Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Discussions of sales, marketing, offers, word of mouth techniques etc
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Pebble

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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Pebble » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:12 am

I'm new. I was one of those who waited forever to purchase the game not because of early access fears but because I wanted more development. Then I realized (after watching tons of videos and reading up on the game), that there was enough development to keep me busy.

I ENJOY THIS GAME. I ENJOY THE NON-TOXIC COMMUNITY. I AM THE *MOST* WILLING TO PAY 10$ a month for this. I like where its going, the developers have proven their dedication to it. What benefit would I want for more premium? Hell I don't even know, I just know I'd pay it knowing it would help the game out.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby shathiell » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:41 am

Jam,

Some ideas for you (I haven't played much the past few weeks, but will be back in again shortly).

* I know its a pain and it deter's George from making ships/other stuff, but consider cosmetic ideas for upgrades along with selling goods. Some things come to mind include different building skins, OSb skins, patterns/decals for ships, etc.. All E:D sells separately from the main game is decals and they seem to do ok out of it.

* Assess what you pain points are (Where a lot of your time is consumed) and consider if there is something community members can assist you with. There will be a lot that we can't do, however there are probably a few things we can look at doing on your behalf if you let us (For free even :) ).

* Combat & PVP, while not everyone's cup of tea, seems pretty big in other space games (Such as E:D). If this is cleaned up and enabled (Like you want to do) then you would potentially get more players in.

EDIT: Hmm, I didn't want to do this, but I have some ideas now which might be headline grabbers (Grabbing people who are on the fence and whatnot)

* Immersion is key. After playing a bit of E:D over the past few weeks, I felt like I was flying an actual spacecraft. While I wouldn't expect you to mimic the mechanics involved (given resource constraints) sometimes something as simple as a HUD which looked like the inside of a spaceship could go a long way. Along with this, implementation of more walking around in places, such as ISB/OSB's and your spaceship would help to improve this significantly (Although I appreciate this would all consume more of George's time).

* Grouping/social tools. You mentioned improved chat, however what about the ability to team up with other players, then implementing more difficult combat missions to accomodate this? I know people in a lot of other MMO's just group up with friends while they game, usually for the private channel facilities. This could help enable social events to get people meeting at one spot (Such as a colony or spacestation) for events and prizes. Shroud of the Avatar, like Ascent, has an awesome community and they have these events in game on a regular basis with a lot of popularity

* Multi-crew capability. I am not talking about the Star Citizen dream of walking around a ship while it is flying and deal with boarding/fps/etc, however just the ability to have some NPC's exist on your ship to assist with some of the running tasks on a larger ship could also help with the immersion and give them tasks while there. For example, they can run a long-distance radar scanner for potential threats or space debris, or you can get them into your hawk and order them to go and soil sample various planets in the system.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby PolMordreth » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:00 pm

Jam,
First, let me say that I really enjoy the game at this point. I'm a new player, having been here less than a month. What brought me here was the prospect of not having to deal with griefers, since there is no PvP, and when it does come it will be limited to certain areas that I can easily avoid. I'm an EVE veteran, i played in the closed beta, open beta, and then for about a year in the main game until the griefing became too much.

I wholeheartedly approve of the bump to $5 / month for premium access, and second the call to still have it split between the three areas. $2 each or 5 for all three makes a lot of sense. More than that for a technically 'pre-production / open beta' game is pushing the envelope IMO. I also support selling the Hawk and Bowhead blueprints for real money. neither ship gives a sizable advantage, and selling BP's mitigates the Pay-to-win feel of selling hulls. The drawback of selling BP's instead of the actual ships is that there is no real way to prevent people from building and selling them in game. If you are a completionist like me, I'll still be buying the BP's even if i don't plan on building it myself, just to have the complete set, as it were.

