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Sean O'Connor's Games • View topic - Critical Mass Feature Request Formalisation Concept

Critical Mass Feature Request Formalisation Concept

Command a squadron of spaceships

Critical Mass Feature Request Formalisation Concept

Postby dpm_dpmartin » Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:05 am

This forum and its members seem a pretty close knit group who know what they're talking about and appreciate the efforts the games' creator and his small support team has gone to. I don't know whether the games started out as labours of love that grew into more commercial things, or whether that was the intention from the outset, however, I would like to suggest more transparency and, dare I say it, accountability about where the games go.

The big difference between buying these games and buying something off the shelf (the analogy doesn't quite work I think, but I'll run with it) is that you have that bit more personal touch with (probably) a much smaller group of users / players and certainly expert users who contribute to the design of the games. It's certainly the approach I take to my own developments - the user population is king and even though I don't charge, I allow users to feed back with the certain knowledge that I'll act upon things, unless I think it's impossible - or I'm drunk and grumpy or something.

That said, I think a sticky subject for feature requests and the most annoying bugs could be set up so that the user community could vote on them and they would be ranked in order of popularity and, of course, difficulty to achieve and then we'd all get some kind of guarantee that that is the first thing that would be worked on for the new versions... or even a fixpack approach could be implemented. Critical Mass 4.1 could have controllable missiles, network play or allow you to play as a turret - just some ideas I saw bouncing around. Yes, I am focussing on Critical Mass - simply because I think it is the game of the set with the highest potential and the furthest still to go. Slay and Conquest are pretty much polished off in my humble personal player's opinion.

It would all work rather like a Bugzilla... which has proven very effective in the development world - often for open source, but not always. As a user population, we'd know what change request or bug fix had been accepted by the development team, and we might even have a date slated for delivery of it. Just think of it.

The question is... does paying our ?27 for the full set of games give us the right to expect any input into the design, limitations and future features of newer versions of the games? I would hope yes, but I would fear no.

Is this kind of openness desirable / possible?
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Postby Zephyr » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:32 pm

Dinosaurs aren't extinct, they're just hiding behind things.
Kangaroos are just mice standing much closer to you.
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Postby Copperhaired Berserker! » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:16 pm

Excuses are a refuge of the weak.
A open-mind is like a fortress that is unbarred and unguarded.
Sacrifice is the best form of respect.

-Quotes from Warhammer 50k: Dawn of War.
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Postby Sean OConnor » Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:50 am

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Postby Zephyr » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:03 am

Dinosaurs aren't extinct, they're just hiding behind things.
Kangaroos are just mice standing much closer to you.
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Postby BoxZone_Author » Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:42 pm

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Postby umeboshi110 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:17 pm

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Postby Sean OConnor » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:15 pm

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Postby Zephyr » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:39 pm

Last edited by Zephyr on Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sean OConnor » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:38 pm

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Ranking of feature requests...

Postby dpm_dpmartin » Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:09 pm

My feeling on ranking of feature requests was more so that Sean, and users, could see for sure what people were asking for in the new versions - to formalise it a little bit - just the requests side. Just like any development shop - we, the users, understand that there can be no commitment to deliver a feature (or even a bug-fix) until it is firmly 'in-plan'. Being number 1 on the list does not mean the item will go 'in-plan', it's all about timing, resources, skills etc..

As stated though, ranking of requests could be by popularity and difficulty and Sean could assign the difficulty of these... if something was really popular, but immensely difficult to implement, then it would be number 1 on the list. Of course, doing the popular requests infers the quality of the game will be ever rising and thus it should, logically, attract more buyers.

I don't think it'll get off the ground in this environment to be honest - it was just an idea of how I, and others, could spend our time influencing the progress of the game. Having said that - as I'm not sure if there will be an update to Critical Mass soon or ever - it brings the whole idea into question really.
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