Every game should have a purpose, a goal, something which defines what the staff intended when they first set out to build the game. Redemption is somewhat unique in the online world, for our goal is not only clearly defined but one that is not very often seen among MUSHes. Our purpose can be summed up fairly simply: we are here to tell a story, and have the players help us tell it. However, that doesn't fully explain what makes us different from other games. Plenty of games have an overarching plot -perhaps pre-written, perhaps not, but either way it's there.
Most games, however, are run as "simulations." The staff builds the grid, writes the news files, puts in code, and opens up. As the game is running they approve characters, settle disputes, and run plots from time to time. Mostly, however, on these games, the staff is not intimately involved in roleplay. They build the game and people may play in it however they like. While this is a perfectly acceptable way to do things, it's not why we built this game. To give an example: most games are like Vic's Bar from DS9 or Fairhaven from Voyager -a place someone built, put characters into, and then left as a simulation. People go there to pretend they're someone else, or be themselves in a different setting, but there's no other purpose to the proceedings. In contrast, Redemption is a holonovel, one that will adapt to the person involved, that will change plot and story according to people's actions, but one with a clearly defined goal nonetheless.
To put it another way: most games are like Everquest, Asheron's Call, or Anarchy Online. Again, someone builds and runs the world, everyone else plays. Redemption is Neverwinter Nights, where someone builds a module with a specific story, but interacts with the players to allow that to change and grow. Any good holonovelist/GM will adapt things to their players, and we do that here. People can have definite effect on plot -some major points have already been brought forward several "seasons" due to character actions. The story changes, but the focus remains the same.
Staff on this game are intimately involved in every aspect, not just the normal administrative duties but also RP. Not every plot is staff-run, but the staff does run a lot of plots and often starts more "casual" RP using their PCs. This is partly because we try to snap up the best RPers and plot-runners to be staff, but also because we simply aren't a hands-off group of people. This game is not for everyone, a fact of which we've become aware as time has gone on. We find nothing wrong with people wishing to come and play a "simulation," to merely create and play a character out without worrying about the plot or the mood of the place. Be aware, though, that we reward people the most who contribute the most toward the goals of the game. Those who are involved in the plot -and it's really not difficult to be so, all you have to do is let staff be aware of your desire through RP or OOC means -will be the most richly rewarded. We, the staff, plan to keep the goal of the game in mind. We want players to be happy, and to enjoy playing here. We know there are many people who do enjoy our close-knit, hands-on approach, and we wish to keep the game healthy for those people and for those in the future who enjoy this. In the end, the stated goals and purpose of this game will be paramount in most staff decisions. We hope that everyone who comes here will enjoy the game that is created from that.