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Offline (Male) polygone
Posted on: October 19, 2010, 04:34:08 PM

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I've seen this subject started to be hinted out now so I thought I would bring it up properly. I'm interested in what plans the community has for marketing Enigma in the future and what you think will ultimately end up happening. Here are some things I would personally look at considering.

- How are main stream Game Maker users going to hear about Enigma?
- What information is best displayed to GM users in order to entice them into using Enigma?
- Do you expect there will be any backlash from YYGs in the future over the development of Enigma?

- How are users of other game development software going to hear about Enigma?
- What information is best displayed to these people?

- How in general are people going to hear about Enigma?
- How common will it be for people to stumble across Enimga using Google?
- What information should be displayed to these people?

- Is it likely members of this community will take it upon themselves to advertise/mass spam Enigma?
- Is this a concern for you?
- At what stage in Enigma's development should marketing be considered? (Advertising before Enigma is reliable/useful enough can obviously have negative affects)

- How fast do you think the community will grow?
- How popular will Enigma ultimately become?
- What kind of users will end up here?
- How many users do you expect will be willing to work on Enigma's development?
- How is the forum/website/development going to change in order to cater for an increase in it's user base?
- At what point do you need to start actually thinking about all these things?
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Offline (Male) RetroX
Reply #1 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 05:31:17 PM

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I hate the word "marketing" because we're not selling anything.  "Advertising" seems to make more sense.

- How are main stream Game Maker users going to hear about Enigma?
How do main stream GM users hear about GM?  They google "Game Maker."  We hope to get higher on the list as far as game dev tools go.

- What information is best displayed to GM users in order to entice them into using Enigma?
It's faster, cross-platform, compatible with GM, has more features, and allows C++ to be used directly.  Not much more to say.

- Do you expect there will be any backlash from YYGs in the future over the development of Enigma?
As long as no copyrights are broken, they can't do anything besides make GM better.  Which will result in more mooching off of Mark, and as a result, GM doesn't get better.

- How are users of other game development software going to hear about Enigma?
ENIGMA users and Google and the like.

- What information is best displayed to these people?
Quote
It's faster, cross-platform, compatible with GM, has more features, and allows C++ to be used directly.  Not much more to say.

- How in general are people going to hear about Enigma?
Quote
ENIGMA users and Google and the like.

- How common will it be for people to stumble across Enimga using Google?
Hopefully very.

- What information should be displayed to these people?
Quote
It's faster, cross-platform, compatible with GM, has more features, and allows C++ to be used directly.  Not much more to say.

- Is it likely members of this community will take it upon themselves to advertise/mass spam Enigma?
Yes.

- Is this a concern for you?
No, because the people that will be doing it don't know anything.

- At what stage in Enigma's development should marketing be considered? (Advertising before Enigma is reliable/useful enough can obviously have negative affects)
I doubt that we're going to advertise ENIGMA.  It's free.  What else can be said?

- How fast do you think the community will grow?
Decently sized.

- How popular will Enigma ultimately become?
Hopefully, very.


- What kind of users will end up here?
People that want to:
- Learn C++.
- Want a faster GM.
- Want a cross-platform GM.
- Want to make games with the power of C++ and ease of GM.

- How many users do you expect will be willing to work on Enigma's development?
A very small percentage, but a decent amount.

- How is the forum/website/development going to change in order to cater for an increase in it's user base?
It will be.  You'll see. ;)

- At what point do you need to start actually thinking about all these things?
Not right now.
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #2 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 05:41:20 PM

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- How are main stream Game Maker users going to hear about Enigma?
Eventually, I'll create signature banners for people to use on the GMC. Most of ENIGMA's users are intelligent enough to be giving frequent help on the GMC. If each of them has ENIGMA in their banner with an enticing message (see next answer), we are bound to start drawing in new users.
- What information is best displayed to GM users in order to entice them into using Enigma?
The first phrase in every ad will be about how ENIGMA is free. ENIGMA's strength is in extensibility and speed, but compared to GM, It is parsecs ahead in security, as far as the unlikelihood that games will be decompiled. It seems at this point that ENIGMA will offer an improved size compared to GM games. Also, we're leagues ahead of GM in the race for cross-platformability. Users who wish to display ENIGMA's banner in their signature can choose their favorites to brag on.
- Do you expect there will be any backlash from YYGs in the future over the development of Enigma?
They might try. We're not concerned; they have no legal ground to tell us to stop, as no copyrightable material is used from GM in ENIGMA. (A language cannot be copyrighted, and we don't distribute anything they own).

