Creating a marketingplan for OpenRA

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ACM
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Re: Creating a marketingplan for OpenRA

Post by ACM »

noobmapmaker wrote: Tools to make people stick
...
- Login for users (make their username 'valuable' by building up their profile)
Achievements, (tournament)badges, ratings, winpercentages
...
Do this, and I will give up on OpenRA, and retreat into the shadows like I was already doing prior to discovering it. Persistent stat tracking and carrots permanently alters the chemistry of the online playing community, which makes or breaks many an online multiplayer game. From Command & Conquer: Generals to Battlefield 2 to Dawn of War to Team Fortress 2. Nothing can forgive the introduction or facilitation of a toxic player base.

Let the art of the guns and tanks and destruction and carnage and the world of Command & Conquer sell itself. If it can no longer do that then oh well, OpenRA deserves to die anyway.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

Its not ORA that would die out in that case its the game core functional itself.

There is a reason why C&C3 core game had major issues and fixed a lot of them in Kanes Wrath. Even then the design decisions made in KW were bad ones. (IE: Nerfing flame units)

While I have no comment on the profile stat building systems I would say do either a quickmatch system or a ladder system. The website ORA Reources already links to the master server and then connects to the servers people host up. (Unless I am incorrect and it downloads them from the created users server instead then that is amazing)

A website system or small database can hold this kind of information for ladder play and score keeping. While some people do prefer to play without a ladder it would be best to see what the players want over all. Some prefer to play casual and others competitive. I tend to be extremely competitive when it comes to TD but once in a blue moon I do some screw around matches myself. (Like the two matches against Hi and getting him to build GT xD those were fun)

But saying something such as "If it can no longer do that then oh well, OpenRA deserves to die." is like saying the C&C franchise deserves it.

---

If you check GameRanger which is a client that allows you to host older games, C&C3 exists on their too and not just the other client usage.

dzine
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Post by dzine »

ref Do this, and I will give up on OpenRA, and retreat into the shadows like I was already doing prior to discovering it. Persistent stat tracking and carrots permanently alters the chemistry of the online playing community, which makes or breaks many an online multiplayer game. From Command & Conquer: Generals to Battlefield 2 to Dawn of War to Team Fortress 2. Nothing can forgive the introduction or facilitation of a toxic player base.

Let the art of the guns and tanks and destruction and carnage and the world of Command & Conquer sell itself. If it can no longer do that then oh well, OpenRA deserves to die anyway.

A great deal of truth in the above !


I mostly abandoned redalert and its derivatives because of 'toxic community issues' the original creators of Redalert never understood how to build a thriving community or a decent sequel...thats why other games took its crown.

I play on openRA because its quiet and cosy...bit like the ole dial up days of small communities..it has that feel

Elsewhere i said that the core game could and should have a player base of millions BUT that would only happen if a great deal of community crafting happened...that takes vision and a lot of $$$, even large comercial entities struggle with this.


Creating a hit game and a great community is like creating "star wars, Dr who " , there are certain times when the magic comes together and persists for long enough that it stays close to the top of the meme tree....a deep art and a deep science is involved even if you cant see it.

OpenRA doesnt need marketing it NEEDS finishing....we are at least 18 months away from that if ever !

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anjew
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Re: Creating a marketingplan for OpenRA

Post by anjew »

ACM wrote: Persistent stat tracking and carrots permanently alters the chemistry of the online playing community, which makes or breaks many an online multiplayer game. From Command & Conquer: Generals to Battlefield 2 to Dawn of War to Team Fortress 2. Nothing can forgive the introduction or facilitation of a toxic player base.
You are comparing communities where the developers have little to no communication with the playerbase. This game is the opposite.

