Game council meeting, finally

I mentioned a while ago that a game council meeting was up and coming, but then Klas went ill so we had to postpone it. After that we’ve been forced to postpone a few times more because of different circumstances, but this Tuesday we managed to pull it off. Finally!

The subject in the biggest focus this time was the user numbers, quite naturally. Now the GC are not in charge of marketing or site improvements (even though both me and Johan are part of the marketing team); GC are in charge of the game and the future game development. But there are of course game related issues to user numbers, in the end it’s the quality of the game that matters.

There are naturally a lot of reasons why user numbers are falling. The perhaps biggest one is because we’ve been successful, if I’m allowed to say so. It’s impossible to keep an eternal growth, sooner or later there will be a decrease. However, this fact is not a reason for me (or any of us) to sit back and accept the current situation. Hell, no.

Opposite to what people may believe, the stay rate among ‘older users’ is better than for a long, long time. So, the falling numbers isn’t about old managers leaving the game in masses, quite the contrary. What is the problem then? Well, most significantly that we have a harder time these days to keep new users (who just signed up) in the game. So, while the marketing team looks on how to make the most of front page (you will probably see us exploring different designs of the front page in the coming months) and the sign-up pages, the game council decided that first prio now will be to improve the game experience during the first month in the game.

Happily, we’re already well prepared on this area as this was already in our plan. As you know (if you read this blog earlier on at least), I’m working on creating a new game introduction (which will replace the current manager license challenge) and have done so for a while now. While we went through this new game introduction plan we also came up with some new ideas, and I must say a few of them were really oustanding – if not divine – and will certainly lead to a more fun game experience when starting a new team.

Apart from that we also discussed the new staff system which is in the making and how to make the match/game feedback better in general. And we also have a lengthy discussions about different strategies in the game; what strategies that we want to be part of the game in the future and which ones we feel we need to promote more (and how) – and naturally also if there are some we want to promote/motivate less. But just so you know, we’re rather interested to motivate the strategies we really want the game to be about than setting limits for other strategies that may be way too overpowered. This doesn’t naturally exclude such actions to happen, but I think you get my point. Rather motivate the behaviour you want.

How did the meeting affect the game plan then? Not that much for the coming season or so, top prio is still the newbie introduction (which perhaps got an even higher prio). For the current game itself game feedback is first off, which means improvements in the match report and also to the ratings. And the next new game feature as such will be the new staff system.