- How are users of other game development software going to hear about Enigma?
I don't intend to subtly invade other projects' sites. If other projects' users are discontent with pricing or speed of that project, they may happen upon ENIGMA in the same way they happened along GM, or whatever.
- What information is best displayed to these people?
Again, start with how ENIGMA is free. From there, we'll make mention of the fact that ENIGMA uses C++, and is easily re-compiled for a different platform. We'll also make clear that ENIGMA offers a number of easy-to-use, unified resources.

- How in general are people going to hear about Enigma?
Largely word of mouth. (As in, on message boards or in blogs related to game design). Only after ENIGMA catches on that way will search engines point our way.
- How common will it be for people to stumble across Enimga using Google?
As I mentioned earlier, not very, until ENIGMA gains popularity by other means. That's just how search engines work.
- What information should be displayed to these people?
Same as to those coming from other projects.

- Is it likely members of this community will take it upon themselves to advertise/mass spam Enigma?
Spam implying unwelcome messages with the sole purpose of advertising ENIGMA, I don't encourage it, but it may happen. I'm not opposed to using signature banners as a small-scale Goo
BOT
gle b
CRAWLER
omb, though.
- Is this a concern for you?
I'm not worried about it, especially if I'm offering signature banners (which are a subtle but effective alternative). I will probably post a message discouraging it so as not to be held accountable.
- At what stage in Enigma's development should marketing be considered? (Advertising before Enigma is reliable/useful enough can obviously have negative effects)
When the collision system is done, I have all functions of std::map working in ENIGMA, and I have all local groups (such as path_ variables) managed by a set of YAML files that allow local-based resources to be added without modifying the compiler. At that point, ENIGMA will have more than enough functionality to make a decent game, and the rest of the the functions and resources will be trivial.

- How fast do you think the community will grow?
Slowly at first, but faster with time.
- How popular will Enigma ultimately become?
I can't say. I know ENIGMA has great potential, but that often isn't enough.
- What kind of users will end up here?
I Don't think there's a particular kind of user that will be attracted to ENIGMA. If you're getting at the average IQ of GM users, then yes, we have some of those.
- How many users do you expect will be willing to work on Enigma's development?
Right now we have more than I expected. At this rate, we'll have at least a dozen people with notable contributions.
- How is the forum/website/development going to change in order to cater for an increase in it's user base?
In my wildest dreams, sure. As ENIGMA starts to gain popularity, we will move the ads to the forum pages like Yoyo did. Those will, I hope, generate more revenue from the increased traffic, some by accident, some by people who aren't sure if they want to go with ENIGMA or just any old game development toolkit from the ads. As we gain more revenue, we can move to a larger host, and start game hosting like Yoyo does. The more we grow, the more stuff we can do that Yoyo does now (Higher capacity hosting, competitions for small cash amounts, etc). At this phase, all of that is completely impossible; the ads on the front of this site barely generate enough revenue to cover this site's current host. But, if all goes this well, we can grow.
- At what point do you need to start actually thinking about all these things?
I've been thinking about most of these all along, but they are quickly becoming necessary to consider.
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Offline (Male) polygone
Reply #3 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 08:10:26 PM

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Thanks for the response Josh, I figured you would have thought about most of these points already. I was prompted to make this topic because I saw Omega_red saying he posted about Enigma on the u3d forums. As said I think advertising Enigma too early could damage it, timing when Enigma is at the correct stage is an important factor.

