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AoC's Craig Morrison Discusses How to Design and Approach Community Feedback

Posted Tue, Nov 29, 2011 by Martuk

Anyone that has been a part of an MMOG community knows just how passionate the community can be and sometimes that passion can provide good and bad feedback and at times even turn hostile. In a new blog posted to his website, Age of Conan Creative Director Craig Morrison discusses his presentation on development and feedback from the Montreal International Game Summit earlier this year.

Aptly titled “How to feed your trolls and influence people”, Morrison touches on several mistakes that developers can make when approaching player feedback ranging from not considering the impact of a change to knee-jerk reactions to players that lie and more.

A designers job is a difficult one because ideas are easy, freely available and, in effect, cheap. Designs on the other hand are complex beasts, that must pay homage to ideas, and often require the proverbial sacrifice in blood, sweat and tears. Feedback, and knowing how to deal with it, are essential to improving designs and refining them.

Morrison also offers a bit of advice for developers and really anyone else that's working in a job dealing publicly with players where things can sometimes turn hostile – “Never take it personally.” In a comical segment he shows an image and points to some examples where he has been targeted by certain members of the community and why anyone in the industry will have to learn to grow a thick skin and not take the community’s ire personally.

The meat of the presentation dealt with advice for designers on how to approach feedback and weigh the impact and consequences of a game change before rushing in to add a suggestion. It’s a good read that offers some insight into what developers have to consider when designing or making changes to a game and how player feedback can be both helpful and dangerous if not considered carefully.

Source: Craig Morrison's Blog

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