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Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
10-16-2011, 05:27 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 05:29 AM by MirceaKitsune.)
Post: #1
Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
- Xonotic! What does the server list say about their user level?
- It's UNDER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNND!!!
- WHAT? NOT NINE THOUSAND??? D:

Yes... it happens whenever I look at the server list. After the 0.5 release, I was hoping Xonotic will start being known for its features and great quality. But apparently, as with most open source projects, no matter how good they are they barely get the popularity they should.

I know there have been topics like this in the past, but I'd really like to know what's going wrong. In every aspect, Xonotic should have beaten old titles like UT'99 and Quake 1-3. Yet those still have hundreds of servers and dozens of players at any hour of the day, whereas Xonotic has about 3 online players at best. Even Nexuiz had more players during its time, and what's Xonotic but Nexuiz with greater quality? I know we lack a reasonable number of maps (of different themes and environments) and enough player models of different types and species, both matters discussed in other topics. But other than that, what's not to love? Huh

Maybe it's time we make harsher plans to advertise Xonotic around the internets (eg: putting banners on all our non-Xonotic blogs and forum signatures). Or make some pools for people who are not actively part of Xonotic (but have tried it) asking what reasons they would not keep playing for. Maybe there are key features we're missing to inspire people... or maybe we still don't look like a serious enough project.

I'm dedicating this topic to thinking of all such reasons, as well as brainstorming to find ways of bringing Xonotic to the popularity it should have. Without constant online players, there can't be as much fun for the average player. What is the key to this problem, and what can and should be done?

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10-16-2011, 05:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
We can do several things:

-Posting about Xonotic everywhere helps, I'm.sure about that. Just advertise.
-Shut down the race server. If there are people online they are mostly there and RACE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ATRACTIVE FOR NEW PLAYERS. I've litteraly seen hundreds of new players come to the race server, and then disconnect.
-More good ctf servers.
-No more pickup games on private servers, only play on public servers.
-And everyone here should just play online, we need servers here like Laidback delight and hoctf on Nexuiz, and just play there.

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10-16-2011, 07:31 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 07:31 AM by MirceaKitsune.)
Post: #3
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 05:42 AM)Mepper Wrote:  We can do several things:

-Posting about Xonotic everywhere helps, I'm.sure about that. Just advertise.
-Shut down the race server. If there are people online they are mostly there and RACE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ATRACTIVE FOR NEW PLAYERS. I've litteraly seen hundreds of new players come to the race server, and then disconnect.
-More good ctf servers.
-No more pickup games on private servers, only play on public servers.
-And everyone here should just play online, we need servers here like Laidback delight and hoctf on Nexuiz, and just play there.

Agreed. Didn't know about the race issue, but I'm sure Race isn't the best gametype to attract new players. I'm not pro shutting down any server, but hiding it or making it more discrete might help. And yes, I think some of the popular servers might be hidden from the slist, which does not help. As for playing online, I usually play with bots, because there's no one to play with and I also do testing. But yes, we should more often.

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10-16-2011, 07:55 AM
Post: #4
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
Good old shooter like Ut2004 Quake3 Arena, are all having a heay disadvantage. You must have install them!
Every Gamer know what es mess a new computer is, beside the Operating system one have to install all the stuff you need. Every Game needs to be installed.
Here comes the advantage of Xonotic. It works out of the box! Unzipping it and one can play.
This could not be underestimated. This is the point where distribution on Live CDs; Gaming Magazines and others comes in.
Once this job is done I'm sure the online Community will grow up.

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10-16-2011, 08:12 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 08:15 AM by MirceaKitsune.)
Post: #5
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 07:55 AM)Wh1sper Wrote:  Good old shooter like Ut2004 Quake3 Arena, are all having a heay disadvantage. You must have install them!
Every Gamer know what es mess a new computer is, beside the Operating system one have to install all the stuff you need. Every Game needs to be installed.
Here comes the advantage of Xonotic. It works out of the box! Unzipping it and one can play.
This could not be underestimated. This is the point where distribution on Live CDs; Gaming Magazines and others comes in.
Once this job is done I'm sure the online Community will grow up.

