Ideas for growing the community

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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Metallicow
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Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:01 am

Wolfy wrote:Ummm... wait what? I didn't understand what you were saying, and possibly you didn't understand what I was saying?

Well, you haven't been around in a while:
Xelerus has effectively been running headless, as bmbl left due to RL, meaning that its staff roster cannot be updated with new active members who are staff on IRC and the Forums, some problems cannot be fixed by any of its current staff with the way its permissions are set up. What to do has become a growing concern over the past few years.

the multiverse exists, but at the moment this is just for registered mods.
Sorry, I guess there was a bit of misunderstanding there.
I was thinking that Xelerus was the "Official" mod host and was still maintainable/fixable/upgradeable or however one would look at that issue. I guess you are saying bmbl went MIA without means of contact due to life circumstances.
Basically the general suggestion is to light a fire under mod authors to at least consider moving/mirroring their mods there. Getting a personalized site for the game would be the first step. Nexus only host community mods, which as I see it would fall into the unregistered category based on the fact things need UniqueIDs. A wryebash like app to build a patch mod would definetly help out with conflicts with mods stepping on another.
Anyway, for example I could upload just about anything to one of my created TES/Fallout pages, but when found out that it isn't TES/or that game related it would be removed. Thankfully that game barrier is gone now.
The issue is that unless the mods at Xelerus have a readme or license that states some form of other having a right to redistribute/rehost/upload, then basically the modders themselves will have to upload it after they create a new nexus account.
Also, I'm sure a lot of mods will probably die for the fact that there is no readme for them and the mod's author fell of the face of the plant with no means of contact.
I checked out Xelerus page count. It is 1355 ATM. well over 30.

At the moment MTO isn't quite split up completely into modules, but rounding up 30 mods for a new decent hosting site(which isn't too hard to navigate) wouldn't be too hard. Unless people know this, then it will be slow in coming.
By now I'm sure DarkOne has worked out the majority of initial bugs. Maybe it is stable now. Looks like quite a few games have jumped on ship so far. There folks seem to live breath modding 48 hrs a day. Funny that no has uploaded anything for Trans yet, which makes me wonder how well known the game really is at this point. Give it a month to spread the word and it will be interesting to see how many moddable games out there actually do get modded.

I was thinking the multiverse was a "steam" like approach of advertising for the game and required a paid subscription. While I am OK with the single ad upon startup for selling Trans related registered(IIRC that is the hexIDs right? I think mine was 333) mods(maybe a option to turn it off/no internet connection), if it ever tries to sell viagra or some other crap, everything including the game itself will hit the trashcan and I won't think twice about it. A lot of people are irritated by the fact that some games on steam have to have the client running in order to play the game, which waists precious needed resources for certain games. I don't have no problem connecting the first time to activate it tho. I realize that it is very hard to keep people from piriting software, but steam seems to be the only option/idea that half works in our digital society today where many people ignore copyright. Some countries don't care, so it is a losing battle on this front in the end anyway. Maybe one day someone will come up with a real working solution.

Also, I recall I uploaded some of my wipz material to a site I have since lost track of. I believe you or someone you knew had something to do with it(the hosting). Maybe I can relocate some of that stuff/account.
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pixelfck
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Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:30 am

Metallicow wrote:Funny that no has uploaded anything for Trans yet, which makes me wonder how well known the game really is at this point.
There is another way of looking at this: The need for a place to share mods is sufficiently covered by Xelerus. It ain't perfect, but it is the defacto central repository for mods, and it is good enough for people not to go looking for other solutions.

You seem very exited about Nexus, what is your relation to them? What to they get out of this deal (nothing comes for free)? how stable are they? (and what if they go belly up?)
Right now, I think George is trying to build the multiverse so that it can serve as a replacement for Xelerus. This would be very nice, mostly because the modding for this game is one of the main reasons for the game to be so enjoyable.

If this quite important factor whould be outsourced (hosted in the care of somebody else) that would be a considerable risk! so the extra value better be equally heavy.

just my two cents,
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Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:09 pm

Unregistered mod support on the multiverse may be pretty far away - possibly a few years, though its probably too early to tell how many years, but its definitely not soon.

