Our long-term stats show, that CA players are currently at its low point.
Despite growing numbers of BA players, fraction of games of alternative mods, including CA, decreases.
We badly need to improve our numbers. I started advertising in #main again but it isnt helping much.
Stats indicate that:
High points of CA * introduction of chickens - 15%+ of player base (ended when chickens were copied for BA, now BA chickens have often bigger % than whole CA)
* planetwars 20%+ (ended on spring release, which broken CA for a month - caused it to desync)
Why are we so low now?
* springdownloader is not installed by default anymore - so there is no easy way to get CA now using downloader. Springlobby has package based downloader ready, but its not enabled/missing GUI. BD promised it about 7 months ago, but he still wont have time to do it in the near future.
* old players left spring/inactive, basically no new players join
* negative attitudes displayed in #main? (CA sux etc from players who never tried it)
* not enough changes in CA? (despite complaints of some that CA changes too much, dramatic changes were asociated with influx of activity)
* low performance of vanila CA compared to other mods
id play more but im sick of spring lobby community and there one mod one map mindset (this is not DOTA!!!) and rather play HoN. Also removing spring downloader from installer was a bit Q_Q.
Imo having a low point is fine.
Once Winter/ChiliGUI is done a proper marketting approach should be taken inside and outside of the community.
Also the BA planetwars thing is a big bunch of BS and seems most people are misinformed, if you knew the real truth you would see CA devs went out of there way to make planetwars work with BA (dunno why after the chicken incident) but planetwars became unmantained due to new spring version so it was never released. So all this shit about CA devs purposely breaking stuff so it doesnt work for other mods is BS the reverse is actually true because quant and licho have helped BA and other mods more than they have helped in return(if at all).
- Host some tourneys, both 1v1 and 2v2. Tell the haters to go QQ about changing balance to gtfo and go back to comet - Advertise CA directly in other gaming/rts community avenues, I don't know to what extent you are pursuing this already - Create a 1 click "basic game" button for a player to install, push go, fight chickens or w/e (tooltips/guides/popups etc added to taste) - Stop *certain people/ca devs* raging at hardcore spring players when they join big public CA games and then decide to play sub-optimally in order to explore the mod - Make a ctf mode, integrate it as a mod option
Vint's initiative on the public face/website side of things seems to be building a nice bit of momentum, capitalising on that, and trying to develope the most seamless possible sequence from landing on ca.org to launching a solo/mp game would undoubtedly increase user retention, and base uptake as well.
Det's image macros, used to advertise ffa or w/e are much much less irritating than #main spam, which I am unconvinced has a greatly positive impact. (You may consider encouraging people to /j #ca, as opposed to joining a specific game) Making someone smile or laugh, even if the advertisement won't get a player to join, at least leaves a positive impression.
Finally, I think the absolute key to gaining popularity in CA: Make com start with dgun, remove boost, bring back com xplo!
I wasnt trying to insult CA, I just posted the impression that I have, at this moment. I am not saying whether its true or not, I am just giving the opinion of one of many who were considering to play CA. thats pretty much all.
fix the clusterfuck of LUA widgets on by default and stop car from spamming widgets.
the last few times i played with new people they all said there reason for quitting/being annoyed was the sheer ammount of widget spam on by default with no cohesion it looks like a mess and is an annoyance. You cant really start CA without tinkering your widgets b4 hand (which is a PITA and turn off for new people) and turn off LUA like i see people say (yes you licho) is not the answer.
People should be able to install and play and not be annoyed. The less is more approach should be taken and only the neccesties be activated by default if people then enjoy CA they can look through the widget list and turn on what they want.
I'm a BA player but I tried XTA and found it was a fun mod with no problems and I played it quite abit and I still play it whenever theres a game on. I also tried CA and got spammed with errors and pointless widgets and I didnt like the graphics much tbh.
* UI clutter, even the help is annoying (and not that helpful)
* Cartoonishness. I prefer grit when I'm blowing stuff up. Most people do I think. Look at the FPS market, the only really successful cartoon ones were Duke Nukem and Serious Sam - and both of these suited the style by being funny! CA is not funny, not even remotely, so the art direction doesn't suit. The only thing funny are the comms and only because they look totally pathetic and somewhat retarded.
* Too frequent releases. At one point you were releasing every week or more on the assumption that everyone uses CA Downloader and it would be easy. Half the time I thought about joining a CA game I had to download again. At some points there were more than 5 versions hosting at any time, and that's NOT counting the chickens variants.
* Not enough big games to spec. The best intro to a mod is watching 6 or more players go epic. The more the better. CA doesn't have a single popular autohost to put it in the top 5 servers when sorting by players. Noobs beeline straight for whatever is popular so you must create the illusion that CA has regular large battles.
The easiest way to give CA momentum is to pick the busiest times of the week and get a bunch of your diehard followers to sit in one battleroom and play regular games for a few weeks. Be really nice to specs and help anyone trying the DL the mod (provide links). Use coop mode to help noobs. Choose reasonably large and interesting maps so epicness is ensured.
Last edited by SpliFF on 26 Aug 2009, 14:22, edited 2 times in total.
Particularly since a few of the CA features don't work well on cheap Intel chips (remember, you're a free game. Some of your players don't have free-game hardware). That's a barrier to entry for casual players.
The selection platter makes the game unplayably slow, and the pyro's weapon is invisible.