You are also talking about public stats, there can be private stats and even seasonal stats. Also mind you, there is a concept called casual/practice matches where stats are not recorded.
ACM wrote: Do this, and I will give up on OpenRA
You were a good player, catch ya later.
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Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

ACM wrote: Nothing can forgive the introduction or facilitation of a toxic player base.
There are already toxic players within OpenRA. No matter what community you look at there are toxic players there too. Having a profile system allows better management of toxicity as it also introduces the possibilities of game-wide bans and restrictions. No toxic player who has built their profile up to any degree would want to sacrifice it just to be a troll and those that do get banned: simples :)

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker »

Yes, and a profile can be as small or as elaborate as OpenRA wishes. One big advantage imo is that users could get acces to servers based on their profile: accessing the elite server or the noobserver based on your past games. If you play a solid game you will quickly grow out of the noobserver and that allows you to play with the serious (non toxic usually) players.

But... this discussion is out of scope of the marketingplan. Create a new thread for that please :)
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AmericanBlunt_
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Post by AmericanBlunt_ »

@Dzine George Lucas sucks though

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

eddie wrote: As someone said before OpenRA needs tutorials. I don't have much time to play games. Therefore I want to start right away and have fun. However it is frustrating if you don't know how to play the game and have to go by trial and error or have to read wiki articles online. Small tutorial missions which explain to you how to play the game and when to use which unit are necessary imho. I haven't played Dune 2000 much yet because I just don't know how to. I started two or three skirmishes, lost those games as I did not know anything about the tech tree, the units and how to use them. So I never tried again.
Maybe also related to that : https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/3210
(Spectators with team talk and team world view [$5] #3210)

We could have "newbie servers" where more skilled players could coach newbies.

It's always frustating for a newbie player to play with more skilled ppl, cause they feel the pressure and the responsibilty of the lost game. And sometimes they're not allowed to spec because of lag.

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

Some points to think about
  • Player identity :
I like the previous idea of a more customizable profile (name, avatar, bio, etc ... ) not necessarily linked to a competitive ladder. Could be linked to other info (YT / Twitch channel ? website ? etc ... )

But if the player wants competion, then he can get into a ladder system, for those who want.

It could be also just a Level / Exp system, with level corresponding to ranks (Soldier / Officer / General / ...) , like in RPGs. The more you play / win, the more you get exp. But losing a game doesn't make you lose exp and fall. So it's less competitive, but still encourages to progress.

Finally, there could be an achievement system, which could add some fun to the game.
For instance : "Build 50 tanks in 1 game" / the bot challenge / "Capture 5 enemy buildings" / "Kill 500 in 1 game" / etc ... The achievement would then appear in-game and later in the profile.
  • Fast paced game :
Maybe some people get bored because of the quite slow-paced start of a match ?

I know this is common in RTS ... but still here in RA you need at least 3 min to maybe start having some aggression.

Not sure though if this is the real problem ...
  • Newbies integration :
Read my reply above, "newbies servers" ...

But also, being able to directly download some best replays ? (just like we can DL maps)
They could be sorted by votes / num of downloads / etc ...
  • Events :
Creating some fun events throughout the year, and showing it in the game.

For examples, the tourneys could be announced in-game, with some changing graphics (splash screen), in-game sign-in, etc ... So that when you download the game, you see at once what will be the next events, the past events, ...

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

  • Graphical awesomeness
OpenRA casters already put nice efforts into the visual impact of their casts / videos (for instance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueosN-JFqG0)

More in-game awesomeness needed ?
(layout ? It's all good and nice right now, but maybe lacks the "wow effect"
intro cinematics ?
RA1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtb4uow940c
RA2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuwtNDkHch0
RA3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdLJBA7E26s
CnC Generals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8G74VTpxas
all these intros still give me goosebumps, I never skipped the Generals one before playing lol)

Also, can the original cinematics for missions be included ? For the nostalgic ppl who want to play again RA missions, could really make ORA more attractive.

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

  • Music awesomeness
Also I really dislike the default lobby music of RA (of all mods actually :p ) (no offense ^_^).

