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    Why has the forum failed?

    Why do you guys think this forum has (comparatively) failed so badly when you look at the french, german and US forums? I realize the size of the UK server is smaller than any of the others, too, but when you compare member activity of this forum to any other, it's pretty abysmal.

    What could we do to bring some life back into the forums? Start posting random junk in the forums that we copy from the same area in other forums? Bribe our guildmates with cookies?

    Personally, I don't think a member increase is going to be the only solution to the problem (granted, the proportion of members that have made a forum account is pretty low).

    Do you think it's that so many members of the UK server are "transfers" from other servers, so they're only active on the German, US, or French forums?
    Do you search any of those forums for the answer to your question instead of posting it here?

    *tries in vain to breathe some life back into the forums*
    COME ON! I'm not ready to lose you yet!! BREATHE, DAMMIT! BREATHE!!!
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    #2
    Good question. Some Germans or Italians play here for a fresh start although their main characters are on other servers. Second, the UK is much smaller than the US. Third, there are 137k players on the US server but only 7.096 on the UK server although this server started only 1-2 weeks after .us. However, the UK server has a higher percentage of forum users that play the game than the US one. (US: 137k in-game, 1.100 forum // UK: 7.096 in-game, 165 forum)

    It is difficult to talk about cultural differences and traits without using stereotypes but it really could be that the "gaming mentality" is different. Maybe North Americans are more likely to spend money on browser games? Maybe they are more liberal and open-minded?

    British pupils must wear school uniforms. US pupils can wear whatever they want (ok, certain rules must be followed but there are no uniforms). Many British pupils go to boarding schools with strict rules...they cannot simple surfh the internet whenever they want. I also know some British guys who all were not allowed to play computer games or watch TV for hours like we do (Austria, Germany).

    Again, I can only write about my experience and what we learned at school without actually living in the UK.

    It would be great if some British forum users could share their opinions and (school) experiences (as a lot of pupils actually play this game).

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      #3
      I'm definitely voting for impact of secondary characters. It's the case for most of the active players that I can identify.

      The UK has a healthy casual gaming population. Simple facts picked up from a a recent report:

      Population / Amount spent on Casual Games 2009 (in UK Pounds)

      France: 62M / 220M
      Germany: 82M / 440M
      UK: 61M / 280M

      So, the gaming culture is there, but S&F hasn't broken in yet, and S&F UK has many, many active players not from the UK.

      It really seems that the US server has seen a large number of players that "clicked on an ad." I wonder if Google is actually getting as many well-placed ads to UK IPs?
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        #4
        Originally posted by Leander View Post
        Good question. Some Germans or Italians play here for a fresh start although their main characters are on other servers. Second, the UK is much smaller than the US. Third, there are 137k players on the US server but only 7.096 on the UK server although this server started only 1-2 weeks after .us. However, the UK server has a higher percentage of forum users that play the game than the US one. (US: 137k in-game, 1.100 forum // UK: 7.096 in-game, 165 forum)

        It is difficult to talk about cultural differences and traits without using stereotypes but it really could be that the "gaming mentality" is different. Maybe North Americans are more likely to spend money on browser games? Maybe they are more liberal and open-minded?

        British pupils must wear school uniforms. US pupils can wear whatever they want (ok, certain rules must be followed but there are no uniforms). Many British pupils go to boarding schools with strict rules...they cannot simple surfh the internet whenever they want. I also know some British guys who all were not allowed to play computer games or watch TV for hours like we do (Austria, Germany).

        Again, I can only write about my experience and what we learned at school without actually living in the UK.

        It would be great if some British forum users could share their opinions and (school) experiences (as a lot of pupils actually play this game).
        I'm not entirely sure if I agree with you about what people wear to school and how that translates to their gaming mentality, but I definitely do agree with you that the mentalities of Americans (I'm lumping myself in as an "American", even though I have never lived in the US) differs quite drastically from the mentality of UK-ers. I almost wish more people in the US were like Brits

        But can a low forum participation (let's ignore how many people are actually registered, because that's also not an indication of forum activity on the US forums, either) be explained by a different mentality towards the internet and time wasting in general between people in the US and the UK? I'm not so sure. I think that could definitely be a part of it, but I'm leaning towards another factor that's a bigger cause for the low activity. I definitely think you're onto something, though, when you say that some players here are "fresh start" players from other servers. I know my whole guild is from the US server, where we decided we all wanted to be mages without having to delete our characters and start over. So instead of breaking the rules and multi-accounting, we all invaded over here and started fresh.
        Instead of speculation, I would also be interested in hearing from UK members (NOT those that just transferred over from other servers) on why they're not active on the forums. But a lovely catch-22, because in order to reply on the forums one must 1) know they're there, and 2) make an account, thereby becoming active, to post a response. lol.

        I personally like the "close and huggy" feeling the UK server has compared to the US server. There was an explosion of members, and I got bored really fast of everyone trying to be "helpful". If the people that were registered as active users here were actually active on the forums, I think it would be awesome. But, alas,
        Last edited by Cashew; 8 June 2010, 08:59 PM.
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          #5
          Originally posted by JobyKSU
          So, the gaming culture is there, but S&F hasn't broken in yet, and S&F UK has many, many active players not from the UK.

