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    Expanding MadCast's Games - 101


    MadCast Maday

    Ever since MadCast embraced the concept of being a multi-game community there’s always been a relevant, however loaded, question that gets asked time and time again: “How can I/we bring a game successfully into MadCast?” Usually this would require a one-on-one conversation with the upper admins getting all available input. While such a conversation yields all types of advice and shared previous experience, we lacked a baseline set of ideals for reference. I hope to be able to solve that issue with this article by putting down said information in writing. I will warn you now to prepare yourself for what you might consider a wall of text, but in reality there’s really no way around this fact. There’s just that much to go over about this subject, and even in this article I still may not get every single detail. Without further ado lets get into the subject at hand: How does one, or many, bring a game successfully into MadCast?

    Firstly, one of the most common and over-simplified responses would be: time and effort. I will, however, leave a caveat that said response is not 100 percent always the case. As this starts to be broken down, one of the first details is whether you are trying to do this alone, a couple others, or if you have an eager group of people willing to help. Knowing what dependable help you have will drastically change your personal investment of time and effort.

    Breaking down the time investment has many variables by itself. Stepping up to spearhead a MadCast game addition, you should expect to devote a considerable amount of time to your cause to increase your potential success rate. Time investment is not just restricted to your play time, but also the time you spend creating website content and generating interest to MadCast itself or recruiting those already playing your game. A major importance of time is making sure you are spending time playing your game on a nightly basis. You can’t expect to rally people to your game or cause if you don’t put in consistent and constant time into your game. In reality, the amount of time you can expect to invest is about the equivalent of a second job. It simply requires that amount of time investment to gain traction and begin to see results from your efforts. Not properly devoting considerable amounts of time is a recipe for failure and disappointment for your hope of the game’s success.

    The specific amount of time has no absolute set answer. MOBAs, dungeon crawlers, and some FPS games arguably have the lesser of time requirements as the player interaction usually are set within varied blocks of time due to their playtime design. MMOs likely require the highest amount of time investment. MMOs tend to consume all of your free time, and one should assume an equal time investment for a higher chance of success. This is the basis by which just your playtime is concerned.

    The second aspect of time investment must also take into account your time devoted to your out of game efforts. If you are trying to gather some existing MadCast folks to your cause, then you need to set some time aside for content creation on the MadCast website. You can’t expect to make your game known without speaking on the most used MadCast medium, the MadCast forums.

    Outside of the MadCast website, as a leading voice for a specific game, time should also be set aside becoming an expert with your game. If a member tries your game, and has questions, then mostly they will be seeking you out for a potential answer to their question. Knowing those potential answers or at least knowing where to directly find those answers might rally said member to your cause and support for your game. There are additional things that can be done with your time investment, but for that we will shift over to the effort breakdown as it adds an additional layer of detail.

    The effort side is really a more detailed breakdown of how and where your time is invested. You should prepare to put effort into your content creation for the MadCast website. Simply making a post of: “Hey, I’m playing xxxxxxxx game. Come and play with me.” is a rather lackluster post, effort-wise. While some people who know you might give it a try simply because you asked them to, it’s not a shining example to attract others to your game. Describing parts of the game, the plot of the game, or perhaps some intriguing things you are doing in your game will peak more interest than the simplified and effortless post mentioned above. You also want to create some additional threads that detail where to download or buy your game. Details on what to expect to get started on the game might seem like a simple post, but at least the information is there for all of MadCast to view and learn. Keep making threads as new things arise that you find interesting. You can’t base success or failure of your efforts based on a handful of posts or threads. You need to persist in generating content and interest if you expect to gain some fellow gamers to play with.

