Community and I-Novae - An open letter

#49

That is correct. As for the other thread addressing the problems in the community that was deleted twice, critic forgets to say that it contained a direct and pretty severe personal insult towards Keith, and that after Mattk talked to Keith and edited out the personal attack, we agreed to let the third thread alive.

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#50

Why do you need to attack me? I never saw the first two threads and I’m unaware what insult they contained, if any at all. The current thread says the thread was deleted twice.

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#51

Well, if you weren’t aware of the reason why it was deleted two times, I’m not sure why you’d attack us on “we’re censoring everything”. The thread we’re talking about was only deleted two times as far as I’m aware, that’s why there a “#3” in its title and Mattk starts it with “This is the 3rd version of this thread”.

#53

Thank you Lomsor for your efforts.


Edited for clarity following Flavien’s response.

As I see it, the point of this whole debate is:

  1. We like the idea of the game.
  2. We like discussing ideas for the game with the devs.
  3. We like it when our ideas are considered, even if they later don’t work.
  4. We like honest feedback on our ideas on our ideas.
  5. Some feel 3) and 4) have been lacking or …

We must focus on the fact we want Infinity:Battlescape to succeed. We must also accept that (as with point 3) this game belongs to I-Novae and they have the right to create what they wish - even if it’s going in a direction we disagree with.

Voice the disagreement, by all means, but it can only be effective when properly reasoned, and with commitment to really listening to the answer from I-Novae.

With that in mind, I fully respect the decision to hold this “Town Hall” and hope the community and devs can resolve some of the difficulties.

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#54

Thank you Sab1e for trying to get back on topic.

We want to be open and to discuss issues with the community with all of you, that being said critic’s ban consequences are still leaking and rippling on to other threads ( and we’re also responsible for that, I realize ), so we kindly ask everybody that want to continue talking about critic’s ban to talk about it in that thread from now on and to stay civil, thank you.

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#55

To come back on the open letter:

About the communication issues: we don’t think that we’ve been communicating any less than before the Kickstarter ( we’re sitting on like 150 updates as I speak ), and at every major step we tried to ask community’s feedback, like when we revamped the HUD or explained our reasons for re-prioritizing the roadmap. I do not think we’re not acknowleding issues with the game either - for example, did you know that fixing Battlescape’s retention issues from Crayfish was started from a private discussion I had with him, in which I asked him to post all his thoughts to the forum ?

If there is one thing we absolutely agree with, it is that our communication has become more chaotic recently. Lomsor himself, during our last voice chat discussion, said that he didn’t think the amount of communication was the issue ( we’re at max bandwidth anyways ), but the quality of it. We’re willing to improve on that, and at the moment we’re thinking of resuming the development updates, in a new ( less regular ) format, probably merged with the patch notes, and with a quaterly roadmap update + summary.

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#56

A point for the town hall:

  • Having an open tracking of what is worked on. We already kinda know the grand plan from the scheduling for this year, but having it clear and at glance will be a nice addition. Using Trello for example.
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#57

Deteriorating relations and failing communication

This is the only section I’m even remotely interested in talking about as someone who only ever pops into the discord a few times each year.

But I think a good chunk of you guys are stuck in your own echo chamber of having genuinely think nothing said in the Discord (and at times forums) was wrong. Taken as

INOAVE can’t take criticism.

Meanwhile in the back of my head I’m trying to figure out how people justify the blatant if not downright daily harassment they’ve been more or less impressively dealing with. I wouldn’t even blame them if they pulled one of those kickstarters where the guy just runs with the money moves. So to say, I’m not alright with the idea of the letter basically pinning all the blame on the Devs. Emphasized by the line

We see through the facade

I get that we’re all (Or once were) passionate about the game, and plenty of folks who were on the forums I never even talked on, just lurked every so often, created stuff for the game. It’s part of why I invested money, because I don’t have any technical skills to offer in the realms of computers.

But you honestly probably don’t even see the irony, of how you complaining about INS

Driving us away

can literally be reverse unoed back at quite a few in your letter signing. I myself more or less stopped interacting outside of my quarterly outbursts because of this supposedly caring community. But you know, whatever, the people who voice dissent in opposition of this letter are more or less gone from the community anyways.

