Home > OngoingWorlds site news > Delete your abandoned games

Delete your abandoned games

There are many websites where you can advertise your PBEM/PBP game. It’s unfortunate though that so many of these types of site aren’t updated regularly enough. In today’s world of social media, Twitter, Facebook, etc, many of us check websites regularly, and if we see that nothing has been updated we’ll check back less frequently, and eventually we’ll not check back at all.

There are many websites where you can create a PBEM/PBP game. Often these will be on forums, or Yahoo! Groups, or other such hosted solutions. It’s also pretty easy to setup a PBEM game using each of these ideas, all you need is something to type with and an imagination. The choice of places to host the game also means that if the game isn’t working, it’s not hard to setup somewhere else, and because all of these solutions are free – it doesn’t matter to users if they abandon a game without even making clear that it’s closed.

This is why on so many sites I see that allow you to create PBEM/PBP games, there will be many abandoned games. For example I took the screenshot below from a PBEMListings website, which shows that 10 out of 12 of the games being played there haven’t even been posted to this year. And some haven’t been posted to since 2005!

A PBEM forum showing many abandoned games

Screenshot taken from PBEM Listings

This isn’t the worst I’ve seen, I have seen sites advertising PBEM games that haven’t been updated since the 1990’s. That’s over 10 years ago!

Can’t see the wood for the trees

It’s dangerous to leave these old games hanging around. If a user comes to your site and sees so many old and abandoned games, it’s much harder for them to pick out the cool new ones out from a crowd. Look back at the screenshot above, there are current games there, but they’re lost in a sea of old abandoned games.

Let old games die

I think it’s important to clean out all these old games. If you have a website which advertises places in a PBEM game which is closed, it should be deleted. If you website hosts games which are years out of date, they need to be deleted.

Let the most recent games shine through

Viewers of your website will want to see the most recently updated games. You might consider showing these games first, or possibly having a leader board of most active games.

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  1. Mikepbellend
    July 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What is your policy on games that seem to have faded away to nothingness? Do you have an automatic cleaner or just do it manually?

    Holy shit! My first sensible comment!

  2. July 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    On the Ongoingworlds website, the games list (www.ongoingworlds.com/games) will automatically list games by the most recent post. So the most updated game will always appear at the top.

    As the site gets popular, this will mean the list is constantly changing, so I was thinking of not just ordering it by most recent first, but by a score. This score would be calculated from the amount of posts, amount of members, amount of logins, etc. I talked to Nik from My_rpg (http://myrpg.universeprojects.com) who says his site has something similar. Apparently each game looses 1 point every day, and gains points when a user logs in and submits a post. This keeps the most active games at the top of the leaderboard, and the least active at the bottom.

  3. JohnBromin
    July 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    will my games that are just me talking to myself, because noone wants to join, be counted lower on the list?

  4. July 8, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Actually as long as you keep your game updated regularly, you will keep up at the top of the list. Also your game will be featured in the “Recently updated games” on the homepage.

    Currently there’s nothing to say that the list should be ordered by the number of members a game has. Sometime in the future I might take this into account.

  5. November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I am against deleting sites with dead games! One of the sites I had been a moderator on died six months ago, and I was adamantly against putting it offline. I won, and it is still online, for everybody to read its stories.

    There had been a good, interesting, original story there; why delete it? It had happened, and it is there for posterity, for anybody interested to read.

    It had been written, it took time, research, dedication; why to delete it as if it had never existed, adn as if we, the writers, have worked in vain?

    • November 17, 2011 at 12:28 am

      That’s a very good argument! As a roleplayer I’ve been contributing to an ongoing story for over 10 years and would like to think that this story can potentially be read by millions. But I unfortunately think the sad reality is that they often only apply to the members of the game.

      Keeping these games around might confuse people into thinking they’re currently active, and want to join in and contribute, only to find with much disappointment that the game has been abandoned and there’s no members to be seen.

      I think you are right though that it’s a shame to remove the games. Maybe the solution is to keep the games but make it very clear that it’s not active?

  1. September 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  2. October 12, 2010 at 7:00 am
  3. November 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

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