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


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On 11/11/2016 at 9:17 AM, jackandjose said:

Assigning a vet coach to each newby as a mentor would be helpful. I did this once with a new guy and we ended up having many email conversations to answer the hundreds of questions he had about getting connected, leagues, exis, the forum, etc. It was easier to ask the questions and get answers in this one on one way. He ended up being a thriving member of the community for several years.

I agree this should be happening!!

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I just found this site yesterday and spent a good amount of time trying to understand what was going on which led me here. As someone less than 24 hours into this foray, I'd like to give my perspectiv

I'm bored waiting on something to hit my inbox for work so I've been bouncing around the forums and ended up here. I think the constructive posts on this topic are f**king excellent, and since I'm als

I wanted to give my feedback as I've really just started getting into this site after lurking for a few years thanks to the SoChel tourney. I know this thread is a few years old so I apologize if some

On 5/15/2017 at 1:48 PM, jer_33 said:

The coolest thing though, is that many (or most) of the top players are super accessible. It really is a great group of guys. I think I'll make it my mission this summer to really try and track down some of the vets that I started with (Mind, Witt, Eggink, Dadonch etc..) and make sure that they stop in on DISCORD occasionally to say hello. Who knows, maybe they'll get the itch again.

I've never heard of any of these guys. Go get them Jer!! Lot's of cool things going on now with stream and leagues and lots of exis!

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On 9/7/2020 at 8:24 AM, Decadent said:

I just found this site yesterday and spent a good amount of time trying to understand what was going on which led me here. As someone less than 24 hours into this foray, I'd like to give my perspective as an outsider. Documenting it now is better than waiting a few months and forgetting what it was like to be an outside. 

First, I just want to say the only reason I'm taking the time to give this feedback is because I appreciate what you have all done so far, I hope to be a part of the community, and I give this feedback with good intentions so that the community might be better off for it. I'm in no way a troll just spewing criticisms from a dark corner of the internet because it makes me feel better. I simply don't have the inclination or time.

To start, I'll preface that I'll parallel this little diatribe to that of a business trying to obtain and retain customers. If you all want to increase the number of people in the community and thus the amount of people playing this game, ask yourself what you would do as a business if you were trying to charge people for this experience. Simplifying that approach for the benefit of this post, a business should:

  1. Sell the experience,
  2. Reduce the friction for the prospect to be a customer,
  3. Provide great customer support.

So, the specifics...

A. The homepage is busy. Actually, both are. After a couple of hours of bouncing around and reading everything I'm still not sure why there are two homepages. It's all too much information for someone new. A business would create one homepage, sell the experience, and make it very clear what the visitor to the site was supposed to do next (the "call to action")...which is download the software to play. Everything else is a distraction for a new user. If you need all that other information later, great...bury it out of sight in the menu and funnel the new users there once they're up and running. 

B. I downloaded the software for my mac to install it and was a little confused. I know what an emulator and ROM is which gives me a bit of a leg up on other newbies, but I'm in no way up to date on what all the technologies are -- I haven't used an emulator in 10 years. So, there were some little nuances like the unusual interface and getting past Apple's security that made it a bit confusing. The site's instructions helped a bit, a simple Youtube tutorial would have been much more helpful.

Those two roadblocks are probably enough to keep most people away. I kept going because my brother and I used to play this game for hours a day as kids and we're looking to recreate the experience remotely so we're a little extra motivated. We ordered controllers and will be able to figure out how to start playing against one another, but I'm honestly not even sure what to do to get into some pickup games or register for upcoming leagues/tournaments.

C. I'm sure you're all busy and being a full-time customer service rep is not on your bucket list. That being said, it'd be nice if I knew that to go for help I should consult this message board, go to the Discord channel, go to the facebook group, or click one of the email links to ask for help. Again, too many options, too much friction. Funnel everyone to the most active place and consider killing the rest.

Again, I don't want to sound like an angry, ungrateful person who showed up to spit vile. That's not my intention. It seems like this community has been active for a long time and everything has been piecemealed together as technology has progressed, with no major revamp to refresh the groundwork.

I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually and hope to see you all in some games at some point in the future.

A lot of useful info here. In marketing, you have to walk a fine line between being everywhere so people find you, and being in one place so you look like you have your s**t together, haha. But then again, most companies have a website, facebook, instagram, Twitter. I will certainly admit it's weird to have the forum, nhl94.com, nhl94online.com, nhl94strategy.com, etc... but nothing would stop me right now from starting an nhl94tricks.com as well and making my own website. What can be done about this? Not sure, but I'll throw my hat in the ring if admins want another dedicated person to discuss branding and web strategies. Experience: 15 years of running my own business, 10 of that in marketing specifically and working with small businesses.

I think the best tidbit here is minimizing info on the main page. It should be 100% dedicated to DOWNLOAD NOW AND GET STARTED, along with installation vid walkthroughs. Everything else can be buried in tabs.

Thanks @Decadent for taking the time to write this.

