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The_Murker



Joined: Jan 30, 2011

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 01:53 Reply with quote Back to top

Cool. reroll.. how did you come across Sann's videos?

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Wozzaa



Joined: Apr 23, 2016

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 07:38 Reply with quote Back to top

I think, based on the facebook blood bowl community, a lot of people play against cyanide AI, and are worried about playing real people because they have an almost fear of losing.

A possible solution to tghis may be to make the 145 a league at start up (like stunty leeg, ranked, black box, league and test). That way new people can go straight to the 145 rather than 'getting eaten by the wolves', as one recent commentor on facebook said.

Not sure how hard that would be.
Grod



Joined: Sep 30, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 08:43 Reply with quote Back to top

I have it. Merge blackbox and Ranked!


(Just kidding lets not go there Razz )

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Throweck



Joined: Feb 23, 2013

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 08:51
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I have created a play list in my account and it comes up on the first page of the search. The top result is by the SAGE as it has more views.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX9yJILwHENk9n_wwr4vA5h8Av2Nh2EE9

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ramchop



Joined: Oct 12, 2013

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 09:06 Reply with quote Back to top

Or if we want videos for noobs on how to play embedded in the site. GIF training guides
Desultory



Joined: Jun 24, 2008

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 12:41 Reply with quote Back to top

JellyBelly wrote:
thoralf wrote:
JellyBelly wrote:
If Fumbbl wants to grow, then it needs to do a better job of listening to the community and being more receptive to user suggestions and feedback.


That's not the impression I get from the tech giants. Apple became the biggest company in the world because it obdurately did its thing for decades. FB pretends to care about feedback and does nothing. Take a look at the Windows' forums and tell me with a straight face that feedback is considered.

Paraphrasing what the Big C underlines in his recent post, most feedback isn't easily actionable. To suggest a change that is unambiguously good for everyone and that can be implemented without too much effort is the true measure of constructiveness. Good intentions just aren't enough.

So my suggestion would be that we all grow out of our innate clientelism and become an active part of this community. We all have itches. It's all up to us to scratch them.


Well, Fumbbl isn't Apple. The uncomfortable truth is that Fumbbl has been 'doing it's thing' for the past few years, yet the number of games played today is around 1/3 of what it was back in 2007/8. I don't mean any disrespect by saying that, but it's a fact that can be clearly seen in the site stats.

Christer's blog post provides some great insight into his motivations and priorities. I totally understand that he is the only developer, his time/energy is limited and growing the Fumbbl userbase may not be a high priority for him atm. But, it seems to me that if there was (hypothetically) going to be a serious push to boost the userbase, something fairly fundamental would need to change, because it's clear which way the momentum has been going over the past several years.

mrt1212 wrote:
JellyBelly wrote:
If Fumbbl wants to grow, then it needs to do a better job of listening to the community and being more receptive to user suggestions and feedback. I mean, what is actively being done right now to gauge what the userbase wants and where the main pain points are?


Yes and no.

There are qualifiers towards suggestions and feedback.

1. Is this a suggestion that can be implemented at current? Is there a social work around by the community?
2. Is this a suggestion that pertains to a large enough swath of the userbase to warrant developing an implementation?
3. How complicated is a developed implementation? How many man hours will it take?
4. If you open up feedback will it be self defeating by the volume of feedback and the myriad dangling suggestions that will never get done? If you build a feedback forum and everyone uses it and very little of it gets done because of logistics, is the feedback forum worth it at a certain point?

The other aspect here is that feedback and discussion is more of a retention tactic than a grow user base tactic. So I would say that while feedback and discussion is important to the overall health of the site and userbase, it is triage for those that already stepped foot onto Fumbbl and are somewhat familiar with it but desire more. Fumbbl isn't unique in how people who have made their peace with the quirks of something they like tell others to simmer down and appreciate what is and many of us old heads should show more patience.

FWIW, I have opened up discussion on how Brawls work and incorporated it to the 2519 season. Would it be neat to see that for every other tourney? Maybe, maybe not.


I was thinking that a structured 'feedback forum/tracker' might actually help Christer and the admins in the long run. If improvement suggestions were listed and people could up/down-vote them, then the next time someone suggests something that's been suggested two dozen times before, people could point to the list and say "well, that has been suggested before and it's on the list. However, it doesn't seem to be as popular as all these other suggestions that are above it, so the chances of it getting implemented any time soon are fairly low." It would help to show that at least it's being considered and that discussion could be headed off nice and quick, so we can stop going round and round discussing the same things over and over ...

"Yeah, it's there on the list. You like it: vote it up. You don't: vote it down. Then be quiet Wink"

As for your other point, I'd say retention (i.e. 'stopping the rot') should be an important part of growing the user base. It's a simple equation:

[userbase growth] = [new people coming in] - [people leaving]

There are clearly two aspects to it and trying to reduce the number of people leaving should definitely be a factor, imo. It's a battle with two fronts.


I agree 100% with both points.


