Can we get a dev/project management post mortem?

I’ve been a developer for the past 15 years or so, and I was wondering if you all were going to do a public postmortem, talking about decisions that you regretted, things that you wish you had done differently, that sort of thing. Bugs happen, but some of the fixes were clearly not tested at all, and I was curious what drove the decision to push those changes to production.

You all had an actual potential “wow killer” on your hands, and failed to capitalize. What do you think can be done to bring those players back? How has your strategy changed over the last month?


thing is, though this is for sure a constructive and productive thing to do between themselves, and I’m sure they auto critique themselves regularly, and as much as I would be really genuinly interested if they were to do it publicly, I can’t help but ask myself; what would they gain from a public self analysis?

The reason I ask is that this sort of thing relies on interactive feedback, back and forth discussion, and forums are largely a one way channel.

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It’s not uncommon in the indie game dev circles to do a public postmortem after a launch. Sure, it makes you vulnerable, but that vulnerability can sometimes bring out a great deal of empathy for the folks involved in the decision making process. At the moment, at least some of the decisions just look like gross incompetence to the general public, whereas a chance to explain themselves might shed light on underlying issues that the public just isn’t aware of. Explaining that they had to choose between a) something bad and b) something worse, can make a bad decision easier to deal with from the users perspective.

While the developers are surely overworked and burned out at this point, the decision to rush out a bad patch almost certainly didn’t come from those developers. It very likely came from some ambitious product manager that just didn’t have a good understanding of how the players would react.

Giving players a public explanation could go either way - it could go badly, or it could go very well. I think given the 65% drop off in users over the last month, anything and everything that could stop the bleeding should be considered.

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