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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 14:35   #1
zPeti
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Plans

Hi Everyone,

Just thought I would update everyone on what is going on at the company that owns Planetarion.

I will soon be in a position to employ some people in the company, which is a position that will help greatly in the future of Planetarion.

The whole Facebook idea is not forgotten, it is just a much bigger job than I anticipated at the beginning, especially as I am a one man team with lots of other tasks too.

Anyway, my thoughts on Planetarion right now are this:

The overriding view I have is that currently the game is in a state in which it is extremely difficult to expand it with new players, while at the same time it is pretty successful with the current players, who I do not want to lose at any cost.

Now, I definitely want to take the game in the Facebook direction in the next 2-3-4 months, but this poses many problems. The casual Facebook user won't really want to play a big game like Planetarion that requires quite a lot of commitment. At the same time it might be a good for advertising. The way I see it there are two options (or both).

1. I create a smaller, simpler separate game for Facebook, which would probably be one of the first space based games on Facebook. The concepts would be very similar to the current Planetarion, but it would be a stand-alone smaller game. However, it would advertise the game and probably bring in the players from Facebook who like the small game and want more.
In short, it would build the Planetarion brand, and also players who don't play it any more might want to play the simpler version.

2. We go down the Planetarion-Facebook interface route, PA will stay very similar but will have a few tools available on Facebook, you will also be able to post status updates to Facebook. This would also be a good advertisement, but in terms of actual player numbers, there would probably be less of an expansion.

(3. The third option is to make major changes to the main game, but I don't want to go down this route and lose a lot of current players).

At this point I also want to mention some ideas that PA Team had, another possibility is to run the speedgames on Facebook, which might work much better as they are short but might get people familiar with PA.

At this point I also want to thank the whole PATeam for getting this far with me so far, their work has basically made it possible for PA to keep running, and I really do appreciate this. Especially as now I am in a more and more confident position to take things forward. Thanks for all your hard work.
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 15:31   #2
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Re: Plans

first.
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 15:39   #3
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Re: Plans

last.
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 16:25   #4
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Re: Plans

Either first or last option.

Last option would probably be easier.
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 17:08   #5
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Re: Plans

First and last , get a smaller facebook friendly version running and make changes to the game
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 18:34   #6
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Re: Plans

I was thinking about a 4th... Have a mini game on Facebook that is linked to the real game in real time. Each gals would have FB planets in addition to normal planets.
What those FB planets would be able to do is the question.
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Unread 14 Oct 2009, 18:50   #7
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Re: Plans

Just create a smaller facebook game, which is extremly casual oriented.

Instead of it ticking each hour, you get 24+ 'ticks' to spend each day when you login (at 24:00 each day, you get given this amount). You could then change mining or even population(Planet Management), to allow for an increase in the amount of ticks you get each day.

Combat would probably need an overhaul or made simplier for facebook.. You cant allow people to get completly bashed, as then they wont login.. You need to allow some people to grow slowly (casuals) and those which dedicate time or know what they're doing to grow fast (rather than everyone roughly growing at the same pace, with more and more people being bashed back).

To accomplish this, i'd say that instead of asteroids being your primary source of income. You have mines and finance centers as the main course of income, with some planet management as the way to gain extra ticks. Asteroids would still be in the game but at a much nerfed rate, So if you lose 25%+ of your asteroids, it isnt 25% of your income but more like 5-10%.. To keep attacking viable, you simply have to change XP gain from attacks, to Tick gain (1 extra tick for every 10XP or something).

Salvage would be buffed to 80%+, or change the stats so that armor is extremly high but damage is extremly low (so in attacks, each side doesnt lose much, rather than one side losing there entire army).


(Just my quick thoughts)

P.S. As far as the main game goes, you need to start making afew changes.. The games been stagnate for ages now and you need to at least do a few changes once in a while.
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Unread 15 Oct 2009, 10:52   #8
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Re: Plans

Options 1 and 3.

Planetarion is just entirely unsuitable for casual Facebook players, they'd probably get scared off and confused within 5 minutes. Reuse the Planetarion code and fork a new brand off just for Facebook users. Make it simple enough so that they could play alone instead of having to rely on others, but obviously it'll work better with friends.

Keep Planetarion as a separate brand, an advanced space game which requires more time and dedication. Maybe you could just implement Facebook Connect instead to try improve signups. The game still needs massive improvements to gain and retain new users though, keeping it as a unique game doesn't excuse the fact that you need to improve the new player experience - Planetarion will slowly decline without fresh blood.