The multiverse has no subscription stuff (I dont like subscriptions myself in fact), and the only advertising it does is purely for extensions hosted on itself, with the ads created manually by george.

You can play the game without logging in on the multiverse account. High scores will not be submitted however.

Furthermore, registered extensions have no DRM. If you try playing with registered extensions that are not part of your library, it will treat them as in-dev registered extensions and will not submit a high score even if you are signed it (ie, the game will be unregistered).
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Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:44 pm

Wolfy wrote: Furthermore, registered extensions have no DRM. If you try playing with registered extensions that are not part of your library, it will treat them as in-dev registered extensions and will not submit a high score even if you are signed it (ie, the game will be unregistered).

Although it's worth noting that if you're playing offline you can't continue a registered game, which is a bit annoying (although understandable).
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Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:35 am

pixelfck wrote: It ain't perfect, but it is the defacto central repository for mods, and it is good enough for people not to go looking for other solutions.
Ya kinda missed the point. My mod because of shear size is why my mods are not hosted. I forget how many MB the limit was, but mine exceed that size limit. Hence I looked for other hosting places/options.
pixelfck wrote: You seem very exited about Nexus, what is your relation to them? What to they get out of this deal (nothing comes for free)? how stable are they? (and what if they go belly up?)
Well, I have been a modder for years. Esp before I found trans. Also I recall it was another modder that turned me on to it.
Nexus has been around far longer than any other mod hosting site that hasn't went belly up or fell by the wayside. It has went though many different changes/names through the years and was built from community support and approval.
Also, since I mod many games, this would make it easier for me to manage all my mods for all games from one central hub/site.
Nexus is quite stable. Sometimes tho I cannot access the site, because of shear server overload on nexus part. This shows nexus popularity and userbase is in the millions, if not bigger!
As far as what DarkOne gets out of it...(an whole lot of community made mods to play)... In my opinion, It is a needed change for the survivability of Nexus and similar mod hosting sites.
I don't have a premium account, and my add blocker works just fine with nexus game ads also.
I pay the community with what most players call "Mods", which is what they came looking for in the first place. Also since my DL connection won't go as fast as the premium membership cost a year, there is no need for me to bother with it.

Most webmasters don't get anything from other businesses ads anyway, but it helps pay the server bill, which is a evil necessity.
[sidetracked]
If you are worried about something like that(overunity), then look into paying what your add would generate to Searl Magnetics. Make a SEG. Install it on your ServerShip and journey through the galaxy powerfree.
Here is another idea...modify a outboard to run on water, if you are mechanically inclined.
[/sidetracked]

Also note that a bunch of others have tried to start these so called "All mods" hosting sites, only to be met with fierce opposition because hosters(NO NAMES... GMOD) where stealing content/hosting mods without clear rights to.
Some have tried to apologize for their actions of the past, but usually fall wayside again because of greed.
The only way to succeed in this catagory is with community approval and support, which is what nexus was/is built upon.
pixelfck wrote: Right now, I think George is trying to build the multiverse so that it can serve as a replacement for Xelerus. This would be very nice, mostly because the modding for this game is one of the main reasons for the game to be so enjoyable.

If this quite important factor whould be outsourced (hosted in the care of somebody else) that would be a considerable risk! so the extra value better be equally heavy.

just my two cents,
Pixelfck
I'm not agains't goerge having his own official network for mods at all. In fact it appears to be a great Idea, just that it looks to still be in it's infancy and needs more work based on users/community input ATM.
This will come with time.
If george could evolve his multiverse the same way nexus has over the years(was only for a few games/mods at first) by supporting issues the community wants, then chances are it will be a big thing for trans players. Then more people will hop on ship.
And if the multiverse is going to only be based on trans games/mods, or whatever his company supports, then that seems fair. Just don't try to become irritating like steam has with ads is what I am getting at here.

I pretty much play trans portably on my thumbdrive ATM when not modding from desktop, since I am constantly changing OS/etc to test my software. Portability is in fact the reason more people have started playing the game, because most often, I get "Huh? what is that game? Never Heard of it..." At which point I usually say here is the zipped game archive and the official forums link so you can update if you like it and choose to continue playing it(Note that most of these folks are not modders such as myself). I aslo mention that the game is extendable through mod also. Some of these folks are not into space shooters respectfully, while others have said "Nice little game" and passed it on to their kids computer for them to play with, while others still play the game because they truely enjoy it.

I'm not much for subscriptions/ads either, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't "Officially" register my mod when it gets to a more useable state, depending on what that may entail. As long as my mod(s) will always be free(to play) for anyone to download and tinker/learn from/with, just as I have according to my/others readme licenses, then I am happy. I enjoy Official DLC just as much or more sometimes that community made mods.

We all have to respect the fact that george even allows mods with the game and continued to do so.
It seems that a lot more games out there are taking this approach nowadays. I don't play console games anymore and the games I do buy are 80% based upon whether they are extendable through modding.
Even my modding buddies over at TESAlliance are trying to start up a studio/game and I wish them well, even tho the game in particular isn't my cup of tea. I believe they are trying to do all this by means of Kickstarter. Quite a few rather talented modders can come together and start something real in todays society.
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Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:21 pm

(Just a note, this is probably going to be a long read, I've been thinking about this for a while)

I first played Transcendence years ago, back when the Icronym command ship was still a giant blue wedge. I've always thought of Transcendence as one of the best games I've ever played, and that it was a disservice to the gaming community as a whole that so few people are aware of this game. And I've also thought about how Transcendence could become more popular, so here's a sort of ramble about what I've come up with.

First, I looked at other comparable Indies titles that became popular and looked at how they became popular. The first and foremost game that came to my attention is Minecraft, as it is the third highest selling pc videogame ever, and the best-selling Indies Pc game. Minecraft is and was in many ways similar to Transcendence:
Both Minecraft and Transcendence were available to play very early in developement
Both rely on word-of-mouth to spread, no paid advertising
Both started with a single developer
Both are extremely modder friendly
Both are unique games with no real parallel

So, both Minecraft and Transcendence are in many ways similar, so why did Minecraft become so popular, while Transcendence remains unfortunately obscure? This was difficult to research, but it appears that this is for several reasons. Minecraft apparently received a few popularity bumps throughout its developement. These bumps go by a few different names, Colbert Bump, Reddit hug of death, Slashdotted, and a few others depending on the source. These bumps are when something is shown on a very popular show or website, and gains a huge amount of popularity from it.

So Minecraft seems to have gotten one of these bumps, and once it got the initial burst of popularity it began to spread via word-of-mouth and youtube. It needed this bump, because word-of-mouth is usually not a very effective form of advertisement untill you pass a certain amount of popularity, at which point the game continues to spread more and more quickly. If a game relying on word-of-mouth can't make it to that point, its probable that it will remain obscure.

So, I've come to the conclusion that the best way to become more popular is to receive one of these bumps. This isn't as simple as it sounds. I've looked over the options, and it appears one of our most viable options is Reddit. Reddit is known for its 'Reddit hug of death', where the website suddenly gets thousands or even millions of visitors because it got to the 'front page' of reddit, and the server the website is hosted on promptly grinds to a halt under the strain.

So, getting to the front page of reddit would get us all the popularity we need to gain and keep a large, active, loyal community. But getting to the front page is as much a matter of luck as it is what the post actually contains. Transcendence has been on Reddit before, but we never got to the front page, sadly. Since the holy grail of reddit, the front page is a difficult goal, we should start in a subreddit, subsections of reddit dedicated to a certain subject. Getting to the front page of these subreddits would be easier, but would not be as rewarding. This subject needs to be discussed, so I'll leave this here for now.

Now, just getting these viewers is only step one. Step two is keeping them. There are a few different facets to this.

To keep all these new viewers, there are many this that need to looked at. First, there's the matter of the 'cover'. When a person knows nothing about a game, the first things they see of it can be a deal maker or a deal breaker. Even if the game is great, if the very first images someone sees of it are, at first glance, boring and unremarkable, it can very easily drive them away. As such, we need to be sure that whatever someone sees first of Transcendence, be it a few images on a Steam Greenlight page, a Kickstarter, or the website from a link on Reddit, it looks good, remains true to the actual game, and leaves a good impression.

As well as the initial image there is the matter of first gameplay, when someone first starts the game, a few rough corners is all it takes to make them leave. This means that we need to take a good look at the game, and try to polish any rough corners we can find, anything that might drive newcomers away and wouldn't be a massive hassle or gamechanger to fix.

