Gamers' Corner


A Guide to Online Game Management

Written by The Staff

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Also add what you expect from a GM, for instance:

  • Frequency of posting
  • Having a set number of open threads or running plotlines for new players
  • An estimate of the hours per week this position will cost
What you are looking for is an original person who can add something to your team that is not being covered right now. But you are also looking for a team player who will uphold current rules. Nothing kills a game quicker than GM's who are loners.

2. Leadership question: council or dictator?
There are basically two forms of management that are most used in online gaming today:
A. The Council
Following modern democracy you consider the Game Masters equals and policy decisions are taken in unison or at least by majority. This method is very inclusive and will most likely lead to compromises between your moderators. It will also give them a feeling of importance that can increase their motivation. It is a model used most often in matured games.

Consider carefully what consequences this model has. You will lose absolute control over your own creation, not to mention the resources you are paying for. You might find yourself in strong disagreement with the council and trying to revert to the Dictatorship model will most likely blow up your game. Make no mistake, the loyalty of the players will lay with the moderators they deal with everyday, not the owner of the game.

B. The Dictator
You make it clear from the start that you are the owner. You are open to dissenting opinions, but what you say goes. Especially in a beginning situation this makes it easy to keep going, and the short lines with communication will prevent ruffled feathers. However as a dictator, people will keep leaning on you. If you hit a time crunch, your game will probably take a dip, no matter the amount of moderators, though having a clear hierarchy with somebody second in command will help prevent this pitfall. In a dictatorship model there seldom is compromise, only dissenting voices.

These can easily turn into an opposition group that will go into a resistance model. So a dictator model requires a lot of people skills from the leaders.

We do not offer an opinion on what is better. You will have to decide for yourself which best suits your game. However be aware of cultural differences when you make your choice. For instance most European game masters will favor the Council or Communal model, while American game masters tend to be more used to a corporate or dictator structure.

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