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Devlog January Round-Up; Internal Situation for 2017

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Geti, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. king-george

    king-george Bison Rider Staff Alumni Tester

    Messages:
    284
    You guys are way too weak on the marketing part of things, your games just aren't getting enough attention. Instead of adding more free stuff (I mean that's great for us, but it won't help THD financially), you should try getting more people into the game.
     
    Osmal, epsilon and Cruxiat like this.
  2. BarsukEughen555

    BarsukEughen555 Ballista Bolt Thrower

    Messages:
    434
    also, in the ever case the texture packs are coming, ballista with explosive bolts must be made into t34
    both are damn op bias
     
  3. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    3,730
    I agree here, but what specifically did you have in mind? MM is strongly opposed to paid ads and youtubers aren't interested in KAG as it's multiplayer and rides an awkward line between too hardcore and hard to follow for the casual audience and too casual for the hardcore audience. It also just doesn't look that great on camera :/

    Attached the TDM maps for review - the existing ones (filthpit, royaltomb, thecauldron, kodysch_upshoot) have had minimal changes and just "bugfixes"; the cauldron has the biggest change with a move from tunnel-based water flood timing to mechanism-based. The new ones are CraggyOutlook (treasure rush with 2 alternate paths, somewhat campy hills but nowhere for archers to hang completely inaccessible), Dichotomy (2 separate areas, one is randomly chosen), and PressureCooker (chambers flood sequentially towards the middle). I've tried to make the maps fairly nice to traverse and reward re-play - particularly the two with different random paths.
     

    Attached Files:

    Osmal, Cohen, Noburu and 2 others like this.
  4. Monkey_Feats

    Monkey_Feats Bison Rider Tester

    Messages:
    214
    More Hats!
     
  5. Darksteel

    Darksteel The see me Boulderin', they hatin'. Donator
    1. Australians United Stand Strong - AUSS - (Invite Only)

    Messages:
    565
    It's not my place to say it, but paid ads may be the way to go. Alternatively a way could be found to get it in the laps of some influential reviewers, as like what happened with the "Good Game" review, you could easily get several hundreds of new players, who, whilst some might not stay, would generate a small term financial boost to get you through this rough patch.

    Another idea is twitch. KAG's borderline confusing combat could be negated by a talented orator to explain the flow of battle, think eSport tier like CS:GO or Overwatch, I have no idea how one would organize such a thing, but I feel that this is a solid option to bring this perfect time consuming bundle of joy to the masses.

    ~~~

    In my opinion, a game is worth what I paid for it, if I get an hour of enjoyment per dollar paid, I have bought KAG a total of twice, and have amassed nearly 2000 hours on it. Please point me to extra content, as I know the value for money with THD games is so damn high, that I could probably get another 1000 hours out based on downloadable content alone.

    I would also like to mention, how much I'd love KAG merchandise, plushies and T-shirts would be amazing.
    Just imagine a builder plushie ffs, I would buy like five.

    Sorry for the long post.
     
    FuzzyBlueBaron, Geti, Osmal and 2 others like this.
  6. Mazey

    Mazey Haxor Global Moderator Forum Moderator Staff Alumni Donator Official Server Admin

    Messages:
    1,912
    I feel like it's too late for merchandise, it probably wouldn't be profitable. What I would like to see for KAG in the future:
    Head DLC packs
    Singleplayer adventure or zombie DLC (possibly coop)
    Builder vs Builder mode (with mechanisms, official, and free)
    Better tutorials, possibly forced
    More modern menus (maybe DLC skin packs) (also chat improvements: larger chat, bigger font, possibly transparent background)
    Stable servers
     
  7. Cruxiat

    Cruxiat Ballista Bolt Thrower Tester
    1. Gather Oceania
    2. KAG World Cup 2018

    Messages:
    116
    I think that @Mazey made some great points, but most of the stuff that's been suggested in this thread is difficult to implement and would take a very long time to accomplish, the easiest thing to do in the short term is to introduce the paid head packs that I know myself and heaps of other people would buy. Maybe a golden tool for each class, unlockable after 10,000 kills? I just feel like the more customisation you have, the less willing people will be to leave KAG and keep playing.

