The Steam Community forums for the Planet Zoo beta have really reinforced my decision to stay far away from game development.

A third of the posts are people who clearly have no idea what a beta is - "don't buy, too buggy". Sorry, were you expecting a finished game? You wasted your money, then.

Another third of the posts are people making decisions for the developers. A very common discussion is "Should they delay launch?" which makes my blood boil a bit. First of all, you have no fucking clue what kind of manpower this development team has. You don't manage them, and neither do I. So, neither you nor I should be making assumptions about how fast they can fix the issues, and definitely shouldn't make decisions about if the game should delay launch.

Second of all, neither you nor I know how the game is built. These fixes could mean a line of code, or they could mean a re-write of multiple core systems. We don't know, and I'm guessing you've probably never even written a line of code in your life so you REALLY shouldn't be telling these guys how to do their job.

The last third is benign discussion - people reporting bugs (even though there's an issue tracker, but that thing is fucking jam packed with 250 pages of reported issues), asking how to do xyz, posting feature requests, etc.

But if roughly 60% of the community is behaving poorly and actively working against development by pissing off the devs and drowning out constructive discussion, then yeah; I won't be going near game dev any time soon. Sure, developing business software means dealing with REALLY dumb people but at the very least they are in a business environment and not in a toxic forum of bullshit.

Oh, and as a closing remark, I love this game!

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    Young Algo learned something today: Users are retarded.

    I try to not be one of those "everyone is stupid" people, but in reality, it's kinda true.
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    @Stuxnet and also: internet is brutal.

    Every small bug is highlighted but when asking in person they will say they like it.
    Someone I know left a brutal comment on a game someone else I knew made. I asked the commenter what he thought of the game and he was way more positive.
    I then asked to change his comment because I knew the dev. He made his comment less brutal and sales notably went up.
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    @Stuxnet people reeeee

    (I agree though, people are cunts)
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    Reminds me of climate change forums..
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    The typical gamer.... "I paid $25 for this game! I expect...!"

    Lazy, entitled, dull....
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    With recent years of indie and AAA games releases, I understand why forums are full with whining. Ex. 1: releases game with major game breaking bugs and nice p2w shops or/and loot boxes. Ex 2: game is still in early access: but releases few dlc's already, however game is still buggy mess. I miss old days, when you could just buy game and have complete experience.
    Picture pretty much sums up what is modern gaming is.
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    @nonsleep1 it's about them bitching at the bugs in a BETA release, not the final product.

    I used the Android 10 beta and there were a fuck ton of bugs but I didn't go Autistically screeching on the subreddit or issue tracker saying "this OS is broken *stupid bullshit*"
  • 0
    I did a quick "corridor probing" kind of thing asking people what a "beta version" is. The most common answer had a question mark at the end: "a second version of something?". Beta branches and keys exist for a reason.

    There are 2 more issues here:

    1. the lack of moderation on publisher's side,

    2. the lack of proper reviewing mechanisms on Valve's side.

    Unrelated threads should be answered and closed quickly. Bug reports should have their own category with a bot reposting everything to their bug tracker and closing threads. Bug reports outside of this category should be closed by moderators quickly. This might seem PR-unfriendly but it actually translates to good PR over time and turns your user base into well trained pets. But money.

    Steam should have an option to entirely block reviewing betas or at least remove reviews when the next version releases. There should be ways of reviewing a publisher and the developer as well - also moderated... But money.
  • 1
    @cprn Most of the things that you mentioned are already possible. The links like review deleting is good that it isn't possible. But old reviews do not show up anymore after a few updates and a dev has a possibility to comment on reviews.
  • 0
    @Codex404 Interesting... I didn't know old reviews don't show, thought I can see entire review history whenever I want as a mere user. Are those excluded from the rating as well?
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    @cprn they are visible yes, but indeed don't get counted in the rating and also are not shown of the main page. You really have to click a few times to find the old reviews.
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    @Paralax ah that's what I do myself. Never knew they asked for it.
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    It all started to go downhill in about 1985 I think, is when they started to release buggy games that they never fixed !

    I'm reminded of:

  • 0
    @Paralax Yeah, it might work for early access games but since they already ignore those older reviews when the new version comes out it makes little to no sense. Neither it should work for negative reviews because when I give a game a negative review (excluding Early Access) I rarely put more time into it. Mostly I just try to refund. And I don't think I'm alone in that. So yeah, it should work as a rank lowering factor if game gives that initial hype to get a positive review and then gets annoyingly boring.
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    @Nanos I don't know what happened 1985, I born 1991, first pc got in 99. First time played elite dangerous last year,BTW, not a bad game. I actually don't like what gaming companies try to push, games as a service thing, or quick cash grab. BTW I play some early access games like rust or space engineers, bought their dlc's. At least they are not dicks with dlc on early access games releases. I don't mind when they sell skin. I am pissed when they sell game feature, that should be in the game in the first place.
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    I'm reminded of a game I got a refund for (Though the name escapes me for now..), back in the days when you couldn't really get refunds for games. :-)

    And then they sent me another copy of the game for free, with the exact same bug in it !

    Great, so now I have two copies..

    I did eventually find out how to fix the bug, it appears the game was developed on a system with twin floppy drives, and would work fine with that arrangement.

    Just not one..

    I found out by accident when I got a second floppy drive ! (Back in the days when they cost like $500 each !)

    It was quite a nice game, but the bug prevented you from playing beyond level 1.

    Obviously the game testers didn't go that far..

    Or all had twin floppy drives !
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