Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Discuss ideas about promoting Genesis and inviting more players into the Genesis community
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Makfly
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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Makfly » 01 Aug 2012 17:00

Cherek wrote:I dont think anyone said we actually have $3000 to spend? I dont know how much, if we have any money at all?
It seems you didn't even read the very first post, second sentence:
Gorboth wrote: Though the Summer months have taken me out of the Genesis action for various other pursuits, my thoughts continue to dwell on various ways to further the visibility of the game using the remaining funds from our promotional campaign (roughly $3,000 USD.)
Also 3000$ would buy you a lot more sufficiently experienced coding hours than 1 person for a (work)week, that is, if you are willing to do the slightest bit of looking around for it. As already mentioned, there are plenty of options to look for - enthusiasts, teenagers, outsourced to Asia, Russia or the like would do it.

It's fine that you don't think it's a good idea, but let's be realistic about what you can get for the donation fund.
Mortimor Makfly - Gnomish Xeno-Anthropologist

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Cherek
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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Cherek » 01 Aug 2012 17:41

Makfly: Whoops, obviously I did read the first note, somehow I misread it and thought it was hypothetical money. My bad, sorry.

I am not sitting on the answers here, I just made a guess on what $3000 could give us based on where I live and what I work with. I am not trying to be unrealistic on purpose if thats what you think, just using my own freelance experience as guide. Usually you tend to get what you pay for and $3000 isnt much. From my experience outsourcing to for instance Asia might seem great at first but comes with other problem, like not knowing the actual skill levels of those you hire and communication problems. Also, as I tried to point out, we HAVE developers and have had them for a long time, and the game has seen alot of development, even if you dont think it has been developed in the right way. Thats another issue though, deciding what to work on. However, we do NOT have any people working on promotion, we never really had, and since we dont have that I think money would be best spent there, since we already have programmers...

But if you have more experience in this, feel free to share what you think $3000 can get us. What do you think then Makfly? How many working hours from how many people do you think we would get? And of which skill level? And where to find these people? Instead of writing kinda rude posts with sentances like "lets be realistic" and "if you do the slightest bit of looking around", then tell us? This is not MY idea, you who like this idea are the ones who should be looking around and selling the idea to sceptics like me. Maybe you should do some "looking around" yourself and present your findings then?

The negativity as soon as someone mentions promoting the game is what surprises me. One would think any type of promotion anyone is willing to do what be met with positivity... or is the main issue here that money was to be spent...? If Gorboth's idea was free its perfectly fine?

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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Alexi » 01 Aug 2012 17:54

Cherek wrote:I dont think anyone said we actually have $3000 to spend? I dont know how much, if we have any money at all? Regardless, if we had $3000 I dont know how much coding we can buy for that? I am a freelancer (in another business), and if you pay me $3000 (legally with taxes) then you get me for a week. At best. One person working one week is not much... Some young kid might do it for less, but on the other hand you'll get an inexperienced coder instead. Regardless if you try to attract an experienced or inexperienced programmer I dont think you can buy that much code...

The "lets finish the game before promoting" strategy has been the idea for many years... but there will always be stuff to fix. When is it finished? When is it a superior product to sell?

I'll keep disagreeing with you, I know the game is far from perfect, but we need to attract a tiny number of people compared to the big games. Even without promotion, now and then we do get a new player who stays. Who says we would not get 10 instead of 1 if we did promote?

I really dont understand why you say "Dont do it!" when someone want to promote the game. I tried to start a campaign in the past but the voting clearly showed the majority of people dont want to promote the game. Not even for free. Even if we spend absolutely nothing, the majority of players STILL dont want the game promoted. That is imho insanity. What is there to lose? What if we do get some players that stay and like it? Its bad because they will enjoy a "poor game"? You want to spare them of the terrible experience of playing Genesis, even if they enjoy it? It makes no sense. Not everyone currently playing thinks it sucks you know...

Having that said, there is nothing stopping people from developing the game, that is what has been happening for all the years it has existed, all I am saying is that the ratio has always been 99-100% development 0-1% promotion. I think we'd do much better if the ratio was changed a bit.
https://www.odesk.com/o/profiles/browse/?q=coder That's just one of many. Even if you hire one person to work 8 hours a day at $15 USD that's $600 USD for a 40 hour work week. I'm not arguing with the fact that Genesis doesn't need to be promoted, but I am saying there are other avenues to "Skin a cat". Some people will believe that promotion is what Genesis needs, I'll agree with you it is. Do I think its more important at this stage then fixing what we have before we promote, no I don't agree with you there. What happens if you get a influx of players from the promotion, they start to play start to have the same complaints as the current player base?

