It has been a rough few days at Dreamhouse Designer. For some crazy reason, we always end up launching new features the NIGHT before a major holiday. But as usual, our tiny team got over-excited and we pushed it out.
And bam! Along with 4th of July fireworks, there were issues, server problems, and one and one. But our wonderful players kept going by helping one another, trying different browsers, sending us screen shots. Suddenly it occurred to me that our game or interactive experience is truly the result of our players. Our players aren’t just designing great rooms, they are actually designing a great game. We create tools and add features but our creative players are truly the engine that keep us moving forward. We have created a strong bond with many of our designers…and well we are sort of in love. Here is a post on our fanpage from Designer Suzanne LeCour but there have been quite a few others:
Dear Jesyca Durchin Schnepp and Ruby Lopez;
I just want to let you know how much I appreciate everything you both – and anyone I don’t know who has been working on Dreamhouse Designer – have done for me, personally, by providing this wonderful application. I will not call it a game. I have been disabled for many years and, until recently, was taking care of my critically ill parents. They are both deceased now and I was very lost. I had absolutely no reason to get up in the morning. No work to go to, nothing of interest to do. It gets to you.
I used to be an Interior Decorator. That was my profession at one time. I am also a writer, so, by nature, I’m a creative person. One day I came across YOUR creation, Dreamhouse Designer. I cannot tell you how much my life has changed. Not only have you given me an amazing creative outlet, but you have also given me an amazing community of incredibly talented, spirited giving individuals, all of whom have wonderful things to share with one another. I am a co-admin of a wonderful group, Dreamhouse Designer Addicts and Fans, and I see incredible rooms every day, but it’s so much more than that. I see cooperation, I see praise and motivation, I see inspiration and I see a group of people working hard to help others each and every day. I have never chosen to admin a “game” group on FaceBook in all these years. Dreamhouse Designer made me want to give something back to the people who gave it to me. It is, in every way, a hobby and past time, not a game.
I’m sure that there will be a few stumbling blocks along the way with the new roll-out. There always is – a simple comma left out in the coding can cause all kinds of problems. We just need to have a little bit of patience. I know you will take care of it and it will be FANTASTIC! You have done such a great job with DHD and I know it will continue to grow and thrive. I have never seen developers so hands-on and so responsive to their Users’ requests and issues.
I wish you the best of success! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!
Thank you both!
I have been reading Seth Godin, the writer of some terrific business books (Tribes, Linchpin), who was recommended to me by Lance Priebe (one of the founders of Club Penguin.) When I, rather ashamed, admitted we only had 50,000 installs, he suggested I read Godin’s Tribes. Lance wanted me to recognize that as a creator I should be much happier with even 500 passionate players over 500,000 passive viewers. My first thought was “Dude how the HELL can a company be successful with only 500 players?” Ok, I might have even used my outside voice. He just did that seriously annoying thing I find that Canadians do when dealing with obsessive Americans-he just smiled very nicely. And today I, reluctantly, might be getting it.
As painful as this journey has been, we (especially me) are grateful every day for our passionate fans regardless of the outcome of this project. If we can make even a few people feel the way Suzanne expressed, then perhaps that is what success truly is.
Co-Founder and Head Dreamer