Marketing and Whatnot

It might be time to address the way we’re going about outreach efforts. I would post this on Slack, but it’ll probably become too big and complicated a discussion to have there, in addition to reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.

For the first time we actually have a game that looks good. The mechanics in 0.3.0 aren’t that different to 0.2.4, but they’re packaged a lot more attractively which pays when marketing the game. Gameplay is the next major thing on the agenda, which should make it even better at not seeming like vapourware.

In the last month our biggest traffic spikes have come from here:


Neither of these were posted by developers, although the former saw @Moopli step in to clear up confusion and make a better impression. In the past, we’ve focused on posting to game development forums in the hope of attracting developers as opposed to fans, but it hasn’t really paid off. This is mostly because these places are too small for many to notice, even if we post to a lot of them. Obviously I still think we should be doing that as there’ll be a higher proportion of developers there than elsewhere, but there are other options.

Anyone want to guess where, excluding Reddit and search engines, most of the website’s traffic has arrived from? It’s actually here. Over 4000 people have clicked through to our website from that page in the last year, even though we were added to it long ago and it wasn’t any of us who did so.

There’s a pattern emerging here - so far the most successful outreach efforts have been out of our control and (regrettably) focus on the game’s similarity to Spore. I’m not saying we should return to marketing ourselves as Spore 2.0, because the game most certainly isn’t Spore 2.0 at this point.

Instead, I think we should be a little more involved in the word of mouth approach. Even the massive traffic spike we had back in 2013 (which quite possibly saved the game’s entire existence) was the result of a fan spreading word about us. And it wasn’t even targeted directly at developers, yet we found a few (Nimbal, for instance, who was essential in the months of progress afterwards). Now, clearly, we don’t just want to let them go off the rails (sorry to any fans reading, but some of you do have a habit of unintentionally presenting us poorly). Just take a look at what’s happened in the past, even with good intentions. There are just as many, if not more, effective Thrive advertisements from excited fans (and we thank you all for it), but a lot of the time those interested haven’t found proper answers to their questions until a dev has stepped in.

Back in the summer, we had a collectively drafted formal advertisement so we could post something we felt presented us as positively as possible. Most of the information’s out of date so it’s no longer useful, but I think we should do something similar again, even allowing others to post it on our behalf to places we haven’t gone to before (though we’ll have to trust them to keep within the rules and guidelines of wherever they post it, because we do not want it to seem like spam). If we supply it with instructions to visit us directly for any questions, it should help against some of the problems of people not getting answers. Many people seem to be relatively inactive over the Christmas period (including myself), but come January or whenever I propose we restart the outreach efforts with this in mind. Who knows, with @hhyyrylainen’s progress on fixing Thrive on Linux we might even have 0.3.1 out by then.

I’ll try writing up a new ad when I get some time, but for now use this thread to suggest anything you think should be in it, or if you want tell me I’m barking up completely the wrong tree with all of this.


Another thing we need to address is our social media presence. We regularly have people who follow us on Facebook, YouTube etc. exclaim something along the lines of, ‘Wow I thought you were dead!’ whenever we put something new up. Clearly we’re not dead here, but anyone looking purely at our social media feeds would be hard-pressed to believe otherwise.

Though with 0.3.0 recently most of them won’t suffer for at least another month or two even with complete inactivity, our Facebook feed is dead mostly because we have no one to oversee it. At the moment ~sciocont and @WJacobC are the only two with access to it, and while both of them contributed greatly to it in the past, nowadays neither are around regularly enough for our needs (not blaming them or anything, we just need to work out a solution). @stealthstylel is apparently still interested in moderating it, and we have everything set up for that providing @WJacobC returns again (I should be able to find him again for that to happen). We should post the most recent Devblog there ASAP (it’s already nearly three weeks late), along with being a bit more active there in general. Over 1600 people follow us there, and quite a significant portion nowhere else, so to neglect it would in my opinion be a mistake.

