Community Council Debate

Why not just create a public beta release that anybody who has the time can try out as and when? (Snapshot did similar for Chaos Reborn).

Because Chaos Reborn was quite niche? And Phoenix Project has larger audience? Having too many opinions, especially like “WTF IS THIS SHIT?” isn’t really helpful. :slight_smile:

I don’t see to much active people on forum. 10-20 who discussing and try to change game. So it won’t be a problem.

But the worse, I don’t see any feedback from devs about what we all suggest, advice and want to change. Looks like this important only to community, not for devs.


If one looks at the Canny Feedback Tool, the devs are indicating that they are listening as well as communicating what and how they are hoping will address the community’s concerns. This proposed council indicates that they want to be more proactive by allowing some to see behind the curtain and actively participate in making this happen.

Tbh, between the two, whilst Chaos might have been more niche as a game, and PP may have sold more copies, I’d say that Chaos had a more active community within it’s official forum, it certainly had more diverse discussions, I think that probably comes from it being a PvP game.

The reason I’m suggesting a public beta though is because with a community council, you’ll be only getting feedback from a small subset of the game’s target audience, most probably that subset will be the hardcore fans of the game. What they like and provide insight on doesn’t necessarily reflect the preferences of a wider audience.

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That is why council will get bigger after some time. If I would be developer then I wouldn’t want too many people involved in opinioning my developing creation. :wink:

No matter how big a community council gets it still won’t be representative of the less than hardcore players who weigh up buying and playing Phoenix Point against the other options in their library.

Why? It might be easier to filter those opinions, but creating a system where the views of a few carry more weight than the whole of the player base doesn’t necessarily lead to better game design. Any design choices that are made on the back of council feedback runs the risk of only pleasing those few members, not the larger player base.

Not only that, but when you start choosing players to sit within a ‘council’ you run the risk of alienating any player that’s not a part of it. Ask yourself this, you’re a fan of this game, how do you feel in a situation where you’re not able to put forward your own opinion on those new developing mechanics because other people have been selected to do that, and you’re not one of them?

IMHO Snapshot made a huge mistake in the development of Chaos Reborn when they created a role of ‘God tier’ backers who were then more empowered to influence the design of the game, in doing so they created a two-class system which quite a lot of ‘ordinary players’ didn’t buy into. I fear that the same mistake is being made again.

You sound like the democracy would be good option to rule the country. :slight_smile:

Devs definitely have their view of the game, council of dedicated players who really have interest in this game will probably have some other, but it will not necessary mean that they will have great impact on the development. There is no need to let some bystanders to influence developers. Of course sometimes those bystanders have really good ideas, sometimes even fantastic ideas, but it is not their general trait. :slight_smile:

In other words it is better to have few ideas from which you select those good ones, than having thousands of them and trying to make something out of it.

If general player base won’t be satisfied then they will have their representatives in modding community and will change the game to please their needs.

For example I wonder if I would be good member of the council. I definitely have different view of the game than the developers, but I can tone down my voice and advise on the different solutions what other people propose and choose from there, while having my solution not voiced if it doesn’t fit the whole idea. I also think that you can behave the same as I have seen many times on this forum.

If it won’t be possible to get into that council I will wait and see what the game will bring. If that won’t fit my needs I willl probably create some mod to alter the game.

The important thing to remember here is that the developers are still the one designing the game. We will be listening to the feedback, but this doesn’t mean that the player council is going to be in control of how the game evolves.

We’ve seen what happens in an open/public beta. Most of the people are just playing to mess around and not offering any feedback. To deploy on that scale, the builds also have to be in a certain state.

For the Community Council, we can be making very rough development builds for testing prototype mechanics. That’s not something we’d want to roll out to a wide audience.

We’re also going to be sharing stuff that’s in development and unannounced (and some stuff which may not even make it into the game in the long run). Because of this, we’re going to be asking members to sign an NDA and we’re going to be controlling who has access to what very carefully.


I assume that a large number of people were silent in order to exclude the possibility of a negative impact on the development of Devs-Meta. (This is happening even now.)
Not to mention the fact that a large number of backers were too lazy to leave bug reports. And were there any requests or exact instructions, from the developers, for writing a review?

