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Souper

A Letter to Klei

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Souper    319

Dear Klei,

Do you listen to your community at all? I've played this game since beta, and maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't think I have ever once seen you actively listen to the community. (Aside from this very game itself. Since I imagine it is, in part, due to community desire for a multiplayer Don't Starve) Sure, maybe you listen to some bug reports here and there (although to be honest there are so many bugs that are extensively reported and still have yet to be fixed), but for the most part, this community feels like shouting into an echo chamber that never gets opened, and all of you (Klei) are outside of it. It's sad because this game has so much potential, but instead you keep building upon it like a jenga tower. Except this jenga tower has such a shaky foundation, and it becomes increasingly apparent how unstable it is the more you keep stacking on top. Don't get me wrong. I love this game very much, and I think you all have made some great improvements upon it. But I would be lying if I said you guys have done a good job considering the incredible community you have. One of the biggest advantages of being an indie developer is the ability to directly respond to player feedback. You see it all the time with other indie games. The creator(s) of Rimworld, Ludeon, are very active in their community for example. The actual creator himself, Tynan, will update Rimworld based on community feedback on the freaking Reddit forums even. For those of you that don't know, Rimworld recently came out with a whole new expansion, "Ideology." Many players voiced some opinions about implementing some much needed features, and within a week they were added. Mind you, these weren't simple requests either, but he got it done in a week. I'm not saying you need to get things done in a week, but damn at least pretend you've heard us lmao. While we're on the topic of speed, I should mention that it's definitely still a concern. I'm not going to pretend to know the intricacies of indie game development or the hardships that the ongoing pandemic might have created for you all, but I will say that it really takes you an exceptionally long time to implement anything, really. You have games like No Man's Sky pumping out massive, game-changing updates every couple of months a year. They're actively listening to their community and churning out beautiful, free content as if they actually have a vocal community of people that play and love their game (Sound familiar?). You have this entire forum dedicated to discussing this wonderful game, yet you seem to only use it to inform us of new updates, overdue roadmaps, and weekly skin drops, all while ostensibly ignoring the much-needed suggestions/discussions on how to REALLY make this game better. And not just by adding new content, because you clearly have a philosophy of releasing half-done designs and mechanics. I know there are plenty of bad ideas proliferated here, but there are so many good ideas, and it seems like you are forever content to let these ideas rot away while you implement another under-cooked idea, and then decide to revisit that idea a couple of years later to finally finish the recipe.

I'm not going to pretend this game is awful. I love this game and have spent literally thousands of hours on it. I love the hard work you have poured into it, and the endless entertainment it has provided me. So I'd just like to say that I'm not trying to spread any hate or negativity. I love the majority of what you do. What I don't love is the silent treatment, and it feels like that's what we (the community) receive from you. Most of the critiques I have are coming from a seasoned player who has gripes about the potentially less visible aspects of the game from the perspective of newer or more casual players. But I can assure you they are important, and many members of the community share these same concerns. Yet I've seen it said here before that you aren't building this game for the casual players. You're building it for us. But it doesn't feel like it.

All I'm saying is that the active community (mainly us here on the forums) seems to be very dedicated to this game, and I think it would go a long way if some core aspect of your design philosophy was shifted to accommodate the community whose concerns seem to endlessly bounce around in an empty room at this rate.

Love,

Souper

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ArubaroBeefalo    14563
18 minutes ago, Souper said:

Do you listen to your community at all? I've played this game since beta, and maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't think I have ever once seen you actively listen to the community

i stop reading here lmao

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Szczuku    18141

Now I won't say that I agree with you 100% or that all you've said is right... But I also cannot say I don't understand you.

I myself have been making almost the same suggestions since 2018. Suggestions like adding progression and randomness into the game, refreshing old content (the aforementioned 'shaky foundations') or adding more ambiance, animations and interactions. My suggestions ranged from survival, uncompromising ones to the sandbox, chill vibes ones. Yet none have been added. Klei has only scraped (RwyS, archives switch, mysterious energy) the surface of what I think the game needs. Obviously everyone has that 'My suggestions are flawless and I don't see why they aren't added yet'-bias, but I have seen simmilar things be recommended by other forumers with generally positive reactions from others.

That doesn't mean that Klei doesn't listen to us. They do, in fact in the newest update thread you can see them respond to people's complains about changed stunlock mechanic. They listen, it's just that this game is made like 75% out of their own ideas and 25% out of our input. You're not gonna see immediate changes based on community's suggestions. That can be frustrating but I believe that devs take us into account when designing new content.

