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Author Topic : how can we keep players?
 Temora
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12/3/2016 9:56:11 PM reply with quote send message to Temora Object to Post   

Hi people

I'm seeing a lot of "All xxx for sale", followed by either "leaving SD" or "leaving breed".

Then we have people who have been in a breed and just stop - showing and/or breeding.

Sometimes it's financial, and there's not a lot we can do about that (I have offered to pay the SD subscription for special people in my various breeds ... but no one has ever accepted).

Sometimes it's that the breed is too hard to improve either generally or in traits or in colours. Sometimes it's that people get tired of being the only or 1 of the only people in the breed.

Each of these players is a loss. Their presence enriches all of us and the game.

Can all you lovely people bounce ideas around in how to keep these players? Yes I know that we can't keep them all ... but some of these players have made a large contribution in their breed and put a lot of work into the game and our lovely virtual dogs. What can we do?
 Grasslans
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12/3/2016 10:10:40 PM reply with quote send message to Grasslans Object to Post

I'd be very interested in seeing some people's ideas about this because I know I look at a few of my breeds and think I would rather not have them (due to the lonely showring thing) but at the same time I've put work into them to get their SOP up and it seems really quite sad to just forever home them seeing as it's a breeds that people don't seem to want to be involved in.
 SatinSilk
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12/3/2016 10:17:57 PM reply with quote send message to SatinSilk Object to Post

Yes - agree.

In breeds where I have been alone I have gradually seen new players come in. I try to be careful, offering them new dogs, trying not to swamp them with my dogs. I have a few players now in a few breeds.

How do we catch them before they give up?

1 show a week where established players don't use handlers? That and offers of good dogs to the newies.

How do we keep those working away by themselves on a colour or a trait or a breed where it all gets too hard?
 jahiti
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12/3/2016 11:22:11 PM reply with quote send message to jahiti Object to Post

Do we know how long it takes for the average player to leave? That information could help us understand why they left the game.
 Studio Dogs
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12/4/2016 8:13:32 AM reply with quote send message to Studio Dogs Object to Post

I think there is to much unfinished with the site. Really, how long would you stay on and pay for a site that some page titiles are untitled, or belong to one of the other games ( confusion)

Or starts reading the forums....shutter.

I do believe Jeff jumps ship to often and it shows, look at the copyright, does he even care?
 Kalynda
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12/4/2016 9:41:45 AM reply with quote send message to Kalynda Object to Post

quote
posted by Studio Dogs
I think there is to much unfinished with the site. Really, how long would you stay on and pay for a site that some page titiles are untitled, or belong to one of the other games ( confusion)

Or starts reading the forums....shutter.

I do believe Jeff jumps ship to often and it shows, look at the copyright, does he even care?

Yes, it's tough to keep new players considering the free options out there. This is a unique but dated game and while I wish it was better maintained, I think I can imagine Jeff's perspective. One of these times something will break and he may just decide not to fix it....
 Chenoa Valley
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12/4/2016 10:14:59 AM reply with quote send message to Chenoa Valley Object to Post

I will admit to being one of the players who has left due to financial reasons (the first time), but the second time I left to play another game. The third time was due to time constraints. While there are other games out there, I do believe that this game provides more of a realistic show experience. It's very obvious that a lot of time and dedication went into the development of it. It is sad to see the number of people dwindle down over the years.

I'm not sure that there is a whole lot we can do to keep players. For the breeds I'm in that don't have many players I keep making sure that I have pups up for sale that could be finished and/or used for color projects. I also make sure to put good studs up for new people to use. I try to sponsor specialty shows with no handlers as often as I can. Other than that, I don't know that there is a whole lot we could be doing. I'm open to suggestions that anyone else might have.
 Lace Dreams
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12/4/2016 10:44:45 AM reply with quote send message to Lace Dreams Object to Post

this post has been edited 2 time(s)

I've only left once (I swear I've tried really hard on multiple occasions to quit but it's my favorite addiction and it's nondestructive to my life) and that was because I didn't want to take the time that was needed to keep my kennel up. I'm kind of failing it right now to be honest but I'm working on it.

It's a unique game. I've played other dog games but I can't seem to stick to any of them. I haven't even been able to stick to any of Jeff's other games. I don't know that there *is* any good way to keep people. I think SD caters to a truly unique set of people and if you don't fit that mold, then you won't fall in love.

As for getting people to stay in breeds...I am probably the worst at staying in breeds. Most of them never clicked with me and I've tried lots. I'm actually on two breeds right now I'm not positive I really and truly like. You can't force anyone to like something. I personally can't be in a breed where the competition is brutal like anything in the top 10 breeds. Other people can't be in quiet breeds where there isn't much competition.

Edited because my big clumsy thumb hit post before I was done and then because my phone did weird things with spell check.

Alexandria

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Last edited by Lace Dreams on 12/4/2016 10:49:00 AM
 Cherokee Hills
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12/4/2016 11:39:45 AM reply with quote send message to Cherokee Hills Object to Post

quote
posted by Studio Dogs
I think there is to much unfinished with the site. Really, how long would you stay on and pay for a site that some page titiles are untitled, or belong to one of the other games ( confusion)

Or starts reading the forums....shutter.

I do believe Jeff jumps ship to often and it shows, look at the copyright, does he even care?

These kind of posts really bother me. I have played the game for almost 10 years and I don't even notice this kind of stuff. I am here to play a game that I love, not nitpick every little error in a game that is the most realistic version of its kind.

These small errors that people nitpick have no bearing on the functionality of the game.

I am afraid that one of these days Jeff is going to get sick and tired of this stuff and just kill all the games. He killed trophyhorse way ahead of schedule because of the poor attitudes of players and the constant complaining.

Yes, I know the game is not perfect, but in my opinion it's way better than the alternative which is not having showdog to play at all.

As to the topic of keeping players, there is not a fix all cure. These type of games are very liquid in that people will always come and go.

As to what can be done here are my thoughts, and I apologize if I come across in a bad way.

1. Players need to stop hoarding dogs in struggling breeds. When I started in American Foxhounds last year the only dogs to be had were starter dogs. There was one kennel with modern dogs who refused to even respond to messages begging them to simply put dogs to stud. I got tired of this and left the breed. And yes, I know people will say we can play the game as we choose, but by doing things like this you are contributing to people playing musical breeds.

2. If you join a breed and you can obviously see that all the breeders have chosen not to use handlers, don't be the jerk that enters at the last moment and puts handlers on your dogs night after night. If you need to finish a dog, by all means use a handler, we totally understand. This happened recently is Silky Terriers, a basic player bought some dogs and myself and the other 2 serious breeders had been playing for almost two years with no handlers. We were all having a blast. And then bam, basic player comes along and night after night would put dogs in the shows and take every top handler. And once again, yes to each their own, but come on, a little common decency is nice.

These types of things, are thank goodness, rare. But they do contribute to people leaving breeds and the game all together.

My biggest suggestion to try and keep players is simple. It's good old camaraderie and fair play.

There are some amazing people currently playing the game, the player who is doing the magazine is awesome. I haven't been able to contribute to the magazine but it is such an awesome thing they are doing.
 Star Shiine
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12/4/2016 5:56:55 PM reply with quote send message to Star Shiine Object to Post

Maybe breeds with few dogs...less than 3 breeders/ exhibitors(?) could have a free or reduced subscription. For instance a family sub could be substantially reduced for those getting into endangered breeds, for a limited time, say 3 months. I would have a family account like a shot,a and have endangered breeds in most kennels but nearly $50 is just too much for me with the recent changes in the values of world currency.
I'm not comp!aiming, the thought of not having this game to play is not on my agenda!
 Silk N Denim Terriers
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12/4/2016 6:56:02 PM reply with quote send message to Silk N Denim Terriers Object to Post

At one time we had the rare breed account option which received a discount. Does anyone know if that still works?
 me__0021
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12/4/2016 8:30:37 PM reply with quote send message to me__0021 Object to Post

I started on Showdog close to the beginning of the site. Then I left when it got too hard to manage real life, plus keep up with my dogs. I came back about 3 years ago. That gives so of my background to the game.

