This is a nice idea, provided we can get it to actually work. I have some experience in trying to set up community gaming times on another site: see here
for two failed attempts to kickstart the Game On!
events over at Arqade
(formerly gaming.stackexchange.com). I even made a video splash screen
which only got used a handful of times before we gave up trying to bring it back.
The general overarching problem is that it's very difficult to get enough people in the community together at regular times to play specific games together, especially given that many of us are in different time zones. There usually aren't as many people actually
interested in these sorts of events as it may appear at first, partly because many will just skip it unless it's a game they really like.
It's difficult to choose game[s] that everyone will be interested in, and want to play; this normally isn't a problem in self-directed multiplayer sessions, particularly on large-scale gaming communities where you just make a thread for a specific game if you want to find people to play with. Something like what you're suggesting here means the gaming meetups will be scheduled to fixed times, and the game being played will be dictated to the participants. If I don't have Gimbal
, for example, I probably won't turn up to the Gimbal game session. Factor in the nearly 100% chance that at least one or two of the people who do
have the chosen game (and are interested) probably won't be able to make it for whatever reason, and you end up with 2-4 people very often. Something you can do to alleviate some of this issue is to include free games in the rotation (TF2 was a favourite on Arqade, for example). This way, people who don't have the other games can still participate. Including extremely popular games (Minecraft) is another way to get more people interested.
- Just simply post in this topic what online game you'd like to play and a day/time you plan to play.
Simply having everyone post "I'm up for x game at y time" in the thread is essentially an exercise in futility. Nothing would ever get played; there's too much entropy, when you toss in a dozen or so (at the very least) users. To really make this work as a regular thing, there needs to be a really well-designed system in place, and how you approach that depends entirely on the community. If we really want to get this off the ground, some users interested in helping out should get together in the chat or something and come up with a plan for how it's going to work. One thing I would highly suggest right off the bat is to work contests and special events
into the system as part of the 'branding'; stuff like this really helps to generate new interest in the community program from otherwise apathetic community members, as well as from outside sources.
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I'm not saying that this idea can't
work, but it's going to take a lot of effort on the part of the community (and active users in particular); probably more effort than a bunch of you guys realize and/or may be willing to put into it. The Game On!
event was phased out at Arqade because we couldn't get it to work, and Arqade has a much larger amount of engaged
community members than IndieGameStand does at this point.