Growing pains

TL;DR

I’m putting this summary at the top for people who get linked here from the stream and don’t want to read the whole post:

  • Due to the growth of the stream, I need to cut back on how long I spend conversing with chat so that I can focus more on development.
  • The biggest thing you can do to help is to post game feedback and suggestions on the Bot Land GitHub. If you want to go the extra mile, you can first check to see if your feedback or suggestion already exists, but don’t let that step stop you from posting there.
  • I still want to be as interactive as possible without cutting into the development process too much.
  • Please read the rest of the post for the full explanation!

The post itself

My stream has been growing recently:

Stream growth chart

I’m by no means a big streamer and it’s not a goal of mine to become one. Instead, streaming is all about making Bot Land as good as it can be (as discussed in this post). I used to be able to thank each individual viewer as they followed me. Now, I find myself hardly able to devote more than a “hey <viewer>” to each person who chats. It feels less personal to me, but when tens of people greet you at random points in the day, you can’t deviate from your current mental context too much or you risk a big time-loss recovering your train of thought.

I always try to remind myself: “something’s gotta give”. I’m at critical mass right now with the stress of development, and it’s been bleeding into my life outside of the stream. I need to shift some of the weight of interactivity to viewers and moderators, which means I need your help!

Duplication

When it comes to the stream, I learned long ago that I would keep getting the same kinds of questions: “what are you doing on stream”, “are you standing”, etc. This prompted me to make commands to answer these, e.g. !botland and !desk. Eventually, there was so much chat spam from just running these commands that I made an FAQ page to consolidate the list.

That worked fine for basic questions; viewers are generally okay with looking through a single page for the answers to their questions. However, now that the beta of Bot Land has been released, the feedback flood gates have been opened—I’m getting bug reports, overall feedback, and feature suggestions in droves. This is great and I welcome it, but as mentioned, it’s detracting from the stream for me to respond to everything in real-time.

The plan

I would like to collect feedback about the game on the GitHub issues page. This includes bugs and suggestions. Ideally, I’d love it if you could do some quick searches to see if your issue already exists. If it does, please comment on it if you feel you have something to add. Regardless, feel free to file an issue even if you have a hunch that it was already submitted; it’s better to have duplicates than to lose track of a problem!

With that said, if you are filing a bug, please follow standard guidelines, the most important being: include as much information as possible (screenshots, steps to reproduce, any errors in the console).

Use your discretion when it comes to typing game feedback in chat. For example, if you run into a game-breaking bug whose error message says, “this definitely shouldn’t happen! Tell Adam immediately”, then add it to chat. Likewise with “passive” feedback like “cool game” or “I showed this to a friend”—those kinds of things are fine.

Beyond the plan to use GitHub more, I will also likely need to gloss over messages that I previously would have responded to. For example, people sometimes ask about choosing between text editors, computer hardware, etc. You can still discuss that in chat, but I probably won’t reply beyond acknowledging that I can’t help. If I get enough of those kinds of questions, I’ll try to add them to the FAQ so that you can still hear my opinion without me needing to respond individually each time.

Please understand if have to say something like, “this isn’t productive for me to talk about more than I already have”. It’s not a slight against you. Also, if I seem to ignore your message without any acknowledgment, feel free to tag me (with “Adam13531” or just “Adam”) until I notice it.

do care about interacting with viewers/chatters, but I feel like developing Bot Land is my one shot at achieving my dreams and I don’t want to pass this up!

4 thoughts on “Growing pains”

  1. I feel like BotLand development should be your top priority! I enjoy watching you work through issues and how you handle problems, not saying hi to people in chat.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. I enjoy your stream, even if I miss the stream. fortunately, I still can see the past broadcast.. keep up your good works!

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