aqualizard

Player Retention Ideas - how to attract and keep new players?

Recommended Posts

I re-read the forum above:

jackandjose mentioned the "mentor" idea. I think exactly what I would want / wanted / need!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But then how do you get a test game? I (finally) found the page with active AIM users....Is there a way to add everyone at once? Do I need to join a league? Do I just cold contact someone? Do I post on a forum for a game? The instructions were ok..but I still found it a bit confusing.

I don't have a controller. I think I have my orig. genesis ones and will buy a USB adaptor or will buy a new usb controller or something. Its not a huge barrier for me likely. But I sure don't want to play a "test" game until I have REAL control. My initial games vs computer with keyboard left me yearning for the controller. So maybe there is some "lag" for people while they get a controller

You get a test game by replying in the Test Game thread. Then Kingraph will add you to an AIM group where you can request a test game. Thread: http://forum.nhl94.com/index.php/topic/10987-gens-test-game-requests/

Note: If your old AIM name is not "Burntman", I would make a new account with the name Burntman. It helps when the same handle is used everywhere, and creates confusion when it isn't.

As for your controller, some of the best guys use keyboard! But, a good, cheap one is the iBuffalo. Does Mac have USB ports? I would order an iBuffalo, then see if it is good enough. $12 you can't go wrong. https://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Classic-USB-Gamepad-PC/dp/B002B9XB0E

I re-read the forum above:

jackandjose mentioned the "mentor" idea. I think exactly what I would want / wanted / need!

I think your mentor should be a Mac guy. But if no one steps up, I can be your mentor.

Please keep posting relevant feedback (what makes it hard to get started) in this thread! We will sort out the issues as we go along.

Thanks for the feedback and welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burntman, thanks for the feedback, we really need it :)

Barriers:
- Sweet there is online play for NHL 94! Doh! I have a Mac. I downloaded and played single player on Generator. And it seems like there are SOME players on MAC gens...but it sounds like it is hard to get anyone for a game as is. I can bring my PC Laptop from home..but that is a pain. There is zero way I am going to bootcamp Windows just for this. Wine bottles is possible option....anyways a Gen that can somehow connect and work across PC and MAC would un-alienate probably a large group of potential users.


Wine on Linux works, so I assume it works on Mac? Here is a guide someone put together a few weeks ago:

http://forum.nhl94.com/index.php/topic/16863-nose-on-linux/?p=163596



I (finally) found the page with active AIM users....Is there a way to add everyone at once? Do I need to join a league? Do I just cold contact someone? Do I post on a forum for a game? The instructions were ok..but I still found it a bit confusing.

- AIM for organizing games? Like said above in posts, coaches REAL status / availability seems to be a problem. Is it working? No experience so far.


I've been pushing Discord as a replacement for AIM lately.

http://forum.nhl94.com/index.php/topic/17771-new-instant-messaging-voice-chat-setup-discord/

It would help solve this problem of finding people and asking for games, if more people were using it, because there is a big "general" chat room that everyone can see. It is available on Mac. Please everyone install it and leave it running!!

- I don't have a controller. I think I have my orig. genesis ones and will buy a USB adaptor or will buy a new usb controller or something. Its not a huge barrier for me likely. But I sure don't want to play a "test" game until I have REAL control. My initial games vs computer with keyboard left me yearning for the controller. So maybe there is some "lag" for people while they get a controller


I play with a controller, but actually if you get good at keyboard, you'll be a better player. You have better control that way because your directional inputs are more accurate/precise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all you need to play on a Mac.

https://www.playonmac.com/

Works well for the most part, but does add another layer to getting set up.

Cool, we need to get that written into the instructions, and linked to in the download section. Can you put together a tutorial thread for it?

"For the most part" - What is wrong with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 Saving states is an adventure. Sometimes it works sometimes not.

#2 Every time you connect you have to restart everything.

So when your opponent disconnects or sets up wrong you have a 5 minute restart process.

#3 Screen is like double vision unless you go full screen.

#4 Escaping full screen can only be accomplished by shutting down.

So no in game chatting and going from Home to Visitor requires restart.

My old Mac was from 2003. Apparently it has different compatibility with different Mac OS.

Some have said older is better. Some say not.

All I will say is it takes a great deal of effort.

So it needs to be worth it.

Edited by CoachMac
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unification of the sites is important in my mind. It should be priority to work unificating stuff from forum, like videos to nhl94online.com and so on. We then have nhl94.com nhl94online.com and forum.nhl94.com. The most curious ones look for more and get past nhl94.com.

Even though we have the news about starting leagues there and there is the online gaming link on top of it, it should be marketed somehow more simpler that we play here, click here it's easy to get in, click here to see league standings and game info etc. There needs to be a hook. I recall some study on that when things that really interest are too many clicks away, people lose interest and astray off and it really was a thin line like 3-4 clicks was too much already, people can google it up surely. Plus stuff to make the site more known via site tools maybe. When people get to see the games and people interacting between eachother faster, like 1-2 clicks away it could work as a hook for more people and this should work via nhl94.com. Nhl94.com is propably the first site people stumble on and the interaction takes you to forums on the main screen, which might be a turnoff at start for many, there needs to be another hook for it.

Edited by Depch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those interested in SNES, I have successfully set up my brand new MacBook air to play it online using Hamachi and ZSNES. I kind of stumbled into it via trial and error so I don't know if I could explain it to someone else, but I think I'm using Playonmac to do it.

I also have OpenEmu for all sorts of SNES, NES, GENS etc. games. It works perfectly. It's an awesome emulator. I love how you can scroll through your library of games with all the original cover art. It's as if I own a vast library of cartridges on multiple systems!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those interested in SNES, I have successfully set up my brand new MacBook air to play it online using Hamachi and ZSNES. I kind of stumbled into it via trial and error so I don't know if I could explain it to someone else, but I think I'm using Playonmac to do it.

I also have OpenEmu for all sorts of SNES, NES, GENS etc. games. It works perfectly. It's an awesome emulator. I love how you can scroll through your library of games with all the original cover art. It's as if I own a vast library of cartridges on multiple systems!!

Can confirm it works great for games of 94 and RBI Baseball on airplanes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been trying to build interest in the tournament scene via our "Mullets on Ice" show every Tuesday on Twitch. We play in the evening between intermissions of real NHL hockey games. We'd love to see some more people tune in, even if just from their phone. Twitch viewers tend to flock to populated rooms. From there we can promote online play and local tournament participation. The player base is out there, we just have to attract them in somehow. Moe Man and I are doing our part the best way we know how. Give us a hand and hang out on twitch tonight, around 7PM.

Tune in tonight www.twitch.tv/trojan1979

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this topic on reddit, about how to get press. It's for startups, but I figure it may be useful for tournaments.

"How to get press: the complete guide"

https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/5ww9gf/this_exact_process_has_gotten_my_startup_written/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, I don't know how valuable my input would be as someone who mostly lurks, doesn't participate in leagues, and just likes to play against the computer, but I wanted to offer my two cents anyway.  I also didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if this overlaps with anyone else's thoughts.

If the idea is attracting new, young people to NHL '94, you're going to have a tough time competing with several issues:

  • On a Venn diagram, PC gaming and sports gaming are pulling apart year after year.  This means that people who play modern EA NHL games are used to being able to pick up and play against a friend online with little difficulty.  Personally I don't think the process of playing NHL '94 on Windows against someone else is too onerous (having grown up in the age of server browsers, old), but consider the ease with which someone can do it on PS4/X1 and you have a natural impediment to one's desire to participate.
  • Playing NHL '94 likely won't have much appeal unless the rosters and graphics are continually updated (which, gratefully they are), but beyond that there are several aspects of the game that so far cannot be modified (rule changes, roster sizes, minor leagues, game modes like a full regular season, statistics...things that are taken for granted in new games).  The novelty of playing NHL '94 with updated graphics and rosters can wear thin.
  • Then, making a fantasy league/team is not a straight-forward process either.  If I knew how to modify the updated NHL '94 so I could do it myself, I still can imagine the process being time-consuming.  Nevertheless, herein lies the main source of modification the game and any leagues can offer.
  • Finally, I have an expectation that the people who play in NHL '94 leagues with some regularity are formidable opponents for a variety of reasons.  In a general sense, this community is full of NHL '94 veterans, and even the idea of competing with people who have been at this for upwards of twenty-three years sounds daunting even to me.
  • Speaking even more broadly, I get the sense that this community hasn't had an infusion of regular new blood in a while.  Being a more open and accessible community would always be beneficial.  To that extent, I like the ideas of mentoring, expanding into "C" leagues, using Discord, having ladders and relegation/promotion, streaming and game nights...but is there enough of a potential user base to make the most of those ideas?
  • What would one even do to encourage people to seek out this community? I know there's a Twitter handle, I'm sure there's a Facebook page...is there a YouTube channel? How about Twitch? Does anyone stream the games already? Play-by-play/color-commentary would be fun as long as there were professional-enough people doing it.
  • (As a side note, I know there's a group on AIM for NHL '94 and people seeking out exhibitions, but my understanding is that the OSCAR protocol will not be supported by third-party software by the end of this month.  I don't know the full details on this, but it may server to expedite shifting over to a Discord channel.)
  • Ultimately, how do we make NHL '94 appeal to young people? It's got outdated graphics, outdated rules, not enough variety or depth in game modes, and the competition would be stiff.  I think if we came up with something like an Elo rating system that gave a clearer understanding of how good a player is, instead of just A/B/C level, that may help players integrate and find the most suitable competition for themselves.  I don't think this would be too radical an impact on the leagues and the players out there now

I hope I'm not too out-of-the-loop for my thoughts to not be considered, but I would like this community to thrive and survive where I've seen others fall apart due to stagnation.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, The Dopefish said:

Hi guys, I don't know how valuable my input would be as someone who mostly lurks, doesn't participate in leagues, and just likes to play against the computer, but I wanted to offer my two cents anyway.  I also didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if this overlaps with anyone else's thoughts.

If the idea is attracting new, young people to NHL '94, you're going to have a tough time competing with several issues:

  • On a Venn diagram, PC gaming and sports gaming are pulling apart year after year.  This means that people who play modern EA NHL games are used to being able to pick up and play against a friend online with little difficulty.  Personally I don't think the process of playing NHL '94 on Windows against someone else is too onerous (having grown up in the age of server browsers, old), but consider the ease with which someone can do it on PS4/X1 and you have a natural impediment to one's desire to participate.
  • Playing NHL '94 likely won't have much appeal unless the rosters and graphics are continually updated (which, gratefully they are), but beyond that there are several aspects of the game that so far cannot be modified (rule changes, roster sizes, minor leagues, game modes like a full regular season, statistics...things that are taken for granted in new games).  The novelty of playing NHL '94 with updated graphics and rosters can wear thin.
  • Then, making a fantasy league/team is not a straight-forward process either.  If I knew how to modify the updated NHL '94 so I could do it myself, I still can imagine the process being time-consuming.  Nevertheless, herein lies the main source of modification the game and any leagues can offer.
  • Finally, I have an expectation that the people who play in NHL '94 leagues with some regularity are formidable opponents for a variety of reasons.  In a general sense, this community is full of NHL '94 veterans, and even the idea of competing with people who have been at this for upwards of twenty-three years sounds daunting even to me.
  • Speaking even more broadly, I get the sense that this community hasn't had an infusion of regular new blood in a while.  Being a more open and accessible community would always be beneficial.  To that extent, I like the ideas of mentoring, expanding into "C" leagues, using Discord, having ladders and relegation/promotion, streaming and game nights...but is there enough of a potential user base to make the most of those ideas?
  • What would one even do to encourage people to seek out this community? I know there's a Twitter handle, I'm sure there's a Facebook page...is there a YouTube channel? How about Twitch? Does anyone stream the games already? Play-by-play/color-commentary would be fun as long as there were professional-enough people doing it.
  • (As a side note, I know there's a group on AIM for NHL '94 and people seeking out exhibitions, but my understanding is that the OSCAR protocol will not be supported by third-party software by the end of this month.  I don't know the full details on this, but it may server to expedite shifting over to a Discord channel.)
  • Ultimately, how do we make NHL '94 appeal to young people? It's got outdated graphics, outdated rules, not enough variety or depth in game modes, and the competition would be stiff.  I think if we came up with something like an Elo rating system that gave a clearer understanding of how good a player is, instead of just A/B/C level, that may help players integrate and find the most suitable competition for themselves.  I don't think this would be too radical an impact on the leagues and the players out there now

