Creating A Roleplay: An Addendum
Everything about what I’m going to talk about below will be an update from an earlier post of mine that I made, initially, two years ago and will also briefly discuss pros and cons! Please feel free to use both as a guide.
Admin / Modding
- Being an independent admin has its perks but depending on the type of roleplay you’ll be setting up, it is also a lot of work. Performing all of the admin responsibilties can take up more time and leave you with little time or even muse to make replies owed to your character(s). There are a lot of factors one should consider before setting up a roleplay: how big of a roleplay do they want (small, mid-size, large), how long do they want the roleplay to last, and how dedicated can they be with time management and whether or not this approach will mean the roleplay is casual or more ‘serious.’ Roleplaying these days is not what it used to be in the past so it’s definitely a lot like a 9 to 5 job. I recommend solo if: you’re unsure about working with others, can handle that responsibility and have definite ideas in mind about the future/eventual end of your roleplay, and how much experience you have at hosting a roleplay.
- A group admin roleplay (with two or more) can be a very beneficial and efficient way of running a roleplay, especially currently. Duties can be assigned and people who excel at certain areas over others (graphics, coding, bios, promoting, etc…) can be given to those who can do those best; it also helps when the group consists of admins in different time zones. (After all, we all want utmost best for our roleplays). However, the trade off here is time coordination and requires working as a team and trusting the people you’re working with.
- There also may be some “favouritism” or a “rank” in which admins are easier to approach/talk to - even if all of the admins are kind and friendly, one or a few admins might receive more attention than others. This is risky only because some might get jealous or perceive that negatively thus tearing apart an otherwise great admin team and/or destroying the roleplay. There are also players that will try to alienate admins.
- While a primary is great to have in that you can reach out to people privately this way and etc, it has its disadvantages from having to continually switch back and forth from your character accounts to the main and vice versa.
- A secondary is especially great if you have more than one admin in a roleplay, all of the character accounts can be primary with the roleplay being secondary – this eliminates the need to have members access the blog on a different or incognito browser, it also means you can always be notified when a message is sent to the main without leaving the individual waiting for a few hours or so before doing a main check in. It’s also great for, if an admin leaves or drama goes down and wants to do something spiteful (like, delete the blog), they can’t. This can be bad, though, for queueing purposes (depending on how much you like to queue in a day and how active you are as a character/on the main because of the post limit).
- Off-Site Hosting
- Not sure how this works but I know this is becoming popular. Probably best for Hollywood-related RP’s and/or a casual approach!
- IMO, these are a bit unorganized and are still a little obsolete despite their comeback.
- Being friendly and not sounding full of yourself is the way to go. Always. And try not to do things that would be blatantly wrong (like, purposely whitewashing a POC and then being in denial about it rather than apologizing, owning up to it and changing it).
- If confronted with a situation, it’s best to approach it after you’ve cooled down (anger and/or anxiety-wise) and allowed the more emotional reaction to pass; it’s better to approach things rationally and calm, this keeps you from saying, well, stupid shit that could be used against you in the future and/or make a situation worse. Hear all sides and do not discret what someone says unless you have absolute proof that they’re wrong if you need to support your claim (comfort level is a different matter, however).
- What kills a roleplay faster than anything is not being active on the main or having an active presence in the RPC. As I stated in my earlier post, a lot of roleplays come out in a week and it’s important to not lose determination.
- Can be a hindrance or a help. Some people are turned away from mascots for a variety of reasons: bad FC experience, not being able to use that FC for their character if they desired to do so. But they can be helpful in conveying tone of a message and/or a clearer identifier of which admin is responding!
- Is unsurprisingly very important because let’s all face it, we all judge a book by its cover even when we say we don’t. We do. Having a nice theme and graphics is what draws the eye in. It sucks but it’s true (how else would those contained themes be popular if it weren’t?). If you don’t know how to make graphics or aren’t advanced enough to do so, there are RPH’s out there that do take requests! (But be sure to credit them)!
Style of Theme
- Gonna be biased here and say these are the best for presenting the main roleplay. Text are usually darker and bigger, and not drop shadowed; the navigation is more readily accessible. (Placement of things is important however and having a fixed, easy to reach pagination is suggested - such as off to the side or up in the topbar navigation rather than at the very bottom of the posts, or having a script that can enable the ‘back to the top’ feature).
- I personally don’t suggest these for the main page for the roleplay at all. They’re too condensed and when you’re trying to pack a lot of information into a roleplay, these aren’t the best to use. Using them on the character accounts is fine and all but it just doesn’t belong on a roleplay that has to host: biographies, events/tasks, and etc…. Those posts can get quite long.
