How to support players in constantly evolving live games

first_imgHow to support players in constantly evolving live gamesKeywords Studios’ Marek Niszkiewicz describes some of the opportunities and pitfalls when supporting games-as-a-service playersMarek NiszkiewiczMonday 23rd November 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleKeywords StudiosSome of the longer-serving members of Keywords’ player support team will remember where we started. It was the early days when MMOs were growing more popular and we provided game masters.Gary Gygax, a co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, was interested in how we envisaged the role of game master in online games back then. They played an active role in the game, not only writing and organising events, but also designing landscapes, NPCs, dialogue and role play opportunities.We co-created the in-game experience of players by actively participating and talking to players, running full in-game events, controlling mobs and creatures that attacked player bases. The game master was a living component of a digital game.Marek NiszkiewiczGaming has moved on quite a bit since then. Games in all genres are constantly changing platforms in their own right. The idea of game masters being these focal points in the game itself, creating content and supporting players, seems almost quaint. We needed to find ways to support players on a much larger scale.In the era of social media, game masters became community managers, now creating content outside of the game. And the troubleshooting aspect of the role became more specialised under player support.Fundamentally, what we do is create a communication bridge between the people who play games and the people who make and publish them. And that philosophy doesn’t feel so far away from our initial concept for game masters. Whether you’re launching a new game or looking to better support an existing title, here are some of our learnings from across player support and community management. Understand the costs of an unsatisfied playerOne of the biggest mistakes we see games companies make is investing vast amounts of money in user acquisition and not enough in providing adequate player support.User acquisition costs, particularly for mobile games, are increasing all the time. Top mobile gaming companies can invest $20 or more per install and it’s crazy to spend that money acquiring a new user if you’re going to lose them (and all future revenue from that user) through a bad customer support experience. It’s crazy to spend money acquiring a new user if you’re going to lose them through a bad customer support experience And then you have the prospect of that player discouraging others and becoming an unhelpful presence in the community.If you’re setting up a customer support function for the first time, here are ways you can reduce this revenue loss:Make sure you have enough support agents trained upon release of the game, or have a flexible arrangement with your outsourcing partner.Categorise and prioritise your incoming contacts properly, to make sure you don’t miss requests from players who have trouble making a purchase or cannot play at all. You can achieve this even with pretty much any CRM system, i.e. Zendesk or Helpshift to name just two.Similarly, reports of game-breaking bugs should always take priority.For a game-as-a-service, transition to 7/7 coverage and then to 24/7 coverage as soon as you’re getting enough volume to justify the headcount. This will allow you to get back to your players quickly, regardless of the time of day. Keep in mind that with live games, your player base is likely global and in need of help outside of 9 to 5 business hours.Use experts to take advantage of automation, and give players the resources and information to help themselves and each other.Does the system allow you to modify it to suit your requirements and can it be adapted later? Keep your player-facing FAQ articles up to date and offer them as much self-help as your tech enables.And some things to bear in mind when setting up your support software systems:Does the system allow you to modify it to suit your requirements and can it be adapted later? Can it integrate into your other systems to ensure you have a connected view of the customer, and that you are minimising data silos?Is it intuitive and easy to use? How long will the adoption process take? Does the company offering the platform provide onboarding support?Be sure to identify all hidden costs of using the product and ask about future costs when you may need to scale up within the same platform.GDPR, CCPA and other privacy related claimsDon’t forget that from day one you will be liable under GDPR and other privacy laws. Your systems and staff need to be ready to process this type of request within the time frame offered by the legislator.When we see this forgotten by developers launching their new products, it is less of a concern to train the staff to handle those claims, as training is readily available, and more of technical difficulty for developers to ensure the right data has been erased.Know the difference between your community and your audiencesIf your players are collaborating around your game, and that’s happening persistently and regardless of whether you’re present or not, then you have a community.When you’re broadcasting a message or a piece of content to many people (like on Facebook or Twitter), then you’re speaking to an audience.Audiences need content. Communities want material and access. Often those two things get muddled or blended together, and it’s a helpful distinction when knowing how to interact with players on different platforms.Audiences need content. Communities want material and access.Your Twitter followers and your YouTube subscribers will love a new gameplay trailer, while your Discord community may get more value from getting to discuss that trailer with your community manager and development team.Take advantage of insights from both support and communityYour community is an invaluable source of feedback — most people working in games in this day and age would agree with this statement. But not so many people think of customer support as a way to gather such insights.You should not only gather and organize feedback, but later connect that feedback to player data such as spend levels and time spent in the game.The feedback pipeline should flow both ways, so you also need to take information back to the players This can help you identify not just what players think about your game, but also which pain points are impacting revenue. It’s even common that players can be vocally critical of a perceived issue, but it has little impact on how much time they spend playing the game.You need a workflow to pass that feedback to your development teams so that they can easily see what matters to players the most. And the feedback pipeline should flow both ways, so you also need to take information back to the players, so that they know what’s happening with their feedback and why changes are being made to the game.Invest in concierge services for VIP playersIt’s not as uncommon as you might think for individual players to invest five-figure sums in a single game. And yet it is relatively rare for games companies to have concierge-level services to look after those heavy spenders.If you’d spent that kind of money in your local restaurant, you’d hope they would find you a table even during busy times, and give you the best service as a valued customer.It should be the same principle with your VIP players. If they have an issue with the game then it should be handled as a priority. You may also need to make sure you have engineers and developers standing by, in case the VIP encounters a game-breaking bug that your support agent cannot resolve using the admin portal.But be careful: while offering special care to your VIPs, you need to make sure you’re treating your community fairly as a whole.Related JobsGerman speaking Player Support Agent Katowice (Poland) Keywords StudiosGerman Community Manager Remote, Poland Keywords StudiosSenior QA Engineer Gaming Studio Baltic Region UK & Europe Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games While concierge services may offer faster support, more generous compensation in case of technical issues, more access to developers and the odd free item here and there — it should never provide any unfair advantage over other players.In conclusion, do not underestimate the value of player support services and the impact of satisfied and unsatisfied customers have on your game-as-a-service. It’s vitally important that issues are dealt with as they crop up, while at the same time we must create a communication bridge and foster active, engaged communities. This is key to increasing the lifetime value of players.Finding innovative ways to support your players in a consistent manner, at scale, will benefit you and your growing communities in the long term. Marek Niszkiewicz is a player support senior project manager at Keywords Studios, providing customer support, moderation and community management services for the global video games industry.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesKeywords acquires Climax for up to £43mThe company will pay £27 million in cash and shares, with a deferred consideration of an additional £16 millionBy Danielle Partis 19 days agoKeywords Studios reports strong 2020 with €373.5m in revenueThe services provider acquired seven companies in 2020 for a total consideration of up to €97.2 millionBy Marie Dealessandri A month agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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Another divorce; Elise Perry and Tomway split up! |…

