Credit to this guide goes to nba-live.com poster Houndy. These guys have really broken down what it takes to be successful at chronicling your offline coaching careers. We have some 'dead' ones floating around here so I thought posting the guidelines would help out. They have a great selection of offline dynasties/franchises as well as other sites such as DigitalSportsScene and OperationSports. Don't be afraid to visit another site and see how some of the successful offline franchises/dynasties accomplish their success.Here is one of the best offline dynasties that I've ever read. One can only dream:http://forums.nba-live.com/viewtopic.php?f=133&t=60729And here's the guide How To Make a Successful Association- Credit to Wyze, badreligionau, and Clutch 1. Pick one team, and stick with it Nobody wants to see the forum spammed with 5+ topics created by the same guy, each declaring he is starting a new Associaton. People will grow less and less interested in each new Association you start. 2. Choose a team you are a fan of Don't choose the team that you think everyone else will follow because in the end, the longevity of your Association will come down to how much you like your team. A good Association will get followed no matter which team you decide on. 3. Find a layout that works for you and stick with it Writing about the games should be easy if you have a template in which you can go by... and it doesn't have to be spectacular. Often the simplest layouts are the most successful. 4. Make multiple backup saves Pretty self-explanatory. Anytime we see someone's lost a Association due to this we think, "the dog ate my homework" excuse. And like clockwork, that person's gung-ho and into a new Association, with a new favorite team and new favorite players within days. 5. Include as many details about your team as possible This includes pictures, position, ratings, etc. 6. Include as many details about the games as possible. Box scores, injuries, lead changes and as always, "pictures are worth 1000 words" 7. Enjoy the Silence (or, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?") Just because nobody's clapping doesn't mean no one's listening. I've done enough game recaps to know that replies CAN'T be your sole reason for keeping a Dynasty. If it is? You're guaranteed to be disappointed and will eventually quit. Also remember, folks have lives; sometimes they'll be too busy but will comment a few days or posts later. Sometimes a particular recap will move them to comment, while another one won't; that's the nature of things. Comment fluctuations are to be expected. 8. Post constructively (or, "What goes around, comes around.") I don't mean to be a Rah! Rah! Cheerleader spamming every active thread with, "NICE WIN!!!! " ; that's probably less useful for the Dynasty/Assoc. maker than no comment at all. DO take the time to read their recap and mention something related. If it's a criticism, don't come off as a heel about it. Just tell them and give them a chance to make adjustments the next time. 1. Use paragraphs By using paragraphs, it makes your post look cleaner, neater and overall more appealing to read. Thus, people will be more likely to read it and post. Example [YES] I'm of the belief that where there's smoke, there's fire. I can't see the special that airs tonight on ESPN being anything other than a failed attempt at LeBron apologizing to Cleveland. He's making the Cleveland fans look like fools, and bringing unwanted attention and embarrassment to them. No matter what the outcome of the show is tonight, this was the wrong approach to handle the situation. Nobody is bigger than the game, please respect the game enough to just have a press conference to announce your decision. I don't care that he wants to go to Miami. Just go, don't drag Cleveland's face through the mud on your way out the door. That's uncalled for. You can have all the one hour TV shows you want in Miami, don't put this on National TV. I've never gotten too sucked in to Lebron and his antics. Maybe its because I was never a huge basketball fan. But I'll be okay no matter what. I don't need your apology on ESPN tonight. I'm not a 6 yr old, you don't have to console me after you give me bad news. The sun will come up tomorrow in Cleveland, and life will go on without you. Please just sign your contract and leave us alone from now on. Its been real, its been great; but it hasn't been really great. Example [ NO ] I'm of the belief that where there's smoke, there's fire. I can't see the special that airs tonight on ESPN being anything other than a failed attempt at LeBron apologizing to Cleveland.He's making the Cleveland fans look like fools, and bringing unwanted attention and embarrassment to them. No matter what the outcome of the show is tonight, this was the wrong approach to handle the situation. Nobody is bigger than the game, please respect the game enough to just have a press conference to announce your decision.I don't care that he wants to go to Miami. Just go, don't drag Cleveland's face through the mud on your way out the door. That's uncalled for. You can have all the one hour TV shows you want in Miami, don't put this on National TV.I've never gotten too sucked in to Lebron and his antics. Maybe its because I was never a huge basketball fan. But I'll be okay no matter what. I don't need your apology on ESPN tonight. I'm not a 6 yr old, you don't have to console me after you give me bad news.The sun will come up tomorrow in Cleveland, and life will go on without you. Please just sign your contract and leave us alone from now on. Its been real, its been great; but it hasn't been really great. 