Leaderboard: How much input do you expect to have into a developing game you’ve paid for?

    
34

Last week, a developer from Parisian developer Dreamz Studio posted about how early access was the best thing that happened to his game, specifically because the early access playerbase acted a sort of extra pair of hands for developing the game.

“I believe that there’s no need to be a former Chef to make innovating pretty little tasty meals,” he writes. “Indeed, you just have to know the basics and then let you guide by the taste of your customers, right?” The studio basically retooled everything from the main character and the world to visuals and level customization based on eight months of feedback, even adding multiplayer because people begged for it.

This is basically how early access is supposed to work, right? This was the whole point of letting people buy their way in early, either with early access or Kickstarter or preorder packages, and then help test and guide the game as superfans. We’ve just seen it go wrong over and over, either because studios abuse the early access tag to make easy money and then abandon the title and the loyal players, or because early testers abuse their input to guide the game into becoming something nobody but them wants to play and causing it to flop hard. I bet you can name games for each group.

How much input do you, as someone who buys in during a game’s development, expect to have in the game’s ongoing design? To the pollmobile!

Leaderboard: How much input do you expect to have into a developing game you've paid for?

  • I expect a lot of input, regardless of how much money I put down. (4%, 6 Votes)
  • I expect a lot of input, scaling with how much money I put down. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • I expect a modest amount of input, regardless of how much money I put down. (15%, 20 Votes)
  • I expect a modest amount of input, scaling with how much money I put down. (4%, 6 Votes)
  • I expect a tiny amount of input, regardless of how much money I put down. (17%, 23 Votes)
  • I expect a tiny amount of input, scaling with how much money I put down. (6%, 8 Votes)
  • I expect about as much input as non-testers or non-backers. (6%, 8 Votes)
  • I don't expect any input. (17%, 23 Votes)
  • I never do early buy-in anyway. (9%, 12 Votes)
  • I never give feedback anyway, even when I do early buy-in. (6%, 8 Votes)
  • I really hate giving input and hope they don't expect me to give it to them. (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments) (5%, 7 Votes)
  • No response / just view tally / Sunday morning elf butts because Justin is on vacay and One Shots will be back next weekend (7%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 118

Loading ... Loading ...

34
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Kip Braunstader

i guess the only time i felt like i wanted to contribute was during swtor beta …i was a huge star wars fan and bioware fan..and really just wanted to be apart of something i believed in so strongly….at this stage in life though i do not feel that kind of feedback is welcome or needed..there are just to many voices crying out across the interwebs ….so many good suggestions are dismissed for features that nobody asks for….i dont think you can dictate to a developer just because you have forked over money…you have already seen something you like to have supported in the first place

Reader
AGx-07_162

“Input” is a tricky concept. As a consumer I don’t expect to have input in the vision of the product. What I do expect as someone who pays for an early access title is for my bug reports to be at the very least acknowledged. I’ve only ever paid for Conan Exiles, as I generally avoid Early Access (and I only did that out of sheer boredom). The game is riddled with bugs. Not all of them are game breaking but many of them can ruin your experience depending on how you play. The devs like to add content and “fix” things that weren’t broken but don’t even acknowledge some of the complaints large numbers of people have. Whether or not it can be fixed right away isn’t the point. Players do like to know that the complaint has been heard but rarely do devs acknowledge anything outside of hugely game breaking issues. When something is in early access, devs should do better to establish means to gather data on bugs and acknowledge the ones that are reported the most and focus on those.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
CasualSlacks

Once upon a time, I lied to myself and said that I’d have time to do bug reports and participate on alpha/beta forums, but I rarely ever did. I recognize that I’m just not the right kind of user for that sort of thing. I’m a big picture guy and not a nitpicker. I don’t get passionate over the lack of polish on a game nowhere near ready to launch. I’m never going to say after launch, “We kept telling them to change X, Y, and Z, but they never listened!”
I don’t buy early access unless my intent is to support a developer I trust or I’ve done all my research determined that the risk is already worth it. Also, I don’t back games for my than I’m willing to lose. If game turns out poorly, it’s disappointing and the experience will inform the next time I consider backing a new game. That said, if I’m playing a pre-launch build of a game with little in-game popup surveys, I’ll fill them out, but I don’t assume they matter unless the results are very specific.

Reader
draugris

I do expect transparancy for my money ( like camelot unchained is doing it). But real input,no. I would say that i expect that feedback will be heard and taken into consideration. Influencing development by outsiders can be problematic. First of all, game developers should not change the vision for their game over fan demands since this could make the game something completely different. Second, outsiders can never determine how much development effort and time it takes to implement changes or special features.

I work in a software development company for almost 20 years now, not gaming, financial software for insurance companies. We have user groups who meet up 1 time a year. They discuss for example what kind of features they would like to change, what they miss etc. Some of these things get implemented but only if the corresponding customer pays for that if it is something special. Other more global things get implemented in future versions of our product for everybody at no extra charge.

So taking feedback into consideration is important but to have a direct influence in the development cycle cost money, and i doubt that this works every game.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Cyclone Jack

Players can do things to a game that the developers never would have thought of. As such, bugs and balance issues can be highlighted to be looked at. Players can also find flow issues in a game, such as poorly thought out quest objectives; though this is typically something found during beta. Additionally, players can bring an idea to the developers that makes it into the game, or even spark an idea (like Blaster Defiance v2). Devs can also judge the community’s feedback on features that may or may not be well received, like PoE’s Perandus/Bestiary Leagues.

Reader
Santiago Draco

They can also destroy a game when the vocal minority are allowed to have undo influence in a games direction. A number of games have been and are being damaged this way. Vanguard, SOTA, Pantheon (RotF), just to name a few. Players who are stuck wanting a return to the past who don’t recognize that times change and the past is best left there. Developers who listen to these antiquated nostalgic views and don’t adapt to what the vast majority of modern players are looking for…. you end up with games that are old and obsolete before they are even launched.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Last week, a developer from Parisian developer Dreamz Studio posted about how early access was the best thing that happened to his game, specifically because the early access playerbase acted a sort of extra pair of hands for developing the game.

So, he laughed right at the playerbase’s collective faces for making them pay and doing the job he was supposed to do?

Awesome. This industry never ceases to amaze me.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

I guess i want game designers to make their own game and then try to sell me on it. You know like they used to before crowdfunding.

Reader
Loopy

None. It’s like asking whether i should be telling designers of my fridge what kind of features it should have after i purchase it. It will have the features that the designers decided to put into it. If i don’t like those features, i go and buy another fridge.

Reader
Slaasher

Other than bug reporting and giving my opinion on whether I like something or not?
Nope, that’s about all I expect.
After all, how closely SHOULD they listen to us?
Show me 6 gamers and I will show you 10 opinions.
How to keep track of that and make it resemble sense?

Reader
Chosenxeno .

I expect complete and total control since I’m the only one who knows what the hell he’s doing to begin with.