First off, I just wanted to mention that I think the team has made a fantastic game. I beat the beta last night with 20 hours of gameplay and I’m now even more eager for the full game. I was wondering what your thoughts or approach to community feedback implementation is? I know it’s kind of ridiculous to be asking this when the game isn’t even out yet and that the studio only consists of a handful of people, who are probably feverishly attacking bugs and finalizing everything. I’ve been digging through the forum since the beta launched and found some interesting comments and ideas for the game, most of which feel like quality of life changes ie: crafting multiple mats at once, dungeon map legend, overworld map indicators, walk speed, etc and know that even these small changes can take some effort and time. I was just curious if you were planning on having updates after the launch to adjust aspects of the game, do balance changes or possibly add content Thanks again for making such a fun and great game.
Hey Duck, good question. Happy to try and answer. It’s all about weighing time vs. resources vs. risk.
First, if the community finds showstoppers, those go on a “must fix” list. Anything that gates progression or halts progress through content is given absolute priority.
When those have been fixed, we move on to the next level of bugs and feedback, which can co-mingle. It’s important to point out that some bugs can be platform specific. So while we’re working to fix the issues our backers are finding on PC (which generally apply to all platforms), we have QA teams that are finding bugs unique to Xbox, PS4 or Switch. These are often due to Unity’s unique implementation features on each. So those take up additional time, beyond what the community is finding in our active beta.
If an issue doesn’t halt a player’s progress through the game, it becomes subjective. This is where judgement comes in. We try to look for patterns: do a large group of players report the same issue or point of feedback? If so, we weigh the risks associated with addressing the feedback. This is tricky because systems are always interconnected, so “fixing” one thing can result in breaks somewhere else in the chain. Anything we change or fix must be tested thoroughly to ensure stability.
A good example is movement speed in dungeons, perhaps the most consistent point of feedback. If we change hero speed, that’ll affect: how creatures interact with players when they aggro, how traps behave and are timed for difficulty, certain puzzles that involve timing, and other unexpected things - like what happens when players are using dungeon skills that depend on speed. However, the feedback was significant enough that we are, in fact, testing movement speed increases right now… and will likely implement just such a boost. It comes with risk, so we’re trying to make sure nothing goes sideways when we do.
In general we try to respond to as much feedback as we can, whether it’s to announce that we’re changing something or to explain why we can’t. That won’t always be a perfect system and not everything will be addressed (directly or indirectly), but we do everything we can. Especially for our backers.
So as you can see, there’s a lot of gray area. Things that break the game are a no-brainer; every other issue involves myriad factors that must be weighed before addressing. The beta period has already had a huge positive impact on the game and we couldn’t be more excited about how it has gone.
Hope that answers some part of your question, and thanks for the support!
Thanks for the answer. I’ve worked in the game industry for 10 years and I’m always curious on how companies approach community feedback. Sometimes it a game that seems built around comments and suggestion like Divinity Original Sin 2, sometimes it’s balancing and quality of life changes like Diablo 3 and other times it’s the developers holding their ground and waiting for the community to adjust to their decisions like Darkest Dungeon. (hmm all D named games) In any case none of these approaches are right or wrong but each process hopefully builds a stronger and more fun game. Again everyone on the team has done a great job and hopefully any adjustments, bug fixes and add ons will find their time to be made and implemented.