xspeedballx wrote:Out of curiousity Nandrew how are you getting communication from non-vet's if not through the forums? I think some of the problem we can run into is that we think this is the only path of info, and we are the only source(egotistical and confirmation bias and all).
E-mails, ad-hoc bloggers / reviewers, IRL stuff.
And other forums / communities, as well as fellow developers. We have to keep in touch with the broader scene, after all.
Sometimes it's people approaching us because they're intimidated by a forum signup or don't know / don't care about the forums (heck, even getting people to read our FAQ is a mission). Sometimes it's the other way around, and we rope in new players for testing and more intensive sessions (still trying to get my brother to play ... it'll happen one day!).
Then there's player reactions to demo stands on show floors such as GDC, Indiecade and some local SA expos. I personally find this a little more artificial than a "natural" play sessions, but one doesn't turn one's nose up at this sort of feedback.
We also get "communication" of sorts through stat tracking on the game server, based off game events that we record and store for bug-tracking and analytics (it helps us figure out which gods and items are used, how far the average player gets, yada yada yada).
And look, yeah, I'm basically saying that it's easy to think of the forum as a general representation of how all DD players are feeling, since everyone here is in constant communication with everyone else, there's a common knowledge base and the devs themselves probably look at your input more than all of the other sources combined. And while I'd argue that it's a source of quality opinions, at the end of the day it simply doesn't represent *quantity*.
It takes a certain "type" of player to log on here and start engaging in discussions, and sometimes we need to spread the net a little wider than that if we hope to eventually cater for a broader audience.
I was mentioning something earlier today about the intimidating prospect that all the players invested in the DD beta right now are the sort of people who went out of their way to find an indie gaming site, maybe test out a random alpha, then fork out ten or twenty bucks to a small paypal account and play a product that is largely untested and definitely not complete. What happens when we move to Steam and our audience starts including the sort of gamers who'll grab DD on a convenient impulse purchase during a sale because the world's biggest digital distributor shoved it in their faces? The sort of people to whom absolutely no investment in the game experience is actually required, who are used to triple-A handholding or Popcap-style game refinements? What other factors aren't we considering? How are *they* going to react to DD in comparison to the dedicated and proactive buyers of today? How will we manage them?