State of the Game 2015

Talk about the game. What game? The game with the power? What power? The power of ... aw, skip it.

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Patojonas
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State of the Game 2015

Postby Patojonas » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:40 am

Not here to complain of demand explanations (lol, not the boss here) but is it just me or the game just feels....dead? OKay, zombie....ish?

I'd hoped the long event would have sparked some interest, but it still feels silent as the grave....any ideas on how to captivate new audiences?

I for one think the email option should be used whenever an event is out or about to show up, or maybe if someone hasn't played for a month and then a year? That might increase retention rates....

Also, I've said this before, but I've had the mail option enable and never ever have I received any email from this game.....and I wanted to! :P

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby acidcat » Thu May 07, 2015 3:40 pm

I agree with all Pato's points - game is undead, enough people playing to keep things going but feels like we're overall losing people to attrition or just breaking even with people. Kinak has worked really hard on the game of late - the recent IHOA time event was nice (struggled with bits of it personally) and really like the repackaging of IHOA for WoK items - I agree it would be nice to have some more non-spammy emails to remind people if they agreed to it previously to just say "look at what you might have missed if you haven't logged on recently" or even things like the time limited events like Franks ballpark.

Unfortunately don't have any new ideas of my own though.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby darkzumi » Thu May 07, 2015 4:11 pm

It might help to have the Twilight Heroes facebook, twitter, etc pages to be more active. Especially giving notices about limited time events and new features. I'll try to remember to post more about T.H. on my facebook and twitter accounts, maybe I can attract some new players! My main twitter account has about 1,240 followers. I don't share it with my friends, family, gamers, etc because it's heavily political.

I think acidcat and patojonas have good ideas posted.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Isladar » Thu May 07, 2015 5:47 pm

Things do seem a bit quiet, but I am really loving TH 2015. Hard Mode is as aggravating as it is enjoyable, the Auction House event and revamp was/is fun, and I am having a good time chaining heirloom runs to max out my heirloom items.

TH was mentioned in the last two KoL Thursday Podcasts (http://radio.kingdomofloathing.com/), which may or may not result in new blood.

I am not opposed to receiving the occasional email to remind me to come check out the game.

I don't have any ideas for bringing more people in. That's never really been my thing.

I plan to keep paying my $20 a month and wiling away an hour a day for as long as I can. I would like that to be a really long time.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Satan » Sat May 09, 2015 7:15 am

The only real solution is large influx from great advertising. People trickle in, see that not many people are here, and don't stay to play. I used to play every day, and then almost every day, and now almost not at all. Granted, that's partially because I've just gotten busy, but also because of the reasons mentioned in here. But advertising takes money. Possibly a kickstarter for an ad campaign?

I'm not sure how common that is. Explain that we already have a great game, but what we need to make it a success is players. The kickstarter itself is advertising, and if it succeeds, even more advertising.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Mana Yachanichu » Sat May 09, 2015 5:56 pm

It's hard to say - there are plenty of days when I log in, play all my turns, and log out, without having seen a single other person in chat; but really it's been like that as long as I can remember.

I had a lot of trouble with the IHOA event, it just didn't seem friendly to frequent retconners. It's rare for me to be above level 11 after all.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby zatade » Sun May 10, 2015 4:27 am

I have been doing heirloom runs for months, since I really enjoy seeing what the wok of stars items do. The villian event was great, first time in ages I have actually stopped retconning for any length of time and made a serious (for me) run up the levels. The new auction house inspired me to donate for 10 extra silver stars so I could go shopping. Our league is active and fun. I have never known chat or forums to be particularly active. From my perspective things are going along nicely.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Satan » Sun May 10, 2015 6:35 am

So, in the beginning, chat and forums were both fairly active. Not KoL active, but you could atleast count on conversations to be happening most of the time. But the rate at which new players joined after the initial bursts was less than the rate at which older players left, resulting in our more or less stable but small population of dedicated players right now. The game can still be fun this way, but the social aspect can bring a lot more to it. KoL in particular is an example of this, because while the game is very fun, it's the community that kept people involved there for years.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Kinak » Tue May 12, 2015 8:36 am

Just been lurking here and listening to feedback, but figured I'd chime in since I'm also posting on the related thread.

I'm glad folks enjoyed the recent event, although I agree it could have been more friendly to retconners. That's a balance that's difficult to strike. I'm also really glad people are liking the Heirloom Derby, Hard Mode, and the new Auction Hall.

