Character Ads

Discussion in 'Business & Marketing' started by Archaeon, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Archaeon

    Archaeon Resident Game Owner

    I’m adding this to the marketing section because that’s primarily what I want to use the information you give me for. I suspect that for most people what it really boils down to is whether a particular character sparks inspiration. Or whether you’re on the look out for a particular type of character/role that just so happens to fit. And that’s cool. But what I’m looking for is more of a technical guide.

    But I guess what I’m really asking can be broken down to these:

    1. What sort of aesthetics do you find appealing in character adverts?

    2. Are there any aesthetic elements that would put you off reading character adverts?

    3. What sort of information do you want to see? Also, how detailed should that information be?

    So far only two of our canon characters have been taken. Which is great, but I’d obviously love to see more being picked up by people. I’m hoping to pick a few trends (or discover there are none to be had!) from you lovely folks. Which we can all then use to bolster our ranks.
  2. VarnishedTruths

    VarnishedTruths Resident Game Owner

    My #1 rule for all kinds of ads: please gods, make it something I can read. No tiny text, no low-contrast font choices. Ads and sites that make it hard to read make me think "Welp they can't be too proud of their RP since they don't want anyone to see it."

    If these are characters made up by the game's lore-writers, I skip out if there's too many demands. I don't bother with ads that dictate who I must have as my PB or that I will do such-and-such a plot with no input into anything. I get that you want specific plots, but not making room for your RP partners to have any say is rude. And anyone who gets overly picky about PBs is just someone I don't need to know.

    In the ad, specifics are good--specifics that explain what you're talking about. If the ad's for, say, "John Smith, husband of Mary, father of Betty and Steve, who's enemies with Frank", okay, so who the heck is Frank? Explain who the other people in the plots are and a little bit about how they got to the point they're at. A paragraph at most, here. I've seen a lot of ads that assume the readers are already familiar with the characters and plots in a game. That's not going to draw me in. But don't be specific about too many things. I don't need a list of John's top three "albums to bring to a desert island" or to know his favorite kind of socks. People who're interested in playing the character will find or figure out these things on their own; everyone else will stop reading before they get to the next character on your list.
    Archaeon likes this.
  3. Archaeon

    Archaeon Resident Game Owner

    @VarnishedTruths Thank you so much! This such useful feedback. I must say that I absolutely agree with your first point. I switch between different screen sizes all the time and so run the gauntlet of tiny fonts. Or worse yet illegible ones!

    I have to say that providing enough information without going overboard is my greatest difficulty at the moment. The characters I would most like to see filled directly tie into the current site plot. So, there is quite a bit of information/backstory for them even after only a couple of months of being open. Yet, I absolutely feel that the player should have creative freedom over deciding what other directions they want to take the character in. Not to mention things like playbys etc.

    At the moment I’m considering using bullet points for things such as major personality traits. Then detailing the character’s specific role in the plot (antagonist/ally for instance) with links to key threads or discussions. I shall also reference other characters involved or relationships with further links as necessary. That’s my current thinking at any rate.

    Keep the opinions/feedback coming folks! I’m genuinely interested to hear what you all have to say on the subject.
    VarnishedTruths likes this.
  4. VarnishedTruths

    VarnishedTruths Resident Game Owner

    That sounds like a good plan to me. Bullet points are quick and easy reads that let people decide if they want to keep going, which is good for drawing people in and also not making people feel like they're wasting their time so they might read other ads you post later. ;)
  5. Ruin

    Ruin Resident Game Owner

    1. What sort of aesthetics do you find appealing in character adverts?

    Again, I'm another person that likes for character adverts to be readable. I don't like squashed templates where I've got to scroll past every sentence to read paragraphs and paragraphs of information. It's so frustrating, and I'm pretty likely to give up and move on.

    2. Are there any aesthetic elements that would put you off reading character adverts?

    Character adverts that have given their characters faceclaims already. I love art to be used within the advert, with the choice to choose your own faceclaim as long as it fits the general idea for the character's appearance. Or just an appearance description with the choice to find a faceclaim yourself that suits! I'm a little fussy in that regard, so if I really like the character concept but don't like the face, I'll move on.

