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@DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor
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TylerUK

Posts: 749
Registered: Jan, 2008

@DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 2, 2011 7:23 PM
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My name is Tyler, and I have been playing Larkinor since some time before 2008, when I registered this account. Although I have not been playing the entire length, I believe I've played long enough to have a serious understanding of the game. In my time here, I have noticed the game grow more and more detached from the other FlyOrDie games; updates and support for the game slowly dwindled, and with it the player-base. The reason for this is a mystery to what remains of the Larkinor population, as no announcement or statement has ever been given regarding the state of the game in years. Clearly, the site is still paid attention to, as other games such as Snooker continue to receive updates.

I believe Larkinor has the potential to remain a fantastic game, but it cannot thrive without proper support from the developers that maintain it. The fact that Larkinor retains a small yet loyal following years after its last update speaks volumes for the tenacity of the player-base and the excellence of the game design; if the developers of some of the bigger, more popular MORPGS abandoned their game, I imagine everyone would be gone within a month. It's been years, and we're still here.

Larkinor is, and always will be, my favorite game, but I cannot stand by idly and watch it die until it's discarded like an inattentive child would a toy.

For years, we have stood by and said little regarding this, and when we have attempted to do so via our dedicated forum, our complaints have been ignored. As a result, I am posting on behalf of the entire community of disgruntled Larkinor players, veteran and newbie. I most fervently request that Larkinor receives the attention it deserves from its maintainers.

Sincerely, Tyler


As a final note, I will point out that the original Hungarian version of Larkinor receives frequent updates and support. To my knowledge, introducing these to our Larkinor would not be a difficult task. As a native English speaker, I know no Hungarian, but I hereby pledge to adjust a rough Hungarian translation of updates to college-level English in their grammar and spelling. Additionally, if the game continues to receive update and support, I'll also give a complete translation of the entire remainder of the game, as I have noticed that its grammar is not fantastic, particularly in dungeons. This is how badly I crave some love for this game. Please indulge us.


Noodleatage3

Posts: 327
Registered: May, 2005

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 2, 2011 7:44 PM
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Hi, my name is Katie, a long time player of Larkinor, I used to play in 2005 when there were about 3-4 moderaters and several developers. There would be occassional updates (not often) but some level of interest was being inputted into the game. I as have many others lost interest when we realised nothing more was going to happen. However as Tyler said we also have all loyally popped back in every so often if anything just for a chat with the old Larki buds. It's so disappointing because this game must be pretty simple to update and add all sorts of fun features. I have come back to Larkinor, not entirely sure why, mainly because of friends and I want to try and recreate the old days when the chat room was thriving. There were easily over 100 subscribers then, now we're down to about 10 maybe.

This game has masses of potential, don't waste it.

Noodleatage3

Nyin

Posts: 50
Registered: May, 2007

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 3:18 AM
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Tyler,

I agree with your sentiments, and appreciate your willingness to help bring updates from the Hungarian version to the English version. I believe one or two updates a year would go a long way to keeping folks interested in the game and even attract new players.

Nyin/Murkatos/Almagorte

ezekial

Posts: 733
Registered: May, 2005

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 5:49 AM
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My name is Colleen and while I have never subscribed, I have been loyally watching Larkinor advertisements for over five years now. I have tried a few other games in that time, but none of them have been able to hold my interest as larkinor has. This game has the perfect combination of entertainment and challenge for me, and I enjoy its simplicity of function and the hidden complexity in upgrading equipment or calculating monster damage with 10 paralysis and 40 curse. I have also found the Larkinor community to be the best group of online gamers I have yet to discover.

All this said, I find it disappointing that there have been no significant updates to the game since clans came out in January 2009 (well, there's the invaders, but that's an entirely different subject). From a player standpoint, it doesn't seem like adding a new mission once a year or having the occasional "official" competition (re-vamp of the old tunnel building project maybe?) would be that hard to accomplish.

I love this game, and I would love to see the developers give it the attention it truly deserves. Since Tyler has so graciously set the bar, if there is anything I can do to assist in getting updates to this game, I would gladly do it. I, and many other dedicated Larkinor players, would greatly appreciate it if you gave some serious thought into maintaining this amazing game.

Thank you for giving us Larkinor and I sincerely hope you will give the game a chance to thrive again.