I think it's fairly obvious that you shouldn't put all your eggs in one gaming basket. Create more games under that Renegade Games brand. It's better to have a company with quality coders which spend part of their time improving all the games you own instead of a bunch of volunteers who can barely run a single game. Capture different segments of the market with different games. It's obvious that Planetarion isn't going to gain thousands of users anytime soon, but it could still have a long future as long as you keep on improving it.
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Unread 15 Oct 2009, 12:39   #9
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Re: Plans

Option 1, clearly the best solution to gain more players as long as this game is more tempting then the facebook one!!!
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Unread 15 Oct 2009, 14:45   #10
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Re: Plans

opt 1
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Unread 15 Oct 2009, 21:04   #11
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Re: Plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
Maybe you could just implement Facebook Connect
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is a brilliant idea if used just as a fancy (friendly) interface to IRC.

edit: my bad, I totally misread the quote as facebook chat, which is what i was referring to

Last edited by ellonweb; 16 Oct 2009 at 00:21.
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Unread 15 Oct 2009, 23:51   #12
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Re: Plans

Yes, facebook connect would be a good first option. I am definately thinking about the best way to do this.
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Unread 22 Oct 2009, 21:40   #13
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Re: Plans

You cant create a cutdown facebook version of PA,its like giving people sponge cake and letting them find out carrot cake is the full version. Not everyone likes carrot cake..

The game suffers from one major factor, time zones. 90% of the action starts when everyone is in bed. Casual PA is unplayable.
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Unread 23 Oct 2009, 01:49   #14
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Re: Plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLobster View Post
The game suffers from one major factor, time zones. 90% of the action starts when everyone is in bed. Casual PA is unplayable.
That's an effect of players being mostly located in Europe, not a cause coming from the game... if Facebook opens PA to people worldwide, action will take place anytime.
The "Run and Hide" option from last round is a great step into making PA playable casually.
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Unread 23 Oct 2009, 10:36   #15
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Re: Plans

Being a european player (Norway) I find that most of the action takes place when I'm awake. Incomings usually show around the time I get up in the morning.
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Unread 23 Oct 2009, 13:36   #16
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Re: Plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makhil View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLobster View Post
You cant create a cutdown facebook version of PA,its like giving people sponge cake and letting them find out carrot cake is the full version. Not everyone likes carrot cake..

The game suffers from one major factor, time zones. 90% of the action starts when everyone is in bed. Casual PA is unplayable.
That's an effect of players being mostly located in Europe, not a cause coming from the game... if Facebook opens PA to people worldwide, action will take place anytime.
The "Run and Hide" option from last round is a great step into making PA playable casually.
This is why I wanted to push forwards with making a facebook-type interface for Planetarion [a simplified mobile interface was made by someone which would have been suitable for facebook]

Also, facebook-style links, rankings, awards, etc would be more suitable. Some sort of score/value/xp based level thing might work.
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Unread 24 Oct 2009, 12:51   #17
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Re: Plans

I think option 1 is the best, a version of planetarion that is cut down to the very basics, but that gives a hint of the depths that are possible in a complete game would probabaly bring in new players to the main game.
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Unread 25 Oct 2009, 15:36   #18
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Re: Plans

With 1 hour ticks, a person who has never seen the game before will sign up, click a few things (cons, research etc) and then get bored because nothing is happening and forget all about PA.
Two options:
Run the FB version with fast ticks (1-5mins, maybe even 10)
Let people spend their protection ticks instantly if they wish (similar to light's idea) and then play with 1 hour ticks. A person is far more likely to check back if they've sent an attack out.
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Unread 26 Oct 2009, 18:26   #19
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Re: Plans

O.K i know this repeats what others have said (now that i have read all the replies) but..........

Pleeeeaaaaaaaaaase Option 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PA as it is currently is completely unplayable for 99% of people, basically because we have lives.

Go for 1, strenghten the brand, get the name out there, and cut the game down to a game that can be played on a casual basis Make it brain dead simple to play (look at mafia wars or whatever its called), co-operative game play, bonuses and FUN . For those that want more they can join the "real" game.

O.K so you may have to lose a lot of the current PA format but lets just get the players in. *For example - Imo ticks get the boot, come up with another way of doing the whole "turn based thing" Give everybody like 50 ticks to spend in a day or something then they can log in do what they want and then log out. You could buy more ticks if you want also i suppose.

PA in its current format is just not sellable, wipe the slate clean and start again with a simple game that leads people here!

*Just seen already suggested by Light

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Unread 26 Oct 2009, 23:34   #20
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Re: Plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makhil View Post
I was thinking about a 4th... Have a mini game on Facebook that is linked to the real game in real time. Each gals would have FB planets in addition to normal planets.
What those FB planets would be able to do is the question.
This and first
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Unread 27 Oct 2009, 16:19   #21
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Re: Plans

i think FB planets in the game would be cool so they see whats going on but only can use the "FB Features" like a mini game and attack other FB planets in the game or something ...
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