GameMaster Responsibilities & Requirements Please read this in its entirety before submitting
Thank you for considering being part of the DragonRealms team. Our
most valuable assets are our people and we attempt to pick our team
members with the utmost care. This application contains a description
of what being a GM (GameMaster) is and is not, followed by a detailed
questionnaire to help us in our selection process.
DragonRealms is a massive project several years in the making.
Simutronics was the first to introduce the concept of human GMs
to major network games. To this day we are the only game that fully
utilizes this resource by giving the GMs incredible tools for creation/modification
and creative interaction with the world. As important as the human
element of GMs is, it is still the software which the GMs must interface
with and it has been our goal to provide the GM staff with the best
But being a GM is not for everyone. The description of GMing given
here should be read carefully and taken to heart (For the purposes
of this application, GM means both full GameMaster and Assistant
GameMaster). There are no exaggerations in this text. The warnings
are real. Make certain you are sure in your mind that being a GameMaster
for DragonRealms is what you really want to do. This application
is designed not only to help us evaluate you, but for you to evaluate
yourself regarding if GMing may be in your future. Be honest, because
the realities of this job have shown themselves to be rather inflexible.
DragonRealms is both a game AND a service. This situation
frequently put Simutronics and GameMasters in tough spots.
In a normal customer service operation the CS representative
is responsible for doing what he/she can to appease a customer's
complaints. In DragonRealms, the GameMaster also has a responsibility
to the game itself (in essence, all the players as a whole)
and more times than not, you cannot always appease a player.
In short, the customer service aspects of GMing are very
difficult to handle. A GM must have super-human patience to
deal with players who don't care about your restrictions.
A GM must be able to absorb a great deal of flak and still
Lastly a GM must be able to adhere to policy closely. This
is more difficult than it may sound, and more important than
one paragraph can emphasize. Policy is what keeps our positions
consistent and the game from degrading into total chaos. We
supply a great deal of policy to keep things on-track, but
it's up to the GMs to uphold this policy.
The Customer Experience Team
handles most customer interaction. This interaction ranges
from answering ASSISTs and REFERRALs to running merchant events
and major invasions/storylines. The Customer Experience group
works with Weddings, monitors the public message boards, performs
liaison duties between the players and the Development team,
and handles all types of player concerns and feedback.
The Development Team does not work directly with
customers unless they, over and above meeting their development
deadlines, choose to be trained by the CE staff in policies
and procedures. Choosing to learn CE skills and have face-to-face
player experiences is not a requirement for any member of
the Development team. However, Development GMs must meet their
Dev responsibilities and have their supervisor's approval
before taking on extra work in the Customer Experience area.
Online games are never "finished" but rather exist
in a state of constant expansion (or at least the successful
ones do). Development GMs are
the designers of DragonRealms and participate not only in
the implementation of ideas but in the creation of them. This
can range from simple additions to sweeping mechanics changes.
Development GMs should be able to grasp the complexities of
game design as it applies to DragonRealms.
Customer Experience GMs need to understand DragonRealms
as it is today. Players will ask very technical questions
and you will need to have enough grasp of the mechanics to
answer. It's tough because DragonRealms is a monstrous contraption
of a program.
All GameMasters need to adhere to the rules and world design
as set out by Simutronics and the Producer. Exceptions have
to be cleared. Most importantly, a GM has to fit his/her designs
to the correct genre of the world we are creating. This is
Development GameMasters implement what
they design. DragonRealms is a highly complex tool for real-time
implementation. Most people are aware that GMs can create rooms/areas
to add to the map and populate them with creatures. But GameMasters
have much more capability than that.
DragonRealms is a giant script engine built around a custom
programming language called GSL (GemStone Scripting Language).
A GameMaster can build just about anything imaginable with
GSL. Practically every system in DragonRealms is written in
GSL: from simple verbs such as CHUCKLE, to the rules which
govern the constantly rearranging tunnels in the Vykathi Hive
air tunnels, to the rowboats and mine carts in the Volcano
Quest. If you can imagine it, it can be done.
