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Your feedback on the future of Phaser wanted


rich
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Important: Please be honest in your replies and don't hold any punches (that doesn't mean be rude, it just means don't worry about offending me!)

 

There are so many things I would like to be doing with Phaser. Yet I'm unsure how to divide my time to accomplish them, or indeed if the ideas I have are even worthwhile or not.

 

So I'm opening this up for discussion. I honestly need your suggestions - please spend a moment to leave your thoughts.

 

1. The problem of anonymous developers

 

Right at this very moment there are 168 unique people on the Phaser web site. The majority of them are in the Docs, Downloads and Tutorials sections. By the end of the day there will have been 37,000 page views from 3,500 visitors. By the end of the week 241,000 views. By the end of the month 998,000. In the last 12 months (October 14th 2014 to today) there were 8 million page views from half a million unique visitors.

 

In addition: on an average day the Phaser GitHub repo gets 3000 views and  ~800 unique visitors (some of these will of course come from the site.)

 

Yet I have absolutely no idea who any of them are.

 

It feels like there is a wealth of opportunity here just walking on by. But how to capture them? I don't need to catch them all. This isn't a game of Pokemon. But there aren't any channels for developers who are genuinely interested in Phaser (as opposed to just casual site visitors) to subscribe to. Everything the Phaser web site outputs is one-way, i.e. I publish new content up daily, but you have to actively come back to the site to know about it.

 

Does anyone have any ideas how we can change this? I don't want to get all 'in your face' with annoying pop-ups when you try to leave the site, or similar tactics. But I feel like we need something.

 

I also suspect that for lots of developers once they've checked out the repo they don't actually have a need to revisit the site unless it's to hit the docs. Are you one of those types? Do you ever look at the News pages?

 

Looking at my stats the content views break down like this (based on previous 6 months)

 

Examples - 42%

Learn & Tutorials - 18%

Docs - 15%

Homepage - 8%

News - 7%

Download - 5%

Shop - 1.2%

 

2. Creating products developers actually want

 

We've been testing the waters with premium Phaser plugins for a while now. Currently we have the Box2D Plugin, Virtual Joysticks and the recently released Particle Storm plugin on sale.

 

Little known fact: I commissioned the development of all of these. That is, I paid developers to create the plugins for me, and then I worked on them and made them more 'Phaser like', created examples, wrote docs and packaged them for sale. To date the Box2D plugin has done the best in terms of sales, and covered my original investment in it. As has the Joysticks plugin. Particle Storm has been much slower though (a good initial burst of sales, but now very sporadic).

 

I have another 2 plugins finished and paid for (in terms of code, they still need packaging, examples done, etc). One is the Motion Path Manager plugin and the other is the Grid Manager (think match3 style game grids in a few lines of code). Part of me is wondering if these will sell enough to justify the time it will take me to prepare them for release. Then again, if I never put them on sale the original investment (of my own money) will have been wasted.

 

What would you do? Do you think the current plugins are too expensive? (and that is why they sell quite low volumes), or is it because people just don't know they exist? There is a 'Shop' link on the Phaser site, but it's one of the least visited areas of the entire site (just 1.2% of traffic on average) - or maybe they offer the wrong types of things? Perhaps no-one needed help with their particles? Or they're happy to just code their own. If you leave a comment on the price of the plugins please can you put it in context (i.e. say if you're just a hobbyist using it for fun, or using it professionally).

 

3. Interphase

 

It's fair to say that Interphase was an experiment. We had a rough concept when we started, but it grew and expanded as we went along. I'm still incredibly happy with the end result. But the biggest take-away for me is this: sales of Interphase are larger than all of our premium plugins ever, combined.

 

Which is making me think: when it comes to an open source product like Phaser, do people value spending their money on knowledge more than tech? (i.e. they'd rather buy Interphase than a similar priced plugin). I'm also wondering could it be repeated? We are already working on Interphase 2, and we set the bar pretty high with the first one, but are we going to get a nasty shock on release, or enjoy good sales again? I honestly couldn't say.

