Marketingplan OpenRA part II

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noobmapmaker
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Marketingplan OpenRA part II

Post by noobmapmaker »

This is a continuation based on input from this thread. This is a new thread dedicated to give shape to the ideas and to organise the execution of the ideas. New ideas, corrections, etc are still wellcome though!

The goal that was stated was: to write a marketingplan for OpenRA. A plan that describes in a concrete fashion how we can reach a bigger audience and convert their interest in more users in the most efficient way.
Some levels of attaching a user to OpenRA:

1) A person has to learn that OpenRA exists
2) A person has to download the game
3) A person has to try the game
4) The player comes back more often
5) The player tells others about OpenRA/Invites others
Please note that the scope of this thread is about 1-3. All ideas to facilitate and consolidate users (tutorials, ingame news, tournaments, different languages, unit encyclopedia, noob tournaments, client enhancements/polishes, etc etc) are about 4-5 and they should either be posted as a new thread or github issue. Ofcourse they can be mentioned, just not in depth discussing about it.

Strengths/Opportunities of OpenRA

Strengths (what we'll communicate)
- It's free
- It's constantly developed (gets better with every new release)
- Dedicated community
- Regular HQ casts and streams
- 24/7 Multiplayer action
- Many supported platforms
- Attractive to Modders
- New Mods to be released: Tiberium Sun, Crystallized Doom and others
- Nostalgic gaming in a modern and userfriendly fashion
- C&C is legendary, it's the genesis of modern RTS gaming
- ...

Opportunities (stuff that is out of scope of the marketingplan, but relevant and food for thought)
- Provide multilingual support for foreign players
- Is www.OpenRA.net seducing enough for visitors to try the game?
- Provide a good experience for newbies (tutorial, noobserver, etc.)
- Provide an even better service for regulars (profile, badges/achievements, eliteservers, autoupdating, etc.)
- Integrate the various OpenRA services (replays, forum, resourcenter, etc.) in the client/website
- ...

Targetaudiences

Current demography:

OpenRA User statistics/charts from 2013 ModDB (81+% men, aged between 15 and 34, Europe/US)

Which groups (usertype) are most likely interested in OpenRA?
- Gamers (RTS)
- Casual gamers to some extent
- People who have played C&C back in the days
- Modders

On one hand it's good to target the current demography even more. If this type has shown interest in the past, then their peers probably are interested in OpenRA as well. We have no way reached >1% of European/US young men so that justifies putting effort into reaching that targetaudience.

On the other hand there are chances outside of this demography. I am mostly thinking about non-western young men (Asian, India, Spanish and Arab gamers). Their numbers are huge and as far as I know those kids and men like RTS as well. A problem could be their English. Many speak and read it, but many don't. Before we reach out to them OpenRA should make sure www.openra.net and the client itself is userfriendly to non-English speakers.

As for the casual gamers we may have to ask ourselves if OpenRA is welcoming enough to them. They are the type that need to learn the game, that get turned off if the learning curve is to steep and when they get destroyed in multiplayer right away.


Reaching our Targetaudiences
First we'll have to establish which targetaudience(s) have most potential to join OpenRA. Then we'll connect channels to them and what message. Our message can have many forms: written word, game screencaps, ad-like images, moving image (gif, video) - or combinations of these (image > text and image + text > text).

What is the best message, based upon their demands and our strengths?
- SoScared's excellent promotional video explains a whole lot of what OpenRA is
- Young gamers don't have alot of money, communicate that it's FREE
- OpenRA is nostalgia, but enhanced: balanced, userfriedly, more modern UI, promotion, modding, etc

Targetaudience: Real Time Strategy Gamers
Channel:
- gameportals for free games, the strategy section
- relevant lists (Top X games)
Message: The genesis of RTS is back: balanced and with a modern UI

Targetaudience: Casual gamers
Channel:
- Facebookgroups
- gameportals for free games, the strategy section
Message: Check this awesome game, watch this tutorial and play a quick game online or vs AI

Targetaudience: People who have played C&C back in the days
Channel:
- gameportals for free games, the retrogaming section
Message: C&C is back, but better!