Some of you are going to ask for examples. I’m not obsessive enough to care anymore. Just scroll up through the years worth of 24/7 arguments and if you can’t find anything wrong, then great.

As far as I’m concerned, this game died 2 years ago, and I don’t see it ever becoming even semi-popular enough to just do non event games. But hopefully they can reuse everything more or less, to try some other approach in the future. As for this letter? Just seems like more trying to kick them in the face while they’re down, as per usual.

#58

I don’t think they are down, just super tight on budget and time. A lot of people have not given up on this game and this is why they cared and created the letter. But If you have that view of Inovae your perception of this letter certainly makes sense.
My personal hope is that once the time comes to tighten up the gameplay and add progression and other rentention mechanics people will start playing again and keep playing. Theres nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, It can still become a big success If the gameplay mechanics are completed and done well. One of the more uplifting news that came out of all of this, is the news that they are looking for an additional developer!

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#59

Just to clarify, kreydis has already voiced his opinion on the topic quite a bit which was not obvious to me until yesterday when i dug through the logs and realized he’s been going by two names. He’s the HOLY RELIC guy on discord that was originally there goading coach into kicking critic and helped create this situation. And now you’re here goading the devs to “take the money and run?” hmmmm, looks like you just cant resist huh, what are you, a shoulder devil?

To summarize his opinion which he has not stated in full here, he wants several people including me, crayfish and playbenni banned, basically his list of people he wants banned expands every time a person disagrees with him in the discord.

For someone who has such strong opinions about how such a large percentage of the vet community should be banned it’s strange to see you basically just saying the game already died years ago and you have no interest in it, and yet when critic says something less severe thats supposed to be harrassement? Even Coach has mentioned he agrees at least with the content of the letter. Im not sure why you think you even know what’s happening since you admitted yourself you don’t pay attention to the project, you just show up rarely to start attacking the active members.

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#60

No, you Critic and a few of your friends have been constant nuisances to this games community. And as predicted you bit into the bait. You’re literally incapable of not screeching. And it’s no fucking secret that I’m Holy relic, the entire joke was the picture of Huck.

And no, just you and critic need to just go forever, and I’m sure most of the bullshit would stop honestly. But it’s not going to happen because the ‘vets’ are clearly helping solve the problems, when you’re driving away just as many if not more people then the supposed staff are.

You lot literally never take responsibility, and now you’re mob mentalitying the devs. Have your discord. I really don’t care. Discords are all toxic as far as I care. This forum was far less toxic, and more constructive, but there was a pattern on here as well. Whenever you or Critic ever showed up, people stopped talking (Or worse, started throwing fits, because you baited people into arguing with your childish nonsense.), because all you ever did was shut people down.

And yeah, let the devs fucking run if they don’t want to deal with this bullshit anymore. It’s still a far better ‘game’ then 95% of the hot garbage that kickstarted put out. It’s functional and actually works. But we both know they damn well won’t.

If you wanted an honest to god open letter you guys would’ve stated out of it. This is just another long line of power moves you’ve all done to bully your way into proving your ‘right’, when there’s plenty of people like me who are fucking sick of you all.

You want a good community and good dialogue? Look in the god damn mirror before you start throwing shit at Flaven Kieth and everyone else.

You want a good community and dialogue? Where are literally any names of players who’ve butted heads with you? Not on there, because you chased them away. Not me, because I’m not a community member despite being hyper active the first year or two after the kickstarter.

You’re literally just an echo chamber. You’re not worth listening to, any of you.

As for who You is, figure it out. I don’t care enough to spoonfeed you anymore matt. Have fun dissecting this post and pretending like anyone outside of your group gives a damn.

My advice is for them to just go back to the monthly newsletters and just cut out the discord entirely. At least on Discus they can filter the spam from the stuff they need to actually create the game if you folks have any actual hope left.

#61

One just has to scroll through your post history on the forum to see that the only person here in this thread that constantly picks fights with newcomers and oldtimers alike is you, buddy.
You routinely escalate things and then blast people with with comments to basically shut up.
If you don’t believe me just read through your post history and do some self reflecting.

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#62

Thanks for replying to the letter Flavien. I hope we can touch on a few topics on Sunday.