As for what to post there, maybe just intermediate small updates whenever something happens in development? If there’s a particularly active forum topic, or a new feature added to the codebase, it could be publicised real-time rather than waiting until the month or whatever is over and another Devblog is released. Plus, there are still people who ask a ton of questions on the Facebook page, and hardly ever do they get answered. Whether they’re relevant questions or not, ignoring them makes us look either apathetic or inactive.


The next thing to address has been on my mind a while. I’m tentative to post it because it feels too bossy (but this post is basically just telling everyone what to do anyway so I apologise for all of it).

It actually hasn’t been too bad recently, but I’m still concerned about how we’re using this forum vs how we’re using Slack. A lot of the GUI discussion, for instance, had to be copied over from a Slack convo, and on occasion we still slip into using it for long detailed posts when really it isn’t the best suited, just for the sake of convenience. Don’t get me wrong, I like Slack and I think it’s good that we’re using it, but we have been a bit over-reliant on it while neglecting public discussion.

For an open-source team, it’s vital that we present ourselves as inviting to newcomers. Hence why I’m including this rant with the marketing one. If someone comes along and sees the dev forum inactive, even if we’re all busy talking in private, it won’t be very encouraging. Programming especially has (until recently) been non-existent on these forums, and I understand why. It’s useful to talk to new programmers in real-time to fix problems with compiling, etc. so naturally all programming discussion has tended towards there, even if the same problem’s had to be solved multiple times when the first discussion has been lost.

Slack conversations also get lost. We went over our 10,000 message limit ages ago, so everything we’ve talked about in the past is vulnerable to deletion. And even if it’s still around, who’s going to go trawling through 10,000 messages to find it?

There are some things we have to do in private, of course. Review applications is the obvious one, and we’ve also had highly-speculative conversations on accepting donations recently which wouldn’t work so well if we knew everyone could see what we were saying. That’s why Slack is useful.

I find it difficult talking about this because it feels like I’m telling people to completely change the way they go about things without taking their opinions, so I won’t suggest anything concrete without some discussion below. I’ll just make my position clear that I think we should be moving as many in-depth conversations as possible to here. As a rule of thumb, unless it’s something which needs to be privately discussed, if you need to create a wall of text to get your point across it might be better putting it here.

On that note, apologies for the wall of text and talking about three things simultaneously. That wasn’t my intention, that’s just the way it ended up.

Thoughts?

1 Like

Interesting post man.

I guess I think differently about things at a deeper level. I think that if we make a great game then people will love playing it and the community will grow, if we make a bad game it won’t. I’m not really so worried about keeping people informed about the game, or trying actively to find more fans. As you say, the efforts we make pale in comparison to word of mouth. My interest in outreach is looking for more people to help with development, especially programmers. You may well be right that the best way to do that is to let them find us.

So yeah we can do outreach if you like, it’s fine. I feel a bit odd about it when the gameplay isn’t there. Like saying “come play our game! LOL there is no game! Made you download.” I am really proud of what we have done and I think the microbe stage will stand alone as a really awesome game when it’s done, it’s just not there yet.

In terms of using this forum more I’m ok with how things are progressing. In general I use slack when I want to try something out that I’m not sure about. I use this forum when I want what I write to be preserved for the future. I’m not really very worried if people can’t see what we’re doing, or if they think we’ve died. I think there is also the issue that it’s intimidating for new people on the team to be confronted with the vast amount of text this project has built up. I quite like that slack deletes stuff because asking new people to read it would be a nightmare. I think particularly of new programmers, I want them to have ownership of the features they are building. So I don’t want to say “read these 30k, often jumbled, words and then implement that,” because no one with any talent should agree to that. I want to say “here’s some thoughts we’ve had, however build something you think is cool.”

I don’t want to detract from the work of thinking things through. Some systems are completely determined by how they relate to other systems. But there is a drawback to generating more and more text.