    Persistence is a major effort detail that also closely coincides with your time investment. You need to continue to play your game for long and sometimes uncomfortable lengths of time if you wish to maximize your potential results. MadCast was originally founded when the original members were all playing Battlefield 2142. We would play at times for hours by ourselves before we got other public players to hop in and play in our server. Plenty of times we would only manage a dozen players in our server. That same core of people would go many nights in a row or even weeks at a time. Conceivably, our original members likely have hundreds and maybe thousands of hours invested into Battlefield 2142 when it was only about 10-12 people playing in our server. Eventually, numbers slowly started increasing and within a couple months our server was running with max players on a nightly basis. The point behind this example is that not only were we playing on a nightly basis, but we played for hours at a time. You can’t just expect to gain a large following by only investing 30 minutes or an hour per night.

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    MadCast only played the one game at the time so all our members were helping build the game, and obviously that has changed from then to now. MadCast plays multiple games, and we allow our members play whatever games they want. So it’s very likely you will gain as much intra-community support as you can and then you must recruit players outside of MadCast to join not just your cause but MadCast as well.

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    Recruiting always has a place among your time and effort within any game you seek to bring to MadCast. You will likely gain some help from current members of MadCast, but the time always arrives when you must begin to recruit public players. You should always have at least some rough idea about recruiting when you first begin the time and effort application towards your game. MadCast continues to survive not only on retaining it’s current members but by recruiting like-minded players out in the world looking for a gaming home on the internet.

    Ideally, solidifying your branch is done by recruiting players from that game. Existing Full Members are typically already invested in at least one other game. Without game specific recruiting, you are attempting to populate your new game by means of taking current members away from current MadCast games as opposed to growing the community by seeking new recruits. You don’t have to have the specific answers to everything when you first start, but you should get it figured out rather quickly once you’ve gotten started on your efforts of bring your game to MadCast. From here, you are the primary contributor of your game’s potential success at MadCast. However, there are some instances where the game itself may alter how difficult it may be to become a successful MadCast game.

    Some games are just easier or harder to build a following within MadCast. Free-to-Play games are potentially easier as they do not have a cost hurdle for anyone to pick the game up and play. An up-front cost may slow down your initial ability to gain traction but it’s certainly not a show stopper. If you can adequately justify that the purchase is worth it, then most of your fellow gamers will be onboard. Subscriptions can also be another hurdle in addition to an up-front cost. The other factor is when the developer simply drops the ball on what they claim to deliver. A game full of bugs that they either fail to bother fixing, or just take month upon months to fix, won’t likely have much of a playerbase for you to work with. Or perhaps, once you’ve finished the content and there’s little to no replay value, it will be much more difficult to sustain players if there’s not much to do or accomplish after you’ve completed the primary content. All such things will become factors to weigh as you decide whether to proceed; and if you are willing to devote the time and effort to overcome such potential hurdles.

    Some might read this whole article and begin to cite how League of Legends took off within MadCast. My answer to that lies in the caveat of needed time and effort. The manner in which League of Legends came into MadCast falls under that caveat. League was privilege to the most perfect of timings when it was first mentioned. MadCast had just come off of a couple disappointing games and the community was looking for a shift from our prior games. Not only was it Free-to-Play but it was also just when League started to explode globally. The game was easy for our members to pick up and play without spending more money, and it was right when the player base was expanding exponentially. The extent of effort was two members making very simple posts stating that they were playing League and invited others to try it out as well. The planets, stars, and cosmos aligned and the phenomenon just took hold on it’s own. To date in MadCast’s history, League is the only game to ever ignore the time and effort factors and become successful here at MadCast. Every other game has seen incredible amounts of time and effort invested before reaching success within our community.

    I know this article is a wall of text, yet it is a distilled version of what it takes to bring a game to life with our members. Historically, when an expanding branch of MadCast was appointed a Head Admin, much of what I’ve touched on was explored in detail in admin discussions. Hopefully this piece will serve as a reference from here and forward. Some might wonder why a public article as opposed to private admin documentation. The answer is that bringing a game to MadCast can be done by anyone. MadCast will play what it’s members want to play. If a member brings a new game into MadCast and it gains a foothold, then MadCast will welcome said game and the time and effort of those folks’ contributions that made it possible.

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