The Castle Doctrine Forums

Discuss the massively-multiplayer home defense game.

You are not logged in.

#1 2016-10-12 12:38:57

Registered: 2016-10-12
Posts: 1

State of the game/playerbase - Getting more players without sales

I won't address the "Why Rampant Sales are Bad for Players" too much as there is a thread for that and there's quite a bit I could say.
But let's start assessing the "State of the game" with this quote from from the blog.

Jason wrote:

Okay, but what are the alternatives? More importantly, how am I going to price The Castle Doctrine? If you buy it at launch, are you going to be screwed a few weeks later by a sale? Am I going to make you wish that you waited?

Let's consider the implications of the Minecraft pricing model. What if, instead of inevitable sales as a game ages, the price rises over time instead?

For the fans, this is a great thing, because their die hard fanhood is rewarded with a lower price, almost like a secret deal for those who knew about the game before anyone else. When the price goes up later, they feel smart. Most importantly, they don't feel torn between supporting their favorite developer at launch and saving money. They can do both.

For people who find out about the game later, after the price has gone up a bit, they may regret not buying the game before the increase (a lesson learned for next time), but they can still feel smart buying the game now, before it goes up again.

I don't remember what Minecraft's marketing campaign was, but I bought both Minecraft and The Castle Doctrine in alpha.
The reason the Minecraft pricing model worked was because the fanbase grew exponentially due to the amount of freedom the game (potentially) offered (The Castle Doctrine in Minecraft could work, for example).

What is the problem

The leading point I am taking from this is that this pricing model does not consider what the game would be like if there weren't a lot of players. The blog insinuates that the fan/consumer's main concern is that other people will get the game cheaper than they did.

This is how the game is described on Steam:

The Castle Doctrine is a massively-multiplayer game

Imagine World of Warcraft or Runescape without any players.
This is how Castle Doctrine players feel with the current limited playerbase.

Sadly the combination of limiting sales AND an increasing price model has limited the playerbase to people who either backed early, people who really enjoy the game or people who aren't a part of the sales trend (which isn't a lot).

What can be done to get more players

Putting the game free to play would get the most players, but as it states in the blog these are lifetime accounts into a server that costs Jason money so he can't "just pepper the ground with cheap or free download codes", and to expect that of him wouldn't be fair.

Putting the game on sale would apparently be a "kick in the teeth" for fans who paid for it earlier, but mostly, people who bought it for the full price it has risen to.
As a person who occasionally buys games as soon as they come out for the pleasure of playing them as soon as they come out, I would not feel that my gameplay experience would be cheapened or saturated if the playerbase was bigger because there was a free weekend with 75% off. Even if it was 50% off once a year. Sales are obviously at the discretion of the developer/publisher, but I just wanted to include my input as a fan and early backer of the game.

Most of what was said about discounting the game can also be said about permanently reducing the games price, but this would be going back on the pricing model even further (which again, I as a player support because it will increase the playerbase).

My final suggestion is one that doesn't affect the pricing model at all.
A large community event of some sort. Maybe to celebrate the launch in January, or release of alpha in March, or even something completely unrelated, similar to the Steal Real Money Contest, but it doesn't have to be real money. Winners could have versions of themselves put in game, or different skins for tools, different textures houses/walls etc. Anything to encourage people to play, stream, draw fan art, write music for - anything that promotes the game and gets it to it's former glory 2/3 years ago.
While the ideal situation would be for the developer/publisher to get more players, having a community event can be organised purely from within the game community as that is the essence of the word.

If anyone has any ideas or thoughts on who/what/when/where/why to host a good community event for this amazing but dying game, or any on this post in general I would like to actively discuss how to achieve the developers dream of a thriving community and perhaps a more successful Minecraft model where more people are willing to pay full price.


#2 2016-11-30 12:11:01

From: Sweden
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 106

Re: State of the game/playerbase - Getting more players without sales


Alternatively, as i have done. Is to setup a own community server.  I got one running. But there is another problem to that.  And that is that no one knows about it.  tongue    It's even free. 

But i see where you are coming from. What we need is some "replayability" of sorts, just as you are saying. Mabye some happening, skins or whatever.   smile


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB 1.5.8