I see where you’re coming from, but I think we have a commitment to the people who follow us to keep them up to date with what we’re doing, otherwise we’re doing them a disservice. We’re in a unique situation where our fans can be developers, so community is perhaps more important for us than other games developers.

Yeah, we certainly don’t want to create expectation we can’t live up to. And I realise that actively promoting a game that isn’t much of a game will lead to some criticism, but as long as we’re honest I don’t see much of a problem.

Mmm, I forgot to mention that. In a sense, keeping everything around is more for our benefit than anyone else’s. If we can’t create a solid, concise concept to hand over to programmers (which they can what they like with, of course), then in essence we’re no more than ideas people anyway. A lot of the discussion is kept around because it helps us decide on what the final concept is, even if we forget about it for a while. I remember, for instance, a few in-depth conversations on Slack about population dynamics ages ago which have almost certainly disappeared. Nothing concrete came out of it, but it’d be useful to have as something to return to in future when we do need something finalised.

Having a lot of discussions going on could also be inviting to newcomers, as they’ll have options of places to jump into and add their opinions (even if a mountain of text has come before them) rather than waiting around for something to happen.

I guess this is where we feel differently, I don’t think we owe anyone anything.

I really like the team who work on this game and I really like the wider community, the community forums are a cool place.

Here’s what I have for a new template ad for developer searching (a lot of it is copied from the old one, just updated for the latest release). Obviously outside of developer forums we might need something different and less formal, and on a rethink I doubt we could really create something for other people to use as it would seem forced and impersonal to whoever saw it.

I’m also anticipating Linux support in a near-future 0.3.1, so if we start using this before that’s ready a couple of changes will have to be made.

Thrive - Open-Source Evolution Game


Thrive is a free, open-source game currently being developed by an online volunteer team called Revolutionary Games. Thrive is a game about a species’ evolution from unicellular organisms to galaxy-wide space travel, though for the moment we are heavily focusing on only the microbial section.

Our team seeks to accomplish two major goals: create engaging, compelling gameplay that respects our players’ intelligence, and remain as accurate as possible in our depiction of known scientific theory without compromising the former.

We are currently looking to get new people to join the project with experience in game development. Getting new people will make development easier and faster, and it will add depth to the community to strengthen the project as we continue to work on it.

Website: http://revolutionarygamesstudio.com/

Development Forums: http://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/

Community Forums: http://thrivegame.freeforums.net/

Code: https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive

Microbe Stage GDD: http://thrivegame.wikidot.com/microbe-stage-gdd

Summary


On an alien planet not too dissimilar to ours, a new phenomenon has emerged: life. Simple unicellular organisms drift among the primordial currents, competing for the ocean’s scant resources, replicating with mutations driven by the forces of evolution. New biological developments, such as toxins and flagella, have instigated a state of evolutionary warfare. A struggle for nutrients rages over million-year timescales. Only the best adapted may survive.

From this microscopic battlefield contained within a puddle, organisms vie for an advantage, some working together to achieve their goals in the harsh environment. Others are predatory, extracting their nutrients from other cells. Eventually, only one species will achieve the crucial transformative step – multicellularity.

For this valiant organism, a new chapter awaits in their own saga of life.

Gameplay Overview


Here is the current concept for the first stage of the game (the only one we’re realistically considering for the time being). For a more detailed guide, see the GDD link above.

In the microbe stage, the player’s species is a unicellular organism exploring a tide pool populated by other microbe species, simpler life-forms and floating organelles.

Distributed throughout this environment in various forms (including other microbes) are compounds necessary to a species’ survival, such as oxygen, glucose and ammonia. The player must collect these to keep their own ATP stores (equivalent to energy) high – organelles inside microbes simulate their metabolism, with compounds combined, stored and converted in accordance with known organic chemistry. Some of these can even be turned into agents/toxins, which influence surrounding microbes in a variety of ways.

