Note: I've originally posted this on the Tremulous forums a year ago. I think it's pretty helpful to have around while we're building up a community. Clans are vital to any online game. While our game develops, I'll continue to edit the guide to make it more relevant.
It's inevitable. You play Tremulous long enough, and you're either going to find yourself in a clan or starting one of your own. Clans are an integral part of the community of almost any game, and Tremulous is no exception. They provide a means to befriend other players, gain skills, and get one's name known. However, the process of making a clan is one with many pitfalls, many of which may not be immediately apparent to the intrepid clan master. Hopefully, this simple, step-by-step guide will assist the curious in the creation of a durable, cohesive group.
Step 1: Getting yourself known.
Presumably, by this point you've already played Tremulous for some time and have gained a decent grasp of the game. You're capable with at least one of the teams, you can build if requested, and you're aware of the rules on the server you play on. At this point, you don't have to be an amazing player. Now would be a good time to pick out an appropriate name for yourself.
Good: Something simple, with either one or two colors, or none at all. Try saying it out loud in real life. Can you even pronounce it?
Bad: Something with an enormous amount of numbers, symbols, and colors. If you can't pronounce your own player name, you may want to reconsider it.
When you've chosen a name for yourself, stick to it. Try not to constantly change it, or else people aren't going to recognize you. Sticking to one name is an integral part of joining a community and developing one's presence within it. If you're on US Main or EU Main, be sure to ask an administrator to grant you name protection, so that nobody else can use your name.
Learn for yourself who the clans and major players are. It would also be a good idea at this stage to join the forums, but focus primarily on building relations with other players and contributing to threads instead of making your own. You'll want to come off as mature, with a decent grasp of spelling and grammar.
Good: "Oh yes, I've played this map on the official servers. It's pretty good, but I think there's a slight issue with the lighting."
Bad: "fuck u lossers * im pro bithc"
Optional Interlude: Joining someone else's clan.
Before you make a clan of your own, you may want to join an existing clan. Ask the clan members who their leader is, and if they have a site. Talk to the leader, post an application on their forums, and await a response. If they deem you worthy, you'll be accepted. If not, don't sweat it. Nobody will notice if you've been rejected, and you can always apply to another clan. Once you've joined someone's clan, take part in whatever activities they offer, or suggest your own. The most common is "scrimming", a local term for clan wars, usually on one clan's server. Other clans are involved in content creation, which may extend from textures and sounds all the way to entire mods.
Once you've joined a clan, stay with it for a few weeks to a few months as players become acquainted with you. If you haven't joined one or you've already been in one for a while, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Creating your clan.
Oh, this is the most exciting part. Before moving on, the most important step above all is picking a tag. Your tag is the most visible aspect of your clan, and likely the first thing someone will notice when looking at your name. The tag should be catchy, not too much of a gimmick, not overly long, and easily distinguished. Make sure the tag wasn't used before.
Good: Two to three letters, with a single color. Tag is separated from the rest of the name by brackets or some other symbol, preferably a different color from the letters.
Bad: A single letter; more than three letters; many colors; clashing colors; tags that don't stick out.
Now that you've got a tag (and presumably what it stands for), you now have your clan! Congratulations. At this stage you are the only member of your clan, unless you have a co-founder or two. You'll want to gather some members.
Step 3: Recruiting members.
By now, you've likely been playing on your server of choice, wearing your clan's tag. As you've hopefully spent some time building up a reputation, people know who you are and may be curious about what your tag stands for. Some of those looking for a clan may in fact request to join you. At this point it may be tempting to advertise your clan is recruiting, but it is best to refrain from this until you have some members beyond yourself. Focus primarily on quality over quantity, but try not to be extremely picky; after all, you're the leader of a new clan and you aren't in a position to seem elitist. You'll just come off as a joke, which is a very bad position to be in.
Good: Players you've seen around before for at least a couple of weeks. Look for maturity and proper language. Their skill should be around yours.
Bad: New players, obvious trolls, people that run around unarmored with a lucifer cannon.
Build up cohesion with your founding members. As your clan progresses over the coming weeks and months, you'll want to have a stable core for your clan to thrive on. Try to get into scrims with established clans when you've got about four to five active members.
Step 4: Getting your clan known.
At this point, it's assumed that you've got at least six active members, all of whom have been wearing the tag for at least a week. This is when you'll want to first post your clan's roster on the forums, presumably with the account that you've already registered a while back in the first step. It would be good to have participated in a few scrims by now, but if not, be sure to indicate in your clan forum posting that you're looking for one. If you're not a scrim clan, then describe how your clan is different from all the others. Are you just a social group? Do you create content?
This is also a good time to make a website for your clan. A very good free service is Google Sites, which gives you up to five sites attached to your Gmail account, all of which are designed easily with their interactive site tools. It may be practical to use a URL shortening service such as TinyURL to hand out links to your clan site in-game. It's important to consider what you'll put on your site before you make one.
Good: Your clan roster. Any content your clan has made, such as strategy guides or a mod. A link to a separate clan forum site when you have at least 10+ members. Documentation on how to join and what the history is.
Bad: Material focused on harassing another clan or player. Proclamations of how "pro" you are. General douchebaggery.
Make sure that all members know about your clan site, and post a link to it on the forums, preferably in your signature or in the thread for your clan.
Step 5: Continued growth, and the future.
By now, you've come a long way. If you've lasted several months and have a clan site and an established presence on Tremulous, you've made it! At this stage, where your clan goes is entirely up to you. You could branch out into more than just what your clan was founded on, or you could just stick to your original goals. Some of your founding members may have already left to start their own clans, or they may have left the game entirely. You, as the durable clan leader, have become an important part of the Tremulous community. It's hard to see what Tremulous will be like long after I've written this guide, but good luck to you!
Now get out there and make those clans.