Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

ShadMOrdre
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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by ShadMOrdre » Tue Jul 23, 2019 02:43

@Sofar,

I do hope your reply was not in response to my post. I only referenced your name, because based on a post higher up, you certainly made your position clear, in regards to any name change. I only wanted to offer the optical illusion argument as yet another reason to support the name change. Your status as a core dev, and one with clout, I assume, only helps to push for this discussion to begin anew. I support your position, both in regards to this, and to the larger point of not generalizing or assuming others opinions. Please read on....

@Festus1965,

How to better advertise? Just start telling everyone you know who is interested in MC. Install MT on computers for kids. Give them mods, games, and any other appropriate content to install, and let them have fun. Show them how to hack. Code. Model. Draw. Show them what real fun is..... ;)

But I also believe that better advertisement should be based upon a non-MC derivative name. Please post the new topic. It deserves it's own discussion, and ideas, separate from this question, that is also relevant.


@LD,

Really. Your words are never to help. You only ever continue making yourself look the fool. No one really cares if you can pinpoint some random discussion, for the SOLE purpose of making yourself look correct and more knowledgable. Really. You'd rather argue and criticize a core dev than offer any real assistance. Do you work for MS? Are you solely here to discourage those with actual skill, commitment, and effort? Are you jealous of your pity existance? Are you inept, incapable, incompetent, or just an idiot? These are actual questions you NEED to answer to yourself, and then to others. Your responses are unnecessary, irrelevant, and quite rude. Kids come here. Keep it clean, respectful, and civil.

If, by your further posts, the words used and the thoughts and opinions expressed therein, by any actions you might take, such as blocking users here on the forum with whom you either disagree or whom have, like me, called out your behaviour, or if by any other expression that you do not care about other users of this forum, then I can only encourage the following:

MODERATORS: Please take action in regards to LD and his IP, in regards to the negativity, rude comments, and general foul language, found in this and in many other posts, which either outright violate or push the intent of the ToS of the forum, and otherwise contribute no useful purpose other than to enflame, disparage, and troll.


Shad
MY MODS: lib_ecology lib_materials lib_clouds lib_node_shapes ---- Inspired By: Open Source Virtual World Simulator Opensimulator.
 

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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by Linuxdirk » Tue Jul 23, 2019 07:24

sofar wrote:I'm actually for changing the name, so, any sort of paraphrasing that all the devs are shutting this down is not represantative of my opinion

Yes, you're right. Not all devs are against changes. The sources show who are and who are not. So please excuse my wording on this.

sofar wrote:I've almost entirely given up on MTG aside the occasional nasty bug fix anyway.

I am pretty sure a lot of users think the same. I even created a mod that fixes some annoyances that were thrown out with "engine change needed" (which is not true in this particular cases) after relevant issues were closed or are ignored by some devs.

sofar wrote:stop talking, start coding. I'm going to cook dinner now, seeya.

As said earlier I tried to sort out on what to spend my dev time. Nothing if this is seen relevant or was accepted. So no dev time from me. I won't write code for the recycle bin. Hope dinner was fine :)
 

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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by Festus1965 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 14:09

ShadMOrdre wrote:@Festus1965,

How to better advertise? Just start telling everyone you know who is interested in MC. Install MT on computers for kids. Give them mods, games, and any other appropriate content to install, and let them have fun. Show them how to hack. Code. Model. Draw. Show them what real fun is..... ;)

But I also believe that better advertisement should be based upon a non-MC derivative name. Please post the new topic. It deserves it's own discussion, and ideas, separate from this question, that is also relevant.


My Kids: They are most gone - even payed for roblox also ... I have a last chance in the school running. If that will not come, I stay out.

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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by Buddler » Fri Aug 09, 2019 16:53

rubenwardy wrote:Minetest needs better marketing (ahem, Minetest doesn't inspire confidence) but not necessarily advertising. We are already notable in the open source gaming community, with some extra polish in-game and value proposition online then it will be easier to draw in players

The open source gaming community, however, is comparably tiny. If you look at gamers in general, I'd say the open source gaming community that knows about Minetest is 2% of them at best. Maybe only even 1% or less because I guess the majority of FLOSS users either still resorts to non-free, closed-source games or doesn't game at all.

Almost all other gamers believe think they know that Minecraft is the only game of its kind. Maybe there's another percent or two who may have heard or read about Minetest, but they're fully convinced that Minetest is a Minecraft clone made in order to cash in on Minecraft's success. They neither know nor care about Minecraft and Minetest's common ancestor named Infiniminer, also because they flat-out refuse to accept that their treasured golden calf Minecraft isn't a fully original concept designed from scratch from the ground up but instead a "ripoff" of another game.

But most don't know anything about non-commercial games beyond Steam, GOG, the Windows Store and what's on brick-and-mortar store shelves. So they don't know that Minetest exists in the first place.

