Question: Why are you writing this about yourself?
Answer: I thought it would be a hysterical way to start the blog and articles about our game. I am hoping people can have a laugh about it and show that we will bring back some of the previous news we used to have, and people enjoyed.
Question: What does the game mean to you?
Answer: A hard question, how dare you start with this one! However, this game has given a lot of people, me included, a lot over the years. I have met some amazing people and made some seriously good friends through this game. In fact, one of my friends introduced me to my wife and that impacted my life in no way I thought possible. I left the UK to move to the US and have built a life over here since that move in 2012.
Friends I have met through the game attended my wedding, or they watched on the podcast we had set up so that family and friends that couldn’t make it to the wedding could still be a part of it.
Question: The community of the game appears to be important to you?
Answer: Absolutely. I don’t think utopia would have lasted as long without it, as the community is what holds the game together. How many kingdoms have people been part of over the years and the push has always been for players to join 3rd party platforms or provide a phone number? We have had ICQ, MSN, IRC, Team Speak, Discord, WhatsApp over the years and I am sure I have missed a whole bunch of others. It has always been about bringing the kingdom(s) together so that players can get to know each other and build relationships. It gives you stuff to do when armies are out and when mana/stealth are gone. Building those relationships keep kingdoms together or they bring players back into the game. I know I have brought back dozens of people and they love and hate me for it! There have been such amazing personalities in this game, and they became “keystones” to keeping people playing. As we saw those people leave, others stopped playing as well because you develop bonds with players/leadership etc. We still have this albeit in a diminished sense given the current count of players we have but this is still going to be the reason for any increase in players that we somehow need to capture and harness.
Question: You have become involved again with blogging, what should we expect?
Answer: I think there is going to be a lot of the same that we have had over the years as people do want to see interviews and war articles. I think it is still a good way to bring people together to celebrate or flame each other! I think the hope would be that if people can share this across their social media as we share it out to the community that there will be people that reach out and ask about the game or set up a province just to have a look. My main aim along with Tom is just to bring some fun back into it and get people talking!
Question: There is a lot of frustration with how the game are going to bring in more players, do you have any thoughts?
Answer: This is not an easy fix as the game is competing against a lot of others and the main thing that everyone has acknowledged is the lack of video/graphics. There are going to be a lot of young people that will immediately lose interest because they don’t get a “cool” video or graphic. However, I don’t necessarily think that is the make or break with being able to get players. Exposure via social media is going to be our largest driver in my opinion and we are going to need the community for that. People are going to have to want to explain the game to friends or people that have questions and want to try it out. We then need to make sure that players can immediately find their way into discord so that the community can be around them and hope that people don’t want to be idiots and flame them for being “nubs”. I am also willing to admit that maybe I am just naïve/hopeful/nostalgic/ etc but hopefully I am not!
Question: Any next steps or thoughts you want to share with the community?
Answer: One thing I would like to share is that since I have moved down to North Carolina and gotten into coaching rugby, I have tried to drive a culture and ethos for the kids to follow. I say to them every training and every game day, “Be there for each other, support one another, have fun”. I think there is a lot of this that is applicable for where we are as a game and as a community. It is going to take everyone to see where we can take things.
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