November 18, 2017, 03:48:17 pm
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Topic: Regular Developer Updates  (Read 179 times)

sam6321

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Regular Developer Updates
« on: November 12, 2017, 07:38:47 am »
Greetings,

In light of the recent outcry from some members of the community about the state of the game in season 3, I wanted to bring up a possibility that may help re-assure players that progress is being made toward improving some of the issues with the game.

I'm talking about the devs posting development updates at a regular interval, such as every 1, 2, or 3 weeks.
The content of such posts could simply be a short message such as:

"Working on map design for new PvP dungeon"

or possibly a more extended work log such as:

  • Completed roughly 30% of the upper level of a new PvP dungeon, started work on the general layout of the lower level.
  • Fixed script issue with grenades exploding in players inventories
  • Working on new UI icons

The general aim here is to re-assure players that work on various features is being performed, and to give players an idea of the features they can expect in future updates.

I take this sort of approach with a project that I administer, and it helps prevent the "is the project dead?" and "devs are doing nothing" type of posts on the forums.

Of course, sometimes no work will have been done between regular dev logs and that's okay too. A simple "didn't find time to do work" at least keeps the community updated with what's going on.

Ultimately, in my experience, regular communication between the developers and the community is an overall benefit to both, so I hope a system like this could help enhance that for Reloaded.  :)

Thanks for reading!

Slowhand

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 11:07:06 am »
This whole thing sounds more like a job than a hobby.

Also, every other action than developing takes away time from developing.

sam6321

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 11:28:30 am »
It shouldn't take more than 5 mins to write up the kind of devlog I'm talking about. I'm not saying it should be anything more than a few lines of "yeah working on this stuff".
Whenever I write them, I just write down the biggest things I've worked on and it keeps people happy.

Perteks

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 02:36:49 pm »
You clearly don't know a shit about how dev'ing fonline works

Henry

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 03:34:29 pm »
Sam is right, and it would not take much to do this. However...for whatever reason, most FOnline developers have had the opposite method: stay very quiet about all work, and surprise us.

So some people might agree with your suggestion, Sam, but I believe you're fighting a mountain. Spoiler: mountains always win.

That outcry is misleading. Some people cry and complain. Meanwhile the rest of us love the game, and now even more in Season 3. We're just not as vocal, so the general impression is "everyone hates it". The truth is, most ppl love it - only a tiny minority hate it. Of course when i say that, i'm including the hundreds and hundreds of ppl who tried this game and left due to the overwhelming proportions of total jackasses.

Back to your idea though: last season i suggested to Kilgore that, as a wiki editor, i could manage some "wiki leaks" about current/future development. It would not at all be comparable to a developer blog, but might help to bridge some gap between whatever they're working on and the total silence we inhale here most days. I think he thought the idea was cute, so maybe i can eventually be trusted to share some specific tid-bits of dev work in advance. Don't count on it.

In the meantime, embrace the mystery! Hang in there - i do believe work is being done. Free game though, so no ETAs, no schedule, no dev blog, no promises, no revenue stream, etc.

More
Back in the days of 2238, Rotators did establish a dev blog. I remember at first they used it and shared info, but very quickly it fell inactive. It was always my impression that it was due to the jackass community, who would read info there and immediately start complaining they did not like upcoming features. So maybe those devs said, "Fine, then skip it" and abandoned the dev blog idea so they would not hear such complaints. If so, it's understandable that method has carried over to today.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 03:40:31 pm by Henry »

sam6321

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 12:23:23 am »
I don't think it's a majority of players who've been complaining about the changes this season, but the player count for Reloaded this season has honestly seen a fairly large slump, so it does seem to imply that something might be wrong (although correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation).

At the end of season 2, the game was seeing an average of around 80 players per day in August. It spiked up to around 150 average when season 3 started in September, but since then it's been on a downward decline that seems to have stabilised at around 50 players per day average. That seems to show a decrease of 30 players (or 37.5% of the player base) between season 2 and where season 3 is at the moment. I know that the devs have said previously that this doesn't bother them, but I can honestly say it feels very worrying to me. I really enjoy playing Reloaded, and I'd hate to see it gradually disappear over time.

My hope with this suggestion was that adding a bit of clarity as to where development is progressing might prevent some players from wanting to leave so quickly.

I understand that there would be people who would complain on the devlogs about changes they don't like, but people seem to be complaining anyway. At the moment, they're just complaining across various forum posts instead.

There are a few good opportunities too though, such as allowing the community to provide constructive feedback on in-dev changes that can improve the quality of future updates.

Henry

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 02:22:21 am »
Okay. :)

So a couple things here:

1) We lost 30 players. We had about 45 jackasses so we still need to lose another 15 people. lol Seriously though, we lost 30 and we're down to 50, right? When you go to the gym fat, you gotta cut some serious dead weight first.

2) We should not expect anything constructive from destructive-minded people. Maybe from the rest though, but that's you and me and maybe 25 others? Some of those edit wiki - that's our contribution. I don't expect much. I would feel naive if I did.

3) That upsurge in player count when a new season begins simply doesn't fool me. It doesn't mean anything to me. They are people from other servers just peeking in, seeing what's new. To me, they don't count here. They're people, and some are cool, but if they don't play here regularly, then they don't count as far as this server's dependable population.

A dev blog would be great. Don't expect it. I'll re-suggest my wiki leaks idea. No eta.

We do know some dev work though! We see the TmpPage(s) on wiki with some perks still to come, and devs have mentioned some new dungeons still wip.

sam6321

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 04:43:44 am »
Yeah the increase in player count after a new season start is 100% to be expected, and there's nothing unusual there. I'm just a bit worried at how many people are dropping off the radar afterwards, especially in comparison to season 2.

Henry

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 02:26:34 pm »
We have two groups that have quit. Let's compare them:

Group 1 is the obvious group. The ones you're pointing out have left during Season 3. They don't like the no-loot-drop or whatever. Mostly jackasses imo - cry cry cry - complain etc. About 30 people. Got it.

Group 2 is the group that gets overlooked. They are the ones who try the game but quit after some months due to the jackasses in Group 1. Estimating their number is tough because it's over a much longer period of time. This group might be 2000 people, or maybe 5000. Hard to say.

I don't want Group 1 back. I want Group 2 back. That's my perspective.

Programmer

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 12:17:55 pm »
I think writing few sentences one time per week / 2 weeks / month isn't hard to do. Right now when you visit forums you don't see any activity from developers and in addition circa 50 players counter which is sad. It only proves that game is burnt out and somehow boring for long term gameplay.

You only need let's say month to fully achieve everything (playing very casually), of course less if you can play several hours per day.

Anyway I love this server so much and I don't want to see it abandoned so please do something for fucking sake.

Corosive

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Re: Regular Developer Updates
« Reply #10 on: Today at 09:01:55 am »
*Working on bug fixes
*Working on exploit fixes
*Working on balancing fixes
*Improving all jobs/quests/events
*Adding new Dungeons
*Improving old Dungeons
*Adding new NPC content
*Adding new Faction content
*Adding new PVP content
*Adding new Gambling content


^^^^^ This is the only update you need to know. Now, have patience and let us work.