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Forums » Suggestions & Development Discussion » Development Research: Groups and Guilds

Kim Site Admin

There are a few tweaks that still need to be made to existing widgets, but very soon this will become the new priority #1.

Like most features around here, it's likely to start basic and gradually expand over time. But expansion is much easier when you've had additions in mind since the planning stages.

So tell me, if you started a group on the RPR, what would you want to be able to do with it? Yes, groups will get their own forums. Yes, group leaders will be able to approve or deny membership requests if they don't want to let everyone join. After that, what're you gonna do? :D
Are they going to have individual group pages?

I think what I'd really like to see is a sort of standardized listing that people can browse that details some basics. I'm thinking RP style, dream location (for Furc), open/closed, whether or not an application is required, common species, whether or not magic is used, time period, technology, age limits, and so on. I'm sure there are more simple details like that.

I also think the family tree planned would be highly useful for groups. A general way to show RP hierarchy in some fashion would be nice...not just family groups.

How are you going to do members? By characters or by players?
Taking up the subject Peacerose stated in her last question, I would like membership by characters rather than players. Perhaps this is already the obvious choice because otherwise people with anonymously played characters would have a problem joining, but still.

When you say 'groups will get their own forums', does that mean they get an entire separate forum, or a forum category/subforum on the main forum? Not that it would matter to me either way, but just to be clear.
I think group pages would be fun, like the member pages now. Again, this is probably already obvious, but don't mind if I do ramble on. It could show some details and rules and membership requirements on the main page, as well as a list of members (like a player's page shows a list of their characters now), perhaps, and of course a link to the group's forum. And as Peacerose said, some standardized settings like Open/Closed and Continuity would make browsing the list of groups easier. Although that could also just as easily be put together in one journal, with OOC or IC mentioned in the entry title.

As for the future, once the groups are created and have their forum... I'm thinking from the perspective of my MSN roleplay group. Some of us wanted a forum for those who couldn't be online at the same time as the other group members, and for getting to know potential new members without demanding that they sign up for MSN immediately. So, just a forum would make me very happy. I never paused to think ahead.

Maybe some member reward system could be added in the future? Like, when someone did some very excellent roleplaying, they could get to be displayed on the group's page for a week or a month. Kinda like "Employee of the Month" in some companies. People who happen to browse the group's page would see the character in question displayed, thus opening up more opportunities to get to know other roleplayers.

And a journal function for the group could be fun, to summarize the things that have happened in the continuity. Perhaps there could even be an OOC journal and a IC journal. OOC meaning group news, technical things, absence of people, and IC meaning continuity updates.
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

To answer some of your questions...

The RP Rep has its roots in site building, and groups aren't going to get excluded from that tradition, six months old though it might be. ;) Groups that wish to will have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the same simple tools currently available to characters, so that someone who wanted to could use the feature to create a website containing setting information etc. to be used as reference for an 'external' community like a furcadian dream, and make it possible for anyone to view the page. Just like you can currently show your character profiles to people who don't have RPR accounts and they don't need to know anything about us beyond that we host the info, a group website could be used the same way, only with info about an entire community.

Then again, those that prefer can still just keep their group down to a simple profile and a forum where they and their RPR friends can play privately, and not open any more than their front page to the public.

Old friends like the text widgets and friends widgets (reincarnated as a members widget -- likely with the new addition of the ability to specify ranks or positions of people listed in it) are likely to make reappearances, along with new widgets specific to groups. What will the new widgets be? That's one of the things we're finding out right now. ;)

I'm hearing possible complex rank heirarchies and featured characters as possibilities so far. I particularly like the idea of groups being allowed to feature their own characters. It provides more opportunities for all your fantastic characters to get recognition. It always breaks my heart when we have to turn down a nominated character for one reason or another, and groups will undoubtedly have more flexibility to showcase characters that I can't put on the front page, because they surpass a general site-friendly rating or have some other hiccup that has nothing to do with whether or not they're awesome.

To answer your question about how forums will be set up, each group will get their own private forums that is in no way attached to the main forums. They'll be allowed to set up some number of their own boards and specify their name, type and description, so groups can keep RP And OOC discussion seperate, and group leaders can appoint their own moderators.

It's not clear to me yet how membership will be handled. If we have to pick one way, then by character, but I don't really want to exclude the possibility of OOC groups forming. So you may be able to specify when you create your group whether you want to see applications from characters or you want to see applications from players. Might be one of those things where we do the simpler thing first and then expand over time.

Thanks for all your other ideas so far, too. Keep them coming! We might not be able to do all of them in the end, but at this stage everything is being considered and weighed.
Membership, to me, would ideally be handled much like the groups on DA. One person starts the group and is initially in charge of handling incoming requests for membership from other players and/or characters. Once there are members, the leader of the group can assign moderation powers (power to allow/deny join requests, power to promote, power to edit the page, etc.) to certain individuals (perhaps by character?) if so desired. But I would like to have the power to assign very specific powers to whatever individual, in form of a checklist or whatever, so that the leader of groups can still have control of the way their page is being handled.
Thanks for the info, Kim. I'm really excited about this new aspect of the site, and I think it's gonna be a great tool for RP groups.

I really love Ethelle's idea of the journals/news functions (both IC and OOC) for groups. That would be one of those things which would be nice to have the option to allow external viewing or not. And I wanna second Tasha's ideas about assigning moderation abilities. I think that's pretty important beyond just the forum.

Another idea that occurred to me which would be particularly useful for groups that require applications would be if we could create small forms. I don't know if that's something that would be too involved though. Just tossing it out there.

Any thoughts on doing something like featured groups along the same line as featured characters?
I'm excited about the possibility of groups and guilds. :) I know that people who RP in my dream on Furcadia are already using the gametags to designate our dream as being distinct from the rest of Furcadia. Maybe there could be a way to connect the group/guild page to that game tag? Like, you click on the game tag and are brought to the group/guild page, where you see the list of members in addition to any other widgets y'all have in the works. Just a suggestion!
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

Hmn, okay. I'll see how specific I can get with assigning powers.

Customizable application forms is a very interesting idea. It certainly won't make it into version 1.0, but I will try to design with the possibility of adding it later in mind.

As for thoughts on featuring groups like featuring characters, my only thought so far is "Yes, we should do that," but I hadn't quite gotten out ahead enough to ponder the mechanisms of it. ;)

And yes! The game tags were originally designed with linking them to groups in mind. At this point I'm having some second thoughts about that original plan, given the possibility that a character might go out and join 20 groups, which has the distinct possibility of flooding the header of their page with clutter and breaking whatever template they're using. Of course characters WILL need some way to display what groups they have membership in, but the question is, will they still appear amongst the game tags? If so, we'll have to put a limit on how many can appear in the header. How will which ones get shown and which ones don't get determined? Will players get to pick the ones they want to show off directly on their page, or perhaps give them the option to set it to random? Keeping in mind, even game tags that don't appear directly on a character's page will still be available for people to search.

The other option is to make group tags distinct from game tags, and have it be like the friends widget: You can drag it onto your page and it will show a nice big list of all your groups wherever you put it.
Ooo, love the group tags idea.

I just had a thought that I'm surprised it didn't occur to me before. Would it be possible (at some point) to have calendars for groups? Useful both for planning future events and recording past events, both OOC and IC.
I saw Guilds on here for a moment and got my brain a-thinkin'. Groups sounds a lot like an OOC thing, Guilds more IC. Just a thought, there.

Darth_Angelus Moderator

I have to disagree.

Guilds work fine for medieval and fantasy roleplaying but while the same concept exists for them, the word seems a little out of place in modern and science fiction settings. Groups is a more neutral term that works anywhere and there's no reason a group cannot be IC, OOC or both.
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

It's funny, I could go either way on whether it's a group or a guild that sounds more OOC. I'm not sure we'd have any luck picking and trying to enforce a word for each.

And in looking at this thread again I remembered how much I love the idea of group calendars. Definitely gonna have to work on that.

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