Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

General Stuff about Armagetron, That doesn't belong anywhere else...
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delinquent
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Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by delinquent »

OK, I've been doing a bit of thinking about this, and here are some of my theories:

Advertising
There is next to no advertising for the game anywhere, other than the copies found in the ubuntu and Mac software centres. Nobody knows about this game, so the only medium is to pass it on by word of mouth. In doing so, we have to look at the reactions that people elicit in a social environment, as opposed to an individual one:

The Niche game
Armagetron is a game that firstly appeals to a very specific group of players; those looking for an original Tron experience. Then we have the players who are deeply involved in the development of the game, who play it because they are proud of what they have created.
Then we have the players who play the game specifically for the gameplay environment. They enjoy the raw skill that it takes to become passable in a particular mode, and the team based play that is one or two modes. Or, they may enjoy the competition factor, increasing their skill towards becoming "the best" or "pro".

One person (assuming an age of between 15 and 25) sharing the game with another in a first person environment is more likely to elicit a response of "that looks pretty crappy" as opposed to "that looks difficult and engaging". The social environment is one of direct engagement without development, in most cases, and Armagetron doesn't directly appeal to that unless you count the forums as part of the game as well.
However, one person browsing the web and coming across the game is more likely to sit back and have a good look, if not explore the game in detail. This is directly the opposite of the means that Armagetron needs to truly attract new players, due to the lack of advertising mentioned earlier.


This is just a rambling, but it would be interesting to gauge feelings on this.

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takburger
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by takburger »

what do you mean by advertising?
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Word
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Word »

Is this necessarily a bad thing? I've occasionally played games with large communities and got bored of them very fast, since nobody there is really attached to these games for a time comparable to that which most of us have dedicated to this one.
Well, your topic title suggests you have the solution too. Everything we say here should be based on statistics. As far as I know the game still attracts new players but few become addicts. If you want more people to stay for a longer time, you have to lengthen their attention span, the number of downloads (that may be increased by more aggressive advertising) means little. This cannot be achieved by the best advertising in the world. You just need a better game. Here's a nice analogy for this.
And my experience is completely different from yours: Almost everyone I know to whom I've mentioned the game once knew it already, but said something about the graphics looking dated or the gameplay being too complicated and too fast. We can't change the former overnight, and the latter is in any case essential. An example for the opposite would be DC Universe Online (it's free) - I've played a few hours and the gameplay seemed incredibly repetitive and boring to me (I already uninstalled it), but it was just fun enough to stroll through its environment and being consumed by that world's atmosphere. Armagetron has much more opportunities for customization besides moviepacks, and I think that's what needs to be exploited (in the best sense of the word) - I suppose Wild West already had all these things in mind when they produced their fork.

I don't think some advertising could hurt, but it won't attract lots of new players in the long run and get them 'hooked'.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by sinewav »

This post is unrelated to Armagetron. That link above is to Time Magazine. The article is about "what is wrong with the web" and focuses on how websites fail to grab people's attention. Or at least I think that's what the article says. I only read about 4-5 paragraphs before Time's shitty website design started to hurt my eyes. I was extremely annoyed with the news-ticker at the top coupled with obligatory Twitter button, so I closed the window. Yeah, good job Time. Have an article about what's wrong with the web then do all the stuff that's wrong with it. Idiots. Too bad, because it seemed like an interesting article.

You know what's really messed up? More and more I find myself landing on pages that are so bloody annoying I actually read the site's content through the source code instead. There are actually some browser plugins that turn web pages into text-only but I haven't found one I like yet.

I'll come back later with some thoughts on Armagetron. Please carry on.
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I'll read this article as soon as I'm not mad at them anymore.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Word »

Haha, I'm using ad-blockers and just zoomed in on the site so the other stuff didn't annoy me, but you're right (as far as cultural evolution is concerned, I suspect I'm already used to horrible website design and feel like that of the TIMES is normal). Still, I think that article is good and some of its insight can be applied to games and other media.