"Hell March" as a lobby music for RA (or others) would be better IMO (maybe that's personal preference :/ )

Comparing to Generals ZH lobby music for instance :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqynKvNjeyY

dzine
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Post by dzine »

Great software generally attracts and retains a great deal of people

Likewise, great leadership attracts and retains supporters and develeopers

...anything can be pushed, spamming the internet etc but genuine word of mouth is the way 'great ideas' and great things are spread.


deficencies in the software and ecosystem present barriers to new entrants

Software is complicated and hard to get right...thats why 99% of software sucks to a greater or lesser degree....people are reluctant to re wire their brainware to fit someone else's software...thus the better the software the less barriers to entry and retention.


Because of this, In the world of computing good software = good marketing by default

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

No offense Dzine but I see your name posting in here and I generally skip by it since you like to troll the in game global chat system and the forums.

IE: You did ]games command in global. Saw my AoA server hosted. Then asked who wants to play. I spoke that I do and said that I need to host one. I said it is hosted. Once you announced that you would join my server you never did. After 30 min.

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

dzine wrote: Great software generally attracts and retains a great deal of people
Not necessarily :).
The opposite would be true (Bad software doesn't keep users), but a good software can still remain unknown / unused for several other reasons. Thus this topic.

Your message is too general (too much big principles ...) and can't be constructive or helpful, unless you give specific details about why you think OpenRA sucks as a software.
If so, that would be another topic anyway, this one is about "marketing".

IMO (and for the majority of players I guess), OpenRA is really good for in terms of software : fluid, balanced, comfortable to use, clear ... so I'm not sure what do you mean by your message (if you mean that ORA is not a good software, if I understood correctly).

But maybe needs some improvement in terms of polishing ? of advertising ? etc ...

No offense at all man :) all critics approved ... but please be more constructive

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FiveAces
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Post by FiveAces »

This is a great thread, and I can really see this discussion going places!

Let me start off by saying that the original RA's success can not be poinpointed to a single factor:
The (for 1998 standards) crisp graphics, the (still) amazing soundtrack by Frank, the fast gameplay and the seamless transitions between game and story via amazingly atmospheric low-budget cutscenes
created the all-around classic we know and love to this very day.

OpenRA has managed to capture a good part of this spirit:
The revamped gameplay is a perfect step forward into the 21st century, creating actual balance and opportunity.
The online component is better than ever, and many comfort functions such as customizable hotkeys make for a more than solid control scheme by 2016 RTS standards.

So we have a solid framework for our puzzle.

There are just a few pieces still missing.

And to find out what these actually are, let's get a bit introspective:

What did get you into the original Red Alert?

I can't speak for you guys, but for me it was the singleplayer and immersion.
Even just firing up the opening sequence gave me goosebumps as well as the feeling of playing one of the lead roles in this large-scale theatre of war.
Everything was designed with a purpose, and it just felt complete.

Conclusively, I think that these are some areas the game still has the opportunity to grow in.
I don't know about the legal procedures, but bringing back the intro sequence and the videos as well as shipping the campaign with the release would bring a lot of old-schoolers back -
at first only for the singleplayer nostalgia, but subsequentially they would dabble at the multiplayer as well.

Also, I'm really liking Shadow Assassin's idea of implementing a news system into the client front page:
Give it a newsfeed, maybe in a theatre-of-war style (I would totally get behind helping out with writing bulletins for the feed if you'd need a hand)
to give players an idea of what's happening in the world of OpenRA.
Especially coupled with tournament announcements, this would draw quite the crowd if done right!

Profiles, if implemented as a strictly optional feature, could also be a nice addition.

And speaking on behalf of the hardcore community, I'd really love to dive into a ladder;
maybe have the client display a leaderboard in one of the submenus?

And as a cherry on top, I'd like to see a "download replays" section implemented into the client.(Maybe even linked to the gamereplays.org archive? I can't see any objections here, as this would benefit both sides, especially considering the OpenRA section of gamereplays is pretty quiet at the moment)

Anyway, that's just my 0,02$, but I know this game has the potential to be a lot more popular!

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