Dev Crunch: Can Devs Negotiate with Gamers?

In light of the most recent case of crunch, particularly affecting live games or games post release:

One of the issues cited was that Developers from Marketing Teams and on to actual Programmers were being made to deal with an “It must be fixed now” style of demands meant to assuage Gamers and Customers.

I admit even in our community, the same attitude seems to pervade at times. For example when the 2.14 patch broke sniping. Yes, our dissatisfaction was justified, but some of us acted like it had to be fixed “right now”. Which occasionally led to IOI-ers saying “That’s not the only thing we’re working on”.

Part of the issue from our side of course is we don’t even know what the progress is after we’ve reported something.

I was thinking if one way of managing this is perhaps that that Publishers and Devs can agree with Gamers on a window in which things will be fixed as well as cut-offs for reporting things to land in those windows.

Or maybe something like a github for games where developers and players can track each other on stuff that’s being worked on? We would also be able to see the scale of workload our beloved devs are facing so we’d have a more measured scale for our expectations.

Something has to give.

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That doesn’t seem practical to me at all, as the nature of the work means you can’t always guarantee at what point something might be fixed by.

That is horrifying. The idea that my customers could see my actual workload and track it over time. Absolutely not.

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I guess this is a pretty rational decision, but perhaps not many people would agree…?

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I definitely don’t feel like they have that type of responsibility to us. They do what they can, when they can with what they have. They shouldn’t have to be forced to work under the constant pressure of an entire fanbase’s demands needing to be solved “immediately”. I trust IOI, I :heart: IOI and I think that they deserve a lot more respect and appreciation than they’ve been given by a LOT of people (not talking about and/or targeting you).

It’s hard work. They’re working for OUR entertainment. I just think it might be nice for somebody to thank them every once in a while instead of just asking for more.

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That’s how github works though… at least in terms of tracking time of conversations.

Example:

Many think as the Customer they have the luxory to ignore all reasons why X is not happening already and instead think their wishes are the most important thing. I saw such posts here on HMF too and with this attitude we won’t have a healthy relationship to devs.

I mean IO is trying hard to build bridges. And with some exceptions it works out kinda well. Devs casually posting in our discussions here is already a huge plus in my book, even if that is not giving us much more insight, it at least makes them human. And not slaves of a publisher that tells us we customers are more important than devs keeping their job.

A tiny bit less capitalism and a tiny bit more friendship with the people that make the games you love.

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I’ve done both. But to be fair, I pushed IOI because I knew there would be “Customer Reputation Damage” over this issue.

This is also why when the FORTNITE article mentioned “Marketing made promises” I immediately remembered this episode… because it’s true.

In the case of the PSN Legacy Pack issue, IOI had only till the end of February to actually do good on that promise otherwise it’s “gone forever”.

But they pulled through and I praised them highly for it.

I wasn’t talking about you or anybody specifically. I imagine that the people that it WOULD apply to would know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was talking about them.

I can’t see the problem with giving a tactical nudge every now and again; I’m talking about the people who, sometimes, stoop so low as to actually write hateful things to IOI purely because they’re not getting what they want regardless of its merits, logic and/or possibility.

Edit: spelling

Yeah and it’s not limited to IOI. I am a bit disturbed that the slant of the article about FORTNITE made it sound like “well the people who demanded the crunch didn’t suffer any”.

That’s not entirely true. I’m a Marketing guy myself and I can tell you we’re under the gun if we can’t promise something. Timing is everything. We can’t guarantee Production people’s paycheques if we “missed the window” because we were gun-shy.

But also being a gamer myself I can understand how bad it feels to raise bugs and stuff and you don’t know where the progress is. A lot of people just give in to being angry.

I believe that better information would lead to less frustration and less crunch in the longer term.

I see your point but I always try to never make the mistake of underestimating the power of stupid voices in the crowd. A lot of people would stay on the same path.

I’m not in Marketing though (or anything even remotely related to this topic) so you’d probably be more aware than I would. Just wanted to throw in my two cents.

Too true… I have been let down too many times by these stupid voices. I even had the unfortunate situation of handing them the mic only to try and wrestle it back later. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wonder if it would be better if players get a repeated confirmation that an issue is actively worked on. Without an estimated date of release. That is generating no pressure for the devs and players know there is progress of some kind.

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Some devs use the tail end of their video directs for that purpose just to remind players that “We know it’s a problem we’re working on it. Don’t worry.”

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How about a whole lot less capitalism?

Ideally none :smiley:

I’m starting to think you lived over at Tortuga in a past life. :wink:

On the topic of crunch, this video just popped up in my feed:

And my point is it takes two to tango. If Bosses and Publishers “took it easy”… imagine if IOI treated our concerns by way of “Valve Time” (It will be ready when it’s ready so back off)…
That also doesn’t work…

Something gotta give.

Then I’m against it lol. Fuck that noise.

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But github works… except as is it would also be spoiler city.

Because we’d see threads like

“H2 test build: Portugal Map double doors stay open even if Target demands privacy”

That would drive us crazy… :stuck_out_tongue:

I see what you’re saying, but tbh that’s not a level of access I’d like to have… :neutral_face:

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