    Stuff I would love that can be done without laboriously recoding or changing the game too much:
    • Dev-sponsored tournaments (prize for winning team, maybe a head available only for a 'season' of competitive kag)
    • Head packs
    • Rewards for veteran players, something that keeps oldies present and gives newbies something to work towards. (golden sword / bow / pick etc)
    • Higher focus on the community, I don't play the game because KAG is 10/10 GOTY, I play kag because I've made a lot of mates and the community is mostly a positive one.
    • Events for everyone to participate in would increase player retention a LOT imho
     
    FuzzyBlueBaron, Geti, Gurin and 2 others like this.
  8. BarsukEughen555

    BarsukEughen555 Ballista Bolt Thrower

    Messages:
    434
    hire pirate-rob to make the adventure mod for singleplayer plox
     
  9. king-george

    king-george Bison Rider Staff Alumni Tester

    Messages:
    284
    Give ads a try. Some places to place them: Youtube, Google AdWords and try spreading it more to social media.

    Also, I took the time to look through the negative reviews of Steam and here's what you need to really add to the game:
    * Remade tutorial. Lots of people complaining about this, it explains CTF and whatnot but when they just straight into multiplayer it gets really confusing for them.
    * Fix the bugs! Apparently they're complaining about how buggy the game works (glitching through walls, falling from high places and not dying etc.)
    and finally...
    * More players. This is the biggest issue. Not enough players. Advertise the game and get more people into it.
     
  10. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    3,730
    About paid ads - I'll mention it to MM again but anything company-side is his call. We've done reddit ads and contacted a lot of youtubers.

    About streaming, merch, sponsorship - I like the enthusiasm but these are either very expensive to get off the ground, only benefit existing players, or are community driven :/

    About a new tutorial - I think this is definitely something that needs attention. The existing ones are literally placeholders that weren't meant to stay around, but writing proper bots is way, way out of scope. So, I'm not sure what a better alternative is. Probably some sort of artsy manual that you can flick through that explains how to not look like a griefer when learning the game.

    @king-george I spent a bit of time looking at the negative steam reviews recently as a result of a steam-side thread, and player count is definitely the biggest recurring one, alongside community toxicity.

    Trust me, I wish we could just "fix the bugs" - it's quite rare that there's a reasonable bug in KAG these days, which is why there's such slow progress on the remaining ones; they often take at a week or more of digging to find out what's going on and figure out a fix that doesn't uproot the entire game.
     
  11. Fellere825

    Fellere825 KAG Guard Tester

    Messages:
    890
    I feel that at this moment there is no easy fix to the financial problem that THD is currently facing. Making cosmetic items and DLC paid content would net a return.. but I highly doubt it would be anything worthwhile in comparison to the amount of work put into it.

    I don't know how many work days you guys can pay with the amount of funds in your war-chest. But even if you guys make new content to get short term funds, it will only be a short term fix and not make your situation any better. There are fundamental issues in regards to how THD manages and develops games, and if those are not address then whatever work is put into KAG to garner funds will only be a baindaid for a wound that needs stitches.

    One main issue is the thinking behind marketing and selling the products you are in the process of developing. What is the consumer demand and does the consumer demand justify the effort put into it? Take Trench Run for instance, you posted on the forum about it, and you found demand in this small community of people, but the demand never increased past this forum and the units sold did not meet the desired amount. In essence you supplied a good that wasn't in demand from enough people.

    Even if you create that paid cosmetic DLC you wouldn't necessarily have a worthwhile number of consumers to justify such an action and it may ultimately be a loss with regards to payment for work. You are marketing to the current KAG player base, even if all of the current users paid for cosmetics it would probably be a negligible return and it would at most net you a few more weeks worth of paid work time.

    While it may be undesired, in order to maintain THD as a company, you really need to think up what consumers desire outside of these forums. What made KAG work was that it was a niche item that filled a void. There was nothing like it at the time.

    Currently the market is saturated with multiplayer games and there is competition for where people want to spend their money in regards to cosmetics. People will more likely spend their money for Overwatch skins because it has an inherent longevity to it, whilst KAG is at the end of its timetable. For KAG you will have a rough time regaining people through cosmetics, paid DLC, achievements, etc. because of it being at the end of its timetable. That's an inherent negative that will be difficult to combat with company work hours. Basically working on anything to do with KAG past maintenance will net a negative return for your company, because of such a small player base and the present market conditions.

