Kinak: Harry is awesome, and the best transcriber ever! He should transcribe everything! (paraphrased to make more accurate.)
Jessica: If you were given a genie that could add anything to Twilight Heroes (real world tie in, whatever code things that take really long, magic floating coffee party for the players on rooftops with costumes with a gryphon, etc) what would you add? This is asked with the explicit understanding that it may never happen because without genies there are limited resources.
Kinak: The first thing that comes to mind would be a bunch more advertising. We are in the beginning of the loop of “advertise more to get more money so that you can advertise more to get more money, etc”. Not because I want a lot of money, but because it would be nice to be able to dabble in a bunch of projects, like roleplaying games and CCGs. I would also take the genie creating me a clockwork code minion to do the tedious coding I don’t want to do. As code bases get older, you have to go back and “fix” things to make the fit the way the game works now. I’m doing some work on the computer system now.
Jessica: As someone who knows code things and how to make games, what is your view on games as art? Is game creation an artistic pursuit, intellectual pursuit or a way to create simple entertainment for the over worked?
Kinak: Simple answer: Yes, it is all three of those. If you look at a game like Final Fantasy 7, you have what is in essence a movie split up by chunks of game. So if we can accept that movies can be art, you have to accept that the game built around a movie can be art. The people who try to say games aren’t art are the same kind of people who used to say movies weren’t art decades ago. (If you want the rest of this long and good answer, listen to the podcast starting at about the 6 minute mark.)
Satan: When are you going to give me my genuine lookalike World Series 2013 ring?
Kinak: I was actually considering sending either a different ring or something else entirely for April Fool’s because I got your request shortly before the beginning of April. I guess we’ll have to wait and see when 2013 rolls around again.
Sanjuro: Where's the pink bunny suit that we were all expecting?
Kinak: It would not surprise me to eventually run across a pink bunny suit.
Sanjuro: Any new developments in marketing the game and expanding the playerbase? Is there anything we players can do to help?
Kinak: Our first foray into advertising went very well, so it’s just a question of getting enough money to do more advertising. Donating does directly help. Every dollar we get over server costs goes into the pile of money for future advertising. The more important thing you can do is continue to tell your friends about Twilight Heroes. Word of mouth is the best advertising, bar none. A large part of the effects of advertising is not immediately apparent. If we get 500 people to try the game and 100 stay, that’s awesome. But if you look at the course of a year or so, those people who stay bring in more people. Among other things, it means people enjoy the game enough that they want to share it with their friends, and that’s a big compliment. Even just liking the TH Facebook page or posts will bring the game more attention. If you’re a member of a forum where people like superheroes or browser based games, you can use the banners we’ve created or ask for a specific banner that we can add to the list.
Sanjuro: What improvements to the game have you been working on?
Kinak: I mentioned that I’m revamping the computer code, which will come with quite a few changes to how they work. I’m also still knee deep in the next quest that will come after the Brute quest. Since the last podcast I’ve added a bunch of drops and special abilities that will make sense when you’re playing through it. Once the computer stuff is done, the next “small” project will probably be a League boss. Once I get done with the Mad Scientist stuff, the next big project will probably be a really cool thing that will lead into hopefully a PVP revamp.
eftMortium: Love the idea of the rental equipment (wraith etc). How about a lottery event for those who donate for the month that has prizes that include past IotM? It would be an excellent way to create a new influx of now unobtainable items, and who knows, maybe there would be an increase in donations from people hoping to get a shot at something rare? If that is too much to stomach, perhaps a month long rental voucher for an item of choice?
Kinak: Rental voucher is kind of an interesting idea. In regard to the old IOTMs, some have become obviously unattainable for a number of reasons. A lot of the accounts those are on have become inactive, which means that the total number of some of those items in the game’s economy has dropped very low. I’m hesitant to do a Metroplexity method of rotating old items back in unless it’s something we start now and keep doing moving forward; and this would not include items from before we started rotating in older items. I feel like it wouldn’t be a huge slap in the face if we kept track of the number of items on inactive accounts and use that as a number for how many we could reintroduce through various means. That would be substantially older items, since someone would have to be inactive for quite a while. If we were going to go that sort of direction, something like a raffle based on donations or real world event wouldn’t be out of the question. Something I’ve been thinking about more recently was switching over the Auction House for this purpose. Since the Mall, no one even uses the AH for anything, so we need to do something with it to make it useful again. I was thinking we could do a weekly auction of an old IOTM coming back and people could bid using silver stars. That makes it feel more like a money grab, though. However, it would be a way of letting the market set the price; players would decide what the item was worth, be it more or less than the normal 10 star Wok price. Another thought is raffling an item off each month based on the number of stars a player donated for. A rental system of existing items would be a lot of overhead, because you’d have to duplicate each item so one is permanent and one is rental. I feel like for this purpose rental probably isn’t the best solution, because you have items like Hideout items and sidekicks that would be hard to code for removal of at the end of a rental period.
Cristiona: No question. Just wanted to say hi. Hi!
Kinak: Hi! For those who don’t know, any time I say “I hand claim any responsibility for how awesome this is” that was all her.
Isladar: First, are there any merit badges out there we don't know about (especially ones implemented by you)? Secondly, would you be willing to give us a hint about a couple?
Kinak: There are quite a few merit badges I have added. There’s even one I added before I technically took over, I believe. I just thought it was way too hilarious to not be a badge, and that one is still undiscovered. I have personally added….(counting)…. 11 merit badges, and I think most of those have been found. There’s one associated with the day of the week I’m pretty sure no one has found. There’s another one that is possibly known sort of, but I don’t think anyone has gotten yet. Of the ones I added, the first, third, sixth, and tenth ones no one has found.
Kinak: On a server note, we did figure out what happened with the outage. A motherboard on the server flaked out at a time when it was hard to get a replacement in a reasonable amount of time. It wasn't a great situation, but at least our host has people on hand to figure out those problems and get them solved as soon as they possibly can. They are trying to make things less of a single point of failure. I'm actually very happy with our hosting solution, despite that bit of an issue.