[Pdx-pm] perl on-line game

Tom Phoenix rootbeer at redcat.com
Fri Apr 25 10:21:32 CDT 2003

On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 Fabio45K at netscape.net wrote:

> i just got my perl on-line game server program hosted by
> sourceforge.net, if anybody wants to help me with it please tell me, and
> i can put you on as a member of the team. And i could use alot of help.

I think I can save you a lot of time here. I've seen this before, although
not from you and not on this list.

You're not going to get any helpful response to your message. (Well, maybe
this message is helpful. But that's not my fault. :-)

Why not? Why don't people on this list want to help you? Is everybody in
Portland selfish and mean? Sure, but that's not what's wrong here.
Instead, imagine seeing this message on your favorite list:

    I just bought sixty gallons of paint for my house, if anybody wants to
    help me with it tell me and i can put you on as a member of the team.
    And i could use alot of help.

Not gonna get a lot of responses, is it?

Wait, I think I hear you complaining. Did you say something about this
being an unfair comparison? What's that? Writing code for your game is
going to be more fun than painting a house? I dunno. Tom Sawyer knew how
to make painting look like fun, but your project sure looks like work to

Now, I'm giving you a hard time here, but it's not merely for the sake of
giving you a hard time. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, in the
hopes that your game turns out to be worth it. (If I didn't give you the
benefit of the doubt, I'd simply ignore your message, and maybe you'd get
no response at all.) But it all comes down to this:

    You gotta SELL it.

It's all about marketing.

You don't tell people that you want to sell them a high-fat low-nutrition
burger-and-fries put together fifteen minutes ago by an underpaid worker
who couldn't get a job that doesn't get grease in their hair. You offer
them a Super Value Meal!

So here's whatcha gotta do. Put together a web page about the game, a page
that answers these questions:

    * What is this game?

    * Why is this game going to be great?

    * What does this great game have that any other project doesn't have?

    * How do you know it's going to be great?

    * Why should _I_ take the time to help make it great?

Then post a message back to this list in a week or so. Give it a bang-up
subject line, followed by a short message that _sells_ us on it. (BTW,
your message was just the right length. Sure, I can find plenty to
complain about in that message, but I'd be silent if it had had a URL
pointing to an informative page about the project. Heck, we don't even
know the NAME of your game! So that message length is good, but don't
forget the URL.)

If you make your game look good enough, you won't need to ask for help on
a Portland-area list. It will be all you can do to manage your project's
own mailing list full of eager coders.

Good luck with it!

--Tom Phoenix

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