Starbase Player Council Report - Q1 2022

dustyFB

Certified Coolest Community Manager and Admin
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Frozenbyte
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May 5, 2021
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20
#1
Player Council.png


Hello and welcome to the first published report of the Starbase player council! This report details the discussions held by the player council, including some insight into the development process. However, the overviews presented in the report should not be considered as any form of development road-map, nor as official statements on the development process in any other form.

You can find the report attached at the bottom of this post.


What is the Player Council?
The Player Council is a player-advocacy group formed to help represent the interests of Starbase’s player base with respect to the game’s continued development, invited at the behest of Frozenbyte to consolidate community feedback and weigh-in on hot topics such as gameplay trends and feature development. Overseen by the developers, the Player Council currently consists of 21 community members and has generated over 700 messages across nearly 60 topics of interest during its short existence.


Information available to the Player Council
As the Council is primarily concerned with the future of Starbase’s development, it is – by some necessity – privy to information regarding such topics as the prioritization of feature development, concept art, feature development, and (in broad strokes) near-future patches. Most frequently, the Council holds discussions about the conceptual design of the game, and is not involved in sensitive matters such as stat values, material changes, etcetera. Council members are not allowed to share information outside of the designated forums unless that information has been previously made publicly available by Frozenbyte, nor may they allow such information to influence how they play the game during the time of their participation in the Council.
 

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Zarenno

Active endo
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
26
#2
I find the majority of what is in this report to be the exact same information that we have seen in the progress notes, and the RISK VS. REWARD sections are just underwhelming. Points of interest and events shouldnt be needed in a space exploration game where the POI should be created by players and determined by the players themselves. I am very disappointed that the list makes no mention of the radiation tracking we are so clearly in need of as well. On the point of players taking rides on caps out into the system because they dont have one of their own: I think this is a counter-intuitive and quite frankly gameplay hurting. The players that are "struggling" have many options, from renting a spot on a corporate trip out somewhere, joining a corporation, and or just using a ship with a lot of fuel time. What would be the point of having a bunch of capital ships ran by the devs to transport people (unless they can be camped and killed in their predetermined locations?). I think the dev operated bus capitals should never make it to the game, and spend less time on "events" when the point of this game is to eventually run by players and their corporations' goals.

I do think that the insurance will be decent; however, contact devs in F1 for free ships menu should be destroyed by the time that happens. I don't think people should be getting free ships whenever they want because of a "bug" or they were "killed in pvp" etc. That is no way to keep an economy moving.

On the Topic of the player council: "Overseen by the developers, the Player Council currently consists of 21 community members and has generated over 700 messages across nearly 60 topics of interest during its short existence. " Who are the members of this council? When were they elected? I dont think a couple of unknown "community" members which we have no idea who they are can speak for a whole player base. If you want feedback for things you have a forum and polling is a thing; however, for more ideas you could also just make a forum post (no shame in that, this is its actual purpose). IMO, ditch the council, and interview the whole 200 players as we test the game for you, shouldnt be to hard to do.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk™
 
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ChaosRifle

Veteran endo
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
220
#5
Who is in the council? If they are there to represent the community, its in the communities best interest for us to know, and talk, to them. This is the whole point of it no? To get feedback from the community?

I have over 3100 hours, run a 128 person corp, and have no clue who is in it. Neither does anyone in my corp. That is not very open or community driven.


If Kenetor is not already a council member, I nominate him.


And on the topic of a gag order on player council: "privy to information regarding such topics as the prioritization of feature development, concept art, feature development, and (in broad strokes) near-future patches. "
This should be public.
 
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DerPfandadler

Learned-to-sprint endo
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
23
#6
And on the topic of a gag order on player council: "privy to information regarding such topics as the prioritization of feature development, concept art, feature development, and (in broad strokes) near-future patches. "
This should be public.
I am on the council. The report overstates and exaggerates what is happening on the council quite a bit. Probably just to prevent any "you didn't say you would do that" later down the line. The biggest thing we heard about a tiny bit earlier than everyone else was prolly the map. but a couple days later there was public concept art anyways.
It all sounds like a bigger deal than it actually is in reality.
 

ChaosRifle

Veteran endo
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
220
#7
Then FB should not be disingenuous by putting on a dog and pony show with a shadow council, when they have a community wanting open communication and are being met with claims this is only done with select members of the community.
This is just going to piss everyone off, as I can tell you with my community ties, a lot of people are feeling unheard and unvoiced by the council but are under the impression - from FB claims - that the council can make a difference but are not held accountable to the community, but given the power to speak in its stead, with no transparency to the community.


