The feedback management handbook (composed by input from several people in the office):
Feedback is not to be ignored and not to be entirely listened to.
Water is one of the most important substances on this planet. Half of
you is water. You can die of thirst. Yet you can drown. Consuming
enough will kill you - it is toxic, regardless of how low.
Feedback management is about everyone's feelings but yours.
People are not all articulate. You don't know what they mean - ASK for
Asking people for relevance is half the job. "Your game is great" is
equally useful to "Your game sucks" in terms of what to expand on.
Most of us fail on feelings. Once you manage your feelings and start
looking for value, the only thing you have to do is allign feedback
with your goal. This means that if a homicidal maniac comes and rudely
tells you 2+3 is 5 and your own calculation was wrong - you take that
correction and you move on. Anything else you can derrive from such a
case is toxic and serves no other purpose than to upset you. Whether
your player was polite or nasty is a waste of your time. If you can't
handle people's words in text format on the internet don't even start
doing this - we have content management positions for people of not so
flexible mental fortitude.
Even so folks that hate you are on average more honest about things
than people who like you. They don't have to refine what they say
based on common courtesy - they can just spit it all out in raw form
at your face.
Conflicted feedback is either produced by design flaw. Setting people
to expect something other than what they will get (including allowing
people to think they have no idea what to expect, which sets you up at
even lower rates of fullfilling their expectations). Or is irrelevant
to your goal - people expecting things that were never the goal, were
never even hinted at. Unless you decide to change your goal, such
feedback has to be declined. If they took the time to give it to you,
at least you can say, "Yes I see, its not something we are going to
Overall: Your customer will rarely if ever see the process from your
side of things.
Your job is to grab a pile of dirt and sort out the gold bits and
gemstones in it. The essence of this job is deriving technicality out
of sensation. Yes it would have been easier if you just scooped it and
used it as is - but alas it isn't.
This isn't the firm grooming you to be rough and tough. If getting
your hands dirty upsets you - it mostly affects you. The longer it
affects you the more it leaks into your job satisfaction, the more it
leaks into your job performance and like it or not - its a free market,
we can't keep you when folks around you constantly outperform you
because they can handle their feeling within the occassionally hostile
world. If capitalism has proven anything is that you don't have to
like people to do meaningfull transactions with them. Of course we are
all human here, so you have discretion to dispense with the most awful
of individuals you come across. Just make sure that doesn't happen to
be everyone who disagrees with you.
This politics has has allowed us to grow our company by 30+% from a
post starting with "You idiots.... cursing ... and more cursing ...
very valuable feedback and again plenty of cursing..." It is why the post is
in a picture frame above Jake's desk. While the bitterness might have
irritated him at the time, he and others sure
are enjoying the pay raise to this very day. This wouldn't have been possible
if the moderator lost his cool and didn't even bother to finish reading
the post. Trust me when i say that I would mandate ignoring every polite
customer from the feedback systems if every obnoxious one helped us
grow our revenue by 1%.
(You might have noticed the less than good use of language and
spelling, it is allowed to remain as a symbol of the purpose of this
You will also notice the lack of specifics elements such as in the main answer. The document accepts that if you were hired, you know the "pillars of gaming" so to speak. So you don't have to be told what the variety of main components in games are.
A lot of great value we have found is not from the users themselves but by merely communicating with them requiring us to set ourselves to think in directions we haven't so far. Considering the handbook you can guess that some of those communications were distant from "civil" discourse by a long stretch.