Refilling the tanks – Development Log #169

While Martin has been researching and implementing measures for player retention, Julian has been getting ready to draw some new attention to the game when its first reset goes down.

Avatar Martin


The other day I was reading an article by MMO design legend Raph Koster about what drives retention in games. While the article is mostly a nice summary of stuff I think I already knew, there was one key line that stuck with me:

a service-based game is not a dirty word, doesn’t mandate constant moneygrubbing, doesn’t mean it has to be free to play. It just means that you the developer and you the player are in it for the long haul.

It mostly resonated with me because (as I mentioned in last week's devlog) I spend quite a bit of time recently on our other game AirlineSim which - just as Prosperous Universe - is an online business simulation game. Contrary to PrUn though, it has been around for 17 years (!) now. And yet, at least every now and then, we have to and want to give it some love because we have players who've been playing this game for often more than a decade and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Unless we decided we don't care anymore. Which we won't. Because as Koster put it: We're in it for the long haul!

Anyway, so much for my unusual devlog this week. I have been and will be dealing with the general theme of retention on and off again for the past and coming weeks. And I also spent some time this week finally fixing the pesky serialization bug that keeps some of our testers from receiving all the balancing changes Alex has been working on. It will most definitely be fixed after the next reset!

Avatar Julian

Julian (Mjeno)

This week, I did some planning and preparation on how to advertise our upcoming game world reset to get some new players on board. The measures will include the usual stuff such as another external giveaway and one on Twitter, live streaming, Reddit posts, another newsletter etc. One special thing I did this week, however, is reaching out to some (very) select influencers for possible collaborations, appearances, and sponsorship opportunities. While nothing is really concrete yet, I did get a promising response or two out of it.

Additionally, I signifcantly upgraded the setup for our next Twitch stream on February 19th. Our high-tier supporters have already seen a preview, and I hope that the rest of you will be pleasantly surprised!

Last but not least, I finished the new wiki page on efficiency factors! It answers many questions that frequently came up in the past regarding building efficiency, consumption of resources, and experts. From here on out, all updates to the APEX Handbook will be announced in this forum thread, where you can also learn how to contribute yourself.

I hope you find the new page useful. See you next week!

As always: we'd love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!

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