Once enough compounds are collected and converted to a locked-up form, the player can enter the editor. Mutation Points act as a mutation currency, preventing wild changes to the organelles and shape of a microbe within one generation. New organelles (unlocked from the environment) can be added based on a hexagonal grid, and eventually upgraded to be more efficient. With one generation’s changes complete, the player re-enters the environment.

At the same time, AI microbe species will be evolving via a procedurally generated interpretation of Darwinian evolution (affectionately called Auto-Evo). Their generation time can be modified beforehand to change the difficulty, as the player will be directly competing with them for resources, or working with them in a symbiotic relationship should they so choose. Eventually this feature will grow in importance, with agent signals released by microbes to keep colonies intact. This is the first step towards multicellularity, needed to progress to the next stage of the game.

Who We’re Looking For


As an open-source project, we’re keen to welcome skilled individuals to the team who are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish. Our core team features members of all the development areas listed below, many of whom have been with the project for a long time. We are always looking for more people with proven game development skills to help out and we are keen to help new members of the team settle in and get up to speed. How much you contribute is entirely up to you - we appreciate any help, no matter how small.

Those with only ideas to give and no ability to implement them are likely to be turned down, as this has been a major recurring problem in the project’s history. Consequently, we’d prefer it if you can give some evidence of your skill in a particular area when applying.

  • Programmers - Our custom engine is programmed in C++, while scripting is done with Lua (using LuaBind). We’ll soon be tackling some fairly difficult implementation, but the potential programming tasks cover a large range, from complex scientific models to more straightforward scripting in Lua. We are also looking for a developer specializing in Mac conversions, as our releases so far have only covered Windows and Linux. A full list of code dependencies is available to view on our GitHub repository.

  • 3D Modelers - Skill with almost any major tool will do, and we’ll eventually need particularly talented artists able to create models which look good even under heavy deformation. We use Ogre3D for graphics rendering.

  • Animators - Linking with the above, the ability to animate 3D models will be incredibly useful, and even those who specialize in other areas will be helpful in creating more features of the game, such as updated opening cutscenes or GUI animations. Accompanying knowledge of the code required for dynamic animations (for instance changing between two animation types seamlessly) will help considerably when rendered organisms are involved.

  • Vector Artists - For our GUI, we use CEGUI in conjunction with Lua scripting. Anyone with knowledge of XML or UX as well will be a huge help in this area.

  • Theorists - Since our game is heavily based on scientific accuracy, we’re looking for anyone with extensive knowledge of cell biology, organic chemistry, population simulation or any other applicable field. Bear in mind it won’t be entirely science-based (as we want to make a fun, intuitive game too) and we’ll be abstracting a lot of processes for computation purposes or simpler player understanding.

  • Technical Writers - Tutorials, organism part descriptions and all manner of other text items will need to be written. Specialist knowledge of the areas in question is preferred (i.e. if you’re writing in-game descriptions of organelles it’s advantageous to have a grasp of their function) but not necessary.

  • Others - Those with skills in other fields aren’t forgotten. Musicians, sound effect designers, concept artists, outreach managers, web developers, etc. are all welcome to help out. See here for a full list of potential roles and the requirements for each.

Current Progress and Future Goals


As of right now, we’ve had several release iterations, the latest of which can be found here. If you have issues running the game, we’d appreciate it if you file a bug report here with as much detail as possible.

Our latest release features Linux support and sound system crash fixes, plus all the features of our previous downloads:

  • Player and AI cells
  • Basic compound processing
  • Microbe editor
  • Procedural non-dynamic membrane
  • Organelle models (including two unlockables)
  • Offensive engulfment and toxins
  • Varying AI for different NPC species
  • Placeholder compound emitters (to be replaced with fluid compound clouds)
  • Music and sound effects

Our current short-term goal is to refine and eventually complete our current unicellular game stage. The next major build will include a grid representation for environmental compounds and the accompanying fluid dynamics backbone. Depending on the number of talented modellers we gain, it may also include microbe membrane deformation. Implementing planned gameplay is next on the agenda, with improvements to the editor, free-living bacteria, combat involving synthesised agents and revamped systems for health, death and reproduction. You can read the full game design document here.

