10/13/2019 in devlog
This week, we unveil a first look at the administration center and explain possible usage ideas for production fees. Plus, it's now easier than ever for content creators to get a PRO key and play the game on their channels.
The work on the administration center continues. Last week I generally described what it is all about and how to get influence to vote for a candidate. This week I implemented two vital parts: running for office and voting for a candidate.
If you follow my devlogs on a regular basis you might have noticed that I didn't post any screenshots yet. Usually when we design a new feature we also specify beforehand how the user interface for it should look like. I then start by implementing the UI first, adding server functionality as required. This time we haven't had time for proper UI mockups so I decided to try a new workflow. I started with the server functionality first and wrote simple unit tests to verify that everything works as intended. I hope that the resulting code isn't as UI centered as with the old workflow.
While it is fun to work this way the obvious downside to it is, that the UI comes last and therefore there are no screenshots. I didn't want to write another devlog without at least one screenshot so here is the first very-work-in-progress look at an administration center:
As you can see, I used a similar layout as with the Chamber of Global Commerce. Besides some general information there are three sub sections:
- The current term will list the governor, their corporation (e.g. the entity that collects the fees) and will have a link to a yet to be defined buffer that contains an overview of the fees.
- The upcoming term will have a list of all candidates and their votes. The votes are updated live as players vote, but you won't be able to see who votes for whom.
- Previous terms will have a list of previous governors.
On a related note, I have been asked a couple of times now what happens with the production fees at the moment and if they just vanish. The answer is simple: no, the factions keep track of how much they received and we are currently thinking about what to do with these fees. One of the ideas has always been to redistribute the money to the players, similar to a stock dividend. We could even go the extra mile and let new players receive a higher dividend than older players to make the early game a tiny bit easier.
I started this week off by researching different key distribution platforms because, as I stated last time, the response to my outreach to content creators has been underwhelming to say the least. I found that out of all the options out there, Woovit sounded the most promising, so I set up an offer that's been running since. Only a handful of keys have been claimed so far, and only half of them went to content creators who have remotely fitting channels for showing Prosperous Universe (i.e. "variety gaming" channels, not even related to sci-fi or simulation). What's funny is that Woovit actually sent me an alert that PeterTaylorTX uplodaded a Let's Play. I assumed that their alerts were only related to creators accessing the key via Woovit, but apparently it's not, since Peter has been playing Prosperous Universe for many months now. (Which is great, shoutout to PeterTaylorTX!) Depending on where this goes, I will utilize more platforms such as Keymailer, but Woovit seemed the most promising to start out with.
More importantly, I've been writing up ways to promote our older game, AirlineSim, this week. It hasn't gotten any marketing attention in years and has a lot of untapped potential as a result. While doing so, I realized that I hadn't done that for Prosperous Universe in a long time either, so I decided to get right on that over the weekend. Of course, there are dozens of marketing ideas in the backlog, but I hadn't made a timeline of how and when to utilize them beyond our F2P release. My job is kind of periodic - lots of work around releases and not a lot to do between them -, so I'm now working on a way to mitigate that by constantly keeping the marketing machine going, at least for the next few months. I'm calling it the End of Year Offensive (or EYOOOOOOOOOO!) and I'll let you know next week what my plans are!