My name is Julia and I’ve just joined Bossa Studios as the shiny new Community and Social Media Lead, so here I am, introducing myself to you!✨
Bit about me: I like wholesomely stupid memes, cake, outdated anime, scary video games… also adventure games and action and shooters and I just really like vidja gejmz. I’ve only just started playing World’s Adrift! How are you enjoying it so far? Got any tips for me?
So, I’ve been skimming through the forums and some Reddit threads, saw some incredible ships and island creations (I can’t build anything yet x__x so kudos), and also noticed a request for more communication: Here I am – what can I help you with?
Disclaimer: There’s only one of me, but I’ll try my bestestest to get back to everyone…. or bug Bossa Ben! :p
Yay, more community stuff, welcome and stuff.
Could we request you to join the unofficial discord server too?
Welcome Julia !
It will help if you give the grumpy old players a hug from time to time 🙂
For the rest of us, regular (as in weekly minimum) update on the things you are working on at Bossa. Even if it is not much you can tell us.
Is this synonymous with the Community Manager title that most MMOs use?
I’m already creeping through to Discord and now will also provide internet hugs to grumpy players! Gotcha! Also working on having a more stable stream of updates happen internally so I can share things with you guys. Recently it’s been going on the twitter feed (as I’m sure most saw (or not????)), after that I’ll try and set up a schedule for bite-sized weekly updates or something. Even if the news is “there is no news”. Blog posts will still be for the big news!
Yeah, something like that, Lead is just more overarching across the projects! 🙂
Hey Julia, welcome! You should def join the unofficial discord. Also, you should hop on some crew ships from time to time to see some battles and different builds.
Playing the game the way regular players do will help you understand alot of our concerns and issues.
This weekend there will be a Tier 1 pvp event on US East. Mostly it’s Tier 4 players getting together to test our skills on wood ships instead of the Titanium Jets we normally fly around on, but it’s also a low risk way to dip your foot into battle and meet some of the regulars still playing right now.
T1 PVP Event. US East
At the very least, a handful of us will be streaming it, so pop in and say hi. No need to announce who you are. In fact, some discreet engagement as a ‘regular’ player would be a smart move on occasion.
noticed a request for more communication: Here I am – what can I help you with?
One of the places that Bossa falls the most short is in their communication. Their communication has a history of being unstructured, scattered, and at times woefully incomplete.
These shortcomings have been somewhat understandable, given that they are a studio that’s brand new at making a game like this, using brand new tech (SpacialOS), and was without a Community Manager for several months, since Bossa Oli’s departure. That said, this communication clearly needs improvement before the game into full release. I’ll go over a few overarching categories of where Bossa communication falls short, give examples of this, explain why these examples are a problem, and give examples or explanations of what things should look like instead.
Right now, communication from Bossa has no organization to it whatsoever. We will sometimes get 3 blogposts in a week, sometimes 2 in a single day, other times they will go multiple weeks at a time without any meaningful updates. Videos are posted infrequently, sometimes with info that should also be in a blogpost.
How should this change?
Communication, progress on new long-term feature concepts, progress on upcoming patches, community contributions and highlights – all of these should be gathered from all around the studio and put into a single, reliable, structured location where the community and any interested parties in the game can go to and get good info on how the game and all its various ideas and planned features are progressing.
Here are a few examples of studios that structure and oranize their communication well –
A studio of similar size to Bossa, in a similar stage of development, puts out an every-other-week devblog series, featured right on the frontpage of their website.
A studio with a very similar game type to WA with Rust being a PvP survival, crafting sandbox where you can freeform build a base, gather resources, and defend those resources and your base against enemies that would take them, but in WA, your base can fly :). Rust is even also in the same Unity engine as WA. Rust puts out a comprehensive devblog every single week, that goes into heavy detail on everything you can think of. They also patch at this same time every single week. Sometimes these patches are small and only have a couple bugfixes, but other times they are a huge update, but you can always rely on consistent, detailed updates every single week.