          It really seems that the US server has seen a large number of players that "clicked on an ad." I wonder if Google is actually getting as many well-placed ads to UK IPs?
          I didn't even think of the banner ad target possibility. Perhaps they have more strict rules in the UK about what ad companies are allowed to "scan" when displaying banner ads? I'm not sure. But I could definitely see how if the ads weren't being appropriately placed, it would lead to a massive decline in playership compared to other servers.

          Joby, you's such a smarty-pants!
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            #6
            I'd agree that it's second character syndrome. The problem is that because the US server's forum is fuller you are more likely to find answers to your issues on there. Therefore, not so many people post over here.
            Also the French and German forums are in their respective languages, but there are two English speaking servers, which means that both are equally accessible to English speakers and compete for the same market.
            I don't think it's a cultural issue. Most guys in the UK don't attend boarding school and we play just as many video games (just look at how many of the big games are developed in the UK).
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              #7
              Originally posted by Flash
              Also the French and German forums are in their respective languages, but there are two English speaking servers, which means that both are equally accessible to English speakers and compete for the same market.
              Good point about the language thing. Didn't think of that one, either, really. I've noticed that the people that post most often are those with English as a second language (traditionally...currently we all seem to be pretty literate in English), but even that's significantly less on this server than on the US server.

              Oh! New idea! Maybe it's the "bad teeth" syndrome? *hides*
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                #8
                Originally posted by Cashew View Post
                Oh! New idea! Maybe it's the "bad teeth" syndrome? *hides*
                I think you should...

                I have also noticed that hardly any of the users on this forum are actually from the UK.
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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cashew View Post
                  Joby, you's such a smarty-pants!
                  Funny - my friends say something very similar, but I don't think it means the same thing...

                  I would also be interested to get a look at the distribution of ages - When I was trying to help another casual gaming site keep it's head afloat, we were really surprised to find that the active, social members' ages were really skewed to the over 35 crowd, while most of the paying members were under 22. So, there was a clash between the "culture" being developed, and the culture of the cash providers. We could only keep the paying members around long enough to get through the gaming challenges, but they wouldn't get emotionally invested in the community. The site still exists - but in a different, crappy form when the owner sold it off for next to nothing.

                  S&F feels very similar in that there isn't a ton of social interaction in-game, and virtually none outside of a guild. Any socialization is compartmentalized in the forums, and doesn't feel like part of the game.
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                  ------------------------------

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by JobyKSU View Post
                    S&F feels very similar in that there isn't a ton of social interaction in-game, and virtually none outside of a guild. Any socialization is compartmentalized in the forums, and doesn't feel like part of the game.
                    The age distribution is another good point. The last web-based "fight-y game" that I played was somewhat like S&F but with an in-game chat that made you feel less isolated, especially when starting out. There was also their equivalent of a guild chat, so if you wanted to talk to a specific group of people you could, also. The other major benefit that this game had was that you could also have a private chat by typing "/member name" before your text. Slightly more "instant gratification" rather than the typical in-game mail (which it also had). There was a suggestion (in fact, many suggestions) on the US forum about adding a global in-game chat feature, and it was pretty much shot down, which is a shame. I think it would help get members hooked when they first start playing, rather than hoping they like the game style then join a guild for the social aspect. It would also be significantly less frustrating for new users who have no idea what's going on to just ask questions in chat, instead of having to actually find the forums (not gonna lie, took me a couple of days to notice the "forum" link at the top).
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                      #11
                      I think the forum is pulling together slowly, and I like how I can be the first one to answer things and its not too over-populated I do think that many people prioritize other servers before this, like .us was my top priority until I took over a guild and had duty's to fill. I also don't think this server was advertised as much as the others, like I found out about .us from a website called kongregate but i found out about .co.uk from a forum post on .us, is uk even getting advertised Leander?
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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Spencerc123 View Post
                        ...I found out about .us from a website called kongregate but i found out about .co.uk from a forum post on .us, is uk even getting advertised Leander?
                        I think it's what Joby said: you're in Canada, so the US server would be more "local" for you than the UK server, so you're targeted to join the US server. I haven't seen the German servers ever advertised, but that doesn't mean they don't have banner ads for them in Germany, Poland, Austria, etc.
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                          #13
                          Ahhh, but is uk getting advertised? With only a little over 7000 people , you would think there would be more?
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                            #14
                            You'd think, but maybe we just have high expectations

                            Maybe people in the UK are smarter than those of us who had the US server banner ads thrown in our face everywhere we looked.
                            "oh, new game. But I won't click the ad."
                            "Oh, same new game. But I won't click the ad."
                            "Oh, same new game. Still not clicking!"
                            "FINE I'LL CLICK THE DAMN BANNER!!!!"
                            *5 minutes later*
                            "ooooo...awesome game!!"
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                              #15
                              Yes, there are ads but I don't know how many and where they are placed. There is a thread "where did you find this game" in the US forum and the answers are really interesting, amazing and odd. It seems that these ads are placed anywhere. I think somebody was looking up things in an online dictionary when he suddenly saw an ad and clicked it.

                              Of course there are ads in Germany. Just click random game pages, game zines, entertainment sites and you will find S&F. One big TV channel has its own server, too. Imagine something like espn.sfgame.us. Moreover, you can even find ads in Germany's most popular gaming zines (print zines). Most of them contain a DVD with 1-2 full versions of older games (e.g. games that were popular 3-4 years ago), demos, videos, patches and...I also found one with a bonus code for S&F that gives you additional mushrooms.

                              Shakes & Fidget Community Manager


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