Issues with the suggestions website

  • I now have an idea for a little app... Swipe right for yay, swipe left for nay, with the understanding that it's for "minor suggestions" only and bigger suggestions that aren't focused in scope, too long to read, or otherwise unclear should get the nay treatment. Anyone can add any amount of ideas, with adjustable threshold setting for number of yays required for a suggestion to even show up in your feed. You don't automatically get a yay on your own idea, gotta have it randomly show up as you go through everyone else's ideas. One vote per person per issue. Low interest ideas automatically get removed from the pool after a certain ratio of amount of views with no interest.

    Add a way to view a list of all suggestions sorted by interest, and optionally culled suggestions.

    But then there wouldn't be any real way to handle duplicate suggestions. Not that the current site really does either though.

  • We have to work in the constraints of the platform we use, and they don't let us limit the number of submissions someone can make. So I thought we would give people 10 votes and state an official policy that ideas with zero votes will not be considered, in order to discourage any one user from inundating us with loads of suggestions.

    I do want to make people choose with a limited vote count. If you have 50 votes, you can vote on 40 things that aren't really that important but you kinda like, and 10 things that really matter. Given our limited resources and how many suggestions we face, I want to force people to think carefully and only choose the top 10 things that really matter to them. So then every vote counts and we get a better impression of what people really really want, rather than a bunch of popular nice-to-haves. Features that make something impossible become possible are usually more worthwhile than features that make something already possible a bit easier, so I think this would help focus attention on the former.

    I went through the minor suggestions category and most of them weren't minor. They were either actually more significant projects, or were unclear enough that it would take at least a fair bit of discussion about the idea, the motives, the alternatives, and how it would really work, that the discussion alone means it's not a quick thing to do. This pretty much confirms in my mind that it's not really useful for anyone to categorise something as a "minor suggestion" - it's rare that it really is quick, and most of the time it's much more complicated than anyone imagines. This is another reason I think we should limit votes, since the idea you can vote on a big pile of minor suggestions that are quick and easy is wrong, since chances are all those votes are actually going on big projects, complicated or unclear ideas, or things that will turn up unexpected complications during development.

    I think I'm going to have to just make a decision and go with it, so some time in the next few weeks I'll look in to setting up a brand-new suggestions platform to run for 6 months from scratch, probably from June to the end of the year, with limited votes. I'll try to make sure the old one is still accessible but read-only, since that seems better than deleting loads of ideas and discussion, and we might want to be able to reference back to it even after starting over. I know that maybe not everyone will like it, but I think there's a chance it could actually work much better overall. Let's treat it as a bit of an experiment and see how it goes. If everyone really hates it at the end of the 6 month period we can always try something else, we don't have to stick to one approach forever.

  • You will make it even harder for us to vote, yay.

    But any change is better than nothing, I guess.

    Should we start reposting old ideas which we care about on the new platform? Or will it be for new ideas only?

    And also - will you work on any of the existing ideas during these 6 months?

  • And also - will you work on any of the existing ideas during these 6 months?

    He just told you that they're not doing any long-term planning at all.

    They do whatever they want, so simply don't expect anything and wait for the patchnote gamble.

  • I think I'm going to have to just make a decision and go with it, so some time in the next few weeks I'll look in to setting up a brand-new suggestions platform to run for 6 months from scratch, probably from June to the end of the year, with limited votes. I'll try to make sure the old one is still accessible but read-only, since that seems better than deleting loads of ideas and discussion, and we might want to be able to reference back to it even after starting over. I know that maybe not everyone will like it, but I think there's a chance it could actually work much better overall. Let's treat it as a bit of an experiment and see how it goes. If everyone really hates it at the end of the 6 month period we can always try something else, we don't have to stick to one approach forever.

    Dang, it's a shame you're forced to limit the quantity of opinion data in order to limit the number of ideas. There are loads of idea management tools out there (not that I know anything about any of them, admittedly), so maybe if this new approach doesn't work it'd be worth checking those out. Anyway, thanks for hearing us out and giving attention to the issue. Much appreciated. Hopefully a reboot will do the trick.

  • Anyway, thanks for hearing us out and giving attention to the issue.

    I'm not sure we were heard.. I understand that Ashley is a very busy man and he simply doesn't have time to go though all our suggestions. But I don't think limiting the number of ideas and votes is a solution. It's a shame that we are in this situation where he's the only person in Scirra who can do it.

    I wish they treated the suggestions platform as a valuable resource with users feedback, that can help their software to grow. Currently it feels like it's nothing but a nuisance to them.

  • An occasional reset event, maybe between every couple of stable releases wouldn't be a bad thing. It would have a similar effect to what this thread did actually - drum up interest again for people to clean up suggestions, re allocate votes, see what's new ect., and prompt Ashley to reserve some time to review suggestions. I wanted to say Ashley&co. but I'm pretty sure he's literally the only one to deal with suggestions.

    A reset would clean up the clutter. The old ones will still be there for you to resubmit in the new one, if you aren't afraid of a little work to show you still care. If you keep resubmitting, they'll get more visibility than the masses of junk posts.

    They've implemented quite a few suggestions from the suggestions site. Again it's a matter of expectations of what you expect them to get done with it.

  • An occasional reset event, maybe between every couple of stable releases wouldn't be a bad thing. It would have a similar effect to what this thread did actually

    Let's hope so.

    I still would like to know if we are allowed to repost old ideas after reset? Or will they be automatically declined as duplicates?