Gorboth is the Big Cheese and ultimately its his decision to do what he thinks is best in the long run, and even if we don't like it we have to support him because lets face it, he's not taking a salary and trying to better Genesis for all of us. Doesn't mean he's right, doesn't mean he's wrong.

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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Zar » 01 Aug 2012 23:16

Cherek wrote: I really dont understand why you say "Dont do it!" when someone want to promote the game. I tried to start a campaign in the past but the voting clearly showed the majority of people dont want to promote the game. Not even for free. Even if we spend absolutely nothing, the majority of players STILL dont want the game promoted. That is imho insanity. What is there to lose? What if we do get some players that stay and like it? Its bad because they will enjoy a "poor game"? You want to spare them of the terrible experience of playing Genesis, even if they enjoy it? It makes no sense. Not everyone currently playing thinks it sucks you know...
Some people (like me) are playing not because game is GREAT, but because we addicted to it.
We enjoy it as people enjoy narcotics. Sometimes we try to escape it and some of us succeed to do so.
But some don't.

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Cherek
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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Cherek » 02 Aug 2012 00:03

Alexi: There we go, some actual examples. I remain sceptical of hiring random people though without knowing what you will get at all. If someone know someone though who would be willing to code for a small payment, maybe... Allthough like I said before, we have coders already... The only difference here would of course be we could _tell_ the hired people what to work on, and not have to rely on them wanting to do it. ..

But I still think money should be spent on trying to find new players though... None of our big changes the last decade has really attracted more players, why would more changes attract people this time? Obviously a better game is always good, but as long as nobody knows we exist we're not gonna attract players. Advertising for new wizards could be interesting though... that both adds players AND gives us a bigger chance of developing the game more.

Zar: Exactly, so obviously there is a chance that some others might get addicted as well. Many will of course leave but any people who stays is good imho. Not everyone who play now started a decade ago or more. Obviously some people have found their way here "lately" as well.

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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Makfly » 02 Aug 2012 08:09

Cherek wrote:... Allthough like I said before, we have coders already... The only difference here would of course be we could _tell_ the hired people what to work on, and not have to rely on them wanting to do it. ..
Obviously, the few wizards that are left are doing a good job, but are also quite dwarfed by the amount of changes set in motion, and that's not even speaking of coding new creations.
They could certainly use a hand, even if it's just finishing the updates that's been dragging on for years now.
Cherek wrote:None of our big changes the last decade has really attracted more players, why would more changes attract people this time? Obviously a better game is always good, but as long as nobody knows we exist we're not gonna attract players. Advertising for new wizards could be interesting though... that both adds players AND gives us a bigger chance of developing the game more.
The opening of the Army of Angmar sure did spike the population.
Of course the spike in players was mostly made up of former players returning, and not actually new players (I presume).
Most of them left again, and we might just have that scenario play out all over again, with a promotional campaign - People come, stay for a little, then back to square #1.
Cherek wrote:Zar: Exactly, so obviously there is a chance that some others might get addicted as well. Many will of course leave but any people who stays is good imho. Not everyone who play now started a decade ago or more. Obviously some people have found their way here "lately" as well.
I read Zars note as some are addicted and wanted to leave, but found themselves unable to.
So not necessarily addicted in a good way...
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Cherek
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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Cherek » 02 Aug 2012 15:46

castaneda wrote:The idea of hiding a coder will only work if you find:

1. A wizard with solid knowledge of the various codeprocedures that have been used all over genesis.
2. A wizard that got ALOT of time to pick the specific code we want to recode and describe what needs to be done.
3. A wizard willing to assist this hired coder and work closely together with him.

As I see it, the wizard has to spend the same amount of time as the coder, meaning that the wizard could do it himself instead.

Im I wrong?
I think much of what you say is true.

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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Targun » 02 Aug 2012 18:44

Cherek
First of all scandinavian countries are among wealthiest in the world. In Poland e.g nation wide avr. monthly salaries are at around 1,150-1,2K $. In many countries- India e.g. english is a second language and everyone speaks it fluently. I don't expect salaries, even for a teenager from India with a computer, to be high. He'd probably be more than happy to work for 200-300$ a month. It's not necessary even to look that far. Furthermore you don't need to pay them in advance, but once certain 'milestones' are reached. Finally, many of those teens do similar stuff in their free time. Someone willing to pay for that, hell yeah- I suppose would be the answer.

What big changes are you talking about BTW? I'm aware of only one important change to the game mechanics- including STR into calculating dmg from regular attacks. It took 20 years, to spend 5 hours and slightly recombine the formula. Other than that, there is huge unfinished recode- which cannot be called a change.

