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Everything posted by SingSong

  1. @Digital Yeah, that makes the collection useful. However, it's not a very creative approach to a collection, because it has been done on so many sites now. I'd personally prefer for there be unique (non-item fetching) quests to unlock different worlds and for each world to have a quest that is specific to it. Maybe if someone wants to play around with the puzzle maps, they could do something like this: Like commonly seen, there are multiple puzzle pieces to collect. Let's say there are 9 pieces to a puzzle. But instead of the puzzle just requiring the 9 pieces, each puzzle place has a few variations to it. If the puzzle were an image of a barn and some surrounding land and a lake, for example, the puzzle place with the lake could have two variations, one with a duck and one without. If you complete the entire puzzle with the rooster on the fence, the duck in the lake, and the chickens outside of the coop, you get X reward. If you complete it with another combo, you get Y reward. You could even make it more complex with some pieces working for multiple combinations, so it's not just "this" or "that".
  2. I personally am against most collection features in games. Yes, they can give players something to do, but I also think they're usually added as an easy go-to feature with little thought involved. What does collecting plushies or collecting cards or stamps have to do with the game? Nothing really, but now the site can state that "collections" are part of what it offers. I've also witnessed that they can be a way to take advantage of players. Sites with these types of unnecessary collections usually sell collection items in their cash shops. Someone that's spent many hours saving up virtual currency to complete 98% of their collection will likely spend the $15 on cash shop items to complete it. And then when another gets released in the cash shop, those collectors will open up their wallets again and again. Because no one wants to see 99% complete when they're worked so hard to collect all the other items. Yes, sites need to make money in some way, but I think this is just a form of manipulation. Because these items don't offer anything to the player's experience aside from giving them a goal of some sort (and goals should already be established in other ways if the site has any point to it at all). So it's this idea of giving "value" to something meaningless and making players believe that they have some value. And I just think games should have features worth paying for or worth putting effort into. I am not against all types of collection features, don't get me wrong. But I like them to be things that are more than collecting site items that are just made for the sake of collecting. The kinds of collections I like and have liked in the past: -Pet interaction collections (such as foods eaten or toys played with). However, this has become more common in sites and is almost getting dull. So I'd like to see a site that has it so these collections have a purpose. Maybe pets that have eaten more X foods than Y foods means they gain an agility bonus in battle. The opposite means they'll have more defense. If sites are going to bother to record pet interaction activity, they could make it worthwhile. -Avatar collections. Who doesn't like these kinds of collections? Generally, avatars are how you show some kind of individuality and personality on the forum. So you're given something to "collect" while also have a goal you need to meet and getting something you can use indefinitely later. It's a perfect combination. I would, however, like to see sites moving away from the 60px by 60px Neopets-style, pixel avatars in favor of doing something more unique. -Trophy and achievement collections. These are the kind of collections that make you earn them by completing a task instead of simply buying them. I like these, assuming the task involved takes skill and isn't just a reward for refreshing a page 5,000 times or something (I'm talking about tedious "do this over and over" achievements and randomized ones).
  3. @dracula Oh, okay, that clears some things up. I just found a piece on your DA that's actually very similar to my original art style idea, and you did such a good job on it that I think will go in that direction instead. May I PM you?
  4. @dracula Can you do completed pets based on existing sketches? If so what would the price be for semi-realistic? I'm looking for something like your lion example: semi-realistic with a cartoonish face.
  5. Ooh. I need to see this one grow up. Thanks for the new adoptable.
  6. I've heard of this before but haven't played. I think I'll give it a chance; the pixel art is rather nice-looking. Thanks for sharing.