When it comes to the 'under-cooked ideas'- I think those are simply the result of pumping out content every month. Waterlogged is a good example, the biome feels shoehorned into the ocean and it doesn't have all that much content inside. Great Trees and their conopy are inspired by Hamlet, Gators being reskinned Koalefants with slight AI change and Striders are spiders that walk on water and have additional spawning conditions. The biome doesn't have any new birds which surprised me. Maybe Klei will add them in the future. Why didn't they add them in the original update? Maybe the design phase took them longer than expected? Maybe 1 month was not enough time? Like I said, after 2 years we got used to dst receiving an update every month. We take that for granted, but it's not. After the Gorge there was like a solid year when dst didn't receive anything. I'll take current dst over that one anyday.

Maybe Klei is giving us the silent treatment. None of the devs ever join a serious suggestion thread and say that they hear us and will add something similar. Or tease that they have something that we have wanted for a long time. But that doesn't mean that they don't listen. We have gotten RwyS, an update which refreshed old piece of content. Sure it's been almost over a year and we haven't received a simmilar update yet, but reworking old content must be harder than developing new. 

There are many maybies and speculations in this post, because I am just a random player with a forum account. I don't know what's going on at Klei, all I can do is believe that they do listen to us but choose to add their own stuff first.

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Mike23Ua    12934

As a writer, I would not let my fan base alter the way my story is written: It’s my own envisioning and if I don’t want Hermonie Granger to EVER hook up with Harry Potter then no matter how much my community wants that to happen: I’m not doing it because it Isn’t THEIR STORY TO TELL.

Sound familiar yet? When it comes to video games it’s roughly the same way, they design the game they want to make: Some people will love it, some people will hate it, some people may even become so passionate about it that they provide input and suggestion ideas on how they feel that it can be improved, and Those writers/ game developers can take those ideas, and that input and they can acknowledge it- Implementing it into their product, they can draw inspiration off it and then come up with their own better ideas, they can completely ignore it & continue doing things the way They want them done.. OR they can take that feedback knowing what people want and feed off of it to toy with their fans emotions… It’s their story, let THEM tell it.

Take the above Hermonie x Harry example: The woman writing those stories KNEW how much the fans wanted to see that happen- and over the span of 8 movies she made sure it never happened but teased at it.

Writing & Video Games pretty much go hand in hand, I don’t tell Klei what the right or Wrong thing to do is: Because it’s their product, their design.. if they like an Idea they will use it as they see fit & in any modified way they want to (I’m pretty sure you agreed to that before you could even post your ideas & suggestions in their forums) 

But to say Klei doesn’t listen to their fanbase is just 100% false- They do… but they also do their own thing & make the game they want their game to be.

TL:DR- it’s Their Story.. let them tell it, you can provide input and suggestions, but ultimately it’s still their story.

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Ashkain    1113
8 hours ago, Souper said:

Do you listen to your community at all?

I'm just gonna throw some examples your way, pardon me if I'm misremembering anything :

Remember when Reap What You Sow came out and they changed how Wickerbottoms 'Applied Horticulture' was changed to not work on farm plants anymore for obvious balance reasons? It was only after community feedback did they branch it into two books, Horticulture Abridged and Applied Siliviculture.

My memory is a little hazy, but I do recall the orignal Woodie refresh being met with some somewhat negative acclaim. Therefor they buffed every aspect of it according to community feedback, mainly the whole "Let Goose walk on water" as well as giving Moose more DR, Beavers mining power and duration across all forms. All of that was due to community feedback.

Speaking of Reap what you sow, between the beta and the actual launch they: Allowed waxxing of giant crops to preserve them, added way more things for the compost bin and made it more user friendly and of course how could we forget how people were begging for Wormwood buffs for the farming based update? Wormwood as he is now in all his fertilising and buffed-blooming ability wouldn't of been if Klei didn't listen to their community.

Basically look at any beta release of a update and how different it is to the offical launch. That's mainly due to player feedback. And as for bugfixes, just go to the Klei bugtracker. They fix them way faster and more often then most other games I play.

I'm not trying to brownnose Klei here, I know big companies aint our friends but come on dude, atleast complain about something that's actually true.

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ALCRD    976

They do listen to feedback. Beta branches are not just for bug tracking.