Other than those, microtransactions for skins for ships, domes, and such are the way to go, imho. if you look at the competition, E:D sells paint jobs. I know that you cannot do that, since you already have the paint booth in the ISB, and I love that, but maybe you can come up with additional patterns? Pirate skull and crossbones? Individual corp logo skins? (submit your corporation logo, and all your corp members can buy the skin for their ships, or the corp president can buy them for giving out?) Country flag skins? Custom dome logos? For higher end transactions, maybe Space Station blueprints? I know all of those things take resources away from new feature dev, but you also have to make money to do the new feature dev.

The big drawback i see to selling bigger ship packages to new players is the realistic inertia system. If you haven't worked your way up, so to speak, maneuvering a guardian is completely frustrating. Heck, I had a friend try the game, and quit in the combat tutorial because he couldn't figure out how to use the grav anchor well enough to hit the drone, so went to play something else. If you put that type of player in a ponderous, slow to change direction, high inertia guardian, there is a big risk of them not only not staying, but really down talking the game because they feel milked.

Okay, sorry for the wall of text. I really appreciate the work that you and George have put into this game, and I really want to see it succeed. I am advertising on Facebook, (although i use it little), so hopefully we can get more players in. As an aside, i actually like the UI. Maybe it's my Aspergers, but i find it very intuitive.

Regards,
Pol
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Ender First » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:02 pm

Jam Like the brief Lets us Poor Drones Know what is going on!!
I can and Do support you Upping the Subscription for Premium to $5/Per Month per Premium!
I can See Selling the BowHead and Hawk as a Dlc separate for each.
I can also see the ( In game Government Buying Back the Settlements in the Inner 8 ( Cannot Settle in Janus) and the Government then reselling the Land to New People ( couple K to Mill per land Deed for Inner 8 ).

I can also see a Contest for Players to Build a Ship. the Special Ship types, Miner, Hauler, Explorer, Scout, Fleet Scout.

I cannot See Terra forming in the next 3-4 Years On a Whole Planet Scale, I can see a Dome Terra Former( very restricted Area and Relatively Small that allows that dome to have a 10-20 Boost to all foods, each Use Multiples the time and cost. Cannot raise it Higher than 100).

I can see Offering to some Player that are Very good at Code Writing a Reduced cost for Premium's Having them do Small stuff. Having them Help on Big Projects.

I do Like that when a Bug or Problem Pops up you or your team try to Kill it asap.

yes i know i am Rambling.
Over all Jam You have My Praise and Support on what You have done. Tho I will Mail you with More Information when I get it all straight in My Head and on Paper. Hopefully some of my Information will be Good enough to be Included into the Game when you feel it would benefit the Game
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby SilkenVerse » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:24 am

I think the $5.00 US is cheap. Now with the fact that we can buy more SC so we only need to keep 1 account instead of scores more to help in building refueling stations out in the cosmos, I like that idea.

I cannot see any way that there is a way to Pay to Win in this game. We cannot compete with any other person or group or guild / clan. Many games with less than this content charge more and you can err have to Pay to Win in those games or you are over taken and all your work can be lost. In this game nothing we do can be lost or taken away. If we want to opt in for the PvE pirate or PvP later we can.

One last thought, WHAT OTHER GAME ever allows / seeks our input in framing things before Jam puts anything into play or practice. I have not been able to play much with my head issues but I won't give up this game.

Those are my thoughts,

Silk
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby BoshingTong » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:18 am

SilkenVerse wrote:I think the $5.00 US is cheap. Now with the fact that we can buy more SC so we only need to keep 1 account instead of scores more to help in building refueling stations out in the cosmos, I like that idea.

I cannot see any way that there is a way to Pay to Win in this game. We cannot compete with any other person or group or guild / clan. Many games with less than this content charge more and you can err have to Pay to Win in those games or you are over taken and all your work can be lost. In this game nothing we do can be lost or taken away. If we want to opt in for the PvE pirate or PvP later we can.

One last thought, WHAT OTHER GAME ever allows / seeks our input in framing things before Jam puts anything into play or practice. I have not been able to play much with my head issues but I won't give up this game.

Those are my thoughts,

Silk


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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby CaminoArcher » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:53 am

Hello Y'all!