Social Media
As far as social media goes, I just need to use it more for non-update stuff. And I need to use the opt-in email notifications at all. I've been doing better with social anxiety, but my floor for "what it's worth bothering people with" is still far too high.

It does really help, by the way, when people like or favorite or respond or retweet. Not just because it increases the visibility of those posts, but also because it makes me feel like I'm not just pestering people. So thanks for those of you that do that.

Player Numbers
Playerbase is a tangled issue and one that deserves more time than I can give it this morning. Some of the things we're seeing are just structural: demographics are heavily weighted towards joining in 07/08 and the majority of players, even long-time players, have never gone into chat.

We also get a steady number of new people in the door and a very good percentage of them come back, which is usually the biggest hurdle. Even the number of folks here after a month looks good in a vacuum, but is actually weak as a percentage of the returning players.

So, a lot of my new development is focusing on that month. The Auction House is a good example of that, hopefully resolving the most common new player complaint.

I can't promise to create another spike like 07/08, but I think we're actually in a good place to see some sustainable growth.

Cheers!
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby erfMortium » Wed May 13, 2015 10:28 pm

I think Chat would be much better if it was permanent. As it stands, unless you log full time you can't tell what people have said.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Theo » Fri May 15, 2015 8:37 pm

I know anymore I check less and less since there is only so much actual new-new content. Events are nice, but they end and it's back to "Oh, eh."

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Patojonas » Sat May 16, 2015 6:33 am

Kinak wrote:And I need to use the opt-in email notifications at all. I've been doing better with social anxiety, but my floor for "what it's worth bothering people with" is still far too high.


People can always disable the receiving of emails so if they ever get bothered they can fix it by themselves ;)

erfMortium wrote:I think Chat would be much better if it was permanent. As it stands, unless you log full time you can't tell what people have said.


That would certainly help sparking new conversations ;)

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Lxndr » Sun May 24, 2015 8:44 am

Until I started having regular computer problems, I used to play this game all the time.

One of the things I considered key for connecting to the community was a greasemonkey script that logged me in to chat automagically.

Come to think of it, most of the things I relied on for this game were greasemonkey.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby darkzumi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:19 pm

I'll try to tweet more about the game. I don't want to tweet about it too much, then it becomes spammy. Here's my twitter if anyone is interested:

https://twitter.com/MikeColossus

@MikeColossus

PS: Maybe someone can make a promo video for youtube? Kingdom of Loathing made a few of those back in the day and I seem to recall they got a spike of new users from it.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Kinak » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:02 am

darkzumi wrote:I'll try to tweet more about the game. I don't want to tweet about it too much, then it becomes spammy. Here's my twitter if anyone is interested:

https://twitter.com/MikeColossus
I've noticed that, thank you!

darkzumi wrote:PS: Maybe someone can make a promo video for youtube? Kingdom of Loathing made a few of those back in the day and I seem to recall they got a spike of new users from it.
My video skills are somewhere at the edge between slim and none. I had considered doing a let's play, which would be fun, but that's a lot of effort that could be going into development. So it's in the "spare time" pile.

Cheers!
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Staunch » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:02 pm

What about dong referral links (and maybe even a .html badge to add to our websites for those of us that have them)?

Quite a few games have these, some even give rewards for it?

Perhaps we could earn silver stars (because I am too poor to donate so being cheap here + plus I really want to add my forum picture to my game account), or unique items, over even an award badge once you hit "tiers".

Some games even give you a percentage of donation perks/points if you invite someone to the game, and they spend money on the game.

It could draw in new players, and you could (if you want to prevent tossaway random accounts from being created), that they play for a few hours/days/whatever before you receive the [insert reward type].

Also (sorry for possibly going off-topic here), what about a badge for finding bugs/typos and reporting them? I don't always pay attention and look for them, but that would have me actively seeking them (if there are any). I was a badge seeker in CoH (rip - die in a fire NCSoft), because it was fun. Some of them also gave static bonuses in the game!

How about more quests? They ones in the game are fun, and it breaks up the grinding feel once you defeat the Trainers, clear the Space Station, and get the Dreamer's Clock (finally going for lv50 this run).

Lastly, what about bringing back some of the old quests some of us missed for a limited time? Like the rubble, or the other events? I'd love a chance to get some of the loot/badges (seeing a theme here for me?). A place like Ouroboros (CoH reference) - You could "travel though time" there, and access old missions form the past, and ones you might be too high level to do any longer. It could be an easy way to allow access to limited time areas/quests no longer in the game without messing with the continuity for those who do not wish to do them again.

