Saturday, November 7, 2009

5 Tips for Aspiring Staff for an Online Text Game

I've spent almost 6 years as a Staff member and sometimes builder on a MUD. We often have people ask what they can do to become a builder or a staff member. Having seen many people attempt to become staff and succeed or fail, I have a few nuggets of wisdom about this endeavor.

1.) Be patient and willing to prove yourself.
If you are generally inexperienced in building or other skills needed by those who work on MUDs, then you will likely need to spend some time on the game proving yourself. One that has lots of experience that can present themselves as being very valuable will likely be able to get a position much quicker. Otherwise an potential staff member needs to prove that they are reliable before they are hired. A player will likely need to play a game for some time before you will even be considered for a position.

2.) Be an active part of the game community.
Spend time playing the game that you wish to work on. Being a consistent player on the game will help to prove loyalty and reliability. If there is a forum for the game be an active and positive poster.

3.) Get a "lesser" job for the game.
When additional staff members are needed, a game administrator will often look to those who have already proven a desire to work on his or her game. Many games "hire" people to help out new players. Many games also have in character leadership positions. If you manage to get a position then do your best. If you do not present yourself well then you won't be considered for anythign else.

4.) Take initiative.
Look for chances that you can help out the game even if a task has not been assigned to you. Find a way to offer doing the tasks you feel would help the game without causing extra work for the existing staff. Don't expect to hear an answer back right away or at all. If you have offered something that is needed and they wish you to do it they will gladly contact you. Better yet, find tasks to do that do not require authorization.

5.) Put your best foot forward.
Show yourself to be mature, reliable, and level headed. Admins are looking for individuals that will make their lives easier and not more difficult. If you have an opportunity to do anything relating to the type of work you wish to do then jump at the opportunity. If you are given a task completely it swiftly and well. I have seen the majority of people fail at this point by either not completing the work given or doing it in a timely manner.

While you may believe that game administration would take whatever help they can get there are a lot of considerations. It takes a lot of time and energy to train staff and builders, the existing staff needs to know that this investment will pay off. I have seen far more people fail then succeed. Being a staff member is a lot of work and is not nearly as glamorous or personally beneficial as it might seem. If you don't seek to work on a game merely to make a positive difference for the game, then don't even try. If you are seeking to do it for personal gain you will almost always be unhappy or unsuccesful in the long run!

Good Luck!

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