Page 7 of 15 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 70 of 149

Thread: HEX Update - More of that Polish

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by chromus View Post
    Appreciate you taking the time to try and explain what seems to be HXE's communication strategy Shaqattaq. But Renquist sums it up fairly well above with "This all or nothing approach to communication is terrible...".

    Communication became the most important thing to manage the moment it was apparent that HXE would need years before delivering on its KS promises. It is also unfortunately the area where it has until now fallen the shortest.

    Communication isn't just about having all the answers at all times. It isn't just about giving people tangible dates backed up by technical information or data. It isn't only about the bottom line: when will X release, what will Y patch constitute, etc. This is software development. Of course there will be unforeseen bugs, delays, more bugs, more unforeseen complications, etc. When you finally have firm dates cannot be the only time you open the communication channel with your community, or otherwise stay quiet with "coming soon" blanket statements. You have to keep in mind that people will form expectations regardless of whether you give out any information or not (which you seem so hesitant to do). You have the power to manage that expectation with the information you choose to provide, not let it run wild in all directions by staying quiet.

    Here are some ways I think Hex can better communicate with its playerbase:

    - Hexers are always excited about your Friday Updates. They hope for tangible information but can be appeased by any new piece of development. You must not miss this opportunity to excite your playerbase and leave them with only disappointment. One spoiler card, one champion, one gem-change, one statement from a designer/developer about an upcoming feature - literally anything. No one really cares that these won’t be final or may even be changed in their entirety. Even a glimpse of the cool stuff that’s being worked on can go a long way towards reassuring the masses that progress is being made and keeping them hooked. This is especially true near content releases, such as this very update.

    - Even if it's minor progress, share some of the milestones you have achieved. What are some of the tough bugs and how have you tackled them? When you open a window to the world of game designers/developers, people really appreciate it and root for you. Chris Wood's post about the memory-leak bug pre-Set 3 release was golden. Make this type of communication the norm, not the exception. That's how important communication is. At critical times, 1-2 hours from an employee's time that would otherwise be spent on the game is absolutely worth it.

    - Some of the other developers make small vine / youtube videos asking their eomplyees casual questions that serve to not only create hype but also makes the staff more likable and adds a human element to the company overall.

    - When you take the chance to include your playerbase's feedback in some of your decisions (such as Chark's post and follow-up about Steam release), it creates a positive vibe and spurs the community to feel like they are a part of your team. This approach results in player-driven initiatives and builds more tolerance to endure the unexpected.


    These are just some of the things that came to mind. Hopefully, the new community manager will look to incorporate these and continue HXE's improvement in this area.
    A "good" Friday Update takes about 6 hours of time, maybe closer to 8 hours. That's every single week across 2-3 contributors. If it seems less, it's because we hopefully do a good job on those and they appear effortless. It needs a concept > assign work > asset creation > edit work > finalize work > ensure that this fits into the schedule > stage on website > publish. That that presumes we have something to actually show and that it's the right time to show it.

    I've mentioned before-- the Friday update cannot make features launch faster, but they can make things take longer.
    Please tweet me @HEXWilliam for a reliable, quick response. Thank you.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Timlagor View Post
    That's fine.
    I would have liked a communication when it became clear to you that it wouldn't be out in Early April.
    I would still like an idea of when not to expect it before. At present people are hoping for Set 4 every day ..and getting disappointed every day that it doesn't appear. Saying "definitely not before the 20th" would at least let us calm down a bit -certainly there would be some people who would expect it on the 20th then but most of us can understand that that's not what you would be saying.

    Attempting to list number of bugs publicly does seem rather futile not least I'm sure because one apparently minor bug could spawn a whole host of major issues.

    What happened to Feast of Abundance? I assumed it wasn't happening when Easter passed unremarked but I have since heard that it is coming.. will it be post-Dawn or can we hope it'll be along to tide us over? (I suspect it was planned on the premise of an earlier Dan and got entangled in the delays)
    This kinds of goes with my primary point which is 'saying there is no news can be news enough.' I can't tell you how many times I felt like an idiot with this game because I cleared up something in my schedule for a release or a date only to have that date approach [and sometimes pass] with zero notification of what was going on. The entirety of my saltiness over such matters could have been alleviated with a 'hey, that date? We're no longer confident we can make that date anymore, more news to come.' <- you did this once and it was great. Only once though. I can't remember what it was, maybe set 3? I think some message of 'we're re-evaluating the release of set 4, so it may not be the start of April due to other things which we are excited to tell you about' could have come a week ago. Then when the Steam news hit, it would seem less out of the blue, and could be celebrated a little bit more rather than being viewed with so much suspicion (which it still would be, just less so).