Good observation. I always enjoyed that Nexuiz / Xonotic doesn't have to be installed, and loved programs that come with both an installer and archived. I even remember when I was a kid and switched from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95, I used to complain that "programs need to be installed now, instead of unpacking them like before". After many years, I still feel the same way often Smile Whenever I install UT2004, I need to insert 6 CD's, and if one has a reading problem at that moment, I start over again. Xonotic doesn't even have this issue, further being easy and flexible.

As for distribution with gaming magazines: Would that go against GPL if it were done for free? That could be a huge way to help advertising! Of course, if any magazine would wish to do such a thing and have reason to. Given Xonotic's quality, it might not be excluded however. The way I found Nexuiz years ago was from a newspaper article, which is quite surprising if I think about it now.

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10-16-2011, 08:30 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 08:31 AM by Wh1sper.)
Post: #6
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 08:12 AM)MirceaKitsune Wrote:  As for distribution with gaming magazines: Would that go against GPL if it were done for free? That could be a huge way to help advertising! Of course, if any magazine would wish to do such a thing and have reason to. Given Xonotic's quality, it might not be excluded however. The way I found Nexuiz years ago was from a newspaper article, which is quite surprising if I think about it now.

In Germany the popular World of Padman had made it to one or two Game Magazines and in a German Gaming-TV Channel.
And WoP is not 100% GPL, because the Graphics are mostly Copyrighted by the Comics Artist Ente.
He gave Interviews, shows in a sample the different Game modes and so on.
The Xonotic Youtube Channel already has some very good small videos so it should be possible to make contact to Game Magazines.
But if we choose to try it, it would be best to coordinate the activies to make it in more medias in the same time frame.

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10-16-2011, 08:32 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 08:36 AM by kojn^.)
Post: #7
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
One of the issues is because all I ever see, is this game on Linux sites (no I'm not joking). The game is really oozing some decent quality now in regards to gameplay/mechanics and it's getting better and better with each release. However, do a google search and how many big gaming sites do I see Xonotic on? Pretty much zero. Now I know lot's of people here just play for fun or whatever which is fine, but I'd like to see the game reach also to more mainstream audiences not just Linux sites!

Also, the news release hasn't been very good..for 0.1 it was a blessing because the game was a bit borked, but for 0.5 it was just sloppy and the Devs I talked too know this already. It'd be nice to see the game feature in some magazines like nexuiz did after 1.0 is out.
(10-16-2011 05:42 AM)Mepper Wrote:  We can do several things:

-Posting about Xonotic everywhere helps, I'm.sure about that. Just advertise.
-Shut down the race server. If there are people online they are mostly there and RACE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ATRACTIVE FOR NEW PLAYERS. I've litteraly seen hundreds of new players come to the race server, and then disconnect.
-More good ctf servers.
-No more pickup games on private servers, only play on public servers.
-And everyone here should just play online, we need servers here like Laidback delight and hoctf on Nexuiz, and just play there.

Agree with race server because player's don't understand it, but it's a bit harsh to 'shut it down' atleast at the moment. Disagree with the pickup suggestion.

It's more a case of, when waiting on IRC for pickup games or if your active in the channel should make a effort to go on the public servers.

However for the next release it makes sense to go to the public servers straight away.

I'd like to play on public servers (once I fix my computer for Xonotic), would like to see a good standard DM/TDM server with GIT maps rather then every single usermade map available on it at some point.

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10-16-2011, 08:42 AM
Post: #8
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
Yes, advertising 0.1 in the media would have likely been bad. 0.5 however should be good enough, and 1.0 will be even better. What Wh1sper said would be amazing to happen for Xonotic, and certainly something I find worth considering. Might be a good idea to start making plans for such really. I'm not into magazines, but I think PC World still exists in my country and are popular, and I could email them about it. I still wonder how ok it is with GPL to distribute the DVD in such magazines however.

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10-16-2011, 08:49 AM
Post: #9
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 08:42 AM)MirceaKitsune Wrote:  I still wonder how ok it is with GPL to distribute the DVD in such magazines however.
You mean because of the lack of sourcecode?
This is easy, put a README on it and declare why the source should be got fresh from the Internet, beside the Space requirements ...

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10-16-2011, 09:13 AM
Post: #10
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
One thing that I think might help is to have that tutorial level from the beginning of the Nexuiz 2.5 Campaign in Xonotic's Campaign too.

