themselves attacked, without distancing players.


5. Dealing with conflict
No matter how good your rules are, it will happen one day.. flaring tempers, angry words, heated conversation...in one word: conflict. It may be a player who disagrees with a decision of the moderator. Or it may be two of your staffers ready to go at each other's throats. Make sure that you are dealing with this with tact, care, and above all clarity. As soon as you see things getting out of hand establish short communication lines with the people involved. Get everybody's story in a one on one talk. Then make a ruling, and make sure it sticks. Always remain polite throughout this procedure. Be clear beforehand what the penalties of misbehaving might be and be fair. Don't play favorites, where two fight usually two are wrong.

One word for forum gamers: there are two things that will invite conflict:


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