2. Use proper punctuation and grammar. Self explanatory. Make sure to take proper care to spell city and player name's correctly. (It is understandable if English is not your primary language, but please try your best) Zydrunas Ilgauskas plays for the Miami Heat 1. Use uniform pictures This again, emphasizes the neatness and visual appeal of your Association. Example [ YES ] Example [ NO ] 2. Get pictures of players in your uniform This one is really up to the user's discretion, but for me this is a nice touch to add. For example: if you've recently acquired Kobe Bryant and you're controlling the Boston Celtics; what better way to create a discussion with your readers than to post a picture of him in the Celtics jersey? 3. Evolve (or, "There are no rules, just tools.") Be creative. Don't be locked into a particular template or look. It's nice to be consistent, but you can also lose your edge when things become too monotonous. It's a tricky balance since you also want to stick to what works; it's all trial, error and the attitude to continue. If someone offers you constructive crit? Listen. You don't necessarily have to jump, roll over and do what everyone tells you, but try to at least understand where they're coming from and what they're having issues with. Remember that you can't please everyone and some people, well, they just have issues with everything. 1. Get people involved When the readers can interact with the writer and the story, people will feel more inclined to follow along. It can be as simple as asking the audience for an opinion on a trade situation or as elaborate as a custom draft class. The only limit you have is the one you put on yourself. 2. Give generated players life We all know that NBA 2k (insert year) has the option that creates all these generated rookies that kind of have no personality because nobody knows about them. Simple solution; give them personality! Give them a role in your story and soon they can develop a life of their own (eg: Ty Maximilian). 3. It's not just about the game Writing about the games and the league standings/stats is all well and good, but what's happening behind the scenes? Has Allen Iverson missed a practice? Does Captain Jack want to be traded to a good team? Is Dwyane Wade sick of playing with a bunch of Tito Jacksons? Let the Rumor Mill help you with this aspect. The player stories are often the most important for engaging your readers, so it often pays to think outside the game you're playing. 1. Limit the All-Star Game to a weekend Stacking your team with FA signings and pre-season trades is a sure fire way to lose interest. See what's gone down in Miami? Most people are already not interested Actually, not true; I am quiet interested as are most hoops enthusiasts. In virtual associations though? Tougher to pull off, but not impossible. 2. Don't trade away your whole team Although it may be tempting to package your bench corps and send them packing to another team, try not to. It may seem like a good idea in that moment in time, but you will likely later regret it when your bench is depleted or you have a bunch of old vets, or a team full of generated rooks. Also, it is not advisable to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. 3. If your winning every game by 30, up the difficulty Again, this one is self explanatory. If you are playing as the Nets and you are blowing teams out night after night, it's time to up the difficulty setting. Still blowing teams out on Superstar? Try adjusting the sliders to create more of a challenge. 1. Have fun (or, "I aint getting paid for this shiz.") Honestly ask yourself, "Am I actually having fun doing this anymore?" If the answer is NO? Take a break and do something completely non-related for a week or two. I've taken breaks as long as a few months only to come back more "into it" and re-inspired. 2. Balance your RL (or, "Everything in moderation.") In contrast to #1, keep priorities in mind. Sometimes Association making can be a little too fun and you can get a bit too preoccupied and consumed by wanting to post play post play post post post etc etc. Unless you're getting paid to do this, be mindful of the things you NEED to do (homework, job, spending time with the sig other) and save Association making as a guilty pleasure/reward for after you've taken care of RL business. If it's been hours of non-stop gaming and your gal is repeatedly entering the room, evil-eying you without a word and leaving the room, she's about to blow. It's time to shut things down and ask her what she feels like doing tonight. 3. When to call it quits (or, "Goodbye cruel world.") Being "bored of your team" isn't necessarily an excuse to switch teams. You're supposed to be a GM right? Bring in players that are going to keep you interested and make the game fun again for you. Or, make changes/trades happen in other teams that are struggling in your Associations; sometimes those moves make things interesting enough to continue because you can't wait to see how your squad will match up against them. Ultimately? Real Life circumstances will pretty much dictate when it's time to hang up your GM clipboard and go do something else.