Game developers have to look at game development from zillions of fresh angles every day, day on day. Not a day goes by when out of the box thinking doesn’t help! Our website and games have to be fun and our content updated and fresh all the time, yet these attributes are not enough in themselves to ensure success after the first few months of any gaming portal’s availability.
What we should know, as gaming developers, from the experiences of other poker and industry providers is that end users continue to play our games – and play with real money – if a feeling of “community” develops among them. Check out the daily hits to top sites like warcraft and even poker stars, by the same people every day, again and again. It is in our interest to foster this sense of community in any way we can – this is the conclusion marketers and even game developers draw without any reservations whatsoever.
To make the game more community-oriented and user-friendly gaming devlopers need to provide a set of information for the players to access:
- FAQs about the game
- Tutorials about how to play
- A searchable database of questions asked and answered by customer service
- Created celebrities interaction.
- Friends and community building via groups, organized game tables, tourneys, competitive formats and forums.
Gaming developers should also provide information about service availability, upcoming maintenance, new downloads, and so on. Given the quantity of information we should be able to provide, we should also understand the value of using portal technology for the same. All this material could clearly be part of creating a community; yet, I personally feel that the most effective communities occur when players/gamers are given the basic tools to create their own communities. We decided early on that we will explore this option immediately upon achieving a critical mass of end users.
To demonstrate what I mean, I’d like to play out a scenario:
For our gaming company as gaming developers, to make our games more accessible to new players and build a community around the more casual, less hard-core players, we’ve created a Newbies’ Community, which features a little extra hand-holding, more basic information, and more structured quests. One way we provide the hand-holding is by creating