May 4, 2020

The State of Cafe

Lets begin by saying, it isn't great. I'm not here to sugarcoat anything, or lie about anything. I'm going to blunt in this article, and very direct.


Specific Points

The game is not fun. Simply speaking, it cannot be fun because the economy has been destroyed. This is partially due to me not recognizing that adding features midgame would ruin the economy without extra care and a system to limit progression in certain areas.

Rebirths - These are a bit messy right now. The value of a lifecoin becomes minuscule to those at the top, and that isn't particularly fair. And for those at the bottom and middle of the leaderboard, my limitations have made them worthless.

Prestige - This is a great concept but was not executed well on my part. Had it been introduced with a reset or wipe it would have been relatively "okay" but it was tossed in without consideration of how it would effect lower players, and the answer is it doesn't. It simply ended up being a system of endless speedy progression for those at the top because of preexisting economic funds.

CPM - This was a bad idea. Creating a need to spam for currency especially at the beginning of the game is not fun, and can lead to servers and server owners becoming upset, and it doesn't make Discord itself the most excited, especially when people are using AutoHotKey to win rewards faster. That is not what I want the game to be. Not a, lets spam Discord till we win type game.

Crates - These were almost good. But having them based on current economic values of players made them skewed for the top %. Meaning it wasn't entirely beneficial for everyone. Furthermore, my sudden changes of crates and addition of shipments without notice to the general public caused extreme gains for the attentive few. A system that relies on being within 1 server was an oversight on my part that I regret deeply for not noticing.

Gems and Typers - Having a system of continual growth without much action seemed like a good idea. It worked well in testing, but I didn't expect them to become a toss away for those with higher balances. Without a goal in sight for obtaining them, as CPM was effectively capped, and Gems with no real value - it became a quick buy and they were forgotten.

Competition - Having a competitive community is good until the economy folds and nobody new can enter without feeling trapped behind a barrier. With the addition of many new features mid-"map" I created a bubble of players that were able to progress, while others simply found it boring because progression seemed impossible. And to be entirely honest, it is currently effectively impossible to climb the leaderboards without extreme dedication, and with new additions, it has become even harder to do so.


Overall Thoughts

My goal is to create a fun and enjoyable game for everyone, but with the economy being the way it is, and features being added with consideration of only the top players, I ended up creating a game entirely based on a bubble of competition that left everyone else out in the dust. That is on me, and I take all responsibility for it accordingly.

I took suggestions willy nilly without much thought going into them, and while I did test, and alter these, I didn't consider the impact on a global scale in regard to players. That has been at the heart of many mistakes.

With the next update I aim to re-add enjoyable content, that is both fun, and competitive for those who want competition. In the future I aim to listen to myself first, while also taking account suggestions and user feedback. Otherwise I end up with a bubble of features for a select few.


The Future

For the game to work properly, it needs to have a reset. The current system is a complete failure in many ways, and while not entirely a failure, it fails to provide proper fun and entertaining content in the way I want and in the way everyone would like to see it.

I know this will drive many top players away, and while I am not pleased about that, I have two options currently. I do not want to reset the economy, but it is the option that makes the most sense. Below are the two options mentioned.

  1. I let Cafe continue on until it dies due to players being locked into broken systems and gameplay. Leaving new players in the dust, without potential growth.
  2. I fix the issues, and start on a clean slate after identifying the problems I ran into before. Losing many top players, but regaining the potential for new ones.

It will take me likely around a month to finalize and get Cafe on the right track for a new version release. During this time I will open testing channels to all for feedback on new features, and for everyone to have a bit of fun messing around till it is available to all on the Public Cafe bot.

I appreciate all the support I have been given, and hope that I can live up to expectations in the future, with a more clear head, and better idea of what to do moving forward.


Survey

Please take this survey so I can get a better understanding of how this will play out, and everyone's feelings.