- On the main page, listing important links (plot, rules, characters, [town, lore], application/apply) is important before providing the “navi+” that then goes on to list all of the links. The navigation page should be easy to use and navigation. The background should not be the same or similar to the colour being used for the text.
- However you decide to do this (following all of the blogs back or listing out the links then linking in its own page or combined as an OOC directory), it should follow the same premise as above.
- Character Masterlist
- Some like to go beyond the typical ‘Female, all, open, taken’, ‘Male, open, all, taken’ route and make a kind of ‘muses’ page where the FC picture is provided along with essentials and a brief summary then a link to their bio. This should follow the same rule as above.
- Character PSDs
- There are plenty of free-to-use PSDs out there for people to use but try being original if you can! Character PSDs can be a really cool way to incorporate symbolism into the graphics that may or may not be included in the header and promo images.
- Similar to the promo image, this can be an expansion of the promo image or the same as is, but this will also help to draw attention to your roleplay. I advise using it both in the mobile theme header and on the main page itself.
- Promo Image
- This is what your eye catcher will be. This should in some way represent the overall theme of your roleplay. Try to have some stand out pieces.
- Shorter life span, tends to only last about a few months to a year depending on how fast the plot progresses. Best for casual or novel-like roleplays.
- If you want your roleplay to last a long time and have it sort run like a television show, a ‘seasonal’ route is a good option to consider! As we know, people can get attached to the world and the characters in it, so what happens after you beat the main villain in season one? You work up the next conflict for your characters to deal with! A seasonal route can also allow for intermittant hiatuses to give the admins time away to break and think of what to bring next while also building up hype for the return.
- Character Bios
- As an admin, you have a variety of options on how to approach this aspect.
- Skeleton – This is great for if you don’t want to write a lot of bios or don’t have the muse or time to do that. The pattern of skeletons can vary and be either not complete or partially complete, and the person interested in applying would simply provide the rest of the details. The skeleton can include ideas you had for a character but didn’t know how to complete. Additionally, this is great for a casual approach, as well as giving players the feeling like they’re creating an OC but with direction.
- OC – An original character. A very popular choice of bringing characters into a world and molding them to fit within it; of course, not OC’s are great so don’t feel forced to accept them! This is also a casual approach, and even more so than the skeleton one.
- Canon – The most time-consuming but also the benefit of creating a character that you know fits in with the world you created.
- Additional Information (town(s), lore, villain, etc…)
- When including other information to add to the world you’ve created, I suggest making it as original as you can. With a lot of roleplays following similar genres, you’ll want something that sticks out - even if just the tiniest bit.
- These tend to last longer, from a few weeks to a month. These act as plot progressional tools. You’ll want to at least have one event going each month, this is what will help keep your roleplay interesting and moving forward.
- Optional or mandatory. Shorter and can be used to build up to the event or the overall plot. It can be something silly as well, like something that focuses on the characters or invokes thought.
- (Ask) Memes / Anons
- Optional or mandatory. Just like with the events and tasks, memes help encourage OOC and IC interaction. It can also encourage thought about characters. They can be used to encourage IC interaction by allowing characters to reply to the responses or be used however seen fit.
- Somewhere on the main, I advise creating a page of dedication where you give credit to the resources you’ve used in your roleplay.
- Reaching out to similar roleplays to become affiliates is a great way to promote yourself and them. It also helps build a network for future projects!
- Utilizing RPH’s is another great way of spreading the word. All you have to do is send in a paragraph summarizing your roleplay and/or submitting a promo post through them!
- You’ll want set up a queue that promotes your graphics on the daily with a high frequency volume since the tags move very fast. The max you can queue in a day is: 300.
- Tag Variation
- To avoid steering away potential applicants and to also draw in more attention, using a variety of tags that represent your roleplay is good. RP and RPG are good variations as well. Remember, only the first 5 tags show up in the searches.
- Talk Tag
- This is becoming a more popular trend, I’ve noticed, and this can be used to help build up hype before launching or relaunching your roleplay!
- Inspo / Aesthetics Blog
- Similar to the talk tag, this can help build up hype and also give your players and future applicants an idea for what your roleplay is like.
- Utilizing Your Personal / RPH+
- Can bring in additional traffic to those who like to roleplay but may not necessarily know how to browse the tags or doesn’t check the tags regularly. This also builds up hype!
- Don’t choose the player over your fellow admin in a situation where you know the player is wrong. Keeping players around and demoting and/or kicking out an admin just because you’d rather keep the player happy and not lose a member or a few is bad. (As well as shady and uncomfortable). The same goes in the reverse situation. Remove the antagonizers, even if that results in 10 others leaving in the process - it’s better to remove all negativity possible than to keep one or two around just because you don’t want the roleplay to collapse. It’s important to not let anyone divide the group as a whole (players and admins).