"It is wrong to assume that Vaxia is the product of one person, or even one group of people. In different degrees, every single Vaxian is responsible for Vaxia; its creator and owner at once."
At its simplest, we are a roleplaying site and an open online community. Founded in the late 90s, the site and the world have undergone substantial changes over the last few years. We have two game worlds, called settings, which are Vaxia (a historically themed fantasy setting) and Sirian (a Hard Sci-Fi setting).
Both of our game settings and play is in what could be called a open and persistent world.
Players are able to explore all areas of the world within the game. Though a handful of locations tend to be the 'hot spot' for roleplay as it is easier to have a central point, players do not have to stay there if they do not want to. This also means there is not a single overarching storyline or linear goals for characters. Instead there are several opportunities for a character to be apart of multiple stories, ones the player drives themselves and also in the form of 'one shot' sessions (a story arch that can be done in one session) and sagas (which is closer to the traditional campaign of most table tops, where a single story arch takes place over multiple session). Players can also set as many goals for their character to achieve in the game as they feel like. Some goals can be inspired by the sessions they experience, while others may be something the player just feels like doing on the character.
The story of the game worlds are always moving on even when we are not here to play out every little moment. This is a much different mind set then the usual 'closed' campaign (a select group of players that participate in a story arch over a series of game meetings) of many table tops where the events of the world happen only during each game meeting. Also this means that it is possible for a character to miss out on participating in world events. We also do not allow players to just back-fill, or add in their character's actions after the events, as that could severely alter the results. Not only that but rewards have to be earned and maintain, which means a player must be present and active to get them and keep them. There are some exceptions as Setting may allow for player that had to miss an event to have their character be involved in a very minor role that would have no effect in order to help them keep connected and have some IC information on the event. However both game worlds have good news networks to help keep characters informed.
Also unlike the usual 'closed' campaign we can not just change parts of the game worlds on a whim to make room or sense of player characters or their stories that just don't quite fit the theme, tone and idea of a setting. In a closed campaign this isn't as devastating as in effect you can freely adjust the world for your players and particular game without affecting anything else - its just for that group. We just can not do that here. Part of the open means we also have people joining or leaving at any given time. Our sessions are not only for a select group of players, they are for anyone in the community that wants to participate in those events. We do not require everyone to be on the same side, or have the same ideals with their characters. They can make a character and play in any aspect of the setting. This means we have to be watchful on character concepts, we want players to have their visions come to fruition and blossom, but we need to make sure they will not ruin anyone else's vision or the theme and tone of the game settings. Not only that, but we want to ensure as little frustration as possible when playing a character so the more adapt to the game setting the more fun and opportunities for character stories will arise.
We strive to make sure we have firm, but still a bit flexible guidelines in place to make sure there is room for everyone's visions and ideas within the game rules and settings.
Also unlike other games many of the goals tend to be long term, taking months, and for some even years, to build up an epic and fantastical story for our characters. The rewards are there for those willing to put in the time and work to earn them.
We all contribute: admins manage the server, developers manage the code, SHs offer stories and adventure above and beyond the everyday and work within our three community departments, Setting, Social and System to ensure that everything stays balanced and fair. Above all, though, this site would not be possible without the players who come here to share their dreams with us, day by day.