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imhotep

Avoid contacting DF directly - leave resources for things that matter.

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There are 87,142 backers (on Kickstarter).

Imagine if everyone of them sent just one email to DF, and it took 5 minutes to answer. That would amount to 435,710 minutes = 7262 hours = 908 days (8h workday) for one person.

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I get what you're saying but your numbers are just not realistic.

If you have ever worked at customer support, you would know that even if everything goes to hell, not everyone will request for support.

When most of the people are just patiently waiting, that percentage is even less.

Sure with 80K+ backers, they might get a lot if enquiries, but its up to the company to deal with customer relations the way THEY want to deal with it.

Sure don't mail with every brain fart you have....that's what the forums are for, but it's not very nice to scare people with imaginary numbers while they may have some serious questions (like gavingardner asking about the reward)

Resources SHOULD be allocated to provide customer/backer support, and it's not up to us decide how DF wishes to arrange that and what format they think works best.

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I agree, and of the backers too, but reading long emails to decide their importance wastes resources.

With the crowdsourcing and DF directly addressing us, the backers, we may get a false sense of intimacy and try to contact them all too avidly. A thing to keep in mind! ADDITION: Consider also that backers, as a group, are more inclined to active participation and communication than that of more passive "general customers".

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I am a bit surprised of the responses and the strong customer attitude. After all, we are backers not customers. We are more like investors, we should think of the good of the company too.

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Pointless thread is pointless...

...the only people who contact Double Fine directly are people who have urgent problems anyway (like getting a 30$ reward for a 100$ pledge...)

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That is true.

If you look at traditional investors however, based on the agreements, the company will also need to address the investors, and explain its actions.

In this case, backers might be seen as a type of investors, but on the other hand, nobody went into this with a business contract.

Besides, even an "investor" might have a very legit question from time to time.

If you get a lot of attention, you're going to get a lot of responses. Sure, I get what you are saying. Don't ask them about what color socks you should wear to your wedding, or what you think the main character for the new game should be...

But I think if you have a good question, especially when related to your "investment" you have every right to drop them a line.

Again, it's up to Double Fine to decide how they will handle any enquiries.

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@Acorino: And seem to be sending multiple emails for the same matter...

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Since money is involved, I can understand the sense of urgency. And I can understand the frustration of not getting a reply, and not knowing if you even directed your question at the right person or place. In this case even an automated reply explaining the situation, so that you at least know its in the right spot, might give some comfort.

Again, it's up to DF to provide a platform where people can get their questions answered, and to make them feel like its going to be taken care of.

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You know, imhotep, if this truly turns out to be such a big and unmanageable problem then surely Double Fine will lets us know! They can speak for themselves, after all.

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Sure, but it would clearly be bad publicity for them to state that. As said, we have to also think what is best for DF and the DF Adventure. It's another state of mind entirely.

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I love that the $30/$100 thing came up here, too. The reality is that they probably have staff that takes care of customer service type issues - so it's their job to sift through all the crap we send to them, prioritize it, and respond as necessary. Most companies have such folks.

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Yup. But let's keep in mind those support folks are then paid from our donations instead leaving more to the developers... The investors in other DF projects surely won't allow using their capital to pay for DFA support.

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Pointless thread is pointless...

...the only people who contact Double Fine directly are people who have urgent problems anyway (like getting a 30$ reward for a 100$ pledge...)

hahaha you're a dick. I love you.

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Yup. But let's keep in mind those support folks are then paid from our donations instead leaving more to the developers... The investors in other DF projects surely won't allow using their capital to pay for DFA support.

Usually support people are not project dependent. So yes, even before the Kickstarter started, DF has had customer service personnel. I'd bet my Tim Schafer voooo (love) doll on it.

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Sigh... So let me restate. It goes like this: a new project & a huge base of active backers -> added support workload -> no support expenses attributed to the project. All because, hey, they already had support. Perhaps a bit naive?

