I’ve created and attached some wireframe images (using Balsamiq) that show what I want and where, so that the designer knows what to design. It looks basic at the moment (as it’s a wireframe!)
Mock-up of the homepage
The first (and one I’m least happy with) is the Homepage. A lot of designers start with the homepage first, mainly because clients always want to see that first. I actually think the homepage is the least important design, as it’s the one you’ll be looking at the least. Maybe your first visit to the site it exists to promote the site and encourage you to go further. But after that, it exists as nothing more than a landing page with a username and password box to login.
Anyway I’ve tried to show what the site is for without too much explanation, hoping that people will work it out from seeing examples of other games. Something I hate about lots of RPG or PbeM sites is that they don’t really tell you what’s what on the homepage, you have to go into a separate section to see the game posts.
I want to show on the homepage the most recently updated games, so that people don’t think it’s one of those RPG sites that died in 1998 and has been static ever since.
As I’m building my new website “Ongoing Worlds” I started to ask myself a question which I don’t know the answer. I’ll have to explain first the functionality I’m building into the website and then you’ll see why the question is important and and how it relates to PbEM/PBP games.
Members of a game will be able to post. This is easy, it’s just a normal web form where you can write your post and send it. GM’s of the game can obviously post too, but I wanted to make sure that the GM’s post is more clear and has more authority behind it. I’ve built in a checkbox that means this post is important to the story, and everyone has to take notice of it and their characters react to whatever plot has just been unveiled.
In my PbEM game we’ve always had one person at a time running a current story. This is usually a GM, or sometimes a member who we trust and has had a great idea for a story. The story is pushed forward by a post we call the *Action post*. The asterisks around the phrase is tradition all comes from a Star Trek game that I used to play. I thought it was an established standard, but it occurred to me that it might not be, and I wanted to check what other people use instead.
What an *Action post* is for
The purpose of an *Action post* is for when a current story is becoming stale, or the characters are wandering about aimlessly without any purpose or direction. If the GM posts an *Action Post* where something major happens, all characters have to respond to it. So in the example of my scifi game, something important will happen that puts the spaceship in jeopardy, and the Captain orders everyone to do something about it.
So is it customary to call it an Action post? If not, what other term do you use?
Returning to the relevance on the OngoingWorlds website that I’m creating, a GM posts a story post as normal, and there’s a little checkbox that they could tick. I want to say “Check this box if this is an *Action post*”, but will everyone understand this?
My other option if this is not good enough is to allow GM’s of a game to change the wording of this option, so that they can insert any terminology that they use. Would this even be necessary?
Please let me know your thoughts!
Ongoing Worlds is a project that’s born out of my love of PBeM games. I’ve been playing online text-based role-playing games since about 1998, when I first got the Internet at home. I loved the total freedom of using my character to inhabit this total virtual world that only existed in peoples imaginations.
I’ve already discussed in this article about how I’ve ran PbEM games before using Yahoo Groups, which does the job reasonably well, although is limited and to be honest starting to look a bit tired and oh so old fashioned.
Yahoo Groups is limited in that it’s trying to suit everyone, and therefore doesn’t provide tools that would really make life easier for the GM of a PbEM game. Of course I could bitch and moan about this all day, but it’s not their fault obviously because they can’t create all the functionality that everyone in the world wants. I chose to use what they created, so it’s my problem not theirs.
I’m starting this blog to chart the development of the new website “Ongoing Worlds“, a site where users can setup a text-based role playing game (sometimes called a SIM , PbEM or a PBM game).
I’ll describe in further articles more about this site, more about text-based RPGs, and why I’m spending so much time creating a website where people can create and run them.
Also this blog will also be where I’ll post articles with my thoughts on roleplaying to help GMs (Game Masters) and players of text-based RPGs.