  7. I think deciding when to start making your project visible to the public eye depends on what your own goal is for sharing your game and its development. I can think of a few reasons why people publicize their projects: 1. To build a following and get the idea out there. People will have to know your project exists in order for your game to have anyone playing it when it opens. However, your development stage and its updates will reflect on the project itself. People will see how committed you are and whether the project is one they can trust to be a success or not. 2. To create hype and get people excited about the game's release. This works best when the project is close to completion and has an opening date already decided. It's hard to maintain hype for your project if you consistently have setbacks or need to change any art or features once you've declared that that is what people have to look forward to seeing on your game. 3.To help your team meet deadlines. Sometimes, the best way to push yourself to get things accomplished is to have a way of holding yourself accountable. Once your project is out there in the public eye, you must be committed to the idea and make it a reality in a timely manner or you will damage your project's reputation. 4. To begin fundraising. The only way people will spend money on an in-development project is if they have a reason to back it, so putting out information and sneak peaks is the first step toward creating a Kickstarter or other fundraising strategy. Again, how your game is presented through updates will either encourage people to donate or turn them off of the idea. 5. To gain input and suggestions. As important as it is to create a project to mimic your own vision, you also have to consider what your future players want from the game. They may be able to help you come up with new ideas or improve on the things you thought were perfect as is. 6. Because it's hard to stay quiet when the developers are excited. Many people share their game development for this reason, but it should be a secondary reason to share it and not the main one. It's easy to think your project is great when you have a way of visualizing the finished project. But unless you give your followers all the pieces that are floating around in your head (like art that they can see and coded functionality of the game), they are unlikely to be as thrilled about the project as you are. It's best to keep your project to yourself until your updates can easily show people what they can expect from your game. Like it's already been mentioned in this thread, posting updates will require time and focus, things that may be better spent on completing the project itself. Eventually, you will have to reveal your project to the public, but holding back on doing so can help you polish the game on your own without the added stress of needing to post updates and meet deadlines when you and your team are not ready to do so. I have witnessed developers that post every single update that they have accomplished in the background, such as showing off one new item drawn for the site. I don't believe that this is all that interesting or exciting to followers. Updates are better done as groupings of completed work, such as a reveal of all the starter pets. But in order to do updates like that, you'll need to have a lot of the work already finished. That's why it can be best to start posting updates when the project is close to being completed. Your updates will be a lot more meaningful to followers, and you will not have to think so much about what to post because you'll just slowly release aspects of all the main and side features instead of fumbling to complete 3 items just to have something to show.
  8. I don't think you're alone in this. Plus, if you're working on a project on your own, it's easy to get into the pattern of rushing to complete things and feeling like you need to push out as much as you can all at once but then get overwhelmed by the work and have to take a step back. Additionally, without a team, you're more likely to keep second-guessing your ideas or continuously work on "improving" them, because you don't have that second party to hold you to the original idea. So even though working alone can give you the freedom to create as you like, it also makes many parts of the creation process more difficult. You will have a hard time when it comes to this. If you want to create a team or partnership that is able to execute your vision as you want, you have to completely rework your mindset. Most people, especially on this forum, want to make their own vision a reality. So if you desire to find someone or some people that will team up with you to make your project come to life, there will have to be a reason why they would gravitate toward you and your project rather than going off on their own. Having a good idea (I can't say whether yours is unique or interesting without knowing anything about it, so let's assume it is a profound new thing) is not enough. To successfully manage a team and make the game you want to make, you have to be the leader. If people aren't going to get the proper direction and motivation from you then they may as well put their time into something else. You have to be the one to put the reigns on the horse, so to speak. Secondly, if your goal is to make a browser game (a game that is never complete and reaches the public eye during its many various stages), you will have to let go of the idea of this game mirroring your vision exactly. A game like this, if you want it to be successful, is in part owned by your userbase, and their ideas will end up shaping it. Some features you didn't necessarily like may be the ones players want the most and enjoy the most once implemented. Of course, you may have an idea of what you want the basics to be, and that's fine, but be open to the idea that when it's out there, you have to give up some control. Sometimes it's like this. But I have witnessed the opposite, for the most part. People have jobs. They have kids. They have families and obligations. Some people are able to give 100% of their time to these kinds of projects, and if they are doing that then it makes sense that they want a partner that can do or is willing to do the same. For the rest, they are very lenient when it comes to deadlines, and it's almost to a fault because things have to be completed in a reasonable time frame in order to ever see a project come to fruition. If you want the role of a leader then you have to develop the qualities of being one and that means divvying up tasks, setting deadlines, managing the group, and mimicking the behavior you want to see in everyone else. If you want them to get things done consistently, you have to do the same. If you want to be the owner of a game and make it come to life but don't possess the skills that your team needs, unfortunately, that would most likely require close friends or money. You may get some volunteers, but if you can't keep the ball rolling on your end (e.g. a team member asks you to tell them what you specifically want for a feature but you aren't able to give them more details at the time), your volunteers will lose interest and when you have a high turn over your project suffers. Every time someone leaves and a new person enters the group, you take a step back. The best advice I can give you is to find methods that work for you that allow you to tackle what you already recognize will be an issue. If this project is your child (many people here can relate to that), you have to be willing to work on improving your habits to make it happen so that you may introduce your child to the world one day.