All our code is covered by the GPL licence, while the content lies under CC BY-SA.

Feel free to ask questions on anything either here or at one of the locations linked above.

Very nice, I like it, a few points, this is all just my opinion;

This “(code under GPL licence, content under CC BY-SA)” might be good later on, it’s a bit too much detail for the first line.

I’d like, in general, to stick to the rule of only mentioning Spore if you are mentioning other games as well. So either add some more games there (Flow, Flower, Dark Souls, Rome Total War, Civilisation, Masters of Orion etc) or leave Spore out of it.

“but it will also help in creating a self-sufficient community that we can trust to continue the project into the future.” - sounds a bit like we are about to give up, how about - “and it will add more depth to the community which will add strength to the project as we continue to work on it.” - or something like that

Maybe add the code to the list of URLs. https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive

“driving the forces of evolution” - “driven by the forces of evolution” (in general I really like the summary, it’s very nicely written)

“Though our hope is to create a self-sufficient community of programmers, artists and others, we will appreciate any help, no matter how small. Our core team already includes several members of the following categories available to help and guide newcomers with questions.” - I think this understates the strength we have already - “Our core team has members covering all the main areas of development which are listed below, many of whom have been with the project for a long time. We are always looking for more people with proven game development skills to help out and we are keen to help new members of the team settle in and get up to speed.”

“but most work, generally quite easy, is in Lua.” - I’m not sure most work is easy. Could go with “There is a full range of programming tasks to be done, from implementation of complex scientific models to more straightforward scripting work in Lua.”

“Since our game has a heavy basis on scientific accuracy” - “is heavily based on scientific theory.” - “has scientific accuracy as a high priority.”

Anyway yeah it’s good. Having an advert to link people to is a really nice idea.

Heh, that’s what happens when you string together paragraphs from a lot of different places when they aren’t completely coherent.

I’ve made the suggested changes.

Cool.

Actually one more thing, it says “As an open-source project, anyone is free to join the team and contribute as much or as little as they wish.” which isn’t quite true, I think it’s something more like “As an open source project we are keen to welcome skilled contributors to the team and have them contribute as much or as little as they wish.”

Far too late, I’ve made that small change. Anyone else have any suggestions?

I was notified recently that you can set up announcements on Steam groups which will give everyone in them a notification. Since the Thrive Steam group is otherwise a little barren, it might be a good idea to make an announcement to check for any programmers or others who joined the group but forgot about it.

Yeah that’s a good idea.

I’ve made a few minor adjustments to the ad so that it’s now up to date with 0.3.1:

Thrive Advertisement

Thrive - Open-Source Evolution Game


Thrive is a free, open-source game currently being developed by an online volunteer team called Revolutionary Games. Thrive is a game about a species’ evolution from unicellular organisms to galaxy-wide space travel, though for the moment we are heavily focusing on only the microbial section.

Our team seeks to accomplish two major goals: create engaging, compelling gameplay that respects our players’ intelligence, and remain as accurate as possible in our depiction of known scientific theory without compromising the former.

We are currently looking to get new people to join the project with experience in game development. Getting new people will make development easier and faster, and it will add depth to the community to strengthen the project as we continue to work on it.

Website: http://revolutionarygamesstudio.com/

Development Forums: http://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/

Community Forums: http://thrivegame.freeforums.net/

Code: https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive

Microbe Stage GDD: http://thrivegame.wikidot.com/microbe-stage-gdd

Summary


On an alien planet not too dissimilar to ours, a new phenomenon has emerged: life. Simple unicellular organisms drift among the primordial currents, competing for the ocean’s scant resources, replicating with mutations driven by the forces of evolution. New biological developments, such as toxins and flagella, have instigated a state of evolutionary warfare. A struggle for nutrients rages over million-year timescales. Only the best adapted may survive.

