The success and longevity is not tied to an influx of new players.
It's tied to retaining those players once they get here. I, for one, am happy to wait as the devs work out the kinks in all the new things they're adding to the game.
I've invited two people to play in the past. Both of them tried it for a couple days and then quit playing. I told them that I would get back to them when I thought the game would interest them enough that they would keep playing. It isn't there yet.
If the transparency you're requesting is public announcement of self-imposed deadlines, then my suggestion is to manage your anxieties some other way. Public failure to meet self-imposed deadlines is much more detrimental to a company than antsy players.
Not to say anything bad about the game we have right now, as I'm obviously enjoying it a lot, spending all that time earning levels and badges, of which I have rather too many. However, I've had the same experience as Windborn. I'm really not sure what the factor is there. Perhaps the game just 'isn't for everyone' as I've had friends quit around level 3 or 4 where nothing is really going on yet, but there's always the folks who quit around level 20-30, which seems to me the normal level for a player to be out of dev-driven content (All the non-grindy badges, seen the majority of the world, learned a large percentage of skills etc.) and moving into player-driven content.
They seem to be characterized by a lack of direction ;) Now, in a game of giant imagination there's not much you can do for folk who can't come up with anything, but I'd like to see a lot more tools for being imaginative before we go live :) Just more customization and playing options, more things for the folk who aren't driven by their own goals within the crafting and collecting center of Ur that I love so much.
Just my two cents on player retention, I guess ;) I'd rather see more before we launch, and I'd like to hope that the people at TS have more content planned before launch, after the new tutorial is tested. New players will be needed to test the tutorial, but I hope that just means opening up the gates for player invitation again :)
Alpha and Beta tests retain people who are interested in being testers. People who *like* discovering bugs, who are excited by change, and who like the prestige of being early adopters.
That's why TS offered refunds to subscribers who "influxed" when the game was opened but who wanted a more stable experience than beta testing would offer. Opening the game to those people again before everything is in place would turn them off, again.
TS isn't going to get a 3rd chance. The fact that they got a 2nd chance was newsworthy.
I disagree that new players aren't important. All games will lose players over time, and if no one new ever comes in things will definitely stagnant. Don't get me wrong, I love the new features that are coming in, but I don't think those will grind to a halt if we let new players in.
@Aliera Grind to a halt? No, probably not. But if we let new players in, suddenly TS will be focused on scaling concerns rather than pumping out new content. So it won't be a halt, just likely a lot slower compared to a completely closed beta as we have at this very moment, or the openish beta with player invites we had before and that I'd like to see continue for rather a while longer. I think the game cries for more content, rather than more players.
Games are businesses. Businesses need money to continue operation. More than a few people here can testify as to what happens when the cash flow does not continue to meet operational costs. Don't think it can end? GNE got shelved, the tools created Flickr. Wouldn't be the first time the people at TS have had to pull the plug on a beloved project. Even if all 20,000 active accounts shelled out $145 for a moly subscription, the revenue of $2,900,000 doesn't cover the investment funding. 3M per year won't cover operational costs between servers, licensing, connectivity and salaries.
The sustainability of Glitch requires a larger player base.
ETA: I hope they're not planning to launch any time 'soon', at least not until some of the server issues have been worked out. We're lagging HARD these days, it would turn me off as a new person coming in.
I'm happy with them waiting as long as they feel they need to. They are still occasionally correcting bugs and fixing little problems. They're giving us new shit to look at and do on a weekly basis. (It's actually been several times a week for a while now.)
My opinion is this is a combined issue. We need more varied content to keep more players interested once they are here. At the same time we also need new players to ... fill the World up once again, and also give feedback on a larger scale, and of course revenue. However if the game re-opens prematurely, its cold be as much a disaster as waiting forever. The people that have been waiting have been waiting a VERY long time and its hard to say how patient they are /how long their attention span/ will be once they are here. If i was waiting a long time to get into a game....for the 2nd time, and THEN it dissapointed me, id probably quit faster and be more pissed about it. Which wouldnt be good for Glitch. However brand new ppl, that have heard about it but aren't in the "waiting list" are likely to be less impatient. That being said, its quite empty population wise, and im hoping the kinks that need to be worked out will be soon and that plans for new content are pending and are just not implemeted YET. And yes the LAG issue is one of the bigger issues. Other than that...just hanging in here with everyone's been great:)
Think of it this way, TS only needs the amount of subscribers that would pay off costs for running the company, servers, and all of that good stuff. If we have 1 million players, and only 10 subscribers (that are paying for subscriptions at the current rate, and ignoring other sources of income/monies), then it wouldn't be likely for TS to continue running as it is right now. Stoot said something similar to this somewhere...
I agree Lyrical that LAG is a huge issue and needs to be fixed.
Just seems to me we have a huge amount of new content and am just saying it would be nice if we were live...and yes, TS has to get it right before roll-out TWO.
I wonder how overwhelming (or if) it will be for new players when seeing all the amazing stuff throughout UR streets - huge towers. magnificent houses, amazing landscapes -gardens, trees, rocks, bogs, etc. I suppose it will give them goals to work towards and a delightful view of the endless possibilities Ur offers.
It will be a grand day once we're back open to all - let the work continue - and thank you TS for your continued efforts and thanks to all of us continuing to stay the course.
I think the problem atm is there doesn't seem to be a real reason to keep playing. There's no real feeling of accomplishment when you finally get a new skill or something. Even if you fill out your house/street with resources, there's no real benefit to you, you could just go to a friend or strangers and get all the resources you want.
There's not really a way to show how awesome you are from you character currently; all the clothing and vanity items are either free or bought, not earned through your in game accomplishments. People love showing off how awesome they are. Maybe the game isn't meant to have any skill based things, but it seems to be the best way to keep people playing something.