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3 hours ago, danTML7 said:

I think the best tidbit here is minimizing info on the main page. It should be 100% dedicated to DOWNLOAD NOW AND GET STARTED, along with installation vid walkthroughs. Everything else can be buried in tabs.

Thanks @Decadent for taking the time to write this.

I think so, too. Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a few big options, like

"What do you want to do?"

  • Play NHL94 against other people (requires a windows/mac/linux/retropie computer) (sends you to computer emulator setup, also tells them about leagues)
  • Play NHL94 solo (on your computer, console, or phone) (sends you to info about playing on consoles, phones etc).
  • Talk to other NHL'94 fans (sends you to a page which gives the forum link and discord link).
  • Download updated versions of NHL'94 (sends them to ROMs)
  • Show me everything! (sends you to something like the current nhl94.com page)
  • Play in a live event (upcoming tournament list, some videos from past events..)

This was kind of the idea behind the JoinUs page (https://nhl94.com/joinus/ ), a landing page that tries to give you an overhead view of the things you can do on nhl94/online.com

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In my experience I would say the only thing that held me back was always putting off the figuring out the netplay. I created my account on nhl94.com in 2009. When I came across the site I was amazed and I have always kept checking in out of interest in this community. I just never took the leap of jumping in. As per recent feedback in this thread I feel a detailed instruction on netplay could attract more players? A detailed set of instructions with images or even a youtube video with a link on how to setup? I realize this takes effort so by no means am I saying "somebody has to do this!" This most likely would have had me competing earlier. I do like the idea of this being advertised on the homepage in more of a bold approach.

Anyways I'm a huge fan of this community and much shout out to the creators and admins who created and keep it going. I'm really excited to finally join a league!

 

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15 minutes ago, Ellis said:

In my experience I would say the only thing that held me back was always putting off the figuring out the netplay. I created my account on nhl94.com in 2009. When I came across the site I was amazed and I have always kept checking in out of interest in this community. I just never took the leap of jumping in. As per recent feedback in this thread I feel a detailed instruction on netplay could attract more players? A detailed set of instructions with images or even a youtube video with a link on how to setup? I realize this takes effort so by no means am I saying "somebody has to do this!" This most likely would have had me competing earlier. I do like the idea of this being advertised on the homepage in more of a bold approach.

Anyways I'm a huge fan of this community and much shout out to the creators and admins who created and keep it going. I'm really excited to finally join a league!

 

Hey bud, these are on the forums already:

 

Also, link to a video showing set up - 

 

 

Though, it should be in spots more readily accessible. I think that's the gist of this thread.

 

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I thought I’d comment relating to my experiences this far as now I’ve successfully hosted matches and logged the results. It is IMO very well set up and it is very simple. This post I’ll share what I feel could assist future members a smooth experience. First of all I’m blown away by the community! The effort into the website is very nice and I’m not criticizing anything. I’m only sharing my thought as I’ve now experienced the process of online league play. I’ll list in order of priority.

I’m also considering the reality of there will be many persons who will not be familiar with some of the terminology which may be obvious to experienced users and admins. I found that I had to search out what could be considered to be easily attainable information. I’m patient with this but many will not be.

 

Homepage - http://www.nhl94online.com/

1. The homepage having a very large or bold link that really stands out on “getting started”. There is a link already but I feel it is somewhat concealed. Really make this stand out.

 

Within “Getting started” link and page

 

http://www.nhl94online.com/html/getting-started.php

 

2. “Step 2 – Controller Config” The posted image looks like a mirror of step 1 image. I realize the bottom image has yellow writing but this could be highlighted. In the first sentence of step 2 I think it would be good to have “go to Settings->Input->Port 1 Binds”. Also the step 2 image could highlight “Settings” as opposed to “Load Core”. Also the Link and message below this image didn’t stand out to me and I feel it’s quite an important step. The linked page is for controller setup is very helpful. Maybe make the “Step 2 – Controller Config” a link for “controller not configured” issue?

 

3. “Step 4 – Loading Core and Content” I literally had know idea what a “Core” was. I figured it out quite quickly but an impatient, non tech individual will not give it a thought and leave. Maybe the first sentence in this step could clarify what is meant by “core” in relevance to a sega genesis or super nintendo console? Like literally write “A Core is the gaming system we use. Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.” This may not technically be correct but at this point f**k technicalities. :)

Up to this point having Retroarch running with a working controller configured and a game loaded has to be the most important component in the steps before online play can begin and this is the order which is presented within “getting started”.

 

4. Save State. I found information in the forums. It is somewhat buried. I think this is also very important and personally think it should be brought to the forefront as well. Maybe add a “Saving the game” link/section and place it before “Netplay Guide”. I guess it could come after the “netplay guide” but I feel it should be on the “getting started” page as well?

 

5. Netplay as per the link contained within the “getting started” page.

 

https://forum.nhl94.com/index.php?/topic/18461-how-to-netplay-over-retroarch/

 

I did look through the forums and tried to gather what I could regarding netplay and I still had questions. All the information is available but the location of this information could be made more readily available. I feel a link to a video would be perfect here. If there is a link to a video on this page then apologies.