I can probably come up with more ideas (got several), but wanted to make sure people wanted to read them or if they want me to STFU or GTFO (which apparently is a good counter to RTFM).
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Satan » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:02 pm

Addressing solely the part about a badge for finding bugs, there is an item gifted by the admins for finding bugs (either by finding lots of small bugs, or a seriously game breaking bug). It's rare to find those game breaking bugs now that the game has left beta, but bugs still happen.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Kinak » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:23 am

Staunch wrote:What about dong referral links (and maybe even a .html badge to add to our websites for those of us that have them)?
Referral links are... problematic. Traditionally, most referrals are actually just people gaming the referral systems. Which, in my experience, pretty quickly results in the people doing the legwork realizing that they're basically suckers.

The only time it really works well is when you have a game where the accounts themselves are valuable. That can mean subscriptions or the money you get from data mining on Facebook or the free advertising if people need to use social media.

We're not really in a position where that happens. Even rewarding friends donating would be problematic because donation rewards can be shared between accounts.

There are banners, but we don't have personalized badges at this time. If folks are interested, there are also some ad files we've been using I can share.

Staunch wrote:How about more quests? They ones in the game are fun, and it breaks up the grinding feel once you defeat the Trainers, clear the Space Station, and get the Dreamer's Clock (finally going for lv50 this run).
This is in progress :)

But it's just me and a couple volunteers doing everything, so new quests have to compete with everything else. Releasing more content is the solution to many problems, but also something that I just need to figure out how to do.

I've been having some luck breaking things into smaller pieces (see: lots of enemies finally getting text), but only time will tell if that cross-applies to quests.

Staunch wrote:Lastly, what about bringing back some of the old quests some of us missed for a limited time? Like the rubble, or the other events? I'd love a chance to get some of the loot/badges (seeing a theme here for me?). A place like Ouroboros (CoH reference) - You could "travel though time" there, and access old missions form the past, and ones you might be too high level to do any longer. It could be an easy way to allow access to limited time areas/quests no longer in the game without messing with the continuity for those who do not wish to do them again.
Some stuff does stick around or reoccur, the Space Station actually being an event that just plays out every time you retcon, but there's not a general structure for it.

I personally, even as a player, like some stuff to remain unavailable. It adds a sense of history and, when limited time stuff does come up, actual challenge and chance of failure.

That said, I don't have any huge events planned coming up. Focusing on permanent content for the time being.

Staunch wrote:I can probably come up with more ideas (got several), but wanted to make sure people wanted to read them or if they want me to STFU or GTFO (which apparently is a good counter to RTFM).
Thanks for the feedback! I hope, even if I couldn't jump on a lot of your suggestions, there's still something interesting here for you.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby darkzumi » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:33 pm

I have an idea for supporting the game!

Nobody likes mandatory ads, either in popups or banners on the bottom of the page as you play, BUT, what if we had an sub-area in Downtown Twilight zone (maybe call it the Twilight Advertising Company?) where you could go to watch short ad videos and other types of advertisements? Maybe with getting a small amount of chips or an extra turn in exchange for seeing the ads? Several other games I play do this. That way the site could get some $ from advertisers and the players could get rewards for seeing the ads and helping the game. For those players that don't want to see the ads, they just have to not click on that sub-area of Downtown! It's a win-win-win (advertisers-game-players)! :)

Might be complicated to do the coding on, though. Wish I could help in that regard, but the only type of coding I know is little bit of Q-basic from back in the DOS/Win 3.1 days and some basic html.

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Staunch » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:45 am

First I love how the developer themselves has been responding to posts here. It makes me even more sad I cannot spend money on the game. Shows you care.

I am very excited about new permanent content. Seriously, super exited here! Even if it is more B-Quests, those are fun. Even grinding for the gloves while riding a horse.

My first idea is A a B-Quest could be launched at Jitterspout coffee. You meat a man (maybe a hipster) who is in search of the ultimate caffeine buzz. He offers you a (some kind of drink or pill) in return if you collect for him one of each types of caffeine in the game (or a set list). In return, the item/pill/drink grants you a skill (maybe permanent- or not then it could be done across retcons) that adds an extra (ten minutes or something non-game breaking) to your bedtime every night?

Alternatively, it could give you a device where you can purify caffeine (like the Sugar Purifier skill). This could either be done via a new skill, or a device that you put in your hideout that takes time like Catalyzing (because you have to re-brew it or something). If you like this and go with the device, additional components might be needed, which could extend the quest with a bit of a grind in places like The City of Lost Robots, and/or Renegade Robot Hive or something.

My writing is sub-par to most of the game, but I can toss out more ideas if you are interested.

I would love to see more maps like the office building downtown. That is probably my favorite quest, as you actually can map your progress.

darkzumi wrote:I have an idea for supporting the game!

Nobody likes mandatory ads, either in popups or banners on the bottom of the page as you play, BUT, what if we had an sub-area in Downtown Twilight zone (maybe call it the Twilight Advertising Company?) where you could go to watch short ad videos and other types of advertisements? Maybe with getting a small amount of chips or an extra turn in exchange for seeing the ads? Several other games I play do this. That way the site could get some $ from advertisers and the players could get rewards for seeing the ads and helping the game. For those players that don't want to see the ads, they just have to not click on that sub-area of Downtown! It's a win-win-win (advertisers-game-players)! :)

Might be complicated to do the coding on, though. Wish I could help in that regard, but the only type of coding I know is little bit of Q-basic from back in the DOS/Win 3.1 days and some basic html.


Love this idea, and I have seen it work elsewhere. I would offer to help implement it, but I know just enough coding to break the game. The most I have done was some mods for Baldur's Gate II.

There was one game I played that listed itself on some of the topsites that rank games. It was in the browser category. You earned rewards each time you voted (they were small, nothing like the equivalent of a Silver Star or anything like that).

I played another game where it was like darkzumi stated. You watched a video ad, and earned a tiny bit of premium money. Some of them you can do it by taking those horrible surveys that never end too.

Some Facebook games have links where if you buy real world things though links from the game, they credit your game account with premium money as well.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Kinak » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:17 pm

darkzumi wrote:Nobody likes mandatory ads, either in popups or banners on the bottom of the page as you play, BUT, what if we had an sub-area in Downtown Twilight zone (maybe call it the Twilight Advertising Company?) where you could go to watch short ad videos and other types of advertisements? Maybe with getting a small amount of chips or an extra turn in exchange for seeing the ads?
It's been a long time since I've played a game that does this, but I recall there being some serious problems with them being easy to fake out.

Which is to say, most ads are just the site politely asking your browser to display some content. It's easy to end up with situations where people load the page but no ad content (like using AdBlock) and that's obvious to the advertisers, but not the game.

It's also getting harder and harder to make money off of advertising, in part because of that decrease from ad blocking. Sad but true.

Staunch wrote:First I love how the developer themselves has been responding to posts here. It makes me even more sad I cannot spend money on the game. Shows you care.
You're welcome :)

Staunch wrote:My writing is sub-par to most of the game, but I can toss out more ideas if you are interested.
I do like ideas and a lot of them end up showing up in some form, but the bottleneck is always the actual implementation.

I normally hash out ideas over my morning walk. An idea from one walk rarely takes less than a day's effort to implement and can be weeks or even months.

So, unfortunately, lots of ideas trying to fit through a small door. The trick, in my experience, is less getting ideas and more figuring out how to get them to move through the door in an orderly fashion.

Staunch wrote:I would love to see more maps like the office building downtown. That is probably my favorite quest, as you actually can map your progress.
I'm a fan as well, although it requires a little care so folks with text-to-speech software can use them.

I was actually thinking about something similar (on one of the aforementioned walks) for revamping the Go Fish quest. That one's been on a back burner for a long time, though, and I'd be surprised to see it this year.

Staunch wrote:Some Facebook games have links where if you buy real world things though links from the game, they credit your game account with premium money as well.
Could probably do something like this through Amazon Associates. It's usually 5% or something. I'd need to do some digging for feasibility and, frankly, Amazon's given us some grief in the past.

That said, if people are really excited, I can dig into it.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Olaf » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:50 pm

Kinak wrote:Could probably do something like this through Amazon Associates.
This is a standard-issue framing hammer just like you can find at the local hardware store or a fine online retailer. It's not particularly intimidating, but it'll scare any criminals made of wood or drywall. Well, probably.
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Re: State of the Game 2015

Postby Kinak » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:30 am

BRB, buying hammers from a fine online retailer.

Cheers!
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