Zombie Moon (www.zombiemoongame.com), is a Mobile Social RPG by Snakehead Games. Well you already knew that right? 😛
Zombie Moon was the mobile evolution of StarPirates.net (and it’s sister games) onto the Mobile Platform. Most things we’ve gotten right. The game is fun, has lots of players, some of whom support the game financially.
One area we totally messed up in tho is trying to transport the World Chat concept directly from Star Pirates without also having the forum. The World Chat is too thin. It’s hard for us to communicate to players that there are rules in place, and unlike the web Moderators are not able to send links to the players with the rules, and examples.
This means Moderators who are doing their job of enforcing the rules, are being seen as pushy. This has turned into a couple of dust ups, with ill feelings. Not fun. Not good.
It also means lots of time for the development team away from making a better game. Our best estimate is that 3 hours a day of the teams time is spend on Zombie Moon chat — that’s 10% of our entire teams work hours devoted just to chat. Chat itself generates zero revenue, so it’s a huge drain on growing the games.
Chat as it is has to go. World Chat had its time in the sun (or at least on Callisto!) and it is permanently gone. That conversation is done.
So we’re learning and evolving. Chat is now down for maintenance. The World Chat is now done.
We will replace it with a Squad Level chat.
UPDATE: The first version of Squad Chat is now live using the existing system and it replaces World Chat. Squad Chat is not as complete as the final version will be however that must wait for Zombie Moon version 3+
The Squad leaders (& team) are now responsible for enforcing the official ZM chat rules, and whatever other rules they add. If players don’t like the rules they can leave that squad and join another (which is not an option with the World Chat – there was only one). If squad leaders find someone not following their rules, they can kick them from the squad.
This will change the focus of community from being a game wide community to more of a Squad level, which has pros and cons, but I think overall is a good thing. Players want to talk strategy and things with those closest to them. The main problem there is that Squads are a bit too small for critical mass of chat, so we’ll look at somehow Enhancing that…a bunch of things are on the table, but we’ll create a form of Enhanced Squad Chat.
SHG is working on a big back-end update for Zombie Moon (a brand new ground up rebuild using a completely new more powerful game engine – version 3). This will allow us to add a LOT of new features, but for now we can’t release an unfinished work. So the final (full-feature) version of squad chat will have to take come with the new game engine or in a subsequent release maybe in late August. Maybe we can sneak it earlier, maybe it’ll be later.
Sorry to those who loved, enjoyed and got a lot of out World Chat.
Squad Level chat is here to stay. Wait for the TONNE of new features that are coming to the game later this year!!