IMO, if this is a collection of critical reviews on raw mechanics - this is the right way. This will allow you to see the picture with the most angles.

But all this speaks of “rounding off sharp corners”, which is good, but not so important now. IMO, at the moment the problem of the Game is Balance. And the Community as a resource should be used primarily for this.

What solutions can the Snapshot Games team work with the Community to tackle the Balance issue? (Canny is used to fix bugs and introduce new mechanics)

Exactly! :wave:

All the new wonderful content meets an extremely improvement needed balance (especially from mid-game). I can imagine that the devs simply do not have time to test the changes for so long and this is not an accusation, but completely normal. Many balance problems are also not immediately apparent, especially not with such a wonderful complex and at the same time flexible game mechanics.

Let’s take the new skill system as an example: The baby-sitting problem (soldiers get stronger faster in the training facility than on the battlefield) was successfully solved. As a side effect you now have soldiers from 3/4 of the game “MAX everything” at the latest. This means that for at least the first team, all considerations for spending the points have been eliminated. (All games that have character development try to avoid it for good reasons).

Strictly speaking, Snapshot Games seems very talented to me. Except for Balance, they have done a good to excellent job.

It is not the devs problem that the part of community is lazy. :slight_smile: And there were instruction to report issues with F12 functionality AND exact instructions how to report things on this forum with all information related to specific issues. :slight_smile:

There is also section for balancing ideas.

Definitely it is not right way to develop game (or actually anything). To all those of you, who propose releasing not announced material to wide audience, did you ever had occasion to lead any technical project? First of all audience for confidential content should be brought to the possible minimum. Second to that really too many opinions on the same objective doesn’t help to bring better conclusion.

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UV say:

Except for the lazy, the rest sent only bug reports and did not send Reviews because this was not requested by the Devs.

Following this path, we just have time to understand the balance, but do not stay for preparation to release on Steam.

I do not think that methods like Consilium and Brainstorming are not effective.

+1, to balance such a large and complex system without the Community (99 beta testers) - Unrealistic.

TBH, I think Snapshot have a pretty good idea of the kind of feedback they’d get from a public beta release, as they spent a year getting feedback from the alphas and then got inundated with all kinds of feedback from the Epic Beta - ranging from: “This is too hard, nerf everything!” to “This is too easy, nerf Squad skills!” and every part of the spectrum in between.

I think what they’re planning is a very sensible solution, as long as they do it right. Pick a small selection of players who have articulated all sides of the spectrum on these forums, and have shown that a) they can do so without getting bogged down in flame wars and petty grievances and b) they have an understanding of the wider game as a whole - rather than a narrow focus on one particular bugbear of theirs. Run a series of options by them to test and listen to their reasoned feedback.

That’s much better than having a bunch of beta-testers telling you that they either need massively OP Squaddies to deal with the vast number of Pandas swarming all over them, or the Squad skills need a mega-nerf because they’re acing the game.

TBH, Spite, I think you would be a perfect choice for the Council, because your ‘nerf everything’ stance recognises the delicate balance between an open skills sandbox and the spiralling arms race caused by too many Pandas with ever-bigger guns. You are also able to argue your corner against some quite frankly unreasonable or badly thought through responses without losing your rag and telling the responder what an idiot he is. That’s exactly the kind of voice a testing body like this needs.

But, I agree with you wholeheartedly: this only works if all sides of the players’ views are represented, not just those hard-core posters who are banging a particular drum.

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This is exactly what we’re doing

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Democracy is a terrible way to run a country, but it’s still a damn site better than many alternative political systems that have existed through history.

And what about the dedicated players with interest in the game who are not council members? Their views are now sidelined.

They will have ‘some’ influence on the development, how much will be between them and the developers, I would imagine that they’ll seek to have as much influence as is possible.

By ‘bystanders’ I take it you mean paying customers? Those people who are putting just as much money into the devs pockets as the community council, albeit now with less say in the direction of the game.

This is a sweeping assumption to make. A percentage of players will use modding, but another percentage will walk away to play something else, whilst a third percentage will post their dissatisfaction via forum or review.

