Happy Monria Day - Reflections of a Moon Manager

Discussion in 'Let's Talk Moon' started by Eugenio Anhithe Wilde, Nov 26, 2016.

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  1. Eugenio Anhithe Wilde

    Eugenio Anhithe Wilde Moon Manager Staff Member Moderator Monria Media Team

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    When I look back, I am extremely proud of what the team has accomplished in a short time, and this also extends to everyone in the community that has supported us and made it possible. The biggest thrill for me is all the new friends we've made and watching our moon grow. To all the new born Monrians, those that have called us home and those that stop by to visit and enjoy our events, your support means a lot to me personally and I want to say thank you.

    We're trying to do things a little differently on the moon and I want us to be as much a part of the community as everyone else. This can bring its own challenges, and over the course of the year, we've learned a lot about balancing our role as custodians whilst still interacting and having fun. It's very important to me that we have our finger on the pulse and that we also bring our own personality into what we are doing.

    For me personally, it has been a fascinating journey with quite a few challenges along the way. I'm very protective of those I care about and my family has been involved with me from day one (I include DM in this). It has made some things quite difficult to be honest as I'm the sort of person who doesn't really get personally affected by what anyone does to me, but hurt someone I love, and it is a completely different matter. What's interesting though is over the course of the last 12 months I feel that my family has grown and this has only increased my determination to make this a success for us all.

    Monria theme

    I've been quite open from day one about the direction Monria would take. I want it to evolve from what happens in the community based not only on your feedback but also based on all the adventures that we share together. I also have been doing some test marketing and have used this to try to get a sense of what resonates with the wider gaming community. Monria was inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, cosmic terror and awe. We may have all been driven insane by the incursion of supernatural beings but we will not be bound by it. Our community has become more like a comedic horror B movie and that's ok. We will continue to be creative in how we have fun and try to let the environment reflect the community that inhabits it. Our motto is expect the unexpected and we want to find new ways to have fun as a group.

    Marketing

    I spend a lot of time trying to market Monria and to get new players into Entropia Universe. It's one of the reasons I can't always get in game when I like or why I can be afk. Month on month since we took over Monria the player base has been growing. As of the end of October we have somewhere around twice the amount of Monrian borns logging in than was acheived in 2014 & 2015 combined. So we are growing, not as fast as I would like but I suspect I will always say that!

    Entropia Universe is not the easiest thing to market, the MMO market itself is highly competitive but when we get a new player on Monria they can stay with us for years. We already have some that I hope will still be here with us for the next decade. Since I took over the moon literally millions of people have seen advertisements about Monria across the world and I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. My targeting is improving and I will continue to do everything I can to raise awareness and get new players to join us.

    Another area of focus for the marketing effort is facebook. We started a new page due to problems transferring the old one and we currently have 6.3k likes. Our posts reach thousands of gamers and we target people who are not familiar with Entropia Universe so a very high percentage of our followers are non Entropians who like MMOS. We are going to continue to grow our facebook presence and Kendra is already using her years of experience watching videos of cute kittens to grow our reach even further. It also seems that it is becoming a fairly good outlet for people to mock me so feel free to join in the fun! We get a steady amount of natural signups through our facebook page either directly or indirectly.

    Website & Forum

    I have tweaked a fair bit in this area over the course of the year. I've improved the hosting and have done a lot of small things to help our content get indexed and found. This results in sign ups through both our website and forum content and we rank fairly well on search engines for certain things. The forum has been upgraded a number of times and modules added to help us not only to get found but to make it a place where people can share and connect outside of the game. Some things have worked and some things haven't (wiki - awkymomo....)

    It can be a bit of a risk sometimes changing the website but I feel our website needs some significant changes to serve its primary function of getting new players. With this in mind, I plan to start working on a new marketing website for Monria in the new year. I have spent a lot of time looking into this and it will take a fair bit of work but it is now quite high on my to do list.

    On a final note we will have a stall at http://www.gamer-con.com/ next year. This will coincide with our St Patricks event and I'm looking forward to meeting potential new players and telling them all about Monria. It will be our first exhibition and I have no idea what I'm doing but if anyone is in Dublin for it, stop by and say hello.

