I've created a new game, now what?
So you’ve just created a new game, given it a title and a description (if not, go back and see my article “How to create a game in Ongoing Worlds”). And you might be wondering what you have to do next. Your game is merely skin and bones, and you need to do a few things to flesh it out, by adding an image, some initial characters, and develop the story by writing some posts. You’ll probably want to do either of these things next, but you can do them in any order.
Add an image to your game
The image will display on your game’s homepage, next to the description you’ve already written. This image will be shown on the “All Games” page so make sure it’s inviting to the kind of people who you want to join your game. Click “Edit this image” under the default image and choose an image from your computer.
Add the first character
You want to show to your members the character that you’ll be playing in the game. Currently if you click “Characters” on the left you’ll see a very empty list, so click “Create a new character” on the homepage and you’ll be shown a form allowing you to enter all details about this character’s personality.
For more information about creating a character, see the article “Creating a character in Ongoing Worlds” (LINK to article about creating new character). For tips on creating a good character, see our tips for character creation.
Saving the character will add them to your game’s “Characters” page. You’ll notice that the characters are arranged into groups. Your game will probably have several empty groups here like this:
You will be able to change these Character Groups by clicking “Game Settings” then selecting “Edit Character Groups”. I explain this in more detail in the article “Editing the character groups in your Ongoing Worlds game”
Create the first post
It’s usually best to start telling the story before you start inviting members, just so that they can read up about the story so far, and the world in which this game is set, and then join if they’re interested. Writing the start of the story will also give them a clear picture of what the game is about, and so they can continue it when they join. Make sure you put a lot of effort in describing the world, so that each member gets a clear picture of the world their characters are going to be involved with. Give hints about various parts of the world, and about possible jobs for characters, so that other members can get involved and write more about these areas. This just gives them a bit of a helping hand to get their creative juices flowing.
Invite some members
You could continue writing your story yourself, but it’s usually more fun with other members, who can write about their characters in the same world, and develop your story from a different viewpoint. The best way to get members into your game is by word of mouth, invite your friends or anyone you know online who already takes part in roleplaying games.
From your game’s page, you will see a link to “Game Settings”. This will give you some additional options to change your “Character Groups” and your “Character Profile Labels”.
Edit character groups
On the Characters page for your game, the characters will be arranged into groups. These groups can be edited on this page. For more instructions on how to edit these groups see this article.
Edit character profile labels
Character Profile Labels are the fields that a member has to fill in when creating or editing a character. On this page you can edit the fields that characters can fill out about their character. I explain this in more detail in the article “Editing the character groups in your game”.
Promoting your game
You might be able to get new members via word of mouth, but that’s hard work. It’s also a good idea to advertise your game online by linking to it from other websites. Put a link in your forum signature, in your email footer, and place adverts on websites that specialise in linking to roleplaying games. I wrote an article here with some links to websites that allow you to advertise your game.
Manage your members
When new members want to join your game, they’ll click “Join” and fill in a form with details about their character. This will then send an email to you, and you’ll have to option to allow this person to join your game, or deny them. If you choose to deny them, you’ll be able to give a reason why, which could be constructive and allow the user to go away and write a better character. If you choose to allow them into your game, you’ll be able to see their email address. Make sure you keep in constant contact with your members and allow them to ask you any questions they might have. You might have to help them with their first post if they’re unfamiliar with your world.