They just don't add every single idea someone posts on forums cause that would take them eternity and a half. Also picking best ideas among ocean of community suggestions would take just as long.

We got workshop mods for that.

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ShadowDuelist    9721

We just got a character that was literally made out of what a new character should be from suggestions and even a poll. The suggestions to add shipwrecked to DST were made for years, there was at least one thread asking for that every month. They probably knew it was a job really hard to do and required a lot of time and planning, and when they finally were ready for it we got ROT’s sailing.

I’ve made hundreds of suggestions and many of them were taken into account, which I feel it’s simply amazing for a game I love. 
They listen, a lot, to their community, the game would not be what it is now if they didn’t, trust me I’ve been here at the forums for a long while now and if you pay attention to the forums you sort of see the future of DST based on what happens here. They have a main idea or goal of how things should be and they polish based on feedback.

If your ideas are too unorthodox or stray away too much from things that most of the player base already enjoy, or maybe are good ideas but too unfeasible or hard to make given their time available, it just won’t happen. Same goes, sorry to say, if your ideas are just plain bad. They can’t implement all ideas presented at the forums, or the game would float in an eternal sea of randomness.

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Mysterious box    1324
2 hours ago, Souper said:

Dear Klei,

Do you listen to your community at all? I've played this game since beta, and maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't think I have ever once seen you actively listen to the community. (Aside from this very game itself. Since I imagine it is, in part, due to community desire for a multiplayer Don't Starve) Sure, maybe you listen to some bug reports here and there (although to be honest there are so many bugs that are extensively reported and still have yet to be fixed), but for the most part, this community feels like shouting into an echo chamber that never gets opened, and all of you (Klei) are outside of it. It's sad because this game has so much potential, but instead you keep building upon it like a jenga tower. Except this jenga tower has such a shaky foundation, and it becomes increasingly apparent how unstable it is the more you keep stacking on top. Don't get me wrong. I love this game very much, and I think you all have made some great improvements upon it. But I would be lying if I said you guys have done a good job considering the incredible community you have. One of the biggest advantages of being an indie developer is the ability to directly respond to player feedback. You see it all the time with other indie games. The creator(s) of Rimworld, Ludeon, are very active in their community for example. The actual creator himself, Tynan, will update Rimworld based on community feedback on the freaking Reddit forums even. For those of you that don't know, Rimworld recently came out with a whole new expansion, "Ideology." Many players voiced some opinions about implementing some much needed features, and within a week they were added. Mind you, these weren't simple requests either, but he got it done in a week. I'm not saying you need to get things done in a week, but damn at least pretend you've heard us lmao. While we're on the topic of speed, I should mention that it's definitely still a concern. I'm not going to pretend to know the intricacies of indie game development or the hardships that the ongoing pandemic might have created for you all, but I will say that it really takes you an exceptionally long time to implement anything, really. You have games like No Man's Sky pumping out massive, game-changing updates every couple of months a year. They're actively listening to their community and churning out beautiful, free content as if they actually have a vocal community of people that play and love their game (Sound familiar?). You have this entire forum dedicated to discussing this wonderful game, yet you seem to only use it to inform us of new updates, overdue roadmaps, and weekly skin drops, all while ostensibly ignoring the much-needed suggestions/discussions on how to REALLY make this game better. And not just by adding new content, because you clearly have a philosophy of releasing half-done designs and mechanics. I know there are plenty of bad ideas proliferated here, but there are so many good ideas, and it seems like you are forever content to let these ideas rot away while you implement another under-cooked idea, and then decide to revisit that idea a couple of years later to finally finish the recipe.

I'm not going to pretend this game is awful. I love this game and have spent literally thousands of hours on it. I love the hard work you have poured into it, and the endless entertainment it has provided me. So I'd just like to say that I'm not trying to spread any hate or negativity. I love the majority of what you do. What I don't love is the silent treatment, and it feels like that's what we (the community) receive from you. Most of the critiques I have are coming from a seasoned player who has gripes about the potentially less visible aspects of the game from the perspective of newer or more casual players. But I can assure you they are important, and many members of the community share these same concerns. Yet I've seen it said here before that you aren't building this game for the casual players. You're building it for us. But it doesn't feel like it.

All I'm saying is that the active community (mainly us here on the forums) seems to be very dedicated to this game, and I think it would go a long way if some core aspect of your design philosophy was shifted to accommodate the community whose concerns seem to endlessly bounce around in an empty room at this rate.

