New player retention...again. (in General)

Newlin [SeeD] August 11 2010 5:08 PM EDT

I know we have beaten this topic to a pulp already and I don't really enjoy such discussions but here it is anyways. If this game is to stick around and gain a larger base we need animation of some sort. I have had a few friends try this game out and they have all told me the same thing. There is nothing to look at. What keeps people entertained initially are graphics. I'm not talking a giant overhaul, just little things that others have mentioned. I think the idea of having a littel picture for each item would be neat. I asked one of my friends a few hours ago what would keep him playing this game. His suggestion was sprites for the minions/characters or some sort of animation representing the battles. Now if something like this were implemented an off button would be necessary because I know that myself, as well as many other current players, wouldn't appreciate these as much as others.

And thus ends my first true discussion topic on CB :)

Admiralkiller [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 11 2010 5:18 PM EDT

I will have to agree. I don't know how easy something like this would be but even little graphics that shows a minion wearing certain gear. A mage would look different from an archer depending on what he is wearing. Naming would allow custom colours, and a battle would commence. I think I have mentioned this before as well, size could vary depending on stats or a certain type too...a thousand ideas. but some sort of graphics would be catchy, but for me it's not exactly required obviously since I am still here until the day it all ends :-P

MissingNo August 11 2010 5:45 PM EDT

I don't agree much with an avatar where equipped items affect the character's appearance, but I do agree that small graphics like next to the item name would be cool.

Demigod August 11 2010 5:46 PM EDT

I've made my stance clear, but the site obviously needs a facelift. Battle animations push the envelope (and dev time, I'm sure) too far, but I'd pay money for static images and an ounce of color -- none of which changes the actual game.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 11 2010 5:53 PM EDT

"my game doesn't need pictures" - Jon (possibly paraphrased)

Imagination is really that our of fashion eh... glad I'm not a kid.

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] August 11 2010 6:03 PM EDT

Not sure how many times it needs to be said...

"fix the tutorial"

Fishead August 11 2010 6:44 PM EDT

While we're going on about changes again, how about some minor interface tweaks for people who play on a small touch screen. Nothing major, but maybe space out the links a little so you can more easily hit the link you're going for rather than occasionally hitting the one next to it.

The lack of graphics and animations makes this an ideal game to play on your smart phone. Being able to log on almost anywhere to play for a few minutes is an advantage. If the game play on your phone is good (it's fully functional for me as it is), you'll play more and it may help keep some users around longer.

And I agree with Newlin, if there are more graphics or animations, have the option to turn it off.

I just got back from a camping trip and was able to log on and play CB once and a while.

QBPixel Sage August 11 2010 8:11 PM EDT

Avatar system would be highly complex. Assuming this game is still run by just a few individuals, managing such a system would be too large of a task to be worth the trouble.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 11 2010 8:19 PM EDT

fishhead: really good point, just moving Help! Home Settings down a few pixels would make things better on touch screens

Pwned August 11 2010 9:30 PM EDT

I'm sorry but instead of making the game more accessible for the small group thats already here, what should be focused on is making it more appealing to new players.

Its time to let go of legacy systems and rework it. What happens when all the old players get tired of playing? If no effort was spent to create something to bring in new players then the game will be dead. This kind of reworking of a system takes a lot of resources and should be considered as soon as possible.

I think Jon already came to the conclusion that the costs outweighed the profit. Sometimes its better to just throw away an old system and start anew.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 11 2010 10:41 PM EDT

Really, you're suggesting alienating a solid player base for the chance of getting a share of the farmville pie? Ten years some folks have been here almost and they shouldn't be the people we cater to? I'm dumbfounded and amazed...

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] August 11 2010 11:17 PM EDT

OP: If graphics are to ever be implemented in CB, by the time they show up in a changelog, they'll be outdated anyway.

You'll get the same exact "huuuuh, dis gaem looks like craprtvrvgs". There's just no way you can get the Halo generation on here. You need to get the old-school guys to come and have a look, in my opinion. By making CB more visible on the net. In the right places, as I don't think links on sites like Gameogre are gonna be seen by people over 15 very often.

Then it would help if the tutorial blah, blah, know the drill by now.

Womp August 11 2010 11:20 PM EDT

I'm part of the halo generation (a freshman in college in 10 days), and dang if CB isn't a breath of fresh air.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] August 11 2010 11:30 PM EDT

That's my thought exactly, but unfortunately I think that makes us part of a minority. As far as gaming is concerned at least.

ScrObot August 12 2010 3:14 AM EDT

I'm not anti-graphics, but the mostly text nature of the site fits and shouldn't have lipstick applied just because. I think semi-customizable character avatars which showed what gear each minion was really wearing would be cool. However, the ONLY way this would really work is if it was done in a gritty, very LoTR/D&D style, a la Frank Frazetta or something. Nothing even remotely cartoony or anime-influenced, but grimy realistic stuff. The look would make or break it.

The hardest part is getting all the art assets, and that requires getting a talented artist to draw these out, and figuring out how to differenciate between some of the similar items; the implementation itself shouldn't be too difficult. But having a visual representation of your team, wearing the gear they're actually outfitted with, would be a cool little personalization. Being able to use a few different races/body types/genders, skin colors, maybe even a couple of "stances" for each minion, and you have a lot of variety. But again, a lot of art assets.

These could replace the character portraits, and be turn-offable in the same way.

Some examples of the art style I am suggesting: _1_ | _2_ | _3_ | _4_ | _5_ | _6_

Wraithlin August 12 2010 3:23 AM EDT

Well you could add a huge NPC update to the game.

Instead of just NPCs being a regular team, they are under a different tab altogether and you get so many NPC fights a day, maybe 1/20th the BA regen rate and cap, or even higher like 1/100th.

NPCs could have all sorts of abilities that normal minions don't have, anything the devs want to try out or just give to an NPC.

You don't get to see any combat text with the NPC fight, although there are combat stats running in the background, what really happens is a different window comes up with a visual fight scene of what is going down.

For instance if you had 3 minions and a familiar, you'd see them all on the screen, holding whatever items they are equiped with, and they would fire bows/fireballs/magic missiles etc whatever it is they do every round, and you'd see the minions actually attacking the right targets of the NPC etc.

It would all be generated from the same battle stats that normally run, but you'd watch a graphic fight scene instead.

NPC battles since they are alot rarer and concievably harder would give larger rewards too.

And as you fight the battles you'll have to actually watch what is going on since there could be new abilites that you don't know the stats of, you would have to watch and see if there was a way to counter what was going on.

I know the kind of coding this would take btw, it's a huge change, but I think it would do alot for making the game more appealing if the devs want to think on it for a long term project.

raikkanto August 12 2010 3:29 AM EDT

I think, as far as retention goes, that the first thing needed would be to update the graphics a bit. It doesn't even need to go as far as having animated battles and avatars and stuff (though it doesn't hurt) but just re-hauling the user interface, fixing up navigation to make it easier on the newbies, and just polish it to be nice to look at. I bet there's a fair amount of players that sign up, take one look at the graphics and go "meh".

Also, the tutorial could use a bit of work, IMHO.

Pwned August 12 2010 9:44 AM EDT

Really, you're suggesting alienating a solid player base for the chance of getting a share of the farmville pie? Ten years some folks have been here almost and they shouldn't be the people we cater to? I'm dumbfounded and amazed...

Novice, your being stubborn again, let go of the legacy system. I had pointed out a reason why it should be done.

What happens when the old players get tired of playing? The game dies.

Because there was no resources spent to attract and retain new players. How does catering to old players do anything to get new players to join?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 12 2010 9:53 AM EDT

Seconding Fish and Nov here. As a new 'droid phone user (with slightly fat fingers!) it can be hard touching the right link, witht hem so close together.

Changing that shouldn't be too onerous, and can only help.

As for the graphics discussion, I finally (I had to pop into work today) found the rubbish mock up I made of a CB page with smaple areas for uploading user based pictures/icons/avatars and finally got it sent off to 'fexy to look at. ;)

But if anyone else wants to see it (or could knock it up into something more reaosnable!) just drop me your e-mail and I'll mail it over to you.

I still feel that user based graphics is the best next step.

You can ignore them if grpahics aren't to your taste, and get to choose whatever *you* want, so you won't be turned off by them.

Demigod August 12 2010 10:00 AM EDT

I still feel that user based graphics is the best next step.

Yep, let us submit item graphics to an admin email for approval before uploading.

And I asked this months ago, but how hard is it to create a mobile version of the site? It could have stripped down features and get marketed as a mobile game, even though it's just an alternative format of the same pages.

Pwned August 12 2010 10:11 AM EDT

BTW don't knock Farmville. its a programmers dream to create something so successful.

Instead of the 100+ users here its about to cruse by 80 million. Its doing something right.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 12 2010 1:15 PM EDT

Yep, let us submit item graphics to an admin email for approval before uploading.

No need mate. ;) We don't even do that for Forum/Team avatars, so why increase the admin workload for this?

We could keep a bank of 'stock' ones linked somewhere, that folk could use if they like. Stuff users have uploaded that were generaly liked. Those could be admin vetted. ;)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 12 2010 3:05 PM EDT

Just stumbled across Rivaled Fate (a game similar to CB, based on Final Fantasy,seemingly in the very early stages of development);

Have a look at that.

It's got a little charcater avatar that seems to update with equpiment, and there's little graphics all over the place.

PvE and PvP fights, but you've got to input your command every round (ugh).

QBOddBird August 12 2010 4:16 PM EDT

I still think CB is a great candidate for a mobile-based game. If this game were designed - not adapted - to work on a cellphone, it would be far more playable.

It's also got great potential as a sidebar game, where you do your regular internet browsing in the main frame and play a game on the sidebar. I would totally play CB while watching movies online if I were able to do so.

This kind of redirection of the game, IMO, is where it really needs to go for the general public to really find it appealing.

AdminNightStrike August 12 2010 4:31 PM EDT

Ok, I'm a little confused about all of these posts regarding avatars. People can already upload portraits for their user account as well as for each party.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 12 2010 4:41 PM EDT

Yeah, but in some/oher games of this type, they would be;

On the sidebar, so you get an everpresent view of your avater whatever screen you're using

Updated with whatever equipment you use

I think those are the main differences. ;)

Demigod August 12 2010 6:41 PM EDT

Yep to GL's last post.

Soully August 14 2010 3:42 PM EDT

as a new/old player i used to play this game 10-15 yrs ago 3 kids later...not alot has changed on cb! graphics wouldnt change a thing for noob retention! there is a hugr list of low class weapons n armour these should be given out more often as rewards! cash prizes free upgrades free exp reward committed noobs more

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 14 2010 3:46 PM EDT

Welcome home!

Soully August 14 2010 3:47 PM EDT

thanx mate itsa been awhile

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] August 14 2010 8:05 PM EDT

Ooh I like the sidebar idea. Are we talking about CB would run on a sidebar or frame on the side while visiting other sites?

How about every time you clicked a link, if you have an available opponent in your list, it automatically attacks? Play while browsing! Botchecks would probably be a hassle, but nothing that couldn't be ignored! You would just have to every once in a while go over and answer one while you browse the web.
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