Either way, there's a minimum critical mass for playing a Spring game - that's having at least one teamgame going at any given time. That means that a guy who wants to play CA knows he's just got to wait for that game to finish before he can start a new one. CA is starting to plunge below that line, and that's a hard thing to come back from.
Personally, I think a CA installer is needed similar to KP's or PURE's installer - include the downloader and an easy-to-use launcher for a few select single-player missions and Chicken matches. Then you can advertise CA outside of the Spring community.
Of course I'd recommend using Pxtl.AppLauncher, but any single-player launcher would do.
And yes, CA needs more humor. CA's cartoony style is a wonderfully fresh from the endless glut of uberdark war games, but it doesn't really go anywhere with it.
Make a single monthly/2 months releases. Stop forcing player to download CA-30452XXX version all over again and wait for it to install.
I cannot use torrent on my connection. Hence I cannot download new CA version every time. At least HTTP links would be good to have.
Cartoonish issue is very true as well, it doesnt suit the style well.
There is no reward in staying alive. In all games, BA/XTA/NOTA the longer you stay alive, the better stuff you get. CA leveled down the t1 with t2 (well, I know that it is one of the main points of CA, still though)
Another issue which is true for all mods (but XTA) is that units do not feel like units. They blow up into pieces of paper? That doesnt give them the "feel" of a unit. Maybe even attempt to make parts of the units destructable will give a better feature set to CA (look at NOTA raptor mech).
And I am not BA fan, lately I only play XTA or NOTA.
The GUI is a bit painful, but CA chickens is a blast (the grav turrets are fantastic fun when you get hit by Dodos!)
NUBtron is a massive PITA and personally I found the little menu things and chat and etc etc etc to be a massive PITA as well. LolUI is my favourite UI by far, and it would be ace if the Chickens window could be redone in a simple, clean style like that.
Personally I think it would be nice to have more units that mess with the physics, even one more that is as interesting and unique as the grav turret would be ace.
Remember that WRT computer games in general, most people still only play single-player, more people like co-op than like PVP, and truly competitive players will never play Spring because they only play Starcraft and Counter-Strike
There is a reward for staying alive longer. You can build bigger stuff even though you can build BIG STUFF from the beginning you cannot really build it till you have enough BT resources to make the unit efficiently without dying.
Berthas etc are rare things you need to save up for and are as common as in most other *A mods.
The same as most people go "tier 1" rather than "tier 2" at start as the units in general are cheaper. The tech tree isnt forced but the economy and costs make it feel like there is a tier system when in reality there is not.
A krog is still as special in CA as it is in BA (and probably about as common).
Stable versions have been lasting aslong as BA revisions recently so needing to download versions permanently is not really an excuse as alot of people play stable rather than test atm (maybe due to widget development in test and lack of games)
Ive been saying for a while now that widget clutter/LUA is killing CA im glad the devs are hopefully finally realising it (i been on about it for months) its been the main cause of CA's downfall (mainly cars widgets).
Also i think the devs are missing a sense of how messy CA is, or starting "fresh" as they already have there own CA versions configured to there needs so i dont think they really see eye to eye with the new user as they dont suffer the problems a new person would have starting the game for the first time.
Ive just reformatted my comp so ill probs be downloading CA again tonite and hopefully playing over the weekend and i will probably have to spend 1-2 mins my first game tweaking the lua widget list to an acceptable level. I have the patience to do this cos ive played CA for ages but i wouldnt expect a new person to put up with this.
im a xta (and sometimes b/nota if there is a nice game up). i tried to spec some ca games, but they never start its worse than in xta (and xta is famous for that loooooooooooong waiting peroid before the game ever starts). also i dont like these tons of widgets in the list (i told so many times before and u always disagreed with me) and for a xta player its quite confusing to see so much new units (also many new modells, that dont really fit to each other ) and i think thats the main problem, look at S44 the playernumber seems to decrease also, coz its not the *A-universe and u need so much time to get comfortable with it. last but not least i have the feeling that u r making so much cool stuff (luas, gamemodes, ideas,...) but its sound always the same it made for ca bla bla bla dont share with other mods bla bla bla - dunno if its true.
but how about making a big event on each weekend, like host a game "how to play" or something like that
@Troy - the Stable release only comes out once every few months. The thing is that CA players are free to choose to play the stable (every month or so) or the development (every few hours) versions. Many of them choose to play the development version, both for testing and to try out the bleeding edge features.
Also, iirc the springdownloader does NOT use torrents to fetch the latest CA. If you use SpringDownloader/CAUpdater, you'll find a special window for CA. Fetching through this will do an incremental update to CA - it will only download a handful of files, and then re-construct the latest CA version for you. It's very fast and efficient. The problem is that this is not bundled with Spring or obvious to new CA players, so noobs find themselves endlessly fetching huge files.
And am I the only one who likes CA's cartoony style? If I want over-the-top gothic grimdark I'll play Warhammer 40k.
But yes, more catering to single-player ambitions would be good for _every_ spring game. Argh and Zswszswsg have the right idea by making simple launchers that give the player a list of jump-in-and-play single-player missions to try.
And Otherside is quite right about the heavy stuff - just because it's available at L1 doesn't mean you can build it. If you start with Core/Logos tanks instead of vehicles, you'll still be spamming nothing but Kodachis and Welders until you can save up enough for artillery or a Banisher - and getting that first Pillager or Tremor into firing range feels fantastic. And even if you do start with Core/Logos tanks, you still won't be rolling out a Goliath until the late game.
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