View Full Version : Feedback for CZE RE: Support for HEX Fansites?

07-16-2013, 10:47 AM
Use this thread to provide constructive suggestions for how CZE can help support (and moderate?) HEX Fansites. Also, if you have questions regarding CZE's support for Hex Fansites, feel free to post those also.

I'll consolidate and collate the feedback/suggestions/questions and post it in this OP.

Consolidated Summary of Feedback/Suggestions for CZE RE: Support for HEX Fansites

Fansite "Kit": CZE supported art assets for building a fansite, i.e. variety of art at various resolutions and sizes, Hex font (if available), game icons (attack/defense symbols, threshold symbols, etc.), etc.
CZE Fansite Contact/Liason: a central point of contact for information requests, interview requests, exclusive card spoilers, promotional items for giveaways, etc.
Promotional Items: sleeves, convention mercenaries, AA cards, booster packs (current and pre-release), etc.
Website Tech/APIs: AH, Card Lists, Card & Equipment Images, User Inventory, Tournament Results, Rankings, etc.
Promotion/Co-Promotion: CZE promotion of fansites in exchange for fansite promotion of CZE/Hex/etc.
Review of Impact of Forum Splintering: an assessment of the impact of the recent forum splintering at some point in the future

Questions for CZE RE: Support for HEX Fansites


07-16-2013, 11:26 AM
I have a few thoughts, written down as they stream out of my brain, so excuse me if this seems a little rambley.

- A fansite "kit" might be nice, containing some pieces of art at various resolutions, and the Hex font (as seen in the main logo, assuming there actually is a font for it and it wasn't just drawn.) We don't have much in the way of large pieces of art yet (> 1000px width), and I literally a few minutes ago redid the header on Casual Hex after seeing yet another fansite today using the Uruunaz wallpaper as their main image, so some more options would be nice. Some of the various game icons would be nice too (attack/defence symbols, threshold symbols etc.)

- Would be nice to know specifically who should be contacted at CZE with regards to promotions, contests etc. I emailed recently enquiring about just that, but have had no response yet and became paranoid that I emailed a dead address or got caught in a spam filter or something (it's not been 2 days yet so I'm not worried, I'm sure they are super busy and am not self-entitled enough to think I deserve a response, but still, would be nice to know if I even emailed the right address.)

- A shout out to some fansites in an Kickstarter update or one of their Friday update articles might be nice. I know there are a bunch of issues people might take with this (the idea of appear to be officially endorsing sites, sites with lots of ads generating revenue etc etc) but this might be cool for those running the sites, especially since the only outlet we have currently is the forums, and I'm sure a lot of people don't read those. A page with links to sites on the Hex page might be nice too, but shares the same issues as above. Some clear criteria on what it takes to be listed might help. (sorry, rambling!)

- This obviously ties back into an earlier point, but a "fansite exclusives" program might be nice, where we can occasionally get an exclusive card or piece of art or dungeon reveal or something to put on our sites. This could run on beyond alpha/beta and into future sets too for those people who actively maintain their sites for the long haul. Depending on the number of sites we're talking about this could obviously become pretty tricky to work with, depending on just how much CZE want to give out pre-launch.

Those are my major thoughts. I may return with smaller ones later as they come to me!

07-16-2013, 11:39 AM
An official avenue through which we might submit interview and content proposals would be an excellent addition to the fan-site community. From the CZE perspective, it would funnel the requests of writers into an easy-to-manage location, allowing them to pick out those of quality and/or meeting the current PR/Publicity goals of the company. From the writer perspective, it is an incentive to create unique, quality content.

07-16-2013, 12:16 PM
EDIT: And I'd like to voice my disagreement with the "fansite exclusives" idea. As much as that would tingle my inner Gollum, I think it would create a awful precedent for fansites and the community. Not only would everyone suddenly be opening a 'fansite' and be clamoring for their 'exclusives,' but it would taint the purpose of our efforts. I know we are all doing this for some form of repayment, whether recognition, or resume building, or actual traffic-driven profit- but at least there is a bit of dignified covertness to it. These 'exclusives' would destroy that.

Well sure, I'm obviously not saying give every single site exclusive stuff, there'd need to be some kind of vetting process. If someone asks for exclusives and their website has no content and is covered in adverts, it's pretty obvious what's going on. On the other hand, if a site has been updating regularly with quality content for months (or even years, further down the line), I think exclusives could work well, and would help connect and create a relationship between CZE and the community. I certainly see your point though - I'm definitely not saying give everyone exclusives all the time non-stop :)

07-16-2013, 12:43 PM
I'm sorry, Icepick. You must have seen my post before I went back and edited. I totally misread your idea and thought you were talking about exclusive cards given to fansite operators. You were not speaking about that. You were talking about exclusive information. My mistake.

I deleted that edit, or rather edited out the edit, as I realized it was a mistake.

07-16-2013, 02:39 PM
I'm not sure if this really goes here, but it does seem like it could at least spark some thoughts...

