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Old 02/09/2012, 10:22 AM   #1
iNorton
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Default Server Management - How to manage your roleplay server?

So even if I left I am lurking around the forums, before I left in my sa-mp life I owned a lot of servers and there were roleplay's because I was fan of it either way I want to share my experience with other "noobies" trying to make a good server and here I will tell you how its good to manage your server to make it looks nice and cozy.

Start off - Name, website and hosting
First step is to make a proper name for your server, I will tell you one thing straight of... Get some imagination because without one your just going to make fun of your self, don't make servers called "Real Life Roleplay" or "Super Duper Awesome Roleplay Server!" because... no one is going to join that and thats given. People like me, old timers won't even bother going there, I myself avoid servers like that like a plague.

So after you get a good name your next step would be getting a website for it, NEVER and ever go for free ones like .tk unless you just want to make it look like another shit server if you don't have enough funds to EVEN get .com, .org or .net domain CLOSE this topic because this is not for you...

So if you decide which domain you want .com or any other now its time to get a name for domain, since its for your roleplay server I would advise using shortcuts of it to make the website, its the easiest way for people to remember your website, but after your done with that, it does not mean your finished, no no no now you gotta get a hosting for the website, for that if your low on budget I would simply advise hosting it on free hosting plan.

Server hosting, now this is the most hard decision for people because there is a lot of hosting companies that host sa-mp, most people want to go for the most cheaper places but that is actually bad because it will simply means shitty server and customer support.
You want to go for the ones that are popular and spoken well by people and here are the ones I advise checking out...

Quote:
www.volt-host.com
www.pingperfect.com - Previously gel-gaming.
www.smartbyteshosting.com - Previously kingj.net. Acquired by SmartBytes LLC in September 2013.
www.gforceservers.com
www.apexgameservers.com
www.interserver.net - VPS
www.nfoservers.com - VPS
www.elixant.ca
Gamemodes
Here is where the foundation of the server is, gamemode... Choosing one is hard indeed but you shouldn't actually choose but make one... This is another stop for people that want to just use GF edits as their main script NEVER do that because your just copying everyone else! and why should you join that server? its just the same as others, indeed what you need is your own script or at least SOMETHING unique that was not before, even if you do not know how to script sa-mp forums has a lot of tutorials to help you learning and so there is a lot of people that will help you out if you have problems!

Now if your so persistent using GF edit or any other gamemode from sa-mp forum download NEVER and EVER delete people's credits from it, not only your breaking the copyrights but as well you lie to every player in your server and when people find out this is not your script... Your going to have a bad day.

Team & Refunds
I will start off with team...

Quote:
Noun:
A group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport.
Verb:
Come together as a team to achieve a common goal: "he teamed up with the band".
Team is another foundation of the server, without a good team your server is going to die in matter of time... THIS is why you are careful when and who to choose to be a part of the team for you now people make the biggest mistake when it comes to the team and here is the list of those mistakes:
  • Forum applications
  • Donations to become a team member

These three mistakes are lethal to damage your server I will explain in one each of them:

Forum applications - You never do that, you cannot really trust random players who just joined applying for a moderator or administrator position, you don't know that person well nor anything about him, its like letting a complete stranger come in to your house...

These kind of people are power hungry like every other that ask for position in the team, giving power to those people will simply give you problems, power abuse and no skills as one what so ever and so this applies to Donations to become a team member and it gives a bad image about you as well because it shows how money hungry you are just to get money and let the server die out because no one will want to play on unfair servers.

WHAT you do to get a great team is you handpick them, you handpick the most active, trustworthy and skilled people that would make a great team member and this is how a great team is formed, IF they look like they can do the job right TAKE them, put them into the position ask if they want to accept it! It will give those players that message if your good enough you can be in the team as well! It drives people to do so because EVERY one wants to have some sort of power!

Refunds -

Quote:
pay back (money), typically to a customer who is not satisfied with goods or services bought.
- A lot of people seem to forget what refund really means.

