ZM Squad Chat Spikes Wars – Player Activity Up!

Hey Space Marines,

The transition of World Chat to Squad Chat was an abrupt one.  Our apologies there.  But it has had a good effect on players engagement and numbers. Across the board, there are  more players playing on a daily basis, in pretty much every activity range.

You may not see that as clearly as overall game transparency is obviously hurt, as is finding allies efficiently.  Those are definitely the drawbacks.  So let me give the update on what else is happening due to the changes.

Wars are a LOT more active.  The competition is fierce.  That is pretty transparent actually for anyone who clicks the “Squads” tab — the war score is listed beside each squad name. It’s the number after the tiny shield.  We know Squad chat is helping with war prep; which is cool to see.

As a company we have been able to take those 4 hours a day we were involved in managing and are using them to build a better ZM.  Follow the Zombie Moon Dev Blog here, to get twice weekly updates.  It’s a new part of the SHG site, but you’ll see new visual timbits there twice a week (at least).

We’ve also hired on 2 folks starting July 21st, to work on ZM. That’s a huge win by itself.  We will feature them later, so stay tuned.

Now, what we’re missing are some more social features.  This is especially true for new players. To be fair to ourselves, we’ve added in a prototype of the new player ally and squad matching service.  But it’s not enough for new players, although it’s a reasonable bridge for  new players…at least for the next few weeks until the new ZM is launched.

We also need to add in more social features for experienced players — Do we create “Squad Families” where the squad chat of 3 different but allied squads are merged into one?  Do we enable Level 400 players to start their own chat inviting 20 or so players max, and moderate it as they like (desired by some, but huge red flags to review there)?  Do we do a dozen other creative ideas that we have for socialisation?

Well we do know that we’ll be adding much better ways to find allies (auto suggested allies, and more), plus a great new social intro for new players with or without a new player chat.  And a lot of other non-social features too…such as squads and entire game vs. Boss NPCs etc.

One interesting outcome of these changes is that the game will be able to be localised in the fall. Without World Chat to regulate, we can actually get ZM into the hands of many more, from many more places.

3 Month SHG Update

So what has SHG done over the past 3 months?

A lot. As always, a lot.

www.baneworld.com is being migrated to the larger NEaB community. That means lots of more quests, content, and players to infuse the game.  If things go well, in 3 months it’ll be fully run by the NEaBS admin team.

As for our more popular StarPirates.net and SpyBattle.com, our Gem over that time is:
* Mission Control – see post here.  Players get to “live” the stories of their cohorts.  How cool.

It’s live in StarPirates and a variation will be live in SpyBattle soon.

We knew that our games could be confusing to start, and if someone’s confused, they’ll wander off before giving the games a shot!  So another big release was:
* Walkthroughs for new Players: Try to get confused about the game now! Just try 🙂

Also released:
* Dozens of new NPCs to fight
* New items
* Updated jobs
* A slew of gaming upgrades; we’ve lost count.

On a sadder note, we’ve mourned the real life passing of one of the games’ legends.  We miss you GDL.

On a happier tone, the marriage of two of our players lit up the community.  What makes this marriage extra special?  They met in the game, fell in love here, and continue to bring cheer (and pirate ways) whenever they come online.  And maybe if you’re nice they may give you some of their unique wedding cake (!)

We’ve also cleared some trouble makers out of the game. Community is what makes our games extra fun – we won’t put up with those that are dragging it down.

Since role playing is such a huge part of the game, (thanks role playing community!), we’ve been involved creating official Canon for the SP/SB universe.  This allows storycrafters to ensure their work fits intot he overall tapestry (no pressure tho).  This has been underway for a while, and will be released this week.  Lots of hard work, and sacrifice, from the Role Playing community to help with this. Thanks.

What’s next?  Well that’s for another post.  Stay tuned!

— Admin ArrBilly out!