Elf Seed


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  • Re: Need List of Key Commands

    I finally did the work of transcribing them. Turns out, in the newest update, there is no command for "use item" unless you set one, and "pick up" changed from LClick to F for some reason - LClick is now, by default, "drop item." (I can see how much playtesting happened before 0.8.9 was released.)

    I made a spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ER7RaXXpcoOTx_wsjEIiLzs715N34MxKF6ndOUZtxGU/

    For myself, I'm resetting LClick to "use" and Q to "drop."

    I'm also hoping that when Version 2 comes out, someone will have thought to go through the default key bindings and make sure the result is a playable game.

    (Side thing: Tug wiki is now listed as an untrusted site; the certificate hasn't been renewed.)
  • "Your target audience doesn't exist"

    Article by the guy who created Steam Spy: https://medium.com/steam-spy/your-target-audience-doesn-t-exist-999b78aa77ae#.xxrs3slrt

    Let me repeat it once more, because it’s really important.

    Various studies suggest that there are 700–800 million of PC gamers. It’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean much for your game. Because if you’re developing a downloadable game for Steam you’re not even fighting for 135M of its active users,

    you’re fighting for the attention of 1.3 million gamers
    that are actually buying lots of games.

    The 1% group.

    Interesting article, pointing out that basically, there is no "MMORPG audience" or "MOBA demographic" to seek - while there are indeed zillions of players of PC games, their interests and dedications are scattered as hell. There are millions of WoW players... but those players aren't seeking other MMORPGs; they're enjoying WoW and its updates. Games are not fungible - interest in one is not transferable to another, even within a genre.
  • Re: The Reality of Development

    Hence the need for regular update posts where they accept feedback. However, that's not the only way to get a sense of what the wider community has an interest in/will put up with. Steam forums (not TUG's specific ones), Reddit, Youtube, other gaming sites, and places like tumblr all have plenty of info about what gamers are looking for in games, and what's considered too expensive, and what company decisions are considered scams.

    And a company that claims to be focused on social research shouldn't have any problems figuring out how to get a sense of the larger community.
  • Re: The Reality of Development

    Start with, "commit to sharing information and updates." Any schedule, any plan, is better than none.

    Pick a central spot for information to flow from, ideally here or the official blog. Post regular updates - at least monthly, ideally weekly - even if they're short "still working on things; here, have a screencap from one of the dev test runs" posts.

    Crosspost from there - a twitter post saying "new update; have a link;" a Steam post saying "we're working on X this month" followed by a link, and so on.

    Appoint someone to do this - and to answer replies, politely and cheerfully. If nobody is available to do this, hire someone. (Not: scam some college student into working for free under the label "intern." Pay someone, even if it's minimum wage. This company doesn't need a bigger rep for pinching pennies.)

    If there's no budget for a social media rep, this company is dead; Houston's min wage is $7.25/hour, and if there's not a couple-hundred dollars a month available for PR now, there won't be resources to deal with the flamewars that'll happen when development starts up again, and the game will never get past the initial flurry of "oh, it's available again" sales.

    Don't just say, "here's what we're thinking of doing;" post why--and, in the case of things that any marginally-competent game company knows are controversial (f2p, removing voxel manip), explain why this won't ruin the game for people who enjoy what they've already got.

    Expect that every change or announcement will be met with hostility - there's several years of broken promises here, and a whole bunch of pulling the rug out from under people. NK needs its userbase - current customers and potential future ones - to trust them, and that can't be earned quickly.

    Give the rep the authority to actually answer questions about development: where's the game on physics; what's up with the golems; how about fixing the crafting system so you don't accidentally make the wrong thing. What are the plans for the adventure & survival servers, and why. How many people are working on aspect X right now. Are there going to be caves; if so, where are those on the work schedule.

    At this point, the only reason *not* to answer direct questions, is if there's a scam going on and no game is ever going to get past the current early-alpha stage. NK can't lose supporters by saying, "well, it's gonna be another four months before we revamp the seed growth system;" all the people that could be lost with honesty, are already long-gone from "please wait another few months and then see what we've got!"

    Most recent of those was mid-June. Oh hey; it's been a few months, and we've got... nothing.

    The current system of announcing every five months, "we're still here, and someday we will have an awesome game!" is a plan for instant crash-and-burn when it gets past alpha and into beta.

    TL;DR short version: Pick a place and POST UPDATES. Regularly. Publicly; don't try to funnel all criticism into personal emails. Engage with customers as potential fans, not as "haters."