Imperial Update 2018.7: Reprioritization, Email, and Boring Legal Stuff

Greetings ICers!

The last month has been somewhat unusual and challenging, but not without benefit. Firstly, despite our freezing our codebase in February to focus on the new Alpha, we've started working on the current game again unexpectedly.

The impetus for the change in direction was two seperate but very related issues:

  1. Plans to engage in email updates
  2. Recent changes to data security and privacy laws

Checkin ze email!

checkin-ze-email

Imperial Conflict has never properly engaged its players via email. We did it infrequently and when we did, it was done incorrectly. Getting this right has never been much of a priority.

At the risk of throwing the past owners under the bus, I do think this has been a sorely missed opportunity to not only keep players abreast of the latest game developments in general, but also keep them informed of game news that is relevant to them specifically.

I've been putting this off myself for far too long, but by coincidence, data security and privacy laws have changed recently which has put a renewed urgency behind us to get ourselves properly situated.

We have to use caution

I've had more than a few players chastise me for not just "pulling the trigger" and blasting a bunch of spam out to everybody.

spam

For what it's worth, I do find actual spam to be pretty damned tasty.

Anyway, while I understand that nike-ish "just do it" attitude, we don't really want to handle email communications so aggressively. This is for a few reasons:

  1. It's obnoxious
  2. It's counter-productive
  3. It's potentially illegal

We don't want to be obnoxious

We want to provide useful information to our players. We all get bombarded with enough unwanted commercial messaging every single day, we don't need Imperial Conflict contributing to the problem.

That might sound strange given that I openly monetize the game, and yes, while I am running Imperial Conflcit as a business, and I will plug our Patreon link (see?), it doesn't mean we have to cram emails down anybody's throat just for the sake of site traffic. There's a balance to be had for this stuff.

In that regard, we want to take the time to make sure we're messaging players with care and attention to their interests. For the same reason that we've eschewed traditional in-game ads for a donation-based system, we also want take an abundance of caution with how we engage with our email audience.

It comes down to being respectful to our players and the quality of the experience we aim to provide.

We don't want to be counter-productive

Email marketing is a complex beast, and being overly aggressive can backfire very quickly.

A measured approach ensures we have a framework in place to send only to the people who actually want to be reached, and allows those who don't to get off of our mailing lists with ease. No Dark Patterns!

Failing to do this can cause all sorts of problems; from lower deliverability rates (and more email in spam folders), to getting blacklisted outright.

We want to be legally complient

Failing to handle these things properly can also get people into legal trouble.

If we plan to step up our email game, we have to do what we can to ensure compliance.

Being careful takes time

It's taken a fair amount of work to get us to a place where we can say we feel prepared to take email seriously. This last month in particular has been a whole lot of code cleanup, server upgrades, and integration with 3rd-party services. This all involves a non-trivial amount of time and effort invested into a codebase that we were supposed to have retired half a year ago.

For that reason, we've been putting work on the Alpha rewrite aside (along with pretty much everything else) while we focus on getting our general affairs in order.

Less Boring Things

With all that out of the way, let's get onto some actual game news!

Sirius

I'm happy to announce that Sirius has the honor of becoming our first official 15-minute-tick Galaxy. After 4 rounds of experimentation, Vegnarok's baby is graduating!

We're still determining a timeline for Sirius 5, but as always keep an eye on our Universal News to stay up to date on in-game announcements.

Manthano 2

retired

Our training/retiree galaxy has been reset and redesigned to focus on families and economic mentorship. As useful as Manthano 1 was as a solo galaxy, it's a huge improvement to have the actual family structure presented to new players. In retrospect, we should have done this from the start.

As a reminder, Manthano isn't just for new players; it's for anybody who wants to play the econ game without worrying about war. If you're an oldbie just looking for some relaxation and a more casual type of play, this is your place!

Dev Revival

We've officially revived The Dev Server for our Patron Fighters (and higher). The Alpha Server, while interesting, isn't all that playable just yet.

The Dev Server by contrast is an exact copy of the currently running game, but running 1-minute ticks and highly experimental. Even more exciting, is that those who access to it can set up any type of galaxy they want to mess around with. Custom units, custom maps, custom resources, you name it!

For those of you who want to try some custom fun, this is a cheaper option at or $5 donation tier compared to our regular custom galaxies at $15.

Sound interesting to you? Check it out!

Where's that tourney?!

The tourney is still coming, rest assured. Now that other matters have settled, we'll be resuming prep for the 2018 showdown.

We're on Reddit!

After years of being a dead subreddit spam trap, the /r/ImperialConflict subreddit has finally come under our control. Feel free to drop by!

That's it for now!

Thank you for your time, and as always your support is appreciated!