I decided a long long time ago that I wanted to be in game wealthy.... not just comfortable... but rolling in dough wealthy... its been a huge grind to get to where I am, and just as quickly as I get my yard set up right now I have to build a huge house... then I have to work on getting a horde together not only to build the tower but to have resources for when the game does eventually open to be able to sell.. first I wanted to learn all the skills... I did that... then i wanted to make 100,000 currants and have them in the bank.... still in progress.... still working on a backup of resources... haven't even started on the tower... and decorating?? nowhere close...
all of this is a long winded way of saying.... I'll be here a while
OT, but I don't have usually have any lag. If you do, I suggest you try Glitch on a variety of computer setups to see if perhaps it isn't your particular computer / network combination. In particular I would suggest you take a hard look at how much memory your computer has - that makes a huge difference. I just went to a neighbors street with many resources and it took 10 seconds to load. Bottom line - lag isn't necessarily Tiny Speck's fault.
I think one has to understand that there are ways to run glitch that can help to reduce lag :) Close other programs that use a lot of resources like G-mail or flash based games, pages with lots of images, any videos, etc.
I've also been told it helps to run Glitch, plus maybe the auctions window or forums, in one browser, and anything else you might need open in another.
I've also noticed that closing some background programs such as Skype can help to reduce lag :)
And finally, any time the lag is getting crippling, a refresh should at least alleviate some of it.
Hope one or more of those things can help your fight against the lag monster, folks!
Good advice Liza, however, I experience lag and I play with ONLY Glitch open. I don't even keep the auctions or forums open and I don't keep skype, mail or other programs running in the background and I still experience lag. So, while these suggestions are useful, they are by no means cures. Refreshes do help, but they become a pain in themselves, and frankly, I shouldn't need to repeatedly refresh to run a game.
My two cents is that we're privvy to so little of the behind-the-scenes discussions that it's almost pointless to speculate when we'll go live again.
I would be willing to bet quite a bit that the staff have a long list of projects assigned towards re-opening, and that they know precisely what the marker is. I would also be willing to bet quite a bit that they will be adding more to the story of Glitch.
I'm happy to help with feedback, help my fellow glitches, and await the cornucopia to come.
*shrug* The point I was trying to make is that, like WalruZ, I don't have any lag, so it's probably not TS' fault, but the fault of the machine, or the way the machine is being run. It might even be the fault of your ISP, as I experience more lag when accessing the game from one IP address than another.
Liza... I've used this machine to play Glitch for over a year now. The lag I am experiencing is new. No changes have been made to my machine, nor my internet connection (which I've had checked). Something *is* different with the way the game is loading and the amount of lag. The files are simply fatter than they have been since the last few rounds of optimization.
Regardless... the lag being experienced is wide spread enough, it merits attention. If a goodly percentage of potential players are going to hear 'get a better computer' as an answer to 'why can't I play', a clever company would be working to make things more accessible not advising new machinery.
In that year, are you sure you haven't updated any anti-virus programs, or browser software, or any manufacturer's updates to your OS. I'd be very very surprised if you haven't made substantial changes to your computer.
And if you haven't done any of those things, perhaps a through virus scan with a current anti-virus program would be useful.
I also think TS works every day to reduce the loading times and lag experienced by the users. Stoot or perhaps another staffy made a post about how their engineers make tiny changes that reduce loading and rendering times by fractions of a second, but it's a harder process than we can fathom.
But yeah, reducing lag across the board is something they'll likely have to achieve to fully realize their market of casual gamers. I can understand that :) I use a laptop to play, without a ton of processing power, so I'm actually fairly grateful I get as small an amount of lag as I do.
I have a high speed cable connection and a computer that is well up to date. I'm not having problems with the many other sites I visit. I am having lag issues with Glitch. I haven't been whining about how bad it sucks, but assumed that TS was working on it. Many people have lag issues with Glitch. But if you are not having lag problems then it has to be me? Oh, wait. You don't speak for TS, right? I'll just remind myself of that and be on my merry way.
Thank you Shallawalla. I'm really astounded at the number of people who assume there is something wrong with everything but the game.
@Windborn - Please don't make assumptions about how I interact with my computer. I was here 15 months ago when TS went through Operation Screaming Pixels. I remember the lag before, and the continued tweaks after. If it's been a year and a half since a serious look has been given to optimization (which I don't believe), perhaps it's time to complete the 'second part' about supersnappyspeed referenced in the alpha blog post.
For what it's worth (and I can't believe I'm saying something sort of kind about it at all), using the latest version of Flash has been — at least on my Mac — instrumental in keeping lag at bay. Nevertheless, it's still leaky, I think.
It's also not enough to just refresh the browser window, in my experience. You have to quit out of the browser app altogether, wait for the process to get cleared from memory completely, and then restart the browser.'
You can use Activity Monitor to see how Flash is handling the load of running Glitch.
If I thought it was a bug, I would report it. I don't.
Remember the lag from the Pork Fountains? ETOW Parties? New Streets just after being opened by a project? How about when someone sprinkled sneezing powder in a group?
Home Streets now render a similar number of variations, including towers and homes. The world itself has to cope with a lot more styles and features. Glitch uses big flat files. I think they've gotten fat and need a diet.
If I thought my computer profile(s) would help the overall experience, sure I'd send a report. I play Glitch almost exclusively on one of two Linux set ups. I do maintain a Windows machine, Glitch plays slightly worse on it. What makes me so certain it's a problem within Glitch? WoW plays just fine on my other Linux machine as well as my Windows machine, Diablo III plays really well on my Windows machine (can't play it on my Linux machine without risking a ban). I'm pretty sure the system requirements for Glitch don't exceed either of those in any way.