Hi all! My name is Ramone Russell and I’m the Community Manager for the San Diego Studios. Some of you may remember me as the screen name RUSSELL05 on various forums from the past couple of years. Today we are happy to announce the first Comprehensive Community Imitative at the San Diego Studios for MLB The Show franchise. The main purpose of this program is to improve, overhaul and grow the developer/community relationship. This Initiative was built from scratch. Back in July we started at the ground level and over the past four months we looked at where other Community Initiatives have succeeded and failed. Our goal is to create something new, fresh, and extremely structured in order to make things you have yet to experience possible.
First, we would like to release our developer mission statement to the public so that the purpose of our Community Initiative is clear.
San Diego Studio Community Initiative Developer Mission Statement
We (San Diego Studios) are committed to creating the most accurate representation of MLB Baseball on the Playstation 3. As we continue to strive for video game perfection we are happy to announce our first ever Community Initiative. Bridging the gap between the development studio and the community is not an easy task. It will take vision, planning, patience, and an extreme level of coordination between us. Were ecstatic about the future and look forward to the possibilities this extraordinary relationship will present.
In addition, we are also announcing our Community Leaders Program. In the past, as a former community leader, I would always get asked the same questions:
What is a Community Leaders Program?
What is the purpose of such a program?
How do I get into the program?
The information below should answer these and many other questions.
San Diego Studio Community Leaders Program Mission Statement
The San Diego Studio Community Leaders Program exists to provide the community with a liaison between the development studio and the entire community. Community Leaders must be more than just representatives and members of our games community. They must always act with the best interests of the entire consumer base at hand. The constant pursuit of these goals will allow the San Diego Studio and our games communities to serve as a powerful resource for one another.
Community Leaders Purposes and Goals
Help bridge the gap between the Development Studio and the gaming Community
Help us (dev team) better tailor our games to the wishes and feedback given by the community
CL's should be Honest, Objective, Fair, and Trustworthy to the Community and the Development Studio
Be helpful to new and long-term community members who ask for assistance relating to the game
Should be visible and have a positive track record throughout the community
Once established, we will allow the community to vote on who they feel can best represent them
This program is meant to give the community a voice, improve studio transparency, and help make MLB The Show better, not to market our game
Most importantly, Community Leaders should look to have fun with game and the community
I guess the next two questions we should answer is who are the Community Leaders and how do you become one. There have been many fans of MLB The Show that have taken it upon themselves to perform above and beyond the call of duty, than that of an average gamer. They are mlblover15, ericjwm, Pared, Psychobulk, jim416, nemesis04, Rod_Carew29, Knight165, from Operation Sports and Pastapadre from Pastapadre.com. Every one of them fits the criteria below:
Criteria for becoming a Community Leader
• Honesty, Candidness, Objectivity, Trustworthiness, and Humility are the most important qualities before someone will be asked if they would like to become a CL.
• A person should be fair and not afraid to give positive and negative feedback to the development team and also to the community at-large. They should also be someone who is visible throughout the entire community, not just their own site.
• They should be helpful and courteous to new and long-term community members who ask for assistance relating to the game. Also, they should be someone who looks to have fun with the game and the community, while also looking to address issues – not vice versa where their main goal is looking for and announcing flaws; unable to actually play and enjoy the game.
• Any potential CL should have a reputation with the community where they have been involved with the sports games, written about them, and have some level of aptitude with the products. In short, they should obviously be gamers, but also gamers who have devoted themselves to relating sports game news/articles/content to the gaming community.
• Social skills play a vital role in being a CL. They must be able to discuss the thoughts and ideas of others (and of course, their own). Documentation is important as well as the producers/designers will benefit from detailed lists of problems and suggestions.
• Any potential CL should understand the dynamic that the community we interact with today in actuality is a very small portion of the people that buy and play the game. It's extremely important for the CL to express the hardcore opinions as those are the people that are going to be there year after year buying the game, in addition they must keep in mind that there is a broader clientele out there that we must adapt to as well.
As your Community Manager my primary purpose is to represent the consumer base. That includes the hardcore gamer, the casual gamer, and everyone else in between. I have watched and observed how the sports gaming community has evolved. I feel the negativity has grown and, at times, overshadowed the positive feedback and constructive criticism that benefits a franchise. I remember the good old days when the number one priority of the community was to have fun with a certain game, and offer a place for those with passion for a particular title to congregate. I would like for us to pursue those ideals as we move forward with this initiative. Now I’m not saying we won’t be looking for feedback to improve our titles, nothing could be further from the truth. In all actuality some of the projects we have in the oven will give the community more input than they have ever had in the past. We have a vision of where we can and where we will go if we work together.
What we revealed today is only the very tip of the ice burg. We will give the community more info and unveil new parts of the initiative in the weeks to come.
Russell05 and the entire San Diego Studios MLB The Show development team.
(P.S. I would like to publicly thank the individuals who participated in the CL Q&A a few months back. Their feedback was instrumental in the creation of our Community Initiative.)