 

Also there is another approach we could take: Instead of selling it as a single package we could charge a smaller amount per article. So instead you could buy a couple of the game 'Making Ofs' for a few dollars and perhaps the 'State Manager Guide'. Would you find it easier to be able to pick and choose in this way, or am I just over complicating it for myself?

 

4. The Phaser Newsletter

 

Has been dormant for months. In fact I don't think I actually sent a single issue out this year. Equally the Coding Tips newsletter is now the same. To be fair it was working on Coding Tips that started the whole idea of Interphase off though, so I'm still glad I did it. But I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to pick it all up again.

 

The problem with the newsletter was the sheer amount of time it was taking me to author. I'd write all the content myself, do all the graphics, put it all together in Campaign Monitor and then pay to send it. It costs quite a bit of money to send due to the subscriber numbers (I can get the exact figures if anyone is interested). So it was costing me time to put together, and then hard cold cash to send it. Which is mostly why I stopped.

 

But I understand the importance of having a broadcast channel to Phaser developers. One where I can communicate out, and they can absorb at their leisure. So I want to resurrect the newsletter. I've found a new service provider that will keep the costs more reasonable, but I'm now struggling over the content.

 

What would you like to see in a Phaser Newsletter, taking into consideration the time it would take to put together?

 

Every day I publish new content to the Phaser site. So what I could do is automate this, so that it creates a newsletter from this content. A simple small image on the left and a single sentence on the right with a link to read more. I could write a script to generate that pretty easily, and then have the ability to insert bespoke content as needed.

 

But is that engaging enough? If I automate the process I could send it on a weekly basis. If I have to manually author lots of content, because actually you'd prefer to have long-form content, then I'm back to doing it monthly (at a push).

 

5. The Web Site

 

As you've seen the site gets a lot of (anonymous) eyeballs. But people don't seem to explore it very much. Is the navigation too confusing do you think? If it had a User Registration system built in would you use it? Perhaps you can login to view purchase history, access Sandbox saves, read Interphase? Would you benefit from receiving an email whenever a new Phaser release is made? Perhaps the top-level nav should change, or include drop-downs or similar?

 

I'm open to all (sensible) suggestions for the web site :)

 

So that's all for now. I know this post is long, sorry - but I feel without the full picture it's hard to understand the situation. I absolutely want to be able to reach more Phaser developers, and evidently there are a LOT of them out there (lots of who aren't on this forum!), but I want to do it carefully and by offering benefits, not spam. I also want the plugins to sell better :) because their income directly allows for me to spend more time on Phaser. But maybe I should give up on plugins entirely and just publish books instead?!

 

Ahhh.. so many decisions, so many choices. Any help digging through it all would be much appreciated :)

 

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I had *no* idea that phaser.io/news got updated once a day. I’m very much an RSS guy, so a feed would be helpful there. Absent that I *guess* I could go to the site itself. ;p


 


I’m always interested in looking at more professional Phaser code. I bought Particle Storm primarily for the functionality, of course. Besides the functionality, though, was the code: I really wanted to see best practices around how to do this stuff beyond the beginner level. I don’t need more tutorials about states, or showing how to add a sprite, or using Tiled. I need more tutorials about bitmapData vs. renderTextures, or coding practices that suck on mobile, and approaches that are GL-friendly vs. canvas.


 


Interphase: I’m a professional software engineer living in the US. Interphase was priced just right for me and was, literally, a no brainer. I kinda need Phaser to exist and am happy to support in nearly any way. The opportunity to learn more and get inspiration was icing on top of that cake. I really liked the content! I liked the approach of showing a game and showing how it was made.


 


Who were you using for the newsletter that is charging that much? Who are you using now?


