On 11/27/06, Andrew K. Bressen <akb+lists.netrek-dev at mirror.to> wrote:
> I think if we're trying to build up the player base by attracting newbs,
> the current bots are ok. I did like the bots some server had that would
> take orders.

I think that was on some chaos servers. It is in Vanilla IIRC. You
could send a bot "ogg 2" or "escort 1" or even "exit".

> I'm not so sure. It's a very good game that looks and sounds a bit dull.
> There are plenty of games that look great and are boring to play. The
> trick is to get people past the initial appearance. We do have
> something to offer, but it's something that isn't obvious to the
> casual shopper.

Indeed. Chess has much less of an aesethetic appeal than netrek, yet
every day I see certain chess servers full with hundreds, sometimes
thousands of players. And to play chess at a very high level is much
more intellectually demanding so netrek wins on both counts of
asethetics and playability. Chess is a richer game in terms of
strategy than netrek though I think.

> It also is a stylistically different game; no matter how popular
> first-person or isomorphic rpg stuff is, some folks will always want
> to do something different. Unlike evercrack, it costs no money. It has
> a very high ceiling; you can play for years and still have stuff to
> learn.


> And the mac and linux clients should be a significant advantage.
> Linux is very starved for games. Macs are better, but I suspect it
> is still an under-served market.

The Mac client looks really spiffy. Be nice if we can get the code
ported to Linux.
Several players have over the years expressed a desire that a GL
client might get a lot of attention for the game. Some have made some
GL efforts in Java but no Linux/Windows true GL client has ever been
written AFAIK. Even getting a 256 color pixmap client like Ted Turner
would be a step in the right direction. I just tried the Ted Turner
client from http://ftp.netrek.org  and the public servers won't allow
it to connect. Maybe someone could update the key? And on Windows
we've never had a 256 color pixmap client AFAIK.

> I think once the mac client is debugged and the server infrastructure
> straightened out, we should start pushing the game and see what we
> can get.

I concur.

> Talk it up on gamer boards, especially mac-oriented and
> linux-oriented places. Talk it up to trekkies. See if we can get
> more articles written. Put up some money and run some more ads.
> But it should all be synchronized; having people trickle in and see
> no-one playing will not work.

We had some efforts in the past but they were never coordinated. I
recall that /. posting from a few years back and the poster never
bothered to coordinate with the netrek community.

> A key thing to remember is that we don't need very many people. Sure,
> you can look and say "We look lame compared to Warcraft, we'll never
> get players", but WoW sold a quarter of a million units the day that
> it debuted. We only need a tiny tiny fraction of that to be totally
> set.

Yeah. Just look at PS3 and Wii and Xbox, players will shell out big
bucks ($90 USD a game + $300 USD or so for console unit) to play
games. Most new PC games go for $60 to $80 and lot make you keep
paying a monthly charge to use their networks (this used to be less
common back in the day sigh). So netrek must leverage it's strengths
which are the relatively low network overhead, ability to play the
game even with higher pings and latency (yes there are still millions
of net users on dialup like me hehe), the FOSS client/server codebase
(well most clients are open some are not), the dual  strategtic and
tactical gameplay, long time horizon to master the game, in-game is
more straight forward than in a lot of other games, relatively easy
controls, and you don't have to pay for the cilent or network usage.