Castaneda
Actually, I believe you are. Everyone has a working knowledge of computer games and Genesis from the code perspective is not that different. If you take combat log from World of Warcraft it looks very similar to early text games. Several hours with examples and such person can quite comfortably move around the code. The knowledge required is more of: how to call certain functions, what files to inherit, where are predefines functions, what objects are already coded in the game and how to call them, where are those objects (again inherit/include). This knowledge comes from coding. I knew very profficient wizard, who had absolutely no idea how the MUD looked like geographically, but he excelled at fixing and improving combat mechanics, adding new PvP oriented skills, new masks etc.

The game needs to be enhanced with anti-robotic changes that make botting highly dangerous or simply not prifitable. Examples:
- it's stupid that with one double click I can in nanosecond get to the other side of the continent. Fatigue should be the most important factor in any MUD- combined with alchemy/herbalism system. You should be able to travel at reasonable pace, but not literally teleport with double clicks on z/cmud map.
*This one factor only renders implementing any sort of PvP system impossible. You cannot utilize skills like tracking, hide/sneak, if someone double clicks himself to the other side of the domain.
*there are number of ways to cut off such behaviour
- There can be patrols on XP grounds (despite making XP grounds more challenging), who altogether with other mobs block for a short period of time, stun you, throw nets at party members
*It's easy to apply counter-meassure when you are at the computer and paying attention- it has a huge chance of ruining a bot script or killing a bot.
-Such patrols or mobs can appear near entrances-exits making you unable to leave, blocking exits etc. If ypu spam a direction, you'd get extremely exhausted almost instantly- robotic behaviour, but if you leave in the opposit direction and come back after several seconds and try again- you'd have higher chance of escaping.
-Cliffs, climbing, diving, squeezing past bushes etc. in may places may work in the simialr way- you might fail to perform that action and if you spam direction right after each fail, you have much lesser chances of succeeding plus other penalties- major health/fatigue.
- Add false rooms on the paths- like sometimes it goes n,n,n,ne and other itme n,n,n,se,s,ne. If you type directions you'll easily pass the 'trap' the mapper is likely to fail.
- For non-human pace of double clicks (e.g. 50 rooms in 3s- add a destroying fatigue modificator, that would make you extr. exhausted after 15 rooms if you double click. Generally cost-to-move from room to room, should be determined on the pace you travel. Srpints should be vastly exhausting, while steady pace rewarding. And with those example changes you get a base, around which you can build PvP system, where a team with a ranger due to his tracking capabilities and increasing fatigue of the prey is quite deadly, and so on, so on.

There are tons of such methods, that would make scripters life much harded, and altogether incorporating with more challenging grounds make the game more interesting. Now, which of these examples requires any knowledge of lore/history/geography? Absolutely none.

Edit: Other changes that don't require any knowledge of Genesis?
- Formations- enhancing and making the fight more interesting
- Non prehistorical blocking system
- Thousands of PvP features
- Alchemy system, Poisons system- everything that bases on a completely new idea
- Recoding guilds following the course that was set ahead. Make this special hit for that much, on this and that occasion, let this much % of HP of your opponent affect your own abilities in such way.

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gorboth
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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by gorboth » 02 Aug 2012 22:28

Code: Select all

2000, May        - Recreated Telberin in Emerald
2000, May        - Created a concert-attendance quest in Emerald (never opened)
2000 - 2003      - Created the Torque Quest, recycling the old Emyn Muil
                   code into the Del Rimmon area.
2003, July       - Opened the new Torque Quest in Emerald.
2003, August     - Opened the Antique Sword Quest in Emerald.
2004, August     - Designed new character creation sequence and submitted
                   to Mercade for implementation.
2004 - 2005      - Created the Tutorial Area for new players.
2006, February   * Became Liege of Emerald succeeding Shiva.
2006, June       - Opened the Army of Darkness Ogre Guild in Emerald
2006, September  * Became Archwizard of Players
2006, November   - Instituted the Playerbase Initiative to restore deleted
                   players who wished to return to the game.
2007, October    - Created the Genesis Census module
2007, October    * Became Keeper of Genesis, succeeding Mrpr and Tintin
2007, November   - Instituted global priorities initiative, collecting,
                   sorting, ranking, and prioritizing feedback from players.
2007 - 2008      - Instigated Hub concept, and began building infrastructure
                   toward central design concepts, including global guild
                   rebalancing. Petros, Novo, and Navarre acted as key
                   collaborators.
2008, April      - Designed Quest Orb concept in collaboration with Petros
                   who did all the code work and made it a reality in
                   the game.
2008, June       - Drafted global balance design for all occ. guilds.
2008, February   - Created Wednesday Market quest for Sparkle.
2008, March      - Created Magic Map and implemented in Tutorial and
                   Sparkle City.
2009, June       - Redesigned Old Town in Sparkle
2009, August     - Created Orc Raid for Sparkle
2009, August     - Opened New Mercenaries Guild in Sparkle
2009, November   - Began designing the imbuement system
2010, May        - Opened Merc. Spy quest in Sparkle
2011, May        - Contracted with Denis Loubet to create artwork for
                   Genesis Website
2011, February   - Opened Imbuement System, having collaborated with Lavellan
                   who completed most of the code work and improved design
                   drastically.
2011, February   - Opened newbie Orc Dungeon in Sparkle.
2011, February   - Opened Enchanter with 4 accompanying quests in Sparkle.
2011, March      - Created Sparkle Tourmaster, and opened first Tour quest
2011, April      - Opened three more Sparkle Tours (food, drink, shiplines)
2011, May        - Fashioned ascii art for new login screen
2011, June       - Created a new pre-creation tutorial for first-time logins
2011, June       - Added final Sparkle Tours (quest orbs, cadets, local qm's)
Targun,