  • You can post whatever you want on the new suggestions platform. Only duplicates on the same platform will be merged. The idea is to keep it focused on things people still want and are willing to re-submit and vote on again.

    You will make it even harder for us to vote, yay.

    I get the impression I won't be able to persuade you, but the aim is not to make it harder to vote - it should be equally easy to make a vote on the new platform - but to reduce the amount of ideas and votes you can make, in order to force you to focus on just the very most important things, since we're too small a team to do more than the couple of very most important things anyway.

  • I am also repeating myself, but there are more than 10 things that are important for me. And I don't know how is it possible to prioritize them, especially when some ideas are tiny like a tooltip showing tile ID under mouse cursor, and others are huge like scene graph. It's like choosing between a hamster and a helicopter. Of course I'd vote for the helicopter, as many other people would. But this means I will never get the hamster :(

    You can post whatever you want on the new suggestions platform.

    This is good to know, thanks!

  • To sum it up: C3 moves forward so slowly.

    Problem is, plugins are developed without using them in real cases or they aren't developed to support some real case. They are 70-80% done, but after release they see nobody really uses or cares about it. So they make next plugin. Now if someone starts using them, they instantly see shortcomings, which cannot be changed or have issues which blocks any feature to be added. Missing stuff could be a lot, tiny things here are there could pile up to countless feature suggestions, even in weeks. Which they won't implement because nobody else wants them. They see it as mountain of work, requested by few users.

    If one develops a game, it needs full set of basic core stuff: text, objects, effects, some complex math(collision, pathfind etc). When game gets past floppy bird, you need optimized and more changeable plugins, to still manage good performance and able to manipulate core mechanics. For example: if you cannot get collision point and have to rely on some random bullet behavior to get it, then it seems really bad. Engine as such should offer a bit more. But that's just one thing out of countless other cases users had to face or will face and is unable to do anything about it.

    Overall, plugins should work with each other, able to retrieve and set values or logic, and manipulate them and get stuff moving. Manipulate texture, collision polygons, sprite shapes and more. But things fall short, not to mention even exports don't have complete set of features.

    If you take medium size game, it needs bigger complete set of features and optimized version of them. Any small thing could have huge impact, if you made something for 6 month and you just cannot complete it, because small things just are too basic, doesn't work, or can't handle more complex case. Then official statement could be: use this basic block and mix them and you still get something. Most likely users would end up with big pile of mess, which is way to hard to manage.

    I am not saying plugins which have been developed in C3 are wrong, no they all good in their own way but it all seems so slow. Overall this big pile of uncertainty and unchangeability is the worst. Wait 6 month, then another 6 month to get some. Then wait more few years and then see you soon in 10 years for something, when features have been matured enough to be used.

    One could say, use sdk and extend it and request more sdk stuff. But one could just take up another engine by this point. Why don't C3 ease the uncertainty and unchangeability and make something for users, which they can manipulate core stuff or play them around. Or this simply documented SDK is all that is offered and anything else past that cannot be done?

  • To sum it up: C3 moves forward so slowly.

    I think we move quickly and get a great deal done given the size of our team.

    They are 70-80% done

    Across thousands of users, everyone considers a different set of things as 100% done. If you develop software used by many people, it is basically impossible to make something that everyone agrees is 100% done - it's a never-ending task for each individual feature. Part of designing software is having to make judgement calls about how far you go with each feature, and where to draw the line and move on to other things other people want.

  • It sounds like you really need to hire another person or two with the scope of C3 that sounds as if it's getting beyond what any single person can realistically do.

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  • I think we need to be careful not to confuse what's best for ourselves with what's right for the suggestion platform.

    If the goal of voting is to figure out what the collective user base believe is most important, and only a handful of those features can be explored/developed at once, there's no point in having unlimited votes. 10-15 votes each will give Scirra a manageable list to consider. Hopefully a few of them work out. And hopefully we know why the rejected ones get rejected. Then we do it all again, and over time we've achieved the goal of allowing the collective user base to shape the program.

    We've all got our lists of personal priorities, but they're based on our individual skill levels, workflows, etc. If my priorities aren't something you all would want, then you won't vote on them, and tough cookies for me :( It's vital to include user input in software development, but ultimately it's just input. Scirra has the most objective position to judge what's possible and what's right for C3.

    Above all, I'm glad we're trying something more manageable. It's been fantastic to have this discussion, and I hope it makes all our suggestions more useful and applicable!

  • To sum it up: C3 moves forward so slowly.

    Nah, this is not true. The amount of new features added to C3 in the past couple of years is mind blowing!

    brushfe

    10-15 votes each will give Scirra a manageable list to consider.

    Maybe I don't understand something, but if Ashley is going to pick 5 most upvoted ideas, why does it matter how many people voted on them? Limited or unlimited votes - in both cases some ideas will get more votes than others, so just pick 5 from the top!

    .

    10 votes limit will be bad for us, because we will not be able to vote on many good ideas. We'll also be heavily influenced by how other people voted. If there are two equally great ideas, but idea A was posted earlier and has 20 votes, and B has just 1 vote, we'll be forced to vote for A, because it has much better chances to get to the top. And because voting for B almost certainly means wasting your vote.

    In my opinion unlimited voting will give much more accurate results.

    If the concern is about people making fake accounts or asking their friends to vote for their sometimes-not-so-great ideas, then again this issue will be worse with limited votes.

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