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Post New Content Dev Team Structure
Discussion topic for post: http://www.starsonata.com/announcements ... structure/


Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:02 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
This is positive step for Star Sonata.

Not only because it's good to have someone doing that job, but the recognition of the conflicts of interest is very real. We've seen them first hand over the last 7 months in our war with Traders. Bugs which had been around for awhile and seemed not to have any dev priority in fixing them would suddenly get insta-fixed the moment they caused Traders to lose a fight against us. Bugs need to be fixed, but that seems like a problematic way to prioritize them.

Additionally the ability for a team with more active players to hold off a wealthier multi-client heavy team's bvb attacks with tractor ships has been in the game for a long time (years I think?). Only after SRX used the tactic extensively against Traders did it not only nerfed, it got completely removed from the game in the November patch.

I can't help but wonder if these bugs would still exist and if tractoring bases in bvb would still be around if SRX had simply lost against Traders, instead of won those battles.

I'm glad Enk recognizes this as an issue and I hope it's prevented from happening in the future. Abuses of power like this disenfranchises existing players, reflects poorly on the game, and turns off newer players from joining.


Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:27 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
dreadlordnaf wrote:
Bugs need to be fixed, but that seems like a problematic way to prioritize them.


I could not have said it better myself. It's tough since there's often no practical way for the dev team to learn about the severity of a bug until they themselves have experienced it in game. You might think that non-dev players could simply report bugs to the dev team (and they do, and many are fixed that way), but there are invariably some that don't get on our radar until we see them for ourselves.

I am looking forward to bringing a bit more balance to this process in my new position on the dev team.

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Hi, I'm Anil, a long-time player turned developer. You may know me in-game as enkelin. I am Star Sonata's lead content developer, which means that I run weekly dev meetings and make sure that any proposed changes to the game receive proper review before going live.


Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:21 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
That's one way to justify your massive conflict of interest...


Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:05 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
The Ghoul wrote:
That's one way to justify your massive conflict of interest...


The best role model I have in this respect is Jey, who arguably has greater potential for a conflict of interest than anyone else except for Jeff himself. I am looking to position myself and Traders in the manner of Eminence Front from a few years ago when Jey was still the director.

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Hi, I'm Anil, a long-time player turned developer. You may know me in-game as enkelin. I am Star Sonata's lead content developer, which means that I run weekly dev meetings and make sure that any proposed changes to the game receive proper review before going live.


Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:14 am
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
So are you looking to mimic a situation where you arguably even have a larger conflict of interest? Or are you saying that you are looking to have zero influence in the goings on of a team and by extend the game itself?

If you ask me, you should strive to remove not just yourself but any member of staff from game influencing positions to ensure said staff is not in the position (perceived or otherwise) to leverage their elevated privileges to better themselves as a player. Time and time again we've seen the balance of changes flow towards those that actively play and actively change the game. Whether these changes are a good thing becomes less relevant with every change that goes in and in my opinion is one of the biggest contributing factors why the current staff has such a massively bad reputation.

In short, your words that issues are resolved quicker when they affect player devs, and that you are looking towards someone with a larger conflict of interest as a role model makes you unfit for your position in my book. I think you need to reflect carefully on how the staff of star sonata should operate and not just shuffle the same people in optically different roles and suddenly expect a change in how things will work.


Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:47 am
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Naruto wrote:
So are you looking to mimic a situation where you arguably even have a larger conflict of interest? Or are you saying that you are looking to have zero influence in the goings on of a team and by extend the game itself?

If you ask me, you should strive to remove not just yourself but any member of staff from game influencing positions to ensure said staff is not in the position (perceived or otherwise) to leverage their elevated privileges to better themselves as a player. Time and time again we've seen the balance of changes flow towards those that actively play and actively change the game. Whether these changes are a good thing becomes less relevant with every change that goes in and in my opinion is one of the biggest contributing factors why the current staff has such a massively bad reputation.

In short, your words that issues are resolved quicker when they affect player devs, and that you are looking towards someone with a larger conflict of interest as a role model makes you unfit for your position in my book. I think you need to reflect carefully on how the staff of star sonata should operate and not just shuffle the same people in optically different roles and suddenly expect a change in how things will work.


