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New Horizons

@illuday · Mar 14, 2024 · 9 minutes read

It's a great day for Minimal Roleplay. The release of New Horizons rethinks the fundamentals of Minimal Roleplay. Let's take a look at what's new in this community hub.

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About New Horizons

During the first 6 months of Minimal Roleplay, we focused our efforts on acquiring new users in order to test our platform. During this time, we developed a number of features, such as character sheets. After a few months of testing and observation, we've come to the conclusion that less than 5% of our users play and use Minimal Roleplay on a daily basis. That's scary, but don't panic! It's the classic development of a web/application tool. And this figure is logical. There are a lot of things that impact on the experience of our newcomers - we call them barriers. After talking to these people, we realise that many of them don't have players, don't have game master experience, don't have scenarios and therefore simply can't use Minimal Roleplay. That's a bit rich for a tool that aims to make role-playing accessible, isn't it?

We knew we were going to have a report like this, but we thought it would come later. But now we're here, we've decided to change our priorities. So we're delaying certain functionalities in order to give priority to these developments. The idea is to boost our users' commitment to Minimal Roleplay by creating community tools to be discovered throughout this article.

Graphic redesign

If you've heard of Minimal Roleplay before this update, you'll have noticed some major visual changes. We've chosen to drastically modify our graphic charter to make it even more striking.

The aim is to bring important elements to the fore more quickly, to improve accessibility for our players! In the longer term, this update will enable much more customization. Ah, and we've called it : Minimal Boxes.

The Rolist card

With a view to developing the community aspect of Minimal Roleplay, we wanted to bring more depth to your profiles, a bit like a social network. As we didn't want to fall into the classic profile-page style that can be found just about everywhere, we came up with the rolist card.

Whenever you deal with someone, whether in the player directory, in games or in ingame chat interfaces, their rolist card will be accessible. This card includes their avatar, their name, a description of their choice and their experience as a game master and player. This is where you'll be able to flex with your collectibles. Some features are still in development, but in the near future you'll be able to choose the dice displayed, the badge, a title and a background map. More customization to come!

Players directory

If we're talking about the problems of role-playing, I think one of the first would be to find players. The second is finding motivated ones! Our game masters are suffering today, yet hundreds of players are on Minimal Roleplay and have no game to play.

In response to this, we're introducing the player directory. It will enable game masters to contact players to fill their games. As a player, all you have to do is activate your listing in the directory. Of course, you'll also need your own player card to introduce yourself. Simple and effective!

Parties directory

This echoes the new feature above! But where there's a search for players, there's also a search for games. Each player will have two choices when it comes to finding tables: they can be passive, by listing themselves in the player directory and waiting for certain game masters to find players, or they can be active, and set out to discover tables in search of players.

As it happens, game masters will be able to set their game to "player wanted", with a contact system allowing suitors to contact the owner. A newly-created game can be directly in this state, as can older games! This is ideal when you lose a player for one reason or another.

In-game chat

To facilitate this community aspect, what could be better than a private message system, a chat, on Minimal Roleplay?

Chat makes communication between players easier, and simplifies game sharing and invitations.

What's more, the cat takes on the appearance of your contact's rolist card!

Graphic redesign of messages and images

The messages will benefit from a small graphic overhaul to improve their readability. They'll be more balanced and ready for new features, if you know what I mean.

They're also here to welcome a long-awaited new feature! Image insertion in your messages. We know you've been asking for this for a long time, and it wasn't planned for this update, but we've done it!

Creator Space

Role-playing requires tools, and this is especially true online. A game tool, a scenario management tool, a character sheet management tool, a sharing tool, a discussion tool, and so on. We believe that the Minimal Roleplay experience will only be complete if our players are not dependent on any other service. Of course, we know that everyone has their own preferences and that MRP won't be enough for everyone, but for a new player, it's essential that they can find everything they need. And that we guarantee a balanced ease-of-use between all these features and graphic consistency.

In response, we've created a new area for you, known simply as the Creator's Area. It contains a wide range of tools for creating role-playing games. Of course, everything will be linked to your games on Minimal Roleplay.

Minimal Sheets

What would a role-playing game be without character sheets? From the simplest to the most extreme, almost 100% of RPGs use this tool. In a way, it's the identity card of the character you're playing.

So, you may or may not have heard that Minimal Roleplay character sheets are already available. However, this update integrates a new editor, Minimal Sheets, which is untied from the game tables. Its role will be to generate character sheet templates that can be reused throughout your games and shared with the community.

Of course, based on your feedback, we'll be making a number of corrections and, like the other Minimal Roleplay tools, we'll be continuing to develop this feature to make it ever more accessible, and ever more powerful!

Minimal Scenarios

Starting a role-playing game requires a scenario. Obvious, isn't it? Yes, but it's not that simple. Scenarios are contained in books, which are relatively expensive, often difficult to understand and even harder to play. What about their use by a novice? You've got the answer. Then there's the option of writing the script, the time and skills required of which will obviously discourage many. Given this necessity when creating a game on Minimal Roleplay, you'll quickly find yourself stuck, and this is one of the major obstacles we've identified to the use of MRP.

In response to this problem, we've come up with Minimal Scenarios, a system of scenarios included directly in your Minimal Roleplay games. It shares our vision of writing: simplicity and minimalism. It breaks down into pages, each of which can be used to display details of a location, a situation, etc.

A glossary is also in place, for everything that doesn't require a dedicated page, such as referencing stealth pnjs and so on. We'll also provide links to character sheets.

These scenarios will of course serve only as a guide, and you are free to use them and take your own liberties. We will be creating official Minimal Roleplay scenarios. These scenarios will be available and open to all for your games.

Well, we've created our own scenario editor, with our own vision and ergonomics, so we thought why not make it available to everyone? You'll be able to write your own scenarios on Minimal Roleplay, use them in your games, share them and publish them!

Minimal Adventures

We're coming to the end! And although the end is nigh, there's still plenty to discover. Many of you enjoyed our tutorial, which, although simple and imperfect in many respects, brought a semblance of single-player gameplay to Minimal Roleplay for the first time. As a reminder, it allows you to discover the mechanics of text-based roleplay and MRP through a narrative adventure where your choices have consequences.

Minimal Roleplay will always give priority to multiplayer text-based role-playing. However, as soon as the tutorial was released, we decided to split MRP into two parts, a multiplayer part and a single-player part. Text-based role-playing is relatively slow, so allowing our users to keep busy, get inspired and discover new things in between while they wait for other players to advance in their games is essential.

For this update, where, as a reminder, we're working hard on player engagement on MRP, giving them this content is a real plus. We therefore decided to work on new single-player adventures, in addition to the tutorial. A development language had been created specifically for the first one, but it wasn't flexible or permissive enough, and could be too temperamental for new adventures. That's why we decided to create an editor dedicated to scripting these narrative games.

I think I'm repeating myself, but... Given that the publisher is here, why not put it in your hands? Why not let you express your creativity? Why not let you create your own narrative games? Well, that's what the latest Creator Space tool, Minimal Adventures, is all about. You'll be able to create, share and publish narrative adventures for solo play to the Minimal Roleplay community. Lots and lots of things are possible, from relatively corridor scenarios to complex storytelling like Baldur's Gate. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Loads of extra features

Improved notifications, exports and imports of character files, choice of game color - there's a whole host of minor functionalities that have been implemented to enhance your gaming experience. We look forward to seeing you on our changelog to discover them in detail!

The last word

Today, we officially begin a new arc for Minimal Roleplay. The next few months are going to be decisive in this adventure we're sharing with you. On the agenda: a huge amount of content, the arrival of the first business model and the social expansion of Minimal Roleplay.

Thank you for your support 💜

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