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I would assume that it is, actually, a lot easier for DF to pay these overheads from the DFA funds than from other investors' project budgets, as there is no one keeping a lid on the next payment.

To oversimplify:

- When you buy a normal retail game after the launch, any company resources you consume are additional profit for you and do not change the product you have.

- When you back a project before the launch, any company resources you consume are away from the end product you are eagerly waiting for.

(This is a simplification, you can add to the product value after sale by contributing to bug fixes in updates etc.)

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if this truly turns out to be such a big and unmanageable problem then surely Double Fine will lets us know!

Like in this response? :coolhmm:

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Right, so they confirmed that they're very busy with helping people with their rewards. So does that mean people should just keep quiet and not get the rewards they deserve, or other equally pressing issues?

The truth is not in black and white. If you have a question that can wait? Maybe just put it on the forums and see if some of the users or perhaps a moderator in the long run, can help out. It might be a good thing to not bother DF too much so soon after the Kickstarter finished...

On the other hand, if you have issues you feel nervous about or feel should be resolved quickly, than feel free to contact DF through the means THEY provide. It's up to them to decide how they handle support!

@Imhotep: The numbers you stated in the initial post are greatly exaggerated, and thus the matter is less pressing than you made it out to be in the post title. But yeah I guess what you're trying to say is: Please see if your problem is really just that, and see if you can come op with a solution before you go running to mummy. (And have patience... they might be busy!)

Still I think it's up to Double fine to explain to the community how we should deal with any questions we might have. A random post by a forum user doesn't hold much weight, since we have no idea what is actually going on in terms of numbers.

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The need for any e-mail contact is greatly diminished by the existence of the backer forums (and for that matter, these forums). I'm with Wracky in that this is up to Double Fine anyway. If there is any overload or trouble regarding e-mails or the activities of backers, they will no doubt make an announcement to rectify the problem.

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Right, so they confirmed that they're very busy with helping people with their rewards. So does that mean people should just keep quiet and not get the rewards they deserve, or other equally pressing issues?

Certainly, you were unable to read between the lines.

The rewards will be sent out a year from now or something like that. Generally, I would hardly call issues with that a pressing matter. Who is claiming that people should be quiet? They just should not all be talking directly to DF at the same time.

The truth is not in black and white. If you have a question that can wait? Maybe just put it on the forums and see if some of the users or perhaps a moderator in the long run, can help out. It might be a good thing to not bother DF too much so soon after the Kickstarter finished... ---- I guess what you're trying to say is: Please see if your problem is really just that, and see if you can come op with a solution before you go running to mummy. (And have patience... they might be busy!)

Finally you make some sense.

On the other hand, if you have issues you feel nervous about or feel should be resolved quickly, than feel free to contact DF through the means THEY provide.

Feel insecure and nervous... Grow up and deal with it, or consult a therapist. As a backer, you are taking risk. A backer is not a customer, just a guy or gal who gave away some money.

It's up to them to decide how they handle support! --- Still I think it's up to Double fine to explain to the community how we should deal with any questions we might have. A random post by a forum user doesn't hold much weight, since we have no idea what is actually going on in terms of numbers.

I suppose you are referreing to your random post? Once again you are missing the point. In everything they do about the DFA, they are using the funds - money once ours - to do it. As backers, we have to take responsibility in how they are using that money. Capish? Comprende?

The numbers you stated in the initial post are greatly exaggerated

I suppose you provide some proof for that - considering I started that sentence with "Imagine if".

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In everything they do about the DFA, they are using the funds - money once ours - to do it. As backers, we have to take responsibility in how they are using that money.

This is nonsense (sorry to be blunt!). As backers, we gave our money to Double Fine because we trust their ability to use it to create this game. We have neither the right nor responsibility to oversee or control how they use the money. It's theirs now. We are not shareholders or publishers. Our input basically amounts to feedback on the forums and beta testing. What a travesty of a game this would become if we really did have 90,000 people telling Double Fine how to spend their pledge money.

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As backers, we have to take responsibility in how they are using that money.
This is nonsense. As backers, we gave our money to Double Fine because we trust their ability to use it to create this game. We have neither the right nor responsibility to oversee or control how they use the money. It's theirs now. We are not shareholders. The most input we will have in this entire endeavor basically amounts to feedback on the forums and beta testing. We are not playing the role of publishers here. What a travesty of a game this would become if we really did have 80,000 people telling Double Fine how to spend their pledge money.

I agree that this specific wording left the issue unclear, but not if one reads my previous posts on this page.

No we are not investors, we have no right to oversee or influence their actions. But we must control our own actions to enable them to do their thing. Therein lies the responsibility as backers.

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Hehe, looks like you caught my post pre-edit.

I agree that we shouldn't do anything that will actively inhibit Double Fine's work, but I don't think there will be too much issue here. The backer forums will provide an avenue of communication for backers, and it would take something pretty special and unusual (and which I can't think of right now) to suddenly get thousands of backers simultaneously feeling that the forums created specifically for them are inadequate to address their concerns, and bombarding the company with e-mails. If we get out of hand Double Fine can communicate with us and let us know.

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I don’t think there will be too much issue here. --- If we get out of hand Double Fine can communicate with us and let us know.

Do you agree with the core logic in post #16 and #17?

Am I right to suppose that by this you mean: There are no support costs before DF is at the point in which they have to address us to limit communication. Or that support cost is not away from the funds also used to actually develop the game?

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I don’t think there will be too much issue here. --- If we get out of hand Double Fine can communicate with us and let us know.

Do you agree with the core logic in post #16 and #17?

Am I right to suppose that by this you mean: There are no support costs before DF is at the point in which they have to address us to limit communication. Or that support cost is not away from the funds also used to actually develop the game?

I think those posts neglect some factors. Seeing as this is not Double Fine's only project, and (if they are indeed working with publishers on other projects) probably not their largest current project either, and considering they have numerous existing games which saw more sales than this project has backers, I'd say that Double Fine's 'support budget' is separate to the budget for this game. That is speculation (though I think it's reasonable), but any contrary notion would also be speculation. Also consider that there are many more Double Fine staff members than those working on this game. There is no reason to assume that even a worst-case-scenario explosion of e-mails would need to directly impact on the development of this game.

If there really is an overwhelming amount of e-mail contact, it is highly unlikely that it will all happen in one day. Therefore, if e-mail communication seems to be escalating, an announcement to backers should be able to rectify the situation promptly before it becomes difficult to manage. Even if a day was lost for the whole company while the situation was dealt with (which I seriously doubt), there is no reason it would need to continue beyond that. Since the people who would hypothetically be the problem are all backers, they are easily reachable via e-mail or video updates. I seriously doubt we would all continue to spam e-mails if Tim Schafer asked us not to in a private video to backers. I suspect there's less to be worried about here than you think.

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I'd say that Double Fine's 'support budget' is separate to the budget for this game. That is speculation, but any contrary notion would also be speculation.

In the end, after all the book keeping magic, it does not matter which way it is. The costs for support are attributed to the projects. There is no way escaping that.

And actually, I am not at all worried about some hypothetical single day peak of support requests, but the average amount of requests that accumulates costs over longer time periods. (As a side note: this thread is not just about email but any direct contacting by all means).

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Fair enough. Ultimately I am all for us trying to be a help rather than a hindrance to the project and Double Fine in general, but I think it's up to them to inform us if there are any dos or don'ts regarding our behavior as backers. After all, they are far more informed about how much work we are actually creating for them.

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I think that we are on the same page here.

I truly believe that every backer has the right intentions and wants all the best for DF and DFA, but sometimes it is good to stop to think about the consequences of our actions.

Finally, I would like to remind us backers, that as a company, DF has to handle their PR in a certain fashion. Sometimes, this may limit their actions.

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