The GM user base is obviously the main one to target initially, for an easy source of members. Signature banners are a good idea (I found the forums myself from somebody's sig on the gmc), I wonder if the gmc administration might ban them however? PM'ing the more intelligent members or friends on the gmc is also another possibility though, without causing nuisance at all. However once Enigma has full (or near full) support with GM you may find a greater form of advertisement in people posting about it in topics. Someone asks "How Can I Make My Game Faster?" and some members might responding "Try downloading and compiling in Enigma." or someone asks what language they should move onto and someone may say "Try moving onto Enigma". I'm unsure whether the gmc administration may ban these types of posts though.

I specifically mentioned "What information is best displayer to so and so people" as I think it is an important consideration. If a complete beginner stumbles across Enigma and sees it being described with things like "C++", "re-compiled" it is likely to deter them from using the software. Enigma should ultimately be just as easy to use for beginners as GM is however. The way GM is described is specifically to attract these very beginner users, of course doing this then deters the more already capable users by making the program sound less powerful (which Enigma wont be). You really have to choose carefully what kind of market you are going to try and attract as pitching for one side naturally deters the other.

You also have to think about the forum set-up in the same way. Is there going to be a board specifically made just for gml? Because I guarantee if GM users post here for help and members start reeling off C++ to them it will drive them away. How complicated/advanced the forum appears to a browsing user will naturally influence how difficult they think the program is to use and how difficult the forum is to use.

By YYGs backlash I don't expect any legal action to be taken, but how difficult could they make your life if they intentionally changed GM in future versions to try and make it incompatible with Enigma? Also as mentioned previously the administration could also decide to take a zero tolerance approach to the mention of Enigma on the gmc, this will largely cut off the ability to reach the average GM user.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 06:09:56 PM by polygone » Logged
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Offline (Male) Brett
Reply #4 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 08:35:32 PM

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how difficult could they make your life if they intentionally changed GM in future versions to try and make it incompatible with Enigma
We already have compatible GM versions, so users can simply use the older versions to make games in GM. Hopefully, when newer versions of GM get released Engima will be popular/far enough along in development for GM users to start switching and deving their games with Enigma.

Quote
How are main stream Game Maker users going to hear about Enigma?
Put a little ad at the start of the games made with Enigma (or GM)? (1 second screen saying who helped?). Most professional games have this, where its mandatory to watch it the first time you start the game up, but the following times it can be skipped by pressing any key.

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How are users of other game development software going to hear about Enigma?
Same as above

Quote
Is it likely members of this community will take it upon themselves to advertise/mass spam Enigma?
Possibly, just do what I suggested above. When I make my first game with it, I'll put some ads for Enigma at the start.
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Offline (Male) RetroX
Reply #5 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 08:56:52 PM

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How are main stream Game Maker users going to hear about Enigma?
Put a little ad at the start of the games made with Enigma (or GM)? (1 second screen saying who helped?). Most professional games have this, where its mandatory to watch it the first time you start the game up, but the following times it can be skipped by pressing any key.
In all honesty, this makes games look less professional, and it's not really worth the effort.  People that are willing to mention that they made their game in ENIGMA can do so, and it should be recommended that they do it in their own way.  Not in some stupid, forced way.  This will show that people really support the project.
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Offline (Male) Brett
Reply #6 Posted on: October 19, 2010, 09:10:59 PM

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should be recommended that they do it in their own way. Not in some stupid, forced way
Exactly what I meant, however I just said it wrong. Maybe the user could put it in the credits. The user can decide how/if he wants to advertise. Completely optional
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #7 Posted on: October 20, 2010, 08:48:47 PM

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Thanks for the response Josh, I figured you would have thought about most of these points already. I was prompted to make this topic because I saw Omega_red saying he posted about Enigma on the u3d forums. As said I think advertising Enigma too early could damage it, timing when Enigma is at the correct stage is an important factor.
Yep. I was thinking the same thing. Every now and again, the same sort of thing happens. Or I/someone say/do something particularly interesting, and we have an influx of fresh meat. They hang around for a while, then bob in and out randomly.

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However once Enigma has full (or near full) support with GM you may find a greater form of advertisement in people posting about it in topics. ... I'm unsure whether the gmc administration may ban these types of posts though.
Yes. I myself used to post games compiled ENIGMA, along with the source, under the premise that it "can't be decompiled, as it was compiled in ENIGMA." I don't promote PMing the intelligent ones, though; that'd be annoying and spamish. The intelligent ones will probably notice and make their judgment on ENIGMA accordingly.