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takburger
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by takburger »

In France there is a newspaper that propose (only to the people who pay :( ) to have a special quiet reading format, it is so much better, there is only the text and white, and nothing else.
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Phytotron »

delinquent wrote:those looking for an original Tron experience.
Not since like 2006. When I started playing, seemed nearly all players were at least familiar with, and most were fans of, the original film (and were on average older and in greater numbers than the teen crowd that supplanted them). Now, the best you'll get is familiarity/fans of that sequel that, from everything I've heard, I'm just gonna pretend never existed—kinda like the Star Wars prequels. As far as I can tell, most players these days think Legacy is the only Tron movie (and that Daft Punk qualifies as music—both equally wrong assumptions).

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by ppotter »

Yep, I doubt I'm the only one that had never seen Tron when they downloaded this. I still haven't seen it in fact, nor Legacy.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by bilbo baggins »

ppotter wrote:Yep, I doubt I'm the only one that had never seen Tron when they downloaded this. I still haven't seen it in fact, nor Legacy.
dont bother with legacy, but watch the original for sure

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delinquent
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by delinquent »

I kinda enjoyed the visual effects in Legacy, but I agree that the storyline was atrocious.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Phytotron »

Phytotron wrote:(and were on average older and in greater numbers than the teen crowd that supplanted them)
Let me clarify this because the wording is a little sloppy. When I say "in greater numbers," I mean not only that there were more people familiar with Tron, not only were there more adults than teens, but there were also more players, period. Nowadays, I'll load up the game in off-peak hours and sometimes see as few as eight total people playing. Seriously, eight. Yet, we have seemingly hundreds of "special game mode" clan or individuals' vanity servers up.

I maintain that even though there was an initial uptick, the overall drop in player population can be traced back to the introduction of all the "special game modes," including the unwritten rules ("open/loose/dogfight/whatever," Fortress' regimented gameplay, etc.), that new players can't relate to. You add that on top of a couple of the unintuitive and ridiculous physics/mechanics that preceded them (high rubber and multibind-exploiting low CYCLE_DELAY), and new players are driven away. They figure they'll try the game, but quickly find out the only way to get into the game is by being a masochist and putting up with abuse and punishment from the existing players, so they quit. (And the type of people willing to put up with that and stay? Yeah.)

I'm not ignoring the other factor that the older crowd moved on, either with life or just got tired of this game (or got fed up with the influx of poor-quality teens), but why aren't they being replaced? I think the above is in large part why. And neither advertising, some wiki, the tutorial, or certainly any of this other exclusivist crap (e.g., pickup) is gonna help with or change that.


Anyway, I figured we hadn't had a good "back in my day, you damn kids" post in awhile, so.

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Titanoboa
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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Titanoboa »

I think Phytotron is actually right.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Vogue »

i dunno, the learning curve of this game is also pretty bad

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by ConVicT »

Phytotron wrote: You add that on top of a couple of the unintuitive and ridiculous physics/mechanics that preceded them (high rubber and multibind-exploiting low CYCLE_DELAY), and new players are driven away.
This is the only part I don't personally agree with. I think, if all there was were, low rubber, and default delay type servers, I'd have been put off from the beginning.
Mainly because I died too easily with 12 rubber when I started out, I was dead for probably 2/3 of the time I played, and I can't imagine I'd have stuck around too long if I only had the 5 rubber or whatever.
I also think that those who tend to stick around are the ones that actually take some time to learn some commands, it makes the game more fun if you know what things mean imo.

P.S I actually only looked this game up because of Tron Legacy, but not because the film was good, that doesn't matter, it just made me think "hmm, I wonder if there's an online game", couple searches later and here I was.

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Re: Why Armagetron doesn't attract new players (much)

Post by Phytotron »

ConVicT wrote:Mainly because I died too easily with 12 rubber when I started out
That's really bad. I've encountered many more players who are like, "what the hell? Why don't people die when they hit the wall?" High rubber is not just bad for gameplay, it's unintuitive for newcomers.

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