I think growing Fumbbl requires:
1) More developers who fix bugs and add requested features.
2) Better prioritisation of what features/bugs need fixing/adding.


JellyBelly's 'feedback forum/tracker' would mostly solve (2).

To solve (1) I think Christer would need to monetise the site, because donations aren't enough to cover developer costs.


IF there are no legal reasons that FUMBBL can't make money from ads? (for example problems with Games Workshop)?
Then I would much rather have some ads if it meant client bugs were fixed faster. Especially if they are static display ads, that aren't intrusive at all. Though one could make significantly more money with intrusive popup ones.
I'm no ad expert but lets say roughly 277 logins a day with a CTR of 5% would bring in approx $14 a day with static ads. which is about $5k a year and I believe that is a big underestimation. That's approx 50 hours of paying a professional developer to take some weight and responsibility off Christers shoulders.

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Last edited by Desultory on Jan 09, 2019 - 12:50; edited 1 time in total
Strider84



Joined: Jun 03, 2009

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 12:44 Reply with quote Back to top

Wozzaa wrote:
I think, based on the facebook blood bowl community, a lot of people play against cyanide AI, and are worried about playing real people because they have an almost fear of losing.

A possible solution to tghis may be to make the 145 a league at start up (like stunty leeg, ranked, black box, league and test). That way new people can go straight to the 145 rather than 'getting eaten by the wolves', as one recent commentor on facebook said.

Not sure how hard that would be.


We had that with academy. But might be worth a try
Throweck



Joined: Feb 23, 2013

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 12:55
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I agree that they would help, however...

I think you are forgetting that FUMBBL is a hobby project for Christer. I also know that he would never monetise the site.

I think what you are looking for is a professional service here. Let me clarify, I think what Christer does and the time he spends is amazing. As soon as it becomes monetised, it becomes a job/profession. That's not what FUMBBL is about from what I can see.

There is no doubt that monetisation of the site would bring in some big money but it would also mean a fall in players/coaches. I certainly wouldn't be around much if I was being fed ads all the time. I hate them.

Ultimately, we can talk about improving it all the hours of the day but we need to act if we want to see growth. Example:

I started the blog about a social media team. I had 5/6 coaches come forward. Any of the names there that are asking for stuff to be done all the time? You guessed it, no. Same names, always offering to help.

I also think Christer addressed the issue (wrong word perhaps) with other people helping with the coding in his blog.

Believe me, I'd love FUMBBL to grow and I do share over various media platforms, but that's just me. Think about how good it would be if we had an army to do that!

People state what they want but aren't willing to get their hands dirty. I believe for FUMBBL to grow...that has to change too.

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koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 13:45 Reply with quote Back to top

Thing is...

50 hours of dev time (even if that was enough) could easily cost Christer 20,30,40 hours of his own time. Or worse! Wink

It sounds to me as though a big part of the reason this bug is taking so long to fix is that Christer DIDN'T write the code himself.

If the guy who wrote it was available it might have been fairly straight forward. But he isn't, so who knows.

So, it'll take as long as it takes.

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Christer



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 14:35
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Desultory wrote:
I'm no ad expert but lets say roughly 277 logins a day with a CTR of 5%


Ok, this is a highly highly unlikely scenario. The average CTR of a "display ad" across all industries is apparently 0.35% according to some random site found through googling "average CTR". Now, maybe they're unreliable, but they sourced this information from somewhere and is likely much more reliable than any random number I could pull out of the air.

Add to this the fact that FUMBBL is *very* different than your normal website. We have a large portion of very very loyal users who has an average session that's very different than a normal website.

Looking at myself, I figure that I more or less filter out any and all ads on pages for sites I browser frequently automatically in my head, Let alone clicking on them.

I think that even 0.35% is high for a community with the userbase of FUMBBL.

Add to that the fact that ads are highly obnoxious these days, making sites load much much slower and potentially bearing tracking or even malware payloads.

Either way, a more reasonable way to deal with ads would be to sell ad space directly to relevant companies (games stores, miniature designers, painting service companies, or whatever). Think the type of advertisement you see on high-profile podcasts or sponsored YouTube channels. This would likely be able to generate the $5k per year you mention.

This would, however, come with some pretty significant implications for the site: I'd have to change FUMBBL to a business of some kind instead of classing it as a hobby. That would increase costs and effort by an order of magnitude due to various laws and regulations.

Ok, so let's look beyond that. Let's say I got enough ad revenue to cover the increased costs and hire someone to deal with the extra workload and on top of that generate $5k per year to buy developer time.

50 hours isn't nearly enough to do anything reasonable. Just to get started, someone would need to spend something like the following:

8 hours or so to get a development environment set up and functional with the new project. Setting up credentials to the source repo, installing the IDE used and required plugins.

16 hours of work to set up the underlying database and figure out a technical solution to interface a local development environment with the website for authentication and team loading purposes. (This involves a local DNS setup and a fairly advanced networking setup [outbound NAT is something I had to figure out myself]).

*easily* 24 hours of just trying to figure out what the existing code does and how it functions. For myself, I figure 100 hours is what I spent reading code before I was at the level where I felt OK to actually change anything.