Actually, I have never seen Jey publicly accused of benefiting from a conflict of interest. This is why I describe him as a role model. I believe the reason for this is that he has managed to stay plugged in to the game (most people have heard of him) while not exerting very much influence on the course it takes. So yes, I am planning to reduce my influence as a player on the game, especially when it comes to the competitive endgame. I said as much in the first few paragraphs of this blog post. When I brought up Jey, I was working off the idea that this would build a bridge to your position since your account dates to 2010 and you're currently on EF. But perhaps you don't remember what he was like in those days, or perhaps you have a different recollection from mine. In any case, the takeaway is that I am reducing my influence as a player while maintaining a more casual presence in the game in order to stay current with content issues.

I do not see the reorganization as merely an optically different system. I feel that it helps to clarify the role of various members of the team, especially folks like Hober Mallow and NCCIntrepid who have taken a lot of flak from some members of the community. One of the things accomplished by the reorganization is to affirm to the community that those individuals are not entitled to undertake large rebalancing projects of the game, which I had perceived as one particular concern of the community.

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Hi, I'm Anil, a long-time player turned developer. You may know me in-game as enkelin. I am Star Sonata's lead content developer, which means that I run weekly dev meetings and make sure that any proposed changes to the game receive proper review before going live.


Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:02 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Clarification of roles is not the same as a re-organization. Though it's good that the community, and the people in question, understand their role. I think you also misunderstand the concern of the community at large. Speaking as a member of the community my concern isn't with the fact that people undertake large rebalancing efforts in the game, it's that they seem to do so without clear requirements and fundamental guiding principles. Proof being the constant need for rebalancing of one thing or another creating different sets of meta setups only for that to require rebalancing. It seems very much reaction based causing unnecessary frustration with the playerbase.

Aside from the fact I wasn't on EF during the days that you're referring to let me try to make my point clear. The single biggest problem you have is the perception of power abuse. Some of this is based on facts, some is not. I would urge you and the entire staff to not just reduce your influence, but eliminate it altogether. I can't take you serious as a lead of anything when you flip flop between player and dev when it suits you, and at worst, make game altering decisions based on things that happen to you as a player. Add to that the insider knowledge and you have a no-win situation no matter how good your intentions.


Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:01 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Naruto wrote:
Clarification of roles is not the same as a re-organization. Though it's good that the community, and the people in question, understand their role. I think you also misunderstand the concern of the community at large. Speaking as a member of the community my concern isn't with the fact that people undertake large rebalancing efforts in the game, it's that they seem to do so without clear requirements and fundamental guiding principles. Proof being the constant need for rebalancing of one thing or another creating different sets of meta setups only for that to require rebalancing. It seems very much reaction based causing unnecessary frustration with the playerbase.

Aside from the fact I wasn't on EF during the days that you're referring to let me try to make my point clear. The single biggest problem you have is the perception of power abuse. Some of this is based on facts, some is not. I would urge you and the entire staff to not just reduce your influence, but eliminate it altogether. I can't take you serious as a lead of anything when you flip flop between player and dev when it suits you, and at worst, make game altering decisions based on things that happen to you as a player. Add to that the insider knowledge and you have a no-win situation no matter how good your intentions.


Thanks for clarifying your position. I must humbly say that while some of my RL professional experience transfers to this kind of work, I do not have formal managerial experience in the industry. Consequently, some of the terminology I use may not reflect the industry standard, and in some cases I may not meet industry standards for workflow and operations. It is a learning experience for me.

As to your other point, I agree that it's not ideal for player-devs to even be a thing, but I do not believe that there is an alternative for Star Sonata at the present time. There is no budget for hiring someone to do the job that I am currently doing for free. If revenues grow to the point that Jeff wishes to have a paid Lead Content Developer position, I would happily step aside into a less influential advisory role. If you believe that perceived conflicts of interest imply the game would be better off without my work on the dev team, that is a position I can respect. However, I must also respectfully disagree with that assessment.

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Hi, I'm Anil, a long-time player turned developer. You may know me in-game as enkelin. I am Star Sonata's lead content developer, which means that I run weekly dev meetings and make sure that any proposed changes to the game receive proper review before going live.


Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:25 am
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Naruto wrote:
Aside from the fact I wasn't on EF during the days that you're referring to let me try to make my point clear. The single biggest problem you have is the perception of power abuse. Some of this is based on facts, some is not. I would urge you and the entire staff to not just reduce your influence, but eliminate it altogether. I can't take you serious as a lead of anything when you flip flop between player and dev when it suits you, and at worst, make game altering decisions based on things that happen to you as a player. Add to that the insider knowledge and you have a no-win situation no matter how good your intentions.



