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[Project: Gorgon Official News] August Update Still In Progress

Discussion in 'Project: Gorgon News' started by Project: Gorgon News Feed, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Project: Gorgon News Feed

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    Just wanted to drop a note in case you don’t follow the twitter feed. The next update is delayed, and there hasn’t been an update for a couple of weeks, but things are definitely not idle. In fact I’m working overtime to add a bunch of tech, new content, and new mechanics:
    • Vendors will now act as consignment shops, selling your items for you. This is a kind of mini-marketplace, like an auction house but intentionally very localized.
    • NPCs have several new tech features, such as the ability to remember their shop inventory between server reboots, a special Training menu for trainer NPCs, and other improvements.
    • There’s a new outdoor area for high-level players, with challenging monsters and environmental hazards.
    • The new area has a heavy focus on werewolves, fleshing them out a bit more with additional abilities, quest content, and so on.
    • Orcs make their introduction, along with various orcish equipment.
    Why all this in one swoop? Well, a couple reasons. The server population has dropped back to almost nothing again. I can probably jump-start it a little bit with some promotional effort, but if things are going to drop off again this quickly, that’s not so great an investment of time.
    It seems like new players have a pretty decent initial play duration, and a good number of them come back for a second session, which is great. But they aren’t really telling their friends about the game. There’s not really any organic incoming players. So if I get a few dozen players into the game, that number will just dwindle down to nothing after a couple of weeks, and then I have to start again.
    Given that it’s pre-alpha, with only a few zones of content, I feel like I’m actually in pretty decent shape in terms of retention. It’s good enough that I’m confident the game is on the right track, anyway. And one of the problems is paradoxically that nobody’s playing — a ghost town begets a ghost town. But I need to fix that ASAP. There’s a lot of things I need to fix, but three stand out:
    • - more “first impressions” stuff, like better run animations, tutorial improvements, and GUI fixes. (A bunch of which I’ve been doing in the past few updates)
    • - more “social” features that give players the idea that they could live in this game. (Consignment vendors are a small step in that direction; I’ll get guilds and friends lists in soon thereafter)
    • - more content, to keep players involved longer. I need to be able to sustain at least 30 people online at peak time each day in order to build any sort of community. I’ve never actually tried to drum up that many people at once, so I don’t know how hard it’ll be to get there, but presuming I manage it, I’ll need more content to keep people involved.
    So in a nutshell, I’m trying to improve retention before I try to drum up more players.
    And on a related note, I want to do another Kickstarter in two weeks. The Kickstarter will be aiming to get funds to hire another developer. The current rate of development is just not fast enough, and I’m spread too thin, never really able to dig deep into any part of the game. So I’m focusing on things that might help keep a Kickstarter community engaged for the duration.
    Anyway, apologies for the accidental radio silence — I have several blog posts running through my head and just haven’t had time to write them down. The twitter feed usually has the most up-to-date info, so if you’re ever wondering whether I fell off the earth or not, check there!
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  2. Luka Melehan

    Luka Melehan Certifiable
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    I have not been around at all lately due to the class I just finished. It was a total bear. I am told the class I start on monday is not so bad. Consider running an ad here when the Kickstarter starts. I think your on the right track with looking at first impressions. When people come in game for the first time, they are looking for certain things and are turned off immediately when they aren't there. We can remind them this is alpha, but if it feel clumsy to them to play, they won't stay.

    Vendors? Looks like I have some catching up to do!
     
  3. Domna

    Domna Visitor

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    Well there are some people always coming back (as I am), but the truth is we do need more people, have tried to get friends playing, myself am already over 2 months here, and those who keep coming back definitely know why they do. These are some people who are a bit "spoiled" by other games, and are expecting something alike, so some have to adjust themselves. Others get the cow char and get very frustrated over it, although we always try to explain to explore this char a bit. I guess summer time (as it is here) and holidays do play a role, but am sure the game will grow!!! I will do my best to help.
     
  4. Luka Melehan

    Luka Melehan Certifiable
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    Some things to consider:
    - not all people are cut out for this type of game. I believe the audience is out there. Games like UO and AC are still being played despite the old graphics and platforms. WURM Online has a huge following. We just need to ifnd them.
    - people sometimes don't realize that if they don't like the way something is, that thier input could make a difference. XYZ sucks so I don't like this game.
    - some people are coming in thinking this will be like their beta experiences. So the clumsiness puts them off.
    - sadly, things like the run animation will put people off.
    - many people get really upset with the red wall clue. I don't get it, its easy. But we listen to it every time there is a rush of new people.
    - The Cow Curse. I say, keep it in. Its a quick introduction of a significant element of the game. But then again. I love being a cow and as soon as I get deer and pig, I am perma cowing.
    - Inventory issues.
    - it takes large amounts of time to master everything. Its hard to play alone. I am hoping the consignment selling will help alleviate that, but what we need to start doing is build an in-game community. If people can specialize, and have a way to barter and trade, then people will be less discouraged, at least about that. Do we have an ETA on secure trading?