    New games are tricky as well, mainly because what y'all have been working on has not been in demand beyond a small group of people. You've been creating niche products in a market that is saturated already. It's a double whammy against y'all.

    Merchandise is too late to do any good and it is a departure from video game development. I'm guessing y'all are not that proficient at navigating the business world of paid merchandise so that too will need a significant investment before any return is given.

    Paid ads are also a bit too late, in terms of timing it's difficult to gain any effectiveness when the player base has dwindled so much. If times at the beginning when saturation was at its peak it would have been a good investment, but currently at this moment it's not worth it.

    Again not to reign in on everyone's parade but this seems like one of those things where you should crunch the numbers and really think about the amount of hours estimated to be put into this and the projected maximum sales. (Projected maximum sales being if every still playing KAG player purchases that DLC.)

    So the kinds of questions that need to be thrown around is not how THD can get funds from KAG or your current games. The better questions need to be worded around the ideas of market demand and THD's ability to supply. What is currently demanded by consumers and can THD address that demand? In regards to ability there needs to be an acceptance that you guys have weak marketing skills but you are proficient in game development, so what is in demand from the market and by its very nature of being demanded does not require advanced marketing? I think y'all as a company could spend a day or two brainstorming that. It's better then spending the war-chest working on cosmetics and paid DLC.
     
  12. cincoscuencas

    cincoscuencas Ballista Bolt Thrower Staff Alumni
    1. Angels of Death - [AoD]

    Messages:
    41
    Same idea I have in mind. In Economics point of view, it comes down to demand and supply. I may add as well that there needs to be a continuous innovation in order to still be competitive in the market especially with new games being made nowadays.

    Now, I suppose THD has some sort of Financial Management Plan that stipulates some budget program when it comes to this situation. I suppose a business loan is not an option as you will incur interest expense on top of principal repayments. I suppose a business loan is just a way to keep cash flows in but can be useful if there is a sure profit in the end that will cover the loan. Another option is opening up to the public for them to invest in THD like in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) when private companies decides to become public. An advantage of this is that it will bring cash flows into the company, however as a disadvantage, this will increase the stakeholders and hence, control of the company may be shared between the company directors, hence, the person who has full control of THD may not enjoy as much flexibility in making decisions for THD as the directors will finally have a say on how the company is run.
     
  13. Cruxiat

    Cruxiat Ballista Bolt Thrower Tester
    1. Gather Oceania
    2. KAG World Cup 2018

    Messages:
    116
    So you've talked about THD not providing supply for the demand outside of forums... but they have. Butcher proves that people want to play their games, and that their games *are* good, and I'm sure that THD is doing fine when it comes to the development of new games, and I'm keen to see what more they put out. I'm 100% convinced that all THD needs right now are just enough funds to keep themselves going until the next release, and that's why you go with cosmetics, since I know a whole lot of people would pay for packs (or even individuals) of heads.

    I'm not even going to try and decipher what @cincoscuencas tried to say there, I think he just opened an economics textbook and tried his best lmao
     
    epsilon and Darksteel like this.
  14. PUNK123

    PUNK123 Hella wRangler Staff Alumni Tester

    Messages:
    1,274
    Thd is very inconsistent in their games. They made soldat that has maintained a following to this day, then they flopped on link-dead. THD made kag which turned out to be quite popular, but then they faceplanted with trenchrun. Now they have butcher which seems to be a reasonable success. None of this has really extended the group of people who want to play thd games because people either get burned with dead games(trenchrun) or get really salty when their favorite games die(soldat, maybe kag). I also cant really see the following for cosmetics(i just dont know many people who i think would throw money at kag at this stage to get a somewhat rare costume)
     
  15. Cruxiat

    Cruxiat Ballista Bolt Thrower Tester
    1. Gather Oceania
    2. KAG World Cup 2018

    Messages:
    116
    It wouldn't be a huge amount, but a head pack for say 5$ each would probably net them a small stream of money. Kag waxes and wanes through sales and I know SO many people who buy cosmetics in games then never play them again. it provides THD another source of revenue that they're just not getting with the base game.