 


I read code and documentation for fun, not just when I need help. Literally there are nights where I say, “Hmm, I don’t know enough about Phaser.Math” and then go read the code and documentation.


 


I get the feeling a lot of Phaser devs are hobbyists scratching an itch. Some smaller portion are agencies making games for other people. Do you think a survey to figure that out would be helpful?


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Your sales in the plugins are low I think its because the majority of phaser game devs are not doing them professionally but as a hobby.

Its my case, for me its hard to spend money in something I will not profit, I just do games for fun.

You could reach more people in your site if you have some kind of facebook integration. People sharing your news and tutorials. RSS also helps.

The big advantage of phaser is it is very easy to do great games. If I could build a game in phaser and compile it to native Android and ios it would be great, I would have the advantages of phaser and the native performance of the de vice.

You're doing a great work, keep up!

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@drhayes - Interesting, see it doesn't surprise me that most people don't realise the news is updated so often. Yet there's so much going on!

 

I don't doubt the majority of Phaser devs are hobbyists, but I don't believe that doesn't mean they won't buy things or Interphase wouldn't have sold so well. I think it's like drhayes said, it was a 'no brainer', and maybe that is where I should put focus. Keep on expanding it and going in depth.

 

I used Campaign Monitor for the newsletter. If I were to send them weekly it'd get expensive, fast. But I found a better provider which solves that part, so the only thing left now is to decide *what* content to add to it, how often, and how to present it :)

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Here's my responses:    

 

1. Anonymous Developers

 

I think the easiest approach would be to bring back the mailing list and make it more prominent on the site, e.g. when you go to download you get a link to it. If that doesn't get you many new sign ups, maybe provide some small incentive - like a copy of the Phaser Scale Manager guide, etc. for new sign ups.

 

If you want to up the fun factor instead to entice people to join, maybe make a small game on the site where you have to sign in to play and one player each month gets some small prize. 

 

2. Products devs want

 

I am actually playing with Particle Storm (via Patreon) and I think it's great, but the issue for me with paid plugins is the licensing. For example, I'm working on a project that I hope will expand to several developers, and eventually will see the code open sourced. I'd love to use Particle Storm for this, but does it mean every dev has to buy a license? If we open source it, will anyone contributing to the product have to buy one as well? (In which case, it is unfortunately out as an option.)

 

I personally would be more keen to help pitch in for the dev costs on some new Phaser functionality via Kickstarter, Patreon, etc. and let the spoils go to the entire Phaser community, even if the cost was higher that way, than to buy the product as a paid plugin. 

 

In a general sense, I think paid plugins don't really fit well with the model of an open source framework. It also limits how many times you'll see that cool functionality out in the wild, and I think getting that functionality out there and into more games probably helps to promote Phaser even more.

 

In terms of paying for materials, I personally think that something along the lines of an asset store or pre-made Phaser game templates might be good opportunities to help bring in more income. Another possibility would be that paying customers get some bleeding edge things like plugins, etc. and then after an exclusivity period they get made open source and included with Phaser.

 

3. Interphase

 

Interphase was awesome! More please! :) It was your posting that Patreons would get Interphase for free that tipped the scales for me to sign up for that. I don't mind paying for content like this, and really, I thought it was a good deal considering how much you put into Interphase. I'm particularly psyched about the RPG edition coming up. :) 

 

4. Phaser Newsletter

 

I would be interested in a newsletter that goes out once a week or month, and mostly just aggregates and summarizes the major news headlines on the web site. Maybe a few new tutorial blurbs, any new product / doc / plugin release news, etc. I personally wouldn't need any sort of email-specific original content. I tend not to visit a web site to check if there's any news, so email is ideal for blasting that kind of info out.

 

5. Web Site

 

I've had no confusion or issues with the web site navigation, in fact, I think the web site is one of the better ones I've seen out there for a framework like this. I think it's simply that typically for a framework product like Phaser, Tutorials, Docs & Examples are where I pretty much live when I visit the web site. :) I think it's worth noting that the Community portion of the site pretty much directs you to other sites (like this one :) so I suspect you'd see a fair amount more activity on the Community section if it kept people on phaser.io. 

