Game Councilor

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Game councilor: part 1 / 3

Recently Keyser resigned as Game Councilor and last week I was approved by the board to take over. Some of you may know me as a map maker, for making trailers, for trying to improve the performance of the game or adjusting or adding in new features. I will focus my attention on the last two - and I hope we can do this together.

About us: the community

We're a self sustaining community with various contributors as our backbone. There are numerous ways one can contribute: By creating graphics for the news team, by being a personal trainer to help players out, by being a moderator to protect the community from itself - this list continues on and on. I want to take this opportunity to highlight two of them: taking part in productive discussions and testing the game or client.

Discussions

Discussions are a corner point of a thriving community. The development of the game should be no exception for these discussions. A recent example is the adjustment to the mass extractor capping feature that started with a discussion on the forums. This is the type of interaction that we should have with the community. In order to facilitate this further we're expanding our use of our Discord channel:

  • A new channel '#game-updates' under 'Technical' where all updates to the develop branch / release branch are posted
  • A new channel '#game-features' under 'Technical' where where all updates that can benefit from discussions are posted, including sub threads for each update to discuss the update with the community
  • A new channel '#game-general' under 'Technical' where you can talk about (technical) game improvements in general

You will require the @Tester role that you can select in the #role-selection channel in order to respond to and discuss features. The same role will be used to ping when new features arise. The role is shared with client testers and announcements.

I hope with this change we can accommodate a more community-engaged game development, in particular the idea is that:

  • The forums can be used to initiate a discussion on features / improvements
  • Discord can be used to discuss features / improvements on an informal level with fellow community members and the game developers
  • Github can be used to discuss features / improvements on a technical level with fellow game developers
  • Zulip can be used to discuss features / improvements on a technical level with fellow developers of other branches, such as the client or server developers

We're going to use next week to set up the Discord channels.

These discussions should involve bug fixes, feature suggestions and performance improvements. Balance discussions have their own councilor and their own forum sections.

Testers

People that test the client or game have a direct impact to the overall experience of the community. Their work is appreciated - I'd like to use this section to highlight @WhenDayBreaks, @Emperor_Penguin, @GenevaConvention , @Tagada, @Snagglefox and everyone else who has discussed issues with me in the past that they experienced with the game.

There is a new patch coming set to release on the 26th of November. You can find the changelog on Github. Meanwhile we're trying to create a stable version of the client with various changes including an auto debugger and improvements to team matchmaking. I am asking everyone reading this to contribute - not by writing code, not by creating graphics and not by making content or managing content.

Instead contribute by giving yourself to the @Tester role on Discord, by installing the pre release / alpha client and by hosting games on the game type FAF Develop. Then report back your findings - even when they are positive and stable. You can do so in #testing-faf and #game-general on Discord respectively.

Final note

The intention was to write more about my ideas as a councilor - but time is short. I'll be writing about other changes that I intent to make in the near future including a mentorship for community members that are willing to learn about and work with the game repository for an extended time. But for now - let us enjoy this game together and report back the bugs.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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After a discussion with Ftx and other people the channels under the Technical section are updated name-wise:

(new)                     -> client-development: webhook for commits of the client repository
faf-testing-announcements -> client-announcements: shoutouts / highlights of particular commits / features
faf-testing               -> client-testing: general testing topic

game-updates  -> game-development: webhook for commits of the fa / coop repository
game-features -> game-announcements: shoutouts / highlights of particular commits / features + threads
game-general  -> game-testing: general testing topic

client-prerelease-testing -> due for deletion as it overlaps with client-testing

With the web hooks any push to the repository is posted on Discord. This already prevented us from making a change that was apparently not required (lobby presets work for some people, but not for all). Thanks to @WhenDayBreaks and @Deribus for contacting us about that.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned