Those meddling kids!

I suppose it is my turn to make a post. We encountered a mystery here, recently. We are slowly releasing beta builds to the masses and started with the TIGSource feedback forum. A place where developers can pimp their projects to each other and get (hopefully) some good feedback. We posted, watched the number of views increase, noticed a couple of downloads, but never received any feedback. Bummer. The hour was getting late in America, and I had to put my vigil on hold. In the morning, I anxiously checked the forums for feedback, only to find that there was none. I cried a little and decided to check the Nebulous scores list. Huzzah! People were playing the game! One submitter even took the time to take advantage of the much-dreaded unicode support. My effort was not wasted. Something was wrong though, the numbers didn't add up. Our logs only showed about 5 downloads, but we had many unique submitters. This meant people were sharing our game! We were ecstatic! The scores kept piling in. Twenty unique submitters, thirty. No new downloads? Where was it all coming from? A day passed and sinoth stumbled upon a 'fan' video of Nebulous! Wow, already people are recording their runs, this is incredible. The video had over 300 views! Still though, the numbers didn't add up, we have to find where our game is being shared. All these submissions, people playing the game multiple times, but NO feedback whatsoever. Maybe they are commenting somewhere else? I tried many times, but google's spidery minions had not found the game yet. Would we ever solve the mystery?

Well, yes. This block of text would be even more pointless if it didn't have some resolution.

Not being entirely familiar with this new fangled Youtube, I took a piss in the dark and checked out the video statistics. Lucky for me it keeps track of referrals. The majority of the clickthroughs were coming from a site I was not familiar with. www.small-games.info Well, let's just see what this site has to offer. Holy hell, we were reposted to a Russian gaming site of questionable integrity. The submitter had even gone through the trouble of harvesting screenshots, logo and description from our Nebulous page. There were also some comments here! People were begging for more in poorly translated Russian. There were good and bad sides to this. On the bad side, we were unable to effectively communicate with these people. Aside from the language barrier, they had no way to complain to us when things weren't working. We did not have an in-game link to our website, and the post on the Russian site did not link to us either. If our logo had not been in place the game might as well have been an anonymous production, spawned out of the ether of the interwebs. This whole incident, however, has been good for us. We realized the necessity to make us accessible in game, and be able to communicate with our players. The changes we have been working on this week, and hope to finish today, will ensure we are only a mouse click and internet connection away from our users. This has also spread the game to a wider audience. The small-games site has had more views and more downloads and more comments than the TIGSource post, and we are very happy to even have this number of people playing the game.

George got stung by a bee and said,
"I wouldn’t have got stung if I’d stayed in bed."
Fred got stung and we heard him roar,
"What am I being punished for?"
Lew got stung and we heard him say,
"I learned somethin’ about bees today."
--Shel Silverstein

My thanks to the Internet and the planet for being crazy, unpredictable places.

No comments:

Post a Comment