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How to make Winbolo better
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Winbolo.net Forum Index -> Feature Requests
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Which idea is the most important and you support the most?
1
10%
 10%  [ 1 ]
2
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
3
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
4
60%
 60%  [ 6 ]
5
10%
 10%  [ 1 ]
6
20%
 20%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 10

Author Message
underdog



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: How to make Winbolo better Reply with quote

So, I've been thinking about how we can promote winbolo, and how we can build our user base. Here are some ideas. The major ideas are only really something Elvis could do, but there are some things anyone can do.

1. Merchandise. Official winbolo gear. T-shirts would probably be the most popular and viable option, but other stuff like mouse pads, sweaters, bumper stickers, posters. This would bring in revenue to winbolo which could, I'm hoping, be used towards development and server fees. Also stuff like t-shirts act as free marketing. The question then becomes is it economical (will people buy it? I'd say yes, but who knows how much... start with a small batch) and is someone willing to take the time and money to set this up.

2. Some sort of benefit to registering winbolo (paying the shareware) I think something indicating it here in the forums like 'Registered player' under their name as well as perhaps giving registered users the ability to have a custom Avatar would be a great selling point. Also, perhaps a small option in winbolo that only registered users get (option to have their name in color, or to show their clan/team name in the user list in winbolo.exe) The registered users can be kept track of simply by tying it in with the users .net login ID. Maybe allow a user to have up to 3 registered IDs for one shareware license so they can have more than one name.

3. Have an official Winbolo bundle available for order. Give it some nice packaging, a manual, have a beginners guide. Have a 'how to get your router to work with winbolo' instructions. have basic and intermediate strategy guides. Maybe include some community related stuff, like links to websites, irc, etc. The cost of the package can include the winbolo shareware fee, the cost of the CD and shipping. This is a particularily good idea now, I believe, since Xmas is only a few monthes away and what better present to get your gamer friend?

4. Fixing winbolo. I and others have made a lot of requests in the past. By 'fixing' I mean 2 things: Bug fixes and Features. Both are pretty important, though I think the bug fixing is the most important thing. I'm not going to list all the bugs here, thats for another thread. The biggest feature would be cross compatibility with mac (there is an untapped market in the apple group, perhaps bigger than the current winbolo market. hundreds maybe thousands of college kids that played bolo on mac) as well as the additions i mentioned in #2, which would no doubt need to be coded into an updated winbolo.exe

5. Someone should make a 'log of the week' page featuring the best strict game log. Perhaps have a synopsis of how the game went. Have an archive of past Logs Of the Week so people can look back would be neat. And on that topic, having another dedicated server bot on irc would also be nice. Currently our bot isnt logging to .net

6. Contests and events. We have had stuff like this in the past. I really think it helps motivate winbolo players and keep them interested. I think that if there was some sort of prize, even something like an Official Winbolo T-shirt, it would get a lot more people wanting to be involved. Contest ideas: Map contest, Best New Winbolo Webpage contest, Best t-shirt /logo design contest, Best strategy guide contest, Best tutorial for new players video contest, etc etc. Sponsorship for prizes can come from generous users who donate or perhaps from a sponsor for the site. Not sure what Elvis's stance is, but I personally wouldn't mind having one company be a sponsor, and having their banner on the site if it means prize support for events. This is what we do on o-gaming.com which is another online community gaming site I have been part of. Or we can just have a google ad and Elvis can use that to fund prizes.

Anyways, nothing is easy and all the things I have suggested require a good deal of time investment. I for one would like to see winbolo succeed and become a little bit more mainstream. I have been noticing over the last few years that winbolo players have not been growing, but rather becoming stagnant as far as growth. There is a 'core' group sticking it out to the bitter end but in general people dont stay around too long. It would be a shame to have winbolo fall apart completely.
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underdog



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:40 am    Post subject: Re: How to make Winbolo better Reply with quote

underdog wrote:
So, I've been thinking about how we can promote winbolo, and how we can build our user base. Here are some ideas. The major ideas are only really something Elvis could do, but there are some things anyone can do.

3. Have an official Winbolo bundle available for order. Give it some nice packaging, a manual, have a beginners guide. Have a 'how to get your router to work with winbolo' instructions. have basic and intermediate strategy guides. Maybe include some community related stuff, like links to websites, irc, etc. The cost of the package can include the winbolo shareware fee, the cost of the CD and shipping. This is a particularily good idea now, I believe, since Xmas is only a few monthes away and what better present to get your gamer friend?



Expanding on number 3, let me clarify what I mean as it may be confusing. I'm talking about having a physical package you can order online, that includes:

A Physical manual for winbolo
A software CD which includes the winbolo installer, strategy guides, sound packs, skins, borgs, tutorials on how to use/make skins/sound packs/borgs, irc how-to guide, maps, server bot setup, a weblink to winbolo.net, log viewer, some log viewer demos, a video file (made using something like camtasia) showing you how to set up winbolo and play. Also it can show stuff like how to set your resolution.
Fancy box and packaging
A bonus item like a winbolo poster, or winbolo stickers, maybe a coupon towards winbolo merchandise.

The packaging design, manual design, even the poster design and the organization and compilation of the software that goes onto the CD can be done by community members (I'm willing to volunteer), pending Elvis's approval.

So what is required to actualize this:

A.Someone to physically make the package. This would require money for the supplies.

B.Set up some sort of online store.

C.Elvis's approval and support, as well as support from the winbolo community at large.



The cost of the package can include the registration fee but doesn't have to. I think it should though. As winbolo is shareware, the contents of the CD have no financial value, so we must keep that in mind. It is perfectly acceptable, from a legal stand point, to charge for the materials and of course shipping though. So the registration can be extra, and we just sell the package at cost, or we sell the bundle including registration. This needs discussion.