Love,

Souper

This is the most recent example that came to mind and I'm too lazy to dig for more but there are plenty heck a large amount of Webber's refresh came from ideas from the community. Yes they don't do everything we ask but if they did everything someone said on the forum the game would likely have died long ago they do however add a ton and take suggestions into consideration even at times when they don't actively post about it as refreshes and updates have shown.

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ArubaroBeefalo    14563
14 minutes ago, Mysterious box said:

when they don't actively post about it

people seems to have a hard time understanding that they cant say all the things they wanna do, our ideas or their ideas, because there is costs, time, problems with bugs and other kind of proplems so if people is expecting something and later it doesnt come they get mad

they are actually so communicative but not as much as somepople think they can be because it will be a very silly move

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xhyom    299
1 hour ago, Mysterious box said:

This is the most recent example that came to mind and I'm too lazy to dig for more but there are plenty heck a large amount of Webber's refresh came from ideas from the community. Yes they don't do everything we ask but if they did everything someone said on the forum the game would likely have died long ago they do however add a ton and take suggestions into consideration even at times when they don't actively post about it as refreshes and updates have shown.

The most recent update, the big tree one, has a tiny update based on community feedback too. It's completely unfair, Klei has some flaws as nothing is perfect, but we can't be unfair and deny their efforts. 

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TheFat    123

I don't know man, I'm mainly just a lurker on the forum, but during the testing period of Reap What You Sow, This was my suggestion.

It was implemented the next update. I'm pretty sure Klei listen to the community feedback, so please be positive, okay ?

Have a nice day! :)

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Seero    1279
5 hours ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

i stop reading here lmao

I take credit for klei adding merged crafting to singleplayer soo
my anecdotes debunk

(this was before they were bought by tencent)

 

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thegreatJash    1801

They literally kinda just said in the most recent hotfix that they are listening to us when it comes to Ancient Guardian and his mechanics. The entire concept of ghost characters, the rework of farming, and even Enlightened Crown Shards as a whole have all been directly inspired from the community. 

I just think that you need to pay a little more attention. Just because the one thing you want to see in the game doesn't get added doesn't mean that Klei doesn't listen to us.

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ALCRD    976
5 minutes ago, thegreatJash said:

They literally kinda just said in the most recent hotfix that they are listening to us when it comes to Ancient Guardian and his mechanics. The entire concept of ghost characters, the rework of farming, and even Enlightened Crown Shards as a whole have all been directly inspired from the community. 

I just think that you need to pay a little more attention. Just because the one thing you want to see in the game doesn't get added doesn't mean that Klei doesn't listen to us.

It's mostly the "you don't add my suggestion / suggestion i like to have in the game = you don't listen to community at all" mentality rearing it's ugly head with threads like these.

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Superlucas1231    1550

I don't even think it's the fact that they don't listen nor the fact that a lot of the ideas that the community gives out are bad/hard to implement, I just think its the fact that the community (or at least the forums) has so many criticisms/nit-picks/etc about the game. Klei does listen to the community, with character reworks and RWYS being an example of that. But when every week, someone says stuff like 

"When is Shipwreck going to be ported, When is Hamlet going to be ported, Winona needs a refresh, wendy is OP and needs a nerf, Celestial portal is OP and needs to be nerfed, summer isn't fun, raid boss cheesing shouldn't exist, the animation doesn't look good, this game needs more survival content, when is forge going to come back, when is gorge going to come back, ocean content is boring,  people are griefing/abusing tools that are made to protect against griefing, etc."

it makes it realllly hard to give Klei credit for listening to the community when there are just so many criticisms/nit-picks/etc. This isn't to say that Klei is lazy, or that all of these complaints are unfounded. I would argue that people are frustrated and feel like they aren't being heard, made even worse when content that they never asked for (cawnival, raid bosses, etc) gets implemented into the game before whatever is that they wanted. 

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minespatch    91360
42 minutes ago, thegreatJash said:

I just think that you need to pay a little more attention. Just because the one thing you want to see in the game doesn't get added doesn't mean that Klei doesn't listen to us.

Klei are humans. They aren't a massive corporation like blizzard and Disney. :wilson_ecstatic:

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Owlrus    5750

Y'know, with threads named like this it's like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get. It's always 50/50 with these types of threads. Either it's a love letter, or hate mail.

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