The title of chaos’ post “Netplay via RetroArch” would be the perfect link while also serving as the title or right underneath it.

 

6. Logging league games.

I’m not exactly sure where to best position this but I looked in the forums and in the end I was linked by an admin. Much appreciated of this I was but I’m thinking its pretty buried within the forums. So maybe placement within the “getting started” page?

I think that’s what I can think of for now in my experience for online league play. I’m somewhat understanding of tech terminology so I got by. Also the community on discord was very helpful. I feel my suggestions may have led to less questions on discord and maybe inconvenience to some on the forums.

 

Sorry If I’ve come across as a little nitpicky and missed some obvious links or information but I think these suggestions may be useful for future members? It would have made it slightly easier for myself.

 

Keep up the great job admins!

 

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2 hours ago, Ellis said:

I thought I’d comment relating to my experiences this far as now I’ve successfully hosted matches and logged the results. It is IMO very well set up and it is very simple. This post I’ll share what I feel could assist future members a smooth experience. First of all I’m blown away by the community! The effort into the website is very nice and I’m not criticizing anything. I’m only sharing my thought as I’ve now experienced the process of online league play. I’ll list in order of priority.

I’m also considering the reality of there will be many persons who will not be familiar with some of the terminology which may be obvious to experienced users and admins. I found that I had to search out what could be considered to be easily attainable information. I’m patient with this but many will not be.

 

Homepage - http://www.nhl94online.com/

1. The homepage having a very large or bold link that really stands out on “getting started”. There is a link already but I feel it is somewhat concealed. Really make this stand out.

 

Within “Getting started” link and page

 

http://www.nhl94online.com/html/getting-started.php

 

2. “Step 2 – Controller Config” The posted image looks like a mirror of step 1 image. I realize the bottom image has yellow writing but this could be highlighted. In the first sentence of step 2 I think it would be good to have “go to Settings->Input->Port 1 Binds”. Also the step 2 image could highlight “Settings” as opposed to “Load Core”. Also the Link and message below this image didn’t stand out to me and I feel it’s quite an important step. The linked page is for controller setup is very helpful. Maybe make the “Step 2 – Controller Config” a link for “controller not configured” issue?

 

3. “Step 4 – Loading Core and Content” I literally had know idea what a “Core” was. I figured it out quite quickly but an impatient, non tech individual will not give it a thought and leave. Maybe the first sentence in this step could clarify what is meant by “core” in relevance to a sega genesis or super nintendo console? Like literally write “A Core is the gaming system we use. Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.” This may not technically be correct but at this point f**k technicalities. :)

Up to this point having Retroarch running with a working controller configured and a game loaded has to be the most important component in the steps before online play can begin and this is the order which is presented within “getting started”.

 

4. Save State. I found information in the forums. It is somewhat buried. I think this is also very important and personally think it should be brought to the forefront as well. Maybe add a “Saving the game” link/section and place it before “Netplay Guide”. I guess it could come after the “netplay guide” but I feel it should be on the “getting started” page as well?

 

5. Netplay as per the link contained within the “getting started” page.

 

https://forum.nhl94.com/index.php?/topic/18461-how-to-netplay-over-retroarch/

 

I did look through the forums and tried to gather what I could regarding netplay and I still had questions. All the information is available but the location of this information could be made more readily available. I feel a link to a video would be perfect here. If there is a link to a video on this page then apologies.

The title of chaos’ post “Netplay via RetroArch” would be the perfect link while also serving as the title or right underneath it.

 

6. Logging league games.

I’m not exactly sure where to best position this but I looked in the forums and in the end I was linked by an admin. Much appreciated of this I was but I’m thinking its pretty buried within the forums. So maybe placement within the “getting started” page?

I think that’s what I can think of for now in my experience for online league play. I’m somewhat understanding of tech terminology so I got by. Also the community on discord was very helpful. I feel my suggestions may have led to less questions on discord and maybe inconvenience to some on the forums.

 

Sorry If I’ve come across as a little nitpicky and missed some obvious links or information but I think these suggestions may be useful for future members? It would have made it slightly easier for myself.

 

Keep up the great job admins!

 

The Save States and Logging league games is really only necessary for playing in leagues, hence why it isn't part of the Getting Started. Purpose of Getting Started is getting the install done and controller set up, playing on your own, which is what I would figure 80% of people want to do. The links about save states and logging games should be provided to you by the league commissioner or should at least be explained to you by whoever is helping you confirm your setup. In Classic league, which is the usual beginner league, all this information is given in a forum post every year. Unfortunately, no one seems to read it! I'm guessing a video showing a how-to might be better. 

I plan on revamping the Getting Started page soon and add some stuff to the front page of nhl94online. I 100% agree with you about the controller config thing, and every time I send it to someone I say to myself "I have to change this so it's easier to see", and then forget 5 min after.

 

If anyone is willing to help make videos on some of these things, it would be excellent. I can link them on the Getting Started page.

 

 

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