I totally agree with your dislike with scripting and insta-travel. We've lost a lot of what makes Genesis a special and wonderful place to spend your time thanks to these two problems. Many of your suggested solutions (suggestions are ALWAYS good to hear rather than mere complaints, so thanks there!) are probably on the right track. Cotillion has voiced similar concerns and thought some about ways to address it. I'll see if I can't take that up with him (or others) again to try to get that worked on.

The above list is my "vita" for the last 12 or so years of my time in Genesis. I include it as an example of the sorts of things that development and coding efforts have produced. Your notes suggested you were unclear about what we have been able to accomplish aside from the change str produces on certain aspects of combat. Obviously, a bit more than that has been going on! ;-) Also, keep in mind that the above list is only my own work, often in collaborations with others. Many many more things have been accomplished in those 12 years that do not appear in this list by wizards who are far faster at coding than I.

Castaneda is probably correct in his three points about what it would take to correctly mentor any hired-hands for coding. The number of wizards that I have mentored in my years as a wizard cannot be counted on all my fingers and toes. Of those, only around three have really remained to become productive coders. I think any wizard you ask will tell you a similar story. Obviously, if we are paying someone for their time, that percentage would change, becuase we would obviously not pay them unless they were productive. The problems with this approach, for me, would be these sorts of things:
  • It would take time to get someone unfamiliar with our game up to speed with what Genesis is all about.
  • The amount of mentoring/oversight necessary to make sure the code was moving in the right direction would be almost equal to simply coding it yourself.
  • Before you hire someone, you need to know exactly what you want them to do. (we don't know that, actually!)
  • The wizard world is not equipped with sufficient staff to oversee a team of hired coders.
  • In principle, I simply hate the idea of Genesis not being coded by its own enthusiasts.
  • We don't have enough money to pay people for very long, and this would definitely take a long time. We return to the reality we have always faced - high quality volunteers are needed who have the fortitude to stick it out.
That is my take on the situation. I love this thread, even though it has gotten away from the original premise. In general, I'm sensing that consensus is not in favor of spending our money on the YouTube promotion idea, at least not until the game feels more ready. I'm not disagreeing with that at all.

G.
Mmmmmm ... pie ...

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Re: Dead Gentlemen Collaboration

Post by Targun » 02 Aug 2012 23:20

One question Gorboth? Did you actually play Genesis for lets say a month? Regularely. 2-3 hours every 2-3 days? Gathered eq, went grinding etc.? I've seen a number of MUDs. I've seen 4 polish MUDs created on Genesis Driver/Mudlib. Each of them beats Gen in every possible way, other than lore/descriptions by a mile. Game mechanics- thousands of miles.

You posted the changes- all of them, to the world. None of them to the core game mechanics. These are fine additions, don't take me wrong. None of them though bring balance to regular hit/special dmg ratio, unchallenging XP grounds, game overflowing with magical artifacts- that again- are jsut regular weapons nowdays, fatigue system, double click teleports, non-existing PvP system, dealing with bots.

Sure HUB is fine but- if I saw on any MUD somethling like in Sparkle 20 ships- I'd quit right away- this is another Gen's problem. It just overwhelms in a negative way. It's like a ship simulator game. There are ships everywhere.

It's nice you people add things. Some of them were necessary. None of them deals with the fact that the biggest problem is that game mechanics is prehistorical and the game is not challenging at all, which is why it is botted. Is it really so difficult to understand, that no matter what you do, no matter what cool stuff you add, the game will suck, unless it is not designed for a bot or moderately intelligent chimpansee? It's game mechanics that roughly for 20 years hadn't evolved that needs an update. Sorry to put it this way, but new people won't play Genesis, because it's boring. Current players don't play Genesis- we bot/script it. It requires at best 5% of your atttention. Instead of 90%. How on earth you want to bring new people to the game noone plays?

The game doesn't need new content. It needs playable mechanics, and all sort of fancy skills, systems, crafts, etc. There is way too much unused content already.

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