first_imgNew Delhi ∙ Another divorce news from the sports world shocked the fans. One of the number one all-rounders in women’s cricket, Australia’s Ellis Perry and Australian rugby player Matt Tomway have parted ways. The couple decided to separate after five years of marriage. Although there have been rumors that Perry and Matt Tomway have been at loggerheads for some time, they have denied the allegations. This is followed by the news of the divorce.The couple divorced earlier this year, according to a joint statement issued on Saturday. “We decided to divorce earlier this year with the utmost respect and esteem,” the statement said.‘In our present life it seems appropriate for both of us to separate from each other. This is a mutually agreed decision that has been in place for a few months. Our married life has always been driven entirely privately. We urge you to respect our privacy even in this difficult moment in your life ‘- both of them demanded in the statement. Rumors of a feud between the two first surfaced when it was noticed that Ellis Perry did not wear a wedding ring at the Australian Cricket Awards in February this year. For the third year in a row, Perry never mentioned her husband, Matt Tomway, in his speech at the Belinda Clark Awards for Best Female Actress in Australia. With this, the rumors intensified.However, the two had made it clear in public that they were not separated. Perry did not wear a wedding ring at the cricket awards ceremony because of a finger injury. An advertisement was issued in this regard. A picture of Tomwa embracing Perry was released during the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia when he was ruled out due to injury. Perry posted a picture of the two exercising together on Instagram in May. This was followed by a joint statement earlier this year stating that they had decided to end the relationship.Elise Perry or ‘Wonder Child’!Elise Perry is the only female athlete to have played in both the Cricket World Cup and the Football World Cup. Ellis Perry was part of the team that won the recent Twenty20 Women’s World Cup. However, he missed the semi-finals and final due to injury during the tournament. Perry suffered a hamstring injury in the group stage match against New Zealand by 4 runs.Ellis Perry, 29, is a two-time ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year. He has played in eight Tests, 112 ODIs and 120 Twenty20 Internationals in his decade-long career. He scored 624 runs and took 31 wickets in Tests at an average of 78.00. He took 3022 runs and 152 wickets at an average of 52.10 in ODIs and 1218 runs and 114 wickets at an average of 28.32 in T20I. Perry is ranked No. 1 in ODIs and No. 2 in Twenty20 rankings in the ICC rankings.Ellis, the central defender in football, is credited with helping Australia reach the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup. A beautiful goal in the pre-quarter against Sweden was born out of that boot. He is not currently active in football as he places more emphasis on cricket.English Summary: Ellyse Perry and Matt Toomua split after almost five years of marriagelast_img read more

