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Conduct & Design Discussion / Burn ships!
« Last post by Constantine on December 08, 2017, 01:08:47 PM »
An option to burn down ships, please. And steal other people's ships. Maybe some sort of possibility of maritime battles or coastal defences. Heck, make rivers sailable. I want more options and interaction within the theme of sea raids in general.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by De-Legro on December 06, 2017, 03:07:06 AM »
All you said was "give the tutorial a skip button". That's not really addressing my suggestion at all, so how can I go into depth about that?

Tutorials, especially standalone ones that are flagged as such - they suck. All good designers say that you shouldn't do this. You teach through doing, every design guide says to do that.

Phrasing the learning as achievements lampshades the fact that it's a tutorial system. People are collecting badges instead of "completing tutorial objectives". And if it's an achievement system you're free to pick and choose the order you try the things, and people can volutarily skip parts of it, but complete it later if they feel like it.

So long as people reailse from the start that the achievements are indeed structured to be a tutorial, then what you have is

wait for it....a tutorial, simply not a scripted one.

The reason a scripted tutorial is worthwhile for something like M&F is because there are facets of the game that you can't rely on being readily accessible. Things like teaching people how to mobilise troops, how to spot people using watch towers, starting battles, joining battles, settlement defense. These are all things that require specific circumstances, ones that quite possibly people don't encounter for months. Yet if you wish to teach and more importantly showcase everything that M&F encompasses, you need a way to unlock all those parts in a timely manner.

The entire point of tutorials is that you ARE doing, either through a scripted system or otherwise. If it wasn't doing, it would simply be a walk through or digitised manual. The tutorials I personally find most useful are those that are broken down into different topics and lessons. Allowing me to go to the ones I think I need, and also to return to things later when I find I didn't intuitively know as much about a system as I thought I did. So sure we could add "achievements" on top of a properly functioning tutorial system in the manner you prescribe, but that in no way addresses the issues of giving people the opportunity to pursue those achievements in a time frame that doesn't require significant dedication.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Cipheron on December 06, 2017, 02:53:15 AM »
All you said was "give the tutorial a skip button". That's not really addressing my suggestion at all, so how can I go into depth about that?

Tutorials, especially standalone ones that are flagged as such - they suck. All good designers say that you shouldn't do this. You teach through doing, every design guide says to do that.

Phrasing the learning as achievements lampshades the fact that it's a tutorial system. People are collecting badges instead of "completing tutorial objectives". And if it's an achievement system you're free to pick and choose the order you try the things, and people can voluntarily skip parts of it, but come back later and complete them later if they feel like it.

Also, it allows you to structure things in the achievement system to support your broader goals for the game, e.g. a "become a vassal" achievement will ensure that most new players will take at least one knight's offer instead of just dropping into the game wanting to be a lord straight away. And chain one on that where you have three of your characters being vassals, you get another badge. Plus you can make badges for creating your first knight's offer, having 1 vassal, having 3 vassals and so on. You can thus incentivize the behaviors you think players aren't conducting enough.

The thing is, the systems you need to build for this are less complex than what you'd need to build to create a special "tutorial world" and make sure it's got a unique slice that resets for each player that is doing the tutorial at the same time (thus needing many copies of the tutorial world - one for each player who hasn't completed the tutorial). Also, many of the game actions have a time component, e.g. travel, troop production etc. It's just not suited to having separate world(s) for the tutorial. How long are things like travel and troop training going to take in the tutorial? If it is regular speed, then you're forcing players to spend significant time outside the game if they want to see the tutorial content, and if it's accelerated, then they might get the shits once they get into the game proper and it's slow. either way, it's not going to be good for retention.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by De-Legro on December 06, 2017, 02:49:19 AM »
I think you're focusing on the least important part of the suggestion here. Having colorful icons and stuff is a "nice to have" thing because it makes systems more appealing to use, however that's not the actual suggestion itself.

A "nice appealing graphic" was all I actually said in the actual suggestion. No more detail than that, so critiquing that on hypothetical details that I never actually said while ignoring all the relevant parts of the suggestion isn't really helpful.

An "appealing graphic" could be as simple as a simple shield outline, but with well-chosen color fills dependent on the type of achievement and a gradient / metallic finish. It doesn't have to be something you pay for, because that's nothing to do with what I was talking about. it's just good graphical design sense and understanding how color theory works, along with basic psychology. You make a bunch of colored basic shields you can collect for achieving different types of things and people will strive to collect them no matter how pointless it is. People don't care that it's pointless, they see slots that can be filled, they will want to fill them. You can utilize this to get players to achieve some of the goals you have for the game if you're clever.

No actually my focus was on why this system would be superior to a completely skippable tutorial in terms of actually producing system the eases people into the game. Graphics was a throw away comment at the end of my actual point. Since you only replied regarding graphics, I followed the thread of the conversation as it was.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Cipheron on December 06, 2017, 02:27:07 AM »
I think you're focusing on the least important part of the suggestion here. Having colorful icons and stuff is a "nice to have" thing because it makes systems more appealing to use, however that's not the actual suggestion itself.

A "nice appealing graphic" was all I actually said in the actual suggestion. No more detail than that, so critiquing that on hypothetical details that I never actually said while ignoring all the relevant parts of the suggestion isn't really helpful.