From this microscopic battlefield contained within a puddle, organisms vie for an advantage, some working together to achieve their goals in the harsh environment. Others are predatory, extracting their nutrients from other cells. Eventually, only one species will achieve the crucial transformative step – multicellularity.

For this valiant organism, a new chapter awaits in their own saga of life.

Gameplay Overview


Here is the current concept for the first stage of the game (the only one we’re realistically considering for the time being). For a more detailed guide, see the GDD link above.

In the microbe stage, the player’s species is a unicellular organism exploring a tide pool populated by other microbe species, simpler life-forms and floating organelles.

Distributed throughout this environment in various forms (including other microbes) are compounds necessary to a species’ survival, such as oxygen, glucose and ammonia. The player must collect these to keep their own ATP stores (equivalent to energy) high – organelles inside microbes simulate their metabolism, with compounds combined, stored and converted in accordance with known organic chemistry. Some of these can even be turned into agents/toxins, which influence surrounding microbes in a variety of ways.

Once enough compounds are collected and converted to a locked-up form, the player can enter the editor. Mutation Points act as a mutation currency, preventing wild changes to the organelles and shape of a microbe within one generation. New organelles (unlocked from the environment) can be added based on a hexagonal grid, and eventually upgraded to be more efficient. With one generation’s changes complete, the player re-enters the environment.

At the same time, AI microbe species will be evolving via a procedurally generated interpretation of Darwinian evolution (affectionately called Auto-Evo). Their generation time can be modified beforehand to change the difficulty, as the player will be directly competing with them for resources, or working with them in a symbiotic relationship should they so choose. Eventually this feature will grow in importance, with agent signals released by microbes to keep colonies intact. This is the first step towards multicellularity, needed to progress to the next stage of the game.

Who We’re Looking For


As an open-source project, we’re keen to welcome skilled individuals to the team who are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish. Our core team features members of all the development areas listed below, many of whom have been with the project for a long time. We are always looking for more people with proven game development skills to help out and we are keen to help new members of the team settle in and get up to speed. How much you contribute is entirely up to you - we appreciate any help, no matter how small.

Those with only ideas to give and no ability to implement them are likely to be turned down, as this has been a major recurring problem in the project’s history. Consequently, we’d prefer it if you can give some evidence of your skill in a particular area when applying.

  • Programmers - Our custom engine is programmed in C++, while scripting is done with Lua (using LuaBind). We’ll soon be tackling some fairly difficult implementation, but the potential programming tasks cover a large range, from complex scientific models to more straightforward scripting in Lua. We are also looking for a developer specializing in Mac conversions, as our releases so far have only covered Windows and Linux. A full list of code dependencies is available to view on our GitHub repository.

  • 3D Modelers - Skill with almost any major tool will do, and we’ll eventually need particularly talented artists able to create models which look good even under heavy deformation. We use Ogre3D for graphics rendering.

  • Animators - Linking with the above, the ability to animate 3D models will be incredibly useful, and even those who specialize in other areas will be helpful in creating more features of the game, such as updated opening cutscenes or GUI animations. Accompanying knowledge of the code required for dynamic animations (for instance changing between two animation types seamlessly) will help considerably when rendered organisms are involved.

  • Vector Artists - For our GUI, we use CEGUI in conjunction with Lua scripting. Anyone with knowledge of XML or UX as well will be a huge help in this area.

  • Theorists - Since our game is heavily based on scientific accuracy, we’re looking for anyone with extensive knowledge of cell biology, organic chemistry, population simulation or any other applicable field. Bear in mind it won’t be entirely science-based (as we want to make a fun, intuitive game too) and we’ll be abstracting a lot of processes for computation purposes or simpler player understanding.

