There is one special sim that sits in the heart of every role player. This special place is where momentous occasions and chaotic adventures are shared with close friends and family.
Each place is different. Some with meadows sprinkled with flowers that glitter like gems to eerie candles flickering from a lone window high up in a towering cold and grey castle.
It’s inspiring to see a growing interest in role play with the sprouting of new role-playing sims in Second Life. But opening a sim is just the tip of a humongous iceberg to creating a successful role playing environment. The biggest struggle most new sim owners face is keeping newcomers engaged enough to continue come back.
So, if you’re a new sim owner pulling your mesh hair out in frustration asking yourself, “Where are the players?’ Why don’t pirates dock here anymore?”
Fear not! There are experts for that. Three veteran role play sim owners AineMari Flanagan, Runa (alrunia.ahn) and Rik Sullivan share their insight on running a successful role play sim in Second Life.
A quick guide for sim owners to keep new and seasoned roleplayers in active and excited about roleplay in their community
1. Be Active
As a sim owner, it’s important to immerse yourself into the tales, or lives, of the various players. A meet and greet session with the new residents and players of your sim is great way to stay involved and add to their storylines. This can come in the form of the mayor’s tea party, breakfast with the High King or even a free palm reading.
“I find that I love taking the minor role and allowing others to be roleplay leaders because it opens up all sorts of interactions with people, [that] would not be open to in their storylines. I would restrict interactions with others if I was a noble persona.” — AineMari
“It’s imperative that an owner dedicate some time to play his or her character. This shows the players that the owner’s true passion is to role-play and not just to own regions. It also keeps the owner in touch with the stories, the attitudes and the health of the role-plays and players.” — Rik
“A fact dear to my heart is, that if you are actively in character, you do not need to search for role-play nor do you require so called role-play events — though they can help, to a degree, with traffic for a sim and to draw temporarily attention of new players or to boost a storyline.” — Runa
Bottom line — make the effort to move around and role-play with the new players to make them feel welcome.
2. Expect Trouble
You have to be realistic about this issue. There no running away from it.
Metagaming and godmodding are usually the number one problem that a new players face at a new sim. Nobody wants to be sacrificed to the Spider Goddess on her first trip to a medieval fantasy sim.
As an owner, you must listen and assess issues from an unbiased point of view. Fairly new role-players usually do not intended to create mayhem on the sim; they are usually feeling lost and confused at being in a new realm or place.
On the other hand, do act fast with the real and obvious spammers, griefers and troublemakers. One method used by some sim owners is having administrator alts to handle all these issues to avoid personal attacks.
3. Get Help
Recruitment of your ‘second-in-command’ is important. It is imperative to pick the right people to assist you in making the sim a comfortable and engaging place.
First and foremost, you need to have experienced and fair role players helping you. They really do need to have bucket loads of empathy and patience when dealing with newbies.
A good mentor is one who is flexible enough to intertwine their stories with new characters in the sim. A word of caution, there are handfuls of power crazy administrators, whose main agenda is to divert attention to themselves.
Sim ownership is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. The invaluable knowledge from Aine, Rik and Runa they have shared will definitely get you off on the right foot.
Keep the adventures and mayhem alive.