 

Hope this helps! Phaser is a great product and I'm looking forward to see it grow even more. :)

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I was not aware of the store, nor was I aware of of interphase, what is that? 

 

Also, it seems your phaser.io site and these forums crawl to a halt and are almost impossible for me to access here in the USA after 10pm EST.  

 

Anyway, if people are visiting the site and not coming back then that means they are looking for something, not finding it (maybe its their impatience) and moving on.  Another thing might be lurkers, there are plenty of those.  I think in the early 2000s-mid-2000s it was much easier to get people to sign up, nowadays its very difficult.

 

I am planning on starting a website very soon, I do not have a monetization plan but it could work in tandem with your forums.  The reason I say this is that the site is going to be a tutorial request website, where people vote and request tutorials for game engines (one could be phaser) - the discussion forums will not be on the site, but rather externally link out.(like to this website instead for html 5, and unity forums for unity, and so on and so fourth)  Tutorials as well will externally link out.  The site itself I'm making will be more about faciliting the need and my own personal hope to prevent seeing the same tutorials out there over and over again by giving people a metric to see a demand for different types of tutorials for different game mechanics or web dev as well. Think stack over flow but instead of Q&A its tutorial request and then links to tutorials (either pay tutorials or free ones, doesnt matter, the people will vote) and it will be self moderating like reddit.  I am about 80% finished and closing in on the polishing phase and plan to release before december.would love to talk more if you would like.  I do not plan on monetizing it at least for 2 years, if it doesnt get anywhere in 2 years then I'lll probably just use the source code as part of my portfolio and add it to my resume.

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1. The problem of anonymous developers

So I kind of represent the person that doesn't want to be engaged with and if I visit the Phaser site it's to check a specific thing and leave. And as such, the first thought is what do you want to know about me?

When I wanted to engage I came to these forums, which I think is the reasonable opt-in path - after that I imagine a Phaser convert would need some reason to return to the Phaser site and rediscover it if they care about stuff like news (ie. discover Phaser - check website and examples, download, join forum and do newbie post/s and if all of that goes well enough so as to become a Phaser promoter then frequent Phaser website and subscribe to News, etc)

I didn't get any help with my issue and I actually haven't tried to use Phaser since (so I'm not a convert) but I still check the docs or the code on Github sometimes to help others (perhaps I'm not that typical).

2. Creating products developers actually want

As a forum user I know these are things that exist. I haven't been interested in them but I'm not even a Phaser user so take that with a grain of salt. Then again if I'm using a free engine like Phaser to try and make a game part of the reason may be that I didn't want to pay for something like Construct 2 (just a thought).

Anyway I remember my uni days and everyone wanted to create their own particle system - they are fairly trivial, and feel rewarding to write yourself.

Add to this a kind of dirty feeling generally against buying code as opposed to things not in my wheel house (ie. it's not like buying music or art), and concerns over whether it will prove worth it (should I turn it off in the canvas renderer, or just reduce the number of particles, and if my game has to be great with out particles do I need them in the first place?).

Also where's the EULA! (don't just say commerical use is OK, I like to dream big, what if my game is the next Flapp-inecraft? is this a per seat license, per game, per first 1 million dollars of earns, my future lawyers want to know)

5. The Web Site

As I mentioned I occasionally visit the docs to help others. It's not clear what version the docs are for and I've always just assumed it current, but when I've followed the links to the code from the docs sometimes the deductions I've made have not proved helpful. It'd be great if the docs were clearer about which version they pertained to (I usually arive directly from a Google search) and it'd be extra awesome if the code links were to Github code rather than to separate copy of the code.

Just my random thoughts, hope this helps.