Specifically how clear and direct communication is. I think often people would like to be hyped for the next thing but don’t really know what’s up next. Only really the super lurkers that read everything you share get wind of it … maybe that’s a luxus problem, it might be.
I just remembered that almost every patch I was suprised by what got implemented and it was often much more then I expected. Maybe that’s a good or a bad thing … anyway.

What I personally feel like is more important to know is which topics are locked down and which you are open to discuss. I am grateful that you sometimes ask us directly about certain topics and in these cases there almost never is any ambiguity in what is expected from eachother … but there are many more topics we are passionate and get worked up about.
Maybe we shouldn’t, but at the same time we see that some of our suggestions get implemented and used, even if they weren’t specifically asked for.

I can see that all that is probably related to not really having time to engage with what multiple people bring up over the weeks, which is totally understandable. We notice most of what is written is being read and we are really grateful for that and not taken as granted at all but in a way that’s part of the issue, that we know it is being read, heard and used.

This creates following perception: We see we can help with our feedback and criticism but we don’t know how much or if it is even doing any good. Sometimes you step in and hint or say that a topic is out of scope but much less often it is being made clear that a topic is locked down and unlikely to change and that we should please trust you guys to make it right. Often the contrary is done and it is instead said that it will be worked on down the line.
This probably creates the perception that, all the feedback is appreciated, no matter how it is formulated and how (too) far and too long it goes on about.
It’s ok to just say “no, just trust us on this”. Honestly, I am kind of begging for it for a while. I hope we find a way to bring that in somehow without taking any or much of any resources.

Maybe that is just my perception though and it is less of an issue for others. I can’t think of many other reasons why some topics are rolled up again and again or go on for much too long though.

Another example is the “criticism” vs “environment”. Partially the topic that now seems to have been somewhat resolved. We heard many times that there’s no problem with taking criticism, as I laid out just now though, I think most of us get that you are open to feedback and criticism. But even then there’s always a limit.

Somewhat related to this but also as an answer to Kreydis …
Kreydis might argue that we all were assholes for not magically knowing that the limit was long overstepped.
In my many years of learning about myself one of the big things I did learn is that nobody can know yourself better than yourself. It’s mostly on you to mark out what your limits are and pointing at “common sense” never helped me overcome or understand any social issues.

My wife comes from a different country, has different language, different culture, different believes then me … there were many times where she was hurt because I did or acted against some way that she was expecting to be common sense.
Gladly we were able to take the time to talk to each other and say what we are ok with and what not and where the limits lie …

Expecting to run the Discord and have everyone not overstepping each others limits, despite everyone being different and having different perception and limits and understanding of words and “common sense” will eventually fail in my opinion.
Sure there are some people that even if you have the best possible communication and gave them the chance to get along with each-other will still not honour the rules and limits that have been agreed upon.
Going around and pointing at people putting blame on them is not the most optimal solution in my opinion. Purging everyone who oversteps limits without first checking if the environment is there to give people the chance to honour those limits isn’t optimal either.

And I feel really disheartened that we are thrown into one pot by you Kreydis and that this whole effort, that took more then a month to prepare, is supposedly not much more then an attack at INS and some power play. We all came here because we think there are issues and we want to work on them together. Focusing on blame is not productive and we all chose to not do it as much as possible.

C’mon man. We both were cheering for Huck just a few years ago. What happened?
I am sorry that the reason you were driven away was partially the community. Lets fix that … or at least for everyone still here and new that will come.


Thanks, will note it when I write the agenda tomorrow.

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#63

You might be on to something. The problem with common sense is that everybody has a different one. For example it boggles my mind that we have to go on and explain that in a company Discord for a product that has recently released, we care that new players, who just bought the game and are super excited about joining our community, aren’t jumping in the middle of a massive public flame war. We’re not in kindergarten, it should be obvious that losing potential players isn’t gonna make us too happy.

Unfortunately it seems a lot of that common sense isn’t common sense, so we’re going to have to update the discord rules to state very obvious things, such as “it’s not fine to troll or impersonate other people”, which technically aren’t included in the rules, so if somebody was impersonating another member of the community, he could currently argue he’s not breaking the rules.

