Could Fatshark implement a system where players can make a “case” for a discussion with a game developer directly via a communication platform, such as the official discord.
The player would make a memo concerning the topic they want to discuss, and then they can send it as an appeal for a session where they can discuss with the developer about the subject of their memo, this way the game developers can get key insight from the players directly in a voice-to-voice way. The sessions could be 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The memo system would be in place to require some effort on part of the player, to filter out poorly thought out takes or opinions, and for the developers to have an understanding about the discussion to have possible answers and thoughts ready and formatted.
The community managers could quickly skim the memo, to see its just not regurgitation of a single complaint or complaining without creative input, and pass it on.
This is extra work, for sure, but this is a key way to get customer feedback and fresh ideas for the game.
I could see this being really neat in some other game, but I don’t think it would fly with a larger developer. Beyond just the time investment required, taking input directly from players (who aren’t part of a focus group) opens them up to liability if they actually implement any of the ideas.
I do think it would be nice to feel seen however. Oftentimes giving feedback on forums can feel like screaming into the void.
Ghost Ship Games is relatively active on their subreddit, which is nice. I’ve actually had one of my suggestions directly implemented by the devs after they saw a post of mine (and complaints from one or two other players). However I also know that my suggestion wasn’t universally popular, I’m just lucky the developers agreed with my suggestion. Imagine the shitshow that would take place if it was something seriously controversial. It would draw the developers into question, and open the user who suggested an idea up to bullying.
Sure, but this could all be done player to dev, and there would not necessarily be the third party of the public to see the memo, suggestion or the chat, which can all be done privately. The devs of course make the last call, but it would be nice to give direct communication feedback and receive personal reasoning as to why things are.
Open, transparent communication is already asking entirely too much of FatShark as they’re horrendous at bothering to communicate with players in any way shape or form beyond patchnotes or an Open Letter “from the CEO” feeding us a line of garbage they still haven’t managed to live up to a year later.
Such a system already exists - certain members of the community are offered access to future builds and, by their own words, they work directly with some of the FS devs on testing, suggestions and projections.
Drop by the Discord to talk to some such community members, see where that gets you.