An "appealing graphic" could be as simple as a simple shield outline, but with well-chosen color fills dependent on the type of achievement and a gradient / metallic finish. It doesn't have to be something you pay for, because that's nothing to do with what I was talking about. it's just good graphical design sense and understanding how color theory works, along with basic psychology. You make a bunch of colored basic shields you can collect for achieving different types of things and people will strive to collect them no matter how pointless it is. People don't care that it's pointless, they see slots that can be filled, they will want to fill them. And if you're clever about what those slots relate to, then you can give the players an extra push to achieve the meta-goals you have for what you want players to be doing, without forcing them to do it.

Also, standalone tutorials are heavily frowned upon in game design, the idea is almost completely outdated - it's much better to integrate your tutorial into the game itself, but in an ongoing way. Basically, instead of having people do some out-of-game tutorial, you have a small number of achievements visible to start with, and completing each one opens up related ones, e.g. you have "pathways" that the player can explore that go into more and more detail for a specific type of activity or play style. Hell, to build a tutorial system you'd really need to build all these systems anyway, it would just be easier and simpler and have more benefits to build it into the game as an "achievement system" which players love rather than calling it a "tutorial" which is basically groan-worthy to most players. It's about psychology here: the exact same system phrased in a different way can be perceived in a different way.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by De-Legro on December 05, 2017, 10:55:42 PM »
By graphics I was just thinking of nice icons and stuff, not actual pictoral things. Generally, the idea was just to make it appealing, it doesn't need to be expensive.

I fail to see the difference. Icon creation, at least good icons is still the domain of artist. Unless we could find a set of matching icons that would suit the task in the free domain we would still need to pay someone to make them, or find someone willing to donate their time to create them. Given that currently Andrew is already putting his own money into advertising and simply keeping the server up and running just where is that extra money supposed to come from?

For reference when I paid a UI artist to create a set of 10 icons in SVG format for a game prototype I was working on, it cost me $700 AUD.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Cipheron on December 05, 2017, 10:47:05 PM »
By graphics I was just thinking of nice icons and stuff, not actual pictoral things. Generally, the idea was just to make it appealing, it doesn't need to be expensive.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by De-Legro on December 03, 2017, 12:46:06 PM »
Well, another way to soft-code a tutorial is through and achievement system. e.g. you make a bunch of achievements, give them some nice appealing graphic, and when clicking on the info-tip for the achievement it links you to the relevant section of the manual or wiki. The advantage is that achievements are entirely optional and can be achieve sooner or later, but they are very appealing for a wide range of player types, and don't give the same groan factor of having to do a tutorial.


Or you just give a tutorial a skip buttons, and then don't need to find money to pay for graphics.
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Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: The 1.1 Update Topic
« Last post by Cipheron on December 02, 2017, 05:30:14 AM »
Well, another way to soft-code a tutorial is through and achievement system. e.g. you make a bunch of achievements, give them some nice appealing graphic, and when clicking on the info-tip for the achievement it links you to the relevant section of the manual or wiki. The advantage is that achievements are entirely optional and can be achieve sooner or later, but they are very appealing for a wide range of player types, and don't give the same groan factor of having to do a tutorial.
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Announcements / November 2017 Report
« Last post by Andrew on December 01, 2017, 03:37:17 PM »
Salutations Everyone,

I'm back again with the numbers from November!

If you're the type who's curious where the funds go or how much things cost, or even the condition of the game, well, here you go!

First and foremost, lets talk funding.

Income & Must Pays
(Keeping the Lights on)
TypeAmountNotes
Credit Purchases+15.00 EURHow much we received from player's purchasing credits
PayPal Transaction Fees-0.44 EUREstimated Percent lost in fees to PayPal
PayPal Transaction Fees-0.60 USDPer Transation fees to PayPal
Hosting Costs-40 USDAmount spent on server hosting

Total= -24.03 USDMonthly Total for November
Total+ 52.20From October
Total= 28.17 USDYTD Total

Well, it's certainly nowhere near last month. This kind of comes with the territory though, with how the credit system is setup. Sometimes players have a lot of credits, and sometime they don't.

What else would we, ideally, pay for though?

Additional Costs
(Things that improve the situation)
Advertising Costs-60.77 USDAmount spent on Google ads (Results will be broken down below)
Test Server Costs-40 USDAmount spent on the test server's hosting

Total-100.77 USD

As you can see, that costs a bit of money. The test server uses the exact same hosting plan as the live server, and has much of the same data, allowing us to push big updates to it first in order to make sure they don't catastrophically break something. It's not a required costs, but it's very much a nice thing to have. In regards to the advertising costs, that's got its own table below that goes more in-depth. These are the things I handle myself, as the game can't currently afford their cost.

Advertising Info
(New players are good thing)
TypeViewsClicksInteraction RateCost
Text Ad11,6363062.63%30.38 USD
Display Ad58,7728121.38%30.39 USD

Total70,4081,1181.59%60.77 USD

Like I said before though, this is something I've been paying for, myself, for quite a while now. From March of 15 through October of 16, I was paying for just a text ad. In November of 2016, I added the display (picture) ad. Lifetime, they've gotten 26,006 people to at least look at Might & Fealty.

Subscribers & Purchases
(What credits are spent on)
TypeAmountNotes
Subscriptions9,200 Credits
Heraldry0 Credits
Culture Packs0 Credits

Total9,400 Credits

How many players do we have though? I did say I'd share that this month. I will preface this with these numbers aren't as accurate as I'd like them to be, as the method I use to collect isn't ideal, but....

Players
(How many gods?)
Count TypeAmountNotes
7-day131Players
14-day147 Players
30-day163 Players

Is that what you expected? More? Less? I'll admit, I'm kind of curious.
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