  • Technical Writers - Tutorials, organism part descriptions and all manner of other text items will need to be written. Specialist knowledge of the areas in question is preferred (i.e. if you’re writing in-game descriptions of organelles it’s advantageous to have a grasp of their function) but not necessary.

  • Others - Those with skills in other fields aren’t forgotten. Musicians, sound effect designers, concept artists, outreach managers, web developers, etc. are all welcome to help out. See here for a full list of potential roles and the requirements for each.

Current Progress and Future Goals


As of right now, we’ve had several release iterations, the latest of which can be found here. If you have issues running the game, we’d appreciate it if you file a bug report here with as much detail as possible.

Our latest release features Linux support, a parallax background, crash fixes and several other features (described in detail here), plus all the features of our previous downloads:

  • Player and AI cells
  • Basic compound processing
  • Microbe editor
  • Procedural non-dynamic membrane
  • Organelle models (including two unlockables)
  • Offensive engulfment and toxins
  • Varying AI for different NPC species
  • Placeholder compound emitters (to be replaced with fluid compound clouds)
  • Music and sound effects

Our current short-term goal is to refine and eventually complete our current unicellular game stage. The next major build will include a grid representation for environmental compounds and the accompanying fluid dynamics backbone, along with performance improvements to accommodate these new features. Depending on how long this takes and who else joins the team, the next release could also include a basic tutorial and an options menu. Implementing planned gameplay is next on the agenda, with improvements to the editor, free-living bacteria, combat involving synthesised agents and revamped systems for health, death and reproduction. You can read the full game design document here.

All our code is covered by the GPL licence, while the content lies under CC BY-SA.

Feel free to ask questions on anything either here or at one of the locations linked above.

I think we should have another go at promoting the game on game development forums; thanks to the recent releases it looks a lot more attractive than it did before. Here’s the list from the original document, with a couple of the less relevant options removed (i.e. those that were only for paid projects):

Game dev forumshttp://forums.devshed.com/project-help-40/ http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewforum.php?f=22 http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=9&sid=1a15ae19cd379e33df732f3a8bc41e20 https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?board=17.0 http://www.indiedb.com/forum/board/recruiting-resumes http://www.indiedb.com/jobs http://gamejolt.com/f/collab http://www.gamedev.net/classifieds http://forums.indiegamer.com/forums/help-wanted-unpaid-and-profit-sharing.25/ https://www.reddit.com/r/gameDevClassifieds http://polycount.com/categories/c44

Several of those have restrictions or posting guidelines though, so the ad might have to be modified slightly to fit their terms.

We do have a few other options besides game dev forums. I mentioned a few posts up that we should add an announcement to the Steam page (probably for 0.3.1 now it’s out). I’m only a moderator there so it seems I can’t do that. @NickTheNick, @WJacobC and @Seregon are admins though so they should be able to. I’ve also noticed that the Revolutionary Games YouTube channel has a few popular subscribers, the highest of which has 93k subscribers and makes Spore videos. I’ll send a few of them messages via YouTube from the RG account to see if they’d be interested in promoting us.

Does anyone else have any ideas for advertising locations?

1 Like

I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I strongly feel like we should wait until the next release before starting to advertise. The solid compound emitters strongly detract from the experience and if all goes to plan, we could very well get compound clouds in and the lag out in one to two months. Plus, I feel like waiting until summer is a double win, since most people will have time then.

But that’s just my opinion. Great work on the add btw!

1 Like

I agree with TheCreator on this, I don’t think we’d have the capacity to keep anyone we recruit at the moment, and it might also be more difficult considering many are probably students and are thus in university right now (And compound clouds would change things a lot).

Yeah, I see your point. We can wait a bit then.

It seems Scott Manley (500k subscibers) might be willing to make a Thrive video. Even if he doesn’t upload a video of 0.3.2, DarkEdgeTV, with 96k subs, has also expressed interest. So when we decide we’re ready, post-0.3.2 outreach could be massive. This is both encouraging and a bit worrying.

