Are there measurements or reliable estimations about the users of OF? Of course I had to begin this sentence with "of" in order to put three of them in a row but I'm really interested in how popular this game is. How many users have completed it? How many of them have given up? At which levels?
Thanks in advance for any details you might have.
I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can but trust me, it won't be easy, because...
No, we do not have any clear stats for the game itself... That is because you don't have to be a member to complete the game and the forum is, for us, the only reliable tool to account of all the people coming through our doors...
As for a guestimation, well... it's hard to tell. I know that you can find some stats on the french side of the site but I think I recall they are just about the forum or the vote about the riddles (once again, french side...), but they are not really up to date (last update was about a year and a half ago...) and obviously, all in french.
What I can tell you thou...
Come. Come and sit next to the fire, Uncle Jeffw will tell you a story, the magnificent story of Ouverture-Facile.
The game (and the forum obviously) originated from France, but I'm sure you guessed that much... It became rapidly a phenomenon creating in it's wake a big happy community of followers and fans (14,631 members to this day, but we got rid of quite a lot of inactive accounts last year). Ouverture Facile means "Easy Opening", not that that fact is in anyway relevant...
Ouverture-Facile was launched in June 2005 (by Antoine G-Man aka the enigmatic Swan) and features 93 levels in the French version and already 77 in the English version (launched in November 2006). The game itself and its English forum have attracted people from all over the world (1,838 members for now, but, once again, you don't have to be a member to play) from California, USA, as far as Japan...
Everytime an add is publish somewhere we can see a lot of new people coming to play with us (we had an article in France a couple of month ago in a national newspaper, and quite few new players as a consequence for example) but it is quite irregular. And if I have to guess, I'll say that only 30% of the people coming to the site will really play the game... and certainly half of that will do so without cheating.
If the game started strongly it is true to say that everything slowed down a lot since... Well, the rythm of creation of the riddles slowed down, so people who already finished the game forgot about us a little bit.
We are not really worried about the french side, because the forum is alive and kicking (even if the active members on it are a little less than 12% of the total of members... and the pro-active even less...) and we created a lot of parrallel activities to kill time and wait for the next level (games, quizz, various topics...)...
But it is true to say that the English version of the game didn't exactly live up to our expectancy so far...
The English version is half as young as his French brother, so that might explain a lot ; the target to touch is bigger (the world) and we didn't have half as much time that with the original. People still have to get to know us... and eachother. We do believe in the idea of community (big happy family style). And that why the forum is here !
Everything is undergoing a big work out to refresh all that : new chatroom, new topics, a new refuelled moderation team, new spirit and of course... a lot of work... Add compaigns keep you really busy when you do them yourself.
Here you go, I hope all that answered some of your question and that you know a bit more about Ouverture-Facile.
If you have any other question don't hesitate...
And tell your friends about us.
Thanks a lot for the thorough answer, Jeffw! Yes, it does explain quite a few things for me, especially because I don't speak a word in French and therefore the French side is inaccessible for me. I put the question because I thought that you might have collected statistics from the web server's access logs but apparently that's not the case. Anyway, I'm happy to be a member here and I wish the game lives and grows on for a long time.
[....]statistics from the web server's access logs[....]
What an excellent idea ! I'll have a word with Swan on that matter.
No doubt that the web server comes with some stat tools such as Urchin or one of his cousin.
How ever that may be conflicting as it would show the urls which aren't index by bots.
The only way would be to put one of our own scripts between these stats and the public.