Loading...
  OR  Zero-K Name:    Password:   

Lobsterhood 1.0

48 posts, 1023 views
Post comment
Filter:    Player:  
Page of 3 (48 records)
sort
Hello dear lobs,


I am calling for a community effort to be made towards the goal of making zero-k a more populated and visible game.







for the sake of order, avoid comments that are not in the spirit of the above goal, thank you

+3 / -0

19 days ago
Well if we can get together the money for an ad, https://www.isaacarthur.net/ might be a good lead. His science/futurism channel on youtube has like a gazillion subscribers and the content is definitely compatible with zk's theme in general.
+1 / -1
19 days ago
I think updating the main menu UI could entice new players to try playing the game. I'm fine with it being experimented on until we get something that looks great and functions properly.
+0 / -0
Community could do a better job maintaining the steam community: https://steamcommunity.com/app/334920/discussions/

Some discussion threads were left unanswered for a while until I checked it out.

More screenshots, upvotes for the best artwork/videos
+4 / -0
As much as I'd love to see it happen, I think that Zero-K will remain as a low popular game for the following reasons:

fixable:
- graphics, visuals, sound - acceptable for indie, not acceptable for popular game
- free to play = microtransactions inside filter
- poor servers condition not suitable for higher player loads running on windows laptops in Licho's fridge - there are some very confusing workarounds in place to keep things running like not showing the player list/players inside the rooms. The general player list and room insides is not a scalable solution anyways and would need to be rethinked.

not easily fixable:
- RTS genre is not popular and many prefer alternatives as RTS games require lots of skills to get good at, are deep in strategy and are demanding (time, dexterity etc.)
- optimization, antique Spring engine with its single-core performance. My colleagues liked the game but didn't have PCs strong enough to play it online - in lobster pots and gave up on it. One would think that antique game would require antique requirements to run.
- open source games do not have the money to pay for necessary things like artists work or story writers for campaigns or marketing to kickstart the multiplayer matchmaker with player base. While there were initiatives to make open-source story (see "Worm" novel, or "Doki doki literature club" [not sure with this one] for example) - these are rarely successful.

I have one more issue with Z-k - while when you're inside the game it feels great to spectate, but when looking from other perspective I feel that everything that happens is very sluggish/unimpressive in comparison to say Starcraft 2, so it's not a good "sport" to promote watching at twitch. The fact that to play optimal you often have to max zoom-out and play with icons does not help with that.
+9 / -0
18 days ago
quote:
story writers for campaigns

I had to take a significant pause (very sorry for that), but I am working (again) on the campaign story. It won't be spectacular, but I hope it will be serviceable enough.
+2 / -0
18 days ago
I believe the real reason for Zero K's small player base is because there isn't any real interaction between the normal player and the rest of the community. I would propose 3 goals for Zero K to get more lobsters.
A) Awareness
B) Enticement
C) Retention

In short, Zero K needs more public awareness so people download it. Then it must offer a bait or something that makes the players play it and not delete it soon after and finally for the long term it needs to retain those players who fall for the lure.

For goal A, I can propose as others said making an advertisement campaign. I have seen some Zero-K YouTubers but their channels aren't big enough to draw in people. As Aeonis said, Aruthers channel is good but getting him to make an add for Zero-K is tough and thne again, the people watching his channel arent gamers really, more Sincefiction readers, novelists or fans of technology. However, I do believe that Youtube is a great platform for raising awareness. Alternatively, I can suggest attempting to hire an ad agency but I don't believe Zero-K has the funds for that.

For goal B, Zero-K needs more interactive and pleasing features. The artwork and graphics need a serious overhaul as the modern player look first at graphics then features. First appearances matter. Next, I would suggest more easily accessible and better tutorials. The Campaign does a lackluster job at serving as a tutorial. As well the campaign needs a full overhaul to be more like a campaign as well. However the most significant change I would say to incite players is a better community. New players are instantly called Lobsters and wubbernauts. A less toxic and more helpful community would be a very very good change.

Finally, for goal C, I would recommend a better community for the reasons stated before as well as more frequent developer-player relations. Many players feel that the developers are a bit too isolated and that community feedback should be taken more often and used to improve the game.

That's all I could think of (actually more but im playing rn).
+2 / -0
18 days ago
quote:
the content is definitely compatible with zk's theme in general.


Autism?
+1 / -3

18 days ago
FRrankThornEel : That's nice to hear. It's a bigger problem though. It's not only about the story but also about the way it is delivered. Reading just textboxes from mission to mission is far from a gripping story delivery regardless of the content. I paid for starcraft 2 to play the campaign mostly for the story, not neccesarily the gameplay. With game features that let you interact with protagonists (choices or real interaction like putting Jimmy Raynor on the battlefield/Tychus in the Mech) it gets much better.
+0 / -0

18 days ago
quote:
Autism?

