August 21st, 2014
So, this is going to be a little different of a post from me today. I saw some stuff yesterday that really fired me up and now that I am free from all other game studio overlords, I feel I can speak completely free about them. Warning, I am going to use language that I don't typically use.
Really, it all started with reading this article from puppy games. 'The Dark Side of Indie PR'. Quite the catching title.
I don't want to be attacking Puppy game directly here, because I am sure they have reasons for saying what they did. I don't know them, and I haven't played their games. What I DO know, is my experiences and how different they sound from theirs.
If you want to skip their article, they are saying players, as individuals, are completely worthless to them and it makes more sense to just be an asshole and lose the player than spend time trying to 'fix' the issue. Let that sink in.
WHAT THE FUCK?
They also talk about all the terrible abuse they get as developers, how much it sucks, how little money they make, and generally how shitty the whole gig is. Guess what?
I AM HAVING A FUCKING GREAT TIME!
No, really, I am having the time of my life. Being an indie developer is second in joy only to my family. It's freaking great! You know why? Because I don't have players, I have FANS. I have yet to run into these life ruining trolls everyone feels is 99% of the customer base. Oh actually, I take that back. I had 1 troll post mean stuff, but I can't even tell you what it was because one of the FANS, reported it and had it deleted before I even saw it.
Maybe, if I treated everyone like shit, focused only on getting 'players', and generally looked down on everyone that I am trying to build a game for, I would not have any fans and would have a bunch of trolls that haunt me with hate. But that's not what I do. Instead, I treat 'players' like they are people. I treat them how I would want a company to treat me. When I get an email about someone having an account problem and not being able to play the game they bought, I DROP EVERYTHING, and fix it. Right there. I pull off the road and fix it from my phone, if I have too. Because that is MY FAULT. If something doesn't work, that is on me, not the player (in most cases).
It seems game developers try to justify treating people like trash because they are not making any money. Is that the customers fault that you picked a shitty business model? You want to make a free to play game and then treat the free players like trash? That is not the players fault!
All my fans matter to me. They are the reason I am here, they are the reason M.A.V. exists. The guy that went out of his way to break the game, every single day, and tell me about it [even HOUND me about it], I didn't ban him. Some people might have even considered him a troll. I didn't. He is not only a Moderator on the message board but also helps me as a Community Manager. Why? Because he cared. He cared about M.A.V. just as much as I did and he wanted it to be better. Seriously, what single greater thing in the world could you ask from someone than for them to care?
And that is why I say I don't have players I have fans. I have people that log in and play the game, every single day, for a YEAR! Mind you, M.A.V. is not even done yet! But they care. They want M.A.V. to be as great as I do. They want M.A.V. to be as successful as I do. Hell, I didn't have a successful kickstarter campaign because I am a marketing genius, I was successful because the fans went out and told everyone they knew about M.A.V.. They contacted the press [when the press wasn't listening to me] and got news coverage. They made videos and shared on youtube and twitch. They RE-BOUGHT the game, just to continue to help.
So, puppy games and all developers like you. I am sorry your community sucks, but that is your fault, not theirs. Treat them with respect, show you care, and maybe, just maybe, they will treat you as well as the M.A.V. community treats me.