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Reaching Out: How Telltale Can Show Goodwill to the Community

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 285 users

How do you think Telltale can reach out to King's Quest fans, and to the community as a whole? I've thought of a few possibilities, and I want to see what everyone else thinks of them, as well as anything an

1. Actually Communicate through your existing channels

This one is really important, I think, and so far I personally think there has been a major vacuum where this should be. This company has a Blog, a newsletter, a forum, and Facebook/Twitter accounts. They have a means through which they can communicate to the existing fanbase, and so far it has been mostly radio silence. Even if you are holding back information for a big announcement, a mere presence shown by maybe taking ten minutes out of your day to make a few posts would go a long way.

2. Cut the Bullshit

Specifically, the marketing-speak.

We have very little in terms of information about this project, and what we have gotten so far is laden with marketing speak and terminology that comes off like it could mean something very, very bad for fans of this franchise. It makes a person wonder if the reason the company isn't saying anything is because they can't say anything without it coming out badly. So, when you do go ahead and say something, run it through the filter of human experience rather than a series of robotic drones who calculate the offensiveness of key words and feel they've created an algorithm for saying things by saying nothing(known to some as "The Marketing Department"). Marketing-speak can be detected immediately and comes off as less than genuine at best.

Are you including deaths in the game?
Who is the target audience?
What is your puzzle design philosophy?
How are you approaching this project?
Do you feel that you need to change a lot about the company's usual work habits to fit this franchise? What are you changing and why?
Is this going to be a reboot, a sequel without a number, or a numbered sequel?
Etc etc.

These are simple questions and simple bits of trivia that could be delivered through any of the existing channels. Or perhaps you can join discussions about King's Quest as a fan of King's Quest. I mean, you are a fan of King's Quest, aren't you?

3. Reach out to Sierra employees

Involvement by people who worked for Sierra would be great. The more involvement, the better. At least CONTACT Roberta Williams to see if she wants to, for example, chat about King's Quest or look over your early design documents, even for just an hour. Check with as many franchise heads as you can muster. Make their involvement publicly known in a transparent fashion. "Off to have lunch with Roberta Williams" on the Telltale Twitter feed would be nice to see.

4. Reach out to the fan groups

The fan groups have been keeping this series alive. They have access to a wider King's Quest base, and they understand the franchise. Give them an interview(because they know what to ask!), ask them what they think is important, and reach out to these groups in any other way you can.

5. Show us stuff

Anything at all fits in this. Blurry cameraphone pictures of the concept artists' desk. A work schedule. Pieces of early design documents. What you had for lunch the day development started. Anything. This fits into the "an unimportant presence is better than no presence at all" rule. Show the fans anything, and let them speculate. It doesn't have to be super important or the best quality, just show the fans something.

6. Community Events

This is something that Nikki was able to do in a simple and effective way at a fairly low cost. Telltale Tuesdays and the like showed(or at least gave the impression) that the company was actively interested in engaging the community in an active way. Community events are not something that is difficult to organize, and if you're hiring someone for marketing and don't have them working in a way that can be noticed, you're doing it wrong.

Well, that's all I have on my mind right now. What does everyone think? Anyone else have more suggestions?

29 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I can't think of anything to add, but I have to say I fully support everything on this list. Great points. Any of these would be great to hear about.

  • I agree with everything you've said here, Dashing. Especially number 2, something Telltale's done a lot of lately. I think this counts in the discussion, but I'd like to see Alan Johnson actually do his job as a community manager instead of dicking around. Or at least show that he's doing something. Cause if he is, it should be pretty apparent, right?

  • Umm seems to me this post is just a bit confrontational, and accusatory...

    The post seems to read, as if you think Telltale is going out of its way to intentionally "screw the fans", as if there is some kind of conpiracy going on, and as if telltale employees are somehow sadistically trying to drive fans crazy...

    The announcement is quite new, and as far as I've experienced for most franchises it takes time for material to be released to the public after an announcement... I don't see Telltale as being any different than most companies that do the same thing... Seems to me some people are quite impatient...

  • I'd like to add "Giving importance to ONE thing and ONE thing at a time -instead of trying to reach to completely different extents at once, stocking and clogging your own schedule, making everyone hype up so much and disappointing at delivery in the real showdown".

  • I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said, especially points 1, 2, and 3 (especially point 3).

    I don't understand why Telltale doesn't communicate with their fans more often. Like you said, just ten minutes a day could make a world of difference.

  • If I was telltale or any company I wouldn't be open, as fans want them to be...

    Seriously in my experience, the moment a company becomes too open, people start to demand more, and when it isn't forthright, they start bashing the company (accusing them of holding out)...

    Impatient fanboys and girls are never entirely rational... :p

  • @Valiento said: Umm seems to me this post is just a bit confrontational, and accusatory...


    Why is it confrontational? Are the accusations wrong?

    The post seems to read, as if you think Telltale is going out of its way to intentionally "screw the fans", as if there is some kind of conpiracy going on, and as if telltale employees are somehow sadistically trying to drive fans crazy...
    Hardly. The post was intended to imply that Telltale isn't going out of its way to do anything.

    The announcement is quite new, and as far as I've experienced for most franchises it takes time for material to be released to the public after an announcement... I don't see Telltale as being any different than most companies that do the same thing... Seems to me some people are quite impatient...
    So basically, your argument boils down to "They shouldn't do anything with the community, since EA and Activision don't."?

  • @Daventry said: I don't understand why Telltale doesn't communicate with their fans more often. And like you said, just ten minutes a day could make a whole world of difference.



    It's because they got so tired of everyone bitching and moaning and whining that they stopped paying attention at all, deciding it was all just fanhate. The thing is, when you do that, you close your ears to actual worthwhile discussion as well, and that's when you've screwed yourself.

  • There used to be a time when people from TTG would post on these boards more often.

    It would be nice if they would just confirm that there will be no DVD copies of BttF and JP.... Seems that is going to be the case.

  • Does anyone not know what a NDA is? There are legal procedures for how things can be released or discussed... Activision probably has the reigns tied down from above...

    Hell back in the day, if you went to visit Sierra, you had to sign one of the NDA waivers, just to be invited inside...

    I seriously don't remember Sierra being open directly after a game announcement either. It usually took a few months to a year, before they released the first bits of concept art...

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