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqattaq View Post
    A "good" Friday Update takes about 6 hours of time, maybe closer to 8 hours. That's every single week across 2-3 contributors. If it seems less, it's because we hopefully do a good job on those and they appear effortless. It needs a concept > assign work > asset creation > edit work > finalize work > ensure that this fits into the schedule > stage on website > publish. That that presumes we have something to actually show and that it's the right time to show it.

    I've mentioned before-- the Friday update cannot make features launch faster, but they can make things take longer.
    But they can also can more effectively address the communication problem with the same time investment. It's obvious we have zero idea how much work goes into those updates, but what is in them could be tweaked. Hypothetical questions: What does HexEnt think of its efficacy with the Friday updates? Is it getting its 8 hours worth from 2 to 3 employees?

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Timlagor View Post
    That's fine.
    I would have liked a communication when it became clear to you that it wouldn't be out in Early April.
    I would still like an idea of when not to expect it before. At present people are hoping for Set 4 every day ..and getting disappointed every day that it doesn't appear. Saying "definitely not before the 20th" would at least let us calm down a bit -certainly there would be some people who would expect it on the 20th then but most of us can understand that that's not what you would be saying.

    Attempting to list number of bugs publicly does seem rather futile not least I'm sure because one apparently minor bug could spawn a whole host of major issues.

    What happened to Feast of Abundance? I assumed it wasn't happening when Easter passed unremarked but I have since heard that it is coming.. will it be post-Dawn or can we hope it'll be along to tide us over? (I suspect it was planned on the premise of an earlier Dan and got entangled in the delays)
    This is a good point.

    Early April
    Early April
    Soon
    Early April almost over


    There was a good point somewhere in between to let people know that early april was not happening. Missing dates is fine, but not letting people know until that date is almost upon them makes it a lot harder to deal with.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqattaq View Post
    A "good" Friday Update takes about 6 hours of time, maybe closer to 8 hours. That's every single week across 2-3 contributors. If it seems less, it's because we hopefully do a good job on those and they appear effortless. It needs a concept > assign work > asset creation > edit work > finalize work > ensure that this fits into the schedule > stage on website > publish. That that presumes we have something to actually show and that it's the right time to show it.

    I've mentioned before-- the Friday update cannot make features launch faster, but they can make things take longer.
    Also on this, I don't know if the community would be adverse to having updates every other Friday. Personally, I wouldn't mind; these days it feels like some of the Friday updates are stretching it. There are SOOO many great articles pouring in from community members and HexEnt people that the Friday updates aren't nearly as important as they once were unless they contain specific information.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqattaq View Post
    I think "shambles" is a pretty big exaggeration, but sure-- it's less than ideal. I think that comes with being a small team and also always trying to be open whenever possible with our community.

    As for "not having any idea" and "so little information," to the former we definitely have plenty of knowledge on how to do this. It's just that there are many moving parts and such varied ideas of what is "right" from the community that ultimately some players are going to be disappointed. For the latter, the challenge from my point of view is not the quantity, but the timing. If anything, it's the information itself that gets us in these spots, so it's arguable that there's too much information.
    I agree that there was definitely some hyperbole in my previous post, hyperbole that I usually try to eliminate from my posts, but I'm never truly at my A game while on my phone at work. Let me give it a better attempt....

    The "shambles from the very beginning" I was referring to is the way-beat-to-death issue with communication of expectation around the kickstarter, things that we are well past these days, but still occasionally get a little tug when people get a glimpse of how far out items like fully functional guilds, crafting, doublebacks, etc. really are. That whole situation was certainly a shambles, but again, I don't want to rehash all that bridgewater.

    However, since that time, Hex has consistently over-promised and under-delivered. I realize a lot of that has to do with being lead by a fearlessly optimistic visionary and entirely to do with the uncertainties of software development. But aside from all that, there has never been an entity at CZE that has been able to (or really tried in the sense I'm thinking) to engage the community in development and its hurdles. Instead we have gotten differing levels of information and engagement at seemingly random times.

    As for the "not having any idea". The single biggest concrete information we had about a Primal Dawn release date was given out by Cory in his clearly optimistic voice during his intro to the 100k Invitational. There was no official communication regarded the targeted window and people sure weren't going to give an credence to Cory's stressed "hope" and "we think", the expectation had been set. Set 4 being playable at the event only went to further set and harden those expectations. At the same time, Hex has released official communication on how critical it is to reliably release new set content on-time and how they promise to do it moving forward. Then we are given an immense and awesome deluge of spoilers and content related to the new set which spikes anticipation and clearly cements expectations of the set release in the very near future.... Then nothing really, the expected launch window comes and goes, the hype train completely stalls out on its tracks, spoilers become much less frequent, new set information in general becomes much less sparse; our only information is, "you know, bugs and stuff, this takes time."

