The 3 most important things for making an RP last for years

making an rp last for years

I asked a question on RPG-D to get a discussion going about the best types of concepts for RPs, the kind of concepts that will last. Because we can usually spot the games that will stick around for a while, and the ones that won’t. Can’t we?

Well it turns out that many people agree that it’s not about the concept at all. It’s about 4 things, dedication, activity, interest and flexibility.

Activity

members will be more enthusiastic if they see a game is really active. Moderators need to lead by example, and players need to be given the opportunity to affect the plot. Himms said:

All Roleplays can last years if the Main Admin keeps the interest up, is active, is keen to see their site succeed and knows when to pull the “I’m Authority”. However this alone does not actually promise that the site will last years to come. There is a lot to factor in such as amount of members vs characters. Is the site plot driven/Character driven/open to your own ideas. How much member contribution is being taken into consideration? Are they even allowed to contribute? Etc; man I don’t even want to list them all.

Biggest fail for any site is when the creator of the said site stops giving a damn and just goes poof into thin air.

Himms

Interest

If you’re creating a new game, it really helps if there’s an existing fanbase around it. LittleNapoleon said:

Canon based stuff might have a higher success rate just because you’ve got a built in passionate audience. Some of the longest running games are Star Trek, Star Wars, or comic book based. I’ve also seen historical boards last a long time, arranged marriage boards last a long time, and other things. If you have a premise that a lot of people are interested in your success rate will increase astronomically.

LittleNapoleon

Also if there’s an existing fanbase it’s likely there’s specific fan forums you can go to advertise (the last thing you should do is keep your game a secret).

Flexibility

I agree with this one whole-heartedly. As a moderator you really need to go with the flow. If the story is going in a direction that’s different to what you planned. Just go with it! Not Daniel Radcliff said:

It isn’t often the concepts, any concept can work. But in my experience, if the administrators and staff and players aren’t both dedicated and flexible, their site will die. Flexibility is important because it means that you can change things that just aren’t working before it drags down your entire site.

Not Daniel Radcliffe

Dedication

Roleplaying games are hard work, and everyone recognises that effort. People are more willing to join and participate in a game where the enthusiasm is high, and they can see that everyone’s putting loads of effort in. Catastrophe86 says:

Games last because admins have an interest in keeping it going, and then they do it. That’s all there is to it. They don’t get close their doors as soon as there is a drop in activity, or when a few members leave. They go through rough patches with the belief that things won’t be difficult forever.

– Catastrophe86

Is there any advice we’re missing? Add it to the comments below! If you want to get involved in this discussion on RPG-D you’ll find it here.

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David Ball

David is a web developer, and the creator of OngoingWorlds