This is what kills roleplays, not sure who made it but who ever came up with this idea just wanted to watch roleplay burn.
Refunds is a simply term where you give stats to people from other servers for example Player 1 joined and asks for refund and shows you picture of his stats from another server with 10 billion dollars and level 100 now you see EVERY roleplay server is like new life, they have no right to gain what they had in another server in each server you start from nothing because each one of them have different story and time even if that player leaves and says this server is shit that is good because he would of leave in two days or so and mean while abuse his given stats where poor newbies who just joined have nothing driving a bike and his driving a infernus or something else THAT just gives that "sad" feeling to the newbie, makes him leave because for some reason he has epic car and level 100 but he just joined and he has nothing.

Refund should be avoided like a plague, it kills and will kill your server, never do it or implement it, indeed its easiest way to get players but its as well easiest way to kill your server fast.

People like myself avoid servers like that, everytime I see "Refunding" in the server name I close whatever and wherever I found it. If you do plan on starting a server that "Refunds" ... Please learn the proper definition of "Refund"

Factions and its leaders
Faction is the part where the roleplay starts, Its stereotypical in ever server that you as the owner your going to be a police officer, chief of it but it kinda lets down people that want to be one, as a owner you should make a free space for people however you should not give out factions like hot bread this is like team members, you handpick them but from applications, IF their roleplay matches the faction and they are very dedicated to it they should get that position! however people that say "If you will give me that faction I will bring a lot of players" well in reality he won't, he might tho but one person and later on in future their roleplay in the faction will be utterly shit and all you will get is report on them.

Faction leaders should be also active on forums to make threads on its category specially for the public services ones, its application and other topics should be unique and not copied because it gives bad image to the server because that person stole the informations from another one this is why you should let every faction leader know they have to make their own ones and if it comes true that they stole it they got a warning and if they get around 3 warnings they are kicked from the position.

Unofficial factions are the part of roleplay where players want to form their own faction, your script should at least have support for that because people want their OWN faction! now to give it a big roleplayish touch they should not get ANY support from administration in creation of the faction and that is money each faction should earn its money for a HQ and cars! because in real life, they don't get that from God do they? nope they earn hard to get stuff, guns and so on! You should as well make a warning system for each unofficial faction, if they got reported for non roleplay and its valid they should get a warning, max 3 or more warnings and they faction gets disbanded because it simply shows that their faction is utterly crap and so is their roleplay and you have less to worry about.

Team Positions & Co-Owner
Just because your team members (( administrators )) are working in the server to bring peace that does not mean they shouldn't get positions!

What I mean is that a trustworthy and good admin should get some sort of position in forums for example one admin takes care of Player Reports and Bug Reports, another one takes care of Suggestions and Admin Reports and the next one Faction's, so that gives plenty work to each admin you have and then it means you do not have to do everything but as well gives that reality vibe to admins to show them how hard it is to be a administrator because being one IS not a shiny badge and power! If you think so you should never be one...

Co-Onwer - Now this person is the second in charge however this person if you did not start with someone already should be also handpicked but from the Admin Team, one of the greatest admin's in your team, dedicated, helpful, mature and skilful because that kind of people are the best co-owners!
Now don't get stingy, let the co-owner do some server business as well, let him help you out give him some sort of position as well! Let him administrate some team members and so!

Donations
After all you don't sleep on money or perhaps?
Either way if your players love your server and want it to live on for long time they will want to spend some bucks to help out but you gotta give something in back right? well indeed however your gift should never have money, cars and houses because that KILLS the server's economy and makes people jealous.

Your thank gift should simply have stuff like that:
  • Phone number change
  • Name Change
  • Donator color on forums
  • Donator chat
  • Possibility to turn off/on his/her PM
  • Allow them to participate for one day in beta testing in new script?

And loads more there is, as I wrote before USE your imagination!
Pricing of the donations and the thank gift should never go high, dont make 10 dollars for name change because NO one will donate that!
And one big warning... Never use that money for real life purposes just to please you, if players find out you will be playing by your self or with bots.

