How does a gaming community change a developer's mind ?

#1 Edited by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

It happens alot that a developer admit that they changed this or brought back that, because of the backlash, or the community's complaints, etc... 
  
I've been a semi hardcore gamer for almost four years, and ive never, ever, felt that enraged or upset that i needed to complain.. 
I mean, my all time favorite games are GTA IV, Max Payne, Assassin's Creed, Crysis, etc... and im seeing Assassin's Creed get buttfucked with annual installments, Max Payne 3 being delayed over and over, Crysis being dumbed down and streamlined, and i dont care ENOUGH to complain about it. it just bothers me 
 
 But with Battlefield 3, it's different. ive never in my 4-5 gaming years been so concerned. If we miss the Battlefield 3 train, we're not gonna have another shot at a god-like shooter like BF2 for another few years, and im gonna do whatever i can to not let that happen. 
 
 
So how can we play the role of the Community That Changed A Developer's Mind ? it happened before, happens all the time. this time, i wanna be a part of it, and i dont know how to do it.  
Any ideas ? ive never spammed anything in my life but i dont mind going on EA's forums and spamming them with commander requests for the next 8 months.. fuck it. unless you have a more peaceful suggestion ?  
(im not actually condoning spam, im just saying..)

#2 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10384 posts) -

Honestly, I don't really think that there's any way for regular people like you or I to get them to make any sort of meaningful change to the game. The closest thing I can think of is Cole in inFAMOUS 2, but that was a simple face change.   
 
Also, I know this is a little off topic, but the Assassin's Creed games seem to only be getting better with each installment, so I don't think that series is doomed...yet. 

#3 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

What specific thing is pissing you off? Commander mode not making it over? Even if you petition for it, chances are they would offer it as paid DLC after the fact and act like they did the world a favor. I wouldn't be surprised if they charge extra for the SDK as well.

#4 Posted by Clonedzero (4059 posts) -

for something like that to happen it would have to be from the majority of fans, not just a loud minority.

#5 Posted by DarkGamerOO7 (574 posts) -

What exactly is so "worrying" about Battlefield 3? First off we know few details about the actual game. Second, what DICE has announced seems to be what everyone wanted in a Battlefield sequel but people are still complaining. DICE is giving you prone, jets, destruction, 64 players, a campaign, a possible theater mode, dedicated severs etc. Sure there are only (so far) four classes but that could change and honestly I thought Battlefield 2's seven classes was a bit much, four seems like a good number (Assault, Recon, Medic, Engineer) . True there will be no mod tools at launch but that could change, and the only reason they aren't having mod tools at launch is due to the complexity of Destruction 2.0. Last no commander mode? Well I have nothing on this one here but I hardly think one missing feature, that could be still added in, will not ruin the game. It is great that you want to communicate with DICE on decision that you think should  be changed, but spamming there message boards isn't going to get it done and it will just make you look like an angry fanboy who is blinded by nostalgia and is never happy with anything EVER. You could write a handwritten or typed letter to DICE explaining why you think they should implement Battlefield 2's Commander Mode or an updated version of it. It may sound silly but that will really give the impression that you care and if its well written they may actually read it and take it into consideration instead of a spammed post on their forums.

#6 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

 Truce?
In my experience, it's too late to change anything big by the time the general public learns about it. It's just how game development works. If you really want to make a change, get a job at DICE. 
#7 Posted by blueduck (964 posts) -

Developers make the decisions to keep their jobs. The EA higher ups don't play games or give a shit about them, they like money. If big name titles don't pull in the money the higher ups except the Developers lose money and then people lose their jobs. Here's the part that might make you sad, there are less "gamers" than there are mainstream gamers or "bro gamers." They don't give a shit about people who post on forums or really bother looking into the game at all.

#8 Posted by Jeffsekai (7026 posts) -

You don't.

#9 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Clonedzero said:

" for something like that to happen it would have to be from the majority of fans, not just a loud minority. "

The fact that people can't discern the difference on the net is a boon to people who want to fabricate opinion. Any kind of majority can be dismissed as a loud minority. They can pretend 5 million people sit in silent agreement with every choice they make while 15,000 loud assholes sign a petition.
#10 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@DarkGamerOO7:  
 
Um yeah im no longer arguing about what BF3 is missing. my enthusiasm for a genuine Battlefield game has been mistaken for fanboy hatred and i got a warning from the moderators about it. 
So im pleased to tell you that im done discussing this issue on Giantbomb.. if you agree with what me and some BF2 die hard fans have been saying, join the cause and try to help. 
if you wanna call me a whiner and/or you want me to repeat everything ive been saying about the game, you're not getting a response. 
 