So I've been thinking a lot about the new forum here etc... Very few people are looking at this forum, granted it also feels like the overall "viewer excitement" has slowed down over the last week or two so there's also fewer people actively watching content in general.

-Is it a net gain for the community (fans / cze / content producers) to have this forum? I definitely didn't like that general was getting pretty spammy, but there are also a lot of whine / troll threads on there which bug me more...

With this forum it feels like providers are going to rely more heavily on how large their subscription base is. Furthermore without the "free advertising" that the old general forum provided it also feels like we're going to need to rely more heavily on giveaways to build that viewership. Granted when alpha / beta actually land I expect we'll see a balloon in viewership.

Right this very moment, I don't really think that giving out spoilers would really help us. In the future it could be pretty awesome though, but unless people are already getting consistent hits then having a spoiler is going to go unnoticed.

07-16-2013, 02:50 PM
I acctidentally started my own topic here (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=26389), but I'll add it here for consolidation:

I think that support is best broken down in a couple areas:

Exclusive News/Content
Fan Site Area
eSport 'casting tools

What I mean here are APIs; specifically (with permissions): Auction House (Current and Completed), User Inventory, Deck Lists, Tournament Results (and links to archive video), Tournament Ranking, etc. I know that's a lot to ask; but I'm sure that if we could map our members to their online persona, we'll be able to reward them for various actions or build tools around their needs (ie. fill holes in their inventory by monitoring AH for a price threshold).

Exclusive News/Content
Pretty obvious here; just access to card previews and official notice of where content is (so that we don't have to come and post it on the forum). For example, if HEXRealms gets an exclusive preview on Monday; just do a "Community Spotlight" on the front page of HEXTCG pointing that out; same goes for any other site that has exclusive content. Because this is the internet (and information flow freely); I find that an "Embargo" for fan sites participating in the program will be required, ie. you can't "steal" someone's preview and post it on your site until 2 days after the preview date (1 day is too confusing with time zones and when the preview went live). Failure to adhere to the embargo would mean that the offending site would be removed from the program officially (and some sites operate fine outside of being "official fan sites").

Access to promotion content exclusive to Fan Sites (ie. Community Sleeves, playmats, pre-release packs, etc.). RealmWorx ran pre-release "Get It Before You Can Buy It" promotions for WizKids, Upper Deck, and WOTC that were very popular; and lead amazing hype prior to a release (especially across a multi-license network like RealmWorx). I think the Fan Sites would like the same access to those packs (especially if you could mark them "not tournament legal" prior to a certain day). You'll see people to vistual pack openings and youtube will be a buzz with those videos.

Fan Site Area
In line with the "Community Spotlight" above; just an area that lists the official Fan Sites in the Fan Site program (this shouldn't be just an "Add me to the list"; but a verification that the websites are COPPA compliant and "safe"

eSport 'casting tools
Tools that will allow for 'casters to watch games live while being able to comment on the "open hands" of both parties. This would need a strict NDA due to the hands being visible and information being able to be passed. Will probably not work unless it was a paid sponsor. Closed hand with a "spectator mode" would probably be fine though ... although there would be less color commentary on misplays. LOL!

07-17-2013, 05:06 AM
- A shout out to some fansites in an Kickstarter update or one of their Friday update articles might be nice. I know there are a bunch of issues people might take with this (the idea of appear to be officially endorsing sites, sites with lots of ads generating revenue etc etc) but this might be cool for those running the sites, especially since the only outlet we have currently is the forums, and I'm sure a lot of people don't read those. A page with links to sites on the Hex page might be nice too, but shares the same issues as above.

I think this is the most powerful tool CZE currently has at their disposal with the least amount of time/energy/money investment required. I know that when I saw Jax get a shout out on the weekly update, I was super excited for him. A deserved accolade for a job well done. While seeing who gets the nod and who doesn't might leave some with "hurt feelings", I think that the cross promotion most of us have done (and are still doing) can definitely help to spread awareness.

Along the same lines, perhaps a "This week in Community Content" summary post by a Hex CM in the General Forums (replaced each week with a new sticky) would help to give us some access to the General Forums without certain particular individuals getting... distraught (putting it nicely)... about the posts we put in there. Having this done by a Hex CM also adds legitimacy to the content and raises higher awareness when things like "Purple Trackers" really start becoming important. A simple collation of all the links/descriptions shouldn't take too much time to bring together, I'd think.

In the end, the message communicated in the infamous "New Forums" thread is right - we are all looking to build the Hex community, first and foremost. All of us are putting in an incredible amount of time and effort and I, for one, have a great appreciation for the work we are doing. Seeing Hex succeed and getting a game and community that will stand the test of time is the real pay off.

07-17-2013, 05:56 AM
I had made a response to Typhon's thread in general forums, but this thread seems to be stronger anyway. I will be responding primarily in function of the wiki: http://hextcg.gamepedia.com

Know that what I state here will not be all the wiki wants/needs. I am certain that other editors will find uses for other stuff. I am also certain that everything all of you suggest will have some use case for the wiki.