VOIP's
Every good server need a VOIP server, either its ventrilo or teamspeak, why?
To make people talk to each other, let them know each other, have fun don't know sing or something because it gives that "morale" to everyone!
And good roleplay experience for Law Enforcement Factions!

Ventrilo or Teamspeak?
I personally prefer Teamspeak 3 because of it looks and other system stuff however its up to you below here I will give few lists of hosting websites for a decent price and past experience where you can buy a good host.

Quote:
www.bargainvoice.com - TS3 & Ventrilo
www.leetvoiceservers.com - TS3 & Ventrilo
www.typefrag.com - TS3, Ventrilo & Mumble
www.inx-gaming.com/voice-servers - TS3 & Ventrilo
www.gamespeak.com - TS3 & Ventrilo
Website Hosting
If you want a great experience and great support for your website and make sure it does not die in random time its always good to purchase a website hosting plan, they do not cost a lot and if they do that means they are good as for VOIP's I will give you links of good hosters and the ones I had past experience with!

However if you want a good trustworthy free hosting check below:

Hosted Tab
Once back in time there was no Hosted Tab now its a place where people show off their server's.
Buying a hosted tab is a great opportunity to get more players into the server because it shows you "care" and want to spend loads of money for the server which makes you dedicated I would recommend buying hosted tab however be advised that THEY do cost a lot! here is a list of hosted tab providers!

Additional - Forums and its CMS
Forums is like a presentation in a car showroom, you want your one to look the best and make people interested! the way the forum looks shows how much effort you put into the server and every server needs a forum however there are a lot of forum CMS to choose from, now you might ask what does CMS stand for? it stands for
Quote:
Content management system
its like OS e.g. Windows, Linux and so on but for a website.

Now the most popular CMS are SMF, PHPBB2, PHPBB3, MyBB, IPB and vBullentin however IPB and vBullentin are not free CMS like SMF, PHPBB2 & 3 and MyBB, IPB costs $175 and vBullentin costs $195 and if you would think of buying one of them I would advise IPB not only because it costs less but as well in my opinion its better then vB.

Now how do the free one works? If you want a touch of IPB and vB you should check out MyBB however there aint a lot of themes for that CMS and might be confusing for first time users. SMF is the most popular and possible best free CMS there could be in my opinion, it has a great friendly system, loads of unique themes and loads more.

PHPBB2 and 3 are the second most used CMS in sa-mp however I did not use them for long time as they do not looks very nice even with a theme and I always preferred SMF however PHPBB2 is easy to use and very very friendly but PHPBB3 can be tricky to use for first time users specially when making categories and user groups in my opinion I would recommend using SMF or MyBB however to get good themes for both them you might need to pay some money for theme to the professionals which I will add links below.

New addition to CMS there is Xenforo. I personally didn't have a chance to use it by myself however I was part of community that uses Xenforo. It is a paid CMS like vB and IPB however if I would of personally choose from those three it surely would of be Xenforo. Reason? Rather simple, it is sleek and easy to use and has grown into popularity very fast. It has tons of themes for you to buy that look very professional. Xenforo tends to be very user friendly too so you shouldn't have much of problem with using it.

Links for the CMS:
Good websites to get themes:
Advertisement's
Advertisement's is where you let everyone know about your server, now having a successful advert will need your dedication to it, now to make a good advert you need to make sure its neat, has proper information and NEVER lie in it because if people will go the the server they inspect and find out that you lied all you will see "Player disconnected" to make a good advert you have to write "Why" should the viewers join your server "Where" where its located what its story "When" if its still in development "Who" is the owner who is part of the team and lastly some screenshots or videos to show the players how it looks and always act professional or at least try, here is a layout of how a good advert should look:


Just few tips when doing the advert:
Quote:
  • Don't lie about the features or player count
  • Add any possible information player will need e.g. IP, website link and so on.
  • Do not write unnecessary informations, think if this is what the viewers need to see.
Hope it helped.
Remember.
To create something that will attracts players liking you have to create something you like yourself because if you will run something you dislike you will never go far. You are suppose to have fun too. But never go too far with it. Good luck.

Last edited by iNorton; 01/11/2014 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 02/09/2012, 11:40 AM   #2
Smithy
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

You have WAYYY to much time on your hands haha. Very nice though buddy.
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Old 02/09/2012, 11:40 AM   #3
iNorton
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

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Originally Posted by Harold View Post
You have WAYYY to much time on your hands haha. Very nice though buddy.
Yea I know :'D but I just couldn't stand seeing these "crappy" servers up in advert and then seeing them die tomorrow morning while sipping hot tea and thanks!
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Old 02/09/2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

You're more naive than the people who you wrote this for if you honestly believe people will read this.
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Old 02/09/2012, 11:46 AM   #5
iNorton
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

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You're more naive than the people who you wrote this for if you honestly believe people will read this.
Don't really care Mr. Calgon
I have bunch of free time and decided to do some typing but thanks for the criticism.
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Old 02/09/2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

I read through all of that, thats quite a lot of typing.

Its a good guide.
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Old 02/09/2012, 12:15 PM   #7
iNorton
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

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Originally Posted by Riddy View Post
I read through all of that, thats quite a lot of typing.

Its a good guide.
Yea didn't expect it to be that long lol. Might add few more stuff later on.

EDIT: Added some typo about Hosted Tab.

Last edited by iNorton; 02/09/2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02/09/2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

0/10 helping people to create "RP" servers is one of the worst things anyone related to SA-MP could do.
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Old 02/09/2012, 01:25 PM   #9
iNorton
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

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Originally Posted by ev0lutionnn View Post
0/10 helping people to create "RP" servers is one of the worst things anyone related to SA-MP could do.
And how is that? SA-MP is not only suppose to be all DM and so on, RP is also a gamemode.
Please tell me how comes this is one of the worst things? Is it because you never played it or dislike roleplay? Looking forward to your explanation.
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Old 02/09/2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Server Management - How to for Roleplays

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Originally Posted by iNorton View Post
And how is that? SA-MP is not only suppose to be all DM and so on, RP is also a gamemode.
Please tell me how comes this is one of the worst things? Is it because you never played it or dislike roleplay? Looking forward to your explanation.
Typing 'yes' after sitting through a 5 minute tutorial is not exciting. Deeply expressing your intentions to kill a player by typing 25 chat commands is not exciting. Typing in a number to complete a 'job' to get some money to repeat the exact same process is not exciting.
Everything you do is tedious and repetitive and I find it hard to see any job prospects besides 'factory worker' for any SA-MP player that willingly sits through this torture for hours every day.

Now that is the problem with roleplay, as I see it. Personal opinion, I suppose, because thousands of players at any time are playing on those servers.

The reason it's not being resolved is because of "tutorials" like this. You can't have a tutorial on how to manage a server. You just can't. The people that are mature enough to run servers already do or if not, surely don't need a tutorial describing every step of the way.
I gave up on your tutorial after you contradicted yourself by saying "don't ever copy a gamemode.....but if you do, here's how...." - just no.
Your tutorial kills innovation. It kills creativity.. Your tutorial is not the only thing that does this, though. The Godfather and every server that's based upon it has the same flaws that sadly define 'roleplay' in SA-MP which I listed above. Until someone does something radically different, roleplay will continue to be the same old drag that it is at the moment. Tutorials that tell people to "pick a cool name" are not going to improve the problem.

Another thing worth mentioning is the average age of this forum's users and quality of work that they create. Of the work released, the ratio of "scripts I would consider running on a personal server of mine" to "scripts that are complete shit" is about 1:100 - quite literally.
That's not to say you don't want to motivate people to learn, create better work and progress further - that's great. Just that the last thing SA-MP needs is another roleplay server.
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