It was a shorter week this last week because of Easter and progress is continuing on the coding of the trading mechanics. There isn't a lot to show off just yet, but expect a detailed behind-the-scenes post on development for next week's update.
For this week, however, I'd like to outline my vision for the community, call attention to community building, highlight how the different social media channels will be used, and to solicit your feedback for ideas.
The vision for Junction Gate as a whole is to provide a smart, fun game that tells a very personal story set against the backdrop of larger human events. Players will have agency to make choices that will have profound effects on the player character and the game universe, choices and effects that will hopefully provide room for and provoke real-life reflection.
In the same way, I'd like the community to have agency with the development of the game and with each other. The open, transparent development and marketing of Junction Gate is something only a few other games have tried before and my hope is that it will inspire an equally open and helpful community that becomes more than just about the game.
There are multiple ways to look at a community, but I'm going to outline some qualities I'd like to inspire from the perspectives of the community's involvement with each other, with development, and with marketing. I believe it's important to start this early in the process to lay the foundation for what's to come.
Junction Gate is a single-player game, so creating a community around it presents some infrastructure challenges that might not be present in a multi-player game. You won't meet or interact with people in-game, so the community needs to be built outside of it. Below are some of the ways that will be attempted.
As outlined above, there are a lot of ways that the community can get involved in Junction Gate. My hope is that the involvement will lead to a sense of ownership and that the community will grow as a result of that shared experience in the story and creation of Junction Gate.
I'm going to be as open with the community as possible regarding the development and marketing of Junction Gate. Things may change over the course of the development, but you'll know about it when it happens and the reasons behind it. I'll also do my best to be accessible to answer questions and listen to feedback.
A lot of developers create their games in stealth-mode or go a long time without communication. For indie-developers, this can be devestating when it comes time to release their game because they have no audience. I don't want to release Junction Gate into a void.
I'm the only person working on Junction Gate, so there is a limit to what I can do in terms of content without taking too much away from the development of the game. Right now, it looks like an update once a week, usually sometime on a Tuesday, is working well. If I can find ways to do more in the future without impacting the game, I'll do that, but it will take a while to work up to that point.
There may be some weeks where an update is late because of getting sick, family emergencies, etc. An occasional vacation will also be needed. However, I'll do my best to let you know in advance if there is any changes in schedule.
In future weeks and months, I'll be investigating ways to gain exposure for Junction Gate with third-party sites. First up on the list are IndieDB and possibly Kongregate. The goal with these sites is to bring more people into the community beyond just organic growth.
I'm going to start reaching out to other indie developers in the hopes of some cross-promotion opportunities. Because of this, you may see some retweets and comments about other games from time to time. This will largely occur on Twitter, but may occasionally happen on other mediums if the game is of a similar genre to Junction Gate.
Forming strategic relationships will also extend to talking with press, YouTubers, and indie gaming sites. I don't have a solid strategy here yet, but it's something to start looking at.
Very briefly, I'd like to highlight how each of Junction Gate's social media accounts and community features will be used.
Twitter will be one of the more active Junction Gate accounts. Check there for any updates, news, in-progress thoughts or short updates on development, and retweets of other interesting games.
Facebook will be updated when there are new blog posts, new screenshots, or new videos. You can use Facebook to provide longer-form feedback or to ask other questions.
Reddit will be updated in the same circumstances as Facebook. It's also a great place for the community to ask each other questions, provide feedback, or post their own Junction Gate-related content.
Discord Chat will be a combination between Twitter and Reddit in terms of content. You'll also be able to chat with other members of the community in real-time without having to download an app.
YouTube is still a work in progress. I'm experimenting and researching with different video options, but video takes a while longer to get set up. There will be more here in the future.
The regular email newsletter is a weekly digest of blog posts from the Junction Gate website, sent out on Fridays. From time to time, it may also include special announcements. You can sign up for it below.
A post about community wouldn't be complete without your feedback. What are your ideas for how the community should interact, function, and grow? What would you like to see?Tweet comments powered by Disqus