Respectfully FB, this whole thing is a mess. If hiring an extra community manager to go watch Twitch, the Forums, the Reddit, and occasionally poke into corp discords/telegrams is too much to ask, then please:

- Player council should be public forums (like the CA forums on THIS forum, where only CA members could post, but were able to be read and held accountable by the player base).
- I strongly believe this council should be made up of members that are willing to see both sides of an argument, and seriously weigh pro's and con's of suggestions put forward
- Have ties with the community for gathering how people really feel, without the filter of forum posts. (you want to know what players think? Go check out a twitch stream or two. Twitch chat won't pull its punches with how it feels.)
 

Recatek

Meat Popsicle
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
286
#8
Representation is a common topic when it comes to the council, but I have to ask: How much should FB actually be concerned with representing the current community here?

The game's current community is a tiny fraction of Starbase's clearly intended audience, and is a product of the game's limited and in-development feature set as much as (or even more than) its vision and goals. If Starbase wants to return to form, it needs to draw back in lapsed players who have largely disengaged from the game's more insular core community. That means working off of feedback from Steam reviews, Reddit threads, and other places external to the typical community hang-outs. It also means building a game that attracts a variety of player personalities, and not just the narrow niche or two that it currently serves. If anything, the game's current players are the least "endangered" species here -- its the only group actually satisfied enough to keep playing despite any misgivings. It seems to me that there would be a better return on investment in trying to address the concerns of thousands of lapsed players than the couple hundred people who are already happy enough to play anyway.
 
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Kmank

Well-known endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
80
#10
Representation is a common topic when it comes to the council, but I have to ask: How much should FB actually be concerned with representing the current community here?

The game's current community is a tiny fraction of Starbase's clearly intended audience, and is a product of the game's limited and in-development feature set as much as (or even more than) its vision and goals. If Starbase wants to return to form, it needs to draw back in lapsed players who have largely disengaged from the game's more insular core community. That means working off of feedback from Steam reviews, Reddit threads, and other places external to the typical community hang-outs. It also means building a game that attracts a variety of player personalities, and not just the narrow niche or two that it currently serves. If anything, the game's current players are the least "endangered" species here -- its the only group actually satisfied enough to keep playing despite any misgivings. It seems to me that there would be a better return on investment in trying to address the concerns of thousands of lapsed players than the couple hundred people who are already happy enough to play anyway.
As long as the players are somewhat active and are not just "armchair players". The whole idea of a council is to get firsthand experience from people playing. If they are not playing, it makes getting feedback pretty useless.

Imagine asking the council "How do you like the new siege mechanics?" and all of them saying: "I dunno, never done one, but here is my reaction without trying it."
 

Lukas04

Active endo
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
42
#12
I like the report. Atleast from what i recall seeing in the Council myself, it seems rather comprehensive of things talked about.
Makes me glad to see that FB atleast took their time to comprehend the feedback in there, even though its yet undecided how FB will work against the issues presented for a lot of them.

On another note, the immidate reaction to trying to find who is part of the council and who isnt on this thread already shows me why FB made it annonymous by default lmao. It sounds like people think they cherrypicked a group of people who all agree on a single mindset.
 
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Joined
Nov 1, 2021
Messages
39
#13
Yeah none of this means a GD thing if we don't know who is on the council. Anonymous representation isn't representation, it's more like "player informants."

I like the format of the report though! Seems like a really solid way to keep us in the loop about broad scale design objectives.

But we could've had that without a 'player council.'
 
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
3
#14
I do think there is truth to what Lukas said, there are some good reasons that FB made the player council anonymous, but I personally think the benefits of people knowing who are on it outweigh the negatives, since veteran players who know those people could see who is influencing the game. And while FB may not have cherry-picked the people on the council, I highly doubt that council members don’t cherry pick the topics they’d like to see added or changed most, and with a group of only 21 people, there’s bound to be a decent amount of bias, as opposed to a larger range of 100 or even 50 people, where you could sort out bias more easily.

