Discord is great for so many things, but we usually think of it in relation to just talking to friends. However, many game companies have decided to connect with players on Discord to better engage with them. In this article, we'll be looking at a few of the games that utilize Discord servers to benefit players of the game.
We actually have an interview for our first game, Planetoid Pioneers. This is a "physics-driven Metroidvania-like" game that offers funny physics-based exploration. The developer of the game was kind enough to tell us about how their team uses Discord to connect with players directly.
DD: Why did you decide to make a Discord server for your game? What were you hoping to get out of it?
PP: We actually started out with a Slack server in which we started creating a community there. Then decided to transition to Discord because it was an IRC which was more focused on gaming communities instead of the business style of Slack. We love how simple communication is with the community through Discord. People can freely ask questions, give comments, share their creations, and so much more all in one simple designed package. There's isn't any need of going to forums, sub-forums, and sifting through each comment and subcomment. It's just much more manageable.
DD: What are the most popular topics of discussion among players?
PP: Our Discord server consists of the usual General, Random, or Feedback channels, but most of the conversation will revolve around modding the game in general. Planetoid Pioneers has a big focus on Player Creations and Discord gives players the platform to discuss, collaborate, critique, and help out one another. We have people learning how to create, who will then go and help others having the same issues. Our game is unique in that it allows players to drag and drop packed .png files into their game. This combined with Discord's drag-and-drop feature means sharing of files could not be easier!
DD: In what ways does the development team interact with fans in the Discord server?
PP: The development team loves to keep people up to date on what's happening with the game. We have a Github Bot that relays all changes made to the game, which people can freely discuss upcoming changes with the Devs or give feedback. The devs also help people struggling with how to create a certain item or fix their creations. Discord is also a great place to make Announcements to everyone to bring excitement for upcoming builds, letting everyone in the server instantly know information rather the next time they check the "News" section of a game.
DD: Is there anything suggested on your Discord server that made it into the game?
PP: Tons of feedback was taken into account and sometimes even implemented minutes after it was suggested. The community has had just as many ideas as developers on the game. It was also extremely simple to create a private channel for a "early review build" and invite select people into the channel, knowing that everything was secure and communication could take place on suggestions in that very channel. We've also have had creations which people made, were critiqued by developers on how to balance it, and then it further made it into the game. The ease that Discord brings to provide this feedback and sort it is amazing.
Eco is a survival game that focuses on the experience of the players. As such, their Discord server is focused on development and new ideas. They have a number of channels dedicated to the community. Whether its modding, testing, or wiki editing, there is a channel for it on the Eco server. Being on the server feels more like a server of your friends rather than that of an official game developer.
The Discord server serves as a place for fans to talk about issues and new ideas among each other before bringing those comments to the official forums. It's a nice middle ground in between no communication and the official place for posting ideas.
Fortnite is practically a household name these days, with Fortnite: Battle Royale becoming a free-to-play dream for many. Their popular Discord server is full of conversation about everything. There are also official channels for announcements and server status. There are also a ton of channels dedicated to gameplay. The server features text and voice channels for the various ways of playing (PVP and PVE). All of the voice channels are extremely useful for finding someone to squad up with and quickly jump into a round.
The Fortnite server boasts a lot of tiers of moderators for different uses, including Super Mods, User Mods, Reddit Mods, and regular Mods. Epic Games staff even hang out on the server.
Kingdoms and Castles is a city-building strategy game based in medieval times. Their Discord server isn't as robust as Fortnite or Eco, but it's still pretty cool. They have some places to discuss the game in general, as well as channels dedicated to bringing up bugs and new ideas. These are the hallmarks of a game still under development, and enable fans to interact directly with developers and other players.
This kind of interaction is key to developing an engaged community around a budding game. The main developer also posts development screenshots to keep players posted with upcoming releases. This is a great way to keep the fans excited about new updates.
Idle Kingdom Clicker is a mobile clicker game that is great when you have some time to kill. Their small Discord server has all it really needs for a game like that. There are channels for strategies, bugs, feedback, and feature suggestions.
These channels can help a newer game grow with the help of its community, and keep players engaged. This is something important in a mobile game. Especially since games like this have the potential to lose a fanbase over time.
There are probably a ton of other game developers utilizing Discord. It is great to use this tool for game feedback, new ideas, and just for players to interact with each other. What games do you play that have an engaged Discord server? Let us know in the comments!