Targetaudience: Modders
Channel:
Message: OpenRA has a nice modding community and modding is easy & tons of fun!

Targetaudience: Countries with alot of online gamers, but few on OpenRA (China, Japan, Brasil, Russia, India, South Korea)

Channel:
- Non-English gaming forums?
- Non-English famous youtubers?
- French people can talk French here: http://openra-fr.ytu.fr
Message: our strengths in their languages

Channels

OpenRA.net Analytics (similarweb.com): last 3 months mostly visitors from US/GER/HUN/UK/RUS, 13% referrals (pr0gramm.com, majorgeeks.com, modDB.com) + 8,5% social media (Reddit, Facebook, Youtube)

Facebook
- Post on relevant Facebookgroups (gamergroups and such)
- Keep our Facebookpage up to date

Game lists and gamingportals
- Reaching the top of frequently viewed lists (e.g. Indie Top 100 ModDB)
- Getting mentioned on gamingportal sites in the RTS/Retro section
- Steam

Youtube - and Youku?
- Youtube: casts
- Youtube ads.
- Youtube: ask youtubers with many followers to play OpenRA

Reddit - r/OpenRA stats
- Reddit ads for Reddit.com/r/openra
- Post relevant news to relevant subreddits
- Reddit.com/r/OpenRA could be a valuable channel to direct users to www.openra.net

Relevant gaming Forums
- Post news about OpenRA on relevant gamingforums

Upvote Army
Several sites (like Reddit, Youtube, 9gag) have an upvotesystem that make content with upvotes more visible to other users. Once we're posting content other current OpenRA players can help by upvoting posts.

Other
- Person to person marketing: Invite-others function
- E-mail Newsletter with news, casts, etc and share-button
- 9Gag (examplepost with oppurtunities in the comments)

Timing
Many mentioned that timing is important, I definetly agree. The marketing needs a proper spread across time (don't fire all our rockets at once)and some aspects must be marketed at the right time (e.g. when a new mod is officialy launched). Doing things hastily may result interested people taking a look, getting turned down and those customers are lost forever.

Some of the ideas are things we can do right away because they are free, do not require other actions (e.g. designing ads). Other ideas need some preperation and some need carefull preparation and timing. Before we do anything we'll ask for permission from the OpenRA development team.

Measuring Results

When we execute plans we can try to see if it has results by keeping an eye on the OpenRA player statistics.

Also the activity on reddit.com/r/OpenRA could be an indicator of increasing users (loosely assuming that more subscribers means more OpenRA users). We can keep an eye on the subreddit stats of r/OpenRA to measure effectivity.


To Do List
- design ads for channels (graphic design)
- write proper descriptions of OpenRA to accompany links to www.openra.net (writing)
- write (forum)news items (writing)
- asses forums, gamingportals, gaminglists and other relevant sites (surfing the web and note down every relevant url)
- sign up to assessed forums/sites and regularly post written news and relevant images
- contact webmasters of gamingportals to have OpenRA added
- translate content of our ads/news/descriptions in different languages (translation)
- asses which Let's Play-youtubers are suited to play OpenRA
- contact those youtubers
- ... what else?

Participants
Post a message if you want to contribute by taking up an action. Please tell which action you want to contribute to and what you are good at.

- The-Zoidberger - write newsitems and other writingduties
- NoobMapMaker - surf the web and collect URLs of relevant Forums, Gamingportals, etc
- [...name...] - surf the web and collect URLs of relevant Forums, Gamingportals, etc
- [...name...] - translate news and other writings in Chinese/French/German/Dutch/Arab/Russian/Hebrew/Spanish/Japanese/Korean
- [...name...] - translate news and other writings in Chinese/French/German/Dutch/Arab/Russian/Hebrew/Spanish/Japanese/Korean
- [...name...] - post the newsitems on forum/subreddits/
- [...name...] - contact webmasters to add OpenRA to their gamingportals
- [...name...] - graphical design of eyecandy: ads and images to accompany news/forumposts
- [...name...] - post news/content on the OpenRA Facebook page
- [...name...] - make a list of well known Youtubers who might want to play OpenRA
- [...name...] - ...what you think is needed, and where you are good at

