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  • NS site update 7\17:

    [July 17th, 2006 ] :: Zen of Sudoku distribution (Flayra)

    Since I started selling the beta of Zen of Sudoku last month, it's been selling really well! There's been no advertising; most of our sales have been coming from the NS community and word of mouth. We also got a full page write-up on Penny Arcade, which helped immensely. Those guys have always been great to us and I can't be more thankful. Whether the game appeals to you or not, consider telling your parents or grandparents about it. They might love it and it would really help!

    I am talking with a many of the major game "portals" to get as wide distribution as possible. As the game nears completion, it is becoming clear that it's success will really depend on whether we can get the word out to a large audience or not. The game has been "converting" well (% of people that try the game that then buy it), but with this audience, only about 10% of people that we get to our website actually download and try the game. I'm not sure if this is the case with Natural Selection as well, but this staggering statistic seems to be pretty standard from the portals I've talked to.

    The next step is to figure out how to a) get more traffic and b) get those 90% to get some value out of their visit, and to possibly encourage them to download the game. Now it's clear to me why Popcap and other portals create web versions of their games. It always seemed to me that they were losing sales because so many people that play the web version of Zuma think that's the "real" Zuma. Ie, they never download the game. Even if that's the case for most people that go to the website though, I think it's probably worth making a web version just to sell ads and to slightly increase the chance that they will try the full version of the game.

    So now I'm looking for a Flash programmer that can create Zen of Sudoku for the web. The art, sound, music, etc. are all done, so it's just a question of recreating the game exactly, with some of the functionality removed or stripped down of course, so it doesn't have a 10+ megabyte footprint. If this is something you'd be interested in, please write me. I think it's a great chance to get your work seen by many people and I'm flexible in terms of compensation. We also need an OS X version, though that will be more work.

    We are still testing the site and are about to open it up to a wider group of people. The site has been a true nightmare to work on, but we're going to get it right. Enough about that.

    In other news, we are preparing for imminent, earnest work on Natural Selection: Source! I wasn't sure which direction it should go, but after seeing some of the upcoming technology and features in Source, everything has become clear. There won't be any announcements until we are financially stable, but now I'm sure that's going to happen, it's just a matter of when!

    For the record, NS:S will be released through Steam and will cost money ($19.95?) and will be a standalone game. From the beginning, the idea has been to create Natural Selection, give it away and then sell the sequel. Back then, I thought the sequel would be much bigger and for retail, but a lot has changed in the past almost five years since starting work on NS. Now the sequel will have a smaller scope and will be sold online, but we will retain more control, will need less money up-front and will get paid more for every copy sold. It's not what I was expecting, but it's definitely no worse! The only thing I can say about the game itself right now is that if you liked NS, you will love NS:S.

    I'm excited to get back to my first love. Aliens and high-powered weaponry. Stay tuned.
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns/
    Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
    Answers to every server question? Yes! TGNS FAQ

  • #2
    Re: NS site update 7\17:

    I do hope the next NS homepage update offers substantive indication that progress is being made with the development of NS.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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    • #3
      Re: NS site update 7\17:

      I concur. I really don't care about Zen of Sudoku. I saw this thread and was hoping it would say more about the future of NS.
      remi.D

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NS site update 7\17:

        They did mention NS:S. I think they like whats coming up on the Source engine, and want to try out new features (Portal maybe?).




        (That'd be awesome to have portals in NS)

        Case 1

        Marine1: "Comm the PG is under attack!"
        Comm: "Use your PPG (Personal Phase Gate)"
        Marine2: "THA WAT!"

        Case 2

        Fade: "Marines are rushing Hive X"
        Onos(Located other side of map) : "No problem" Uses "Movement Flash?"
        Oyee

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NS site update 7\17:

          for real, get a Sudoka page please

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NS site update 7\17:

            Originally posted by blu.knight
            ...hoping it would say more about the future of NS.
            It did mention it, but not in any detail. The rest of your post proves my point. We know absolutely nothing about what ideas are going to be put into NS:S nor what the gameplay is even going to be like. Are they going to be outside levels or inside? Will there be more alien types or different aliens all together? Will their be vehicles? We really have no idea.
            remi.D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NS site update 7\17:

              There won't be any announcements until we are financially stable, but now I'm sure that's going to happen, it's just a matter of when!
              And thats why.

              Don't worry, they'll let us all in on the new features, probably while they are still in development, just as soon as (if/when) they get the money to pay for it all.

              There's no real reason to describe the new game play features of a game that may never even be built!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NS site update 7\17:

                Do note that I was referring to NS, not NS:S, which, as a completely unique title, will, I hope, have a completely unique site.

                In fact, given that its release is now officially planned, I'd love to see NS:S have its own unique site dedicated to discussion and announcements about it, leaving NS where it is.... even if this other site were itself another independent child of UWE's site.
                Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NS site update 7\17:

                  I could say I would love to hear more about v3.2 by this point. The NS:S bell has been sounding for a year now without anything tanglible to see other than it will be sold on steam and we will "love it" if we like NS. At least with hearing information about 3.2 we have something to look forward to concerning NS in the short (?) term.
                  Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
                  Answers to every server question? Yes! TGNS FAQ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NS site update 7\17:

                    Originally posted by aeroripper
                    We are still testing the site and are about to open it up to a wider group of people. The site has been a true nightmare to work on, but we're going to get it right. Enough about that.
                    Can a website be considered vaporware?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NS site update 7\17:

                      Heh, I remember him saying something about constellation people testing it once its ready to start being opened again.

                      Quote from earlier news post:

                      We probably could've deleted over a million forum posts and 30,000 user accounts, but there's too much history for that. Many of you have been with us since BEFORE v1.0, which has been around four years. I refused to try to "reset" our community and I didn't want to just patch the site, as that wouldn't have fixed the core problems with it. After going through quite a handful of programmers for the web-site, none of which seemed quite up to the task to actually finish it (it's a surprisingly sophisticated piece of custom software, but that's a topic for another day). So the site has been rewritten, and it in major testing right now. I expect we'll open it up to the Constellation members for larger testing very shortly.
                      Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
                      Answers to every server question? Yes! TGNS FAQ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NS site update 7\17:

                        I want news on either of the NS titles, or both. I don't really want NS:S to be seperated into another site. At least not until we actually have something more to it. What I do want is for the Sudoku to get the hell out of NS's area.

                        I would really like to get the damn off-topic forums back. Used to frequent those. :/
                        remi.D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NS site update 7\17:

                          I've said it before. The reader is best advised to enjoy what comes when it comes. Any excitement dependent on advertised timelines/estimates/whathaveyou is an opportunity (in these parts, often met) for disappointment.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NS site update 7\17:

                            Sounds like the difference between a realist and an optimist.
                            remi.D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NS site update 7\17:

                              This means I'm going to definitely get a better graphics card at an undisclosed time! (bumped up from imaginary undisclosed time)

                              Comment

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