Sprint #3 11/30/2012

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Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:32 am

Sprint number three starts today and personally I am very excited for the simple reason that I get to start building stuff. Truth be told I really like building things (most of my time will be spent managing people, but not all of it).

There are a few major themes this month. The first is new development. There won't be that much which is shiny to show and it will be a lot effort, but we are laying the metaphorical foundation of a house so that the shiny things can appear quickly in future sprints (like sprint number four, for example).

The second major theme has to do with improving our internal infrastructure from both a networking a business perspective. From the outside this just means hiring more people to get more stuff done (by releasing burden from specialists and just getting more manpower in general) and moving our login server somewhere else. This sprint has more big tasks on it than the previous ones because the intent is to force departments to increase productivity. Some may slip and that's O.K., but so long as the velocity increases I'll be happy in that regards. So long as things continue to stay on track this is also laying the foundation for an exponential increase in productivity mid to early next year (as opposed to the linear increase in productivity this sprint should provide).

The third theme is to continue improving the new user experience. This includes picking up things that were missed on previous sprints, continuing on themes that were missed, and small little tasks that didn't make it.
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:42 am

Dates: 11/30/2012 and end on 12/28/2012 (adding an extra week to compensate for the holidays)

Themes:
- Lay the foundation for new development
- Continue improving the new user experience
- Infrastructure improvements to improve productivity and stability

Progress: Track here

Major Tasks:
- Improve the card list on the main page. Easier sorts, better filtering, new code, chat client integration (all new code will have this)
- New chat client, at least in test. This should not have a "you have been disconnected" issue, not require any client to download, and work on modern phones. Once this is up on test new features should be rapidly added, such as automaticly linking to a card when someone mentions it in chat.
- Single player arena should give xp to newbies (this is actually the most difficult task because it deals with old code)
- Get training videos from last sprint online. If the video section isn't done then put a placeholder image with the audio in the background.
- Hire, hire, hire.
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby InfernityFan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:40 am

MysteryMan wrote:- New chat client, at least in test. This should not have a "you have been disconnected" issue, not require any client to download, and work on modern phones. Once this is up on test new features should be rapidly added, such as automaticly linking to a card when someone mentions it in chat..

Just make sure the chat is plainly visible to new users and screams click me!!!
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby Shirozaki » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:41 pm

While we are at community portals and chat, how high are the chances of upgrading the forum and/or maybe switching to a proper design? I think the forum hasn't seen a proper update since the great bot problem. (I do realize this is one of the lower-priority tasks)
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby GonFreeces31 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:45 pm

What's the plan for the "advertising campaign"?
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:55 am

InfernityFan wrote:
MysteryMan wrote:- New chat client, at least in test. This should not have a "you have been disconnected" issue, not require any client to download, and work on modern phones. Once this is up on test new features should be rapidly added, such as automaticly linking to a card when someone mentions it in chat..

Just make sure the chat is plainly visible to new users and screams click me!!!


No kidding. I want to redo the login/registraton page a bit to make the new user tutorials and videos easily video (we are using professional voice actors which is why it's taking so long).

Easy access to the chat room with an understanding that people can go there for help would be great. The fact that we can have multiple chat channels open at the same time now will allow a #Newbie channel.
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:58 am

Shirozaki wrote:While we are at community portals and chat, how high are the chances of upgrading the forum and/or maybe switching to a proper design? I think the forum hasn't seen a proper update since the great bot problem. (I do realize this is one of the lower-priority tasks)


We can put one of the new hires on this.
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:03 am

GonFreeces31 wrote:What's the plan for the "advertising campaign"?


Ten years ago one of my friends went to Otakon and had a good time. He said we should start something like this ourselves. We scrounged up some savings, he started ConnectiCon at our college and around 300 people came. They had fun and 600 people came the year after because people told their friends. Grew every year.

Fast forward to this year - over 10,000 people came (Hartford Convention Center), including big name webcomics and board game designers.

The webcomic part is important. We treated them with the respect they deserved since the get-go and have been there for us ever since. Since I have a good relationship with most major webcomics, Alteil has an overlapping audience, and webcomic ads worked well for us in the past, I figure I'll throw banner ads up there on some of my contacts' sites.

There will be other styles of advertising campaigns in the future, but I'll stick with the tried and true method for this sprint.
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby Urkredel » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:01 am

everything will fail if they keep this pricing policy misteryman. look at EX 11 .. nothing has changed, nothing seems to be changing.
I was very faithful towards this new project, i'm very disappointed right now...
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Re: Sprint #3 11/30/2012

Postby MysteryMan » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:06 pm

Urkredel wrote:everything will fail if they keep this pricing policy misteryman. look at EX 11 .. nothing has changed, nothing seems to be changing.
I was very faithful towards this new project, i'm very disappointed right now...


Sure. It's all a balancing act (new development vs maintenance) we can try new things with the pricing models in the coming sprints. We'll have to run it cautiously - making sure we don't destroy the game as we do it, but we've got a few ideas to try in future sprints.

We've got a few ideas of our own and would love to hear suggestions.

One big one is a roaming public card model, in where we give free sets to everyone for a month and let people spend gran to keep that set.

Another one is a subscription model, giving exclusive cards ahead of time each month and themes of the week.

Another one is rotating pre-built grab bags of cards that last a week on a shop and rotate every week.

Another way is to sell gran at a substantial discount if people have a subscription model.

Unfortunately just reducing the cost per card doesn't work. If we reduce the cost by 10% the stats show that we actually lose more than 10% of sales because people buy less - and still doesn't solve the overlying issues with the model. What you've been seeing from us - the gold boxes, giving gran values to set 11 before ex11 (which is a dollar or so cheaper than before), etc is just us trying to do right by the users. We'd rather make a little less cash and have happier users - that's one of the benefits of not having external investors. It's also the attitude that helped ConnectiCon grow as much as it did.

If you've got suggestions we'd love to hear them. Just make sure they are something we can measure over a month and sunset without much damage if they don't pan out as expected.
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