ACE is a studio also developing a sandbox PvP MMO, in an earlier stage of development than WA, but with better communication in the form of detailed, personal videos. They put out 2 reliable video series, one is a monthly Q&A series with questions gathered from official forums. The other is a bi-weekly 1 hour livestream where they feature various developers going over things like UI updates, new classes, updates to crafting or harvesting, etc.
Bi-weekly Livestream – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRlPEyCV9RI&list=PLVKduOhPTRsLdCkGcIu-P6ZRdi33wiEkA
Monthly Q&A – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TZZnyB-ydU&list=PLVKduOhPTRsIAGaA-nGCNxt01cnTTuhJu&index=2
All of these are excellent examples of communication from studios in a fairly similar situation to Bossa. Their games are in generally comparable in genre and type, 2 of the studios are of similar size, have similar investment money, have similar community sizes. There’s nothing stopping the communication from Bossa being just as good.
The communication from Bossa is all over the place. Literally, it’s in a ton of places, with little to no rhyme or reason to it.
Some important updates at shared on only twitter. (https://twitter.com/WorldsAdrift/status/951471198948478976)
Some are only on facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/worldsadrift/videos/1639316912745550/)
Some are only on Youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCFAwD-UL8A)
Some are only on the unofficial community run discord. (https://www.worldsadrift.com/forums/topic/something-a-dev-said-on-discord-but-now-its-on-the-forum/)
Some are only on stickied posts of the General Discussion forum. (https://www.worldsadrift.com/forums/topic/fuel-nodes-duplicating/)
Some are only on stickied posts of the Feedback & Discussion forum. (https://www.worldsadrift.com/forums/topic/looking-for-easy-wins-on-designing-ship-frames/)
Some are only on the Announcements forum. (https://www.worldsadrift.com/forums/topic/known-issue-touching-an-island-with-your-ship-can-get-it-stuck/)
Some are only on the Steam updates or discussion pages. (Couldn’t link to anything specific here, but see various comment pages of steam news updates)
Some are only on the Bossa Support ticket site. (https://support.bossastudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005889349-Authentication-Time-Out)
If community members want to get updates on what’s going on with WA, in order to get a full picture, you have to scour every single one of these sources. It’s a complete mess. The official announcement forums haven’t been used for 3 months. The official news page of the website hasn’t been used since May 24th. No one is compiling updates that are currently going out scattered and random to all of these sources and actually putting it into a central, reliable location that people can go to and see ALL of the updates. You shouldn’t have to go digging through 9+ places to get good info. There should be a single, central location for updates, and then all of the other sources should be updated based on and linking back to that single, central location.
Incomplete Information –
A lot of this section is somewhat covered in the previous sections such as the official Announcements and news sections being not updated, but one glaring example of incomplete information is the history of terrible patch notes.
Here’s the patch notes for 0.1.5, that came out a few weeks ago:
These are actual, official patch notes:
“Fixed some visual bugs on some ship parts, including the lamp and sail.
Fixed some audio bugs.
Fixed various UI and chat box issues.”
This is, in a word, unacceptable. Patch notes exist for a ton of purposes. They are used internally by the studio for various areas of development to communicate with one another as to what’s been updated so there’s no overlap. They’re used as a simple communication tool, to inform the public of updates. They’re used to guide dedicated beta testers on what to test and attempt to break; if we don’t know what was changed, we can’t know what to test and check on the live servers – processes like this on Bossa’s part are why certain bugs aren’t fixed after 5 attempts, and why certain bugs exist 8+ months after being reported.
Moreover, patch notes exist to instill confidence in the dev team. Giving detailed explanations of what’s been changed and put into the game puts players at ease that things are being worked on, their feedback is being heard, and bugs that are annoying them are being fixed. Incomplete, lazy patch notes do the opposite. They are indicative of internal issues in a studio. As a result of these notes and other various issues, I can say the following with decent confidence: No single person at Bossa knows everything that went into the 0.1.5 patch. It gives the vibe of someone going “oh hey we need patch notes. Bob, go ask the devs what they put into the patch and make some notes”. It reeks of there being no internal accountability, and there being no guiding hand keeping the project and everyone working on it on track.
