Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Players cities and new guild golems

Players cities have been added to the game for some days now but I haven't got the chance to write about it yet. I'll also thrown in some thought about the new guild golems system that have been pushed online today.

My view of players cities is not a core game system, not for now at least. I see it as a sandbox where players can create their own vision of the game. With all the coding I did in the last weeks, I had little time to improve the general aspect of the world. My wish for players cities is that they become the "beauty" factor in the game. I provide the tools and players provide the ideas.

To create a city, a player just buy a city blueprint which just create an item in world that leads to another zone, unlinked to any other zone. In the city, they are free to drop any items to decorate it (on top of the current available items I added trees, roads and bushes for now). They can also expand the city by spending some gold. Expanding the city creates another zone north, east, west or south.

To get some money for their cities, players can create lots. Lots can be rented by other players to drop their houses or merchants. Only the creator of the city (mayor) can decide where a house or merchant can be dropped, giving them control over the look of their city.

Some limitations have also been added to the "open world" to push players toward cities. The first one is that merchants cannot be dropped anywhere anymore. It was getting really messy out there so limiting merchants to cities and houses will help to clean this out. A tax has also been applied to buildings bigger than "really small houses" (the noob house). If mayors are smart, they will make sure that the cost to rent a city lot is lower than the current tax applied to a building in the open world.

I have a lot of faith in this new system as I think it brings a whole new different experience to the game. Some players could probably ignore everything else and concentrate on building their city. It gives players a lot of freedom and I can't wait to see what some will build with it.

The other major update is the change to guild golems. The old guild golems concept was flawed. Players were getting benefits by basically doing nothing beside buying a blueprint and setting it up in the world somewhere. One guild eventually dropped many guild golems in a zone and dropped many golems to defend this zone, making it almost impossible to walk through.

So I removed those golems and create new ones. The new guild golems are similar to normal golems but more powerful and harder to craft. Also, they cannot be ordered to guard a zone and will attack friendly targets if left alone. That way, the previous scheme of dropping over 50 golems in a zone to protect guild golems isn't valid anymore.

It also removes the "do nothing and win" pattern there was before. A guild (and it's members) only gain points when a guild golem defeats an opponent. Of course, golems remains active when their creator is offline but their also more vulnerable and can't be defended by friendly golems.

The system still needs to be tested but I feel that besides some stats adjustments, it will be a lot better than the previous one and will help to get guilds fight other guilds as those golems can be really a threats to anyone around.

Those are the last major developments to Golemizer and I am now starting to think about my press release for the official launch. After a small talk (by email) with Gene Endrody from Maidmarian.com, press release might not have a big impact on the number of visitors to the web site. The only real good way remains word to mouth from current players. I'll still try a press release as it cannot hurts but I also have some more ideas to try to generate more traffic without spending too much in advertising banners that doesn't provide interesting results without investing a lot (a lot for an indie budget I mean).


bonder said...

I would skip the press release and just write a new blog article describing the game and then reach out to the influential bloggers in the industry and ask them to link to both the article and the game.

Also, implement a refer a friend feature and promote it inside the game.

Over00 said...

Thanks to your comment, I added today a new simple screen to invite friends. Some people were telling me this but I was skeptical how efficient this can be.

On second thought though, something more can't hurt I guess so there it is. That's also why I'll still do a press release. It might not work well but who knows. I can't cut some opportunities.

The blog post though will remain my main way to attract new players. Things are going well and if some important blogger are interested by the game, that might gives some good result.

From there, the only thing I can do is do my best and keep working.

Val said...

This is great info to know.

Anitra said...

Well written article.