Even in the most optimistic case, you're looking at 48 hours. And this is *before* any talk about specification of the job to be done, or testing, or learning what Blood Bowl is in the first place.

It also doesn't take into account that this wouldn't be a developer that was hired long-term, but a single project with a start and an end. The next time, it would be likely to be another developer and the process would start over at square one with the same time of ramp-up and overhead.

Would it be theoretically possible to do something like this? Sure, but the realistic option would be for me to actually do this full-time and quit my day-job. And that's something that would require revenue that's an order of magnitude above your expected $5k per year in terms of cost.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the suggestion, but given what I know about developers it's not a realistic option at this point. I have the insight into developers as I am one myself, working within a team of very skilled people, and we do use external developer resources as well and I have weekly contact with these following up progress and all sorts of things. It sounds easy to hire a developer, but you have to realize you're not hiring someone to carry boxes for a week. Software development is really really hard.

To give you an idea, my boss once told me that he considers the ramp-up time for a newly hired developer to be on the order of 18 months. That's full-time 40 hours a week. And this is someone who has been vetted and knows how to write code to begin with.
Chainsaw



Joined: Aug 31, 2005

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 15:56 Reply with quote Back to top

Gamefinder needs a rewrite. That'll help. Finding games is an unpleasant mess. Blackbox is so hit and miss, and the gamefinder is a UI nightmare.

I have a much better idea but I really need to prototype it instead of describing it. However ideas are cheap; I'd have to be prepared to back it up somehow.

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Desultory



Joined: Jun 24, 2008

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 16:00 Reply with quote Back to top

The $5k and 50 hours are just arbitrary numbers to show an example.

I believe the CTR would easily be 5% if coaches were aware that ads pay for development. I would happily click on an ad five before each game I played. Smile

I understand my suggestion overlooks and trivialises the complications, but the alternative is what exists now: a long term bug that prevents concessions, and if people are serious about growing FUMBBL, I don't think bugs like this can be acceptable.

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Christer



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 16:01
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Chainsaw wrote:
Gamefinder needs a rewrite.


I know, I have a proof of concept UI on the site: https://fumbbl.com/p/lfg2

Not 100% happy with it though, which is one of the reasons I haven't completed it.
JackassRampant



Joined: Feb 26, 2011

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 16:04 Reply with quote Back to top

Honestly, guys, at this point all we can ask of Christer is that he keep plugging away at what he's doing. I mean, yes, this must include some improvements, and he knows that and to my understanding is working on it as best he can. In particular, the HTML version is going to be a necessity: we won't grow significantly as long as we're stuck with Java. And yes, Gamefinder needs salt. I have ideas, I'll share with Christer.

That said, the best the rest of us can do on that front is cross our fingers that it happens sooner rather than later, and plan for it as an eventuality. I do have some ideas for stuff that would have to involve Christer, but I think for now it's best if we forum thread participants mostly try to keep a lid on ideas that involve significant coding effort from the boss-man (including anything he's doing now, sorry: no discussion of farming out, either) in this thread, focusing instead on stuff that we can do.

Toastmasters clubs have membership and PR officers. Perhaps that's what we need, a small team (not one person, though we can have one fore-person) whose objective is making sure FUMBBL has an effective communications presence across the Blood Bowl world. Nothing too official: Christer would only have to "get involved" in the sense that he should basically be aware of what this committee is doing. No budget (except volunteer labor), no advertising.

I wouldn't lead this committee, but I'd be willing to join it. I think we should have representatives from the Americas, Europe/Africa/Middle East, and the Far East/Australia/Oceania.

Also, again, looking for someone to manage the mentor program before I try to revive it.

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Christer



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 09, 2019 - 16:27
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Desultory wrote:
a long term bug that prevents concessions, and if people are serious about growing FUMBBL, I don't think bugs like this can be acceptable.


Funny thing is, the amount of people who are affected by this bug is hilariously small compared to what you're trying to make of it.

But in principle, you're right. Bugs are not good, and I've been taking too long to take the time to learn the FFB code base and get them fixed.

After a year of inactivity from the original developer of the client (and I'm not blaming him; life happens and I still consider him a friend), I started the process during my time off from work over the holiday and have since then fixed a number of bugs.

Are these the most critical bugs? No, but it's the ones I felt were a good start to actually learn how the FFB code works. But your particular pet bug isn't the most critical one either. You have options available to you, but choose not to take them. You probably don't agree with me on this, but that's just the thing.. No matter what choice I make, someone will think I could make a better one.

When I choose what to put my time into first, I take a few things into account:

1. What thing helps me learn the code
2. What would people appreciate
3. Which bugs have a large impact on the user base as a whole
4. What would be fun for me

Oh, and as a final response to your remark.. If you read my blog entry, you'll realize growth of the site isn't the reason I do this in the first place. That may be a strange position for you, and maybe for a lot of other people. I don't do this for the money and therefore: Growth isn't the be-all and end-all goal for me.
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