Tips to Communicate with Developers

11-06-2013, 12:21 PM
#1
Tips to Communicate with Developers

Hello, all! frisbee10461 here!

Several people emailed me recently, asking me how I am able to get information directly from developers. I don't have any secret connections or anything like that. And many times, just by contacting them, they will provide me with a code to a free game, such as Infinity Blade III. However, that is never the reason why you should contact a developer (to get free stuff).

So, what's the secret? Here is what I do.

1. Criticize, Don't Flame.

As a manager and business owner, I always believe in the following:

* Praise publicly and criticize privately
* There are only a few inches that separate a pat on the back from a kick in the pants, but those inches make all the difference in the world.

Most developers [90%] develop because they love developing. Think about it. Why would a developer spend countless hours creating a game, and then, for many times, offer it for free? Because they want you to play it.

Now, am I saying that we should create this polyanna view, where everything is sunshine and rainbows? Of course not. However, where our criticism crosses into the flaming category, who is that hurting? What is the benefit of that? There is a way to get your point across without bashing the developer.

2. Just Say Hello. Most developers [again, 90%] welcome feedback. They WANT to know how you feel about their game. They are people, after all. So, dropping them a quick line to let them know that you are enjoying their game goes a LONG way. For example, if there is a promotion for a free download, and you let the developer know that you missed it, they will usually extend it, or provide you with a code to access the game for free. Developers are pretty cool people for the most part.

3. Help Developers Out. As an example, currently I am playing Dungeons & Such, and this old-school RPG is fantastic. If they ask you for a favor, such as writing a review, or rating their game, why not do it? How long does it take to move your finger over the five stars? A few seconds? It is worth it, both for the developer and for you.

4. Keep It Bidirectional. If the only time you contact the developer is when you want something, the developer will know that and tine you out. After all, developers are pretty sharp people. On the other hand, if you drop them a line from time to time, just to see how things are going, without asking for anything, you will get better responses when you do.

5. An attitude of gratitude. In today's day, we seem to have lost the art of being thankful. We have this sense of entitlement and expectation. If someone does you a favor or helps you out, why not say thanks. Or, if someone codes a game [which is an extremely time consuming process], and you are enjoying the game, why not drop them a line and say, "Thank you for this game. My leisure time is better now because of your game." Having an attitude of gratitude goes a long, long way in the world.

Anyway, these are my tips for enhancing communication with developers.

frisbee0461

Disco Zoo: 1629/1800 Animals; 60/72 Animals Diamondized

Last edited by frisbee10461; 11-06-2013 at 12:35 PM.
11-06-2013, 01:46 PM
#2
Very nicely written! You pretty much hit the nail on the head with all of your topics. From a Developer's perspective, we really love to hear from our players and I always do my best to contact and write back to everyone who writes us. Joining us on social media (facebook, Twitter, etc) and reviewing/rating a game goes a very long way to help out developers, especially the smaller ones.

I have met some really nice people here on the Touch Arcade forums - Anubis, Connector, etc. - and they have also provided us with with valuable feedback and critiques. Just reaching out and saying "hi" means a lot to us as well.

Making a game is not easy, especially when you are just 2 people. It took us about 2 years to make our game Blaster X HD, and whenever someone takes the time to reach out to us, it makes all of those years much more worth the effort.

Thanks,
Rudy

Creator of Blaster X HD https://itunes.apple.com/app/blaster...615851024?mt=8
Co-Founder of 2GMG (2 Guys Making Games)
11-06-2013, 01:58 PM
#3
Here! Here!

As a developer, I'd like to add that not only do we appreciate the emails and notes of thanks, we also appreciate bug reports and constructive criticism. Having this two-way street of communication helps to improve the apps that we develop.

One thing that we don't like is criticism or reviews with no context. Simply rating an app with 1 star (or my favorite: "1 star! Uninstall!") doesn't tell the developer much other than you don't like the app. If you think an app has promise, but feel it needs some work, please take time to contact the developers! As said above, 90% of us cherish this type of feedback and we REALLY want to make great apps.