Elusha Romanov

Posts: 319
Registered: Apr, 2004

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 2:55 PM
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Hi there, I'm Lusha. I played this game for years. When I started there were many many players. Over time due to lack of significant updates and lack of interest by the developing community (we didn't feel like we were really part of the whole, only a redheaded step child) people slowly swindled away. I too found a more active game a few years ago after the chat became stagnant. The greatest thing about Larki was the sense of family. The challenge and humor in this game is also great. I helped with testing maps for new quests. None of the other games I've found have ever given me the same feel of Home that I find here. I'm sure many of the old players feel as I do, just waiting for a reason to come back. So far there hasn't really been one. Yet we wait, and continue to check in every couple of months to see if things have changed yet.

Please do something. I want to come home.

DEVELOPER

Posts: 513
Registered: Sep, 2004

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 4:37 PM
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Without arguing your feelings, just to state some facts: since the first version was published on FOD, there has been three huge updates to Larkinor from a developer's point of view:
- total reengineering of original sources => no more lag
- incorporating Thord-Artin
- incorporating Clans
In contrast: 3D billiards has been updated recently, after 10 years of first publication.
Now if you compare player numbers of these games (and forget about player numbers of the very first version, since those were character numbers actually, so divide them by 3..5), Larkinor, in fact, has received much more attention from us than it should 'deserve' based on popularity.
Actually, there is some work going on even now and then, but we are lacking available resources.
Also, some volunteer, time to time, to help us translating missions, but they just vanish after.

TylerUK

Posts: 749
Registered: Jan, 2008

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 6:52 PM
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Without undermining the updates that HAVE been given to the game, I must respond to these:

>Larkinor, in fact, has received much more attention from us than it should 'deserve' based on popularity.

Popularity based on what? The 2011 active subscriber count? The lack of updates and interest is what mutilated that in the first place, so using that as an explanation doesn't sit that well with me.

Yes, Larkinor has always had a small, focused, community, but that is what the game truly thrives for; everything from the balloon to splat squares support a small, competitive gathering.

>Actually, there is some work going on even now and then, but we are lacking available resources.

I think one of the greatest assets to helping the game would not necessarily be updates, but developer participation within the community. Update logs on development, community competitions, etc, are nonexistent within the forum unless they are posted by a fellow community member using their own silvers. The last 'staff' competition, for example, was in August 2010, for a diamond shovel based on a writing sample; Veriac never posted again, and the diamond shovel was never delivered. I don't think I'm alone in stating that much of the community feels abandoned, and that some simple attention - contests, for example - will go a long way, if you feel the game doesn't deserve updates.

>Also, some volunteer, time to time, to help us translating missions, but they just vanish after.

My original offer stands; I don't speak Hungarian, but even some text bits sliced by Google Translate or something similar are an opportunity for me to assist with translation. As I understand, the Hungarian version has 10 new, untranslated missions.

My offer does not stop there; if you are lacking 'resources', please don't hesitate to request my help in any way we can. I will do it without pay if it means improving the game. I have been here years and I have no intention of leaving. (Also, I'm a bored student not enrolling in College until next year, so I have lots of free time.)

mage_basher

Posts: 291
Registered: Jul, 2005

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 7:12 PM
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You may have a lack of resources, but we have a lot of spare time. It wouldn't hurt occasionally to ask us.

DEVELOPER

Posts: 513
Registered: Sep, 2004

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 10:59 PM
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> Popularity based on what? The 2011 active subscriber count? The lack of updates and interest is what mutilated that in the first place, so using that as an explanation doesn't sit that well with me.

Popularity based on player counts _ever_.
In _my_ opinion (based on exact historic data that we record for every game of ours) it was the way around. No matter how frequently we updated the game interest just went down.
You are free not to believe me we have put much more work into Larkinor than into the majority of our other games. And return value just did not scale.

> I don't speak Hungarian, but even some text bits sliced by Google Translate or something similar are an opportunity for me to assist with translation. As I understand, the Hungarian version has 10 new, untranslated missions.

We have bought translator software but neither that nor Google is able to translate these missions. Even the Hungarian sources have lots of typos, bad grammar, untranslatable phrases etc.

TylerUK

Posts: 749
Registered: Jan, 2008

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 3, 2011 11:41 PM
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>We have bought translator software but neither that nor Google is able to translate these missions. Even the Hungarian sources have lots of typos, bad grammar, untranslatable phrases etc.

So that requires a human, Hungarian-speaking translator. I understand that.

>You are free not to believe me we have put much more work into Larkinor than into the majority of our other games. And return value just did not scale.

Very well, I believe you. I understand your viewpoint, but it is disappointing.