    Development plan

    This has taken a little longer to get done because any development is planned within a roadmap that extends over the next 6-12 months. So initially it took me some time to get on the development path because there was already a significant number of items ahead of me for Mindarks own development, this stuff is invisible to me but I do have to get resources assigned for my work which takes significant planning. I am delighted though that we have managed to get some of our content completed. We have more to come in the future and even though I would love to share my ideas, it wouldn't be unexpected if I did. I would like to share a little about the process I go through and my thinking behind some of the decisions I've made though.

    The first thing I do is listen, I trawl the forum suggestions and listen to things said in game and the team is constantly giving me ideas based on feedback from the community. I always try to stay tight lipped on what I'm working on because I don't want unrealistic expectations set and also want there to be surprises going forward.

    I then assemble a very long list of all the suggestions and ideas. I also maintain a separate bug list. I start ploughing through these lists and try to work out what is doable and what the impact would be to other things we have in place. I also verify the bugs and prioritize them, there are always bugs with software and I try to filter the most important and prioritize these based on our close relationship with the community. I try to help the dev team understand the items that matter most to you.

    With the new content I then build a design document and I go through the features giving as much detail as possible. I also attempt to give context to the idea and why I think it would benefit Monria and our players. At this stage I work closely with Mindark and there are ideas bouncing back and forward on how it might be improved or things that might not work as I imagined them. In fact we regularly discuss what is happening on the Moon and have very open and frank discussions and brainstorm ideas.

    We then agree on some items to proceed with, this could be based on what is possible and some things will not go ahead because it might not be possible to function as intended. Perhaps it is something that won't work in the wider context of Entropia Universe or maybe there is too much effort involved for too little value.

    Next the items are broken down into all the various tasks, costings and time estimates etc. We agree on the details and it moves into development. I work with the guys and get regular communication on progress and give input and we react to any unexpected challenges we face during this phase. Some point after this it pops out in a VU. :)

    My thinking behind the development to date

    Our own pet was one of the first things requested when we first joined Monria and I was determined to get this done in our first year. It started with the stable and most people wanted a Yog as a pet which would have been a fair bit easier but I wanted something new. I chose a leprechaun as I felt it suited our personality, and being an Irish company I do want a small Irish influence. The personal touch was also important to me so I asked Kendra's mother to do the original sketch and I think the design guy did a fantastic job with the model, as did the animations and sound guy.

    The boxing idea came from us wanting to come up with creative ideas for us to have fun together and I wanted another use for local resources. It is also important that sweat is consumed on Monria to help new players, plus we also want activities to support our events. The weight of the gloves (light, medium and heavy) with 2 glove sizes in each is to try to simulate boxing. The idea is that you would be able to switch between gloves in your weight division to introduce some tactics to ring boxing. This will take lots of testing for us to make sure we have fair and balanced events but we are working on having our own Monria Boxing Championship.

    I also think it is affordable, if I do a 30 minute boxing match with light weight gloves it is costing me something like 5-7 ped glove decay depending on how many hits I get in. When we set up the knockout boxing events, the winner gets some decay back so in tests I've had costs of something like 40 pec if I win (which is rare).

    A lot of what we're trying to do is to find fun things to do when we are down to our last few ped and are affordable! I also like the idea of us knowing that we are actually helping a new born Monrian whilst beating each other up in the ring!

    Mindark relationship

    Any business relationship takes a bit of time to nourish, build trust and develop an honest relationship. I'm also aware that Mindark gets a lot of stick at times but I can only comment on my own experience. There is a great number of people at Mindark who I have worked with over the past 12 months and have gotten to know personally. These are great people who do what is an often thankless task and have supported me immensely. I can honestly say these are great individuals who care a tremendous amount about what we are trying to do here and I'm very optimistic about what we can achieve together in the future.

    I will let DM update on the community but you truly are an amazing bunch and I appreciate all that you have done to help us build our own Moon Colony :)

    A final thanks goes to @Dark Moon Enigma who has been in the trenches since day one in the coal face and doing such a great job with the community, and as Chief Fun Officer allows me to spend the time I need to progress the other areas. She also does a huge amount of work that isn't directly visible too. None of this would have been possible without you.

    In conclusion it's been a great year and I'm looking forward to many more to come. I could go on for pages here but I'm missing our event and need to get in game.

    Happy Monria Day!
    Ant
     
  2. Sholle Von Cartiz

    Sholle Von Cartiz Well-Known Member

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    Dear Ant and Monria team, I wish you happy anniversary and many many oncoming years of success and fun.
    I really like to read your updates Ant and see how Monria is growing and evolving in something very successful.
    wish you all best, to you, your family and Monria team :)

    as for GameCon in Dublin.. oh man how cool can that be!!! :) I never been on anything like that but I am sure it will be fun!, Ant - just make few BIG banners with Monria and BIG screen! LIVE streaming and we can wave and say hello FROM Monria to people at your stall on GameCon!! :))

    btw, did u ever thought to publish Monria on Steam? (www.steamcommunity.com)
    I think in past years, if I remember correctly, Monria was on steam or at least something about getting "her" there.

    hmmm I did a little reserch now and YES, I am correct :) here is Monria on Steam Greenlight
    probably Ant was aware about this, but still I feel like I should mention this.
     
  3. Kendra

    Kendra Moon Marketer and Virtual shopper Staff Member Moderator Official Moon Shopper Monria Media Team

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    REALLY??

    I work hard :rolleyes really I do :pillowfight
     
  4. Maximus Cashicus

    Maximus Cashicus Well-Known Member

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    We all know you do loads Kendra! Ant is a real kidder, wait why am I telling you what your husband is like?

    Oh and don't forget Pusher this time Ant! There's still time to edit :coffee
     
  5. DxBlueIce

    DxBlueIce Active Member

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    Great post - very interesting things I didn't even think about.
    I sure hope Monria will get more newbies who will stay for a very long time! :)

    Btw, is your ROI as expected? Or do we need to burn more peds hunting, mining and crafting? :-D
     
  6. DarkMoonEnigma

    DarkMoonEnigma Connecting Moon Dots Staff Member Moderator Community Manager Monria Media Team MCAT Team Member

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    That was a really great reflections piece Ant, and succinctly (despite post length :D) encapsulated as much of the inner workings as could be shared, while also giving perhaps a picture of what a typical day might look like. Although, there are subtle nuances that help paint the canvas a bit wonky which actually helps to make it more interesting.

    I've learned a lot over the years with the different opportunities I've had, but working with you has given me an even greater appreciation for the intricacies involved with managing and developing a larger piece of real estate in this universe, albeit a Moon and not a full scale planet. As such, the working dynamics of the Moon present a different kind of approach with regard to how things are accomplished, and I'm glad that your network of MA guys are on board for this journey.

    Just know that I have great respect for what you do so tirelessly (despite your own sleep-deprived moments that can turn into crazy chaos that engages even the most unsuspecting bystanders), and your efforts are immensely appreciated.

    On another note here, I have to defend Kendra, because I love the videos and photos she puts on her FB page. :p

    She might be the catalyst behind the increased bunny population though, I don't know, which is why we might want to think about doing something for Easter. She and Gatekeeper may have a secret club going on, but I'll tell you this much, that sweet loving, community-working bunny is a hellion on Gunner when we do our space travel schedules. :eek:

    One more thing about Kendra ... she's a member of the staff team who is more stealth and calculating I think with what she contributes to the overall operation and what we are accomplishing.

    Sometimes we don't know what hit us, but that's a good thing because it gives us pause to think about other possibilities, even when our initial reaction might be, wait, what? :D

    She's loads of fun and one of the most caring individuals I've gotten to know over the years, despite the domestic fights in the Monria boxing ring where she and Ant duke it out (we don't ask o_O), but then, it seems we have cultivated a sub-culture with our player couples like Rosa and Raine, and Ali and Max. Maybe it's a good thing it's virtual? Although, there is now an infamous story spreading about some kettle getting a good workout. :laugh

    Just so you know ... Obie and I don't do the ring thing, but don't think I don't know the pickle I can get myself into if I should (innocently :p) ruffle some Wizard wings.

    I love Monria and its amazing community members who never cease to amaze me with their helpfulness and off-the-wall craziness that makes inhabiting the Moon so much fun.

    Thank you Ant ... I can emphatically state that you didn't buy a Turkey a year ago. :clap
     

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