Autism in space. :P
+2 / -0
17 days ago
I would recommend like a story delivered in person by actors like in the red alert series but once again, funding is subpar.
+0 / -0

17 days ago
we have enough new players.
how long do they stay?
we had soooo many ppl when zk released on steam, most of them went away really fast again.

i agree with zenfur. there is a reason newer games are usually ded-easy.
+0 / -0
17 days ago
PLrankZenfur This was a significant difficulty, how to craft a campaign with the very limited form that exists at the moment, tiny briefing texts, no in-mission dialog and a branching mission path. However, Duskers manages quite well to deliver a story based on similar constraints, and I shamelessly stole took much inspiration from it. The main trick is to have the en creux player character being the only person left, and have the entire story delivered as short monologues/comments/journal entries in each situation, trying to find out what happened (and also survive).

The biggest advantage is that it props player imagination to unpack it and fill the blanks a lot, which is both economical and gets the player to imagine a better version than what could be done. In this, it is rather similar to flash-fics. I think this should be enough to work, without requiring to remake it entirely or add much more difficult and/or expensive features like voice acting, player-driven interactions or even cutscenes. The format become more of a deliberate choice for the story, and avoids "feeling cheap" as could happen with a more ambitious presentation on a restricted budget.

I do fear that the open-ended payoff may not be satisfying enough: I cannot simply explain the mystery completely, as no explanation could measure to what the players imagined, but getting the right clues to let them reconstruct an interesting version of what happened is rather difficult. The story will probably need at least a few iterations before being release-worthy anyway.



As for the "looking cheap" problem in-game, the biggest offender for new players IMHO is the particle effects. Shaders have been around for a long time, and people are now accustomed to see SFX using them. Nanolathe, large explosions like nukes, or the Bertha muzzle effect, for example, feel like they're a decade old - even if they actually look quite nice for us. The nanolathe effect is even lagging due to particle speed, which is especially visible for long-distance caretaker tasks. Compare this to the pretty nice construction effect on the unit: despite being quite simple, it feels much more modern.

Replacing or completing those effects with shader effects would go a long way to make the first impression feel less dated.

The second one is probably the animation system, but that would require so much work rewriting the engine, I doubt this is an option.

A distant third would be to have some simple map border landscape. Supreme Commander 2 (of all things) seems to do that well, with the map landscape seamlessly continuing outside of the borders and making the map feel it is somewhere, instead of being a cut-off rectangle in the void. It may or may not be a good idea to bend the outside landscape as well, as Zero-K has the same unabashed toy-unit feel than Planetary Annihilation, implying that the maps may be as big as small continents. But this would be so much work, it is almost certainly not an option and we'll have to make do with the map-repeating plugin.
+1 / -0
17 days ago
Going from top to bottom...

USrankaeonios I took a quick glimpse at his YT, and it's clearly not a gaming channel. If he can be coaxed to advertise ZK with little monetary rewards, then the publicity is worth it; it'd be hard to expect sufficient returns from a larger investment though.

CArankTheMooseIsLoose Maintaining forums is not a job for the community, though? I haven't found an actual staff list anywhere (just a long list of devs/other contributors), but I'm pretty sure I've seen people with a "moderator" badge in ZK online lobby, so I'm gonna take a gander and say that a 'moderator' role actually exists. Maintaining forums pretty much falls into the job description for mods.

PLrankZenfur wrote a lot of good stuff in his post, and there are points that'd be worthy of further discussion.


The lifeline of an RTS doesn't come from campaign/singleplayer. Sure some people can get a game just for the campaign or skirmishes, but these people basically never become a part of meaningful part of long-time player retention. The more time you waste on developing SP the less time you're using effectively on increasing the active player base and community itself. There are games that can attract and build communities around SP, but so far I haven't seen a single RTS game that has successfully done so.
+3 / -0

17 days ago
I do want to stream still. I just need to do some reading on how to stream safely on Linux. I still have some residual members of Ghostler's cult who want to attack me.
+0 / -0
17 days ago
So in general, Zero-K lacks the incentive to keep players in the short term and the capability to retain players. In general, Zero-K needs a graphics overhaul and more noob friendliness.
+0 / -0

17 days ago
1. i agree but a graphic overhaul takes A LOT of time and ressources that we don´t have.
2. i do not think that better looks will get you more players in the long term. complicated rts is just a niche thing.
+3 / -0
17 days ago
While Zero-K does lack the resources, it will need to be done. Zero-K already looks ancient, in 2-3 years it will begin to look unplayable. I don't know too much but updating the singu model is a good start. Graphics won't get more players in the long term, but it will get tons in the short term. Nower days the first thing someone looks for in a game when they download is "oh this graphics suck" and delete it or "Wow this is lit" and play it. First impressions matter and Zero-K doesn't make a good first impression. Think of it like a product in a supermarket (I know this is over abused explanation). Just like on steam, there are millions of games, hundreds or RTS's games and to make someone download Zero-K, you need for it to stand out and appeal at first glance. When you look at the singu model, it seems beyond horrible. A graphics overhaul is needed, its a long term project yes but it needs to be done.
+0 / -1

17 days ago
CArankTarkin Why should I play those hundreds of RTS games instead of Zero-K? Zero-K has a built in Tower Defense Game and I can run it on ultra with my Radeon RX 470. I want to mod the game to make some of the icons make sense, but development takes time.
+0 / -0

17 days ago
i actually came here from smash melee and got interested into the game BECAUSE it had crappy graphics :D
+1 / -0
Page of 3 (48 records)