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Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 16 May 2012, 15:36
by Pedros
We've had quite a number of cases lately where GMs have had problems managing the games they're running, and with some GMs leaving games half finished. This is extremely frustrating for players who have put in a lot of time to making those games as competitive and enjoyable as possible, and I've been talking to some of the more established GMs about what should be done about this.

A big problem is that when players decide for the first time that they'd like to GM a game they have little idea of what is involved, both technically and also in terms of the time required. It takes quite a lot of time to keep a game running smoothly, and also newer players often don't realise that a Forum Game, even a relatively small one, can sometimes take many months to complete.

We don't want to limit the number of GMs around - the growth in interest over the last few months is enormously encouraging - but we do need to make sure that games are run well. So we feel that players wishing to GM for the first time should meet some simple qualifications such as actually having completed a Forum Game as a player and having a basic understanding of what is involved. We are working on the details now; in the meantime, if you are interested in becoming a GM then please contact me first by PM

See viewtopic.php?f=135&t=29099 for more details of the new arrangements

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 16 May 2012, 15:38
by asudevil
Thank you Pedros for taking a look at this.

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 16 May 2012, 17:41
by rick.leeds
Thanks, Pedros.

Actually, I think we'll probably need to insist that if you want to run a Forum Game, and you haven't done so before, you contact Pedros. Forum Games are more about the enjoyment players get playing them than anything else and that enjoyment is more than hampered by a GM having to quit the game. Of course, there are times when circumstances change and, as a result, a GM has to drop out and we understand that. It's happened before and it will happen again. But we want to minimise that whilst still giving people the chance to run games and everyone the opportunity to enjoy them.

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 17 May 2012, 09:50
by stalin813
I waited a year before I tried GMing a game on the forum. I think I am doing a semi-decent job, but I think maybe there should be some waiting period enforced. It's great to bring new ideas to the table, but GMing is not only a bigger commitment in terms of time, it's also in terms of people. People rely on you.

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 05:58
by marsman57
Basically, if someone can't be online at least 18 hours a day and always post adjudications within 10 minutes of the deadline, they should not be allowed to be a GM. ;)

But really, I definitely think that the person needs to be experienced in forum games beforehand. I would not necessarily require they have completed a game (as they could have been in WWIV for 8 months! :) ), but I would require they have experience in playing a forum game for several months as well as a good track record of minimal NMRs in all forum games played. I would also recommend dissuading any new GM from starting a second (or third! or fourth!!!) game before they show they can consistently meet deadlines in the first game.

DiploNEV is a good example to put up here. I do not mean to be critical of him, but he has always run a pretty decent NMR record between school obligations, after school activities, and I think once getting grounded. He's a good kid, but his level of commitment to the site is really not enough to be a GM, and I think that could be seen before he created his first game, much less his third.

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 06:22
by stalin813
marsman57 wrote:Basically, if someone can't be online at least 18 hours a day and always post adjudications within 10 minutes of the deadline, they should not be allowed to be a GM. ;)

But really, I definitely think that the person needs to be experienced in forum games beforehand. I would not necessarily require they have completed a game (as they could have been in WWIV for 8 months! :) ), but I would require they have experience in playing a forum game for several months as well as a good track record of minimal NMRs in all forum games played. I would also recommend dissuading any new GM from starting a second (or third! or fourth!!!) game before they show they can consistently meet deadlines in the first game.

DiploNEV is a good example to put up here. I do not mean to be critical of him, but he has always run a pretty decent NMR record between school obligations, after school activities, and I think once getting grounded. He's a good kid, but his level of commitment to the site is really not enough to be a GM, and I think that could be seen before he created his first game, much less his third.


I know this isn't the solution, but as an experienced player, I stay away from games GM'd by relatively new GMs for fear of losing the game.

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 06:52
by asudevil
marsman57 wrote:Basically, if someone can't be online at least 18 hours a day and always post adjudications within 10 minutes of the deadline, they should not be allowed to be a GM. ;)

But really, I definitely think that the person needs to be experienced in forum games beforehand. I would not necessarily require they have completed a game (as they could have been in WWIV for 8 months! :) ), but I would require they have experience in playing a forum game for several months as well as a good track record of minimal NMRs in all forum games played. I would also recommend dissuading any new GM from starting a second (or third! or fourth!!!) game before they show they can consistently meet deadlines in the first game.

DiploNEV is a good example to put up here. I do not mean to be critical of him, but he has always run a pretty decent NMR record between school obligations, after school activities, and I think once getting grounded. He's a good kid, but his level of commitment to the site is really not enough to be a GM, and I think that could be seen before he created his first game, much less his third.


This is what we are attempting to deal with in a fair way. Glad to see there are some people seeing where we are coming from

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 06:34
by aphyer
So, I haven't been involved with PBF games much, so potentially stupid noob question here, but: surely substitute GMs are a lot more viable than substitute players? If you replace an NMR-ed player with a substitute, all the relationships and communications are destroyed, but if you replace a GM that isn't a problem. How feasible is it for GMs who need to drop out to find a backup GM to handle adjudication?

Re: Improving Forum Games

PostPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 09:22
by Nanook
aphyer wrote:So, I haven't been involved with PBF games much, so potentially stupid noob question here, but: surely substitute GMs are a lot more viable than substitute players? If you replace an NMR-ed player with a substitute, all the relationships and communications are destroyed, but if you replace a GM that isn't a problem. How feasible is it for GMs who need to drop out to find a backup GM to handle adjudication?

It's possible sometimes, but it really depends...sometimes the GM running the game is the only one with access to the map, for example, especially if it's a variant they designed. If they have to drop out for a RL emergency, they might not have the time or inclination to send that map to someone else, and if they drop out because they lose interest they're even less likely to send it to a sub GM.

On the other hand, sometimes if a GM knows they're going to be unavailable for awhile but don't want to pause the game, they can hand it off for a little while.