Keep brainstorming about all the suff I've written above. Everything is open to debate, it can be worded better or the information can be more complete/enhanced. And as Zoidberger mentioned it may be good to open a google doc where we can work and edit online.
Last edited by noobmapmaker on Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:00 pm, edited 25 times in total.
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Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

I feel as if Reddit hasn't been fully exploited, there are plenty of sub-reddits such as this one https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsPlayMyGame which could reach a plenty of potential players and youtubers.

the-zoidberger
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Post by the-zoidberger »

I'm in for helping with email newsletter and writing duties. Just let me know how and when you want me to assist. :)

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jaymanxyz
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Post by jaymanxyz »

Though it's not very popular, I think it is worth mentioning spacio's French OpenRA forum: http://openra-fr.ytu.fr/

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker »

Murto the Ray wrote: I feel as if Reddit hasn't been fully exploited, there are plenty of sub-reddits such as this one https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsPlayMyGame which could reach a plenty of potential players and youtubers.
Yes, I think so too. There are many many subreddits that are relevant. These I've selected from the related-list from r/gaming. They allmost all have 1000+ subscribers.

Reddits where we can post news (new release and other big things):
r/retrogaming, r/gaming, /r/freegames, /r/freeonlinegaming, /r/freetoplaygames, /r/FreeWebGames, /r/gamenostalgia, /r/gamernews, /r/Games, /r/gamingnews, /r/IndieGaming, /r/linux_gaming, /r/lowendgaming, /r/WebGames, /r/BaseBuildingGames, /r/RealTimeStrategy, /r/StrategyGames, /r/macgaming, /r/pcgaming

Reddits where we can place videos about OpenRA

/r/gamereviews, /r/LetsPlayVideos, /r/VideoGameReviews, /r/letsplay, /r/Twitch, /r/vgstreams

Moddingreddits
/r/gamedev, /r/GameMods

Reddits where we can tell users about OpenRA
r/gamingsuggestions, r/GamerPals, /r/playmygame, /r/YouShouldPlay

I don't think we should spam those subreddits all at once, or post the same thing multiple times in the same subreddit. It would be nice to have a couple people who take up some tasks involved:
1) One person writes to-the-point newsitems and makes it available (in a google doc for example)
2) Others post the newsitem to relevant subreddits (preferable with some time in between to spread coverage)
3) They post they freshly posted links in a dedicated thread here on Sleipnirsstuff and let the upvote army give it a first push

X) Planned streams can be announced in advance or when they go live
- will the casters do this themselves? Or do we do it for them?
X) Videocontent can be posted when its posted (SoScared, Spy, FiveAces and others have nice Let's Play videos)

But again I think it's good to structure things (who does what and when) so that it actually happens, so that we got Reddit covered and so that it is done in a non-annoying and non-spammy way.
Last edited by noobmapmaker on Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Mo
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Post by Mo »

I like your approach NoobMapMaker.

I would say that communication between OpenRA officially and planned casts would perhaps allow for a greater audience reach, rather than each caster or planned tournament being fragmented across a number of accounts.

I would say this applies for the initial marketing plan until numbers are boosted and other individuals may begin to cast their own games or live stream shenanigans whatever it may be.

pulse
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Post by pulse »

I had an idea for the main website design so I prototyped it a bit, check it here

The overwhelming opinion on IRC is that's it's too CnCnet-like - I can't disagree :D

I might do some more prototypes if I have some time
Last edited by pulse on Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

pulse wrote: I had an idea for the main website design so I prototyped it a bit, check it here

The overwhelming opinion on IRC is that's it's too CnCnet-like - I can't disagree :D

I might do some more prototypes if I have some time
Just try changing the image to something else like a slide-show with pictures + captions, it takes up a lot of space on the page and is of a similar style to the CNCnet one.

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squirrel
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Post by squirrel »

Strengths:

- (A good deal of) OpenRA is available in several languages
Several languages or several platforms?

