Towns > Allgemeine Diskussionen > Themendetails
Chakka 29. Nov. 2012 um 23:38 Uhr
My First Steam Post Ever: A letter to Xavi Canal, Tommy Kent, and Whomever it May Concern.
This is long. You will not read it, and I understand.

People not reading important letters is the main reason why I have future job security.

I have been a member of Steam since March of 2009. I have never wanted nor desired to come to these forums. I tend to avoid all forums like the plague, unless it is to see if anyone has a bug/workaround, etc. Never to post.

I usually have little to say: I play my games and move on with living my life--in which I usually spend all my time reading, writing and arguing with people anyway--so forums are somewhat redundant.

This is my exception.

Dear Mr. Canal, and Other Developers:

1) Pretend to care, even if you actually don't. Trust me, it works (even for me, and I teach it). There's quite a living to be made in consulting companies about the benefits of pretending to care (or, if they have the drive and resources, actually learning to care). To do so, however, has a great cost: you must listen and respond. This takes time, effort and usually money, and is a major reason why people have spokesmen/women to do this for them. Regardless, pretend to care.

You seem to have fans/moderators out there, especially those that can actually code/mod/enhance your product and have done so. For free. Let them speak for you. But beware of whom you send.

2) Change the Steam description. This is an alpha/beta/work in progress. Nearly all games are “continually being developed and updated”. This leads to confusion and anger. Do not pretend. Do not debate it. Do not justify it. Change it. As soon as possible, if not immediately. Others have suggested it, and you would do well to listen. You would eliminate most of the debacle that your release created. Many developers like to release paid betas/alphas, but they get support because they do so by saying clearly, unequivocally, and without any flowery language. There are tons people who know they are getting an incomplete product and STILL WANT IT. They want you to succeed. Work with that. Pretend to care.

3) Keep a Journal. A public development journal for your work on Towns could do wonders to open up the community here. Use the steam news, other sites (with links on Steam), and anything else to let people know where you're at in development, what you're working on, and what is coming soon. Even news or stories, so we know you're alive. Don't make people like me dig just to figure out what's going on. If other people have great ideas you want to include, mention it! If you have a new team member, let us know! Just don't only post one thing on the forums, update news, and then nothing. Pretend to Care.


Dear Mr. Kent (and Mr. Canal, since Kent is apparently your agent, at least in part):

1) Stop it. Stop. It. I am no forum guru, but I deal with enough passive aggresivism in everyday writing to know what you're doing. It is not helpful. It is not a good use of your time. It leads to flame wars, and confuses the issue. Do not insult the community you are posting in. Do not hawk the game next to posts that hate it. You do more harm than good, and confuse the issue. Do not make snide remarks. Do not harass your friend/supervisor/boss's customers (whatever your relationship with the man) in any way, shape, form, or manner.

2) If someone posts a long, well thought out review that does not make you happy, take a deep breath, STAND AWAY FROM THE CAPSLOCK, !!!!!Exclamation points!!! and move away from the keyboard in general. Do not react. Do not get angry. Look, and listen. Address the whole post, not the parts you don't like or want to ignore. Treat people with respect. Keep a lid on your sarcasm, your wit, and your temper. Then:Post constructive comments, not negative ones. Your responses must be clear, address each point, and include a neutral tone of voice. Surprisingly, the words you type, the way you type them together, and the way you address a point in written form actually conveys your attitude and tone of voice, just as if you were in the room with the other posters. Neat huh? I'll give you the same advice I gave Mr. Canal.

3) Pretend to care. These are people who, for whatever reason, were intrigued enough by your game to buy it. For some reason, they're not satisfied. DO NOT ASSUME THIS IS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE THE GAME. Do not assume ANYTHING. These people have a problem, whether they love the game or not. Avoid any snark, sass, angst or other negative writing (especially if you did not intend it, and it just came out that way). They would not be writing here unless they had a problem and needed help. Don't insult them by reminding them that others are fine with it, THEY ARE NOT. Would you tell a hungry man to shut up just because other people have food? How well do you think THAT would go over?

