Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Interview with Jason Decker: Love Letters from
Your Community—cont'd
So for us, if you're talking about how to be successful: we listen to our
players. We haven't abandoned anything; we've always added. Adding
new content; trickling it out a little at a time to provide a living world.
And interacting with the community outside of the game world, too.
Like, we'll have bake sales and hold a Facebook contest where
people can send in pictures of cakes they've baked in the real world.
And we'll give out super-unique rare items to people who win these
Q: You use Facebook for spreading the message, but the game isn't
playable on Facebook, right?
A: Right. If you're making a social game, you have to approach every
arena available to you to reach your players and your fan base. You have
to nurture the people who enjoy your game. They're there because they
feel like they're being heard. Our fans are a living system.
Q: They feel like they can talk to you, and you'll listen and make the game
better for them?
A: Yes. We will respond. They will demand changes that we listen to,
and we'll evolve the game over time for them. That's the most interesting
thing about making a social game—it's a give and take between the fan
and the developers.
Q: How do you get feedback and suggestions from your customers?
A: We have a really active forum, and we chart activity there. We have
areas for bugs, improvement suggestions, and we have flame wars all
the time.
Everyone will complain about everything, but if they weren't complain-
ing, they wouldn't be there. If you're hearing about it, they're playing, and
they're enjoying it so much they want it to be even better. So having rabid
fans may sound like a pain, but it's really a good indication that you're
doing something right. They love your game enough to talk to you about
it. They'll come back from other games that they've played and talk about
other games and give us suggestions from other products. Your players
want you to win. You've created a virtual world, and they want it to stay
around forever. That's what real social gaming is about. These are people
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