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Concussion group says ex-NFL player Bubba Smith had CTE

first_imgSmith also played for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. This is a 1972, file photo, showing Baltimore Colts defensive end Bubba Smith. The Concussion Legacy Foundation says former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death. (AP Photo/File) Smith also played for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. He became an actor and is best known for playing Moses Hightower in the “Police Academy” movies.,Smith died in 2011 at 66. He is one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy since 2008 at a brain bank affiliated with Veteran Affairs, Boston University and the foundation. Out of four stages of the disease, the foundation says Smith had stage 3 CTE.Other former NFL players diagnosed with CTE include Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, Ken Stabler, Mike Webster and Junior Seau.A 1966 All-American for Michigan State who later was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Smith was the first overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft by the Colts. A fearsome pass rusher, he made two Pro Bowls with them and won a Super Bowl for the 1971 season. Smith died in 2011 at 66. He is one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy since 2008 at a brain bank affiliated with Veteran Affairs, Boston University and the foundation. Out of four stages of the disease, the foundation says Smith had stage 3 CTE.Other former NFL players diagnosed with CTE include Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, Ken Stabler, Mike Webster and Junior Seau.A 1966 All-American for Michigan State who later was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Smith was the first overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft by the Colts. A fearsome pass rusher, he made two Pro Bowls with them and won a Super Bowl for the 1971 season. BOSTON (AP) — Former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death, the Concussion Legacy Foundation said Monday. He became an actor and is best known for playing Moses Hightower in the “Police Academy” movies.last_img read more

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Nobody shakes the dice…Lifestyles Report (Nov. 8, 2017)

first_imgDEBBIE NORRELLI save a lot of what I call “souvenirs of life.” Some of the things you would run across in my souvenir stash would be taped interviews with Charles Dutton, August Wilson and Dick Gregory. A handwritten note from Bill Peduto before he was the mayor of Pittsburgh. Pictures of Gordon Parks when he was in Pittsburgh, my bright orange good dental health badge from Happy, my Think and Do Book and a Souvenir Issue of the Taylor Allderdice newsletter dated November 17, 1967. The front page reads VICTORY! Underneath, a picture of the Allderdice Championship Football Team. In 1967 there was only one Black person on the team, #24 Guy Collins. The headline read, “Nobody shakes the Dice as Allderdice Rips Westinghouse for First City Title.”I have told so many people about this win and many told me I was dreaming and I did not know what I was talking about. I make it a point when I let words come out of my mouth you can take them to the bank, so maybe now that they are reading it in the paper and seeing it on television they will believe that 50 years ago “the House came tumbling down.” That was the chant as the Dragons upset Westinghouse, the perennial City League champs, 20-13, and won their first City high school football crown. It was reported that a combination of luck and persistence provided the Dragons with a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. Two interceptions by Willie Anderson on the same drive were nullified by penalties, and TA managed to keep possession of the football and move toward the goal line. At halftime the Dragons not only had outscored the Bulldogs but also led in first downs and passing. Allderdice even had outrushed Westinghouse, despite an injury to Charlie Lischner which kept him out most of the game. A key interception by Lew Krause in the third period thwarted one Westinghouse drive and a stunning goal line stand early in the fourth period, holding the Bulldogs to only four and a half yards in four plays from the five-yard line, broke the back of the Westinghouse express. A last series of downs run by Westinghouse failed, the clock ran out and then Allderdice had its first City Title in its first try. The TA victory made it only the second time in the last 14 years that Westinghouse had failed to take home the championship.The newsletter went on to report that it would be impossible to single out individual players for contributing to this victory. Just let it be said that the 9-0 mark of the Dragons was the result of a first rate team effort. I was so proud of this moment for Taylor Allderdice. I was there from ninth grade until graduation in 1970. It was the school that I always wanted to go to but I ended up there due to bussing to desegregate the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I don’t follow high school football but any mention of TA makes me sit up and take notice.(Email Debbie Norrell at [email protected]) Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierlast_img read more

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Can Black Stars stop Muller machine?

first_imgGermany can qualify for the knock-out rounds on Saturday if they beat Ghana at the Estadio Castelao. Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Durm, Mertesacker, Howedes; Khedira, Lahm, Kroos; Ozil, Muller, Gotze. CEST “We didn’t deserve the first goal against us and, as for the game itself, we did possess and create a lot of chances,” he said. Ghana: Kwarasey; Opare, Mensah, Boye, Asamoah; Muntari, Rabiu; J. Ayew, Atsu, A. Ayew; Gyan. Sport EN Thomas Muller scored a hat-trick, with Mats Hummels getting the other. The defender is the only fitness doubt, saying: “The injury doesn’t feel like something which would end my World Cup. “Maybe it will cost me one game, or maybe none at all. It looked worse than it is.  “I do have my thigh heavily wrapped, but it’s going to be fine. It could have been worse.”center_img They thrashed Portugal 4-0 in the opening game, while their opponents lost 2-1 to the USA. Upd. at 21:27 Ghana cioach Kwesi Appiah admits his team need to be more clinical if they are to progress.  “Any loss of concentration can cost the team big time. I believe the first goal unsettled us a little bit but I never expected it to end this way.” 20/06/2014 Possible teams:  Ref: Sandro Ricci. “Unfortunately we could not take our chances and the US took their chances.last_img read more

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X-Men and Lions come together as one

first_imgBy Nick Creely The importance of a clear pathway from junior to senior football can’t be understated. For St Francis…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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