So I've been here a week or so talking to the people and learning some of the things in the forum. Thus far, and like I said before, this is a great add-on and much of the settlers community isn't fully aware it exists, even the die-hard settlers 2 fans are completely oblivious to what this is all about.
So in order to make things more friendlier I'm gonna post a few suggestions (and they are only suggestions, please don't take this the wrong way!!) in how to make this more approachable to new people and old settlers 2 friends.
Here it goes (once again please take this as positive constructive criticism and not the other way around I really don't want to be misinterpreted here as I want to help you flourish instead of being in the dark
1. Now I know that most of you, or even all of you, are German. This isn't a big deal since you have a way to put an option to put either German or English. The thing is, things don't get translated to English, these things being:
- News that don't have the English translation below
- Additional settings on your profile page (in terms of yes or no), the forum,
- Download section when entering on the left bar.
- The Quicklinks (taking out the Bugtracker lead to German websites)
The main reason that you should have this changed to English is basically that people as a general rule are lazy, the more they have to work to put things correctly or to understand what is going on the less they actually join the community, by putting this completely in English it's one step closer for a friendlier image to the foreigners who actually like the game.
2. The forums (or boards) are one of the most vital things you have to contact the community, by writing here stuff and actually make contact with the public you are creating a bond of trust between you and your community which is some sort of an agreement between the two parties. Now if you start to make things difficult, like writing everything in German and not in English, you are scaring people away. You can even put stuff in English like the titles and whatnot, but since its not enforced and almost 90% of the topics are in German, people won't get bothered to join the community effectively. So there are two options you can work around this:
- The first is to start writing in English.
- The second is to link the boards with an automatic translation widget (or code) that can translate your talks and make people less frustrated on trying to know what is going on. You can even put a warning sign saying its translated by X or Y program/widget/code so users are fully aware of whats going on.
By doing this, not only people can get less annoyed by not knowing the language and not knowing what is going on and more proactive, and interested. It is also a great way to welcome future help in your project.
3. If you want this project to work in a long term, I suggest you recruit someone who can establish a link between the community and yourselves. This is extremely helpful so that you can focus entirely on the project without any distractions. The PR should help in a variety of things, such as contacts between the community from the developers by the use of podcast, vidcasts or even special news events. They should also advertise the add-on for people to actually know that this project exists and is fully under development and that it's not going to stop at just adding a few things here and there (I hope :p).
The main objective of the PR is the link between the community and the development team and advertise, its a key aspect of any project that needs a community to survive.
4. Sign yourselves to Moddb (www.moddb.com), this is helpful in a hundred ways here is why:
- You get your mod public
- Free advertising
- Their forum can get you, developers, new players, free advertising, constructive criticism and so on.
Just take a look at the website and their forums, you will see what I'm taking about, and it's very important that you do this. Only a developer can actually sign up its modification in the website.
This is what I came up with, and these are just a few pointers to help you guys, I hope it does since I love what you have done with the game. In the end I just want to make sure you guys are really acknowledged.
Writer for http://addict3dtogames.blogspot.com
Got a tip? e-mail us! Also a major Settlers 2 Fan!