  9. Thanks for your hard work. Hope you are feeling better now. I'm looking forward to what you have in store. ^-^
  10. Can you elaborate? You mention the development stage, and I'm associating that with development forums before the site becomes a reality. I think during that stage, there's probably a lot of chit chat between staff and future players of the game. The purpose should be to have cordial discussions related to the game and its possible or in-development features so you can gain feedback and suggestions. There can be light off-topic conversations, but development forums should be focused on moving the game toward becoming a finished product. The forum should have rules that mirror the future rules of the game, such as no spamming, flaming, harassment, sexual discussions, etc. Staff are still staff members, and it's best to have a professional relationship with them, although if you slowly want to become friends with your staff and talk about more personal subjects like real life that's up to you. Just know that giving more information about yourself can create an issue later down the line. Staff should have access to the ideas you plan to put in place in the game, so you can get the help necessary to complete those things. You can have them sign an NDA, so they can't share the information freely with people outside of the team.
  11. This is one type of game I've been looking to play (and also considered making myself in the past). I can relate to this: Previously, I have tried two different websites to do this. One was 750words.com which is a writing site with the goal to write 750 words a day. You write your words on their website, or you can post writing you wrote elsewhere into their writing editor to complete your writing for the day. It records how long you took to write the piece (which doesn't work well if you just post your already completed writing). My problem with that site is that they have streaks for finishing your writing during consecutive days and you earn badges for having a long streak, so I would feel pressured to write even when I didn't want to. After 100 days, almost all my writing ended up being junk I wrote just to finish the task. I would also change my time (California PST) to Hawaii time to give myself an extra hour because I usually could not find time to write until the late hours of the night. All in all, this set-up didn't work for me because it didn't make me more productive with my goals, and I was just stressed out about it. On this site, the only reward is the badges you earn. I also tried habitrpg.com a few years ago which I suppose is now Habitica. There were a couple things I liked about their system, such as being about to create goals of not doing things (e.g. don't eat candy, don't smoke), and I liked being able to edit that I completed goal when I didn't have the time to previously log in the day before to check that I did it. However, there were quite a few things that turned me off that system. 1. I would find myself wasting time trying to log in and check off my goals, and I felt less productive because of that. 2. Many of the avatar customizations were premium content, and I didn't like that I couldn't earn an avatar that was much better looking than the default one (I'm not sure if they have added more free clothing since then). 3. Because the system was so editable (you could raise your health yourself if you lost some by not checking off something the day before), you could easily cheat the system. Or, if you were like me, you'd have a backlog of things you'd have to remember to check off and fix when you logged in three days later. Again, this just made it more of a waste of time for me, and I quickly lost interest. If a new game like this came out, I'd only use it for long-term "missions" with check off quests and goals along the way. I find that check-off lists of daily tasks just make me less productive. I would like visible rewards, such as nice pets and colorations/markings for them. I'd also like for them to have a purpose, if possible, such as the ability to level up your pet and explore new terrains. There would have to be something unique like that to make me feel like it was worth using a site for recording goals instead of just recording my progress myself. If the game is single-player, there isn't an issue with people "cheating". If the game was fun enough and helped me complete goals, I would consider buying skins or markings. You can have the option for both the way Flight Rising sets it up. If your character has a skin, the markings aren't shown and are not an issue. I like the idea of difficulty modes. I would personally use the medium or hard modes. I don't mind the limit of time between check offs for large goals. That seems reasonable enough. I'm not sure if a walker app or housing system should be priorities. Not everyone would have walking/exercise goals. A housing system is just another customization feature, and you already have avatars and pets. If the housing feature allowed visitors and chatting in the room, that would be another story, but that's a lot of work for a side feature, and it would also take away from the productive aspect of the site. I would love to see reminders/alerts on a side-panel when I logged in. If there was a quick check-off button attached to the alert so I could click it right there, that would be even better. Mostly, with a site like this, I would like the check-off process to be as quick and hassle-free as possible, and it would have to offer some kind of reward to make me feel like it was worth logging in. One thing you may also consider is having site events. Occasionally, there would be special days or weeks when you can log in and complete a task (such as 5 quests that week or one mission, or do 10 tasks in one day) and doing that task would reward the player with something rare or a bonus of points/exp. Note to self: I must try OneNote.