That way new players can understand the mechanic's of the game a lot better than trying to learn it while being fragged by other players.

Is there anyway to adapt that level from Nexuiz into Xonotic?

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10-16-2011, 09:34 AM
Post: #11
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 09:13 AM)Squigger Wrote:  One thing that I think might help is to have that tutorial level from the beginning of the Nexuiz 2.5 Campaign in Xonotic's Campaign too.

A big problem here is that most new players don't play the singleplayer campaign. They run the game and join a server. Then they get 0wned and ragequit. It took me a bit to realize that most the new players I was encountering weren't nexuiz players that had transfered–they were actually new.

So now when I'm idling on a public and someone new comes on, I play laser only against them till I find out how good they are.

Making the race server private might be a good idea, however I strongly disagree with shutting down pickups... the whole point of pickups is that they aren't interrupted with newbs that join for ten seconds and leave.

Something we could add is a box that pops up upon first opening and says:
"Welcome to Xonotic! If this is your first time playing, we strongly suggest completing the singleplayer campaign before joining public servers so that you understand the basics of the game."

We would need 2 campaigns like we had back in the day, one would be more like an easy tutorial/explanation... the other would be more like practice, like what we have now.

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10-16-2011, 10:04 AM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 10:05 AM by Mirio.)
Post: #12
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
It's not really a problem of the Race server, because if there are ~3 people on another server it gets full as well after some time. There are just kind of always people racing, so you should idle on another server. Wink

I guess some reasons that people from games, which might be not so good like Xonotic, don't join are:

a) They try it, but see lack of players
b) They have fun and don't need to change their game (i.e. like many Nexuiz players)
c) They don't know about it due to lack of PR
d) They don't like it at all

---

A possible "solution" (see other topics) would be that the popular(/good servers which should be popular Big Grin) put some bots on, which disappear if enough players join.
Game Magazines are a pretty good idea actually, +1.


Pickup servers should not public, because if they are and new guys join they rather interupt the game (if server settings are not that good (happens Tongue)) or they can't join the game and just leave anyway. I don't think they would stay and spectate, although they see some players.
But actually pickups are quite rare at the moment anyway.

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10-16-2011, 10:20 AM
Post: #13
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 08:49 AM)Wh1sper Wrote:  You mean because of the lack of sourcecode?
This is easy, put a README on it and declare why the source should be got fresh from the Internet, beside the Space requirements ...

The DVD can be distributed with the source. Was mostly thinking of magazines being commercial, which could be interpreted as using Xonotic commercially to some point. That might be a problem, if not decided upon clearly.

(10-16-2011 09:13 AM)Squigger Wrote:  One thing that I think might help is to have that tutorial level from the beginning of the Nexuiz 2.5 Campaign in Xonotic's Campaign too.

That way new players can understand the mechanic's of the game a lot better than trying to learn it while being fragged by other players.

Is there anyway to adapt that level from Nexuiz into Xonotic?

I was planning to make a new tutorial level at some point, since I didn't find the map in Nexuiz very high quality. But sure, such a thing would eventually be needed IMO, and a tutorial map is very important for new players.

(10-16-2011 09:34 AM)nowego4 Wrote:  A big problem here is that most new players don't play the singleplayer campaign. They run the game and join a server. Then they get 0wned and ragequit. It took me a bit to realize that most the new players I was encountering weren't nexuiz players that had transfered–they were actually new.

So now when I'm idling on a public and someone new comes on, I play laser only against them till I find out how good they are.

I think it's logical not to join any server if you're new and don't know how to play well. That feels a bit silly to me, especially getting upset if you join somewhere and can't play well. But that is indeed a nice and considerate thing to do, and would help if everyone else did it.

One thing I notice on this matter, is the lack of a beginner's server. In Nexuiz, there was something called "DCC - Beginners server", where I first joined myself when I found Nexuiz. Might be helpful for Xonotic to have that too.

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10-16-2011, 11:56 AM
Post: #14
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
Spreading the word well and good, but what really needed is ppl on the the public server's to get the ball rolling. that (part of) why the race server is populated. I see this quite clearly with my overkill server. as im there every now and then to check that it works as intended online i see how ppl drop in (and tough it has a stable crowd too, quite a few are "new faces"). It was the same deal with the vehicles server. Yes the "ooh new thing" play a part, of course, but quite a few where surprised there was vehicles on the server - evidently not even having read the server name, just clicked on one with some player count.