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1) An RSS feed would be nice. I don't know how other people keep track of websites they like but I rely on RSS and I think other technically oriented people do too. You can also use something like Hootsuite and post to twitter, facebook, g+, etc. with one click.

I always forget to check the news section unless you happen to post something about it on twitter or someone links to an article on slack. 

 

2) I think the price is ok. However, Phaser being free means it's used by people all around the world, so 40USD might be cheap or expensive depending on who you ask. Don't make it cheap. Offer discounts from time to time like steam does. I don't need a powerful particle plugin but if you tell me it's 50% off for the next 24hs maybe I'll buy it just in case.

 

3) I'd absolutely spend more on knowledge than tech. Not everyone needs the extra functionality provided by plugins, but everyone needs to know how the engine works, and what you can do with it that you may not be aware of.

I think it's better to sell complete issues rather than separate articles. I prefer to pay once and get the whole package, even if I don't need all of it, than having to pay each time I want to read part of it. 

 

4) You could put the content you author on Interphase and use the newsletter to keep people up-to-date on what's posted on the news section. 

 

5) You could allow people to register and upload info about their studio and games. Then you can have a section called phaser made games where people can browse for games made with phaser. The ones that get more views/clicks get featured on the front page, as well as your "staff picks".

Even if it doesn't get much traffic, you still get a lot of (easy to process)info on who's using phaser and what kind of games they're making with it. 

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1) As I said on Twitter, an email once or twice a week with the current News would be great

2) Also I have the forum tab open all day, maybe something here also?

3) The plugins shop issue I think would benefit from what was discussed awhile back a shop/inventory which contains free plugins made by community or you, and "premium" plugins that can be bought, free stuff always attracts people and sets you in a "buying" mood

4) A tutorial page where people can find more ready to go code (can go hand in hand with examples)

5) I'm always hitting the docs when working on a project, more than 5-10 times

6) The plugin price is medium from where I come from, although I haven't bought any of them yet because they don't apply to the games I make

7) Interphase was really good

8) The idea to send email when new version is moved to stable is useful and makes sense

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I have spent some time in the forum chat lately and I've noticed quite interesting things. First, it's mostly used by complete beginners in need for help or advice, and I think most of the time they don't find anyone. I've been talking to people who just have basic questions, or who are looking for tutorials, examples, and who deeply struggle. I'd be curious to know how much people have created an account, spent 1 hour on the forum and then never came back.

 

I've seen people wanting to use PandaJS, for example, not because they think it's better, but just because they have no clue how to start coding with HTML5. We (hopefully I wasn't the only one with experience in the chat) explained to them what Phaser is, how it could help them achieve their goals, but we struggled to be simple and straightforward. For the simple reason that there is a lot of good information sources about Phaser on the web : but this looks overwhelming and split up. Examples, tutorials, forums, docs, news, repos, so much places with good content. But for a complete newbie : where to start? What is THE right starting point?

 

Another very frequent question which is asked is : how good exactly is Phaser? Can you show me a big game done with it? And every time I fall short of references. We have tons of very nice mobile games, or simple games, but we lack something huge behind which we could stand and say "Phaser is definitely the engine". Something like http://feudalwars.net/ maybe, or even more ambitious. People coming from Unity look down on Phaser because there is no big, successful game done with the engine yet. Or if there is, it's a very little know fact.

 

Regarding the plugins, I'd give the same answer as everyone else : one might not necessarily need a pathfinding or a particle plugin. But Interphase can be helpful for anyone, thus it was a super-smart move.

And personally, something that interests me even more is Phaser3. I'd love to hear more news about it.

 

'Gamifying' the forum could be an awesome way to improve people's interest. Highlighting the most helpful people or the best contributors (regarding code & donations) with icons, avatars for example. Highlighting the best new games too (maybe some kind of Kongregate just for Phaser games?). Giving free content on account creation (first 10 pages of Interphase?).