    And I totally agree with the inconsistency argument, I'm sure if THD pool all their resources into one singular game it'd turn into something incredibly interesting (with the success of Butcher definitely illustrating that)

    I just really want to see THD do well, tbh. And with the way that the gaming industry seems to be getting much more into the hardcore genre I think they could definitely expand on some of the work they've already done. KAG is already kinda hard for new people, but imagine a 2D combat game like kag that's as hardcore as, say, For Honour? KAG already has a great competitive formula (one of the reasons I still play it) and it has a level of difficulty that I think gamers today would honestly love.

    KAG is a game that has so much potential after 5 - 6 years of being released. I really think a KAG 2 geared around difficult competitive play is a nice niche that KAG would fit. You don't see competitive online games from indie devs that often, and I know I'd throw my money at it.
     
    epsilon likes this.
  16. Fellere825

    Fellere825 KAG Guard Tester

    Messages:
    890
    This is in response to your earlier post as well. I just don't know about them cosmetics man. But by talking about supply and demand I didn't say their games were bad. (Sure, people bought butcher and are playing it, so why not allocate resources to further advertise butcher in order to enhance its success?) This line of thinking kind of accepts that their games are above average in terms of quality and content. What I'm getting at is the marketing side of things where they figure out if the amount of work hours is justified by the potential consumer amount. It's the, "You don't go invest in cows to sell as meat in India" kind of argument. The cows aren't bad, they are probably great cows, but there's not a big enough market for them in India that justifies a big investment. I don't know much about their funding situation, but if people are going from full time to part time it's a good idea to take a step back and think things out.

    Personally I think working further on KAG to add features will be a negative gain long-term in terms of man hours to consumer payouts. This is completely speculation but it's an important question that needs to be considered by people. For the short term it might provide them with some funds to tie them over, but will it give them enough funds in their war chest to finance their next project...? That's where things get iffy.

    So this is where the semantics of my line of questioning comes in. What's the market demand and how can THD supply that demand? Does the market really demand KAG cosmetics and does that demand justify the work to be put into it? When taking a survey of potential consumers how would you determine that it's enough people to justify making the cosmetics? Basically how many cosmetics need to be sold in order for it to be worth it? My line of questioning does not negate the possibility of working on KAG content, but it really focuses on the idea that maybe... the return for working on KAG from a financial perspective wouldn't be prudent.

    I know I didn't give any concrete "answers" to get out of this financial situation, but these thoughts need to be addressed in order to effectively market something for profit. Enthusiasm and support from a lot of people is great, and supporting a game you really believe in is great as well, but money is money. I agree with you 100% KAG has a hell of a lot of potential, but potential alone doesn't equate to big returns. It takes a lot of time and resources to turn that potential into something more. Do they have enough time and resources to take advantage of KAG's potential at this moment? Who knows, they might know, but it's something that needs to be thought about by not just the THD team but the community as well.

    I want them *cough* Geti *cough* to succeed as much as you and that kind of means bonking everyone on the head with non enthusiastic pragmatism to help people have a clear direction when moving forward. Because isn't that what this is? A desire to explain their current situation to their community and to map out a path forward that leads to whatever their goals are?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  17. Fuzzle

    Fuzzle Grand Grumbler

    Messages:
    297
    Would it be possible to make a source-code mirror at GitHub? It'd be a thousand times easier to rewrite and implement features with Git (pull requests), and the development would be far more transparent. Rely on the community.
     
    Eluded and Cruxiat like this.
  18. Eluded

    Eluded Haxor Official Server Admin

    Messages:
    128
    This would be awesome. On the other hand if the source code was public then it would only be a matter of time before a modded client was released and hackers started running rampant.
     
  19. 8x

    8x Elimination Et Choix Traduisant la Realité Forum Moderator Tester Official Server Admin
    1. The Young Blood Collective - [YB]

    Messages:
    1,319
    GitHub would break :>
     
  20. Fuzzle

    Fuzzle Grand Grumbler

    Messages:
    297
    I was referring to the scripts.