Played This a while back and tried to help out in the Kickstarter and found out I couldn't pay because y'all are not based in the USA. Very Annoying! Was having a blast with the game but got busy with many other things. When the game popped up on steam I installed it and tried to play but It really REALLY hated all the joysticks I had hooked up(Hotas) So I gave Up and waited for patches. one of the patches fixed my issue and here I am!

I really REALLY am not sure why the elite, and SC crowd aren't jumping on this other than it may be a bit on the Not to purty side. Y'alls Mining Mechanic is the best I have ever seen and getting around is so easy a 3 Year old could handle it!

If You sell ships, I will buy them...Only thing I can say about that is, Build it, then sell it LOL. I'm about $1600 into SC and all I want to do is stand in my Carrack and my Orion! Le Sigh...Not gonna happen any time soon methinks :lol: Since this is such a PVE focused game, Me having the Biggest Baddest Mining vessel the Universe has ever seen shouldn't put anyone's nickers in a bunch!

See y'all in the verse!

BTW-Very VERY helpful Community Ingame.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Agamemnon » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:35 pm

Dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a game designer.... :roll: :mrgreen:

1. Do what you gotta do to live, eat and be merry. As a business, I know you have charged way to little for the product that I've been playing/paying for since last July. When I bought desura at 4.99 it should have been 10. When it moved to steam you should have charged 5 bucks to those of us on desura. Your $1 month/p/prem should have been $2 since outer belts came out and $3 bucks since kick starter. $ 5 X3 Prems should be the norm per month and you will be in league with games like Runescape which have been going on for longer than i can remember. Look at their business model also, the free to play members provide a service to the paying members like chopping wood (i.e. mining roids) and the premium players buy it for SC and they make lots of money and level their skills and everyone's happy. Plus with the influx of 50k, 100k 500k free to play subs you grow your potential that even 1% of those buy premium or pay for SC to help themselves increase their in-game goals. I once paid 3 accounts in runescape just to help my daughters level and do cool things they couldn't do in the base free game and I hated that game but again that's the 1%.

2. Models/artistry/concept art-There are a lot of talented people in your player base. Seek out ideas in a concept art request thread. those with the best skills will surely beam to the top of the pile soon enough and those ideas can be fleshed out by George in no time taking the gap in your model asset pipeline down a notch or too by having players vote up the best next cool model/ship/part/building etc.

3. Store Front-Lots of trouble but lots of funds, start with the easy ship decals first, have a volunteer come up with the front end store front (you deal with the back end sales portion - 1 week of project time) and git 'er done. $5 bucks a pop for a designer skull and crossbones logo, or corporate kl0wn would be perfect, or again, put it to the artistry in the player base to come up with 50 generic logos and start from there, then delve into the player owned logos at $10 a pop. These will all add up quickly. Then move onto the other extras, ships, special stations, defense grids, defense satellites, No SGD's though.

4. Combat revamp-awesome. can't wait, same with smuggling, politics/law/order. This will definitely bring in some of those hanging on the fence.

5. Noob experience-quest writing. I volunteer for that, let me know what sort of format/template you need it in. I did hundreds of these from fetch, escort, kills in other games I can surely add some new flavor to some of the ones you currently have going and maybe extend the training skills to the newbie pilot so they don't get frustrated at the grav anchor an quit. A little hand holding goes a long way.

All in all, great vision and up coming ideas, look forward to playing for another few years. I am your market 25-45 male with expendable cash flow.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby battlepopit » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:27 am

totally agree with a bigger premium.
Sell the ships. hopefully ingame where steam cannot get their grubby hands on a "cut"
Make a "Jam's Corner" in the GM where you sell all your own stuff. Ship BP's for the smaller ships, the nostalgia ships and new skins, T''shirts With a pic of Louie, Coffee mugs with a pic of Atsg scenes on it. T'shirts of hot Aussie babes holding Louie :-). May need pics to help sell some of this stuff.
seriously. those sell. Look at Runescape. As a research subject. They are a good business model. They keep it PG rated as good as they can. Parents like that. I had 9 paid memberships with them at one time just for my kids and me. I still play- a lot. I still pay for one kid to play. 5.95/mo for me and 7.95/mo for him.
They also do the Store right. If it can be sold in game they do. and the game still requires you to do the work to advance. It has minimal impact on gameplay.
They keep PVE and PVP and regular gameplay in their respective areas so you can choose how much risk you want. They do try to tempt you to cross the line into PVP for extra rewards though and that works too.
The way they handle BONDS might give you some ideas on how to utilize SC's and make money without compromising gameplay.
IMHO eve and wow and some of the other games mentioned are terrible models, even though they do have good success. (most likely because a lack of better options) I can't think of a better model to get ideas from than Runescape and why try to reinvent the wheel when you can just view great examples of wheels in motion already.
Your gameplay is already very good. The game could be slicked up to make it more presentable. We have one of the nerdiest communities on the planet. Might be some free or near free talent to exploit right here. Someone comes up with a better way to present the Info in a UI give them a free colony deed or OSB or a planet, or a free ship bumper sticker. You get something for nothing and they get something they still like.


However you go. good luck.
Don't worry human. If we are ever stranded on a ship together in space, I will keep you alive as long as possible. I would consider it good food preservation.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Wulf » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:22 am

hi all, nice article thx jam for the state of game.

I wrote a store propose a while back will not rehash it unless wanted as a possible update version... anyhow a few other suggestions for a store items.. none game breaking of-course and i believe no pay to win concepts either.

1) enhanced shipyard, it takes more space but can handle production line cues for shipbuilding (would take artwork.so...)

2)a purchasable osb layout. apply layout---> would place a strip or block of preset items--- example a wall 1 by 50 long buy 10 high has 50 power 50 warehouse 50 mec 50...etc player defines what each strip of 50 has and then places ship at ground zero applies template and the planning strip is layed down. these architect plans can have various layouts and sizes and different cash values.. none game breaking as this is strictly convenience.
2b) this could also apply to the mind numbing task of laying down grids on planets a ? 50 by 100 grid plan but not sure if players would buy it.

3) consumables and game affecting... combat drug boost, mining drug boost and trading drug boost... all 'illegal' items but they add to crew and ship to increase physical speed, mental speed, and targeting targeting. small increase that effects game. something like 10% increase to ship speed (physical) likely for mining and trading not great need to go faster for combat, 10% mental speed (trading) and lastly faster reflex both ship and crew helps with combat by allowing faster targeting and reload times. drugs last for set time...like 30 mins

4) survey probes.. you can eve (and it's much improved thank you ;) ) pay 10 dollars for 100 to 1000? probes.. instead of landing on planet you can launch from planet/moon entry level and get the full planet/moon stats. once done your probes you get an email with the spreadsheet. (added that last part ...lol one day i hope for ingame management tools and if paying some cash now for early version of management tools makes it a reality then bring it on.

5) an item fro original store that had good traction... the founders stamp. 3 levels based on support to game, the stamp is a fluffy-kittens logo the footprint size of a dome that can be placed at a colony.

6) lets keep George busy a light's package. includes dome lighting (great at night time colonies) 1x1 light stand that is solar/wind/hydro powered can be placed without TG's and well obvious shines some and optional track lighting on ships. (o and optional lights at inner starbase, ones that shine at starbase not into pilots eyes :D)

7) npc's that assist with operations... once group activities starts then you can hire npc's to assist with things, have 4 but need an npc to bring supply ship for example, or npc to 'ride' shotgun with you for a supply run... these can be either better versions of the free ones or only purchasable.

8) many good items have been presented hope a few listed here are also interesting for you to consider.... good luck on store....

note: a possible feature for newbies. a link to sins videos' as players do the tutorial to the topic at hand or a hint videos for tutorials... still see questions about grav anchor and where do i get the bp for space staion or wher is jam-1.
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