Hey all! Chika here. Today's post will be a little different. I felt like it would be fun to reflect back on everything we've achieved in the year 2020. Time sure did fly by!
So how did MG2 come to be? At the core of it all, we, the MG2 team, are simply a group of friends that enjoy to work on mushroom game related stuff together. Over the past few years, we often toyed with the idea of starting a new server. Midway through 2020, we decided to launch a "for fun" low maintenance server, meant as a relaxing space, named RSVP. However, not long after we launched RSVP, we had all universally decided we wanted to take the server more seriously. We had officially rebranded as MG2, and started planning out how we wanted to do this.
After a few days of discussing, we decided that if we were truly going to host a server, we should try out some unorthodox ideas we've had over the years.
One channel. No website. No Discord. No advertising. No donations. Low GM interaction.
For no website and no discord, the idea was to have the experience completely localized to inside the game itself. In past servers we have worked for, we all individually felt that having a discord heavily detracted from the intended experience, and we felt that having a website served only as a distraction. We also always thought that if we could somehow make it work, having only a single channel would be a fun and unique experience. For the last three points, they all center around the same value. Make the game about the players! Our goal is to provide a fun game for free, simply out of passion for the game. With no focus on marketing or competition. In the last decade or so, it has become the status quo for servers to have socially active GMs that end up being well known celebrities among the server's player base. We felt like in order to have the game be about the players, we would have to distance ourselves from the community. We want the game to be about the players. Not the GMs!
Now, of course some of these ideas haven't been 100% successful. We initially started out with an extremely barebones website with nothing more than a register column, and a download link. That was done with the intention to keep the experience focused on the game itself as much as possible. However, what ended up happening was that a large majority of people mistook the website for a phishing scam. Oops! We ended up making the website slightly more legitimate looking, while still keeping it simple.
For other servers some of us have worked on, managing an official discord server often took up a significant amount of time, while at the same time being very exhausting. We figured if we were to forgo having an official discord, it would free up a lot of time we could spend on more important things. Such as development, server management, and of course personal time. This turned out to be a huge success for us! Managing MG2 has been far more efficient and painless than it was managing past servers. On top of this, players ended up creating their own unofficial discords just as we had hoped!
And our final point, low GM interaction. Initially, our interaction was close to zero. Combined with our barebones website, this ended up causing all kinds of confusion. We decided it was best to increase our communication and interaction, while still making it a focus to not do so TOO much. We feel like it has been going well so far!
Around the time we were pushing out MG2 v2 patch, we had planned out a large part of the content of every update until v6. The plan was to crank out a new update every 2 weeks over the holiday season, leading up to the release of the new continent! Every update ended up being more work than expected, and most of us ended up tiring ourselves out by the end of it. Ultimately, we ended up pulling off our ambitious two-week update plan. It was a rough few months, but it was all extremely gratifying!
There were of course some things that went wrong in our update blitz. During patch time for v3 (the HD client update), the client suddenly got extremely unstable only AFTER we had packaged up the completed patch. It was a fun time having to scramble to find a fix within a few hours! For v4 (the Monster Book update), monster book took us so much time, that we literally completed it 10 minutes before patch time. We had absolutely no time to thoroughly play test it. It was an absolute miracle it worked perfectly! With v5 (cash shop update), we fully expected something to go horribly wrong with the release of cash shop. Surprisingly, the cash shop release went absolutely fine! However, the addition of critical hit effects, a relatively minor feature, decided to cause all kinds of bugs that none of us saw coming.
Now that we have finished with our holiday update blitz, we have decided to slow down updates a tiny bit! We feel that going forwards, we should focus more on delivering updates as smoothly as possible, instead of as quickly as possible. Despite this, we still have just as many exciting updates coming up! Perhaps something involving the number 3? Who knows!
Before we wrap up, it wouldn't quite be a GM blog without talking about the upcoming update! This time, we're trying something a bit different. We are opening the never before seen internet cafe! However, we have changed up how it works a bit. Instead of being another boring place to grind experience, it will instead be a brand-new way to earn cash currency! Stay tuned for more info about it!
I want to finish this blog entry off by expressing our gratitude for each and every player who sticks around! We may not have any monetary gain from this, but the fun times, and all the positive feedback have made this more than worth it for us. We have all had a blast working on this server and hope to continue doing it for as long as possible!
Here's hoping that 2021 will be a less miserable year for everybody! Happy new year!