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  #11  
Old March 8th, 2011, 09:32 AM

ScottWAR ScottWAR is offline
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Default Re: Customer relations

I tried to edit this in but took too long typing it..........

To be fair I sent in a ticket asking if the developer ever read the forums because a question about multiplayer had been asked in the forums and never answered. The reply was that Shrapnel discourages developers to post in the forums because they would rather handle game issues through support tickets. The person in your support dept MAY have meant that shrapnel discourages developers from posting in the fourms about game issues.......and not in general. Either way its still a bad policy. Its important to a community to KNOW that a developer is listening and working on things. What better way than for them to answer questions in the forums......
  #12  
Old March 8th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Absolutely true, but I'm really not sure about Shrapnel's policy. I don't know if Camo Workshops and Illwinter talk about bugs in the forum, don't read these forums ('cause I don't have the games, or in the case of Camo Workshops, haven't played them enough). But I think they do. Don't know why Malfador don't do this, either they don't care or they are too busy at the moment. Hope the latter is the case.
About your first reply: Yeah, the beta phase was probably too short and they didn't have enough testers. Maybe they got too few through the advertising Shrapnel made for the beta (hehe, Shrapnel isn't a well known company, I think, they serve a special market, EG hardcore strategy gamers).
  #13  
Old March 8th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Hey, and about this policy of handling game support issues through Shrapnel's support system: I think that doesn't work as well as keeping in contact with the developers directly. Tried to do this with BCT Commander, and I got a valuable answer from ProSim much faster than through the support. Pat from ProSim could immediately answer my question 'cause he knows about the problems of his games whereas Shrapnel's support has to get in contact with the respective developers first (so that you don't get answers as fast).
  #14  
Old March 8th, 2011, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_T
Do you represent Shrapnel on these boards? If so, can you (or someone else from the company) please answer the points made in my post at the start of this thread? Thanks.
I wanted to pop in to discuss the developers can't post bit, but I'm definitely not the ultimate authority. I have made sure others are aware. As far as the original points judging from the forum threads I'm assuming the main complaints are the MP issues. As briefly mentioned in my original post I personally don't have an ETA on a forthcoming patch so I can't say more than that. Sorry, wish I did have some sort of concrete date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spilblood
But there's still the problem that Shrapnel simply released the game too early before it was properly finished. You should have given Malfador more time for beta testing.
Now this I think really needs to be addressed. We are truly an independent publisher. We do not own any of the developers. We do not force them into some sort of servitude like the big guys. Our role is to let developers concentrate on their games while we worry about the boring, nitty-gritty details that come with gaming.

As such we have never, nor will we, set release dates. We are not beholden to stockholders. We are not beholden to the fourth quarter Christmas rush. We don't need to get our games on store shelves. Heck, our internally developed game--All American--has been in development for twelve years. It would be pretty hypocritical of us to force a game from someone out to the public when we don't even do that with our own game.

We release a game only when the developer feels its ready to be released. In the case of World Supremacy Malfador was ready to release it. It went through beta testing here and as far as I know Malfador had their own group also before coming to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottWAR
The reply was that Shrapnel discourages developers to post in the forums because they would rather handle game issues through support tickets. The person in your support dept MAY have meant that shrapnel discourages developers from posting in the fourms about game issues.......and not in general.
This. The reasoning for this is twofold. First, we like to keep track of support issues and would rather have all support issues go through our system (not that this always happens). Second, many support issues are general enough that the developer doesn't need to be bothered. Obviously we can't examine AI issues as an example, but bad video card drivers would be an example of something that a dev wouldn't have to be bothered with. So yes, we'd rather not have the devs worry about general glitches, after all, that's part of our service to them.

While none of this may have resolved anything at least hopefully everyone has a better understanding of some of the reasons behind some of the actions. Malfador has been around the block long enough in game development to have no reason not to examine the issues being raised. After all, I'm pretty sure he wants his game to succeed, too.
  #15  
Old March 9th, 2011, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Thanks for your answer, SR. Seems it wasn't really Shrapnel's fault the game was released too early. I hope it gets fixed. I think we need to ask Malfador themselves if we wanna know something about future patches at the moment. Seems they don't inform Shrapnel about game progress at the moment, since SR Krol represents Shrapnel here.
  #16  
Old March 9th, 2011, 08:32 AM

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Default Re: Customer relations

Thanks for your response SRK. I appreciate that it's not your fault!

The question seems to be:

Did Shrapnel launch the game a) not knowing it wasn't finished? or b) knowing full well it wasn't finished?

If a), It implies they were misled by Malfador, but didn't test it themselves.

If b), Then Shrapnel have deliberately launched an unfinished game.

Talking about the games industry generally, this whole question of unfinished games worries me. I don't think you should offer any product for sale until it's finished and does what it says on the tin. Why on earth do some software sellers seem to think they're exempt from this basic commercial obligation? Patches should be for minor bugs and enhancements, not for finishing off an unfinished product.
  #17  
Old March 9th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_T View Post
Thanks for your response SRK. I appreciate that it's not your fault!

The question seems to be:

Did Shrapnel launch the game a) not knowing it wasn't finished? or b) knowing full well it wasn't finished?

If a), It implies they were misled by Malfador, but didn't test it themselves.

If b), Then Shrapnel have deliberately launched an unfinished game.
Please understand that I wasn't trying to imply fault with anyone; simply that ultimately our developers are the ones that we listen to and if they are satisfied then we release the product.

I wouldn't say Malfador misled at all. There is no reason for Malfador to not want their game to succeed, so I can only assume they were satisfied. Likewise, from our position, if a developer is ready to release why would we question that? It's their baby, after all.

Ultimately though as publisher we are responsible and hopefully we can get the remaining problems ironed out soon.
  #18  
Old March 10th, 2011, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Thanks again for joining the discussion SR. I don't think Malfador misled Shrapnel or Shrapnel deliberately released an unfinished game. I think Malfador thought the game was finished and decided to have Shrapnel release it, because they didn't beta test it enough. So it was definetely Malfador's fault, not Shrapnel's. Seems Shrapnel simply don't check their games themselves before releasing them, because they absolutely trust the companies whose games they're publishing, and don't have a beta testing team that checks the games again. But checking the games again would probably require a bigger staff which Shrapnel don't have. So they leave the beta testing entirely to the companies that release games over them.
  #19  
Old March 10th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Would really be great if Malfador themselves would leave at least a little comment about possible game progress here, after their publishers joined the discussion.
  #20  
Old March 10th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Customer relations

Guys, I just created a thread to post your issues in, that way they can be collected in a single unified thread and make it easier for Malfador to check out. So please post specific issues there. Thanks!
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