4) If you have trouble organizing or expressing your thoughts clearly and concisely, consider using bullet points, outlining, or number, as I have here. It makes things clearer (though not always easier).

5) Look, listen, read, take a breath, and pretend to care. If you're the one they sent to help address the problem, whether you're a developer or just a volunteer, you become the face of the game and developer you care about. Do them proud and build bridges to this community. Don't burn them down.

And just so you know,
I actually LIKE THIS GAME, and hope there is more and better versions in the future.

Sincerely,
A Fan

P.S.
Dear Purchasers/Steam Customers:

1) Caveat emptor. Section 12.5 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement you have legally agreed to: "Valve does not screen such third party content available on Steam or through other sources. Valve does not assume any responsibility or liability for such third party content." These agreements are written by lawyers for a reason. Welcome to the Rule of Law.

2) You might get (and may have gotten) your money back settlement style, where Valve simply oils a few of your palms to quiet the squeaky wheels, but this is done at Valve's sole discretion and beneficence. They have no legal obligation to care or pay you anything they already legally own, but sometimes it is either: 1) Good enough business sense to pretend to care (don't scare away customers); or much more rarely: 2) Someone in a position of authority decides to actually care. I wish you luck.
Beiträge 1-15 von 67
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Margorach 30. Nov. 2012 um 0:46 Uhr 
Fascinating.
mr bigdad 30. Nov. 2012 um 4:16 Uhr 
A great letter! You know your thing!
*VictorFrankenstein* 30. Nov. 2012 um 4:23 Uhr 
I can tell you're not very often in forums, because your letter/post looks like it was written by a sensible adult. Something you see all too rarely online.

And I agree with every point made.
LiquidxAngel 30. Nov. 2012 um 5:32 Uhr 
I agree with every point. Excellent writing and excellent formatting (in forums and online, a little TLC regarding formatting goes a LONG way.)

Sticky this letter everywhere.
DarkSeti 30. Nov. 2012 um 6:23 Uhr 
I agree, too.

According to the refunds: I don't know, if it's just in Germany, but when you buy something in the Steam store and you have to confirm the order in the last step, it says that you won't be able to get a refund after you confirmed your order.
ragnar119 30. Nov. 2012 um 6:42 Uhr 
Really nice write up.

[TB] thunderw 30. Nov. 2012 um 8:31 Uhr 
+1 for me.
Megarlin 30. Nov. 2012 um 8:53 Uhr 
i feel compeled to copy this, change a few names and repost it in many forums of games with similar problems, but i wont because the person who wrote this earned my respect.
mr bigdad 30. Nov. 2012 um 10:33 Uhr 
Have you had a reply yet?
tommykent1210 30. Nov. 2012 um 11:07 Uhr 
Hi there Chakka,

Thank you for taking the time to post. That was clearly a well thought out post. I will try to answer you as comprehensively as I can :)

Ursprünglich geschrieben von Chakka:
This is long. You will not read it, and I understand.
I did :)


1) Pretend to care, even if you actually don't. Trust me, it works (even for me, and I teach it). There's quite a living to be made in consulting companies about the benefits of pretending to care (or, if they have the drive and resources, actually learning to care). To do so, however, has a great cost: you must listen and respond. This takes time, effort and usually money, and is a major reason why people have spokesmen/women to do this for them. Regardless, pretend to care.

We do care, the hapiness of our customers is our primary concern. We try to respond to as many posts as we can, but I'm sure you understand, large volumes can be hard to handle and we do occasionally miss posts.

