There are now only 99 posts in my feedback folder left! That's right, we've finished all the content, and it's now down to polishing and balancing everything, before the release candidate ships to our excellent playtesters!
What's all this feedback he's talking about, you ask? I've talked about it before, but it's such an excellent tool that I want to brag about it some more! But first, a little background.
You see, in the olden times we received most of the feedback through email, and we were thankful. There weren't many, because it really is an effort to go to your email program and tell someone about an error they've made. And even when somebody took the trouble of messaging us, sometimes it was very hard to make out what the person means by "There's something wonky in the area where the trees form a sort of a triangle." I usually just asked everyone to send me a screenshot, so I'd know where in the game it actually was. But then we realized, why not let the game do that! So the feedback button was born.
Our feedback button simply takes a screenshot of where you are in the game, and sends it to us, along with any message the player wants to send. And let me tell you, it has been used, dozens of times more than the email feedback would ever have been used! I have been through several thousand feedback messages, and most of them have been useful in one way or another. Sometimes they point to a clear flaw, sometimes to an area of improvement, and sometimes the people just want to tell us how much they've loved Driftmoon (Thanks, we've had a huge number of those, and they've all left us smiling!) But thanks to all the feedback we've received, we understand much more about how our players play the game, where they've had problems, or what they've enjoyed.
Before inventing the feedback button, our internal playtesting primarily consisted of one person playing the game, and the other being a scribe, writing down notes on where all the bugs were. That was tedious work, you had to quickly write down something like: "Tomb: Sherry, error in conversation, wrong name for Snap." And when you had just written that down, the person playing the game had already found ten other errors. It got even more tedious when we had to fix the error, finding the correct dialogue line, finding where in it the actual comma is missing. The exact same problem that we had with our players testing the game!
That's when we realized that there's no reason why we couldn't use the feedback button too! So now, every time we see an error, we just click on the button, write a short description, and off it goes into our fancy bug tracker system, which is actually a folder in my email. It's easy to see where the error is by just looking at the screenshot, and when we're complete, we can mark it fixed by moving the post to the handled feedback folder. What is more, either one of us can usually work on fixing the feedback, because the error's location is not written in some cryptic shortcode, like we previously had to do.
And that's where we're at now, we have 99 items left to fix from our own playtesting, ranging from dialogue errors to graphical glitches. And I'm sure there will be many more coming in soon when our testers get their hands on the new version. One item at a time, Driftmoon is getting ready...blog comments powered by Disqus