My thoughts are as follows:
- I too don't notice things that aren't working ... unless they affect me (like shows not running etc). Although it would be nice to see the judge situation fixed properly as it's going to start impacting on the game in a big way.

- I think it's a little sad the idea that we need to be good little customers and not say anything in case Jeff shuts down the site. This seems counter intuitive to good business practice (the motto of the story being 'keep the customers happy').

One of the reasons I left originally was because of time constraints. Originally I was able to enter dogs a month at a time and then not have to worry about entries for another 30 days or so. By the time I left I had to do entries every night and I just couldn't keep up. If I missed entries then there was not point showing the dog because I couldn't get handlers.

Since I've come back I notice that the pressure isn't as bad. There also seems to be excess money floating around and therefore more shows are appearing, further ahead of the schedule which means I can do my 'set and forget' process with entries.

Despite this, with 3 kennels it sometimes takes me 3 hours to do entries. But I'm betting at managing this.

I've also seen lots of people come in to the rare breeds I'm in. When I returned I felt quite lonely in Sussex ... not so much in Flatties. So I just started breeding and entering. Pretty soon, without really trying, people joined the breeds! Now I'm not the only person showing.

Not sure if that helps any. I do think this game is a bit of a niche and requires a certain kind of person to play it.

Jessica

 Zinga
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12/5/2016 3:46:57 AM reply with quote send message to Zinga Object to Post

When I had the rare breed account it was with WPGs. It didn't carry to a family acount.
 
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12/5/2016 8:33:54 AM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

1. He could take off the limit of ten or create a negative for the SOP. Instead of the soft resets(that don't reeeeally happen).

2. Use a breed average for starter dogs, and include the ability to choose color.

3. Fix the points, and probably fix the judge thingy too

4. Understand the new user interface in HTML codes would help 100 fold. (I offered to help btw)

If there is a strong enough base here for Jeff to be interested in crossing species and other sim games, he could certainly recreate a new improved showdog.
 Ponds
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12/5/2016 8:42:32 AM reply with quote send message to Ponds Object to Post

quote
posted by
1. He could take off the limit of ten or create a negative for the SOP. Instead of the soft resets(that don't reeeeally happen).

2. Use a breed average for starter dogs, and include the ability to choose color.

3. Fix the points, and probably fix the judge thingy too

4. Understand the new user interface in HTML codes would help 100 fold. (I offered to help btw)

If there is a strong enough base here for Jeff to be interested in crossing species and other sim games, he could certainly recreate a new improved showdog.

1. What do you mean by the limit of 10?

2. We already have the ability to choose color for purchased starter dogs.

As to your other points, sure the game could use a face lift, but most players like the simplicity and ease of use of the current sight. It doesn't take tons of data to play and is graphic friendly.
 Yippee Yahoo Kennels
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12/5/2016 9:06:32 AM reply with quote send message to Yippee Yahoo Kennels Object to Post

That starter dog thing is huge. How many of us had already created,bred, and entered our first starter dogs when we signed up before we got anywhere NEAR the forums or help pages?

It wouldn't be such a blow to newbies if starter dogs were indeed starter dogs. Having them be at or near breed average would be fantastic. But what about starting your own lines, I hear some of you ask? Well that's not a newbie endeavor, that's what committed long term players do when they get bored. I think there should still be source dogs available to them. There needs to be a difference between "starter" dogs and "source" dogs.

I also agree it would help if there was some attention given to fixing and improving known issues on the site and implementing some new player requested features. Judges need to be fixed. They are an integral part of game play. Also finishing other features. (Obedience still says coming soon for goodness sake.) However, we players as a whole need to be a lot more polite in how we go about asking for new features and bringing bugs to Jeff's attention. There is nothing wrong with pointing out how we'd like to be able to play the game, but there is a problem in being rude about it.