On the topic of the report, it’s very well formatted and concise, but I did notice that things such as radiation/heat detection were mentioned very briefly. Something else I didn’t see mentioned, but very well should have, was YOLOL. At the moment, it seems after every Progress note release and talks of updates (heat update primarily) that as the game carries on, YOLOL will become more and more necessary, which presents a problem to both new and casual players. It’s in my opinion that a new player should be able to build a ship, that is not in easy build mode, and be able to deal with YOLOL very little, such as binding ship weapons or generator rates to buttons and the like. If it becomes necessary to make a ship functional, it raises the barrier to entry higher than it already is, considering the SSC’s CAD-like function. Not everyone knows how to code, as well as new and casual players who don’t want to touch YOLOL more than a few times.

EDIT: I can assume what edited by moderator means, could I get a PM as to why? Thanks.
 
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Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
3
#15
I don't think the concept of a player council is a bad one. Trying to focus in on active players for experienced feedback is important, otherwise you end up trying to sift through a flood of decentralized opinions.

But I think there is a difference between an active player and a community advocate. If you need feedback from active players, then officially organized discussions around specific topics can be set up in places that active players will see and participate in. The forums in addition to a little Discord advertising on topics would net you that easily.

Being a community advocate on the other hand is an entirely different thing. A good spokesperson will seek out opinions and collect feedback themselves from the community, and then forward that to the devs. It requires not only an active player, but a person that will go out of their way to be a proper representative of their community. While it is possible to be a covert community advocate... normally these positions are public and advertised so they can better collect opinions.

Given we don't know who many of the council members are, best we can do is hope they are people that have shown a desire to be true advocates rather than just active players with a microphone.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
10
#16
You can either have a fully anonymous council providing individual player insights, or you can have a council representing the community. It cannot be both.
Staying private is fine when your opinion is not representing a community, we should at least have someone to hold accountable for things said in our names. Anyone can claim to be in the council atm and there's no FB-provided resource to back them up.
Example on why I don't trust them:
"Though already partially implemented, in-the-field blueprint repairs could use some polish
to enable the repair of pipe and cable segments "
Does this mean further nuance was discussed, or do the council members not know that pipe/cable has been repairable since forever? I don't exactly have a lot of confidence in a shadow council that potentially doesn't even know the base game's mechanics. Since the council is closed-source, there's no way for me to tell.

How were members picked? Were they notable for creating community content or otherwise having access to a community opinion?
.. Or were they just active on discord that FB has historically shown favoritism for :p

On another note, the immidate reaction to trying to find who is part of the council and who isnt on this thread already shows me why FB made it annonymous by default lmao.
This just sounds tone-deaf. We had no say in who made it on the council, we want to make sure people aren't only representing their own interests in there.
 

Recatek

Meat Popsicle
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
286
#17
Personally, I don't think the council is a very good idea, or especially necessary considering how small the playerbase is to begin with. That said, these are still unpaid player volunteers that don't owe anyone anything. Witchhunting the council and demanding "accountability" from people playing a video game and posting on some forums is the kind of melodrama that makes more stable and insular focus groups seem appealing in the first place.
 
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Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
3
#18
As the council is now, I agree that witch hunting down the unknown council members is terrible. FB made a decision to let the council members dictate their own publicity. And while that doesn't fit my idea of a player council, it is what it is. Best we can do is respect FB's and the council member's decisions and work with what we have.

This can still work out well, and I see no reason to sabotage it. I encourage council members to embrace the role publicly. Being a community advocate is going to have its ups and downs. You'll have to deal with crazy players, angry players, nice players, and helpful players... but in my opinion that's just the nature of the role. It's an exciting position to fill with a ton of opportunity to help the game develop. Don't let the few crazy people scare you away from being a driving force of good representation.
 

ChaosRifle

Veteran endo
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
220
#19
emanding "accountability" from people
FB was pretty clear in their announcement that they speak for the community, if were going to have it done by players, not a CM (which it really should be)
FB also clearly stated when announced that their job was to collect community thoughts into a single focused location.

We need to be some transparency for player driven councils that are specifically speaking for the entire community.. Not having it would be insanity.
 

Distuth

Active endo
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
27
#20
We need to be some transparency for player driven councils that are specifically speaking for the entire community.. Not having it would be insanity.
No, we do not need transparency. These people aren't getting paid to deal with the community as large. They are not advocates for special groups. They're not there to act as a mouthpiece for everybody. They're there because Frozenbyte picked them as being useful sources of input. That's it.

That said, there is an argument to be made for having certain roles on the council set to be a spokesman. Having clear people to talk to would be nice, I agree! If someone on the council volunteers to do that, Frozenbyte should absolutely make that publicly known.
 
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