So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

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So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Pedros » 25 May 2012, 18:15

I've written before about the difficulties some games have got into with GMs disappearing in mid-stream. A lot of this is to do with new GMs not realising the work involved, and the commitment demanded, in being a GM. If you haven't been through it, it can be very difficult to appreciate how long Forum Games can last, and how much effort is required to make them run smoothly.

So we're introducing some basic qualifications for new GMs (when I say "We", this has been fully discussed by the four most experienced GMs around at present - myself, asudevil, BigBert and Morg, as well as all the Global Moderators, although if there are any complaints it's me who carries the can!)

The first thing is that a GM needs to understand the game of Diplomacy itself. This sounds obvious, but in the past we've had new GMs who didn't really understand the rules, and some who had hardly ever played a game anywhere. So a good knowledge of the rules, and some experience of playing the game, are vital (the experience might be gained on this site, or just playing at home with friends, or anything in between.) That's pretty basic!

But also, GMs need to be aware of the demands and mechanics of running a game here. That involves experience of the mechanics of posting on the Forum and of Private Messages; how to create and manipulate the maps which are needed; and the kind of procedures ("House Rules") which PlayDip GMs need to use. Finally, enough experience of playing Forum Games is needed to ensure that the new GM is really able to commit the time which is needed - both week by week, but also month after month; Forum Games can last six months, occasionally over a year. If you bail out half-way through, you won't be popular (big time!) The next topic, "Becoming a GM", will outline what's involved.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Willie900 » 25 May 2012, 19:47

Do current GMs not part of the four mentioned (like myself) need to go through the process of becoming one?
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Pedros » 25 May 2012, 19:54

Good question! No, GMs who have been accredited under this system and have run good games just carry on. GMs who were around before this system ought to let me know and we will deal with them on a case-by-case basis.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Freddafred » 25 May 2012, 20:34

Good job Pedro's! I think this will help abandoments.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby asudevil » 25 May 2012, 20:36

Willie900 wrote:Do current GMs not part of the four mentioned (like myself) need to go through the process of becoming one?


Great question...We arent out to stop people who have a reliable track record...This is just to help us with the start-up GM's who don't realize what they are getting themselves into.

(BTW, mainly posting so that it shows up in "view your posts")
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Willie900 » 25 May 2012, 20:37

I do have a suggestion--Propose that new GMs start their first game with jDip or a similar program. It removes the map editing and adjudication part of the process, but still include picture uploading and the general GMing stuff. That way a new GM can get used to running the game with less chance of dropping the game because of too much work. I did my first Forum Game with jDip, and it was really useful.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby asudevil » 25 May 2012, 20:42

Willie900 wrote:I do have a suggestion--Propose that new GMs start their first game with jDip or a similar program. It removes the map editing and adjudication part of the process, but still include picture uploading and the general GMing stuff. That way a new GM can get used to running the game with less chance of dropping the game because of too much work. I did my first Forum Game with jDip, and it was really useful.


That's a good thought, the only issue with that would be then the first time they DO try moving units and coloring a map, may be on a bigger map with extra rules. Using JDip allows the GM to not fully understand the rules and how to adjudicate scenarios of cutting support since the computer does it all for them.

As several newer GM's have found out, GIMP and Paint (not paint.net) are hard to use, but they cant get paint.net. I would hate for them to find this out on a larger scale/complex map.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby Willie900 » 25 May 2012, 20:47

asudevil wrote:
Willie900 wrote:I do have a suggestion--Propose that new GMs start their first game with jDip or a similar program. It removes the map editing and adjudication part of the process, but still include picture uploading and the general GMing stuff. That way a new GM can get used to running the game with less chance of dropping the game because of too much work. I did my first Forum Game with jDip, and it was really useful.


That's a good thought, the only issue with that would be then the first time they DO try moving units and coloring a map, may be on a bigger map with extra rules. Using JDip allows the GM to not fully understand the rules and how to adjudicate scenarios of cutting support since the computer does it all for them.

As several newer GM's have found out, GIMP and Paint (not paint.net) are hard to use, but they cant get paint.net. I would hate for them to find this out on a larger scale/complex map.


true. After GMing Sail Ho on jDip, I made sure to do a very small, easy map for my first self-adjudicated map: Easter Island, which was good practice, and got me fluent in Paint.Net. So as long as the GM is sensible and avoids a big, complex map for his first self-adjudicated game, it would work well.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby asudevil » 25 May 2012, 21:22

Willie900 wrote:So as long as the GM is sensible and avoids a big, complex map for his first self-adjudicated game, it would work well.


Of course if our newer GM's were all sensible, then we wouldnt have to do any of this.

Its kinda a "for your own good" thing.
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Re: So you want to become a PlayDip GM?

Postby stalin813 » 27 May 2012, 08:18

I think the playing experience is crucial to being a quality GM. Knowing the ins and outs of the game makes for a better game. I like Pedros idea of a little quiz for new GMs. Wouldn't be bad for the older GMs to refresh either.
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