Creating a RSPS is not as easy as it may seem. It requires a lot of time, planning and effort from multiple individuals in order to create a server. But creating a server and making it popular are two different things. In this news post, we will cover all the aspects of what it takes in order to create a successful RSPS.
Creating a popular RSPS
Step One: Planning
The first step is one of the most important. It involves thinking about what type of server you plan on hosting and what revision as well as content you are to include. You can read more about types by clicking here. In this newspost, we will only cover the basics to avoid repetition. The majority of servers tend to become an economy server that focuses on Player vs Monster content such as Chambers of Xerics, The Inferno, The Nightmare and Theatre of Blood. Other servers tend to focus on PvP, or player-vs-player, which involves activity around the Wilderness.
In addition, you must also think about what revision you are to create. This is an important decision because if you plan on creating a business out of your RSPS, then you need to do research and see which revision players currently prefer to play. However, if you are only doing this as a hobby or for a smaller group of individuals then you can choose what ever suits you best.
As of the current day, 14th December 2021, the most popular choice are Oldschool Runescape (DEOB) Economy Servers.
Step Two: Assembly (Pre-Launch)
Second step is to assemble a team in order to assist you in the creation of your RSPS. Working alone is certainly possible, but it takes a substantial amount of time, knowledge and resources. Therefore, you need to think about who you want to work with. You will need multiple motivated individuals who strongly believe they are capable of pulling off the entire workload on their own. Some individuals that share the same mindset as you will be willing to work for a reduced amount of payment or for free. However, others that do not share the same mindset or who do development as a job will require you to pay them per task or per week/month. In order to create a successful RSPS you are required to have at least three developers with two focusing on the game whilst the other focuses on web development. Alongside that, you will more than likely need a manager to handle the administration, a moderation team, and marketing team. While this is the base outline for a solid team, it can be extended with additional members based on your needs and preferences (E.g. Modellers, Youtubers, Graphical Artists, etc).
It is recommended to have the following as a minimum to pull off a successful RSPS:
x2 Game Developers
x1 Website Developer
x1 Game Manager
Step Three: Development
Third step involves development of the game and the website. During this stage things might seem stale. While the developers work on the game there is not much to be done apart from building a community which we will cover later. The most important aspect to keep in mind is that developers may burn out from overworking whilst the team and players may lose motivation from extended waiting. One method to combat both is to ensure that the developers maintain a healthy workload and do not feel a constant need to work on the server. However, when they do spend time on adding new content, then it ought to be highlighted through a medium of communication, such as e.g. Discord, Skype, Forums or an outside community like RuneList. Seeing updates from the developers will motivate players and staff to involve themselves into the project by brainstorming ideas and discussing topics related to your game. In turn, that will motivate developers to continue working on the server.
Step Four: Marketing
Fourth step is about marketing, which arguably is what makes or breaks a server. In order to efficiently market your RSPS, you need to have capital built up that you are ready to spend. Some of the most popular methods to advertise a RSPS involves paying Youtubers to make videos, creating threads and posts about your RSPS on outside communities (e.g. RuneList) through toplists, news and forums and mouth-to-mouth advertisement by players. While there are free methods of marketing, they aren't always as effective as the ones that require payment. Keep in mind that spending thousands of dollars on marketing won't necessarily make your server stand out. If your gameplay contains bugs, if the website is malfunctioning or if players are not satisfied with the game they are given then they will more than likely leave after an hour or two.
Down below you will find some very rough statistics based on interviews with server owners:
Small Servers (0 to 50 Players): 0$ to 500$
Medium Servers (50 to 250 Players): 500$ to 3,000$
Large Servers (250 to 500 Players): 3,000$ to 7,500$
Massive Servers (Over 500 Players): Over 7,500$
Keep in mind one can obtain more/less players with more/less invested.
Step Five: Launch
The final step is the launch, which is one of the most important one. Several server owners tend to say that the launch is the peak of your server. Therefore, you wish to aim at more players on launch then you plan on maintaining. E.g. If your goal is to keep 300 players online at all times, you will want to reach around 550 on launch as most of them aren't deeply invested into the game and will more than likely leave shortly. Another good technique is to think that 1/10 of your discord members will stay and play your server. The biggest mistake you need to look out for is rushing your launch. Rushing to launch is a mistake that a lot of servers do due to e.g. investors and time restraints. The problem is that a lot of aspects are overlooked which can lead to significant problems for the players. Make sure you have everything ready before you launch, or postpone it to a later date.
To summarize, you need to have a good strategy, a strong team and at least a little bit of money in order to create a popular rsps. Look into the most popular server type and revision, assemble the team you deem to be fit and give the server your all!