ID:109339
 
Keywords: website
Hopefully you've noticed the more frequent news posts here at BYOND. We made a vow this year to improve communication, and the news is part of it. Another part is in the software and website features themselves. Today, we'll be discussing two such features.

Feature Creep

Pretty much since the inception of BYOND, we've had something we call "feature creep". "Creep" is a bad word and "feature creep" is no different-- it's bad, BAD! It is, in fact, why we, the developers, have had to live penniless with roommates and such for so long, appeasing the Altar of El Feature Creepo rather than the pursuit of money. Worse, you, the community never seems to appreciate it! But I digress...

Anyway, a while ago we introduced a Feature Tracker, to attempt to contain the Creep to one section of the website. This is basically a list of feature requests by you, the community. Some of you may think that the purpose was to ignore these requests, but that is not the case. We actually do look at each and every request, usually the moment it is made. The problem, we realized quite quickly, is that between your ideas of how BYOND should go (new-style Creep) and our own (old-style Creep), it would take us the lifetime of the universe to complete every request. So we have to compromise... but how?

So what we've done here is stolen an approach from UserVoice.com and come up with a way to rate ideas. In a nutshell, every BYOND Member has 5 votes that they can allocate to any of the posted features (you can view your current votes through the My Issues page). When a feature is resolved (either by being implemented or by being rejected), votes are returned. Features are ordered by #votes by default (you can click on the header items to sort by other criteria, and rest assured we do this to view new features). So right now, we can see that Icon Editor Zooming is something people want so we'll (reluctantly) take a look at it. Of course this is just one measure of judging a feature-- ease of implementation is a huge factor, as well as our own whimsy-- but it does help organize the pile. For you non-members who want to play this game, please join up!

Developer Feedback

The most important form of communication is between the developers and the players. Positive feedback can inspire developers and negative feedback can help them improve (if its constructive) or drive them away (if its not). So what we want to do is foster an environment where players are constantly leaving praise or constructive criticism over the games they play and libraries they use.

Now, the first time you play or download a game or resource, you'll be sent an alert after a few hours. We don't intend this to be obtrusive-- it is easy to dismiss and really, how many new games are we playing here? The purpose is to give you an opportunity to become a fan of the game or leave a comment while it is fresh in your mind. Developers of games want to know if you liked it or what needs to be improved; developers of libraries want to know if their hours of work helped you out. Take a few seconds and let them know!

Next Steps

As of tomorrow, we will be spending the majority of our time on the Bug Reports that have built up during this website-revamp hiatus, as well as (possibly) the aforementioned Feature Creep. Wish us well!
Good luck guys.
good luck, looking forward to it.
"it is easy to dismiss and really, how many new games are we playing here?"
Hah, all I really meant was that most BYONDers probably aren't playing 50 different games so this wouldn't be a nuisance, but your point stands too. Let's use this as motivation!
There's a dizzying amount of feature requests without any sort of organization. The voting will end up being skewed somewhat because people won't have the patience to navigate through a sea of feature requests. The Next> links don't tell you if your are on 2 of 10 or maybe 2 of 100. Would it be possible to some how apply meta tags to these feature requests? Perhaps the BYOND helpers can burn through them and apply some basic meta tags? Examples of high level meta tags would be: Interface, Map, Performance, Icons,Code Editing, Compiling, etc. Another fun variation on the point system is using a distributed percentage system. I can vest 100% of my interest into one feature or I can split it across any number of features but the impact of my vote is lessened with each vote. This would allow me to vote on 12 features if that was my desire.

Hate to suggest more work to figure out the work.

I think this is a good idea and I hope it becomes a useful system.

Hopefully, people won't ask for the insanely impossible and then hold you accountable when you decide not to do it regardless of the reasoning.
I feel like the least voted ideas should be shown to users (or the default switched to newest submission), while the BYOND developers see the most voted on features. Tsfreaks is right in that popular features will get more popular while potentially great requests go unseen and not voted on.

Also, why can't BYOND news posts be commented on by non-members?
Also, as to the new Developer Feedback feature, you might want to mention that it will be publicly posted on the hub as a comment. I wasn't sure if it would be privately paged to the author or what at first.
although no one's mentioned it yet, i find the developer feedback change to be really cool, and a very good idea. devs seeing players actually talk about their game adds a lot of motivation, and even if we don't have a lot of people playing the games, we can still alter the player:player with voice ratio in order to make devs feel better.

however, whenever i try to "become a fan" from the opinions page, it tells me "Your login information for this page has expired. Please refresh and try again." if i refresh and try again, i still get the same result. i manually logged out and back in, and still got the same result. :( oh, and you should also include an "add to favorites" option to this page, so that if the player realizes they did indeed like the game, they have another way to continually monitor the game's progress (i find favoriting to be much more useful than fanning)
On topic, I'm excited about the feedback prompt. Hopefully it'll work and more people will provide feedback.
Anyyyyywwayyyyy...

Only 5 votes? I've used them all up already :(
Zaole wrote:
however, whenever i try to "become a fan" from the opinions page, it tells me "Your login information for this page has expired. Please refresh and try again."

Please post this as a bug report and we'll take a look.

oh, and you should also include an "add to favorites" option to this page, so that if the player realizes they did indeed like the game, they have another way to continually monitor the game's progress (i find favoriting to be much more useful than fanning)

Favoriting and fanning are the same thing. You can also "follow" a game (from the hub page) which adds it to your pager, but fanning/favoriting does that as well (you can favorite and unfollow if you only want the "fan" behavior).

DarkCampainger wrote:
Also, as to the new Developer Feedback feature, you might want to mention that it will be publicly posted on the hub as a comment. I wasn't sure if it would be privately paged to the author or what at first.

Good idea.

This will work.
really like it