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Increasing Interaction on RP Sims


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Let me begin by saying this is not my primary account, but an alt.  I am posting under this account to avoid in-world IM's.

I have basically enjoyed role-playing and RP sims for several years, but in the past year or two, it has seemed like there has been a decline in active RP.  What seems to happen is that someone will create a beautiful sim(s), with a well thought out backstory and website, a thousand people will join the group and community, then a couple of months later the sim closes because people start to complain about a lack of RP and leave.

A group of friends and I recently chatted about this and came up with some ideas.

1 - Stop blaming the sim and the owners for the lack of RP.  All they are responsible for is creating and maintaining the environment/setting, to provide the platform for us to RP.  It is up to us, the community, to use this.  Do some owners worry about renting all the homes/businesses?  Of course, but that is only to help them offset the cost of the sim, and has nothing to do with a lack of RP.

2 - Use the IC Group.  Stop standing/sitting around somewhere and waiting for someone to come to you.  Use this group as it is intended to be used...post what you are doing so that others will know you are available for RP.  And be sure to include in this post where you are, do not just say you arrived for work and are waiting for a customer.  Let people know what the business is.

3 - Stop abusing the OOC Group.  Back when I started actively RPing, this group was monitored and used to let people know about general information about the sim, for new people to introduce themselves, to invite people to join an active RP scene, and inform about possible scenes (such as a fire, police raid, accident, etc.).  Anymore, this group seems to be used for nothing more than useless and annoying conversations that turn many people away.

4 - Be Present.  This applies mainly to business owners and "employees".  If you own a business on a sim, or work for one, then be there...and remember #2.  what is the point of "owning" a bar, tattoo parlor, beauty salon, etc. if you are never there for RP.  Now, I do understand that you also want to enjoy other aspects of the sim, and that is fine, but you should still try to be at your business on a regular basis.  Also, for the others who may wish to use the business for RP...do not hesitate to IM the owner and ask for a scene.  Believe me, most will be more than willing to.

5 - Personal Blog on website.  This is for the owners.  Consider adding a blog page to your site where residents can post things about themselves.  This is a good way not only for people to share what their character is about, but for others to know and maybe seek them out for RP.

6 - Have a bio in your picks.  This is to help others know a little bit about you and what you may like/dislike to RP

7 - Be active.  Do not just sit in your home and wait to see if something will happen, get out and make it happen.  If ten people are on the sim and all are sitting at home, then naturally, no one will be RPing.  But if they were all out and even just walking around, then chances are good they will run into each other.  And do not be afraid to speak, even if it is just a hi to someone passing by.  You never know, that simple hi could turn into the best RP scene you ever had.

Understand, these are just some ideas my friends and I have had, and some people may disagree with a point or two.  That is fine.

Please feel free to add any other ideas on how sims can increase the RP

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In my more active roleplaying days I gave a lot of thought to this too. 

Here are a few additions to points you mentioned. Disclaimer: I like adventure RP (short stories, long character arc), so my comments are from that perspective. 

1. Role of the sim owner. 
"Build it and they will come" doesn't really work. People need some structure, some stability (eg does sim owner intend to keep the place running for a while or do they have a track record of frequently starting and abandoning sims?) and some guidance for ongoing RP (does the sim have designated GMs or something similar?). If there is no central guidance of some sort (or the owner vanishes for weeks at a time) that rarely bodes well for a RP sim.

2. Players in hiding. 
Hiding away in private areas usually means the person is doing something else (IMing, afk, unpacking shopping). I doubt those who actually want RP would hide where they can't be approached. Player housing, for all it helps pay the rent, encourages this hiding away, and there's not much can be done about it if the tenant has paid for their idling space. Either don't offer private housing or accept this will probably happen.

3. Players standing around waiting for something to happen. 
This comes back to the driving force behind the sim. If there's no storyline at all, or the story is whatever someone feels like on a given day... the RP won't have much momentum. Some may have stories going with their own group of friends, but that doesn't help draw in new players. Sim-wide storylines can. I've roleplayed on a sim where the owner liked to redesign. This meant the roleplayers had to deal with a "natural disaster" now and then when all or part of the sim was demolished. May not be everyone's cup of tea but at least it gave us all something to talk to each other about.

All I can think of off the top of my head. I miss roleplaying ??

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As some one trying to get into some roleplays I actually think it's a little of both. Players should not be looking for region owners to hold their hand the whole way, if the creator(s) have done a good job they would have set up a backstory and premous behind the roleplay and made this information available to players to build on, players should be able to move forward from on their own. This does not mean the creators should be totally hands off as it would be good for them to be involved at some level from time to time, even so much as adding tools and groups for roleplayers to communicate and/or setup events and schedules, perhaps even updating the backstory should it seem warrented to better reflect the current state of roleplay.

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