Finally, I just want to bring to light the fact that it is the beginning of September, and if we put a little bit of effort into this we should be able to have a package together in a few monthes for Xmas. This would maximize the amount of total initial sales and a smart thing to do to capitalize on the gift-buying market of Xmas season.
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Acro



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 1594

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work and ideas. I believe the core problem with winbolo's lack of popularity is technology. It's obsolete and nothing can be done to it to make it as attractive as contemporary gaming platforms.
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jhood



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 734

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Great work and ideas. I believe the core problem with my lack of popularity is technology. I'm obsolete and nothing can be done to it to make me as attractive as contemporary gaming platforms.

You're not one to talk about being attractive, but I guess with lack of popularity its speak what you know.
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Pip



Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idea 6 seems really interesting
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Pip



Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way to make Winbolo better is to make it anti-hack. With so many players checking out Winbolo im sure there will be hacking and others will follow (seen it happen with other online games).
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Siren



Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How 'bout we form committees and elect chairs.

like..

    * Social Committee - plan annual events (winbolo fest, teamspeak night - see UD's number 6.)
    * Welcome New User Committee - answer questions and pair them up with experienced players to learn technique and strategy
    * Games Committee - plan games and contests (ladders, map making contest, my noob versus your noob)
    * Fund Raising Committee - sell shirts and winbolo cookies (Pillbox Delites, Tankeroos, Chocolate Mines)


I vote to fix the bugs but not upgrade the technology / 2d aspect of the game - that is one of its "quaint" selling points.
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Acro



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 1594

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DIE JHOOD DIE
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Suicide Jockey



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 657

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Siren, upgrading the technology doesn't mean the 2d aspect of the game has to change.

Things like SVG support for better skins/dynamic resizing of the window (YAY FULLSCREEN!)

an inbuilt irc style chat interface, so there is a single point of communication not run by a private member of the community who likes to do whatever he wants.

cross platform client, windows, GNU/Linux and Apple

Dedicated servers that work properly and don't cause horrible errors

Ability to kick fucktards out of games so its not ruined for everyone else

I think the biggest single thing that can be done for winbolo is to ban all the current and former members of the community and find new people with brains and dignity
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Sticks



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 806

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suicide Jockey wrote:
Siren, upgrading the technology doesn't mean the 2d aspect of the game has to change.

Things like SVG support for better skins/dynamic resizing of the window (YAY FULLSCREEN!)

an inbuilt irc style chat interface, so there is a single point of communication not run by a private member of the community who likes to do whatever he wants.

cross platform client, windows, GNU/Linux and Apple

Dedicated servers that work properly and don't cause horrible errors

Ability to kick fucktards out of games so its not ruined for everyone else

I think the biggest single thing that can be done for winbolo is to ban all the current and former members of the community and find new people with brains and dignity

Also, cocks.
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BruceCampbell



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an attempt at a CD label for the bundle idea.

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Fermat



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the problems I'd like to see fixed with bolo is on how games get organized and started. Newcomers especially find it confusing, and it takes awhile before the full procedure for playing an actual bolo game becomes clear:

join server game
wait for enough players
lock
decide teams
ally
choose sides
go to sides
stay on boat until go is call
someone calls go

This is too much to go through. A couple of years ago I had an idea on how to automate some of this with as little changes from Elvis as possible. (Which I started but later ran out of time.) Those of us with time, could develop a stand-alone application I had named the "Launcher". Players could start a game by running the launcher instead of running bolo to join a game. The launcher will have a chat window, and allow the host to choose a map, game settings, etc., and allow players to choose teams and sides. Once enough players have joined the launcher, and teams and sides have been chosen, each player will push their "Ready" button. When all players are ready, the following happens:

1. The host launcher makes a request to a bot (or their own computer) to launch a game using the specified map and max # of players, and if possible, with a delayed start of 30 seconds or so.
2. Once the game is up, each launcher will give a command-line call to launch bolo on each clients machine, such as: winbolo.exe -server server.winbolo.us -port 27500 -team 1 -start 3
3. The winbolo.exe needs to be modified to accept team and start. The team # will auto-ally those with the same team number, and the start # is the index of the starting base they should be placed after joining the game.

I think the modifications in #3 should not cause Elvis too much trouble.

Additionally, people will need to add to the Launcher a list of map names, sides and their starts, such as:

Chew Toy 3, East vs. West, 1|2, 3|4
Chew Toy 3, Split Start, 1|3, 2|4
Slugfest IV, North vs. South, 2|3, 6|7

In this example, the first line would indicate the map as Chew Toy 3, the sides would show as "East vs. West", and one team would start at base indexes 1 and 2, and the second team at base indexes 3 and 4. I think you get the idea.
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Nemokrad



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fermat, that's where the idea of the built in chat system comes in. You'll join a chat from the tracker and the originator of that chat determines the map and can control the locking. You discuss teams and sides before you enter the game.

It's nice to talk about all this kind of stuff, but Elvis has a busy life and job now and I don't see it happening for Winbolo.
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Pip



Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Elvis has a busy life and job now


Is Elvis the only one that can do this?
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Fermat



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemokrad wrote:
Fermat, that's where the idea of the built in chat system comes in. You'll join a chat from the tracker and the originator of that chat determines the map and can control the locking. You discuss teams and sides before you enter the game.

It's nice to talk about all this kind of stuff, but Elvis has a busy life and job now and I don't see it happening for Winbolo.


My suggestion has Elvis adding support only for command line options for teams and starting locations. He could probably add something like this in just a couple of nights.

The Launcher could be done by any of us. I had started such a thing myself, and maybe I'll give some thought to continuing with it if there are others who might like to join in to help.
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