Foo2rama Game Operations


The Math and Issues behind CS

by admin on Dec.09, 2010, under Blog, Customer Retention, Game Support, Metrics

Pretty good look at the math and issues behind working on online games.

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Internet Pundits and Customer Service

by admin on Nov.24, 2010, under Blog, Game Support

This is a great blog post that highlights one of the more fun and sometimes least enjoyable aspects of creating ingame policies.

What happens when people make the argument for allowing Swastikas? These pundits try and trap you into your excuse as to why they should not be allowed and then try to stretch them to apply to other things. Crafting responses and dealing with these issues which have a high tendency to become public can really become tiresome.

Recently I ran into a similar issues where a player felt that having the word “gay” filtered by the chat filter was discrimination against him as he claimed to be a homosexual, and wanted to declare this in the game. I could just see the responses to every possible answer I gave him. I ended up writing a much longer response then I had planned to him, basically telling him we restrict those words because they tend to be used in a negative manner. I also informed him that if he chooses to declare his sexuality we feel he may experience negative feedback, and we will not be responsible for any negative feedback he receives for his actions. blah blah blah….

Anyway the article linked at the top is a pretty interesting rant from my counterpart at xBox Live.

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Startup on the cheap

by admin on Aug.29, 2010, under Blog

I ran across this on It is a great way to look at starting up your own idea/company. Honestly it really simplifies things, and is a great checklist.

10 Steps and $2,000 via techcrunch

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Recreating a video game in the Real world.

by admin on Aug.03, 2010, under Blog

Video Games often imitate the real world, here is an attempt to recreate a Video Game using the Real World.

Real Life Wipeout XL

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A new way to think about Passwords.

by admin on Jul.20, 2010, under Blog, Customer Acquisition, Game Support, News

Password creation can be a huge block to conversion once you get a user on your site, and lost passwords can drain support resources, this might be a great way to solve those problems.

This is a great article that in many ways solves the 2 major problems with passwords on accounts.  Generally we use restrictions such as minimum length and case sensitivity requiring at least 2 upper case symbols.  This works great against brute force dictionary attacks, but causes users to forget their password.  The other method we use is a max attempts at log in, generally 3, then they get locked out.  This can be used with forcing difficult passwords, but often is used by itself, this though opens up another vulnerability if used solo, there is no check against hitting thousands of accounts with the most commonly used passwords.  I will not spoil it for you but Microsoft just came up with the most optimal solution, feel free to smack yourself for not thinking about it yourself.

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Focus Groups gone wild!

by admin on Apr.01, 2010, under Blog, Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention, E-Commerce

25 years ago Coca Cola released New Coke, one of the biggest marketing errors of all time.  Of course when they decided to do it the focus group testing that data said go right ahead.  The NY Times has a great little article describing it.
NY Time Link

This reminded me of some focus group testing where we showed the same game to multiple groups.  When told the game was subscription based we received positive reviews, when told it was Free 2 Play we received negative reviews.  Regardless of when in the testing we revealed it was Free 2 Play the users started to have a negative outlook.  Now that Free 2 Play is becoming more accepted and the Maplestory kids are growing up this is less of an issue in the Western Market.

Also on this project we found out that players wanted something different than WoW.  Once we released the game we had many complaints that it was not enough like WoW.  This was not related to some of the recent discussions that WoW has made MMORPG’s too expensive to create by having a massive feature set.  In our case it was a whole new control scheme that offered something different then any other game out there.  This game allowed for the player to control 3 characters at once, having  tank/healer/cc characters all at the same time and allowed a wonderful scale of management depending on player skill or the situation the player was in.  We gave players what they asked for, and in return they did not adopt the title in the numbers we would have liked.

In hindsight our guts told us what to expect, but we still followed the focus group data.  Talking to other people I have heard similar stories where Focus group data is misleading.  Is this a failure of the way the groups where run, or a problem with people not really wanting what they think they want?  It appears that CCP will allow players to walk around stations in EVE as players have been demanding it for years, the issue is it brings nothing to the table in terms of gameplay for that title.  So now CCP has the problem of making a new engine, some type of mechanic to create a reason for this, and generally anger the population because of the delay on this feature.

Users who needs them?

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