Author Topic: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...  (Read 66718 times)

Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 03:29:10 PM »
Very confusing; we made this puzzle game that many reviewers are raving about... but very few people actually buy it.  Maybe that's the puzzle ;)

I wouldn't be so arrogant to suggest that I have an answer for you, but I do have a theory.
The screens and videos of Tidalis don't really give the game justice. Snapshots look like any other match-3 puzzle game out there.
Seeing the trailer didn't really help either, apart from flashy graphics, it looks like any other puzzle game.

I bought it just to support you, and was incredibly pleasantly surprised when I realized how good it is, but was it not for my love for AI War I would probably dismiss without giving it a second glance.

I guess many people don't even read all those great reviews you got, dismissing the game after a quick glance at a screenshot instead.

Offline Vinraith

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 03:31:11 PM »
I don't know how hard it would be, but a browser-based Tidalis demo might do a lot to demonstrate to people that it's not "just another match 3 game." Something that could be passed around on Facebook and the like might more easily get the attention of the causal crowd.

Offline Vaos

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 03:32:27 PM »
Like people are saying in the SA thread, AI War really needs some better matchmaking and/or an integrated irc client. Would implementing that be possible with the new Unity version? If more people can try out the multiplayer (which is the best) part of AI War, maybe they'll get their friends to play it, and so on.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 03:34:11 PM by Vaos »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 03:37:54 PM »
Matchmaking is now possible, I think, though the effort may be pretty significant.  It hasn't helped Tidalis much, due to the low count of players online at once.  Making an integrated IRC client is way outside the scope of the game, though it certainly has been asked for.  Definitely things to think about.
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Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 03:41:53 PM »
I don't know how hard it would be, but a browser-based Tidalis demo might do a lot to demonstrate to people that it's not "just another match 3 game." Something that could be passed around on Facebook and the like might more easily get the attention of the causal crowd.

Well, it is on Unity. I have no experience with it, but as far as I am concerned it can be embedded in a browser easily.
By the way, Facebook could possibly solve Arcen's financial problems. If you guys could release a free browser based version of Tidalis integrated with Facebook and featuring microtransactions and some social stuff you could have an incredibly profitable cash cow.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2010, 03:44:58 PM »
Well, it is on Unity. I have no experience with it, but as far as I am concerned it can be embedded in a browser easily.
Not easily, but Unity does support building the game for the Unity Web Player.  But we certainly couldn't take Tidalis as-is and do that, because the resolution supported is way different and we have to really minimize the actual amount of data involved (which basically means removing all the music and all but one of the visual themes, and making that one static with no animation, etc).  We've certainly been batting around that possibility to provide an easy-entry demo experience, basically.

Quote
By the way, Facebook could possibly solve Arcen's financial problems. If you guys could release a free browser based version of Tidalis integrated with Facebook and featuring microtransactions and some social stuff you could have an incredibly profitable cash cow.
We haven't actually talked about that specifically but in general we're wary of microtransactions and that kind of thing, feels exploitative.  Worth thinking about ways of doing it ethically, though.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Vinraith

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2010, 03:51:32 PM »
I don't know how hard it would be, but a browser-based Tidalis demo might do a lot to demonstrate to people that it's not "just another match 3 game." Something that could be passed around on Facebook and the like might more easily get the attention of the causal crowd.

Well, it is on Unity. I have no experience with it, but as far as I am concerned it can be embedded in a browser easily.
By the way, Facebook could possibly solve Arcen's financial problems. If you guys could release a free browser based version of Tidalis integrated with Facebook and featuring microtransactions and some social stuff you could have an incredibly profitable cash cow.

Yeah, that's kind of where I was going with that. Hell, if the browser version had MP it could be a real Facebook sensation actually.

Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2010, 03:54:33 PM »
Yeah, I generally hate microtransactions, but I know that Facebook games can be incredibly profitable. It might be worth sacrificing a small bit of your soul to keep the company running and hopefully fill your new swimming pool with 100$ notes. ;)
Then again, I'm not suggesting you should be exploitative, I guess it can be done ethically.

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/
Those guys did some pretty nice demos of their upcoming game in a browser, on Unity. It is a 3d shooter and it looks and plays really great in the web player.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 03:56:22 PM by mlaskus »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2010, 03:57:49 PM »
It might be worth sacrificing a small bit of your soul to keep the company running
Never ;)  But good for a laugh.

I think a barebones web version with co-op would be really cool (and if it works on facebook, all the better), though the co-op part would be tricky due to the size of the web player on the screen.  We'd basically have to significantly scale down the graphics AND limit it to 7-wide boards or something like that.  Worth thinking about, anyhow.
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Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2010, 04:00:44 PM »
due to the size of the web player on the screen.

Those I'm demos work in fullscren, maybe you could make the game pop into a new window or go into fullscreen mode when playing in coop?

Then again, I guess most people wouldn't want their browser game take up their whole screen.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 04:02:41 PM by mlaskus »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2010, 04:01:39 PM »
Does Interstellar Marines use the Unity Web Player?  Or something else?  We could investigate whether the unity one supports fullscreen, but my understanding is that it's pretty set-in-stone that way.
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Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 04:03:46 PM »
Yes, that's why I mentioned them. The whole game runs on Unity, and they made some demos available through the Web Player now

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2010, 04:08:49 PM »
Yea, the full screen works pretty well on that.  Lovely loading screen and music too, though it's still downloading and doesn't appear to be making progress.  Might be something with my network config or whatever, though.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline mlaskus

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2010, 04:13:28 PM »
Yeah, they are pretty big, it took me a while to load too. I tried only the weapon training demo and it was quite brilliant.
Those guys are indie devs too, maybe they could answer some of your questions about using the Web Player. I admit, I personally haven't had any experience with them but it might be worth a shot.

Offline Shardz

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Re: Love AI War and/or Tidalis? We could really use your help...
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2010, 04:18:23 PM »
Yeah, I generally hate microtransactions, but I know that Facebook games can be incredibly profitable. It might be worth sacrificing a small bit of your soul to keep the company running and hopefully fill your new swimming pool with 100$ notes. ;)
Then again, I'm not suggesting you should be exploitative, I guess it can be done ethically.

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/
Those guys did some pretty nice demos of their upcoming game in a browser. It is a 3d shooter and it looks and plays really great in the web player.

The suggestions and ideas are coming slowly and Facebook is definitely a trendy media at the moment which enjoys high profile traffic. I personally, however, shudder at the thought of opening the floodgates of the Farmville community upon us, but I guess that is how commercialism works ultimately. I was a prominent forum member of Runic's forum prior to the release of Torchlight, and that community was about as tight as this one is with AI War. But as soon as the game was released, Steam & Gamespot launched the media campaign and flooded the forums with thousands of "Steamers" (mostly, but not completely) and changed forever the tone and number of intelligible posts we used to enjoy; effectively landing me here at Arcen to escape the din of Diablo fanboys clogging up the forums with ridiculous and redundant posts.

Ultimately, what I enjoy about Arcen is integrity. That doesn't come often in this world and especially in this industry. The fact that AI Wars is indeed a hidden gem in the weeds makes it all that much more attractive to me; although, this doesn't parallel with monetary success, either. When I read statements like, "It might be worth sacrificing a small bit of your soul"...I get a bit worried cause this is one independent game company which has a "ghost in the machine" in all their products and I'd hate to see anything change too drastically.

I also ended up leaving DeviantArt after many years because they decided to tie everyone's art gallery to the networking sites and I had to draw the line with that one. I understand the importance and value of mass marketing through those mediums, but one must take care not to lose the special bond with the core supporters in the process.