A Website to put others to shame

Posted by: : Jerky

Posted: Nov 25 2006, 01:45 AM

This is more of a test article for now.

A website, however, does make an important part for your game. No, it does not show your game itself, but it does show that you care enough to make a place for people to come check you out. MMORPG's are built with communities. It could be said that you can build an MMO community very fast with proper "slash-dotting" or hype, but it can go away ten times faster than it came if you do something wrong.

A website is a step in the right direction. Here at PW, toward the end of 2005, I decided to take the bull by the horns and redo our site. Some work had already been done using MDPro, but since I was not the one doing the work, I went researching CMS's myself. This was about the end of October, and doing that, some matte painting and other things, it took me until about Christmas until I had our site up and going using e107. If I was going to use just plain e107, I could have had it up in a couple days, but I decided to check out all the features and then make my own skins for our site. There were some great skins already made, but many of them used gfx from commercial games, so I didn't want anything to do with that. By Christmas 2005, the site was up with the first 2 skins, PW1 and PW2. To this day, I dont think I have gotten more compliments than I got about PW2.

Anyways, it wasnt long after that that we started to get people visiting the site. In January 2006, we had 6266 hits, in Feb, it was 7984, March was 10388, April was 15174. By October and November 2006 we were over 20000 and 25000 hits respectively. Its not much really, but for a project like this that doesnt advertise other than our recruitment posts, or showcase threads, it show growth.

So, the moral of the story is, any time spent on the website it time well spent, IMO. I cant tell you the amount of times that I would try and recruit someone who was not so excited about working on an MMO, but when they saw the site, they changed their minds. It is good to know that those efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Here is a quote from out Gamedev recruitment thread:

Man, i visited your site again, and it is a wonder of a site, getting better all the time. Like I said, one of a very few mmorpg projects, that has a chance to suceed.
This is one of a few teams that looks like they know what they are doing and they are doing it professionaly.

That is a good quote to sum up what effect your website can have. Each game will need its own layout, its own sections, its own focus, but in the end, it needs a good place to organize all that.

This is not a complete article, but I just installed the article system, so I needed something to put here.

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