Gamers are a smart bunch; they can pick up on subtle stuff like these examples, and games die from a thousand similar cuts like these. Any one of these issues aren’t a big deal on their own, but these problems, when combined together, lead to low engagement, low player retention, lower sales, and game death. In fact, the game is already currently dead (http://steamcharts.com/app/322780). It will likely revive some with the upcoming wipe and future updates, but dead is an accurate description at the moment.
Poor communication has been Bossa’s biggest issue by a very, very, VERY large margin since Worlds Adrift became playable by the public. This communication has gotten worse, not better, over time. Better communication can help save this game, and even make it grow wild and thrive. The game has extreme potential and is one of the best games I’ve ever played, even with it’s numerous faults.
Continued poor communication, however, will guarantee to kill it.
This is a lot to drop on someone all at once and I don’t mean to overwhelm, but I also think that sugarcoating things and not communicating fully helps no one. You deserve to know the work you have cut out for you.
I wish you the best of luck. If you want any further info or clarifications, I’ll be happy to respond in any way I can.
Hi Julia, welcome!
Adding to Atreties’ list of things that should be everywhere; this post, which should be everywhere, on all social media etc, that there’s someone new on the team handling exactly those things 😉
I’d personally ask you for one thing; finding out some general, 1-2 week window where the dev team thinks the world wipe/reset will occur. The last we heard, “mid-January” was set, after “December” was pushed back. There’s a lot of us who bought the game but are waiting, and we’d like to know when we can expect to play again (some will plan to take off work, etc). Thanks and have fun in game!
Greetings Julia! Welcome!
Going by your emblem, I assume you like Sailor Moon? 🙂
I wish you the best of luck with the role 🙂
Couldn’t help notice that you are a fellow Cake Enthusiast, feel free to join my crews’ alliance; The Cake Appreciation Society 😉
Good luck, these are some tough people to please. Hopefully everyone can at least remain civil. 😏
Welcome aboard Julia,
I’d personally love to see more sneak peeks at everything that’s upcoming 🙂 across all the different media platforms as well.
Elsewhere, however, I’d definitely appreciate the old twitch broadcast schedule getting some love, as it’s been empty for a “fair few” months now, the old streams were much fun to watch. But they could also be informative as we could see upcoming features being playtested/showed off live.
Once again, welcome and thank you!
Forgive the gentle derail, but I feel compelled to express my gratitude to Atreties, Vexus, Rodeo, and a bunch others I left out, for taking the time to write up this stuff.
Thank you, shipmates!
Oh, and welcome Blood Buffy. Looks like you have your work cut out for you.
Regarding ‘more communication’ I believe @atreties has summed it up well.
I assume you’ll be heading up a team comprised of the –
Customer Support Manager (Kirk)
Customer Service Representative (Strite)
Content Marketing Assistant (Ben)
– who currently appear to represent the public face of WA.
So it will be up to you to define a unified, clear and workable strategy.
There’s nothing wrong with silly memes, reindeer hats and Halloween suits –
but they should be subordinate to more worthwhile information and content updates and should not be spearheading Bossa’s ‘development’ drive.
From a recent blog of 11.01.18 –
Just a quick update to let you all know that work progresses on 0.1.6 with QA and the developers continuing testing, implementing fixes, and making sure everything does what it should.
This highlights the level to which communication has descended. It simply states the obvious and is unreassuringly banal.
Regarding Twitch broadcasts –
If you decide to revive them it would be helpful if they were hosted by people actively involved in the development of the game –
and predominantly focussed on informative content rather than just played for ‘memes and laughs’.
I suggest you have a meeting with the Producer and Lead Designer and put together a strategy worthy of Worlds Adrift’s potential.
One in which they regularly participate by providing updates of a more specific and technical nature.
They need to reassure us that they are still enthusiastic about their own product.
Together you will have to decide whether WA is just another silly, fun game –
or a serious attempt to effectively showcase new technology with the potential to revolutionise the MMO genre.
Considering the kind of investment SpatialOS has attracted I hope the studio makes the right choice.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.