I hope I'm not too out-of-the-loop for my thoughts to not be considered, but I would like this community to thrive and survive where I've seen others fall apart due to stagnation.

I've actually just started working on an Elo (actually Glicko) ladder.  

I also just got a message on my AIM client that it will stop working at the end of this month.  It's really time for Discord to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it even possible to reel young players in? These kids have seen more naked women on their phones in one hour than my grand pappy saw in his entire life. How can you compete with that kind of media? Many of them have only lived in a time when you press a button and the world is delivered to you. The process of using emulators, a separate chat app, uploading games and all that rigamarole might be too involved for them to care, when you can just play games on your phone with the flick of your thumb.

I think the interest around Pixelated Heroes will be the widest net the site has ever casted in terms of drawing in unique traffic from hockey fans, NHL'94 fans, and old-school gamers. It might be a good idea to start developing a strategy or landing page for those folks.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, clockwise said:

I think the interest around Pixelated Heroes will be the widest net the site has ever casted in terms of drawing in unique traffic from hockey fans, NHL'94 fans, and old-school gamers. It might be a good idea to start developing a strategy or landing page for those folks.

This is bang on, and I agree with your sentiment about reeling in younger players, too.  

There should be a landing page, displayed at the end of Pixelated Heroes like "New Players wanted! Check out www.nhl94.com/pixelated..."  At the King of 94 II we should have flyers that have this same URL.

Yes, it is hard to attract younger guys, but it *can* be done.  Why? Because the game is so effin amazing!  Plus it is cool to play a niche game like this.  Look at Plabax.  He is a young guy -- I don't even think he was born when the original came out? -- but he has been at the top of the food chain for a few years now.  He saw the game, and got it.  It can happen.  It is rare, yes.  But some of these whipper snappers will get it.  (It is like fresh milk.  99% of the United States wants it in a box from the supermarket, but to some purists, they go to the trouble of getting farm fresh, unpasteurized milk.  But the 99% thinks they are crazy, while the 1% purists think the 99% are ignorant.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plabax found the (laggy) PlayStation version of the game included on what NHL 2006? He enjoyed that and then found the forum I believe.

 

As for the theory of 'slacking' causing dropouts. There have been a few cases of that namely this Ba55ist character. When i joined, I got kicked out of a league for 'slacking.' I probably didn't read the rules, but still expulsion didn't endear me to the community. I don't think I got a warning either. 

If you look back at couple years ago's classic results: there were to and C players! I think classic is the best way to get people interested. Even after playing classic, i didn't know there were other leagues and honestly if classic ran perpetually I'd probably just keep playing classic and skip the draft leagues. A draft league adds even more time to what is already a pretty decent time commitment as well as adding a learning curve.

Edited by kylewat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, aqualizard said:

(It is like fresh milk.  99% of the United States wants it in a box from the supermarket, but to some purists, they go to the trouble of getting farm fresh, unpasteurized milk.  But the 99% thinks they are crazy, while the 1% purists think the 99% are ignorant.)

Some of us only drink milk from brown cows because we know chocolate milk tastes the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone.


