Devs: Improve your communication! Everyone will benefit

Hi there, always looking forward to all AOE content.

I want to address the outgoing communication from the dev teams, which if improved, would solve a lot of issues and make the community happier and benefit the game(s).

First some praise:

Positive:

  • the Fan Preview (cool stuff)
  • the Civ reveal interviews and the public mentioning of certain concerns (e.g. “arrowgate”)
  • the detailed website with all the Civ information
  • after MANY posts questioning whether the devs actually read the forums, some community managers answered a lot. still postive

What is the issue?

- an out of date communication plan

  • lack of information
    (e.g. regarding state of the game or beta plans)
  • no (or almost no) communication with forum participants regarding ideas or concerns
  • no information regarding future information releases

What are the consequences?

  • frustration among the core community

  • the community reports the same old issues over and over again

  • unaddressed concerns are blown out of proportions due to no official feedback in the forums

  • controversial issues are getting media attention first BEFORE getting dev feedback (e.g. the price issue some people mentioned, being picked up by the media first)

    which all funnels into:
    => uncertainty about the soundness of the developers efforts and plans


All of this naturally leads to the question: Are there examples how other studios/developers are going about it?
Here are 3 examples I think are interesting:

  • (1) Negative Example: DICE/EA communication before/around “Battlefield 5”

    Just a horrible story, I don’t think I have to mention many details, but basically they afterwards fired their marketing team and the game’s success/sales were quite underwhelming. Fans were disappointed, it was quite the disaster.

  • (2) Positive Example: DICE/EA communication currently for “Battlefield 2042”

    • They announced the game on June 9th AND IMMEDIATELY mentioned the date of the gameplay reveal! (June 13th)
    • After the gameplay reveal, they IMMEDIATELY announced when the next big reveal event would be happening (July 22nd)
    • they addressed questions and concerns that came up and clarified a lot of uncertainty of the community
  • (3) Positive Example: Communication of Coffee Stain Studios regarding “Satisfactory”

    • the community managers regularly stream on Twitch and make quality videos regarding the game and its development
    • plans and ideas are clearly communicated, as well as time frames
    • they schedule the updates, sometimes have to postpone the release, BUT ALWAYS communicate it!
    • thanks to the constant communication, the community/playerbase is very happy and supportive!

Conclusion: I certainly am aware that these are different games and different studios (e.g. one a small indie game in early access), and not all of these things would be suitable to copy for the AOE developers. Yet I don’t see why any other developer team shouldn’t take the best of these approaches and try to implement them.
A revision of the communication strategy would only benefit the game’s success!


What could be done?

- here are 3 ideas of mine based on the examples above:

  • (1) communicate clearly when the next information reveal is planned

    • even if its done vaguely (e.g. “in August”) or has to be postponed, the community would be more understanding and grateful
    • everyone would be be able to better engage with the devs in the forums too, if the next step in the schedule is known
    • people know when possible forum feedback could be taken into account/would be visible in new footage
  • (2) have community managers regularly (e.g. weekly) sum up the concerns/ideas of the community with a possible statement regarding which issues can be addressed, which will be forwarded, and which aren’t feasible/worth addressing

  • (3) regularly post pictures/videos/details regarding already revealed content in the forums to direct feedback in the directions useful to the developers


Outro:
Thank you for reading, I tried my best to evaluate the status quo and give useful feedback.
I bet the rest of you guys (community) have even better ideas.
I have faith in the developers and community managers to at the very least read this and leave a comment!
Take care y’all, only 100 days until release! :smiley:

51 Likes

This is a great post! However I believe that due to them being so quite is because they will most likely delay the release date as there are too many criticism over the game everywhere on the Internet.

But their silence doesn’t help at all.

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This could be a thing.

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I don’t think so, they just made a post about they are not ready and it’s part of their strategy to probably show at Gamescon for press impact, they don’t want more leak they actually reveal 2 more Civs without show any screen because of previous leak now they control their information

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Where Is the post, please?

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You mean about the 2 new civs?

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No, the post when they said they’re not ready.

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Thank you. I Guess this game could be dealyed to 2022.

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I wouldn’t write it better …
All developers should read this.

And don’t say nonsense that the beta will be SOON !!!

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thats a great post. It may be only 100 days left but they could still use some of this feedback and make changes. I mean, there is also the after release support, it would be grat to continue with what you say here.

Although I think its a bit late to change aways of communication now, its better late than never. 100% of your opinion.

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im stil gonna cancel my preorder with the 20€ extra DLC if the beta doesnt start before gamesom. thats far too late for any useful feedback to be considered.

But I fear that will happen.

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Great post a few straight answers earlier would have been easier on everyone.

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Only a persons that don’t like the graphics would mention something like this. Are you one of these weirdos?
Just kidding ofcourse, everyone has his opinion :stuck_out_tongue:
Sorry if you did not like my humor, the last I want is to offence someone.

Yes it would be great if we had more staff to see/discuss etc. Unfortunately we know that Microsoft does not give a lot of informations. We saw it today with the new DLC of AoE3DE. Before 20-25 days in their update they just told that they do not have anything to discuss. And the dlc will be live in 12 days.

Logically with the AoE4 they will make an exception because it is a new title and there are a lot of peoples out there waiting for an update. I am think I am one of these in the video…

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I wouldn’t be surprised if they delay it, even if it is just to make an Ultra graphics DLC so people don’t complain

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Yes I believe that even the biggest concern that came up, the graphics, could have been dealt with more efficiently through more frequent/detailed communication.

Mainly they should have laid out their plans/intentions from the start.

Adding more depth/detail later through the already announced mod-support or possible graphic DLCs/Free-LCs represent just two easy possibilities those who were worried should have been told about.

Since the unit details seem to be a stronger deviation from the “realism” of its predecessors (AOE1-AOE3), they could have emphasized the intentions/upsides of the AOE4 concept more strongly and frequently through forum interactions. But at the same time of course, acknowledge concerns.

Stuff like:

  • readability
  • lower min PC requirements
  • easier to build upon

But asides from the unit details/realism, I personally really like how the game looks!

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Nice topic , I made one about this , seems like you had seen it . :slight_smile:

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yep, that would have been great to also see in E3 stream.

However tehy did even back in the age preview tell us why they went this graphical route. it just seems ppl dont care :DE

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Developers have a control group of community members that they talk to very often. In general, it is quite funny to read about the fact that the developers see nothing and do nothing, when the team of these same developers says that they constantly read the forum, or they have to leave their post under each branch - “We understand everything, we will discuss it”? It seems to me they shouldn’t, it’s enough to say that they read what might be interesting, sorry, but I also don’t see the point in reading posts like "I want trees to grow in real time, and a historically accurate saddle for a horse’s ■■■, and that armor shone in the sun ", this is stupid and of course the developers cannot waste their time on ALL forum posts, believe me most of them are absurd.
In conclusion, I want to say that despite the misconceptions of some forum inhabitants, the developers are very active in communicating with the community, as it actually should be, this is definitely a plus. The fact that the developers do not communicate directly with you personally, sorry, but to tell the truth, you cannot provide enough useful information, like most local users, otherwise you would be on the players’ council.

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come AoE3DE has the same weakness in comunication area…hope making it more useful