So by now many of you will have seen Gdog's Halloween preview. We're still testing a bit but that should be coming fairly soon. Also in the preview Gdog showed the new crafting interface for the Anvil. I wanted to talk a little bit about that and why we made that change and what we're working on behind the scenes.
So the hardest thing for a game like ours is to keep potential new players around. The most typical thing is someone plays a new game, decides it's not for them and never tries it again. And reaching new people is so difficult that you really have to make the best of it you can. Last summer google changed some play store algorithms and we get less downloads from tghe app store than we use to. So we have to make each new download count!
Cubic can be confusing for new players. There's a lot to see and do, but first impressions can be tough. We've tried a lot of different approaches over time of varying levels of success.
One of the issues in that respect is that to learn crafting you need to use a web page or the learning center. (or drag items in and get lucky) So the new interface is aimed at making crafting easier for someone who doesn't yet know the game. This is also why it affects the anvil 1st. In part to test this and see if people like it and in part because it's the first crafting station a new player will get. There's still a lot of work to do and crafting is not the only place where new players get confused. Other areas include...
- In game navigation - overworlds lobbies search bumpers etc... easy to get lost if you're new
- and mining - many players actually think they need to buy ALL the blocks in the game and this scares them away
The problem with doing this kind of work is that, since it is aimed a little more at new players, and since the work is typically very difficult (reworking old code that has built up over years is harder) it takes a lot of time that could be spent updating the game in other ways. So we're trying to find some balance.
But, for better or worse, the plan going forward is to focus a little more on these sort of core game things, which I do think still has some benefit for older players too.
Now, the new crafting interface is so different from the old one that we have to see still if there's issues/problems and how it's received by players. But, if people love it and there aren't too many problems then the plan is to do as Gdog suggested in his video, and start expanding this style of crafting to other crafting stations. So you can expect changes along those lines to come with the fall pack, and eventually some changes (hopefully before year end) to game navigation.