I think anyone who is posting strong opinions on the direction of the game doesn’t then make a good council member. (I’m replying to your post, but this isn’t aimed specifically at you.)

Sorry guys, but this is really not a good way to label other members of your community. People have commitments outside of playing a game that you happen to love, moreover there is no obligation on any consumer’s part, be it that they’re backers or later purchasers of a product, to then give feedback on that purchase.

I know my way around a Gantt chart, let’s just say that much.

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I think you’ve raised many good points. Personally I feel having such a council would bring about advantages but I too am concerned about the potential “othering” it may cause. What would your prescription be instead of the council? To leave things as they are, or do you have a different idea?

Full disclosure: I have applied for the council.

Edit: This was specifically a reply to Spite but that doesn’t show up on the UI as I didn’t quote a specific chunk, just in case anyone thinks I’m asking of everyone here lol.

I can appreciate the chaos of receiving feedback such as this - however those public beta-testers are a truer representation of an overall player base than a closed shop of die-hards. Even the beta-testers are going above and beyond what the casual player might do.

Thank you, I sincerely appreciate the complement.

Are we discussing Schrodinger’s cat? None of us are privy to what and how Snapshot is planning on accomplishing. From what has been mentioned, they are looking for a select group of dedicated players to participate in “testing” specific mechanics they “might” employ to address theirs and our concerns over the current state of game.

Nowhere have they stated that other community members that are not included in the “Council” will be ignored. They will continue to monitor bug reports via F12, posts in this and other forums, along with the Feedback Tool.

My understanding is that they wish to have a select group of players help them “balance” the fixes that are aimed at addressing the general community’s concerns. I hazard to guess they are not looking for this council to be the end-all solution, but a tool to help them better address all of our concerns with the game.

Perhaps it’s best to not force open the box before the experiment has been completed, unless you discover that the cat is dead – when it is really alive.

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That’s a really good and fair question. :slight_smile:

As it stands Snapshot are gathering feedback and ideas via:

  • This Forum - Which is open and offers the possibility for a lot of different viewpoints, some threads produce good and useful ideas, others descend into a mess. I get the impression that Snapshot don’t have the manpower to view all suggestions made, especially those that are buried deep within threads. It also has the flaw that someone being able to argue their case well can potentially win an argument with someone else who may well be proposing a good idea, but with less ability to express it.
  • Discord - Haven’t used it, but I’d imagine it works in a similar way to the forum.
  • Canny - Great for ideas being put forward, however it does suffer from the earliest made posts being the most prominent and later suggestions being lost. I do like that devs are responding to some suggestions regardless of whether they’re implemented as originally suggested or not.
  • Email surveys - I think this is the fairest way of gathering opinions in that each person posting has an equal weighting to their view. I don’t know how much it takes in terms of manpower to collate responses.


  1. Don’t call it a community council, instead employ or seek volunteers to be play-testers - This would help resolve a lot of issues around bugs and balance.
  2. Make use of the email surveys for proposed developments, or even use the poll option on the forum (though forum polls themselves carry their own issues in particular around wording) - Canvassing opinions on some of the many of the ideas made on Canny could make for good topics for this.
  3. Create threads on the forum/discord to ask the wider community for thoughts on new and upcoming developments. - You could combine this with dev diaries/roadmaps so people know what to expect.
  4. If needing a community council in order to get focused views on specific upcoming developments then gather a group of local, more casual, gamers who will be representative of your wider audience to give feedback. Don’t use a bunch of hardcore nerds who will help you create a game to suit hardcore nerds, but won’t necessarily help you create a game that appeals to your wider audience.
  5. Put more manpower into monitoring the forum/discord, collating ideas and passing to the development team. At the same time be more responsive to threads, highlight where discussions are going down a path that the dev team are already aware of (which would nip those less useful threads in the bud)
  6. Speaking of the forum it wouldn’t do any harm to give thanks once in a while when someone does make a suggestion that is new and that you can make use of. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and you’ll encourage more of the same, I’d do this especially for users that are new and/or less vocal.
  7. As an alternative to email surveys use a system such as survey money to collate opinions from the wider player-base.