Retaining New Players With Game Play


You guys talk way too much, its not like all that much talk will lead to anything, who in the hell can keep track of all that?
Anyhow, the way i see it theres not point in theory or practice to deviate all that much from trem base, atleast until 1.4 or so.
Keep trem being trem with a few new additions to keep things fresh, but dont stuff it with mechanics.
If anything we need to explore new ideas is a modding friendly trem so that people can make up new things by themselfs and experiment.
If we have a well moddable game base then we can attract more devs maybe and by extension more players.
Then we can see what works better and what doesnt and can alter gameplay by evolution instead of design, assuming its playercount you really want.

I dont really care about the playercount, lots of foss games are unappreciated, its not something trem exclusive, the important part is to make a playable, fun, stable game and the rest will fall into place or it wont, i dont know.


There is nothing wrong with debating and deciding to add say, a feature or something that might help the game. :quakethonk:

Yes, that is true, if we did do that, at least before 1.4, we might as well make our own game, practically.



A Multiplayer Game with Few to No Players…

What do you call a political convention or product opening with almost no attendees? A museum piece.

Trem’s Strengths and Weaknesses

An underappreciated social gaming platform is somewhat less than stellar…Trem’s bread and butter is its multiplayer functionality. We are not cutting edge like Doom was in the 90s, and our game cannot stand on the merits of its engine or astoundingly market shaking player mechanics. Trem’s major strength is that its a social game…It has no story, graphics that look like they came out of a game company’s time capsule, very little single player appeal, and game tactics that on some maps become very predictable, even with human players.

Placing our Heads Firmly in the Sand

Lets be honest as possible here: take away the players from Trem and then you take away the social element…what you have left won’t be that fun to play unless we make those bots very very realistic. Saying that the game must stand upon its own merits and ignoring that a multiplayer game’s bread and butter is its… players, is akin to sticking our heads in the sand.

Currently the remaining game community has elements that are positive, and toxic elements that drive away new players… Gameplay does not help retain players if they cannot win at least a fourth of the time, we do not have a large enough player base for games to be matched by the game itself.

  • Trem is a social multiplayer game
  • Take away its multiple players and you also take away its social aspect
  • The game play and community with polish could attract players and retain them
  • Without multiple online players all we have left is an out dated game engine with substandard graphics and an empty void in the player lobby

To ignore the theory and practice of game promotion and marketing, and to take focus away from the multiplayer games biggest asset, its multiple players, is not unlike placing our heads in the sand.

Mega Glest, An Example of a Failed Game With Great Potential

Mega Glest started out at a multiplayer on line tactics and strategy game that could have had great potential as an open source project. However with an empty lobby and poor community engagement they quickly went from having a few players to almost no players, and now to not even having active development.

Mega Glest is a strategy game developed as a free software project with severely dated graphics, a crappy engine, no way to train new developers, aging code, and a severe popularity problem. Today all that is active in the community is a developer’s forum with few active players and an ever shrinking community… Even the developers have lost the desire to work on their own project.

I really liked Mega Glest but in the end its an empty game devoid of single player story, and devoid of players.

In Conclusion

We have poured time and effort into Tremulous, and it would be tremendous waste to stick our heads in the sand and become the new Mega Glest.


I’m not really sticking my head in the sand though… The player base is the bread and butter, but the game must be good enough and forgiving enough in the first place for the players to stick around long enough for the social connections to start forming…

Imagine for a moment that Tremulous gameplay is replaced with this: you have snails, everybody clicks ready and the snails ever so slowly race to the finish line at random speeds… yeah… You’d be better off uninstalling it and using a regular chat program instead to talk with people.


I was talking about this in that part lamefun:

I agree we must improve the game, but when we finally get it ready, and we will soon enough I expect, it must be promoted well, else that effort will have been wasted.

And yes a clicking snail game would be very hard to promote, though I have seen some truly awfully boring games do well with good marketing, and that is why I support good development on trem as well as its promotion… although you could make a snail mod that has adorable snails in anime style and market it to the female Japanese audience, much like pac-man…but with snails :snail: . (Joking about making a snail version of Trem)

We really want both skill and chance to be involved to certain degrees, some games do this well, and some do not. Warzone attempts to have an element of chance by having oil barrels randomly pop up. Wesnoth does it badly with a relatively poor RNG for hit chance that aggravates players in the single player mode…

We want chance to be an element, and game play to be fun as well as social elements to the game. However if anyone wants to make a hilarious marketable snail Trem mod I will gladly help them promote that after I stop laughing at the idea :snail:


Ease of access and having things work properly “out-of-the-box” is critical. This means that the game is distributed through idiot-proof platforms and that default settings will work for most setups. Historically, Trem has (only) been distributed through and some mirrors, and any alternative clients had to be discovered by a player.

Aside from great game-play, two things that would give tremulous some future-compatible staying power are techs like HumbleNet, an UDP protocol wrapper to (additionally) broadcast traffic via WebRTC, and modern web based tech like emscripten (C to JavaScript) for WebGL and also WebAssembly (to replace the “VM” that QVMs use) - to port a client to run in a web browser, giving players the option to play anywhere (on the same servers as native clients), without having to install anything.

Edit: See and