This tool requires that a Development GM be a good computer
programmer. One whose aptitude is enough that they be called
"language independent." By this we mean a programmer
who is so good that s/he doesn't care very much what language
it is, s/he just needs a reference manual to get started.
Most self-taught programmers are like this and we often prefer
self-taught to college-trained programmers (no offense).
What can be done in GSL depends entirely on the GM's mastery
of the tool. This is no easy task unless you are a good programmer.
A top-gun GSL programmer is not only able to implement almost
anything in the language, s/he has the global state-of-mind
to build concepts which fit the nature of GSL closely, thus
creating excellent illusions within the world of DragonRealms.
Of course, if you are not a programmer, keep in mind that
we also need people with strong creative talents, excellent
writing abilities, and/or customer service skills.
The importance of having initiative cannot be
understated. It's easy to become complacent when working in
DragonRealms and let a week or two slip by without much getting
done. But remember, to a player a couple weeks of doing nothing
is a major sin and a sign of utter incompetence on the part
of the GM staff. You must be able to accept assignments (through
proper channels) and then carry them out in a timely fashion.
And you must be prepared to move on to your next project right
While being dedicated and a self-starter is crucial, it
is just as vital to approach being a GM with an attitude of
Integrity & Honesty
A GameMaster has power and with it a lot of
responsibility. There are many rules and regulations you must
follow to the letter to maintain the integrity of the system.
We don't stand over our GMs watching their every move and in
the past some GMs have decided to bend a few rules for the sake
of their own entertainment (or that of friends). This type of
behavior will never be tolerated under any circumstances or
Secondly, all GMs are exposed to trade-secrets which we
consider vital to
our success. All GMs will have to sign a non-disclosure, assignment
and non-competition agreement prior to working in DragonRealms.
In special circumstances we do negotiate the terms of the
agreement but strongly prefer to keep it consistent and intact.
However, we're always willing to listen.
IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE
In ALL cases, we WILL legally enforce
our GM Agreements if there are ANY violations. Do not
sign these agreements if you do not fully intend to
abide by them. We reserve the option of having any such
disputes resolved by the American Arbitration Association
or in litigation in a court of law. Either way, the
prevailing party of said litigation or arbitration shall
be entitled to all costs thereof to include reasonable
attorney's fees. The Simutronics Corp. Agreement will
be the only final legal/binding document(s) on this
Note: You must be at least 18 years of age in order
to be a GMdue to the legal ramifications of a minor
signing a contract. The agreements you sign will be construed
according to the laws of the State of Virginia and will also
agree to arbitration pursuant to the American Arbitration
A GameMaster has to be online A LOT. What "a
lot" means depends on the circumstances. Generally we need
GMs to cover high-usage periods each night when players may
need assistance. In addition, GMs must be online to implement
new areas and designs, run events and quests and maintain existing
areas. An individual GM is usually online every night for several
hours (similar to a player). A GM will be expected to spend
even more time online when special events are going on with
which they are involved.
Building new areas and such can be a very time-intensive
process and GMs must be prepared to devote the effort and
hours necessary. It is difficult to say how much time a given
activity may take because a very proficient GM can do in hours
what another GM might take weeks to do. This may sound unlikely
but we really have that kind of range in skill levels. We
are attempting to acquire the more highly adept GMs, and thus
make the time constraints less of a factor whenever possible.
Now if you need time off for any reason we are very flexible.
We do require that we be informed in advance, and if your
vacation will impact your ability to meet your development
deadlines, we should be notified well in advance. Be prepared
to help out on a holiday or two because DR does not shut down
for them. In fact our usage on holidays is always higher.
This can be a pain, but we are willing to work with you in
So Why Should Anyone Do This?
Yes, some people like to do this sort of thing. DragonRealms
is a great tool for expressing creativity. For the true
designer, real-time game design is the ultimate experience
-- and the only place you can find that is in a Simutronics
game like DragonRealms.
You will be involved in a major online multiplayer
product. If you ever wanted to get your foot into the door
as far as game design is concerned, this might be the place
to start. "Interactive" is on everyone's lips now,
and DragonRealms is recognized as one of the premier products
in the online interactive industry.
