Available: 2004
Developer: Duplex Systems
Publisher: Duplex Systems

Duplex Systems (DPS) are gearing up for the start of the closed beta period of Face of Mankind. We talked to Dirk Behrand (GrimReapa), the Chief Games Master (GM) for Face of Mankind tells a little more about what it takes to be a Games Master.

Please, introduce yourself.

My name is Dirk Behrend. My role with dps is that I’m currently the Chief GM for FoM. I am responsible for all the GMs in Face of Mankind and for recruiting new ones.

Why did you choose Face of Mankind to get involved in?

I¬¬†chose Face of Mankind because it looked very interesting to me (I like Sci-Fi Games!). This game offers many new things (no skills for example). It is really different from the other MMORPGs out on the market right now. The game offers an unique possibility for me to really get involved in the game and its content (like the story). Most other MMORPGs offer events or similar in a week based fashion (or monthly based) but Face of Mankind is more than that... it offers you the chance to¬¬†play and be¬¬†part of¬¬†the story all the time (which is great in my eyes!). Those things and the nice chats with the team have been responsible for my choice of Face of Mankind (and I must say I enjoy every single bit of it!)

Can you tell us a little bit about GMing in general?

Well, first thing is: GM’ing is a job, sometimes fun and sometimes not. The role requires commitment. A GM should be in game much more than once or twice a week to be effective. GMs ensure everything runs smoothly with their special privileges. The job offers many different tasks such as event creation, bug hunting, event managing, player support and more. It’s a job where trust is very important because GMs have the opportunity to be a great influence on in game stuff.¬¬†GMs must have a great feeling of responsibility on behalf of the game and the community they’re working for.

Could you name any problems you have seen or encountered in other games in regards to Games Mastering or problems that arose on how they were dealt with?
One thing I’ve seen is that in many GM teams there is something like an internal ranking system amongst the GMs. This often leads GMs to fight each other in order to increase their status in the team. Another thing I’ve often seen is GMs losing motivation or interest because they are satisfied by reaching the rank of GM, even though there is much work still to be done. I also know of many GMs who only wanted to become GM because they¬¬†get more "power" (e.g. their limited control over players, re-spotting, warping etc.) instead of the wish to provide the best player support to the paying customers. These things are often not dealt with in an appropriate manner and often results in GMs leaving a team or being kicked.¬¬†

How did you get the position as Lead GM for Face of Mankind?

I got started after I left another well known futuristic MMOG GM team. I wrote an application to the CEO of Duplex Systems and told him I’d like to be a GM for FoM. I told him about my experience as a GM and we talked about creating the FoM-gm team. After a number of conversations he saw that I could be of great help. With that he put me in charge

What are you looking for in potential GMs?

First I look for people who are really interested in storytelling and role playing. Second thing is they’ll have to be patient, and be able to accept authority. Besides all that, GMs must be able to offer time (as GMing is very time intense) and some other requirements as team play, passion for gaming, loyalty and most important trust. Simply, they must be willing to do everything they can to help make FoM even more enjoyable for the community.

What will be expected of the GMs when FOM opens up? How will they affect the story?

The GMs will be greatly responsible for the progression and flow of the story. They will affect the story as much as some other highly ranked non-GM players. Face of Mankind has a player managed story. A mission will come to any player, and that player will direct their team to complete the mission successfully. Each mission will in some way be related to the plots and sub plots of the FoM story. GMs will be placed as key characters throughout the game to assist in the flow of the plot, but I can’t tell you exact details on that.

How can someone become a GM if they are interested?

First they will have to contact me. I am doing all the castings so the DPS development team can concentrate on building the game. The interested people can either contact me via pm (personal message) on the FoM forum (http://forum.FoM.com); by mail (Dirk@faceofmankind.com) or on IRC (#faceofmankind on stratics). After that, the casting is usually either in IRC or ICQ.