So, do your duty and idle on some Xonotic server at least 2 hrs a day! Big Grin
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10-16-2011, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 12:12 PM by divVerent.)
Post: #15
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
Here are some numbers:
  • Over the last week, we had about 500 active players (unique IPs seen per 24h interval), online and offline play.
  • Furthermore, we had on average 7.1 players on online servers at any given time.
  • We had 11.4 downloads per hour, makes 1915 downloads total during that week.
  • We had 5.4 new players per hour, makes 907 new players total during that week.
  • On average, 17.6 unique users are online on our main website.
  • On average, 30.8 unique users are online on our forum.

This leads to the observations:
  • A player on average plays this game for 20.5 minutes per day online, which is neither surprisingly low nor high! Note that offline players (botmatches) count as zero minutes for this number, so this is likely a mix of many offline players (and menu clickers...) and of about 40min to 2 hours online players.
  • Less than half of the downloaders run the game even once! But this may be normal loss, but may need looking into.
  • Apparently, many follow the forum daily, but don't play the game daily
  • Less than 2000 downloads per week. We REALLY should be able to do better than that. Near release time we had 1096 downloads on a single day.

Basically, from this I can already conclude that it's not the game which is wrong. It is that not enough people try it. So how do we get the word out to the "proper" channels?

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10-16-2011, 01:32 PM
Post: #16
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
AGAIN, I would like to recommend everyone that actually cares to idle on the public servers, preferably on pure ones. My repeatedly verified observation is that if you idle on a server at a time where you would others expect to play it takes less than 10 minutes until other people join.

Now if we REALLY want people to get hooked to this game, we should show off one of the game's most likeable asset: it's friendly community. That means if you notice that a player joins, greet him. If you notice the player is obviously new to this game, offer yourself to provide tips and tricks to the gameplay. If he's interested and if there are too many players already on the public server, ask him to connect to an unpopulated server with you (good thing is that way you start attracting players for that other server too, happened to me already).

Then take your time to explain stuff about Xonotic. I always use the following structure:

First, I explain the movement. I show bunny hopping, if not already known, i show how to make sharp turns at high speed, then I move on to laser jumping and after that I explain ramp jumping on some examples (everything with letting the player spec you and try afterwards). Then I move to the weapons, I explain the rocket launcher which is a most impressive weapon to many players due to its non-obvious features like
  1. remote detonation
  2. guided missiles
  3. rocket flying

Then I move on to electro and show the combo. I explain the mortar secondary, hagar secondary, maybe the charging of the nex and, at last, the crylink and how to release the primary fire so that all particles concentrate on a spot (preferrably the enemy). This is best to practice against a flat wall at some distance so you can see from the decals where the hit goes.

If you have the time, go on to weapon combos like laser/mortar nex combos, juggling people around for irritation and the importance of using weapon binds for accessing them quickly.

I have excercised this program already a couple of times with new players and every one of them was like "wow thank you" and rather impressed. Except one player that said he'd like some tips and when I started he said that nah he'd rather play instead and after a while he said that "this is crap I go back to Nexuiz". But he was a declared fan of insta hook and refused to play insta hook on Xonotic with me for some strange reason so I gather it was sort of an idiot anyway.

I strongly recommend you people on this forum that complain about too few players on the publics, PLEASE go idling if you'd like to play a public game, people WILL join. If you have the guts, welcome and teach new players, and by that, manifest what aspect of Xonotic manages to keep people active in this community, sometimes even though they themselves don't play actively much anymore.

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10-16-2011, 02:10 PM
Post: #17
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
I have talked hours with new players. Also I just went to Nexuiz, joined a server, and asked who had Xonotic, and quite a few have it. And I just took players to Xonotic, showed them the game, asked what they like/dislike.