2) Change the Steam description. This is an alpha/beta/work in progress. Nearly all games are “continually being developed and updated”. This leads to confusion and anger. Do not pretend. Do not debate it. Do not justify it. Change it. As soon as possible, if not immediately. Others have suggested it, and you would do well to listen. You would eliminate most of the debacle that your release created. Many developers like to release paid betas/alphas, but they get support because they do so by saying clearly, unequivocally, and without any flowery language. There are tons people who know they are getting an incomplete product and STILL WANT IT. They want you to succeed. Work with that. Pretend to care.

That line was added by steam themselves. We, and steam, consider the game to be released. We did initially release as a paid alpha before steam, then when we were at a release worthy stage we released.

3) Keep a Journal. A public development journal for your work on Towns could do wonders to open up the community here. Use the steam news, other sites (with links on Steam), and anything else to let people know where you're at in development, what you're working on, and what is coming soon. Even news or stories, so we know you're alive. Don't make people like me dig just to figure out what's going on. If other people have great ideas you want to include, mention it! If you have a new team member, let us know! Just don't only post one thing on the forums, update news, and then nothing. Pretend to Care.

This is something the developers are considering. I also believe it would be a great idea :)

1) Stop it. Stop. It. I am no forum guru, but I deal with enough passive aggresivism in everyday writing to know what you're doing. It is not helpful. It is not a good use of your time. It leads to flame wars, and confuses the issue. Do not insult the community you are posting in. Do not hawk the game next to posts that hate it. You do more harm than good, and confuse the issue. Do not make snide remarks. Do not harass your friend/supervisor/boss's customers (whatever your relationship with the man) in any way, shape, form, or manner.

I do try to avoid any aggression and, as I stated in another thread, insulting or harassing members of this forum was never my intention. I simply tried to clear up any misunderstandings and ended up the subject of the flame war myself.

2) If someone posts a long, well thought out review that does not make you happy, take a deep breath, STAND AWAY FROM THE CAPSLOCK, !!!!!Exclamation points!!! and move away from the keyboard in general. Do not react. Do not get angry. Look, and listen. Address the whole post, not the parts you don't like or want to ignore. Treat people with respect. Keep a lid on your sarcasm, your wit, and your temper. Then:Post constructive comments, not negative ones. Your responses must be clear, address each point, and include a neutral tone of voice. Surprisingly, the words you type, the way you type them together, and the way you address a point in written form actually conveys your attitude and tone of voice, just as if you were in the room with the other posters. Neat huh? I'll give you the same advice I gave Mr. Canal.

I don't remember ever holding the Capslock in place when posting. I try to be clear, I try to avoid negativity but sometimes it just doesn't work.

3) Pretend to care. These are people who, for whatever reason, were intrigued enough by your game to buy it. For some reason, they're not satisfied. DO NOT ASSUME THIS IS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE THE GAME. Do not assume ANYTHING. These people have a problem, whether they love the game or not. Avoid any snark, sass, angst or other negative writing (especially if you did not intend it, and it just came out that way). They would not be writing here unless they had a problem and needed help. Don't insult them by reminding them that others are fine with it, THEY ARE NOT. Would you tell a hungry man to shut up just because other people have food? How well do you think THAT would go over?

As stated above, I do care :)

4) If you have trouble organizing or expressing your thoughts clearly and concisely, consider using bullet points, outlining, or number, as I have here. It makes things clearer (though not always easier).

Ill bare that in mind :)

5) Look, listen, read, take a breath, and pretend to care. If you're the one they sent to help address the problem, whether you're a developer or just a volunteer, you become the face of the game and developer you care about. Do them proud and build bridges to this community. Don't burn them down.

Again with the caring?! :P Just kidding, I do care :) I try to keep a positive face as best I can, I'm sorry if it doesn't stay that way all the time.




1) Caveat emptor. Section 12.5 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement you have legally agreed to: "Valve does not screen such third party content available on Steam or through other sources. Valve does not assume any responsibility or liability for such third party content." These agreements are written by lawyers for a reason. Welcome to the Rule of Law.

Hmmm, that is odd. Steam have screened everything we have done thus far, other than the posts on this forum (which are literally the only thing that is "ours"). I think this may pertain more to the user uploaded content such as screenshots and forum posts.

