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Messages - Ingix

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General Discussion / Re: Some nice words and a simple thank you
« on: 05 January 2017, 06:48:11 PM »
I think for both sides (players and developers) it is important to understand the other side. Of course Shuffle iT is not legally responsible for what happened at Making Fun and they were under no obligation to honor the purchases made there. On the other side, players on Making Fun who made purchases were making it in good faith, knowing that any number of circumstances could mean the end of Dominion at Making Fun.

That this end came not through some problem at Making Fun, but the hands of the licensor Rio Grande Games make it a 3-party problem: Claiming that Shuffle iT are the savior and otherwise we would have a black screen since Jan 1st is backwards: If there was not a prototype shown to Rio Grande, which seems to have convinced them that Shuffle iT have the ability to create a better version than what was currently available, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have cancelled/ not prolonged the agreement with Makign Fun (disclaimer: I have no idea what the licensing agreement between Rio Grande Games and Making Fun was and how it ended/was terminated).

From a costumer/player side, they were denied to use what they had previously (Dedicated clients for Windows, iOS, Android AFAIK) and can now only use a browser implementation. For me (Windows desktop user) this is not a problem, for tablet users it seems to be a mayor problem, considering that 'right-click' is not well supported there.

It seems also (from reading comments here and at the forum of Making Fun) that there are many differernt user types for Dominion online: casual types like me that play on the desktop primarily with bots, competitive types that are used to isotropic (and old text-only based implementation), mobile users that play during commutes and couples that use it to play with each other without the hassle to get the physical cards, a.s.o. For some the bot AI is if no or small interest, for  them the match making and finding players is much more important, for others it is the reverse.

What I think happened is that Shuffle iT set out to make a great client-server implementation of a Dominion game and I think they have succeeded at that, with all the teething problems that are to be expected. What they underestimated (or simply did not have time to do) was that

a) different clients need different implementations, as they represent different restrictions for UI and screen space, and
b) all the infrastructure needed to get players to a game: preference options, general and relating to cards, and matchmaking, and
c) things like tournaments, ladders, scores a.s.o that players expect around an online game in 2017.

Especially good matchmaking among strangers is notoriously hard to do (witness all the complaints about it even for AAA games that have the time and budget to do it).

To summarize, Shuffle iT are in the unenviable position now that they have to follow up on an implementation that was working well on many platforms and had to suddenly stop. The around 1 month beta test was obviously to short (maybe to limited, too) to catch all the UI problems for tablets that were there at the start.

I owned all expansions on Making Fun, transfered my account without a problem to dominion.games, played for a day and bought the Gold subscription for a year (read: I just paid for Empires). I hope that dominion.games will continue to develop and get rid of the mayor problems that plague players, then refine clients, AIs and the infrastructure around that.

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