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The First Step - OP Structure

Started by crimsoncero March 6th, 2016 12:43 PM
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  • 10 replies

crimsoncero

In El-Harim, there lived a man, a man with yellow eyes.

Age 22
Male
Israel
Seen July 10th, 2016
Posted April 19th, 2016
74 posts
3.8 Years
The opening post is one of the most important and crucial steps in an RP life, in my opinion.
It delivers the settings, genre, theme and direction of the RP. It is the first thing a possible player will read, and it will most likely be the deciding factor whether to join the RP or not.

The opening post can also be used as a database to hold information about areas and locations in the RP, it can be used as a reference point for players to use as they write their posts. This is most useful when having a RP in a setting few or none knows about, whether because they are made up or from a very unknown source.

I thought it would be interesting to hear the tips and thoughts people in this community have on how the OP should function, what detail should it hold and how they prefer to build theirs. Of course there is a big difference between a Pokémon or a known setting in general and a settings no one knows about, so there would be many views depending on that.

Jauntier

Where was your antennas again?

Male
USA
Seen April 6th, 2018
Posted December 23rd, 2017
661 posts
4.3 Years
I thought it would be interesting to hear the tips and thoughts people in this community have on how the OP should function, what detail should it hold and how they prefer to build theirs.

This is my answer:

The opening post is one of the most important and crucial steps in an RP life, in my opinion.
It delivers the settings, genre, theme and direction of the RP. It is the first thing a possible player will read, and it will most likely be the deciding factor whether to join the RP or not.

The opening post can also be used as a database to hold information about areas and locations in the RP, it can be used as a reference point for players to use as they write their posts. This is most useful when having a RP in a setting few or none knows about, whether because they are made up or from a very unknown source.
You covered your own question for the rest of us, frankly.

To add something minor, I personally like to write my opening post in a way that the tone or mood of it is reflective of the role-play, as opposed to starkly listing off facts and objectives. Visual aesthetic plays a part in that for me as well.

Astronaut

space adventure

Non-binary
Seen 48 Minutes Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
I agree with Jauntier, that I really want to set the tone for the RP though the OP. It doesn't need overly flashy css, it just needs to be laid out or formatted in a way that reflects what you want the RP to be like imo. I often made my pokemon journey RPs very colorful and adventurous kinda, with images and whatnot. It usually suits the RP c:

I often include some kind of "mechanics" section. Not quite rules, but also not background/lore. Just how the players should play the game, pretty much.

Foxrally

Age 21
Male
a Torterra's back
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted October 10th, 2019
2,584 posts
6.6 Years
It doesn't need overly flashy css
Though I agree with all that was said above I do have to disagree with that statement. Though I do believe regular don’t need to have css, opening posts should most definitely have good formatting (as good as the creator can manage, at least) and some effort should be put into it. Think of it as a store – the display window should be as attractive as possible to anyone passing by, but the shelves don’t have to be. First impressions are huge, and if an OP doesn’t look visually attractive at first glance, there’s a lower chance that the person is actually going to read the contents of the post.
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Astronaut

space adventure

Non-binary
Seen 48 Minutes Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
Though I agree with all that was said above I do have to disagree with that statement. Though I do believe regular don’t need to have css, opening posts should most definitely have good formatting (as good as the creator can manage, at least) and some effort should be put into it. Think of it as a store – the display window should be as attractive as possible to anyone passing by, but the shelves don’t have to be. First impressions are huge, and if an OP doesn’t look visually attractive at first glance, there’s a lower chance that the person is actually going to read the contents of the post.
You can make an opening post look really cool without css. With creative use of bbcode and images, which is usually a lot simpler and easier to do than fiddle with div tags, you can make an opening post look really neat.

Tell you what. In my first Meta Journey event, I won't use any css for the OP, but I'll still try to make it look really good. Challenge accepted? (;

Foxrally

Age 21
Male
a Torterra's back
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted October 10th, 2019
2,584 posts
6.6 Years
You can make an opening post look really cool without css. With creative use of bbcode and images, which is usually a lot simpler and easier to do than fiddle with div tags, you can make an opening post look really neat.

Tell you what. In my first Meta Journey event, I won't use any css for the OP, but I'll still try to make it look really good. Challenge accepted? (;
challenge accepted

Paired to Ice and gimmepie
3DS Friend Code
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Ozymandias

i'm going on a journey

under your bed
Seen May 3rd, 2019
Posted February 17th, 2019
1,066 posts
6.5 Years
like jauntier and adventure stated above i believe you answered your own question my friend :)

as for the whole css thing i agree with both of you guys. the op needs to be formatted well (which css can do) but it doesn't necessarily need css to look nice and neat.
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jombii

Crobat is ProBat

Male
Philippines
Seen June 28th, 2019
Posted April 13th, 2019
3,414 posts
5.4 Years
For me, the OP must have all important information. History, plot, players, SU sheet, and where the RP is already in case SU's are opened again midway in the RP.

crimsoncero

In El-Harim, there lived a man, a man with yellow eyes.

Age 22
Male
Israel
Seen July 10th, 2016
Posted April 19th, 2016
74 posts
3.8 Years
Are there any good examples of OPs? I would like to examine the style and things people have done, good examples for both css heavy and barely css ops would really help to give ideas. Of course that examples of things you would prefer to be done otherwise would help as well.
I'm thinking about starting to work on a RP, and trying to gather as much knowledge as I can.

jombii

Crobat is ProBat

Male
Philippines
Seen June 28th, 2019
Posted April 13th, 2019
3,414 posts
5.4 Years
Are there any good examples of OPs? I would like to examine the style and things people have done, good examples for both css heavy and barely css ops would really help to give ideas. Of course that examples of things you would prefer to be done otherwise would help as well.
I'm thinking about starting to work on a RP, and trying to gather as much knowledge as I can.
There are actually players who don't factor CSS at all when it comes to OP. As long as the universe is well-structured, there's a clear ongoing plot, etc., I'm sure you'll do good with it.

Jauntier

Where was your antennas again?

Male
USA
Seen April 6th, 2018
Posted December 23rd, 2017
661 posts
4.3 Years
If you have a lot of information for your role-play (and you should), it seriously behooves you to at least distinguish your sections in a way that is easy on the eyes, flows, and can be easily discerned through a quick skim. A wall of text where the only thing distinguishing headers and body paragraphs is a bold font will be considered a daunting read and can easily be off-putting to the point that someone skimming may be disinterested because key information is not readily available to them.

Meta Journey's Hub uses minimal CSS (colored headings and padding) and information is easy to find in clearly labeled and separate sections.

Cornered On The Market has a lot of information to portray: the OOC overview of the role-play in the first post, and in the second, IC information in one portion and art stuffs in another. All three things are separated and are easily distinguishable from one another through various means (portion header, color-coordinated). In addition, information within each portion is clearly separated, and for convenience, the portion header has targeted links that take you to a specific section of that portion for easy in-page navigation. While it could be considered a more advanced code for CSS, it is not necessary as it is for the sake of convenience.

Those are two opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both accomplish the same thing effectively. Even your Demonic Core interest check utilizes CSS in a simple but elegant way, and makes it more appealing to read.

As the Game Master, your OP needs to be accessible to everyone, and that does involve formatting.
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