Reason for Lack of Players (Downfall of Zatikon)

Started by mongolian, October 18, 2009, 04:27:13 PM

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To me it's always strange to see my favorite/best games on the net with the fewest people.  So how did a game so almost perfect like Zatikon fail?

I realise the game has a small demographic, but I find this a cop-out excuse.  Or was it truly too small a demographic?  Are strategy gamers really that few to count?  Was there not enough advertising-marketing?  How is a game with no budget supposed to get more exposure?  Was the game too complicated?  Was the game too difficult to pick up?  Was the community not connected enough?  Or is this a diagnoses that too many people like lame real time strategy games?  Or are people so shallow that they can't get past graphics?  

If someone could shed better light, greatly appeciated or please point to strategy games that have had better success that are TURN BASED or in a similiar vein.  Is there anything that can be done to help save the game and/or find better solutions for the future?  Also, I thought Zatikon was going to advertise more, what happened?


The game dosn't have that few players, just the other day I couldn't log in because there were to MANY players on at 1 time, a bloody nightmare
Bad guys are no problem when you're an asshole yourself


Well, the fact that I can't think of a single TBS game that 'made it big' in recent history probably suggests that it was pushed aside for 'continuous' games(some more effort could probably be made to draw in chess players).  It's also difficult for small companies to create games with a multiplayer emphasis, since these sorts of games require a certain number of players to get them rolling(although the 'chess club' feel of the Zatikon community isn't unpleasant);  the 'value' of a game with a multiplayer emphasis depends, to a large extent, on how many people are playing it.  Large companies have the marketing tools to make sure that they get enough players.

Thus, making the single player more engaging is probably the single most important change that could be made;  while I've typically noticed a decent number of people on lately, the fact is that many players come in to a nearly empty chat room and get discouraged, or bored with the AI.  New players are also often hesitant to play against higher ranked players, because they expect to just get crushed.  These people need a more engaging 1v1 for learning, or more 'new' players to play against.

I don't have any specific suggestions at this time for single player, but I think most people agree that 'fight your way through endless waves of enemies on the same field every game' gets a tad repetitive.  

The vs. modes in this game are great, but they're hard for new players to jump into.


I am an online gamer since last 11 years. three things which make an online game popular are missing in Zatikon

1: Incentive to vetrens. an player fighting level 1000AI and another newbie are same unless purchased addon packs.  Recomendation: To increase the unit cap of 1000 points for veterans either as award at milestone (lvl 10,50,100,500,1000)...or per 50 level

2: Incentive to come to forum/ form a community : i am not sure....but communities groups increase interaction and provide incentive.......probably someting like "i will be online at 5pm GMT for Co-op:

3: Incentive to invite friends/ spread the word : Some special unit which can not be purchased but unlocked if you invite 5/10 friends who join the game or post /vote in the popular game site

Grrr....maybe i have been in IT sales for too long but unless the players are motivated to call their friends in and make a community, the critical mass will be difficult to attend


i think the game lacks incentives.

Gold is ok, but having to win battles to "unlock" characters would work better, i think.
(that's how a lot of other games work, and unlocking features or characters is always a good "hook")

Particularly, solo mode is boring after a fairly short time.  Needs some sort of scenarios or something could help. 

I see a lot of new players come on, play only a few games, and never return.

Relics might be a nice set that have to be "unlocked" via some sort of level achievement.

I think someone else already posted the idea that as you advance against solo, a nice incentive might be to increase your "allowance" for army building (but just for the solo mode, and perhaps even coop).

Otherwise, even now, i feel little incentive to play solo; with the latest upgrades, the AI is damned near impossible to make much progress against.


I think trantor is right about the community....

I'm not sure how hard it would be to put together a different account system, but having a friends list, sending messages to offline members saying i'll be on at a certain time, or something of the sort would be cool.

Or something like's turn based where users have 1 or 3 days to make a move would be a cool feature for random, but not sure how much you'll like that idea.

I was also thinking about level choice when playing coop...maybe every 50 or so...i would be willing to NOT gain a level in single player to be able to play....hmm level 50 or 100 with a first time play. BUT if i play level 400 with a first or second time player I HAVE TO GIVE tips or we lose...and then they get discouraged....and then i dont want to play coop with newbs...or random because i have to TRY not to whoop them...they learning curve it the older players lower it somehow without either ANIALATING people in random or losing in coop....just an idea

I'm sure you could think of other incentives to give veteran players. I have played on and off for 1-2 years, and there are many veterans that play for several months and then dont come back for another year. RIGHT NOW since the new update i have seen a lot more people on than previously. But back to incentives, could be name color changes - or changeable icons, achievements - achievements sometimes get boring to try and get them all - but they have worked for Halo series, Call of Duty,, Xbox games)

(side note that doesn't have alot to do with topic but i would like a sound for new messages - i often go idle waiting for a teammate and they will message me and for some reason the box doenst catch my attention and then they sign off before i check my taskbar a minute later)


All good points.  I would agree with most.

1. Some sort of campaign would be awesome (and hard to program, I am sure).  The player starts with a few units and must use them again and again, gaining some as he goes and losing them for good in the campaign if he loses them.  That would be pretty cool.
2. Perhaps challenges?  "Win with only ranged units" for example.  Leads to badges?
3. Have designated nights where you hold tourneys?

Keep up the good work!



tourneys would be cool but so many different time zones...

but a weekly or monthly high scores would be cool along with some sort of tourney or new ranking system


2 changes that can be brought which will see a spurt in users

1: refer a friend -->  have a button where you can refer a friend's email id. a auto generated mail will go to my friend. if he joins i get a bonus

2: Site voting/blogs --> click links / add zatikon flag to your website...facebook profile and get bonus

Bonus can be
1: 5K gold
2: referance specific unit --> Arch Gate (spawns one unit every 3 turns ...... unit will be cost 100 or 4 armour 0). if more than 10 referred friends join, it upgrades to veteran arch gate (spwans one unit every 3 turns ....unit cost upto 4 armour 1).....and later to elite arch gate on 100 refrence joinees (yeah i doubt anyone will get it but then it completes the triology.  spawns one unit every 2 turns, can not be destroyed and unit cost can be upto 550)
3:  1 day free trail of legion/crusade for each friend who joins and reaches level 10.


I think AI should have few types of units in the beggining, and somehow the AI would "unlock units" after some levels., perhaps starting with footman / pikeman / bowman, it is not cool for begginers to see 20 types of new units in a single game.
It also needs more incentive to p2p, certain units unlocked, something like that.
Playing first rated game: +300 gold
Winning first rated game: +500 gold
Something like that, or maybe unlock units. A campaign would be very very good, maybe a some "hero", immune to spells, that cannot die and advance thru levels with his soldiers. Scenarios would be very good also, easy things, mountains, water, this could be added to the actual single player too.


absolutely!!!  start AI with only a few units at low levels, this would help the novice player immensely.  only send units against them which they have in their "bank" would also be good.


I was a regular a while ago but could not get enough Multi Player games going. Also people wouldn't play certain ways for fun because they were protecting their rating. Single player games are boring and limited at a certain level because only certain Armies can win. Why can't I choose the level I want to play at. The games interface is not user friendly. I've been back for 2 days now and still can't figure some things out. I notice my Archangel is missing. I want to save hundreds of different armies but can only save a small amount. Also my first game back was against an asshole of a vet. I almost didn't want to come back after that jerk experience.

OK this is a great game. Get a more user friendly Interface and give me more option to play with. I only play this and Star Chamber and they both struggle one because Sony got their ugly claws on it and this game which need to be developed further.

Love the game keep up the effort in making it better.