In general, most new players:

-Don't play because of empty servers (that really is the biggest problem, all players in Nexuiz think nobody plays Xonotic)
-Love the graphics
-Think the RL is useless (I agree Wink)
-Dislike mg and riffle secondary
-Like the new physics
-Miss some Nexuiz crosshairs
-Hate race
-Very much like vehicles

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10-16-2011, 02:46 PM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 02:50 PM by Lee_Stricklin.)
Post: #18
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
The only things I can think of is to discourage the use of private servers for non clan matches so that players will be visible on public servers, idling on public servers (preferably ones with noob friendly games like deathmatch), and to advertise on gaming forums. I'm a bit puzzled as to why Xonotic is lacking in popularity given how dead Nexuiz is now (definitely a far cry from when populated 2.4.2 servers flooded my screen back when I played the hell out of it) since it's gameplay manages to be better than all of the Quakes, Warsow, most of the Unreal series, and maybe even (this is really a personal preference) UT99.
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10-16-2011, 03:14 PM
Post: #19
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
" Basically, from this I can already conclude that it's not the game which is wrong. It is that not enough people try it. So how do we get the word out to the "proper" channels? "

I think that's all you need to know. div0 sums up the problem there. Can we get the game to some mainstream gaming sites also as well as PC/Computer magazines, have asked this multiple times but to no avail.

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10-16-2011, 03:16 PM (This post was last modified: 10-16-2011 03:19 PM by PinkRobot.)
Post: #20
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
CTS server is always occupied because it is also fun to CTS on your own. One player atracts another one and before you know it the server is filled for the night.

If you want your favourite server to fill up, play there, idle there, just be online. Because even if all of the PC Gamer crowd tries Xonotic tomorrow, we need experienced players there to welcome them.

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10-16-2011, 03:34 PM
Post: #21
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
I definetely think the race server should be private. Guys who really want to race can do so, but wont attract people to the race server.

And everyone should, just like I do, say hello to new players wether they are new, how they found it, if they have any questions etc. etc.

And just go to masses of gamer forums and shove Xonotic down everyones throat.

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10-16-2011, 06:55 PM
Post: #22
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
For the 0.5 release, I basically handled pretty much all of the PR work... and i've never done that before. I am an amateur at best regarding this, hence why we are only doing this well considering how great our project actually is.

Honestly, we're still doing REALLY GOOD relative to a new opensource project. For example, compare our playerbase to that of Red Eclipse (which is essentially just as new as us, though we have a stronger and larger development/private community) and relatively we're doing just as good in this free-games opensource market. The question is, why do people still play the inferior outdated games instead of their obviously better successors? (Red Eclipse vs Saurbraten, and Xonotic vs Nexuiz)

Let us work on bringing over players from Nexuiz to Xonotic. That is perhaps the biggest thing right now... still, everyone needs to realize something: Nexuiz didn't get its entire playerbase in just a few months. We only JUST had a good and respectable release, we cannot expect thousands and thousands of players so early without much PR work.
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10-17-2011, 05:43 AM
Post: #23
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-16-2011 06:55 PM)Samual Wrote:  Let us work on bringing over players from Nexuiz to Xonotic. That is perhaps the biggest thing right now...
ok with that.
Go on a DCC server for example. Ask who heard about Xonotic. You'll see that there is still a big advertising effort to be done.

Several months ago, one could basically read on this very forum: "if nexuiz players play Xonotic, that's fine. If not, we will be fine without them".
This statement was probably a bit optimistic.

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10-17-2011, 06:51 AM
Post: #24
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
(10-17-2011 05:43 AM)Rage_ATWM Wrote:  Several months ago, one could basically read on this very forum: "if nexuiz players play Xonotic, that's fine. If not, we will be fine without them".
This statement was probably a bit optimistic.

I would not mind if certain people stay at Nexuiz. Tongue

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10-17-2011, 08:29 AM
Post: #25
RE: Popularity issue persisting after 0.5 release
To be honest, when Nexuiz 1.0 came out, it didnt really start getting a lot more players until after 2.0..this was some time later if I remember correctly! I also think the majority of US players came at around 2.3-2.4 releases.

I still remember on IRC when nexuiz channel on IRC back in 1.1 - 1.2.1 days had only about 20 people in it only Big Grin

However, we all know now that the PR needs to be a lot better for the next release for sure. I will release my movie end of this week as long as I can get it encoded in x264, so will put it up on youtube, and hopefully that will get a few more people interested Smile

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  Still no release? psychcf 21 5,440 11-17-2010 02:24 PM
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