Building Communities of Play.

edited March 2010 in Story Games
From the 365 days thread....
Posted By: WolfeLevi,

I'd settle for someadvicefor creating a community of play around my existing game.

Of course, getting a game out of playtesting phase might help, but still.
....I am not a master of this. Not at all. I know a couple things, and I will say them; others will know more (and will hopefully post here).

1. Run the game. Constantly. Get people together, sit them down, and play the game with them. This can be playtesting, it can be 'demo-ing', doesn't matter.

2. Until people have others to play with locally, a global network is dead air.

3. Spur networking. I've had okay results asking everyone at the demo table for their contact info (facebook is good). I've had better results telling everyone at the demo table to share their contact info with anyone else at the table they'd like to play with again. I've had best results holding out a copy of the rules to the table and asking "Anyone want to keep running this? I know a few people that might be interested."

4. Online grouping and networking should be casual, not committed, until the people engaged have a very solid core. You don't build a network site until the Facebook group starts to chafe, for example. In most cases, it's better to join the existing gamer networks than build your own. Join everything.

Anyone else got advice for what works and what doesn't?


  • The best advice I have is watch the people who've developed play communities around their games. Watch them very carefully. Then go and do thou likewise.

    Luke Crane, Vincent Baker, Fred Hicks, Jared Sorensen, John Harper and Daniel Solis are good folks to watch in this regard. They all approach cultivating a group of people who play their games very, very differently, but they are all very effective at it. Luke demos his games like crazy; Vincent hardly ever. Fred tries to be really nice online; Jared tries to be the cool asshole you wish you were (like a WW developer or something). John releases beautiful things for free; Daniel ransoms equally beautiful things for money. And they all do lots of other important things besides. Learn from the best! You won't be willing or able to do everything they do -- and some of those things are contradictory -- but you better be doing some of it and making it work for you.

    The other thing to do is play, play, play your game: with local people, at meetups, at indie conventions, at big conventions, wherever you can. If your game is any good at all, this will gradually build you a community.
  • edited April 2010
    1 - Make a good game. Sell it!

    2 - Play it a lot, everywhere, with anyone, and be positive about it.

    3 - Join any and every rpg-group you find, and present yourself and your game there.

    4 - Be accommodating to your fans; be jovial, and try to give them something extra when they contact you (a map, a new character-type, whatever ...).

    5 - Develop your game.

    Good luck!
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