🤝 Rail Nation Community: What are we made of?

  • Hello everyone,


    In the last few days, I've seen more comments about the Rail Nation community come up.


    In the discussion about endgame changes, on page 3 the topic turned to different languages here on forum, and what happens on different domain forums. Is there a way to bring these discussions more together somehow, was one question raised. Another question was about the need to follow different forums to get the latest news, sometimes another forum can have info not published elsewhere - at least not yet. These are both excellent topics.


    In discussion 'Why do we play Rail Nation' - topic starts with the community. Playing because of the community and connections created with a very diverse group of people from around the globe. And these aren't the only community related topics from the past few days.


    Got something to add to these topics? Here's 5 questions to get started!

    • Would you be happy to see more life on all different forums? Or has Forum as a platform become somehow outdated?
    • Or would you rather like to have people join one forum more often and participate in the same discussions? (how to solve language barriers though)
    • Do you get a different experience when visiting different language forums?
    • Do you have good examples of content you would like to duplicate to all domains?
    • Or do you have examples of important topics you'd like to see discussed on the biggest domains?
  • I participate in 3 languages.

    I miss 2 things in the forum here.

    1. More active participants. Only the German forum has a little more. But there are too few. It is difficult to list more than 50 participants in 3 forums. I was soon describing most of them as suggesting a hero. Thank you all! :)

    2. I miss the participants to be more positive. In fact, the most positive are in the English forum. Thanks! :)

    I want to express my gratitude to you Samisu and Salix

    You are accessible and have interesting and useful discussions with you. :)

  • I would love to see the opportunity for a multilingual forum but clearly it would need inbuilt translation capacity & would be complex so I guess it cannot happen.

    I am full of admiration for my colleagues using English as a second language here - hats off to you folks

    I have not tried the other language forums so I am unable to comment on those.

    I think that there ought to be major development items that are on all forums & then perhaps weekly a summary from each main language that could share the key thoughts expressed shared across the other languages - a possible way to share ideas on big ticket topics.

    Clearly more contributors would indeed be good. Hear Me Roar is a stalwart here and creates so many interesting entries - so perhaps some thought into how to engage more players here. I guess if it became more relevant to them then this might happen so consideration of how to make the content more relevant to a wider audience is required & then a need to encourage more to try.

    Get out of bed - celebrate waking, go to bed - survived another day:thumbsup:

  • Or do you have examples of important topics you'd like to see discussed on the biggest domains?

    all topics should be discussed at all fora, not only the biggest. Smaller communities have a voice too and should be taken serious. It are also (paying) customers.


    I would love to see the opportunity for a multilingual forum but clearly it would need inbuilt translation capacity & would be complex so I guess it cannot happen.

    please no mulit lingual forum, this isn't going to work. I don't play multi lingual servers because of all the misunderstanding. My native language, Dutch, is almost impossible to use with a translater to other languages because we have a lot of words that are written the same but can have a different meanings.


    Do you get a different experience when visiting different language forums?

    I use three fora, my navite, International and German. The last one I read because not all information is available at other fora. My native forum is a sleeping forum. Not much activity, we miss also most of the info, discussion topics etc. Our crew isn't that active there too, they tried to get some live in it but the cpr has failed.

    I use the international because we get at least an answer there.



    Would you be happy to see more life on all different forums? Or has Forum as a platform become somehow outdated?

    I can't say anything about other fora at the three I metioned. I would like to see our Dutch forum more active. I know not everybody can read and/or write in a second language so the native fora are important tools.

    :engine1::engine1::engine1:

    Work for a cause

    Not for applause

    Live life to express

    Not to impress

  • I want to express my gratitude to you Samisu and Salix

    You are accessible and have interesting and useful discussions with you.

    I appreciate that, thank you. Right back at you^^

    Theoretically my job does not really involve being active in the forum myself (my job is more about planning), but I simply like a good discussion and the amazing content some players create (be it tools, fan pages, discussions, art) so I usually can't resist getting involved frequently here whenever I find the time or when I find a topic extremely interesting. In the end I'm still the forum nerd I've always been since my childhood^^

    I think that there ought to be major development items that are on all forums & then perhaps weekly a summary from each main language that could share the key thoughts expressed shared across the other languages - a possible way to share ideas on big ticket topics.

    That sounds interesting.

  • I appreciate that, thank you. Right back at you^^

    Theoretically my job does not really involve being active in the forum myself (my job is more about planning), but I simply like a good discussion and the amazing content some players create (be it tools, fan pages, discussions, art) so I usually can't resist getting involved frequently here whenever I find the time or when I find a topic extremely interesting. In the end I'm still the forum nerd I've always been since my childhood^^

    Hi Salix , if your job is more about planning why do you have the title "communications manager" added at your profile? That's confusing to me because a communications manager has a very different job as a planner.

    I expect a very different role of you according your function description, namely communicate with us as community not planning.

    it's not offensive meant but should't it be better to add a correct funtion title to your avatar?

    :engine1::engine1::engine1:

    Work for a cause

    Not for applause

    Live life to express

    Not to impress

  • Thanks, Samisu, for starting another great thread just from what happens in other threads.

    Let me add my 2 cents to your opening questions:

    • Would you be happy to see more life on all different forums? Or has Forum as a platform become somehow outdated?

    Well, first of all that would depend on what the makers indend. Why do we have a forum?

    One big part is probably getting information about bugs. But imagine, the number of bugs would reduce to a dozen .. would we still really NEED a forum?

    There is the "general" part, with very interesting discussions in all langages (at least those that I can read) but in the German part, the idea of "Austausch - Exchange" often is in the title, but it's just trading opinions and perceptions between players, not between players and makers. Yes there ARE threads with Bruno or Salix involved ... but even those often (not always) their posts make me feel, they do the final statement, not motivate to more discussion. It's just my feeling ... but look as Samisu's type of questions, they are open, they motivate to think, they tend to NOT stop the discussion by a yes or no ... other employees come up with final questions of the type that close and finish a discussion.


    Looking at the other side, what would a community of players need a forum for?

    I miss the parts of the old forum, where associations and groupe could tell their plans on the game worlds, where they could find mimbers and attract newbs to join them. Sometimes, when there is a new forum game, there are hundreds of users online, never seen before, but there is no other part that the actual game or challenge ... and they never come back.

    There is not part that tells them how to find friends in the game, and maybe also in the forum.


    Also: my feeling is, that there is an understanding of "community" that differs between the makers and the players. See, if any company starts a game and people register, there IS a community, immediately. There is no need to "create" a community, to change it or to adjust it, they are there already.

    Now, wisdom of life: it is much easier to change one person or one company, than to change a community of 1000 humans. See, of you fall in love, the whole world changes for you (but only you have changed), if you are enthusiastic about a game, you will find more enthusiasm, no matter how many bugs there are.

    The community is there, right from the start ... and though rules are needed, the idea should be that the job of the makers is NOT to watch out for rule breakers, and to adjust the community, but to take part with the intention: "How can we be part of the community?"

    See, there are 1000 players and only 10 employees talking to them (maybe 10000/100). It is never possible to change the 1000 into a group adapted to the rules, much easier to spread the enthusasm of the 10 about their product into the 1000. Much easier to look at the 1000 and watch their into their way to socialize, to make friends, to set up groups ... and make the 10 try to be part of that ... part of the community ... right in the middle, not above them all.

    • Or would you rather like to have people join one forum more often and participate in the same discussions?

    Yes, only discussions bring up solutions. People are different, their perceptions and opinions are different. The more we discuss, the more understanding is on the way.

    I also see some judgement about "the other domain players" ... sometimes good judgement, sometimes totally wrong.

    Only talking, disussing will destroy the "bad" judgements, only if we get to know the humans in that other "domain", we get to know people.

    And yes, end game, news and chat system, bugs and features ... that's interesting for all, somehow the ideas should come together.

    • (how to solve language barriers though)

    Just an idea that came up to my mind last night:

    How, if we change the role of moderators ... or create a new type of forum team membres. Their first priority would NOT be rules and editing, but their first priorities would be activity (your task is to keep your forum part active with discussion and enthusiasm) and "connecting".

    First of all they would be bi-lingual at least. Or even be tri-lingual. And once or twice a week they would scroll through the threads of their second language and create a summary of new ideas, posts and threads for the users of their first language. Just a summary, but the community of the other domain would know, and maybe decide to take up this or that theme into their part of the forum.

    Those connector mods ... well reading the discussions in other languages is, what many of us do already, they would not need extra time, just 2 or 3 lines about interesting stuff they have found. As a side job, by simply reading and participating (activity) they would find all rule breakers and even illegal stuff without taking extra time for that.


    There ARE people among us, who talk two languages ... if only they would be interested to create one or two posts about what happens in the other "domain" ... that would be a first step to connect.

    • Do you get a different experience when visiting different language forums?

    Definitely. There are big differences. And it's like in the endgame discussion: so often I read about really good ideas and suggestions in the "small domains" ...

    • Do you have good examples of content you would like to duplicate to all domains?
    • Or do you have examples of important topics you'd like to see discussed on the biggest domains?

    Generally, when I joined in 2014, my feeling was, that the bigger part of the community would be interested in railroads, vintage railroads and others came to play Railroad Tycoon. If today I read ingame and in the forum, the main motivation to stay is: friends and community.

    There are still railroaders, and people like me, who remember being a boy and playing with my Märklin trains, when I play RN. But I also stay, because I found so many friends, who I don't want to miss.


    So my themes would be: creating groups and friends, creating community, working with teams, leading teams, cooperation.

    The forum is bug based and "general" discussions that move away from the theme to ideas and suggestions are often blamed as offtopic. I would love discussions that REALLY are general, topics that allow creativity, new thoughts, lateral thinking.

    Best actual example are HMR's suggestions for the endgame. HMR aims on fairness, challengs, community, fun ... while some of his discussion parters aim on numbers, rules, ontopic.


    So, generally: I would love more of these open threads, creativity, socializing, getting to know each other (also filled with little private stories) and lateral thinking.


    And one thing I personally would really love to know: what do the Russion people think about us (people talking English or German or ...) and our gaming, our attitudes and strategies ... I would so much love to read a "connectore" who would sum up their intersting threads for us.

    Frei nach Führungscoach Sandra von Oehsen. Zwei Fragen, die sich Unternehmen stellen sollten:

    Was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen?

    Und was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen, was sie gar nicht lernen sollen?

  • if your job is more about planning why do you have the title "communications manager" added at your profile? That's confusing to me because a communications manager has a very different job as a planner.

    Mostly because my full title "Community Communications Manager" doesn't fit in the box. The job of being a CCM in this company is mostly defined as taking over the strategical (contrary to operative) part of Community Management and communication (not all channels though). So I plan stuff in that general area. In addition, the CCM is the person that represents the community internally. Meaning: I receive reports from all the Community Managers about what happens in their communities and make sure it reaches the right places. For example we specifically collect ideas & wishes and every week I discuss those ideas with our game designer (and forward the results back to the CMs).
    The exact activities of a CCM always depend a bit on the game and what this game and its team need. In my case this lead to a relatively strong focus on participating in planning activities for the game (i.e. content plan, not necessarily just community activities) since there simply was a need for that.

    I hope that explains my job a little bit. Don't focus too much on the title, that's just a word. We are a small company, many of us do more than the theoretical definition of the job title would suggest.

    it's not offensive meant but should't it be better to add a correct funtion title to your avatar?

    The CCM is by definition a purely strategic role (i.e. someone who plans, not executes), so it is fitting to what I do...except that I extend that role and also take operative tasks, like discussing on the forum right now.
    And no worry, no offense taken :)

  • I think, this is one of the reasons, why we misunderstand each other so often ... use of words ... definitions.

    It causes confustion, when Travian uses words different from their customers ... and then even gives them out in bold letters.


    Years ago I got a mail from Travian/Munich, in which an employee tried to minimize my confusion by telling that "community" rarely means the community of players but the community of employees. As Salix tells: the community internal, or if I turn the two words over: the internal community.

    So keeping that in mind, I understand Salix, "Community Communication Manager" would then be a manager, who manages the internal communication.

    But then he tells us, his job is not managing, not community, not communication ... but planning. So, what are you planning? Human resources? Product development? Financias? New games? ... A strategic task ... but again: what strategy?


    Anyway, as you also use community for us (players) when you represent the communities interally ... I am happy that you talk to us so often, cause just reading the community posts does not mean to understand them. Feedback, questioning, asking to avoind misunderstandings should be essential for a good represantation.

    Nevertheless ... from the side of us, the members of the community, the titel CCM simply is confusing.


    And another question arising: if "community" defines the internal community of employees, what community are Samisu and Skadi managing, who are called "Community Manager"?


    See, Salix, I do not mix up your words, but try to explain, why we are confused so often by how Travian uses words and titles, when the do not fit to our understanding.


    "Community" ... never seen that word used by a company for the internal group of employees and volunteers, I have always seen "community" as a definition of the players/customers, who socialize in a forum, chat or blog.

    Internal titles would be "Team Lead Strategy" or "Product Manager" or "Chief Planning Officer" or "Customer Support Officer"


    Even wikipedia does not know about ANY business title containing the word "community" for any internal group. They tell about the titel CCO "Chief Communications Officer" ... and again, that's the manager for not only internal communication, but also for media, press, the community of customers, public, shareholders and bloggers.


    So please understand ... I think I am not the only one who reads "Community" and sees the humans being players and customers, and who reads "Communications" and imagines discussions, blogs, forums, chats ... but not internal planning.


    The use of titles, as Travian uses them, is confusing, to me, and I guess to many others.

    And if we are confused about communications and community already ... what will happen in discussions ...

    Frei nach Führungscoach Sandra von Oehsen. Zwei Fragen, die sich Unternehmen stellen sollten:

    Was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen?

    Und was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen, was sie gar nicht lernen sollen?

  • if "community" defines the internal community of employees

    You misunderstood. My area is still the communication with the community (i.e. players). I am just not the one who communicates (theoretically & usually).
    I didn't say that my communication task is interal, I said that I represent the community internally. I think you mixed those two areas up.
    So, to clarify:
    I manage & plan communication with our players (but am not the one who communicates...with a few exceptions) AND represent our community in our team. And I do lots of other stuff ;)

  • So, yes, it was a mail from Munich (told ya), that informed me about community most often means internal teams.

    Plus: "planning" for me IS internal.

    Plus: also for my understanding, someone who's area is communication, should communicate otherwise he would not experience his area himself. I am so glad, that you DO communicate and take part expecially in this type of threads.


    Nevertheless, my point is: if the community sees a bold title startind with community, they get a picture in their minds, that is very much showing external community and not internal planning. This is, what I would like Travians to keep in mind: thinking of what pictures they paint by telling a title that even wikipedia does not have in their lists.

    Frei nach Führungscoach Sandra von Oehsen. Zwei Fragen, die sich Unternehmen stellen sollten:

    Was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen?

    Und was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen, was sie gar nicht lernen sollen?

  • if the community sees a bold title startind with community, they get a picture in their minds, that is very much showing external community and not internal planning.

    And that's okay. The planning part is not really that important to know about for most players. Most players see me as a community manager and that's fine.

  • Hellou, and thank you very much for the interesting comments so far. Let's go through them.


    Multilingual forum

    We have one now, players can have more languages active from the settings and this way decide which discussions and in which language they will join. Another version I've seen is English is made the main forum area, and then each language has a sub area under it. From settings, you can hide discussion areas and this way hide languages. An automatic translator is not smart enough to handle all the different languages, especially on the same page.


    Summaries from other domains

    This might work, depending if the topics are relevant globally. There's also the question of translating all the summaries to all languages, which can be a lot of extra work. This would not bring people together in the same threads or topics though, but instead people would likely continue discussions on their own domains. We CMs do go fishing for topics from other domains though that we think would be of interest in "our own" communities. And I might've just hooked a big one, let's see if I can reel it in...


    All topics on all domains

    The idea has some merit. Players might feel like missing on something. We CMs, on top of 🐟ing, keep always gathering all the important topics and ideas from all domains for our reports. Even if there was a small number of participants on one domain, the discussion was still seen and heard. Things are pretty balanced on that front. From our perspective, this is all one community with various voices.


    Missing the ability to connect with others and plan for a game round

    This is just a faint memory, but forum used to be more quiet than it is today. A new forum section for finding playmates or for planning strategies did not have the necessary pull, and might still not have the pull needed to keep the section alive. And yeah I know, we still have dead zones here on forum. Knocking on ice (🐟ing), I started a thread to see if people would be interested in using forum more for connecting with new playmates. We could start there perhaps, to start operation socializing. 🤔

    A thread to plan ✍️ Forum profile page 2.0


    Roles and titles of RN team members aren't clear

    Yeah, they are occupations, job titles. They don't always tell players what to expect from a Community Manager, TeamLead CM or Communications MGR. I personally like more the title Community Host for example. Let me take your jacket good sir and show you to your table of new friends. Moderators on the other hand are pretty straight forward and clear in forum environment. Perhaps managers are as well... But sure, I'll put the feedback forward and perhaps our "internal community" can come up with something our "external community" can easily grasp ;)

  • Summaries from other domains

    This might work, depending if the topics are relevant globally. There's also the question of translating all the summaries to all languages, which can be a lot of extra work. This would not bring people together in the same threads or topics though, but instead people would likely continue discussions on their own domains. We CMs do go fishing for topics from other domains though that we think would be of interest in "our own" communities. And I might've just hooked a big one, let's see if I can reel it in...

    That is, why I suggested volunteers. Players. They must not even be called into the team.

    A normal community member (player, customer) knows best, what is interesting, moving, urgend, fun or boring for their language mates, and they would check their 2nd language threads once or twice a week and translate best as they can, summarize best as they can.

    No need for employees to seach, translate or control. Happens today already, when HMR does it or when I add information to German threads that English speaking mates have discussed.


    Only thing is, it should happen on a more reliable basis, maybe such connctors between "domains" could get a little bonus, or the ICH award (Iron Community Hero) after 2 dozen of summaries.

    Roles and titles of RN team members aren't clear

    Yeah, they are occupations, job titles. They don't always tell players what to expect from a Community Manager, TeamLead CM or Communications MGR. I personally like more the title Community Host for example.

    The discussion today motivated me to look up wikipedia. Wiki tells, what titles are used, what they mean, what they are (normally) doing in a company. I did not find the titles Travian uses ... which means, we often have to guess, what those guys might do all day long, or if they are the person to approach with a suggestion or problem.

    Well, yes, CM and moderators are clearly described all over the internet, but other Travian titles are not telling us customers anything, they often are riddles. So my suggestion is, to use titles as they are used elsewhere ... or, on the other hand, use titel forum orientated ... do we really need to read below the avatar, what title a guy can read in his job description?


    Missing the ability to connect with others and plan for a game round

    This is just a faint memory, but forum used to be more quiet than it is today. A new forum section for finding playmates or for planning strategies did not have the necessary pull, and might still not have the pull needed to keep the section alive. And yeah I know, we still have dead zones here on forum.

    True. But for me, a forum part like that will die in times, when customer numbers decrease. There is no need to call for new players when they do not appear. So, decreasing player numbers means dead invitation threads. But it is needed in times, when new players join.


    A forum part like this would give us hope, that player numbers may increase again, maybe after html is done, all buts are gone and the user interface does not mix up left windows and center windows any more. When the game is ready for marketing that brings new players, I guess, they would love to find a place where they get informed about groups and why they play which scenario.

    Frei nach Führungscoach Sandra von Oehsen. Zwei Fragen, die sich Unternehmen stellen sollten:

    Was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen?

    Und was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen, was sie gar nicht lernen sollen?

    Edited 2 times, last by Klabbauter ().

  • That is, why I suggested volunteers. Players. They must not even be called into the team.

    A normal community member (player, customer) knows best, what is interesting, moving, urgend, fun or boring for their language mates, and they would check their 2nd language threads once or twice a week and translate best as they can, summarize best as they can.

    No need for employees to seach, translate or control. Happens today already, when HMR does it or when I add information to German threads that English speaking mates have discussed.


    Only thing is, it should happen on a more reliable basis, maybe such connctors between "domains" could get a little bonus, or the ICH award (Iron Community Hero) after 2 dozen of summaries.


    Alright, how about we try this:


    You (and other players) spread the word that if you happen to see an interesting and important topic you wish another community to discuss:

    1. Tap the quote button and create a new thread on another domain
    2. Paste the post or topic to start a new discussion
    3. Write a translation under the quote in the same post
    4. And Voilá!


    Continue to do this when you see an important new topic, and others might pick up this new tradition. This option has always been available to players - Could it be that there's just not enough important content that players feel like translating and sharing? I guess we will find out...

  • This is, how it often happens today.


    My suggestion was a bit different, cause I fear, that this leads to a big amount of threads with only few readers.

    So my idea ... if I were a "connector" I would read the English forum (my 2nd language) once or twice a week, with a text editor open. If I find a discussion that would be interesting for my German mates (because it's a good discussion, a thrilling Samisu challenge or a discussion going on in German too, ...) I would write 2 lines of summary to my text editor and copy the link to the thread.

    After about 3 finds I would create a new thread in German part, called "week 18 interesting English threads" and copy the text from my text editor.


    Then (maybe) replies would come in. "Böööh! Boring!" or "That's interesting, can you please translate post 4 in that thread?" or "They have some pretty good ideas" or "Hmmm, what did Salix post in that thread=" or someone else would to translations of parts that are interesting to them.

    So, the "connectors" would provide "management summaries" of what is going on in other "domains", and if their mates are interested, complete posts or threads coult be copied and translated. If not, it's just 2 lines written for nothing.

    Frei nach Führungscoach Sandra von Oehsen. Zwei Fragen, die sich Unternehmen stellen sollten:

    Was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen?

    Und was können unsere Kunden von uns lernen, was sie gar nicht lernen sollen?