    Its not hard to see how Hex put itself into a corner, got everyone excited about the corner by jumping up and down and showing pretty pictures, told everyone how important it is to be in said corner, then hoped if they were just quiet enough they could slip out of the corner. I know development is difficult and things are simply done when they are done, but the failure in communication described above is avoidable and instead has been consistently repeated by CZE. This is by no means we have seen a hyped release cycle fizzle with little communication.

    Then HXE comes with this Steam release. Which, while a temporary tactical panacea for the set 4 groaning, its out-of-the-blue nature opens up a whole myriad of intertwined questions:
    How long has HXE been planning this?
    Is this a reaction to a low playerbase?
    Is this a reaction to poor crossover from the f2p campaign to paying players?
    Does HXE have financial problems?

    Did this affect the set 4 release issues?
    If so, how and by how much?
    Assuming HXE has been planning this Steam launch for a while, how did they not foresee this interaction while planning the release?


    So now you have a potentially game-changing launch on THE major gaming distribution platform coinciding with the slipping release date of the first PvP content release in 9+ months without an official date for either or explanations/reasons for any of it.

    ...Oh yea, then there is the whole thing with Spectral Oak being nearly introduced to our accounts, also completely out-of-the-blue while the community awaits an article promised months ago (by Colin due to the shitstorm swirling around the "we will not talk about anything in this article" disclaimer) discussing the power-level changes that were made. I mean, I'm not trying to rehash every communication failure HXE has made, but simply showing fairly large power-changes to the most polarizing card the game will likely ever have with no coinciding explanation is pretty ludicrous.


    As for the "so little information", I would agree with you that just saying "we sure are hoping for early April" then hyping like hell and following up with very little information or explanation of missed launch window and poorly timed hype-content probably is a net-sum of "too much information". But the issue isn't that you gave too much information, its that there wasn't a clearly thought-out and executed strategy to any of it. And that is even before you consider the Steam and Spectral Oak stuff. A great communications manager would have had HXE at least meeting expectations once by now and giving the community a reason to hope that when the chips are down, HXE will deliver.

    The thing is, I know HXE is getting better, I know the days of content delivery with a solid backend are just around the corner, I know HXE will deliver set 4 soon and I know it will be amazing.

    I also know what releasing on Steam means and how forgiving the internet community is at large. As I said in my last post, HXE has been living off the faith and generally good nature of a heavily vested and adoring fanbase when it comes to these communication issues. Everyone here wants HXE to succeed mightily, and we all are emotionally having to gear-up a little for this impending steam launch to promote and defend our baby. Please, please get a great communication and marketing director that can support our fandom instead of uncertainty stacked on uncertainty and missed expectations.
    1x GK Keep - Dekroma

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqattaq View Post
    A "good" Friday Update takes about 6 hours of time, maybe closer to 8 hours. That's every single week across 2-3 contributors. If it seems less, it's because we hopefully do a good job on those and they appear effortless. It needs a concept > assign work > asset creation > edit work > finalize work > ensure that this fits into the schedule > stage on website > publish. That that presumes we have something to actually show and that it's the right time to show it.

    I've mentioned before-- the Friday update cannot make features launch faster, but they can make things take longer.
    I want to chime in that I think the Friday articles are great and don't require any more content. I think the whole communication timeline and strategy needs significant work. But also, for us, your soldiers, your forum goers, your redditors, they need more open and upfront communication than what the Friday updates provide but not nearly the time investment in formality.
    Last edited by knightofeffect; 04-11-2016 at 04:35 PM.
    1x GK Keep - Dekroma

  8. #68
    The Transcended
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,860
    Here's a crazy idea: cancel the weekly update and only give one update for each of your internal development cycles. Basically just post high level patch notes for your internal builds.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoss View Post
    Here's a crazy idea: cancel the weekly update and only give one update for each of your internal development cycles. Basically just post high level patch notes for your internal builds.
    I'm just going to say it. Getting a 'HEX KS UPDATE' a few minutes ago to read only about the Ghostbusters II Board Game Kickstarter and zero about Hex in a time where we are still under the impression that set 4 is 'early April' was not thought out well. At all.
    Last edited by fido_one; 04-11-2016 at 04:57 PM.

  10. #70
    I am surprised people like the Friday updates and surprised they apparently take so long. There is usually close to 0 content in them that hasn't previously been published. They are usually just a rehash of things that have been said/shown and some stuff about tournaments.

    Having said that there have been some AMAZING ones like the Chris Woods one and the recent one by Lorgoyle about the female vennen. When you can get someone who doesn't care about lore excited you are doing it right.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •