For that, we set up a Discord server and began promotion of the server to the community. To make sure the server was healthy from the get go, several key ideals were given to the developers:
- Having active developers on the server to talk to the community is the most valuable asset that we could have.
- When activity is low, hold conversations between ourselves.
- Automate role/moderation where appropriate.
- Set up a simple yet informative channel structure.
For the server structure, we avoided the common mistake of going too big too soon, so we set up only 5 categories, each with their own specific role.
The first section was the server's welcome, information, and rules channels. These were set to read only. Upon joining the server the user would receive a customized welcome (we used the Dyno bot to trigger a message) and they were directed to the rules channel.
The second section contained the announcements and news. Two announcement channels were made, one for general announcements (release dates/game information), one for developer updates, this allowed the developers to communicate game related changes (such as game updates) clearly.
The third was for community news, here we promoted community content and shared the reviews/looks at the game. This section was special as we allowed regular users to share their own Broken Lines related content there as well.
The main section 'Chat' was split into:
- Casual Conversations
- Game Discussions
Originally the first two channels were combined, however as the server grew we saw that game discussions would sometimes be buried behind the community engaging with each other. As we wanted to have both types of discussions, we split the channel into two.
The fourth category was a hidden group specifically for the game's beta testers. Access to this group was granted only if the user was in the Beta Tester userground - a group that had to be manually granted by the development team.
The hidden status was due to sensitive information (about the game) being shared.
Finally, we added the voice channels - giving the community members the opportunity to talk together (speaking) should they desire.
In preparation for the game's launch, we also ensured that the set up of the server met the Discord Verification requirements (requirements as listed here
As a final thought, Discord is made easier with the use of bots to automate certain actions.
Though we did not use these two for Broken Lines, we have tested them and found their user: