I often get asked “What’s it like to be an Admin for an online browser game?” and without responding in novel length, I generally just say “very busy” or “stressful on a bad day”. However without a lengthy explanation, my job, and the staff jobs could be seen very differently by the players.
With that said I would like to take you through a day of the life of an admin or staff member, and give you some insight into what really goes on behind the scenes in the Torn City management team.
All in a days work; can mean many different things to me. I am basically the chief of staff, my role is whatever the day may bring. I oversee all staff including playing admins, assist the development team, help fix bugs, assist in public relations such as player competitions and giveaways, deal with donation issues and work on our Facebook Fan page. So basically every morning could bring me something different to do and some mornings it brings everything!
I generally check in for the first time by about 6:30 am, and check out for the last time by about 10:00 pm.
Here is how my home page differs to a normal player; Not that much as you can see!
Look at the bottom left hand corner, there is where you’ll see the main changes. Red line is for highlight purpose only, we don’t actually have a big red line on our page :p
We have quite an elaborate admin panel, with over 70 links that each lead to other tools once clicked. The viewable information is shared between the different levels of staff. As the screenshot shows, there are four sections in the sidebar which allow for different levels of staff to view only the sections allotted to them.
Secretaries have the most tools of any staff member besides Admins, whom have the entire tool setup. For example, they have tools that aid in finding multiple accounts, they can assist with certain faction issues that come up and they have several different ways of checking IP’s which is useful in assisting when an account gets hacked. Secretaries work through all player reports that come in through the day that do not require Admin action to be taken.
They also deal with all ‘fed reports’ in the same manner.
The general rule for player and fed reports is they must be replied to within 24 hours of being received in our report queue. Also in their list of tools is an item tracking and item transfer tool, this is helpful when a player misplaces an item; such as uses it and forgets, sells it, or allows a friend to borrow it. Chat logs are a very recent addition to their tools, using this they can follow up reports of chat violations.
Moderators and Helpers perform very similar roles. Moderators have more tools than Helpers and are given more duties. A helpers role is one we use for probationary periods while new staff are learning the In’s and out’s of being a staff member and all that entails. We use it to earn trust in our new staff and to ensure they are a proper fit to the staff team before allowing them access to more private areas of the staff panel. Generally Helpers answer help questions, monitor the forums, monitor the chat boxes and sometimes they run the Bookie.
Moderators do the same duties as the Helpers but with added duties of editing graphics that should not be in the game such as forum signatures and profile signatures, they can fix marriage problems for players, they answer player reports that deal with things such as spam in the newspaper or inappropriate images that get reported, and they also deal with mail reports that come into the system.
With all of that said, that makes up the complete staff team. We work together as a team daily, we do have our bad days just like any other company, however the good far outweighs the bad. As I have described we have a large scale option of tools at our disposal to assist in our daily duties. Staff review thousands of reported accounts monthly for various reasons which can be as simple as a forum signature that is too large, all the way to the federal jailing of accounts which averages around 500 a month. The jailing could be a minimal first time offence or more serious in nature such as bug abuse or real money transfers.
I hope this has given you some insight into what happens behind the scenes of Torn on a day to day basis.