Dev Updates for August 2020

In our last update, the following was discussed:

I am very happy to say that we’ve completed this goal. We recently:

  • transitioned to a new server with a new company
  • converted a bunch of code to run on upgraded tech
  • reached consistent sub-second pagespeeds

Some of our pages are now even less than .5 seconds to load. :muscle:

This was long over due. I’m talking years. This kind of work is never truly completed, but for now we can take a breather and reassess our priorities.


Growing the playerbase

There is no question that we need more players. The question has always been how to achieve and sustain this.

We have some challenges in front of us. In particular:

  1. We have a poor and outdated user interface and experience
  2. The game itself needs feature work and bug fixes
  3. Our community drives new players away
  4. We have stopped promoting the game

UI/UX

1. UI/UX

The upgrade we just completed has set the stage for modernizing our UI/UX, which will make the game easier to user.

This will help us keep the attention of new players, while also making it easier for all players. This is crucial for retention.


Gameplay

2. Gameplay

The game, despite its flaws, is for the most part stable. There are many features that need work, but this isn’t as urgent as a priority as the UI/UX work.

It doesn’t matter how great the core gameplay is if it’s a chore to use it.

For this reason, gameplay changes will continue to be on hold at least for the next month, with possible exceptions to Virgo.


Community

3. Community

There’s no easy way to say this: our community has a problem with toxic behavior. I am included in that as well, given the contentious exchanges I’ve partaken in.

We need to take this seriously. I recently had the 2nd new player in 2 months go out of their way to message me personally about how bad our community is, and why they are leaving.

A great website with a great game will be for nothing if we continue to drive new people away.

Please remember: for every person who bothers to let us know how unfriendly we are, there are several more who just leave silently.

With that in mind, we are stepping up enforcement of our community rules across our platforms. For my part, I am also going to do my best to set a positive example, which I have failed to do earlier this year.

There are game features than can help with this too, and we will plan for those. In the meantime, however, please be kind. If nothing else, at least consider the first impressions we leave for our guests.


Promotion

4. Promotion

We have not done any promo, paid or otherwise, for a few months. Part of this is budget, but part of it is timing.

We are having internal discussions about our long term plan to address this, and will post more information when we have more specific updates on this front.


This is a high-level summary, and much of it is still being worked out.

@Soull and I are having a planning session later this month, and we will post more specifics afterward.

If you have feedback or questions, you are welcome to post them in #support:feedback or #support:questions.

Thank you.

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