Player trust is one of the key components of a successful Early Access title, Kerbal Space Progam producer Miguel Piña has said.
Figure out the valid points and in the end have the users trust you. If your players can’t trust you, you’ve already lost.
In a Reddit AMA, he noted that Kerbal Space Progam is one of the titles fans point to in defence of Steam’s Early Access system. Piña also emphasised that being seen as human by your fanbase is something that’s crucial in terms of taking in feedback and ensuring the community is happy.
Here’s a suggestion for devs out there: Get out of your comfort zone. Being somewhere where you have zero power will not only teach you humility, but you can find gems of wisdom even in a barrage of insults. Just keep your cool and make sure your skin is so thick it’d make an armored rhino blush.
However, while Pina felt that it is still possible for Early Access to be done well, he added that it does have the potential to leave a bitter taste in people’s mouths.
Early Access feels like a party that got out of control.
You can even sabotage your own game by presenting it at the wrong state, overpromising or failing to communicate properly to your audience.
Communication across a range of community sites is the best way to prevent people from being dissatisfied, he said.
I try to dunk my head into every community that discusses KSP and be an active voice there.