Finally, we have the issue of keeping players after they get into the game. In my opinion, Transcendence has this covered already. Maybe just the same idea as before, look for any rough corners and smooth them out if reasonable.


Well, that's pretty much all my thoughts on the matter.

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Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:22 am

Buggy wrote:As well as the initial image there is the matter of first gameplay, when someone first starts the game, a few rough corners is all it takes to make them leave. This means that we need to take a good look at the game, and try to polish any rough corners we can find, anything that might drive newcomers away and wouldn't be a massive hassle or gamechanger to fix.

Finally, we have the issue of keeping players after they get into the game. In my opinion, Transcendence has this covered already. Maybe just the same idea as before, look for any rough corners and smooth them out if reasonable.
Speaking the rough corners, a pretty significant hassle when I play (vanilla) Transcendence is the lack of a structured tutorial and its "Nethackness" making a great confusion when looking over unidentified items. Though I think some other people may find this interesting, I personally expect and play Transcendence as a space game rather than a rougelike adventure and perhaps there are also other people who are like that as well.
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Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:13 pm

Unidentified items as currently done is a major strike from me against Transcendence. The new analyzers sort of help, but since they can destroy items, I would rather not use them unless I am desperate. Alien items, fine. Commonwealth items, not so much. If shopkeeper does not know either, why should I reveal the good stuff I know so he can charge more?

The game needs more variety of sounds. The same feeble click used for many weapons, especially for BFGs, does not feel right.

The game also needs to support fullscreen for those with widescreens; in other words, use all of the screen in fullscreen mode, whatever the resolution is. I load the game, the attract mode uses the entire width of a widescreen monitor, but when I start the game, I get large black borders on both sides.
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Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:22 pm

Let's discuss the unidentified items in a separate thread and keep this one on ideas for growing the community.
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Buggy
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Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:10 pm

Just to add a example, Reddit is so popular that they actually just crashed Steam's store-server when a post about a game being temporarily free made it to the front page.

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:42 pm

Hello

I am going to be blunt and say what I think, sorry if can sound unpleasant.

Transcendence is an excellent game, but it seems only to be for the small group of very computer-knowledgable people, who care to follow development over many years. Most casual gamers are not like this at all, as I am sure you know.

I am a normal man with just above general knowledge of computers because of gaming interest, but not much interest in modding and technical aspects. I found transcendence by luck, recommended by searcing for "rogue-like", "space game" etc. I have stuck with the game because I am a bit stubborn/persistent.

After playing Transcendence off and on for a few years, I think I know what makes "casual" players like myself have a difficult time staying around with the game, it seems too unfinished and slow. The game itself is excellent as we know, but it is not finished. We are left with the feeling of "to be continued...". So perhaps we wait a month or two, but no news, nothing is happening, there is little action. The game development is just so slow, so we move on to other past-times.

To expand, there needs to be active advertising in several internet forms, but more importantly there needs to be activity from developers who give people a reason to stick around. If not they will perhaps try the game for a little while, and then get bored because there is no sign of news, forget the game and go elsewhere.

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:14 pm

Bruno-

I can totally see what you mean. I get this way occasionally. Although I have sufficient knowledge to put together a mod I don't have sufficient time to put it together. When Corporate Command came out I jumped on it and purchased a copy, didn't even try for a free one. After playing through a few times I was left hoping for more. I guess I was expecting more of a new scenario and ended up with an add on. I did like the way the first system of CC was put together. It felt more like a system you wanted to spend a little time in. So many other systems are merely bridges to the next interesting system.

Although the community is growing, the game architecture is still being developed and is still very much a coder community. The core game is fun but it does end abruptly. After playing it multiple times through, the rogue like aspect still keeps me playing occasionally, it feels like it's only about 20% complete.

I think as the game starts to feel more complete, more people will play it. It currently can take as little as 12 hours to get to the end, many players can probably do it quicker. I expect that one day it will take a week or more to complete on an average run through. I know a lot of people are clamoring for multiplayer but the introduction and feel point to an extensive journey, I just don't think it's there yet.

My two cents is to get a more complete game for your average gamer.
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