The first chapter should be fairly short and easy, so I'll combine it into one topic. I also added a few thoughts. Please add anything you can come up with. Any idea is welcome.
So far we've got: UPDATED 26th August 9:35am GMT+1
1.1 What's CA's mission? * attract and keep new players of all skill levels and playing styles * create a free, open source, online multiplayer RTS that's friendly and intuitive for new players but also deep and well-balanced for experienced and competitive players * provide a vivid and high-level gaming experience that's easy to learn but hard to master * extend the developer base with good artists and developers * create art assets quickly and focus on quality later * develop quality game mechanics
1.2 What are the short- and long-term goals of the site? short term * attract new players * provide visual marketing through flashy graphics which consist primarily of screenshots and videos, secondary storyline and gameplay summary) * make getting started with CA easy * make CA look like an attractive and engaging game * add a wiki-guide to provide a link between the new players and the old; the old players write the content so that new players learn the nuances of the different units more quickly * attract visual and sound artists
long term * list news and updates * offer community features such as a forum for discussion * provide a central place where visitors can find all needed information (combination of TRAC, wiki, forum,... + external links) * integrate development functionality such as TRAC provides * generate recurring interest * attract developers
1.3 Who is the targetted audience? What would they be looking for on the website? age * kid to middle-aged
type * computer gamers * competetive multiplayer gamers * RTS players * open-source fans * *NIX users * game developers/artists
primary interests * explanation of what CA actually is * a way to download the game * screenshots * videos * testimonials or reviews to confirm the quality of the game * news * a way to contact the development team
Last edited by V1ntage on 26 Aug 2009, 08:32, edited 6 times in total.
Joined: 17 Sep 2008, 03:36 Location: your imagination
What kind of people does it attract at the moment?
Which kind of people would you like to attract in the future?
The CA developers are trying to make a game thats friendly and intuitive for new players but also deep and well-balanced for experienced, competitive players.
At the moment you will find plenty of games of both new players and also gold-star+, and plenty of mixed games.
Hopefully this will give birth to a large community of varied skill levels and diverse playing styles.
Are these the people you'd like to be attracted to visit the website?
What will they be attracted by?
YES. The website should be a good resource for people just checking the game out for the first time or for long-time players comming back to check out the latest updates, discuss balance and tatics, and make suggestions to the dev team.
What do you want them primarily to be attracted to?
Newcomers will want screenshots, videos, storyline, gameplay summery. Big emphasis on the screenshots and videos part, although that is something anyone in the playerbase can contribute to.
And a must-have is a wiki-guide. That will be the link between the new players and the old; the old players write the content so that new players learn the nuances of the different units more quickly.
Of course, screenshots, videos, and the wiki can be done by anybody once the website is up.
Should they come back to the website? If so, how much, and for what reason?
Of course, daily if they can, for any of the things above.
Joined: 10 Sep 2008, 02:11 Location: Bayesian space monkeys
also, a quote from the (current) CA main page:
* A large range of viable tactics. * Larger emphasis on unit decisions/selections and their micromanagement. * Less emphasis on economy micromanagement (mex overdrive instead of TA's moho metal extractors and metal makers). * All units useful throughout the battle (there are no "Tier 2 units" that obsolete "Tier 1 units" - all units are equally cost effective). * Better visuals. * Powerful GUI enhancements to free your hands and allow you to focus on tactical decisions (air transports automatically ferry units from factories, units can be set to retreat when damaged, etc.) * Faster and more demanding gameplay (units move faster and unit selection is more important). * Unit differences achieved using game dynamics and not using special hidden damages/armor classes.
These are internal gameplay design goals, but not goals towards costumers..
I dont think we ever conteplated those..
I think that game design goals could be translated into something like: high replaybility, diverse tactics, lots of combat action, easy to learn-hard to master
Usability is only recent goal, since we realized it puts off a lot of new players.
High quality development is not a goal in itself. In fact i think we prefer speed now as oposed to quality (for example in accepting lower quality models, with the hope they can be improved in the future).
But many key developers are quality obsessed and basically all our coders are pro-level.
We're not actually that focused on flash and pizzaz and rapid development with quality later. Its more a requirement that we accept lower quality models to get out there, and a requirement that the main page be flashy and attractive because thats what grabs a new viewers interest.
For a very long time they, being the developers in power, haven't wanted a design document or any sort of formal structure, so you are forewarned by a predecessor, V1ntage. The values and goals are up to interpretation by you, in the end. There is no functionally shared vision, though there will be assertions to the contrary.
The consumer goals have been discussed, but not recently. I'll go digging but I don't promise anything - we're talking eight or nine months, probably more.
@Saktoth: I agree that question 1.3 needs more detailing. Development speed over quality is a quote by Licho though. My personal preference, much like other developers, goes out to focus on quality. However I do understand Licho's point of view. Quicker development can have better results on long term basis.
@neddiedrow: Thanks, looking forward seeing what has been discussed before :)
EDIT: updated the answer on question 1.3 from the first post
Neddie is just miffed because he doesnt happen to share our functionally shared vision.
The CA devs are remarkably coherent in their objectives: Open source ideals, automation with robust GUI and maximizing player information (This is where Neddie disagrees with every single other dev, FYI), rich unit diversity, flat balance, RPS mechanics, etc. As i said, even with no coordination on this issue, you got like 5 almost identical answers from 5 different devs when you first asked, so...
The speed over quality thing is regarding art. We are lowering our standards dramatically for our art assets so we can be IP free. Gameplay, coding, etc we have more than enough talent in, so we take a different approach there.
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