Nov 30

Building Your Game World Community: Part 1 – The Basics


This is the first in a series of articles aiming to be a tutorial on how to increase the interactivity of the users within your current gameworld. To prepare for this I asked around my world, Nicholson, for ways in which various managers like to interact with each other.
Before I start, I would like to use a favourite FMLive relative phrase that I have heard many, many times.

“You only get out of your gameworld what you put in”

Every time I hear this I feel it is very, very true. When I started playing back at the start of the Saunders Game World I stayed quiet, not really knowing what to do, or who to talk to. I stumbled around for two seasons before scampering off to St. John where I lasted less than a season. Then Nicholson opened its doors and this time I decided to introduce myself, it worked wonders. I have been here for a total of almost 12 seasons and enjoyed every one of them.
I have been wildly unsuccessful in all three of my gameworlds. The only difference was the community in each, which in my case is why I haven’t switched worlds in so long. In this first part I will outline basic ways of increasing the activity on the non-playing side.

The lobby

This is the obvious starting point. The lobby is, well, the lobby, open to all it is the hub of gameworld chatter. If your lobby is silent just say “Hi”, or make a comment on in-game events or real-life events. If no one responds then show some patience, wait half an hour then try the same thing again but start with a different topic, or a touch of humour. Most lobbies should have a decent pace of chatter during the evening, but if you aren’t amongst those chatting then you can hardly complain if the lobby is dead.

FA Chat

Now, this one varies depending on how your FA is run. In my experience all FA chat rooms have been generally quiet, with the exception of the Social FA chat room. Similar strategies work in the FA room as in the lobby, say hi, talk about results, and in general have a good laugh. For the non-SFA rooms I can only suggest finding a topic that is bound to cause conversation, or try getting a couple of friends to start a conversation with you and see who else you can drag in.

Match Chat

This is one of the best ways of making new friends. After the unofficial (but mandatory) “gl mate”, why not talk about how the game is going? Maybe congratulate them on a goal they scored or break down into tears after a penalty missed? For every friend you make you strengthen the gameworld, and your results against those teams suddenly mean much, much more to both of you. Don’t be afraid to add people as friends and don’t fear rejection, remember at the end of the day it is just a game.
Always be polite, even with banter. Taking it too far will ruin the mood, FML is a relaxing, hilarious experience, and should stay that way.

Next time…

Next time I shall discuss how you, YES YOU, can run or help run a competition to get the community talking, and how votes can spice up your gameworld. If you want anything in particular discussed later in this series, why not comment below?

Written By Chris Rowlands
Hailing from Gillingham in Kent, Chris runs the Nicholson SFA Newsletter and is the manager of Norfolk In Chance in that game world.
Interested in more? Here are some related articles for you!
  • This article should be a mandatory read for FA orgs and Chat Helpers. Some GWs build a strong community spirit, some FAs do, some don't... and the importance of this aspect is what makes some old GWs still active and others utterly dead.
    Some mods and orgs do a good job organizing treasure hunts and other events in chat rooms, but I think that the game should be coded in a way to encourage cooperation in FAs. Training orgs in building community spirit, and not only in organising competitions, should be a priority for moderators (this one is a mea culpa).

  • Very constructive comments there, guys, thanks for that.

  • sherifflee

    I think should sack everyone and restart in March if this is the sort of shit there coming out with now, no offence chris but end of the day is only really viewed by the hardcore FML users and im pretty sure they dont need lessons on how to talk in the chat rooms, and dont bother with next weeks imo lol.

  • Jordans Y Fronts

    **Next Week**

    When playing FML you should always be comfortable! If your chair is chafing you, place a pillow onto it.

    Always try to place your mouse on a flat surface.

    Now that the game is getting reset you guys might aswell scrap your restart challenge for a new one,

    The Log In Challenge

    Rules are simple, try logging in once or twice in the next month to see what actually goes on in the game.

  • You did an article on how to talk in the lobby.

    I think the highlight for me was:

    " If your lobby is silent just say “Hi” "

    I look forward to your future insightful articles.

    ps have you ever thought of tabloid journalism ?

  • This is a five-article piece. I was putting the basics in first, seeing as if I dive straight in with the best suggestions then the next four are going to look bad as well. Admittedly it could have been better, but GW1 isn't my top priority.

    Anyway, look in your lobby, and look on the forums. Inevitably somebody on the forums will complain about how the lobby is dead - why not talk? I have made about 20 friends just from talking to people in the lobby. If that isn't building a community then I don't know what is.

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