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#64

You misunderstand what part of common sense people aren’t sharing. People understand just fine you don’t want to see giant flame wars, but It’s the blame, and your solution, people disagreed on. You blamed the wrong person despite the more direct involvement of several others for personal reasons, and then tried to solve the problem in the wrong way. You had a moderator that didnt share your ‘common sense’, for instance (the common sense of not inciting an extended public argument 6 hours later instead of sending a pm). I would have thought it to be common sense to deal with that first, but that option was ignored in favor of causing more problems.

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#65

This is not such a bad thing. I work in education, and it’s a fundamental principle that you must have crystal clear boundaries, enforcing them fairly and consistently. It makes everyone happier and improves behaviour.

I’m not saying we’re children and should be treated as such, but I do believe it’s best to spell out the rules so that people can follow them. People behave differently online than in person.

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#66

Yes … but additionally I think it was known to most that the public image is cared about. It’s also one reason why some of us elders try to be exceptionally nice to newcomers. Not just because we are like that in general but we want to do our part.

But it wasn’t clear where the line is drawn. To some of us direct and harsh cirticism and potentially inflammatory aggressive instigation in order to be provided answers to pressing issues were more important and subjectively more beneficial then upholding a tidy image 24/7.
Especially if you consider that the majority of time we spend together was done so civility and patiently, yet while being very active and engaged.
This is where the rift lies. There are obviously some different motivation and goals besides the ones where we agree on. Still, with rules and clear expectations these different motives can coexist peacefully, especially if the needs that are source for thees motivations are satisfied.

I assume that is as an answer to the rally that happened last Saturday. I think most of the people involved were aware that a line was being overstepped there.
It was done consciously though as a form of protest and was an extreme form of “aggressive instigation” to raise awareness for the issues that are/have been there.
This option was talked beforehand and, in my anger, I was also willing to go this far myself too, yet in a more organised fashion and after all other things have failed. I am totally aware that it would have been not ok … but in the same way any protest and strike is aware that it obviously is not good for the image of wherever it is taken place …
Everyone involved has power in some form or another. You can outlaw all the knifes and guns and spoons but in the end we still have to get along as in reality, there’s never full total control.

It was not trolling. It was rally/protest. It’s understandable that the discord is maybe not a public space anymore and as such you want to outlaw both of that, if so please be clear that either are not allowed and will be curbed immediately.

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#67

We are not trying to outlaw the dissident voices and I’m sorry if anybody is genuinely thinking that. Despite all that happened, we’re still talking to everybody. The only threads that we have closed are the ones that have degenerated. I like to think that we are pretty open-minded people ( including Keith ), that we like to talk to everybody, even to people that have contradictory opinions, as long as it’s done in a mature / constructive way. However if a line is crossed and a thread or a flame war degenerates in public, we’re absolutely going to act upon that.

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#68

I am not thinking that, I was just trying to say that it is ok to draw lines and make rules but that the goal is to get along in the end.
The second part of my post was done out of the assumption that the new rule mentioned was a reaction to the rally.
As such I wanted to point out that, yes the rally was overstepping a line but consciously so.
Technically most of the people partaking in the rally were not braking rules, beside Lysk. I don’t know if it would have happened even if there were rules in place. As I tried to point out a bit, it’s beside the point.
People used their power to create tumult in order to get attention. The disruptive part was a means to the end and not a goal.

Because you are willing to discuss but your public image is more important then unlimited freedom of speech and expression on your platform.
And that is ok. It just can be misunderstood when one of the involved parties is the one doing the moderating, that’s why I am glad that the time has been taken to “sell” your point of view.

We are loosing ourselves into details now though … maybe I shouldn’t have answered to that one, I think it’s pretty clear now why and what has happened in some cases of the past and I am grateful for that.

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#69

As mentioned above, the I-Novae team will hold a “Town Hall” today (16:00 UTC) and will take questions from the community. Everyone is invited.
So as everyone who might join can prepare, here is the planed agenda that will be roughly followed: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nrd7lnPDGG0n0qkL9R0cUveB0DW7JhTdktzRDXuYBro/edit?usp=sharing
If anyone can’t join but would still like to participate. Please PM me your questions beforehand so I may be able to act as a stand in. Looking forward to see you tomorrow.

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