    3. What sort of information do you want to see? Also, how detailed should that information be?

    I want character adverts, when I check them out, to be interesting. If they're for original canons (characters that have been created by staff because they're important towards the plot and have been offered up by staff) they need to have some kind of interesting quality or history to them, or even just future plots revolving around them.

    But yeah, when it comes to information, I'm in the exact same boat as @VarnishedTruths!
    VarnishedTruths and Archaeon like this.
  6. Somniac

    Somniac Resident Game Owner

    1. Unusual face claims. Unconventional appearances. Faces I don't recognize and associate with something else right away.

    More shallowly: muscle, fat, androgyny, clean shaven brown eyed guys, and women with intense stares. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    2. I kind of avoid family advertisements at this point because it's generally the same blond(e) or brunet(te) actors with blue or green eyes. Maybe I should start entering with the option in mind that, welp, if it's that dude from Supernatural again why don't I shoot an ask going, "hey, what's the chances there's a bastard Dad's trying to hide?".

    3. I want to know up front the things you can't imagine the characters without. I want to know the aspects you're looking forward to, and I want to know if there's things I should avoid. I don't want to find out I've been sucked into some sort of mandatory harem game after I've started taking interest in the ad, or worse: after I've already been given the OK to roll the character.

    I want signs that the character can become (and is encouraged to become) 3D and functional (or at least entertainingly dysfunctional) outside of their relationship to the Wanter's character(s).

    I'm more keen on an ad with "too much" than too little because when I'm looking at a Wanted, I'm looking at them as a writing prompt. Much of the fun is the challenge of working within the c0nstraints of that prompt.

    Bespectacled cat: your wisdom is eternal.

    Edit: opposite word botch.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    Archaeon likes this.
  7. sora

    sora Newcomer Game Owner

    So I'm commenting about a different sort of scenario with character ads and on information you'd like to see.
    On my site we actually have a required template you have to use if you want to put up a want ad. But we have very good reasons for it. Specifically in the past we had a LOT of issues with want ads, and member conflict caused by them. Situations where the requester didn't include certain information, but then got mad at the maker because they aren't making the character the way they want (and again, they didn't include the information to begin with.). So on our required template we have sections for "Required", "Preferred", and "Open", where you have to basically lay everything out. For my site, character ads are less about "looking pretty" and more "Get all the information across so people can actually take them".

    When I look at other sites now, it actually bothers me when I see vague character ads because they remind me so much of the issues that were caused in the past because members didn't include essential information. I won't even consider a character ad if they are bare bones in info.
  8. Archaeon

    Archaeon Resident Game Owner

    @sora Do you have a link to your ad that I could take a look at? That's a really logical way of looking at it and I'd love to take a closer look.
  9. sora

    sora Newcomer Game Owner

    I'll message you the direct link :) Here's a copy paste of what it generically looks like. We don't let people require playbys (because they cause issues when people become set on a playby and then someone uses it for a character not their character ad), and we don't let you require info for canon characters that isn't established (because they aren't your character/family, you didn't make them so you can't require stuff.)

    I'll also add, we had a loooooooot of ad related issues before we implemented this system and required our template be used. Since the switch, we've had little to no issues with ads. Sure, it's not as pretty as other ads, but it leaves no room for confusion and miscommunication.

    Name: Full name, Partial name, up to you, etc.
    Gender: what they identify as, if it's negotiable, etc.
    Age: Specific or a range
    Schooling: House and/or School
    Potential Faces: List all the playbys you feel would fit. (You can not require playbys.)
    Required Details: Things you're not willing to negotiate. (Canons cannot have required details)
    Preferred: Things you are willing to negotiate.
    Open: Things you are totally open about.
    Other details: Anything else you think is important to know about the character. Family, friends, history, etc.

    Private Discussion Required: Is there plotting that needs to be discussed between you and the person who makes the character. Put yes or no, and they will know they MUST contact you. (Canons cannot have required discussions.)
    If Yes, Contact: account you wish to be contacted on if you put yes above.
    Somniac likes this.