GameMasters will receive free play.net accounts.
A percentage of the revenue earned by DragonRealms
each month is set aside in a "GM share pool." This
revenue is then divided among qualified GMs. Now this won't
make anyone rich, but it is some good spending money each
month. Best of all, how much you earn is tied directly to
how well you do. If you create some great events that get
lots of people online and pull in a good month you earn more.
(Note: GMs are independent contractors and therefore are responsible
for witholding their own taxes.)
You need to have a play.net account in good
standing and a current subscription to DragonRealms.
You need a good computer setup; the preferred equipment
is a PC-compatible. Macintosh setups are also acceptable.
We do insist you have reasonably up-to-date equipment (no
C64's or Osbornes).
A reliable, reasonably fast internet connection. Working
at less than 14.4Kbps is just not realistic.
You are responsible for your own connection fees. If you
have to dial a long-distance number or pay any sort of by-the-minute
or by-the-hour charges, do not apply.
You will need separate voice and data lines. If you don't
have them you can get an extra line installed (or a cell
phone) once you've been hired.
You will need an up-to-date version of Internet
Explorer (5 or higher) or Netscape Navigator (4.7 or higher).
Text editing software (not a word processor) that
you are comfortable with is a must -- we recommend UltraEdit
or TextPad. You may also
find it useful to have a good telnet client.
Privacy & Security
You need to make sure that no one else can access
proprietary email, files, information or materials you will
be using as a GameMaster.
What to Expect
Once you send in your application it will be put
into a database and you will receive email notification that
we have received it. We do not look over the applications
until such time as we have an opening for a new GameMaster.
Until and unless you are selected for an online intervew,
we will not contact you further about your application.
We pick GM applications depending on our needs. For example,
if we need a GM who is a great programmer more than a designer
we assign more weight to the programming score than the
design score. Therefore there are no "correct"
answers to the questions in the application. Be very honest
when rating yourself. Even if in some areas you cannot rate
yourself highly, that will not always matter. If we contact
you and ask you questions, it will soon become obvious whether
or not you've been honest in your application.
We then interview those who still want to be a GM from
the selected applications. We also get opinions from other
players and existing GMs as to what they think of your online
presence thus far. During this process we attempt to find
out more details and verify some of the evaluations in the
If there is a change in any of the information on your
application, you should submit an updated application.
Becoming a GM
If you are selected as a GM, you will be sent our NDA/NCA
contracts to be signed. Read them carefully and do not sign
anything unless you clearly understand and agree to its
terms. If there is any problem, contact us and we will work
Once the NDA/NCA contracts are returned, we will begin
orientation. This involves sending you the set of documentation
and a briefing. You will begin work as an Assistant GM on
probationary status. Probation lasts at least 90 days, during
which time you will be expected to learn the basics of GMing
(but not GSL) and master the commands. At the end of this
time you will be given a real-time test which is designed
to let you demonstrate your proficiency.
Being a GM
As stated before, being a GM means being online a lot.
Plan on it! We have weekly GM meetings where we discuss
the current agenda and work on new design issues. You need
Being a GM almost has more things you CAN'T do than those
you can. This is because DragonRealms is a game. As you
become a GM you find yourself in control of a lot of tools
and powers. You will be in a position to be as destructive
as you can be constructive. Be prepared to have your hands
tied by policy (and common sense). The bureaucracy doesn't
exist to limit you but rather to preserve the integrity
of the game and the consistency of the concept. Furthermore,
as a representative of Simutronics, users see you as a "Sysop"
as well as a GameMaster.
Be prepared to work. GMing is a lot of work. A lot of
the work is fun, but it is almost always exhausting. Pace
yourself, but be prepared to get projects done quickly.
This means pushing yourself at times. Learning all the commands
and nuances can be difficult, so be prepared to study and
Finally, be prepared to enjoy yourself. This is a game
after all, and despite the grind, being a GM can be an experience
unlike any other. The gratification which comes from watching
the players enjoy the new area you just opened is very unique.
If you are a creative person who seeks to build and create,
this is the place for you.