 
@blueduck said:
" Developers make the decisions to keep their jobs. The EA higher ups don't play games or give a shit about them, they like money. If big name titles don't pull in the money the higher ups except the Developers lose money and then people lose their jobs. Here's the part that might make you sad, there are less "gamers" than there are mainstream gamers or "bro gamers." They don't give a shit about people who post on forums or really bother looking into the game at all. "
then why do we hear about changes made specifically because of backlash or an angry community ?  
  
 

@Clonedzero said:
" for something like that to happen it would have to be from the majority of fans, not just a loud minority. "
I guess that makes sense. i despise 'loud minorities', but ive no other choice than to belong to one at this point.
#11 Posted by EODTech (83 posts) -

Ahmad, your quote is spot on.  I read a post...where was it, the IFC Games channel or maybe Escapist, but basically they posted a four-part series of "tell all" articles from a Game Stop employee.  He echoed what you quoted: the bigwigs at game retailers--and even developers--do not PLAY games, do not LIKE games, and do NOT like gamers.  They are in it for the bottom line.  It's sad to me...the gaming industry went through a much more rapid shift than did the movie or music industry.  Music had the decades-long golden era where you could still be ugly or fat and make good music...games skipped right from Mama Cass to American Idol.

#13 Posted by withateethuh (726 posts) -

I want developers to make the kind of games that they want to make.

#14 Posted by kishan6 (1914 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic: Honestly poor sales is the only way to influence a developer that much.  Although we both know that BF is waaaaaayyyy too big of a franchise to have low enough sales to instigate such a change.....
#15 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I may have listened to what you have to say about changing the game, except you didn't actually say anything about the game. So all I can really think is "oh look, another angry person on the internet".

#16 Posted by withateethuh (726 posts) -
@kishan6:  Well instead of not buying things on the PC people just pirate, which does nothing except decrease developer interest on the PC.
#17 Edited by big_jon (5708 posts) -

 @Ahmad_Metallic: 
The things that I have heard about BF3 so far sound pretty good to me, minus 24 players on consoles. I'm not sure with how little info we have why someone would want to change their mind so badly?
 
Bad Company 2 was a pretty amazing game, they are making it sound like they are trying way harder for this one, that means that this game will probably be an amazing game. Dice has seemingly learned a lot from the Bad Company series, so I give them my faith. I think that a more complex and larger scale evolution of the things that they have learned from the Bad Company series and combined with elements from BF2 will make for an absolute show stopper.

#18 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

I've read a bunch of posts about how important the commander is, but I can't see the big deal? Same thing about 7 kits. The commander is awesome in trailers and dream scenarios, but the simple thing is - players never care what the commander does, and most of the time neither does the commander. There is no features the commander have that can't be relocated to other places. At least with giving snipers the ability to call in artillery they become useful and can be a part of a squad. Same thing for the UAV. If the squad has a medic and support there is no need for the supply-drop either. 

I think that removing the commander is, in some cases, good for teamwork - you force people to work as a squad.

BF3 has the same lead designer as Battlefield 2, I think he knows these things as good as any - and until/if they show me something really stupid, I wont complain.

All tough I played BF2 for thousands of hours, my favorite BF game is still Battlefield 1942, and it had no commander and only 5 kits - killcam too.

#19 Posted by Phantom_Crash (298 posts) -

I am not too concerned if Commander is in or not. It would be a good addition. I would rather they have full 6 kits, 4 feels too streamlined and shows lack of interest in the game.
 
The only way I can think of to get Dev attention if to post on official forums and/or youtube and post about what your concerns are. I don't mean just a couple of sentences either. Im talking about 3-5 paragraphs. They need to know what your opinion is and how it will affect the community and gameplay. Images and videos will help convey this. Facts are also useful and finished with a conclusion.

#20 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Who wants to bet that Max Payne 3 is gonna suck?

#21 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Just post your concern on their forums, where everybody else does. I do so. Some of the DICE's staff actually read that stuff and every once in a while, we get some dev answers. Maybe something you wrote did inspire somebody at DICE. Or not.
 
BF3 will be groundbreaking. No doubt about it. No matter if there's a commander or not.

#22 Posted by X19 (2304 posts) -

Naughty Dog was very good at listening to fans and changing things while I was in to UC2 mp. 

#23 Posted by solidlife (877 posts) -

You go to the official forums and you make a valid, well written argument. If others agree they will join in and add to your points. If it gets enough responses hopefully a developer will look at it and if he agrees will changes something however he will try to counter your view if he thinks its wrong. If or when he does this it is imperative that you make the best point possible to show that he is wrong. If he accepts it he will then maybe make changes. It is very hard to do but is possible with a PC game. Just look at World of Warcraft and the offical forums of blue posts for examples.

