Historical RP/Sim : How to get new people and retain existing
I'm quite enjoying these conversations not only because they broaden my perspective but they help me to better define the environment I'm managing. Abbondio mentions "light" roleplay, Sombra, creator of G&S, talks about "active" roleplay. The term roleplay has been stuck in my head for over a decade with regard to historic estates and it has certain negative connotations which I continue to challenge.
I totally agree with you that sometimes the definitions of the Roleplay is very hard to understand and I would like to add some comparision with existing games of the industry.
First, the aspect of of crafting, gathering and farming so either G&S or ACS or Unity is called Sandbox. (remember FarmVille on facebook) Sandboxing is part of many other games and is considered a very interesting way to keep people active and give them incentive to either upgrade themselves or make money.
Second, in MMORPG worlds, we most of the time use the term CASUAL to describe people who play the game lightly. So they are not dedicated to the game all the time and when they come online they enjoy being part of it but they don't seek to be the top of the elite. I really like this term as I see it in SL as people who are not doing Para-RP and when roleplaying they almost sound OOC but keep in period discussion.
I also like the terme of Historical accurate RolePlay, as it was in Versailles and other, and would describe as people who prefer to stick to a character that really existed (or movie characters) and stick to history and attitude this character had (Or.... they think they had... because how can you really know the additude of someone dead 400 years ago only by reading probaganda agains't them???). This kind of Roleplay are usually the most stricts out there and are very scripted.
Pamus say it before, the learning curve is huge for someone who join SL, and for me historical accurate roleplay are adding too much to get involve as you need to study history BEFORE you can play there. I know people who join historical sims should have a basic interest in history but there is a major difference between liking a time period and wanting to pretend to be part of it then having to know all the "current" plots and events that happened in that period of time with accuracy. Also to come back on Para-RP, I would add this to learning curve that is not always at the reach of everyone. For myself, english is not my first language (Yes we know...) but I'm not either a novel reader, and having to write one when I play is very time consuming and I know I'm not the only one out there who feel this way so when you setup a Role Play and request for Para-RP (= Every post should be a paragraphe with feeling, description and actual comment.) this that it will act as a filter on the player you will get.
So for me the futur lies in sandboxing and casual roleplay, where you can come and join easily without requirements other then being dress in period and try to avoid modern talks. Over time people will get more into their role and learn more about the historical aspect they are in and it will become better and better. But till it's achieve, everyone can have great fun together.
And I agree with you Abbondio most in the past were title and power angry peoples and historical roleplay tend to bring those up as everyone want to be Marie-Antoinette , and with Tatiana that managing a roleplay should be easy enough to allow management to play the game too, those are two major concern I had and is why the Antiquity HUD bring more of the MORPG and manage titles and will work with no to minimal the need of admins. This I hope should make us drama free and be FAIR to everyone who join.