I've never been shy voicing my opinion on the issue of playerdev influenced changes to the game which I feel are inappropriate. But the reality is all the devs are volunteers. I don't see how they could eliminate it 100% and still remain financially viable. So reducing it as much as they can is the next best alternative.


Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:02 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
In the financial trading industry there are very clear rules in place that prevent the abuse of insider knowledge and there are regulations in place that put strict conditions on people that are in such position. I'm not implying it needs to be as rigorous as that, I'm just pointing out that set of rules and monitoring can be of value. Perhaps 100% is not fully feasible, but so far I've yet to see the staff try. As with anything, clear rules and guidelines are the key and saying that 'influence' is reduced doesn't mean much to me, it's not measurable and there is no rule. If the staff is truly looking to become a professional shop and intend to grow their business you have to focus on ways to stop pissing off your customers. Rules, monitoring, and enforcement is key, and that's always been wishywashy at best. A re-org of existing people in perceived different roles is not going to do much there.

Now realizing that criticism should at least have some constructive part to it, I'd be more than happy to have in-depth discussions about the software development and release process to help improve your current state. I would gladly put my humble 20+ years in SDLC at your disposal if you are interested.


Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:13 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Naruto wrote:
In the financial trading industry there are very clear rules in place that prevent the abuse of insider knowledge and there are regulations in place that put strict conditions on people that are in such position. I'm not implying it needs to be as rigorous as that, I'm just pointing out that set of rules and monitoring can be of value. Perhaps 100% is not fully feasible, but so far I've yet to see the staff try. As with anything, clear rules and guidelines are the key and saying that 'influence' is reduced doesn't mean much to me, it's not measurable and there is no rule. If the staff is truly looking to become a professional shop and intend to grow their business you have to focus on ways to stop pissing off your customers. Rules, monitoring, and enforcement is key, and that's always been wishywashy at best. A re-org of existing people in perceived different roles is not going to do much there.

Now realizing that criticism should at least have some constructive part to it, I'd be more than happy to have in-depth discussions about the software development and release process to help improve your current state. I would gladly put my humble 20+ years in SDLC at your disposal if you are interested.


Thank you, I would greatly appreciate your guidance in this matter. I would also be interested to hear any specific ideas you have for the rules and guidelines on conflicts of interest.

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Hi, I'm Anil, a long-time player turned developer. You may know me in-game as enkelin. I am Star Sonata's lead content developer, which means that I run weekly dev meetings and make sure that any proposed changes to the game receive proper review before going live.


Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:04 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Player/devs have been killing starsonata for years. Its no secret that some people have got special treatement based on who they knew. Its no secret that people have gained unfair advantages from insider information look at the prawn bp when vigi dropped it. Lets use voom as a great example of a player/dev changing the game based on there failures. Voom beat bases with the nerf batt when he failed to assault a galaxy long ago. Now here we sit with them back to there former glory.

Jeff needs to get more of a handle on thing's. Major game changing decisions should not be made based on a player/devs experience. At one time players outnumbered devs easy 50 to 1. Starsonata used to be great. In the past you guys did take advice from the playerbase but you took it from a select group of dicks. 2 from the top of my head is trevor and starbawls. You focused on endgame players only who cared nothing about growing the game or low end noobies.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:04 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
Quote:
Voom beat bases with the nerf batt when he failed to assault a galaxy long ago


If you're going to use me as an example then atleast get your facts right. I have never during my time in SS assaulted any galaxy, I was never much of a base builder and have never taken part in any kind of BvB.
I have also never made any kind of changes to anything related to bases during my time as a dev.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:27 pm
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Post Re: New Content Dev Team Structure
yclepticon wrote:
The best role model I have in this respect is Jey, who arguably has greater potential for a conflict of interest than anyone else except for Jeff himself. I am looking to position myself and Traders in the manner of Eminence Front from a few years ago when Jey was still the director.


The best way to position yourself publicly as someone who hasn't abused their position of power is not to abuse your position of power.

I hate to be the guy who says "if you don't want to be known as the imaginary wolf guy, maybe don't cry wolf then?" but you're going to more or less need a total refresh of the player base to achieve this goal. I'd really like to think you've turned over a new leaf enk. Good luck.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:12 am
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