A public letter to Z-man.

General Stuff about Armagetron, That doesn't belong anywhere else...
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compguygene
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A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

I would like to start off by saying that this letter is about the Wiki, but it is also about so much more that I decided that it would better fit in the General Section.

Most importantly, I would like to thank you for the many years of work on this project that goes well beyond that of a developer. Without your having created this project and then returned to it after other developers had taken up the torch. It is very clear that with a child that has some special needs that you actually want and need to spend time with, a successful career, and a lack of interest on the part of players actually playig this game, your need to prioritize this project in the way that some people would prefer is neither practical nor desirable. As such I think that it is time to think in terms of trying to move this project to a new set of hands slowly over time.
Obviously, this project could be easily forked or rewritten by the right group of people, if they were interested. Howerver, the question is simply how do we attract a new developer, or ideally 2 or 3 or 4. I think that the best way to do that is to leverage the existing player base, code, and infastructure to show a project that is not dead but struggling.
That is where getting the Wiki working again is crucial.
Obviously, it is going to take a significant ammount of time and effort to do the ground work that is needed for Lucifer to finish it.
So, let me give you some reasons why, it is not because players are playing a lot again. However, several of us saw the short term success of the last Ladle, and would like to that and more to push out a few more tournaments to get existing tournament players a reason to populate servers. Let me list some of the things that have been done and are being done to support this effort.

1. A set of Discord servers that are being used to organize people to play. There are also functioning Pickup servers for people to play in as well.

2. The return of Yellow Sub. Since Yellow Sub has returned it is again common to find players playing Yellow Sub at various times during the day, so the game isn't nearly as empty as it was.

3. There are a few new players playing!

4. To have servers that are better protected I have found very inexpensive VPS's that are inexpensive. This is now available because of the increased availability of DDOS protection at very affordable prices for Dedicated servers from which little companies marketing small, inexpensive VPS's. In the light of that I have picked Texas, Buffalo, New York, and Roubaix, France servers that are DDOS protected. From these I plan to organize some small tournaments. Hopefully, the tournaments will grow and I will need server donations to organize them.

5. As we saw in the Ladle, people that have run teams in the past would like to do it more. When Ww folded as a clan, echo.bot and I were the two leaders keeping things going. What I am in the process of doing with the servers and eventually a forum is rebooting the Ww brand, but not as a clan. If you look at the history of Ww, there were servers, then admins, then a forum, then a clan. I plan to do something similar but would like to avoid the mistakes of the past. I really feel that clans are a really bad idea for now, especially. I plan to with the help of some Ww's that have expressed interest, launch Ww as more of a team, but a unique one. Basically, permanent Ww team members will form teams for tournaments that will be more open teams, encouraging people to just play.
But, since it will be a team, not a clan, there won't be as strict of tag wearing rules and even permanent members will be allowed to play on other teams and wear their tags. The goal will be for Ww's goal to build the game as a whole by teaching the new player base and encourging newbies to just play in a tournament and try it out.t
As you can see, I really miss this game and have a vision to do what I can to drive things forward. However, none of it can be done until that Wiki is working again.

Also, I have talked about how this game could be modernized and monetized to a few developers that I know that could create a multi-platform game with Unity, etc. But, they would like to see the existing game actually working and be able to play and observe. So, the problem is a classic chicken-egg problem. We need to show the Chicken so a new egg can be hatched.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Z-Man »

Thanks for everything, sorry for my brevity.
compguygene wrote:As such I think that it is time to think in terms of trying to move this project to a new set of hands slowly over time.
If you ask me, it can also happen quicker. No, I'm not sick of any of you guys, maybe of the codebase a little (the older bits I have to deal with at work are worse), but it's simply clear that I'm not finding usable chunks of time consistently enough for even relatively straightforward tasks.

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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

I have been talking with a few devs i know here locally in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. They would like to see what some of this stuff looks like now actually being played. I have been pitching them on creating a newer codebase, as has been discussed here, perhaps using Unity, and some in-game monetization, mostly regarding mobife platforms. With a profit motive there is much more interestl
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by aP|Nelg »

compguygene wrote:I have been talking with a few devs i know here locally in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. They would like to see what some of this stuff looks like now actually being played. I have been pitching them on creating a newer codebase, as has been discussed here, perhaps using Unity, and some in-game monetization, mostly regarding mobife platforms. With a profit motive there is much more interestl
Well, remember that a portion of the fun is that this game is open source / free software and that anyone can contribute. Also running servers and scripting them.

