OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Streamlining the games list

Streamlined trainI bet you’ve seen hundreds of websites claiming to be an awesome play-by-post game, and you might have even got excited about the game and wanted to join – but then realised the game stopped running 5 years ago (or maybe even longer in some cases!).

Some play-by-post games fail, it’s a fact that we have to live with. Some are fun for a while but then go stale and close due to inactivity, maybe the members had an argument, maybe they all went on holiday or moved house and forgot about the game until it was just a distant memory. Or maybe the game just wasn’t attracting members, maybe it was too complicated, or maybe it wasn’t advertised enough to new members.

None of these things reflect badly on the person who created the game (and if definitely shouldn’t put them off trying again!), but keeping all these old games around is dangerous. I explain more about why this is dangerous here, but to put it briefly, imagine coming to a website claiming to be full of hundreds of amazing roleplaying games, but actually find that over half of them are dead and empty – like ghost towns.


Deleting old games

This is why I’ve been moderating some of the old games on OngoingWorlds this weekend, and removing all games that haven’t had a post in over 60 days. Many members will have received an email over the weekend if they created a game that has been left dormant. I didn’t want to just delete the games without letting people know, as many of them might have put some real effort into the story at some point – only to let it finish for reasons beyond their control.


The games page is now significantly trimmed down, but that’s a good thing. It means that all the games on there are current and active.

Are the games gone for good?

If you’ve had a game that’s been deleted, it’s still possible for me to retrieve the data for you. Submit an email using this form and include the name of the game and I’ll be able to restore the game for you.

  • I am adamantly against deleting sites with dead games! One of the sites I had been a moderator on died six months ago, and I was adamantly against putting it offline. I won, and it is still online, for everybody to read its stories.

    There had been a good, interesting, original story there; why delete it? It had happened, and it is there for posterity, for anybody interested to read.

    It had been written, it took time, research, dedication; why to delete it as if it had never existed, and as if we, the writers, have worked in vain?

    No guests are cheated by it that it would be still alive – the banner says clearly it has been closed. New registrations have been closed, guest posting is not allowed in order to avoid spambots. Everything is clean there, and it is our story, for reading… I see deleting it after being published once as if you would burn a book because nobody bought the second edition, or because it isn’t as interesting for the newer market anymore.

    • That’s a very good argument! As a roleplayer I’ve been contributing to an ongoing story for over 10 years and would like to think that this story can potentially be read by millions. But I unfortunately think the sad reality is that they often only apply to the members of the game.

      Keeping these games around might confuse people into thinking they’re currently active, and want to join in and contribute, only to find with much disappointment that the game has been abandoned and there’s no members to be seen.

      I think you are right though that it’s a shame to remove the games. Maybe the solution is to keep the games but make it very clear that it’s not active?

  • Yes, keeping them and making clear they aren’t active anymore is the best solution, in my opinion. And I know I have read stories on boards where I haven’t been a member, and I know we have fans too.

    I think it doesn’t count as advertising, given that the site is closed since August, but this is how we did, and I think the banner is clear enough that the game is not active anymore: