ROLEPLAY How to attract other RPers to your RP?

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by Kui, May 15, 2016.

  1. Hi, this is Tai.

    I am interested in knowing how to gain more roleplayers to join in on the roleplay I am trying to start. However, I am not having too much luck on the matter and so, I asked a mod and am hoping for the community to give hints, tips and tricks to help me get along. I am very new to forum roleplaying, actually, I have never forum roleplayed before. Though I am experienced with roleplaying, I often times try to prevent people from creating 'gods' with rules and regulations that may regulate the world or the players in the world.

    GROUP RP AD - Clymer - Campaign (Ad)

    ^ ^ ^ The ad for my roleplay thread, leads to the parent thread. Thanks for taking the time!

    It'll probably be a long post, so it might take a while.
  3. Hrmmm. Well, normally, the first thing I tell people who need help gaining players is to really advertise — think about how you’ll market your RP to potential players, you know? But uh… looking at the RP now, I think another large obstacle in your way is that a lot of things seem to be very… unconventional. o.o I’m not saying your style of RP is wrong, necessarily, or that you need to change it — it’s just that it’ll be harder to gain players this way, as a lot of people will probably be turned off by the unfamiliarity of it. o_o

    I know you said you were new to forum RPing, so, I’m not sure if the setup you have here is part of your style, or if you’re just not familiar with how things are typically done on this site… if it’s more-so the latter, and if these things you have in place aren’t super-important to you, then I have some suggestions (although this will probably be better for future reference than for this particular RP…)

    The first thing that stands out to me is the way that you’re expecting players to email or Skype you, even just to submit a character sheet. @_@ Many players might just be turned off by the extra amount of effort or even simply the strangeness of it. Normally, it’s expected that players can just post CS’s and ask questions right on the forum. o.o

    Also, what is this?

    Are you saying that players have to Skype/email you just to know what the rules of the RP are? o_o Because that’s… odd. I imagine many players will want to be able to see the rules up front before joining. Not to mention, the whole thing reads like some sort of… legal disclaimer. @_@ Again, I’m not saying that’s bad, but, it certainly feels… strange. And I know I for one will typically turn my nose up at an RP just from seeing that the GM’s style feels weird, even if the setup is something I might’ve enjoyed — and I’m probably not alone in that regard. Just saying that you might want to make things sound a bit more… friendly? And also a bit more “mainstream” in terms of how things are normally done on Iwaku.

    Sorry if I sound like I’m tearing your RP apart — I’m not trying to say that your way of running things is bad, just… unusual, in some areas. So I’m bringing it up in order to A) explain why you’ll have a harder time attracting players than the average RP, and B) suggest ways to change things, if you don’t mind making some tweaks.

    Additionally, your CS skeleton looks veeery complex… Not a lot of players (myself included) enjoy RP’s that are so stat-heavy. But, some players do!! This just means that you really need to focus on advertising to those niche players. We’ll talk more on that later.

    Next, a few points on presentation:

    Your information is all over the place. Players like being able to look to a single post for everything they need, and they don’t like needing to scavenge around a bunch of different posts to find things. Additionally, people also tend to be scared off by blocks of text or badly-organized information.

    Instead of splitting up the info into separate posts, I would recommend keeping it all together in a single post. If you didn’t have time to post everything in one sitting, then I recommend either A) editing new info onto the OP, instead of making new posts, or B) draft everything out in a Word document to begin with, and then copy it all onto the site once you’re finished. At this point, it might be possible to ask a mod to merge the posts together for you.

    Next, organization! I can see at least some organization here, based on the headings you’re using for different sections, but I would suggest cleaning it up even more — especially to avoid the long-blocks-of-text look. A great way to organize your OP and make everything look cleaner is to use tabs of some kind — whether it’s simply the tab code or spoiler tabs of some kind, both are great ways to condense chunks of text and make it easy for players to find what they need by clicking on relavent headings. (Let me know if you need help using these codes.) The “basic knowledge you should be aware of” section in particular seems like it would benefit a lot from tabs of some kind, as the small text seems… not ideal. It’s tiny and hard to read, which is not good for essential information. O_O Reference info should be easy to read and easy to access. If you made it small to avoid taking up space, then, again, I recommend tabs of some kind.

    I know that a lot of what I’m doing here seems unrelated to the task of gathering players, but the visual layout of your OP can be a huge turnoff to potential players if it’s done wrong. If people find your OP too difficult to dig through to get the info you need, they might decide it’s not worth the effort. If an OP seems badly organized, it might give off the impression that you’re being lazy about it, and people are less likely to want to join an RP with a lazy GM. And if an OP just feels… different than what an RPer is used to, then they might shy away simply out of ~fear of the unknown~. Making your OP well-presented, easy to get info out of, and just friendly and approachable in general is key to attracting players.

    Lastly, there’s this post… Is this… is this supposed to be a tutorial on how to write a roleplay post…? I would get rid of it. At best, it comes across as… strange. And, at worst, it feels almost condescending. o_o We’re all RPers here. We don’t need to be told how to write RP posts, especially if you’re not even telling your RPers about any specific style you’re going for (at least I don’t think you are?), and basically just saying “write in 3rd person past tense”.

    Not only that, but even if your players did need to be taught how to write an RP post, or how to write a post in a particular style, this way of presenting it just… isn’t going to get your point across very well. If you need your players to know something essential, there’s no need to hide it within a paragraph of fluff. Just be straightforward and say “write in 3rd person past tense”. Otherwise, the meaning of what you’re trying to say can get muddled — and you certainly don’t want that when you’re trying to teach your players something essential. o_o Even I had a hard time figuring out what this was supposed to be at first.

    Now then, I think that’s enough about the presentation of the RP itself. Onto the RP ad!

    Ok, so, it’s very… info-heavy. Giving players lots of information is good, but I would save it for the actual RP thread if I were you. If it’s an ad, you’re trying to get the attention of players who are browsing a bunch of different RP’s to find something they might like. First impressions are everything. Having lots of extra info is good… for players who are already interested. If someone’s reading all the way to the bottom of your ad post, odds are they’re already hooked — or, at the very least, seriously considering joining. At that point, you’ve already succeeded in attracting those players. You want to focus on what RPers will read first, as that will determine whether or not they want to keep reading. And that means that you have to place your RP’s strengths and selling points up front.

    As for bits like this:

    Save that for the OP of your actual RP thread. To someone seriously thinking about joining, that’s important information. To someone who’s just skimming over your ad to see if they might be interested, it’s just unnecessary. Keep in all the good bits — give RPers an exciting preview that’ll really draw them in!

    Looking back on it, your intro isn’t bad — but, yeah, if you want to spruce the whole ad up, I’d just reiterate my previous advice: differentiate between info that is essential to players who want to join, and info that’s supposed to draw in new RPers. If it’s the sort of info that’s just there so that already-joining players know what they’re doing, then save it for the signups thread. If it’s something that’s supposed to pull people in, put it in the ad. Just imagine what you would say to a friend if you wanted them to consider joining your RP. What would you tell them about the RP in order to entice them into taking a look? You would probably say “Clymer is a world of magic and spiritual arts, and home to three factions”, and then you’d probably give a brief explanation of each faction. You probably wouldn’t go super in-depth with everything, because that’s what your friend will be reading once you’ve already convinced them to take a look. :P

    Additionally, remember when I said that your stat-heavy setup makes your RP more of a niche thing, but that just means you have to advertise to niche players? Yeah, mention that sort of thing up-front!! Tell people “this is a stat-based fantasy RP” — right to the point. I know I get frustrated if an RP doesn’t tell me right off the bat what an RP’s even fundamentally about, and I have to skim past paragraphs upon paragraphs of fancy opening text in an attempt to find it, only to not see a single indicator of anything. @_@ So, not being clear about what your RP is comes with too dangers: annoying people who were at first interested in your RP, and turning them off to it, and, more importantly: people who would’ve otherwise been really interested in some aspect of your RP won’t know that it’s a thing at all. To go back to the “telling a friend about the RP” example — if you knew that your friend was a big fan of stat-heavy RP’s, you would be sure to mention that your RP is stat-heavy, wouldn’t you? Because leaving out that information means that they’re less likely to be interested, right? Well, this is the same way — make sure that anyone who’s just skimming RP ads knows that it’s a stat-heavy game. This way, the people who are interested in those sorts of games will notice such a thing and have a reason to keep reading! Without this, people might assume that your RP isn’t heavily stat-based (especially since there seems to be no clear indication of that until you scroll aaaaall the way down to the CS template o.o ), and so, people who are really interested in that sort of thing might not even give your RP a chance, because they won’t know that it’s the sort of thing they’re looking for!

    Also, speaking of the “tell your friends” example… actually tell your friends!! I know you’re new here which means you probably don’t have a ton of friends yet, but, you had to have been invited here, right? Ask the person who invited you if they’d like to join your RP! :P People who already know you are much more likely to be receptive of your offer than some stranger that you’re sending a random invite to, so you have a better chance of persuading them to take a look. The RP might not really match their tastes once they do look, but, hey, you convinced someone to take a look in the first place, and that’s an important first step as far as advertising is concerned!

    And if your friends aren’t interested, then, well… ask them to tell their friends! Or, ask the members of another RP that you’re in (if you are in another RP) if they’d like to join yours! (Although, depending on the RP crowd, you might want to ask the GM if it’s ok to advertise first.) Advertising your RP doesn’t just mean passively tossing out a line and hoping for a bite. In my experience, the most effective advertising is the aggressive kind — really going out there and looking for people who might be interested! Directly asking people to come take a look! Like I said, this strategy might be a bit difficult for a new member like yourself, but, hopefully, when you’ve been here for longer and you have a wider circle of friends, you can really take advantage of this!

    Oh! And don’t forget about the seeking group invites forum! This forum’s great because all the threads are people literally asking to be invited to RP’s, which means it’s probably the most receptive audience you could possibly have. XD (There are usually more threads than this, though…) Anyway! It’s always good to go down the list and see how many people’s RP specifications match what you’re offering. Looks like a lot of people are looking for fantasy RP’s right now — looks like a good place to advertise!

    Oh, and signature links are, uh… meh. Yes, I currently have a signature link for my RP, but only because it doesn’t hurt to have it. Overall, though, it’s not a very effective strategy (it’s extremely passive and doesn’t really do anything to pull people in), which is why I discourage people from relying on it as I don’t want people to think that it’ll draw in more numbers than it likely will. That said, if you’re already putting most of your effort into better strategies then, well… it doesn’t hurt to have it, you know? XD

    Aaand that’s about all I’ve got for now! Hopefully this was helpful to you. Feel free to comment if you have questions or want some more specialized advice!
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. -recovers from an information overload Aneurysm attack-

    Haha, just kidding! Wow that is a lot to take in to correct my RP, I feel as though I should probably make a lot of corrections tomorrow! (College Semester ends! :D) I almost feel like I would have to really restart the entire forum post, would you recommend this? Below I shall explain where I come from and why I have created certain things.

    In response to stat heavy, I offer players both the opportunity to participate in the stat heavy environment and also to involve themselves in just the actual Roleplay. (I actually reward players with participating in the non-stat heavy section of RP! From my history of Roleplays, people seriously underestimate the role of the civilian of any kind.) Would you be willing to assist me with my post and correct it for the better with me? I would truly appreciate the effort.

    In response to teaching others to roleplay a certain way, I thought that using a character to teach others would be more beneficial than to tell people in straight words. I find that through example people are able to understand a bit better while also entertaining the readers as the long line of text can easily bore people. Would you recommend me changing this? I am beginning to think that I should make a sort of graph that explains style, what is expected and what is a possibility to anybody interested as a straight forward informational part of the post. Thoughts?

    As for the emails and google drive, those who are interested in stats and more competitive part of the community (combat) I offer a controlled environment that protects players from metagaming, powergaming and all of that jazz from being introduced to the roleplayers. (In the past I have encountered these problems constantly and players are always trying to be the next big thing without an actual worry for roleplay content. It also isn't very fun to roleplay with a mary sue. Players who are interested in just roleplays that don't require stats would not require any use of email, google docs or anything of the sort. They just post the character sheet on the forum and blam, they can be accepted.

