Community has always been integral component to Dungeons & Dragons and MMOs. Collaboration among players is essential to the health of any game but so is communication between development team and the community. Over the past 6 years we have explored and improved various communication strategies, from regular livestreams to AMAs to Developer Blogs. The forums have always been an extension, a resource, for this communication but we always felt they could be better utilized.
The forums are one of the primary sources of sentiment for most of the development team. We are also aware that feedback can frequently come from the loudest and most aggressive voices, not always the most constructive or focused. This means that sentiment or our understanding and pulse on the community can become muddied, weakening the ability to enter into meaningful discourse. In order to optimize the forums as a resource, we are happy to introduce the Collaborative Development Program, or CDP.What is the CDP?
The CDP is a tool to improve engagement and collaboration between the team and the community through single-topic focus. Discussions are time-limited, structured, and live separate from the traditional feedback forums to reduce “noise”. How is it different from regular feedback or Preview subforums?
The regular feedback and Preview subforums are broader in scope, are not time limited, and tend to focus on live/upcoming issues and content. While we do get a wealth of information from those subforums, it is a constant challenge to chase down conversations or have more in-depth and meaningful conversations. The CDP subforums will focus on a single topic for 2 weeks at a time, with a 2-week downtime in between topics. During the downtime, a summary of the feedback will be written up along with an action plan.What is the CDP summary and action plan?
The CDP summary and action plan serve as a way for the development team to better review the outcome of the 2-week conversation, organize the feedback in a comprehensive fashion, and, if applicable, review where actions can be taken within development cycles. This does not mean that feedback given during CDP topics WILL make it into the game – We will not make promises we cannot keep. How are topics chosen?
Topics may be chosen by the development team or put up to a vote within the community. In order to engage with the greatest community breadth, topics will encompass all facets of game development from systems, to art, to UI, to sound, and more. Is there a format for how I should present my feedback?
Please check out the CDP format thread
.Are there any special rules for the CDP subforums?
Please Check out the Conduct & Expectations Thread
As with every new initiative, the CDP will evolve as needed in order to meet the goals of the program. We truly feel that the passion and experience players bring to the table can be used to create a collaborative environment for Neverwinter to continue to thrive and grow for years to come.