Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Daley_Kong » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:15 pm

Hey all.

Just been catching up. I see this thread contains a fair bit of discourse and has been around for a pretty long time. Usually, I would go for a lock as it's not great forum etiquette to revive a dead thread, however, I have opted not to due to some of the concerns being valid and still relevant today - plus these forums are a pretty inactive place and necroing is almost inevitable.

With all of that in mind, I hope there can be a little more understanding surrounding "silence", which is going to morph into a different kind of keeping tight-lipped.

I was hired as a Community Lead on October 15th. Since then we have communicated that the 64-bit Tonic is on the way very soon, and also alluded to being busy with "something". I hope it can be understood that a lot of work is being done behind the scenes, both by the developers and myself. A whole part of my role is figuring out how to mend the rift that has been caused by us leaving you all in the dark for too long - but that's not something I was ever going to be able to do immediately. It's going to take some time to build some trust back up and for us to set expectations that you'll have full faith in.

Now, even though I am going to be around now to communicate with you all frequently, there will still be some things I can't talk about. It's the same with most other studios. That said, it's also a part of my job to monitor what you are asking for, and how you feel about things. This isn't me saying "stop asking, we will talk when we talk", I'm trying to reassure you that we hear you, and we're working on sharing things with you as soon as we can.

Now, as for what I can talk about:

Developer Commentary Videos - Polishing up the first episode (there will be 6) as we speak. I am aiming to publish it on Youtube this week.

64-bit Tonic - So close to being ready. We've submitted a fix to an issue which put a bit of a blocker on things.

I can't comment on anything else just yet, but I can say I have my head absolutely buried in documents most days. My role extends beyond handling social media and forums. I'm doing a lot of planning, a lot of figuring out how best to present something to you and working on making sure our messaging is candid and honest. - I know it's the developers you wanna hear about, but let's just say without them "doing the things" I wouldn't be working on lots of "stuff." 8-)

I hope this post offers up some clarity/reassurance. Sorry that you've been feeling a bit neglected, I'm here to try to put that right.

Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Piet » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:37 pm

Daley_Kong wrote:Hey all.

Just been catching up. I see this thread contains a fair bit of discourse and has been around for a pretty long time. Usually, I would go for a lock as it's not great forum etiquette to revive a dead thread, however, I have opted not to due to some of the concerns being valid and still relevant today - plus these forums are a pretty inactive place and necroing is almost inevitable.

With all of that in mind, I hope there can be a little more understanding surrounding "silence", which is going to morph into a different kind of keeping tight-lipped.

I was hired as a Community Lead on October 15th. Since then we have communicated that the 64-bit Tonic is on the way very soon, and also alluded to being busy with "something". I hope it can be understood that a lot of work is being done behind the scenes, both by the developers and myself. A whole part of my role is figuring out how to mend the rift that has been caused by us leaving you all in the dark for too long - but that's not something I was ever going to be able to do immediately. It's going to take some time to build some trust back up and for us to set expectations that you'll have full faith in.

Now, even though I am going to be around now to communicate with you all frequently, there will still be some things I can't talk about. It's the same with most other studios. That said, it's also a part of my job to monitor what you are asking for, and how you feel about things. This isn't me saying "stop asking, we will talk when we talk", I'm trying to reassure you that we hear you, and we're working on sharing things with you as soon as we can.

Now, as for what I can talk about:

Developer Commentary Videos - Polishing up the first episode (there will be 6) as we speak. I am aiming to publish it on Youtube this week.

64-bit Tonic - So close to being ready. We've submitted a fix to an issue which put a bit of a blocker on things.

I can't comment on anything else just yet, but I can say I have my head absolutely buried in documents most days. My role extends beyond handling social media and forums. I'm doing a lot of planning, a lot of figuring out how best to present something to you and working on making sure our messaging is candid and honest. - I know it's the developers you wanna hear about, but let's just say without them "doing the things" I wouldn't be working on lots of "stuff." 8-)

I hope this post offers up some clarity/reassurance. Sorry that you've been feeling a bit neglected, I'm here to try to put that right.

Hey! Thanks for responding.
I get what you’re trying to say and that you want you make things right.

It’s just that we’ve... Wait, I will speak for myself, so I’m not putting words in anybody elses mouth... It’s just that I’ve read the words ‘very’ & ‘soon’ WAY to often, without any action following (very) soon.

It’s pretty discouraging, as I’ll get hyped for new stuff and after that... Nothing. This happened so many times + the fact that a lot of stuff happened during the Kickstarter campaign... It’s sad, ‘cause I’m a huge Banjo-Kazooie fan and I’m still in love with old Rare and I want everything surrounding YL to be a success, but sometimes it just feels like I’m being fooled and that’s something I don’t like. I think all these things are also a reason for the very low activity at this forum.

In my eyes it’s not so hard... Just keep us up to date with stuff you’re doing, say like... Once every 2 weeks or so... Little tidbits, teasers, etc. and reveal big stuff incl. release dates when the release window is close (I mean really close). So not like ‘in a couple of months from now’, or so.

And don’t get me wrong. I like goofiness and all, but everytime I see an ‘nonsense’ Twitter post, like some random object with googly eyes put on, my heart cries a little.

I want both PTG & YL to be 100% successful, so let’s hope things change for the better! :)

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Rueckkoppler
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Rueckkoppler » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:53 pm

I agree with pretty much everything Piet said, just like him I'm a big fan whose hype, well, kinda deflated after all these waiting periods. Without judging the game at this point (I think we did that fairly enough) I share the same mindset that I want PG to really blow us away. At least considering Yooka-Laylee, they got some kind of obligation to communicate (that's the annoying thing about Kickstarter, huh?). So it's good that you're here, Dayle!

I hope you guys really read through some criticism about the game as well (you probably did). Just know that you got the craziest Rare-fans directly in front of you. What many of these guys (including me) said was purely out of love and admiration for the "Past Glories". We really want to get closer to that again.

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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Daley_Kong » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:52 pm

Back again, thanks for the replies, both!

Piet:

I understand your frustrations. Dropping too many "soons" can leave it feeling like you're chasing a carrot on a stick with no end in sight.

I'm currently working on a lot of strategising, which includes a lot of theorising about how it will impact the community at large. "How will this make them feel?" "Why is presenting it this way a good/bad idea?" "How can we make this satisfying, reassuring and exciting?". I know it's not been smooth.

When I first started I had a series of very frank conversations with various "representatives" of the community, such as Taylonic, Forstride (Reddit/Discord mod) and Evan (Wiki). They all echoed these same frustrations and problems and let me know that I had a lot of work to do to win you all over. Though for me it's not about personally winning you over, it's about making our online presence and platforms an enjoyable space for you, giving you all the information you need and then some.

In terms of telling you what we're doing, sometimes my hands are tied and I have communicated all that I am able to. NDAs are the enemy of the Community Manager. However - as mentioned, I've been working away at long-term plans, and Playtonic has let me know that they wish to be more candid and open with the community, which happily aligns with my values as a CM too.

I can't patch up all the holes just yet, but I am confident that by the middle of next year, we'll have restored some of that lost faith. :)

Sorry to hear that the silly tweets irritate you, that's not my intent. I'm working on building a rapport back up - our social media accounts will always be active now, as long as I am around, it ties back in with my CM values.


Rueckkoppler

I hope that some of my response to Piet was relevant to your concerns!

In terms of critisism yes, I personally dug into a lot of it when I secured this job. I deliberately set out to read the most scathing stuff I could. I report back to the studio monthly, and there's a section which covers what the community is talking about, or has concerns about. I will be using this every step of the way and likely refashion it for other things too, like game feedback.

I was also a Yooka-Laylee backer by the way, and I'm a long time Rare fan, hence the whole "Kong" thing heh. I'm a huge fan of DKVine and collect DKC merch. I've myself been a part of this community (though, more-so on Twitter than anywhere else) for a very long time, so I definitely understand your love and passion. Really, I am glad that I get to work with people who love the same stuff as me.


ALSO: Bumping the first Dev Commentary back to Tuesday 11th December. Delay caused by me requesting some final edits before I was fully happy with it.

Thanks for letting me know how you feel, both. I am hoping we can keep communicating just like this for the foreseeable. :)

Piet
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Piet » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:24 pm

Thanks again for your response Ms. Daley! :)
Let’s see what’s going to happen in the (near) future. :D

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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Daley_Kong » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:53 pm

Piet wrote:Thanks again for your response Ms. Daley! :)
Let’s see what’s going to happen in the (near) future. :D


You're welcome! Thanks for your ongoing support, regardless of frustrations. :)

LancerEagle
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby LancerEagle » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:46 pm

Hello Daley! Welcome to the Playtonic family and the message boards. I know that in the video game world it's only too easy for a disgruntled minority to dominate the conversation around certain issues, so I thought I'd chime in and keep the positivity train going for at least a little longer.

First of all, thanks for the job you've done so far in the short time since your hiring. If someone had asked me a few months ago what I wanted Playtonic's communication with its customer base to look like, my answer would have looked almost identical to the last two posts of yours in this topic. Just knowing that all of our concerns aren't disappearing into a black hole and that the lapses in messaging aren't going to reach the several-months stage is huge. Having a CM who's willing to separate out what they aren't allowed to tell us yet and give as much information as possible on all other subjects rather than lumping everything together under the banner of "No News Yet" is even better. I think (well, I hope anyway) that the community will be a lot more willing to meet you halfway with the big news items being kept under wraps now that we know that someone on the inside is looking out for the little guy.

Second, and more specifically, I just wanted you to know that my initial gut response to your declaration that you will hopefully have restored our faith in Playtonic by the middle of next year wasn't "What? But that's 7 months away! WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" but rather "Oh my goodness, someone at Playtonic just gave me an honest assessment of their timeline without needing to be badgered into it first. This is awesome". Please, PLEASE continue with this level of frankness going forward. I will always, 100 times out of 100, take an honest answer telling me something I don't necessarily want to hear over a reassuring lie. You're a small indie studio making AAA-style games with modern graphics, of course things are going to take time to accomplish. If something isn't going to happen "Soon"™ then all I want is to be treated like an adult and told about it (and yes, while every announcement of less-than-ideal news is always going to prompt a certain amount of freaking out, know that for every person yelling there are way more of us who are just grateful to be kept in the loop).

Well, that's about it from me. Glad to have you aboard Daley! Over the last couple weeks I've been more excited about the future of Playtonic than I have been since Yooka-Laylee's release, and pretty much all of that is down to you. Keep up the good work!

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Daley_Kong
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Re: Yooka-Laylee's first anniversary!

Postby Daley_Kong » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 am

Hey there LancerEagle!

Thank you very much for your feedback, it's very reassuring to hear such positive things. I'll always make an effort to be as frank as possible, as it's my preferred style of Community Management. I feel like there's a difference between looking out for the community and being a PR mouthpiece keeping people calm - I'll forever do my absolute best to be the former. Gav and the rest of Playtonic want candid transparency with the community, and I feel very happy to be in a position where I can help execute that.

We've got some plans to get a video out with some of the Directors of Playtonic, where they will talk about founding the studio and how we handled Kickstarter and getting to work on our first game. I think that will help clear up some mystery, and give some people a well-needed inside look at Playtonic. I can't say when this will be pushed out yet, my current (video) priority is getting those Developer Commentary videos out the door, but after that, I can turn my attention to it (I do a lot of the planning and organisation around community facing stuff, as well as directing both video filming and editing).

Anyway, I am babbling ha! Thanks again for the lovely feedback, it made me do a big grin.

Daley


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