    Also friends, sadly, I don't have very many friends who roleplay. I have two, which I invited and are roleplaying. However they are a very limited cluster of roleplayers just as I am and do not have very many friends to invite. This is very tragic for starting a community to roleplay!

    I thank you for the large amount of time you spent on looking at my post, giving critical insight on the problems of the post and enabling me to see what is wrong. Although I don't quite understand the strangeness that you talk about, I believe that with more experience I will be able to prevent such things that might turn away other roleplayers. I do hope that you, if not you, another, might be able to help me and my post! I would greatly appreciate this and I look forward to seeing a response. Have a nice night!

    (I am going to have to re-read your entire post again tomarrow! Haha, 12:11 AM here, nighty night!)
  5. By "strangeness", I'm referring to the fact that what you have set up here just doesn't seem to be conventional for Iwaku roleplays, or even play-by-post RP's in general.

    Since you say that you're new to this sort of thing, I'm assuming that you're just carrying over what's "normal" in other areas of RP that you're used to, without adapting your style to make it more typical for this community. That's what I mean when I say it isn't the wrong way to RP, it's just... unusual. Iwaku RPers won't be used to it, and that'll probably turn people away.

    Ehhh... your choice. If you feel like your style of RP isn't going to be worth running anymore and you really want to start over, then... that's your decision, I suppose. If you want to keep going with this one then by all means, do -- just understand the reasons why it'll be harder to advertise and attract players.

    Oh, um... well, I didn't pick up on the fact that there's a difference between stat-heavy and non-stat-heavy. I admit that I didn't give your post a super close read, but um, the information being so heavy, so unusual, and so all-over-the-place was a bit discouraging just for me to look over it... Which is why you want your info to be easy to get to and easy to understand. The more effort players have to put into just making sense of your idea, the less likely they are to want to join.

    As for the difference between stat-heavy and non-stat heavy, that also seems very... confusing. I honestly don't even know what you mean in saying that there'll be two completely different ways for players to play, and I imagine that your potential players will be just as confused on that front. @_@ So uh... yeah. This is a difficult RP to sell. If you really want this idea to work, then I recommend making it super clear how exactly all this is supposed to work. Like, right up front.

    Well... first you'd have to explain to me what exactly you want from players in the first place. @_@

    It seemed to me that you were just trying to teach players how to write an IC post, which, again, seems very unnecessary. Players already know how to write posts. That's why adding something like this in is just... confusing.

    Examples are all fine and good, but if you're trying to tell your players to do something specific, you should say so in plain English first, and then give an example. Otherwise, the important information gets muddled up and hard to decipher, especially since it was never even clear what your "tutorial" was supposed to be teaching in the first place. Case in point: I had no idea that you were trying to teach players anything more than how to write an IC post. @_@ Which, again, is unnecessary to begin with...

    I understand the need to protect your RP from godmodding, but why can't you just enforce that with a rules list that everyone can read...? And why are there rules that only some players would be protected by and that they have to email you about?

    This whole thing is just very confusing. Again, I'm thinking this probably stems from you just being used to a very different style of RP. Here on Iwaku, a lot of what you're trying to set up just isn't something that most of us are used to. o_o

    If you want to create an environment that prevents godmodding and all that, here's all you need to do: put a rules list in your RP that everyone can read, so that they know to follow the rules. If you see someone breaking the rules, tell them they're breaking a rule, and tell them that they need to edit their post if necessary. And if someone is being a pain in the ass and refuses to listen to you (which, in my experience, is very rare), then you can report them and have a mod deal with it.

    ^ That's typically how GM's set up and enforce rules here. o3o Any system more complex than that just feels... odd, and, again, will likely turn players away.

    Eh, don't worry about it. We all had to start somewhere! You'll build up circles of friends over time that you can rely on. :P Till then, you'll have to rely a bit more on luck, and creating an RP that's attractive to people who might just be skimming by. o3o