  12. @Imperial Thanks for such a good post. I really like the retail analogy. I agree that most of these situations would be better handled privately. So often they are discussed in the middle of threads or sometimes even in news posts. When a player comes across these types of discussions around the site, it makes what could have been a small issue bigger. More people get involved in the problem that wasn't their own not really knowing the full story, and others just begin to see the game as being full of drama even if there are only a few of these problems overall. And yes, being friendly without being friends is a good skill to harness. I like your mentality.
  13. So if I'm getting this straight, the only debt is to the one staff member who put in their own money to pay artists (something they chose to do on their own). And you still own the rights to the HA that was drawn because they never traded the images of the customs to you? And I guess because that transaction didn't go through, the Kickstarter backers didn't receive some of their customs which is why some backers were upset (aside from the fact that the game didn't become a reality). Am I correct here?
  14. About a year ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called Indie Game: Life After, a documentary film that focuses on the impact of the people behind successful indie games. I wrote down a couple quotations that really stuck with me. While cleaning my room recently, I found these papers, and I want to share them in hopes that it will help someone else understand the things you have to deal with as a game developer (putting your name out there) and how there's not really anything you can do about the criticism you will undoubtedly receive. You just have to be above it, respond professionally, and believe in your creation enough that no comment or series of comments will tear you down. I did my best to transcribe these portions of the film accordingly: Tommy Refenes (Meat Boy Programmer) 44:00 Edmund McMillen (Meat Boy Designer) (He talks about his character assassination online and how his Twitter account was hacked. He made his AIM account available so fans could contact him.) Edmund continues on to talk about how one bad comment outweighs many good (similar to what Tommy said previously). He talks about how there would be misunderstandings and how he would desperately want to respond to correct things and then he realized that no matter what he did he could not be the person he wanted to be and he had to figure out a way to remove himself. I think this kind of situation is similar to what game developers here go through. I think the majority go into it wanting to be that positive figure everyone can look up to, someone who's approachable and solves all the problems. We think that if we address all concerns, we can deal with the issues head-on and publicly and everything will be solved. But that's not how it works. You'll encounter unreasonable people or people that take your openness as weakness or people that will want more and more or people that will misconstrue anything they can to make you or your game look bad. As a game owner, it's unlikely that you'll be able to be friends with your players, and I think too many creators here want that. Unfortunately, in a position of authority (being an admin or staff member on a site), you'll have many people gravitating toward you for the wrong reasons. Think of it like relatives that come out of the woodwork when they hear you won the lottery. The confidential information you share about yourself and your site will be used against you. Modifying rules or trying to please people to keep friendships just gets complicated. As a professional business owner, you really have to keep people at arm's length. I think not doing such is what causes the majority of the drama on these sites. You can't make everyone happy, but you can deal with criticism and negativity in a way that is good for your own health and the health of your site and your community. Feel free to post your own thoughts and experiences.
