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Finding Stars-players Mon, 20 November 2017 11:48 Go to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1004
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
The player community has certainly shrinked quite a bit.

The question arises how to find enough players to get games going and best, if the experience level is not too different.

One of the advantages of the Home World Forum and autohost: We still have a functioning forum and an excellent interface to automate turn generation.

1) News list
In another thread I have already mentioned to also use the old news list for announcements:
# https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/rec.games.computer.s tars
Best done with also always including a link to the announcement in this forums but it certainly needs a form and topic which clearly distinguishes those announcement from all the spam there.

2) Player communities of other language areas
Another thing where might still lure quite some isolated Stars-players...
Due to the language barriers and also just because there were enough players and it was more convenient for them, there used to be completly independent player communities in:
# France and French speaking areas
# Poland?
# Russia
# Germany
# other?
All languages I can sadly not write and read (except the last one). But I noticed (or rather guess) that in the last years those player communities have more or less fallen apart and lost their forums and websites. I've gotten also the impression that over the years some players form those communities have found their way to "us" here... also because English has become more common.

Have we got any players from those areas or with the approbiate language skills? Who know which places and websites still exist? With whom we could connect to pool players together to get more games going?

3) Direct invitation emails
Experienced hosts with a few games under their belt should/could also directly invite players of former games via email. In my experience this is never seen as spam but highly welcome (and if only to remember the great times they had with Stars).


[Updated on: Mon, 20 November 2017 12:48]

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Re: Finding Stars-players: beginner-game Mon, 20 November 2017 12:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1004
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Right now we have a beginner game looking for players:
# Beginner Rematch
and I am sure there would be also quite some players happy to see true games dedicated to intermediate and/or experienced players.

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Re: Finding Stars-players Mon, 20 November 2017 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1004
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
While thinking about new players, and right after trying in another thread to answere some questions about "How to get going with Stars" to a new player, I realized that today it is quite a steep step to "get going":
1) Finding and hearing about Stars
2) Finding this forum
3) Getting Stars to run on a modern computer
4) Which Stars version?
5) Obtaining a unique serial number
Once those steps are done, we have then a huge wealth of articles and utilities to get as in depth as one wants to become with the finer parts of Stars but those first steps aren't really easy at the moment.

Some of the above steps I can easily write together myself but with the more technical stuff I am rather one of the forum members the least competent (no wonder with the concentration of Stars-players being programers of one or the other kind what I am certainly not).
We do have lots of very helpful and competent people in here willing to lead new players step by step how to set up their computer to get Stars running and several threads about it:
# Back after 3 years, Windows 10?
# Windows 7 compatibility issues? Look no further!
But a 34 post thread about it might come a bit overwhelming for the new player.

So it would be great if one of the knowledgable (not me! *grin* as proud as I am that i got the virtual box running) could perhaps summarize it into a single post we could make sticky and use instead of the already existing ones? Quite some work is, I think, already done but, as I said, hidden within quite many posts.

So in general I think it would be a great idea to have a sticky very well sorted and linked thread where a new player can find everything he or she needs to play Stars and to take part in a multiplayer game for the first time. And great if one of the Mods (looking to ccmaster) could maintain and edit the first posts in such a thread to hopefully stop it from becoming too big and confusing.

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Re: Finding Stars-players Fri, 24 November 2017 14:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ManicLurch is currently offline ManicLurch

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 456
Registered: May 2009
Altruist wrote on Mon, 20 November 2017 11:48


3) Direct invitation emails
Experienced hosts with a few games under their belt should/could also directly invite players of former games via email. In my experience this is never seen as spam but highly welcome (and if only to remember the great times they had with Stars).



The other options might work out great, but I think option 3 is a very good one. I used to check the forum at least every other day. But as the community grew smaller and the forum activity declined, I now sometimes go weeks/months without checking. I would bet there are former players who don't check at all anymore, but if they received an email with a new game announcement they might be tempted to play again.

I would have a hard time finding the email addresses of the players for games that are older than a year or two. Maybe we can start a new game mailing list where all former and current stars players get an email for new game announcements. We can put all the autohost members on it initially, with an option to opt out of the list. This way former players don't have to check the forums to get notified of new games. If we only allow new game announcements on this mail list, I would think most will not opt out.

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Re: Finding Stars-players Mon, 01 January 2018 15:59 Go to previous message
talkingbologna is currently offline talkingbologna

 
Petty Officer 2nd Class

Messages: 58
Registered: November 2016
Location: 1947
On top of the given suggestions, what about a new area? Like a small business, we need to get our name out there. Stars! has fallen into general obscurity in the wider world. If I hadn't fiddled with it when I was a kid and thus tried to find it again, I don't think I'd ever have found it while looking for interesting games I'd never played before. In the effort of advertisement we could...



    Start a social media page (or three) like FaceBook, Twitter, or a Yahoo group or a blog. Add screenshots and some juicy game stories.

    Contact websites with lists of old computer games and 4x and/or strategy games and see if they don't have and would add Stars! (anyone remember Jumbo. com?)

    Stir interest on sites frequented by programmers or other professions/hobbies with target audiences who would play.

    See if news media like magazines with such target audiences allow blog sections or would do a piece on us (I don't know how that all works, actually, but maybe).


How much is it to secure advertising time on some mainstream TV channel or in a keyword ad on a search engine? Maybe if enough people saw it we'd get a few people through here. And with enough people through here, maybe a few would stick around long enough to play. It's probably a considerable amount more than I'd be able to put into it, but I'm considering all options.

I will continue my search for methods of marketing stuff I'm not actually selling, but this is what I can think of, so far.

Edit: Pay-per-click, billboards, skywriting!!!


[Updated on: Mon, 01 January 2018 16:23]

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