We want to add some clarification to the PCG programs. We know that some poeple still think that, by joining the programs, they will become GMs, or will gain some sort of admin-type powers in-game. That is not the case.
We at PCG believe strongly that the most important part of any online game is the community and that, without a healthy community, player retention will be low. We have therefore designed Programs that bridge the gap between the Community and the Publisher/Developer to build a stronger community base for the game to grow and mature.
Our main effort, the testing programs, relies on our belief that the best way to build a healthy community is to actually involve them in the development of the game, through working alongside them and asking them for feedback and for ideas that can fix issues that may exist and ideas for the future of the game. Therefore, we as a group strive through our testing programs increase communication between the community and the game producers and developers by offering opportunities for members of the community to test patches along with providing feedback and bug reports that will go to the game producers and developers.
This is the very core of each of our programs, and the very first thing that we set up when we are asked to set up programs for a game. All members of ATG and UNIT are members of the public test program and their main responsibilities are merely to perform various tests on the games that we have developed utilizing our QA experience and input from members of the testing programs.
Since UWO is a very complex game, we have identified a number of UNIT members who are very helpful to testers, and to the general community and have asked them to take part in our Assistance Program, which we also refer to as the Mentor Program, or Deckhands. The goal of this program is to increase player retention through knowledge. We feel that, if players know more about the game, they will be more likely to play it more and strive to become higher levels and be able to share their knowledge. An interesting side-effect of this program that we have seen is that players who have been helped by it, are more likely to help others in-game, which leads to a self-perpetuating cycle as players helped want to help others who need help. We have already seen a change in the UWO community, and believe that, as this program continues, the community will continue to change for the better, making UWO a game with high player retention, leading to a happy CJ Global Games, and a longer life for UWO in general.
As D187 is not as complex as UWO, we have made the decision to not offer the Assistance program there, and are instead evaluating the fit of our other programs to the D187 experience in an effort to identify which program could be most successfully implemented to increase player retention in D187.
In the end, ProComGaming is a group of people who came from numerous different gaming communities who have banded together to provide assistance to Game Developers who wish to work with us to bridge the gap between the Developers/Publishers and the community to which they serve, by directly involving the community in the development process.
We hope to meet many of you soon!
The PCG Team