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If a complete beginner stumbles across Enigma and sees it being described with things like "C++", "re-compiled" it is likely to deter them from using the software. Enigma should ultimately be just as easy to use for beginners as GM is however.
Indeed, but this has to be done in phases. We'll never end up in a good place on a search index if we try to appeal to everyone at once. I'm learning that one the hard way. We need to start by raking in as many GM users as we can, then shigting our home page's focus to general game development applications. "Game Maker" has the perfect name for the job, as far as search indexing goes.

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You also have to think about the forum set-up in the same way. Is there going to be a board specifically made just for gml? Because I guarantee if GM users post here for help and members start reeling off C++ to them it will drive them away.
Keen prediction. A while ago, I started writing a CHM documentation similar to GM's, and I decided then and there to divide the users into three groups. Where GM divides them into two (Novices and Advanced users), I will divide them into three (Beginner, Veteran, Advanced/Expert). Beginners will be your typical DND tilers. Veterans will know GML well. Advanced users will know GML really well and have started into C++ features. I may add a fourth group for experts, who have grown comfortable developing with and for ENIGMA in C++.

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how difficult could they make your life if they intentionally changed GM in future versions to try and make it incompatible with Enigma?
They could not. They'd drive away their own userbase. This was one of my first fears in the planning stage. The changes between GM5 and 6 were catastrophic (in magnitude, not in reaction). I don't think they can afford to do it again without a complete change in userbase, as far as I can tell (He couldn't even remove image_single from the spec like he threatened).

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Also as mentioned previously the administration could also decide to take a zero tolerance approach to the mention of Enigma on the gmc, this will largely cut off the ability to reach the average GM user.
I welcome the notion. Sony took a similar approach to *sings* 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0-----------------------*voice trails off*

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Put a little ad at the start of the games made with Enigma (or GM)?
I object.

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should be recommended that they do it in their own way. Not in some stupid, forced way
I'm okay with requesting it, but I won't mandate it. I'd at least like any successful games to tell us they use the engine. That much is common courtesy. But no, I'm not going to mandate any of it.
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Offline (Male) polygone
Reply #8 Posted on: October 20, 2010, 09:18:41 PM

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Indeed, but this has to be done in phases. We'll never end up in a good place on a search index if we try to appeal to everyone at once. I'm learning that one the hard way. We need to start by raking in as many GM users as we can, then shigting our home page's focus to general game development applications. "Game Maker" has the perfect name for the job, as far as search indexing goes.
I was thinking of that approach myself and I think it is a good tactic. Try and establish a proper connection with GM at the start of Engima's life, if done successfully it should hopefully become common knowledge throughout the gmc and via Google search. Then once that connection is self-sufficient move away from GM and try and market Enigma as a powerful stand-alone program. Hopefully by this point the community should have grown to the point that it will be appealing enough to onlookers.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 08:27:06 AM by polygone » Logged
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #9 Posted on: October 20, 2010, 09:24:08 PM

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I think just three groups would be fine. The hope is that veterans are smart enough and humble enough to choose "veteran" over "advanced", which would mention C++ in its description. If not, ENIGMA's no the GMC, yes: they'll realize really fast they have the wrong board.
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Offline (Unknown gender) The 11th plague of Egypt
Reply #10 Posted on: October 21, 2010, 04:37:47 PM
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I don't think being "free as in beer" should be Enigma's flagsheep. A lot of people already get Game Maker for free *pirating* it.

Sure, we could drive here all the people that are using GM Lite, but can we sustain the assault of such a noob invasion force?

"YoYo Games free" and "Softwrap free" would be the kind of "free" that sells to the right people.

But let's be honest about it, in this day and age, "free" sounds like a trap, or a scam at best. Why not use the term "open-source"?
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #11 Posted on: October 21, 2010, 05:21:11 PM

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ENIGMA is free as in speech. But yes, we call it free and open source.
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