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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

I agree. we think that there is room for both. They see the creative value of doing the development as much open source as possible. The idea on my part is simple. By having just a few proprietary components that are monetized, developers can be working on improving things, but by actually making money, they could devote more time and effort into continually improving and updating the game. Numerous past developers here have said that if they were paid something to do the dev work, more would get done quicker. I propose to address that problem.
I knew when I made my last post that others would be wondering about the scripting and open source nature of the game. Just remember, that is the most significant fun for me too.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

Well, let's talk but this. It has been discussed here before. Micro transactions that are "power ups" are very profitable, but ruin the game, so those are out. But, how about "virtual hats". How about offering a marketplace for custom moviepacks, custom cycles that others can see, and whatever else makes sense. Of course, it would be a true marketplace, one where your creations could be placed on it and you earn money from it, with the marketplace taking a cut. So, not ruining gameplay by forcing you to pay to effectively play. Remember, the idea is not to create some super profitable company, just pay a programmer or 2 a wage. It would be setup as a non-profit entity of some sort.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Light »

compguygene wrote:Well, let's talk but this. It has been discussed here before. Micro transactions that are "power ups" are very profitable, but ruin the game, so those are out. But, how about "virtual hats". How about offering a marketplace for custom moviepacks, custom cycles that others can see, and whatever else makes sense. Of course, it would be a true marketplace, one where your creations could be placed on it and you earn money from it, with the marketplace taking a cut. So, not ruining gameplay by forcing you to pay to effectively play. Remember, the idea is not to create some super profitable company, just pay a programmer or 2 a wage. It would be setup as a non-profit entity of some sort.
I personally wouldn't be into it. It's one of my biggest annoyances when I get a game and I have to purchase things to play the whole game. Moviepacks and whatnot are a little different there, but I would rather see this go a different direction if you were going to implement things like that. It feels more like making a new game that may be similar to this would be better. This game had a good life, and it wouldn't be the end of the world if it was replaced by something better.

When it comes to purchasing, I'm much more in favor of purchasing a game and having the full game over getting a free game then being bugged to buy addons to it. Then it would come down to finding it worth putting money into. There are so many free games available that purchasing a game is rare for me. I purchase approx. 2 a year on average. Once there was a charge for parts of the game, I would probably just move on to something else and leave this one behind. I generally purchase either VR games, or split screen games to play with my wife, and this is something she would never get into (tried .. she hated it).

What you can do is, if you end up basically rebuilding, place some ads or something at the login page. You could also create a domain that pushes ads, so the more traffic your game pulls in, the more money you make. You could also skip PC support all together and create a mobile version of the game with keyboard support, which would probably make bringing in traffic much easier as you could join the Google Play / Apple Store and get some "free" advertising. This would allow for in-game ads between rounds or before entering a server, which wouldn't interfere with actual gameplay and you could avoid the bugging for money with everything you can thing.

Just my thoughts. Others may have a different opinion when it comes to supporting game developers, but I think more people are open to non-invasive ads over paying for anything.

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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

The reason I posted here was to get the community's thoughts. Quite frankly, I like them much better than my own. With signifiicant updates, I could see this game as a paid one. But personally, I would prefer the idea of the integration of pc and mobile platforms. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Monkey »

Personally speaking, I have to say that, while I relate to your love of this game, I don't like your ideas here compguygene. There are quite a few successful open source games that don't have any of what you are proposing and, in my opinion, none of them have the gameplay and potential that our beloved Arma does.

The first thing that we need is the ability to donate money to the project/developers via the main website. I already donate to two open source projects and I'd like to donate to Arma too, as I'm sure others would. Small donations can make a huge difference to open source projects, especially when they are set up as monthly donations.

I think we know most of our weaknesses, they just need developer time to get fixed.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Lucifer »

I get it, most of us come from capitalist countries. Logically, we want to find a way to make capitalism work for this game.

Honestly, that's not going to happen. We've always been socialist, not by choice, but by reality. The only way we're going to make money in a capitalist world is if Disney shows up and gives us a few million dollars to work on the game.

They're not going to do that. They're much more likely to sue us.

And seriously, I need money like there's no tomorrow. I'm currently caught up in a second divorce (at least this time, armagetron isn't a reason for divorce), but capitalism isn't going to work. Getting people to pay in-game for shit like having custimizable avatars is still going to result in the penis light cycles we didn't want to begin with, and advertising just isn't worth what it used to be worth. Product placement is useless in this game, unless we hit up skateboarding companies (turns out that the closest real life analog to light cycles is longboarding).

But capitalism isn't going to make this project great again. We need patrons, and, frankly, that's what's going to work. so find some rich person who loves games like this who has a million dollars in disposable income and is willing to toss it our way.

I realize it sounds like begging, but honestly, that's where we're at. We can't capitalize this game without selling out our values, and we won't sell out our values.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Word »

Lucifer wrote:I'm currently caught up in a second divorce
Ugh, I'm sorry about that.

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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Z-Man »

Word wrote:
Lucifer wrote:I'm currently caught up in a second divorce
Ugh, I'm sorry about that.
That. I wish I had something uplifting to say.

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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by compguygene »

I am sad to hear of your divorce, Lucifer. I do wish you the best.
I get what you are saying about the nature of this game, thank you for the reality check. I see where I was wrong.
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Re: A public letter to Z-man.

Post by Word »

May I suggest you actually ask Disney for money (or an actual job that includes developing Arma and nurturing the Tron franchise's fanbase) in return for saying into a camera how thankful we are or some other concessions of the kind you'd be willing to make? They could then present themselves as a more selfless corporation that helps/has a close relationship with/gives back to its longtime fans, empowers the open-source/e-sport community etc. :P I just think you'd have to sell that idea in a clever way. Sure, they could clone the game at any point and have enough programmers of their own, but given Arma's long history in the open source community it would cause a scandal if they claim sole credit for it. Armagetron is still way better than almost every Tron-themed game they ever put out. Call it paid fan art if you want.

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