More communication. Both from Jeff to the players, and also amongst ourselves. When was the last time more than three people were in chat at the same time? Why do less than a dozen breeds actually have ACTIVE breed threads? When was the last time you sent a congratulatory email to a Best in Show winner or that really nice dog that swiped (fair and square) the major you thought you had pinned down? All of these things make the game more friendly and fun to hang around in, and if we're happier to be here, the new players will feel it also.

New(ish) content. In this day and age of DLC available in every single stupid gaming app know to mankind, it's death for a game to get stale. I'm not saying anything extreme like being able to breed designer dogs, but slightly new features to existing functions. Things like OTCH in obedience and being able to use assistants to session obedience traits. (You can't) Or being able to sort by columns, so that if you are looking for a color or your highest SOP, or oldest dog, you can find them. Or a bulk FH feature for when you had a really bad litter. Or awards for numbers of champions produced. Or a recently FH'd list for when you realize you did something stupid. Trophies were the last thing we got like this and they're still not completely working right.

It is not just one thing that makes players leave. Its a combination of all of them. This is a good discussion. If we change the things that we are in control of that people have noted are an issue it will help.
 Kalynda
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12/5/2016 10:09:38 AM reply with quote send message to Kalynda Object to Post

Focusing on what players can control:

- put your studs at public stud (I used to nicely ask breeders to put a dog up, now I don't even bother. Think how a newbie feels when they see that nice male winnning but you wont' share)

- sell some of your great finishable puppies - there are lots of sessions to be had - session up some that you have for sale.

- welcome new players and offer them great dogs to get them started (not just the ones you don't want!)


I think we all know that Jeff's focus isn't on updating the game. We need to focus on requesting fixes to functionality that is broken (new judges) rather than asking for all new develpment work. That's just how it is.

K
 jaime1985
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12/5/2016 10:36:34 AM reply with quote send message to jaime1985 Object to Post

When I have left breeds twice it was due to it being near impossible to get handlers, I prefer the quieter breeds.

I left a breed because my friendly message was ignored, in a breed that frankly needed all the help it could get.

It is a real bug bear of mine. I have several accounts and I am in about 8 breeds in various play styles. Some breeds are shown, some are colour projects or improving the amount of dogs in the game of certain breeds. There have been several times I have sent a friendly message for it to be ignored. I don't expect everyone I message to be in constant contact with me but it takes no time at all to send a quick "hi that sounds great, welcome to the breed"

Ignorance in my book is the epitome of rudeness
 Azawakh Inc.
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12/5/2016 11:11:54 AM reply with quote send message to Azawakh Inc. Object to Post

I usually don't complain, but to all these players out there that ARE complaining, just remember, there are other online games to be played....so if you all are not happy with Showdog, there is no law keeping you on this site.

I love this game and probably am spending the most money each month (with 35 kennels of various breeds and color projects), to play because I enjoy doing it.

I would hate to have Jeff shut down the site due to complaining.....

I am probably going to be getting a lot of grief over this post, but I don't mind....

Lets all just be happy to have such a good game (even with all its little faults)!

Enjoy what you have!
 Super Uber Kennels
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12/5/2016 11:58:27 AM reply with quote send message to Super Uber Kennels Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

(Double post)

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Last edited by Super Uber Kennels on 12/5/2016 12:00:24 PM
 Super Uber Kennels
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12/5/2016 11:59:58 AM reply with quote send message to Super Uber Kennels Object to Post

quote
posted by Ponds
quote
posted by

If there is a strong enough base here for Jeff to be interested in crossing species and other sim games, he could certainly recreate a new improved showdog.


That's just it. I don't think there is a strong enough base. A while back, I announced that I created a show with huge payouts....$5000 to BIS and $1000 to each Group winner and it did nothing to increase the # of entries in that show vs. others I've sponsored in the past.

Other than shows running late, I don't notice the problems.

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Did you know?
Judges are generally certified to judge one or several breeds, usually in the same group, but a few "all-breed" judges have the training and experience to judge large numbers of breeds.