“Community” is still the stuff that happens when everyone’s back is turned. In the MMO space, everyone’s been passing around the metric that says less than 10 percent of their player base ever uses message boards — except that they’re reacting the worst way possible. Instead of taking those 10 percenters and making something useful out of their various community segments, in and out of game, they’re tacitly saying, “Look, all we have to do is run these people around in circles so they don’t make more noise and they can play armchair developer, but what they really say doesn’t matter. The real players are our great silent majority, who speak with their checkbooks.”
Lemme get back on track. What I realized early on with Shadowbane is that the next best thing to playing the game for most players is thinking about playing the game. Would-be players want to make mental connections with the game material. The business of laying out the red carpet for would-be players isn’t just dropping screenshots every so often (though that helps.)
More developers should realize the gulf that exists between them and their target market, and instead of just shouting across it, they should build that bridge, and then go meet their players in the middle.
Make no mistake about what I’m talking about here. This is as important as building the game itself.
Really, I would have never guessed that it was J. to write this.
It’s interesting even the quote he has on his blog.