Apart from making Minetest known, the next obstacle will be to convince people that Minetest is worth playing, especially those who already know Minecraft. Those who are cheap are the easiest to get: Tell them Minetest costs nothing unlike Minecraft, and they're sold. Everyone else, however, will always compare everything to Minecraft — and consider Minecraft the reference, the pinnacle, the definition of 100%. "Better" equals "more like Minecraft" to them. Minetest would be perfect if it were absolutely identical to Minecraft but for free. If something is different from Minecraft, it sucks because it isn't like Minecraft.

Exactly this will be the trickiest part: showing and convincing people that something about a voxel game can be better than Minecraft. I'm not talking about the license, the masses of Windows-only users don't care about licenses. The programming language is slightly better, a very few may understand that a game written in C++ needs fewer resources and therefore performs better than one written in Java. Everyone else doesn't care, also because they won't notice a difference with their dozen 4Ghz cores and top-of-the-line gaming graphics card.

Minetest's biggest advantage is modding. Installing mods is way easier than in Minecraft, Minetest was meant to be modded from the very beginning, you can have different worlds with different sets of mods, and you can play almost whichever online server you want without first hacking mods into or out of your client because Minetest gets the mods for an online game from the server.

At the same time, modding becomes a disadvantage because in order to keep up with Minecraft, Minetest must be modded. This is inconvenient for both newbies and hardcore gamers. While the newbies find everything that goes beyond installing a game and playing it as it came out of the box too complicated, the hardcore gamers still need to know what mods there are, what mods are good for what, what mods you need to achieve what and so forth. Especially seasoned Minecraft players will have a hard time translating from Minecraft to Minetest because things are named differently in Minetest than in Minecraft (e.g. in order to get something like redstone, you need to install Mesecons because redstone is named MESE in Minetest).

Guess why Mineclone2 is so vastly popular: It's the closest that you can hope for Minetest to be like Minecraft.

Now I'm not an advocate for throwing minetest_game away in favour of Mineclone2. minetest_game is still necessary as the base that one can mod like there's no tomorrow. In this context it's actually good that it only comes with those bare necessities that hardly anyone would want to mod out.

But I've read several times already that Minetest should come with a more fleshed-out game. And I believe that if Minetest should become popular with people who can't e.g. install and configure Debian to whatever they need it for without a manual, it needs to be "awesome out of the box". Most people don't want a modding base, they want a black box game that's cool as it comes. Such a game should be one that really shows off what Minetest can do that Minecraft can't. And it should be good enough to work as the default game, for most gamers will probably install Minetest, fire it up and start playing right away without configuring anything and without reading up on anything. Whatever they start playing then needs to blow them away.

Ideally, Minetest should come with four games:
  • A fleshed-out, fully equipped, non-Minecraft-clone game with stuff that vanilla Minecraft doesn't have as the default that newbies start playing with right away. (Granted, Lord of the Test would be overkill, not to mention make people believe that Minetest is Minecraft meets Tolkien. Now, if Dreambuilder were a game instead of a modpack...)
  • minetest_game for the modders.
  • minimal for the ultra-hardcore modders.
  • Mineclone2 as the (non-default!) game for the "whatever isn't like Minecraft sucks" crowd.

The distinction between the engine Minetest and the game minetest_game is important, but it'll confuse everyone who isn't on a "I run my own Raspbian multi-purpose server at home" tech level. It's critical to find a good balance here.

As Wuzzy already mentioned, outward appearance is very important in marketing, too. This means we need screenshots. And half a dozen screenshots from a vanilla minetest_game world from five years ago that has been run for, like, five minutes won't cut it. Okay, there should be vanilla minetest_game screenshots, especially if minetest_game stays the game in Minetest. But keep them up-to-date and show off new features in them.

And there should definitely be lots and lots of screenshots that show off Minetest as it looks like when it's modded to kingdom come and back. If you want to sell modding, you must impress people with what can be done with mods, especially those that do the really spectacular things, ideally things that you can't get Minecraft to do even if you mod it.

If you want to whet people's appetite even further, if they're done with the screenshots, show them videos of modded Minetest worlds. You won't be able to impress anyone with vanilla minetest_game. But you will impress them with Lua-controlled Advanced Trains networks like those on the LinuxWorks server, just to give one example.

Wuzzy wrote:The UI looks horrible, especially the main menu is user-hostile and ugly and needs a major overhaul. An improvement of the UI also will mean there will be prettier screenshots to show off ^^

This seems to be a general problem with software that isn't developed by big companies. You need to take care of the backend, the user frontend, documentation and marketing. Big companies have dedicated departments for these.

Outside of big companies, take a group of n developers who take care of a software product. Usually you have one developer who is forced against his/her will to design a user frontend although he/she would rather work on the backend and n–1 developers who work on the backend. As for documentation, if a manpage is absolutely critically necessary (e.g. because all major GNU/Linux distros will refuse to include it into their repos without a manpage), someone will write one, but everything that goes beyond is left to the users. And as for marketing, the developers simply sit and wait until people discover their product by themselves because nobody takes care of that.

Now if you really want an application, especially a game, to become popular, you need an UI that not only makes the game useable by being there but that's logical and pleasant to use even for non-coders.

Last but not least, let's get to the name issue. And let's be honest: "Minetest" isn't the luckiest choice. It looks so much like an experimental FLOSS Minecraft rip-off that it's next to impossible to convince people otherwise. (Granted, when celeron55 started working on Minetest, he couldn't possibly foresee how huge a success Minecraft would become.) And "test" implies that it's an experiment never meant for public deployment. This is where games like Voxelands (RIP) and Terasology shine: Their names don't imply a half-baked Minecraft clone.
 

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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by runs » Wed Aug 21, 2019 21:48

Guess why Mineclone2 is so vastly popular: It's the closest that you can hope for Minetest to be like Minecraft.


This is the cause I hate Mineclone2 and Wuzzy :-D

No, really, Mineclone2 is cool, but this shows the lack of ideas and brillliance in the Minetest comunitty. :-D

No, really, if I wanted to play Minecraft, I'd play Minecraft not Minetest.

Now, I being serious: Minetest is way better than Minecraft. It only lacks some polish and ADVERTISEMENT.
 

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Re: Should we "advertise" Minetest better ?

by Linuxdirk » Thu Aug 22, 2019 05:45

Buddler wrote:Everyone else, however, will always compare everything to Minecraft — and consider Minecraft the reference, the pinnacle, the definition of 100%. "Better" equals "more like Minecraft" to them. Minetest would be perfect if it were absolutely identical to Minecraft but for free. If something is different from Minecraft, it sucks because it isn't like Minecraft.

Unfortunately this is absolutely sure. It's a bit like WhatsApp: There are a lot of better messengers, most of them are free, and XMPP as a protocol itself exists and there are dozens of clients for all operating systems. The problem is: No-one cares. WhatsApp just works. Their friends use it. No need to change. Case closed.

Same with Minecraft: It just works. Their friends play it (very likely since according to the latest numbers Minecraft is more successful than Tetris - which was the most selling game of all time for ages). No need to change. Case closed.

People need an incentive to play Minetest. It can't be the numbers (Minecraft is more succesful with all of them). It can't be open source (in real-life players actually do not care). It can't be it's freeness ("I can get a cracked account whenever I want and play Minecraft for free, too"). It can't be the games (well, that's another discussion). It can't be the modding (Minecraft is very well moddable and has an extremely active modding community and convenient tools for installing and updating mods).

Buddler wrote:The programming language is slightly better, a very few may understand that a game written in C++ needs fewer resources and therefore performs better than one written in Java.

The Java version is dying. Minecraft evolved since Mojang was acquired by Microsoft.

Buddler wrote:... shows off what Minetest can do that Minecraft can't.

Yes, but what is that? Even back when I played it, Minecraft without mods had more and better ingame tools to create functionality (command blocks and all things that come with them, like the extremely flexible API hat can be accessed via commands.*)

Buddler wrote:This means we need screenshots. And half a dozen screenshots from a vanilla minetest_game world from five years ago that has been run for, like, five minutes won't cut it.

We have a multiple hundreds pages long screenshots thread. Unfortunately no-one is willing to add some of the screenshots to the site showing how diverse Minetest's appearance can be. Instead all issues on GitHub are talked to death and in the end nothing on the website changes.

Speaking of which. The website looks like for a boring tech product and not like for a game. See minecraft.net for example: Bright and blooming with happy and colorful design. Large, bright screenshots showing it's variety. A great section with inside knowledge, news, and blog-like articles, community events and information. Everything on that page leads to "Wow, this looks awesome, I totally want to play that game!".

We, on the other hand, well, we have a dark and depressing header and 6 outdated and boring screenshots and tons of continuous text and bullet point lists.

Buddler wrote:
Wuzzy wrote:The UI looks horrible, especially the main menu is user-hostile and ugly and needs a major overhaul. An improvement of the UI also will mean there will be prettier screenshots to show off ^^

This seems to be a general problem with software that isn't developed by big companies.

No, it's not. Its a problem with not having an UI expert in the team. I know some games that are developed by one person alone, or by a team of 2-3 developers and they all have great UIs and menus. When developing a free game "this is a free game" is no justification to have a shitty UI when other free games do not have a shitty UI.

____
* I remember a game that had a world border around the player (1x1 and ranging from the bottom to the top of the map). Within this area the player needs to perform special tasks. Each tasks extended the border by 1. So jumping fo the first time leads to a 2x2 area to work with, then digging the first time 3x3, placing the first time 4x4, etc. The tasks got more and more complex to perform and the goal was to extend the area to 16x16 jsut by performing special tasks. All of this was made purely in vanilla Minecraft by using command blocks to send the API commands and other logic features provided by the game to trigger the command blocks.
 

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