Considering the disincentive to spend more time on the game, would it be unreasonable to request a dedicated moderator for Larkinor? THUNDER plays occasionally, and it's nice to see TCA pop in more often, but I believe we should have a moderator for the game that is active and interested in personally running community competitions, etc. That alone would give the game a lot of its life back, even if old player counts don't rise to how they were years ago.

P.S. I am still willing to help produce game content, etc, when it is in development. Just let me know.

TylerUK

Posts: 749
Registered: Jan, 2008

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 4, 2011 3:39 AM
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>We have bought translator software but neither that nor Google is able to translate these missions. Even the Hungarian sources have lots of typos, bad grammar, untranslatable phrases etc.

Here's an idea...is it necessary that the missions follow the same exact storyline as the ones in the Hungarian version? The hard data is language-less, and I imagine that is more important than the text in the mission.

ezekial

Posts: 733
Registered: May, 2005

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 4, 2011 4:47 AM
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> We have bought translator software but neither that nor Google is able to translate these missions. Even the Hungarian sources have lots of typos, bad grammar, untranslatable phrases etc.

We have never asked for or expected an exact translation of the hungarian missions, but only a rough translation. We will of course laugh at the typos and bad grammar, but that is part of the charm of the game.

It is true that some of our old translators (who actually spoke Hungarian) have not been around for awhile, but there are always a few devoted Larkinor players willing to help the development team in any way they can. When your fanbase is ready to leap up and attempt translations of languages they don't know or go out of their way to learn an unfamiliar programming language simply to help revive interest in your game, I would hope you would seriously consider enlisting our help.

I know you have used the player base for such purposes in the past to various degrees of success, but it seems there is always someone in the community with enough free time and dedication to give you assistance. All you have to do is ask us.

DEVELOPER

Posts: 513
Registered: Sep, 2004

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 4, 2011 9:05 AM
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Re: Translation. The problem with machine translation is that it won't translate a Hungarian typo into an English typo. It won't translate it at all. So in the end you will have a bunch of English and Hungarian words that just do not make any sense. Even a rough translation requires a human and it takes much time. We have done that in the past. Veriac and others have corrected many missions. Basically, all texts in the game have been revised by at least one native English speaker.
Theoretically, you could write a new story to any mission. However, there are mission specific enemies / bosses / items / riddles. It's not so easy to write a _compatible_ story that will cover all arcs of the original.

Re: Moderation. Please apply for a moderator status if you feel so. Moderators are volunteers. We cannot force them to be in any specific game.

Re: Help in development. I have a very specific update in mind that could be brought into the game in reasonable time. Those of you who want to help with this should send an email to the Larkinor support address including their profile link. Please consider, if you are participating in the development process you will have access to information that will actually spoil the game for you!!! Also, you shouldn't tell those things to other players.
Minimum requirements are: 1+ year in the game, good knowledge of game dynamics (leveling, clans, TA etc.) and clean ban history.

Misko

Posts: 243
Registered: Jan, 2008

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 4, 2011 10:26 AM
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This is not good. We have seen/felt that the game has been abandoned by FoD, but it still feels bad to see it here officialy confirmed. I have been playing the game since late 2007, few hours every day (have been subscriber since jan 2008). Now it's apparently the right time to move on, although I'm sure, I will not find such great community of dedicated players like in Larkinor in any other game out there.

As for the chicken/egg problem you discussed here: I work in IT business/service industry and it's always responsibility of service provider to retain a customer. If they leave, it means we have done something wrong or at least not right (yeah, the challenge called "Customer expectation", if you don't understand it, you fail). The main fail here, in my opinion, is to assume that the darts/chess/pool player has the same expectations as player of on-line RPG game. The RPG requires story and the story needs to be updated regularly in order to entertain and maintain some level of challenge (missison, monsters, lvls, equipment or at least competitions). On contrary in games like pool, the main challenge and entertainment is being created by number and quality of players. So comparison of dev time spent on these games is not appropriate.

Anyway, I understand this as a business decision of FoD, focusing on games that have better return on dev time dedicated. It's just sad from my (player) point of view to see such a great game gone.

Sorry for long and boring post.

Good bye!

I'll pop in once in a time to see if there is something new, but staying realistic.

FTW Kreaper™

Posts: 90
Registered: Apr, 2011

Re: @DEVELOPER/OPERATOR: The state of Larkinor Posted: Nov 4, 2011 1:59 PM
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hey! i would like to ask a question . am subbed on tanx , but when i got on larki , i have no sub there ! is this a bug or something

Kreap

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