Monday, January 21, 2008

The internet is a big place

So, how do I know that the internet is a big place?

On Friday, I spent some time cleaning up the PocketCiv website, finally purging it of all version #1 data, and FINALLY updating the scenarios. But it turns out that I had missed a link (to the rules sheet, of course).

And how do I know this? I come into work on Monday, and find that I have 8 emails from people informing me about bad link.

Which probably doesn't seem like a lot, given the whole entire scope of things. But, in a lot of ways it's quite amazing. I don't track traffic on the site, so I have no idea how often it gets visited. Really, the only "marketing" there is in terms of pointing out where the game is at boardgamegeek, and it's only occasionally mentioned here or there in a forum. In fact, there hasn't really been a large jump in it's ratings for quite some time now; I had assumed everyone has just moved on to "the next big thing." Well, that's assuming if PocketCiv was ever a anything larger that a small thing to begin with.

The game is such a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche kind of thing. First, you need to find that group of players that are "enlightened" board gamers (as opposed to the vast amount of people who only know of Scrabble and Monopoly, and whatever is sitting on the shelves at Target). And then with in that group, you need to find the people who are interested in a solitaire non-wargame experience, followed by people who are willing to take the time to print-and-play within THAT group. I imagine that the the pickings at this is is quite small.

But dedicated.

I guess that this leaves me wondering how constant the flow of traffic is, even though I'll probably just leave it as a mystery. After watching for various forum posts about the game, I'm always quite surprised how quickly catch an update to the website and mention it. So there must be some kind of small following for it.

As a side note, I've been toying around with a game tentatively named "Conjunction Junction" (named by Darkehorse of fame) with Seth over at sedjtroll. It's a sort of wacky idea I've had combining train/rail connections with Scrabble-like word play, that Seth has prodded me to investigate further with a few good ideas of his own. I can't imagine what the Venn diagram looks like for the crossover between those type of players!

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Blogger Dwight Sullivan said...

Interesting article. I think the print-n-play circle though should not be a subset of Solitare.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Seth Jaffee said...

I have to agree with Xaq on that... same with non-wargame. Seems like solitaire game would overlap but not encompass either of those.

I'm interested too in how many people really find Conjunction Junction to be a good idea. My original hope to make a game that could be played either as an economic game or a word building game seems to be retreating in light of your recent idea (expressed in the map, which I'm sure you'll post eventually). That fits so well!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Hey, we should see how many people comment to this post, just to get an idea...Dwight doesn't least I can say I don't REALLY know you, so I count...

Nyaaaaaa, Nyaaaaaaa

2:31 PM  

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