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What is the official process for getting an idea looked at?


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I'm interested in learning more about the official process for getting new ideas looked into? If someone could please share some of this with me.

For example, does something require an opinion poll, or do we have to lobby developers for their time? (y'know the 'Starbucks fund'), who do you have to seduce or sleep with? Is there a list of active developers anywhere? Do the developers have some sort of list or queue that goes into a discussion during developer talks? How often are these? What sort of criteria is used to determine initially whether something could go into a "new suggestions or ideas" area or not and if something does get this far, how do you as a group decide whether or not to take it further? Do certain people have more power or more of a say over things that go into the next patch or intended final release? Who looks at ideas posted and collates ones for further internal discussion? Is there a particular format or a certain minimum information requirements that need to go into proposing an idea? Which none developer players or users are considered the most influential? i.e. server owners or moderators or players with more/better forum reputation?

Quite a lot of questions, but I think this is all useful stuff to know, a lot of ideas come and go into the forums, but it's unclear how many of them are looked at, discussed or eventually get to see the light of day or if there's a way of seeing the success rate of a posted idea eventually becoming realised into the game. 


Edited by Mystic~
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I would doubt there's any "official" procedure, I'm just gonna take a guess and assume that the success of your idea depends on whether the idea has been made up on the forums or made from time and testimony from in game. 


IMHO I think at this point in Ren X history, any ideas that come up are just one sides of an argument where the other side has equal point, so it's a loop and that's probably why it sits on idle so much. 



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There's not necessarily any official process to getting an idea implemented and added to the game, and often we'll say "yes this would be nice to have" to something but it may take quite some time for it to reach completion or for someone to actively work on it. We do have an internal Trello board to help track various tasks, but certainly not everything gets added to the Ready for Dev queues before someone works on it, so sometimes things are just done shortly after discussion (especially if someone's heavily interested in working on the feature or it's very simple to implement). Topics are generally brought up in an informal manner -- we mostly just communicate via Discord (before that we used Skype).

As far as who has the "most influence" in discussions... it depends. For the most part the team's a flat structure, everybody gets a voice, and since the team as a whole is pretty reasonable we'll often reach some sort of consensus. That said though, I would say some people decide to avoid entire topics -- I for example never chime in on anything level design or art related, and very rarely chime in on anything balance related. I simply don't feel that I have enough context or domain knowledge to really make any meaningful opinion in those areas, but Havoc89 for example has much to add to those areas. Similarly I very rarely see non-programmers chime in on programming topics, and rarely do I see non-sysadmins (either internal or server owners) chime in on infrastructure/IT issues.

In general, people just specialize and chime in on the topics they have some knowledge around. Taking myself as an example again, I have an interest in programming / general feature topics, and a very high interest in anything infrastructure related or launcher related. It's rare for me to not be a part of any launcher or infrastructure related topic, and I suppose as a consequence of that I just have a lot of area-specific context knowledge and consequently quite a bit of influence on those areas. Since I'm the only one who works on the website, any change to the website generally requires my OK and active participation, and same for the current launcher or server list or other infrastructure. As another example, people like Yosh or Xeon Wraith or Quincy or boxes have generally been active in balance related discussions, and thus have a high impact there. Havoc89 has a high impact on all art related topics. Hande has a high impact on anything UI related. There's a decent bit of specialization, and it works out.

And sometimes we're not able to reach a consensus, and that's where you might see an opinion poll pop up to see how the community feels. That's exactly how the Radio Commands poll came about for example -- Havoc and I had slightly differing opinions on the matter (pruning vs not pruning), so I made a poll to see if there was any clear opinion one way or the other. Those polls don't necessarily determine whether something happens by themselves, but they do help guide the conversation.

Basically: there's no formal process, we're a pretty informal group, people generally chime in on topics they're confident or care quite a bit about. I also ramble too much. :D

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