#24 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -
@kishan6 said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic: Honestly poor sales is the only way to influence a developer that much.  Although we both know that BF is waaaaaayyyy too big of a franchise to have low enough sales to instigate such a change..... "
I would argue that poor sales more likely just kills off franchises altogether in the long run.  I would think a business manager would see sales not as a response about missing features so much as developers failing to attract a big enough audience, resulting in a more "accessible" experience that goes furtheraway from the previous game that attempts to cater to a niche crowd as well as a mainstream one.  There would be exceptions though as we both know nothing is truly predictable when it comes to any business.
 
Battlefield won't die of course, but it was one of those franchises that played the idea of players playing as "average soldiers of different specialties" really well, with the term "average" heavily emphasised.  Hardly any mainstream games really do this at all, given that the focus is now to give players the ability to unrealistically call for mortars to come out of thin air and bombard like an airstrike, or to call three different aerial vehicles in short intervals without some sort of upper power regulating the use.  I seem to be in the definite minority, but even though I bet BF3 will be an amazing success, it won't be because of any innovative gameplay features, but the stunning visuals and the potential accessibility to the lowest common denominator to meet the bottom line.  Understandable but a bit of a bummer.
 
I will eat my words like a starving man should the game turn out to not be a rambo-fest of single people lone-wolfing and launching missile strikes and AI helicopters and UAV's left and right though, I can assure you.  That is the single real worry of mine.
#25 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -
@solidlife said:
" You go to the official forums and you make a valid, well written argument. If others agree they will join in and add to your points. If it gets enough responses hopefully a developer will look at it and if he agrees will changes something however he will try to counter your view if he thinks its wrong. If or when he does this it is imperative that you make the best point possible to show that he is wrong. If he accepts it he will then maybe make changes. It is very hard to do but is possible with a PC game. Just look at World of Warcraft and the offical forums of blue posts for examples. "
That is such a great point as that was quite an amazing sight to see.  I thought that the Starcraft 2 forums were blowing up, but when someone directed me to the WoW forums, I was just plain stunned.  Sure enough it was something really important but I never expected an internet community to come together in such large numbers like that.
#26 Posted by Tebbit (4447 posts) -

This is gonna sound bold, and troll-fuelled, but in my opinion, multiplayer, team-based shooters have long since surpassed BF2's style of gameplay. I think that DICE should make the game they want to / think they should make. 
 
Ultimately, you should be looking to games like Starcraft 2 for examples of how a community changes the mind of a developer. Since releasing Starcraft in 1998, that game underwent what was basically the most extensive playtesting session of any game, ever, and the community - by way of discovering faults and exploits in the way the game was made - ended up with the most balanced and engaging competitive RTS on the market. 
 
What I mean is: Rather than complaining about what they've taken out of the game, you should focus on what they're putting in to it. If you really just want the features of Battlefield 2, just... go and play Battlefield 2? The servers are still up, right? If they took something that existed in their previous game, and jammed it in their new game just because the community demanded it, chances are it wouldn't be great. it would be a needless rehash of old ideas in service of nostalgia rather than of gameplay.

#27 Posted by Otogi (247 posts) -

Very well, what do you want changed?

#28 Posted by solidlife (877 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician said:
" @solidlife said:
" You go to the official forums and you make a valid, well written argument. If others agree they will join in and add to your points. If it gets enough responses hopefully a developer will look at it and if he agrees will changes something however he will try to counter your view if he thinks its wrong. If or when he does this it is imperative that you make the best point possible to show that he is wrong. If he accepts it he will then maybe make changes. It is very hard to do but is possible with a PC game. Just look at World of Warcraft and the offical forums of blue posts for examples. "
That is such a great point as that was quite an amazing sight to see.  I thought that the Starcraft 2 forums were blowing up, but when someone directed me to the WoW forums, I was just plain stunned.  Sure enough it was something really important but I never expected an internet community to come together in such large numbers like that. "
Thank you. I think it is because when you play a MMO you dedicate so much time into it, it is like a second life and no one likes life changes for the worst. Also no wants to be the worst class :P
#29 Posted by Wuddel (2078 posts) -

These guys run companies. I have no doubt the devs want to put tons of stuff in there for free but in the end. 
 
"manhours needed for implementation of feature ABC" x "cost of manhour" - "fraction of people who care about ABC" x "projected sales" x "revenue per unit" = Y 
 
If Y is positive they will not include it. So far all examples were the community had a big influence concerned simple changes. Changing some damage variables or a texture here an there. No big, literal, game changers.

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