 

Easier said than done.

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The website is perfect and I think you might be thinking a bit too much about it's use-ability and function, it couldn't really get better at this point. Especially the art design. 

 

One thing I would like to iterate on is the 'html5gamedev' community and the example pages is what differentiates Phaser. It's great that we as aspiring game developers and entrepreneurs can have an avenue to talk about current events within the HTML5 market.  I came from the DOM and hit the point of too many objects on screen = lag.  So? I came to Phaser. And I couldn't be more happier.

 

What initially drew me here was the example pages were very easy to learn and gave me confidence within Phaser.  

 

2. Creating products developers actually want

 

 I think creating more graphical intensive plugins are needed. One example was the Tooltip plugin. I think if that was an official Plugin, people would of bought it :). Some that I can think of:

 

  •  Liquid Health Orbs / Bars
  •  Inventory Management System.  For example think of Diablo 2 / Path of Exile and their grid sized positioning with 2x1 and 1x1 item blocks. (Sure, this can be done on the DOM, but people would pay  money to have this in canvas)
  •  Drag and Drop with inertia throwing (http://interactjs.io/)
  •  Monster AI Plugin that's synced with node perhaps?
  •  Skill Effects (Think of the Construct 2 Store and the sprites and assets they offer, maybe have something like that for Phaser?)
  •  Minimap Plugin (think of Diablo 2's overlay map when you press tab), this could be created with an already synced titled generated map or whatever
  •  Questing Plugin (XX player goes out and kills xx mobs and gets rewarded with xx), JSON format, synced with node or localstorage.
  •  Loot Floor Mechanic Plugin (Players dropping an item on the floor, these need to be checked pixel perfect so they stack upon each other) Example
  • -- And I can literally go on forever!

 

--In short, think of a beautifully made game and all its mechanics and split each functioning system out into separate Plugins.

 

I'm not saying these ideas just because I personally want them (I already use most) but, if I came to Phaser and saw these in the Plugin Store, I would be more than pleased to buy them. I don't believe I would be the only one either :)

 

I think moving away from the platformer genre for a bit, and spending some time in the top down world would be a nice beneficial change.

 

The current plugins are not too expensive in my opinion since Phaser is free I saw the prices and had no eerie feelings.

 

5. The Web Site

 

Yeah, I guess having a registration system to see account history, etc would be ideal but only if they were thousands of plugins  / assets available.  I don't think it would be worth it right now, but in the future definitely.

 

In closing, I cannot iterate over this enough, but the example page is what got me hooked and I wouldn't be here without it. There are so many examples that I've made within my game / that I can think of that would be awesome to put there.

 

I'd also like to note, the Plugin system needs to go further into actual game networking and rpg design. (Hence my suggestions). -- I think if you really want it to pop some more. Because nodejs glued with Phaser is going to be the future. (Websockets / Multiplayer)  (And for me, its already getting started  :P)

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You're doing a fantastic job Rich. Keep that passion going! I sincerely hope you enjoy what you are doing, for if you ever lose the joy.... 

 

As for people coming to the site etc. I'm not going to address things point by point. I will just ramble some about things.

 

I think in short you did too good with Phaser. You made it so damn easy to create games or to just get a prototype or final product up and running. And that has brought a mass of developers to use Phaser in their projects. However I have noticed a trend on the forums in the past year and a half. It has been slowly going from 'look what a cool thing I made' to 'I don't know how to do X'. Personally I rarely read any thread on the Phaser subforum anymore. They are mostly cries for help. Not help with Phaser, but help with javascript in general. It's very cool that more people are getting into html5 game dev don't get me wrong, but most think they can create the next angry birds without any prior knowledge at all. 

 

As for a solution to that, I have no real idea, Maybe create a separate help section and merge the Phaser and Phaser3 subforums since people crosspost anyway. Hopefully the Phaser forum will be back to discussing Phaser and it's development / use etc instead of a help forum. It's fine to ask for help with intricate problems, but basic javascript problems just turn me away from all of it.

 

I liked your newsletters with coding tips etc, and the reason I'm responding is because I just received a new newsletter from you. Keep it up, it's good to keep your community informed.

 

As for paid plugins, I don't use them because I don't need them. Although I am pro open source I can understand the reason to monetize, I think however things like interphase or books etc would be a better way to monetize Phaser.

 

Anyway, keep up the good work!

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Thanks for your comments everyone. I won't address them all but just want to add a few things:

 

1) I released Issue 1 of Phaser World today. I spent quite a few hours last night creating scripts to automate the process, so the content is pulled from the Phaser site and I don't have to write lots. By doing this I believe I can publish once a week, but I may opt for every 2 weeks. Will decide next Friday :)

 

2) It's no surprise that people want (and value) knowledge above plugins. We're working on Interphase 2 at the moment, so we'll see how that goes. I'm undecided what to do with the current un-released plugins. I'm thinking I may just get them finished and on sale and be done with it. Over time they will earn back what they cost, and it doesn't matter if that takes a long time. It's a waste for them to sit doing nothing.

 

3) The comments about noobs is interesting. I feel we could definitely do with a real solid 'Beginners Guide'. I would love to write a book like this and release it for free (if the Patreon amount gets high enough it's one of the things on the list actually), although I guess doing it anyway is a good way to encourage more devs into the fold. Then again, I'm not sure that getting new devs is an issue we actually face right now.

 

4) Not knowing what games to show people is an interesting one. We do actually collate a "Staff Picks" list, which has some seriously incredible games on it! I've added a link to this on the bottom of the home page, but if anyone asks in future it's a good one to give out.

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Hi Richard,

 

First of all - thank you so much for Phaser. It's really transformed the way that I do game development. I've used everything from ActionScript, Haxe, C#, Java with libraries like FlashPunk, HaxeFlixel, libGDX, Unity, etc. - and Phaser is easily my favorite for doing fast prototyping, development, and deployment. It's my go-to for game jams especially, and I can't thank you enough.

 

Anyway, I really would like to contribute back and if the least I can do is by providing input to some of your questions, I hope they turn out useful. These things are obviously just the perspective of myself - but hopefully it helps!

 

Anonymous Developers


> Yet I have absolutely no idea who any of them are.
> Does anyone have any ideas how we can change this?

 

 
I guess the question is what aspects of these developers are you interested in? 
Who they are specifically? Or what projects they are using with Phaser?
Is the aim just to have a better idea of the outreach of Phaser?
 
I think one thing that could be done is something like a #madewithphaser tag week 
on Twitter? A phaser showcase (so ask developers to submit a quick summary of who
they are and what they are working on?)
 
Products that developers actually want

> Do you think the current plugins are too expensive? 
> or is it because people just don't know they exist? 
 
I think the answer is a bit of both, but I think there is another thing at play.
A majority of developers (who I guess falls into the category above of people you would like to engage with better) probably are not able to **clearly distinguish** the benefits of certain plugins in terms of their
value.
 
And the concept of value here is nothing to do with the price, but really about the
perceived "What can this plug-in do that I wouldn't able to implement myself" sort of
value. I think this is illustrated in your observations that Box2D sells the best -- 
because developers already 
  • know what Box2D is as a physics engine, so they know what to expect
  • know how different and what upgrades it provides  compared to the other physics options
  • know how difficult it would be for them to create their own port of Box2D.  

I know this is somewhat reflected in the price difference - but I have a feeling that the price difference right now do not reflect the perceived difference in time-saving value of the current plugins. 

 
I think this is a result of Phaser just being so easy to work with (and this is something that it deserves immense credit for!), that some things appear not too difficult to do ourselves (like virtual joypads). 
 