The last time so many people discovered Thrive at once was the Reddit boom in March 2013, and while a great deal of people did join, far more were unimpressed. A lot of this was of course down to the state of the “game”, which is much more solid now, but quite a bit was due to how the dev team at the time presented themselves and the game. This too is much better today, but I think we could still improve it.

I made a post on the community forums asking for website/subreddit/etc. suggestions. So far there have been some good ideas there, and I’ll get around to implementing those I can once I get some time (probably this weekend). If anyone else has other ideas, feel free to let me know.

If all goes to plan, 0.3.2 should release about mid-April. We could release now with compound clouds and a tutorial, but I think fixing the cell stuttering is hugely important if we want to make the game look presentable (plus a few other things, like improved sound effects, which I’ll also fix this weekend). As usual we’ll have an accompanying Devblog and announcement posts. I remember @NickTheNick saying he had some suggestions about the Devblog, which might be useful to know here. One other thing we could have is a good trailer, more in the vein of that for 0.2.4 than 0.3.0 or 0.3.1. @tjwhale if the trailer guy on Reddit is still around, he’d be invaluable, so try and keep him up to date if you can.

Seeing as we might get an almighty number of new applications, I think we should make sure the system is robust. If you haven’t seen, I added a direct email option to the application form due to issues where the form wasn’t working. This should make sure nobody’s application goes unnoticed.

Given how many people accept the application but never seem to post anything once registered, I think we should make it clearer how to use Discourse. We have IMPORTANT: Read Before Posting, but few people will read it unless they’ve registered. Discourse does actually allow you to set up a pinned header topic which has visible content on the home page, but I’m not sure what to put there. Something describing how registration is restricted, how to apply, how to use the forum, etc.

If anyone thinks of something I haven’t covered, please say. We have our best chance to gain serious traction fast approaching, and we can’t afford to mess it up. Either that, or I’m being overly anxious. :grimacing:

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Another thing I’d suggest is keeping track of new people that join, because often times it just takes a reminder email if they are absent for a while to bring them into development.

I"d like to add that I will create a tutorial for 0.3.2, which will hopefully help new people figure out the mechanics.

Unless anyone feels really strongly about it, I’d quite like to write the next Devblog.

Great! I was hoping you’d be up for it. Assuming it would be the 0.3.2 announcement, you’ll need to keep track of progress made towards it from now until then. Look at the previous release announcement Devblogs (#3 and #4) to see how they’re structured if you want help.

So…I think it’s about time to think about getting back on track here. We’ve been going slowly for a while due to the main devs having other commitments, and in my (and likely several others’) opinion, we’re at serious risk of finding ourselves in a rut of inactivity when, as stated above, we have a great opportunity to finally create self-sufficiency after we get over just a few more hurdles. It’s why I’ve asked a couple of times in the Slack group when people are likely to have more free time. The response I got boiled down to: if you want more activity, create it yourself. Consider this my creation of more activity then.

After the next Devblog, which @stealthstylel has written to announce the release of 0.3.2 proper, I’ve written another which is essentially a call to action for people to start promoting us around the internet. I think it’d be useful to set some guidelines for that sort of thing (so we don’t end up with things like this). Guidelines such as sending people to our community forums if there’s a question the original poster doesn’t know the answer to, and being welcoming on the forums in preparation for those sorts of interactions. What suggestions do people have for others?

Unfortunately it seems 0.3.2 itself is in stagnation until @TheCreator returns from traveling to fix the remaining bugs. We can create more activity in other ways, but I believe everything except actually delivering on the promised release is a bit superficial. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m harping on about it, but we stand at the edge of something amazing in the near future if only a little more work is done. Unless fixing those bugs turns out to be a lot of work, in which case you’re free to call me a Belgium-hole.

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