I just signed up.  I played 94 when I was a teenager on Sega Genesis and recently played the game 20+ years later on a simulator.  While it took some getting used to using a computer keyboard, I'm almost as good as I can remember.  I'm at the point where I'm using bench warmers in the 30 rating range on the worst teams in the game to keep it competitive.  I need real competition and would love to play someone on line.  I live in Korea now, so the time difference could be a problem.  (13 hours right now).  

Also, I see that people are modifying the games. Is there any modification to make computer goalies more intelligent?  

That's all.  I hope to hear back.  

Thanks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!  Even though you are far away, I think South Korea has among the fastest networks in the world?  I am sure you can find some games here, if not in a league, then just for fun.

Interesting you are so good with the keyboard!  Many here do think once you get over the learning curve, a keyboard is an advantage.

As for CPU goalies "intelligence", well you can bump all of their stats up, so they will be much better.  But they won't get a ton better than Roy and Eddie.

You should post in the I'm New/Intro Thread and you will get some good tips on how to get setup and get some live games in!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, VintageKing said:

Hello everyone.


I just signed up.  I played 94 when I was a teenager on Sega Genesis and recently played the game 20+ years later on a simulator.  While it took some getting used to using a computer keyboard, I'm almost as good as I can remember.  I'm at the point where I'm using bench warmers in the 30 rating range on the worst teams in the game to keep it competitive.  I need real competition and would love to play someone on line.  I live in Korea now, so the time difference could be a problem.  (13 hours right now).  

Also, I see that people are modifying the games. Is there any modification to make computer goalies more intelligent?  

That's all.  I hope to hear back.  

Thanks.

 

There are some players in Europe (Finland, France, Germany..), so that would cut the time difference to ~6 hours.

For the goalies, you can use the NOSE editor and increase some of their attributes, such as agility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply.  maybe an international league is in order?  Barring that, I'd do my best to accomodate people with the time difference.  One benefit of being in Korea is the internet service is the fastest in the world.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been getting used to playing on my Mac, so I'm getting to appreciate the keyboard as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New to this forum. Can anyone tell me how the online leagues work or how the online play is done. I would like to play against others online. 

Thank you

The Rexer Show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, The Rexer Show said:

New to this forum. Can anyone tell me how the online leagues work or how the online play is done. I would like to play against others online. 

Thank you

The Rexer Show. 

How online leagues work... I've been here for years, and I barely know! We play using Gens, kailerra and generally hamachi to provide an IP. So the classic league is not running this spring, but the other leagues are kinda more you gotta find who runs it and get in. You need to get a test game before to show you know how to setup the game for online play.

We also have a discord channel now. Don't really know how to get you there other than it is #nhl94 I think. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kylewat said:

We also have a discord channel now. Don't really know how to get you there other than it is #nhl94 I think. 

I can help with this. I made a new thread called:

Test Games and Getting Connected!

Just for this purpose!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had a morbid thought. We're all getting old and soon we will all be dead and no one will be playing NHL 94.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why I stopped playing:

1) Don't have time to sit around waiting for people to show up.

2) Don't want to play a game with people around the world that is laggy.

3) Don't want to play a game in which I have to modify my schedule to meet someone else schedule

4) The Braggarts and Tryhards

5) Using AOL Aim.... 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jbalicki10 said:

Why I stopped playing:

1) Don't have time to sit around waiting for people to show up.

2) Don't want to play a game with people around the world that is laggy.

3) Don't want to play a game in which I have to modify my schedule to meet someone else schedule

4) The Braggarts and Tryhards

5) Using AOL Aim.... 

1. Yes seasons are too long, it gets tiring

2. Yes 94 has enough lag issues playing just north american opponents, I know we gotta take what we can get but the added latency sucks donkey nuts

3. Similar to #1, if the seasons were shorter with stricter deadlines this wouldnt be such a problem

4. Okay cool guy, if you cant handle losing then we dont need you anyway

5. Aim is a thing of the past, discord seems to be working well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 15 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online