  15. Didn't expect to see this response here. I wasn't a backer, so I had no stake in the project. But I saw the Kickstarter and some of the comments there. Definitely a hard situation to face when you don't have that kind of experience. I heard back then that there was a possibility the project would be sold. There was an interested buyer but the sale didn't go through because you wanted to keep the pet art for personal use as well. I'm not sure how much of that is true. But I am curious if there are any plans to move on with this project or try selling it again.
  16. Good luck to you. Do you have an art style you're looking for? Semi-realistic painterly I'm guessing?
  17. Are you looking for a logo with art included in it (such as Flight Rising's logo that has a wing on both sides of the words), or are you just looking for your logo to have a unique font like Harry Potter's logo? Are there any logos you have seen on other sites/projects that have the sort of look you're going for?
  18. I'm not sure if you're planning on creating a breeding game or a virtual pet game with changeable pet colors, but I think the way pets change colors on existing sites leaves a lot to be desired. Essentially all pets change colors in the same way. You either find or buy a potion item. And the gameplay turns into just earning and saving up currency. In this way, players only have the goal to earn the pets that have coloration combos that they like best. There are other ways to make this more interesting, such as involving specific tasks for each type of color. I had that planned when I was working with @judda on the development of HellKeepers. This works best if there is site lore and if there are some NPCs to talk to or interact with. That way, as a player explores the world, there is a purpose to the NPCs and rewards for completing quest chains, rather than just earning items or currency rewards that can be gained in other ways. With this set-up, you can also make some of the colors unlockable on an account and non-transferrable, so players can't just buy the colorations they want and they instead need to earn them themselves in the intended ways. The other main things that are lacking in these games are good explore systems, useful and interesting crafting features, and more complex and challenging battle systems or a point to having "stats" in general. What I'd like to see is a game that hones in on one of these features and makes it the main element of the game and does a good job at implementing it, rather than sandbox games that have a lot of minor features that have no large impact on the gameplay. Ideally, someone would create a game that evolves with the interactions of users after things like site-wide plots. I'd like to see a game that involves site participation and comradery and various skill sets. Currently, the focus on dress-up and earning "dream pets" has become dull to me. Every site has those aspects and they sell, I guess, but there has to be more to the underlying purpose in order for it to be a game that really draws people in.
  19. Not rude at all. Games do need to have unique art, and if @DeviousAngel is looking for coders (most likely unpaid partners), they'll want to see original artwork as well.
  20. @Pear Holy cow. Thanks for posting that.
  21. As people have already stated, you need to have a really good following to make any worthwhile amount of money from Kickstarter or any other crowdfunding platform. I personally don't think the hassle of setting one up (making banners, a video, coming up with the tiers, etc.) would be worth it for something like $1,000. That's time and effort better used elsewhere. You don't need to award real-world merchandise. That can be a hit or miss. I've seen Kickstarters have pins/buttons, posters, shirts, bags, and art books, but the art would have to be superb for anyone to care about owning that sort of thing. You may have better luck focusing on game-specific rewards. The things that seem to bring in money are early beta, beta accounts in general, Kickstarter exclusives (such as a Kickstarter-only breed, wearables, trophy, forum posting style, or forum title), customs, and ability to design NPCs, items, lore, pet species, or pet markings for the game. However, when creating a Kickstarter, you have to think of two big things. 1. Will your future playerbase or economy be negatively affected by Kickstarter-exclusive items? If no future players can get X breed, would they be bothered by the fact that they have to buy these things for high prices from Kickstarter backers? In five years, how realistic is it going to be for new players to get these rewards from others? Would that turn them off from playing the game? 2. Could you make more money overall by simply putting the same rewards in a cash shop once the game is actually complete? For example, is it worth it to award a rare breed as a Kickstarter-exclusive when only, say, 30 people will end up buying it during the Kickstarter when instead you may sell 100 in the cash shop over the course of two years?
  22. Cosmic horror? Well, that sounds awesome. Keep us updated on how this goes.
  23. Good luck finding someone. These dragon designs are neat. Do you have ideas about how the adventure portion of the game will work?
  24. Hi, Martyn. Glad to see a familiar person from VPL filling that position. I'm sure you'll do great.
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