2) You might get (and may have gotten) your money back settlement style, where Valve simply oils a few of your palms to quiet the squeaky wheels, but this is done at Valve's sole discretion and beneficence. They have no legal obligation to care or pay you anything they already legally own, but sometimes it is either: 1) Good enough business sense to pretend to care (don't scare away customers); or much more rarely: 2) Someone in a position of authority decides to actually care. I wish you luck.

This is one problem I have with steam. We never really own our games, just permanently lease them. You can't take your games off steam.


In conclusion, thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice, we'll try to take on board what you have said :)
Jharsh 30. Nov. 2012 um 11:14 Uhr 
Ursprünglich geschrieben von tommykent1210:
Hi there Chakka,


2) Change the Steam description. This is an alpha/beta/work in progress. Nearly all games are “continually being developed and updated”. This leads to confusion and anger. Do not pretend. Do not debate it. Do not justify it. Change it. As soon as possible, if not immediately. Others have suggested it, and you would do well to listen. You would eliminate most of the debacle that your release created. Many developers like to release paid betas/alphas, but they get support because they do so by saying clearly, unequivocally, and without any flowery language. There are tons people who know they are getting an incomplete product and STILL WANT IT. They want you to succeed. Work with that. Pretend to care.

That line was added by steam themselves. We, and steam, consider the game to be released. We did initially release as a paid alpha before steam, then when we were at a release worthy stage we released.


How can you go from an alpha to a final release 1. without ever hitting beta. and 2. not changing a thing between aplha and full release? If this version is identical to the aplha it is still in alpha.
LiquidxAngel 30. Nov. 2012 um 11:29 Uhr 
Ursprünglich geschrieben von Jharsh:
Ursprünglich geschrieben von tommykent1210:
Hi there Chakka,


2) Change the Steam description. This is an alpha/beta/work in progress. Nearly all games are “continually being developed and updated”. This leads to confusion and anger. Do not pretend. Do not debate it. Do not justify it. Change it. As soon as possible, if not immediately. Others have suggested it, and you would do well to listen. You would eliminate most of the debacle that your release created. Many developers like to release paid betas/alphas, but they get support because they do so by saying clearly, unequivocally, and without any flowery language. There are tons people who know they are getting an incomplete product and STILL WANT IT. They want you to succeed. Work with that. Pretend to care.

That line was added by steam themselves. We, and steam, consider the game to be released. We did initially release as a paid alpha before steam, then when we were at a release worthy stage we released.


How can you go from an alpha to a final release 1. without ever hitting beta. and 2. not changing a thing between aplha and full release? If this version is identical to the aplha it is still in alpha.

I have to agree and wonder (exactly as Jharsh has) about this too...
Solo Solitaire (Ausgeschlossen) 30. Nov. 2012 um 11:29 Uhr 
FWIW, this is a post you should have listened to rather than replying to.

I believe the OP keeps mentioning that you guys should act like you care because that is NOT the impression that most users on this forum have gotten.

And for God's sake, will somebody at your company learn to spell "happiness" at some point?
Boss Looter 30. Nov. 2012 um 11:58 Uhr 
Ursprünglich geschrieben von tommykent1210:
We, and steam, consider the game to be released.

This is exactly where the frustration and anger towards this game and the developers is coming from. You Mr. Kent posted on your very own forums the same day Towns was released on Steam that the game had gone from "alpha to beta". Beta does NOT mean released, clarify it is still BETA.

You're treating your players like fools assuming that we don't know the difference between beta and release, unless it is you that doesn't know the difference.
Zuletzt bearbeitet von Boss Looter; 30. Nov. 2012 um 12:00 Uhr
Solo Solitaire (Ausgeschlossen) 30. Nov. 2012 um 12:02 Uhr 
Not to mention that the large list of features still to be added suggest it doesn't even belong in beta yet.
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