Interphase
 
> When it comes to an open source product like Phaser, do people value spending their money on knowledge more than tech? (i.e. they'd rather buy Interphase than a similar priced plugin)
 
I think you got this right in the sense, people just really value having knowledge (e.g., books/written examples/ tutorials) and tech (e.g., source code). I am sure you must be familiar with https://www.discoverphaser.com; the author did a post-mortem of how there was huge demand for the book+source code bundle, and that it sold really well.
 
> Instead of selling it as a single package we could charge a smaller amount per article. 
This would be interesting to test out -- maybe offer both options (individually priced articles, but one price for everything). I highly suspect people will lean toward the big bundle though. Aren't the plug-ins sort of resembling the "smaller individually-priced articles" now?
 
The Phaser Newsletter
 
I had no idea about this, so I am subscribed to it now. Not much to add on it!
 
Website
 
I think this is probably the item that I struggle the most with. I have the following suggestions for the website.
 
1) The docs page is broken
The left menu items do not actually link to the headings on the right content pane! I usually have to do a search in the browser for "Arcade" or "Animation" since clicking on the links don't work. I've tried this in both Chrome and Safari. Please fix this!
 
2) I really think that in the top menu, the Learn tab should really have two dropdowns: (i) API/Docs (ii) Resources. The API/Docs link should bring us right to the docs, while the Resources link can go to the current Learn Phaser page. 
 
I've found it personally difficult to find the docs (and I think as a developer, this is probably the number 1 thing we come to the site for). It's currently the 6th item in the Learn Phaser, and is pretty hidden. I can't recall exactly, but before the big site revamp some months back, it was a lot easier to locate the docs.
 
Also, I think the top menu doesn't need the 'v' carets, unless they actually have dropdowns (e.g., if the change to the Learn tab is made).
 
3) I would also put the docs on the landing page of Phaser.
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Your stats seem reasonable considering the types of people that must be visiting your channels.

 

The examples people are deciding to use Phaser.

 

The Github people are down in the code.

 

The forum people are looking around and sharing.

 

Maybe there are better ways to convert the passersbys. You could always do a youtube channel or pop unders ;)

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I'm just a causal programmer, but I support Phaser on Patreon because I think it's an really awesome library.

 

1. I don't know how intricate this would be, but how about a comment-option (say something like "Questions/Suggestions about this Example") that tie into the Boards(perhaps with auto-notfications when something has been added/changed), this way the comunity may answer some questions (and not everything's up to you) and some developers might be drawn into the boards/comunity.

 

2. I don't think the plugins are to expensive. I think it's more of a question whether people need it and/or undestand what it's good for. Casual-Me for example can't really grasp the power/need of Particle-Storm, because I have only half a clue about how/when to use particle-systems, or where they'd made my life easier.

 

3. I actually love the magazine-style of Interphase. Magazines not only give you the articles you wanted, but also broaden your horizont with topics you wouldn't have looked into otherwise. I think choosing which articles to buy, would take this away and make purchasing it more complicated. Scrooge-Me would try to find the best mix of price, must reads and might-be-interesting articles AND then, instead of buying it, come back another day to review his choices. once again. before actually buying it :)

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback all. Some more updates for you all:

 

1) I agree I think the "grab bag" approach of Interphase helps show devs new areas, so we will continue this format for the next few issues. I think producing small (and cheaper) mini-books could work as well, so may test this out - but it's all a matter of time really.

 

2) The plugins have started to sell quite well again, so I'm not going to change anything here. They can just be their own little slow-burning earners. It all adds to the pot (along with book sales and patreon) that allow me to spend the time I do on Phaser, so I'm reluctant to just shove them all out there for free.

 

3) There's a lot I would like to do with the docs, and I made some small updates to the site today to enhance the layout a bit more. I don't have any issues using the left-nav links though, they take me to the content just fine in any browser I test it - anyone else see problems here?

 

4) The top nav was always meant to have drop-downs, and soon will :)

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