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OOC - Things That All Ongoing Worlds Members Should Know Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post detailing things I believe are critical to getting the most out of Ongoing Worlds, and I suggested that we should work on a 10-point list of the things that we platformers believe are critical to the OW experience. I also asked for input from other OW members about what things they would like to add to that list, and so far I saw 1, maybe 2 additional points worth of thoughts that I can add.

Especially considering that the creator and maintainer, David Ball himself has endorsed the idea of making a blog post out of our thoughts, I believe that we should work together to make a list that people with various backgrounds, writing styles, and gaming philosophies can benefit from. I have my own strong opinions about things, so a list written only by me about things that I believe everyone should know cannot be as accurate, true, or helpful as a list that is the product of the various, beautiful minds of the platform as a whole. As such, I beseech you guys to discuss and debate any of the points I list below and think of some more points we can add. It doesn't matter if we already have ten points or more. If you think there is something else that you would really like to be able to communicate to new members or veterans that don't get it, please let your voice be heard and your idea is seen.

Anyway, I'm going to list below what I think we have so far, and we can work from there.

1. There is a fairly small pool of writers that are active on Ongoing Worlds at any time. Given that this is the case, game designers need to consider the following:
• How many members is the game designed to work with? A lot or a few? If a lot, what is your plan for drawing members and retaining them? What sacrifices to the dream you have in mind are you willing to make in order to allow the game to accommodate varying writing styles and participation philosophies?
• How many other active games on Ongoing Worlds are thematically similar to the game you want to create? What other games have the same target audiences as the one you are designing? When you are making a game, you are competing with other active games for members. The more games of a similar style and theme you are competing with, the less likely your game is to draw a substantial amount of highly active players.
• Beggars can't be choosers. With less than thirty members active in the average month, the likelihood of encountering more than six people with very similar philosophies and styles to you is rare. If someone with very obvious differences in style tries your game, can you afford to dismiss them, or can you work with them to try to make your game into something that you can enjoy together?
• Most of those people that regularly visit Ongoing Worlds are already involved in a comfortable amount of games, therefore, it is unreasonable to expect a bunch of people to join a new game the day it is created unless you have built hype for said game. Be patient, and eventually, some of those thirty people will try your game out if it is worth joining.

2. You can find the email address of any given member by clicking the links to their profile page. Email communication is extremely valuable here on Ongoing Worlds, as it is the primary means through which different OW members can discuss things that don't need to be publically displayed for everyone to see. The Ongoing Worlds experience is not meant to be enjoyed alone, and email is the primary means of bridging the physical distance between you and other OW members.

3. Take a look at the game information page of any games you are interested in. This page can be found on the pull-down menu next to the game title. The game information section is a great way to communicate information that you would like players and prospective players to know that does not need to be part of your sales pitch (which is one of the primary purposes of the game description).

4. You can make comments on posts that have the "This is an OOC Post" checkbox checked. The comments section will be underneath the body of the post. The easiest way to post a comment is to make a Disqus account, but you can also sign in as a guest and use a phony email if you are internet-paranoid or just don't feel like dealing with yet another account.

5. If you make a new game, do all of the things that appear on the "things to do list" as soon as possible. If you aren't sure how to do something, you can search the Ongoing Worlds Blog for answers or join the OW Community Platform and ask your questions there.

6. Most writers on Ongoing Worlds like to see posts that are at least three paragraphs in length and appear to have been reread for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you are struggling to add length to your post, think of the five Ws, Who, What, Where, When, and Why (I also like to add How when applicable), to explore details such as:
• Who is involved in the events in your post?
• What are they doing and saying?
• What is your character thinking about what is happening?
• What other objects and places are present near the action?
• Where are the events described in your post occurring?
• Where are the people, places, and objects present in your post relative to one another?
• When are the events described in your post occurring?
• Why is your character doing what they are doing and saying what they are saying?
• Why might other characters be doing what they are doing and saying what they are saying?
• How is your character able to do what it is they are doing?

If you can answer most of these questions in most of your posts, readers will have a much clearer idea of what you are trying to describe with your posts. Remember, other members cannot read your mind, so unless you explicitly state a detail, you should not expect other members to know to be aware of that detail.


Okay, so we have six points so far. I would love it if we could brainstorm some more points to put on this list while we debate the above points and work to make them more concise and easier to understand (which is an area I struggle with).

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