Gamers' Corner


A Guide to Online Game Management

Written by The Staff

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Now before we begin one word of caution: it may be that you are good in computer technology. In that case, fine, try to do it all yourself. But more often than not, you will want a true tech expert on your team, even if you are capable of at least half the work. Handling logistics is time consuming for one, and judgment on it is pretty harsh. If you are not up to the trends in site design you will look decidedly silly no matter the great content of your game.

1. Background material
In the online community a complete website usually accompanies the game. This probably is the starting point of your game. New players will peruse the background material first, before deciding to join your game. So this is your calling card. It should look spectacular and then some!

It is wise to have all your background material tested in a playtest. Do you have all the basics covered like History, Society & Culture, Economics, Races, Religion? What is so exciting to the play testers that they all jump on it? Expand on that part. What is totally ignored by the play testers? Rewrite or even dump it! Remember to include something for all kinds of players as discussed in chapter A. Player management.

Have these and other documents proofread by somebody with a major in English. Nothing so silly as typos.
Technical details
  • I just have one word for you: databases! They have so many advantages over other methods: they are searchable, easily displayed, easily changed. Try to organize all your main material in databases.
  • Make sure that all information is never more than one or two clicks away from any user of your site. An easy navigation is the basis of any good site including your game.
  • Make everything open up in a new window, so they can keep it as a reference while playing.
  • Make the font of letters big enough to be easily read, while small enough to not scroll down endlessly
  • Include pictures (art or photos), but beware the issue of copyright. You can use some of the free material that is available on the net provided it specifically states its free, but not if you prioritized making profit (because that will make you a commercial endeavor). Remember that abusing copyrights is illegal and will one day or other end in a lawsuit, costing you a lot of money! Check out Conclave of Arts for more details on copyrights as well as possibly putting out a commission for your site.
  • Have maps of all areas that are used in the game. It makes it easier to visualize the world for players and GM's alike.
  • The latest word is that frames are out! If you want some pointers on the most recent trends in the RPG online community, check out the sites that belong to the RPG consortium.

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