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I am not asking for myself, I am asking for someone else who will likely not read this question because he is too busy reading his email, but I am sure that this question will be of a lot of value to others.

The poor guy has the problem that his development project got quite a bit more attention during development than he liked. Now he gets bombarded with emails full of bad suggestions and useless bug reports. Reading through all these emails takes him several hours of development time each day. However, not reading it is not an option either as it would mean that he could miss some emails which are actually important, like mails from potential project members, useful bug reports or press and business contacts.

He recently called it the biggest problem for the development of his project in a 20 minute video (you don't need to watch this rant entirely. The blog post linked in the first sentence of this question summarizes it very well)

How can a game developer canalize and filter their feedback stream to improve the signal-to-noise ratio?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Proper time management is a skill and is a pretty big topic. It isn't really unique to game developers and many books have been written on the topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Cypher Apr 4 '16 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is valuable question and I believe there are quite a lot gamedev specifics to it (f.e. considering games' users differences from typical software users) \$\endgroup\$ – Kromster says support Monica Apr 4 '16 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dont think it is a correct to just ignore(=filter out) some fan feedback no matter how their suggestions are bad/irrelevant. If you cannot manage it, you should hire a professional. \$\endgroup\$ – wondra Apr 4 '16 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Too bad the actual question is unraveled in a 20min video by the link. OP text here is much less informative. @wondra maybe this is an answer, but I wound not upvote it - I don't think filtering should equal to ignoring, and hiring more people is not always possible \$\endgroup\$ – Kromster says support Monica Apr 4 '16 at 19:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KromStern even if you knew exactly what emails are not important(ideal state), you would have two options: a) ignore them b) answer them later, but you will have to spend same time on that nonetheless - a day has only 24 hour. If your mail requires 8 hours to answer, and you want to answer everything, somebody will have to sit and spend the 8 hours may it be you or a proffesional. And reducing it to 6.5 hours thanks to great organization will not solve the problem if the amout of mail is overwhelming. \$\endgroup\$ – wondra Apr 4 '16 at 20:10
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There are many possibilities that could work for some projects and individuals and do not work for others - choose for your self. For shortness, I'm using term "input" for every kind of feedback. Items are in not any particular order (except the last one).

  • Build a community and encourage input solving in it. Once shown examples of how to handle questions, community can continue to apply them without your constant supervision. Just check in and correct results if needed.

  • Use pre-defined responses to input. This can reduce response times greatly, freeing up time

  • Expand your team, find someone to fit the role of a secretary (even hire a professional) to handle the input and let him/her filter it and present to you only the most important input

  • Add obstacles. No ways to contact - no input - nothing to filter. Reduce means of contacting you as much as possible. Only the most insistent will reach to you.

  • Ignore the junk input for as much as you can. Respond only to the helpful input.

  • Reduce the need for people to send in input. Maintain FAQs and roadmaps, post status updates, feature lists, etc.

  • Build your (project) reputation. Teach people what they can/cannot do when sending their input.

  • And finally - calm down and try to not over-react about the topic. Maybe it is not such a big deal to skip some inputs or to not resolve everyone's input under 24h.

** I might not agree with all the items on the list, still they could be viable for some

In any way, every kind of filtering has a setup cost, running cost and chance of filtering out valuable input.

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If you try to do this by e-mails, you already lost.

Try Trello (or any other kanban that allows people to comment on cards). So everybody will be aware of what is already being developed, what will not be developed, what is planning to be developed... etc.

So you will not receive dozens of e-mails talking about the same thing.

If you don't like idea of keeping a kanban, then a community forum will be great for the same purpose. If managed properly, community will filter theirselves by keeping popular threads at the top of the thread list.

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