We made some changes to said process a few months back, starting with handing over responsibility for our Status Reports to Dhawkz, our new Brand Manager. I’m pleased to say that has been very fruitful for us, and we’ve had the Status Reports out on schedule without issue for quite some time now.
That specifically is not what I was intending to think out loud about today, so let me get back on topic. We have two people full time on community and external communication, and part time each of the leads contribute to it as well.
– SMoss (Community Manager)
– Dhawkz (Brand Manager)
Past the staffing responsibility we have 3 main methods of sharing external development information.
– Status Reports (Biweekly – Tuesdays (Anytime on Tuesday)
– Trello (No schedule, as assets are available to show)
– DayZDevTeam Youtube (No schedule, we show things that are ready to be shown (Dev Logs), and we are trying out developer Q&A videos – Design coming soon!)
In general you can see a theme above. As development is fluid, it can be hard to predict with certain accuracy exactly when a specific system, tech, or feature will be playable or even showable. We can give our goals, or even our estimates – but we’ll always end up upsetting at least one side of the crowd. Not to mention the fact that showing things while in development that aren’t *on the docket* for the very next stable release only tends to end up causing confusion – and in some rare cases, frustration. Often you can end up with a render, preview animation, or prototype system that is dependant upon significantly more moving parts to be playable or even testable – and that tends not to trickle out through all human/organic communication channels of mouth to mouth. So moving forward we’ve been following a principle of only showing things in our YouTube channel that are coming up in the next stable build.
We’ve allowed for more loose communication style with the Status Reports – as they can tend to be very text heavy and dry, the developers can take some liberty to talk about more long term goals and tasks. In addition, our recent change in how we communicate “deadlines, goals, and targets” will bring milestone review briefs to the Status Reports – starting with .61 development.
Our Trello is very irregular, and I’d like to improve that – I just need to figure out how to combat people misunderstanding a model preview for something that is ready to be in game, or even will be soon. 😉
When it comes to “dates” – well, as I’ve said a few times before – We’re just not doing that with our communication any more. Things come up, dates end up getting pushed, and we end up with both developers and early access users frustrated. So, we’re taking a different approach – one that gives a bit more transparency into what systems / changes are targeted for a given stable update, what the progress is towards said build, and what got pushed and why. We have our firm date for Status Reports, and the guideline of “when its ready” for showing things on our YouTube channel – paired with the above mentioned milestone reviews in Status Reports – I think for those that are interested in following DayZ development towards its 1.0 release, there is a lot of information to be had.
I’m sure this rambling post will upset some, maybe please some others – but I thought it needed to be said, and if I didn’t care – I wouldn’t be here writing it 🙂
See you all out there in Chernarus!