Wiki in a Supporting Role
The wiki isn't a fanpage like a normal fanpage. Everyone can edit it. There is a form of control in the form of administrators, but the main goal is to get Joe Average to add stuff to the wiki.
Now how does this position the wiki in the fansite landscape? We want to support other wikis. How do we plan to do this?
By giving them everything they need to work with. Let's say you want to discuss a very advanced Drafting technique, but you don't want to scare away players? Our upcoming guides section will become an objective guide to all things Hex. The objective approach will not be a great tool to teach players the basics (and more advanced techniques). You can just early on link to the wiki and then assume that they have sufficient information to read your article.
Our second aim is to become a cornerstone in the community. A road that leads to all other fansites eventually and a road where all other fansites link to. We have already taken the first steps, by offering:
But we want to greatly expand this. A great future use case would be offering official fan websites their own page on the wiki.
Another something we are toying with is shown on the page: http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Head_Games This second use case will basically allow players to click through to the original source. For now we've limited it to official information, but later on we might be able to link through to great combos and similar information. We objectively note them and you guys give the expanded articles with a lot more details. The wiki will then have a lot of links to other sites.

There's a lot of risk for abuse, so we'll be taking a strict approach in the beginning, but with your support we might be able to make this work.

I hope that the other fansites can support us in this and that they would support the idea of CZE forwarding players to the other fansites THROUGH the wiki.

Positioning on the main site
Following up on the wiki in a supporting role. It would be great for the wiki if CZE could do something like Blizzard does. For example, bottom right corner, learn more heading: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/zone/hour-of-twilight/

Case by Case advantages
This is something I wanted to touch upon. As an example: a wiki isn't really suited for exclusive previews. Even though the wiki might be the only exception in that case, I'm sure some sites lend themselves better to something than other sites.

Ingame "Advertising"
I would like to add that it would be super awesome if we had the ability to design our own sleeves. Websites that have shown a lot of commitment could have their own sleeves as part of their personal advertising. This would greatly mimic the real life, where this happens as well. Through contests, they could then give out a limited number of them as prizes.

In general, as mentioned I see the wiki primarily in a supporting role. I hope all other fansites can support that position and are willing to help make the wiki the perfect support for their own site. An honorable mention goes out to Hexmetrics, which has already made use of the wiki for the Mouseover: http://hexmetrics.ni.tl/tools/cardJS

07-17-2013, 01:35 PM
Hey guys, so I was thinking. You know honestly it wouldn't be that hard for us to solve some of these problems ourselves. One of the issues I have with the current "official shout out" system (via twitter of kickstarter) is that it's not necessarily highlighting your best stuff. It just happens to highlight what you did that day where you got the luck of the draw to some extent. Also it leads to what MSB was saying about having that "why not me" feeling.

What I was thinking is that we could organize our very own cross promotion setup. Each week all the content providers which want to be part of the program give a shout out to the same specific site / channel. There's a few specifics in regards to how I'd like to see it operate if we did this but I don't think it's really worthwhile unless we have multiple sources involved.

Some notes:
-We would know the turn order (with a 2-3 week lead) so you could pull out all the stops the week you're featured.
-I think to be featured it's only fair if you're doing stuff on at least a weekly basis
-I'd rather feature individuals rather than sites, for example one week we could feature MrSerious, and then a few weeks later we could still feature another Utopian Chaos contributor. Not sure how others feel about this, but it only seems fair that each person gets their moment in the spotlight.
-It feels really important that if we do this that each person is a weekly contributor so that you can get the same out of it that they put in. If you're only doing something once every 2-3 weeks then it's going to be hard for you to spotlight everyone else.

Now that I've written this, I kinda think it might belong in an entirely different thread of it's own. Private message me here with just a quick "yeah I'm interested" (100 messages is way too small, fills up so quickly recently) if we get 4-5 people maybe we'll go ahead and start a thread for it and hash out the details. I'm down to organize everything centrally myself if need be.

This might only be a short term thing, the next 2 months or so. If we feel like we wanna keep doing it after beta is out then we can figure out the long term plan then, but it might just not make much of an impact after all and not be worth the extra coordination / effort.

07-21-2013, 09:47 PM
I'm back from the black hole that is Comic-Con. I'll update the OP tomorrow with the latest ideas from the thread.


07-22-2013, 09:09 PM
I'm glad you added the forum splintering impact. We all obviously know what kind of impact it's had within the last few weeks (I know my viewership has been reduced by about 75% which I'd say is pretty drastic) but it's hard to tell what kind of impact it will have long term.

I'd definitely like to hear people's thoughts. I think it's probably a plus for the community as a whole to splinter them, but it's definitely a big negative for the contributors which in turn is cyclical with the community, but who knows... that's just my thoughts. With that said I still prefer the splintered forums from a user end, but man... it hurts...

07-23-2013, 04:27 AM
It's tough to say what the effect on Casual Hex's traffic has been as it was pretty variable to start with. It has definitely dropped, but I couldn't say by how much.