Here comes the anti-brainstorm

My humble opinion:

Weaknesses:
- No multilanguage support
- It´s an oldie game with old mechanics
- It´s not properly balanced for serious tournaments (ore misplacing in maps, refinery position, op and useless units, etc)
- Inexistence of reward-system (an account, wins/losses ratio, achievements, medals like C&C Generals, ladder)
- Inexistence of easy, medium, hard and brutal AI for all mods.
- Incomplete singleplayer campaign.
- Must be manually updated.


Extra: Why Starcraft 1 aged so well (game mechanics)? In my opinion it´s because (at their last patch) it was very well balanced and offered a great control over all units and hotkeys.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

squirrel wrote: Here comes the anti-brainstorm

My humble opinion:
All good points, but the reality is that there isn't much that can be done about these.

Weaknesses:
- No multilanguage support -> Planned, but we don't have the manpower to finish it (#10475)
- It´s an oldie game with old mechanics
- It´s not properly balanced for serious tournaments (ore misplacing in maps, refinery position, op and useless units, etc)
- Inexistence of reward-system (an account, wins/losses ratio, achievements, medals like C&C Generals, ladder) -> Planned, but we don't have the manpower to implement it (#2265)
- Inexistence of easy, medium, hard and brutal AI for all mods. -> for any mods. Again, we lack the manpower to program multiple AIs that use different logic for different difficulty levels. We can't even program one to behave properly.
- Incomplete singleplayer campaign. -> Planned, and in progress, but we don't have the manpower to finish these in the foreseeable future (#4988, #4989, #9287)
- Must be manually updated. -> Planned, and the prerequisites are now in place, but progress has ground to a halt once again (#9206)

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker »

squirrel wrote:
Strengths:

- (A good deal of) OpenRA is available in several languages
Several languages or several platforms?
I thought languages as in the issue I see several mentions of "German 100%, Dutch 100%, etc". But in reality I haven't seen any buttons that allow the users to switch to a different language.

Hmm before we try to lure in non-English speakers those other languages should be available.
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noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker »

pulse wrote: I had an idea for the main website design so I prototyped it a bit, check it here

The overwhelming opinion on IRC is that's it's too CnCnet-like - I can't disagree :D

I might do some more prototypes if I have some time
It is C&CNet like. Just took a look on their website and I have to admit that it looks flashy and attractive. More than openra.net - imo. Hope you will do some further tries. Not as a part of the marketingplan, but as a next step.

*edited the OP and reworded 'Weaknesses' to 'Opportunities'. That seems more usefull when it comes to this marketingplan. Also allowed me to add yours and Squirrel's feedback better.
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dzine
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Post by dzine »

Computer games , the past, the future ? ....its always worth watching stuff like this as it gives you an outsiders view, helps avoid group think etc

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0 ... pening-now




openRA is still in alpha, its wise to let people know this in marketing material

99% of potential players are not realy interested in playing unfinished games that lack core features

The world is full of half baked mediocre products that the world would rather not know about until they are ready for prime time.

openRA need more and better software developers & designers....thats what the marketing should attract



The main problem is that people get involved in OSource projects mostly for their own selfish internal motivations, those motivations seldom stretch out to 'creating an awesome peice of software for endusers' ...yes you can learn by doing, earn internal and possibly external community respect but the $$$ motive, 'wolf at the door' factot is mostly absent as is the grander "Steve Jobs" like visions.

People tend not to want to wander outside their comfort zones, especialy when they dont have to...indeed people often join OS project to escape just that kind of pressure. No wonder then that 99.99% of open source projects flounder....'failure to do suceed' is often built into the foundations.

Unless such truths are aired, forward progress is stifled.

Creating great software ultimately involves re wiring of brains to fit 'wider realities'

Creating relevant marketing campaigns is no different.







A great general first seeks victory then seeks battle


The road to awesome is paved with the corpses of 'cosy ideas'
Last edited by dzine on Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:04 pm, edited 7 times in total.

Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

Russian tournament soon!

http://goodgame.ru/cup/2276/

One of the guys in it was streaming OpenRA today!

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Aaron_Lloyd
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Post by Aaron_Lloyd »

Just realized the traffic stats page of the subreddit might be of interest to this project:

https://www.reddit.com/r/openra/about/traffic/

Note the spike in unique visitors the day the last release came out and was posted on the /r/games subreddit here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments ... red_alert/

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