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MasterBLB

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I decided to cancel the Mech Designer, and no longer develop it further due to extremely low feedback rate. I haven't expected much donations, however lack of opinions, and overall communication in my subforum, is striking - explanation is simple, either the application is not really needed, or it sucks. In both cases, any more work spent on improving it is a waste of time.
Thanks all who helped me during development, and a pity our hard work was for nothing.
 

stjobe

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however lack of opinions, and overall communication in my subforum, is striking - explanation is simple, either the application is not really needed, or it sucks.
There's a third explanation that I personally believe is the correct one (as someone who has also put his hard work up on the Internet for people to benefit from):
People don't like/want to/know how/care about giving feedback unless
  1. It is something they feel they need or just feel entitled to have
  2. That something is broken in some real or perceived way.
Usually the feedback is abuse ("why is this @£$€ broken? You suck!") but from time to time you do get the odd post with real, valuable constructive feedback and/or constructive criticism, and once in a blue moon someone actually posts how much they appreciate what you've done - and that keeps you going for a while longer.

Being a salaried or hourly paid developer is a thankless enough job on many occasions, so doing it for free really is a labour of love. It is also extremely thankless and more open-source and mod developers burn out from the sheer thanklessness of it than keep at it for any length of time.

In the end I think you need to do these things for yourself and not for others - the dissemination of the code to others is just a side benefit for the developer (although it may be the main benefit for others). If you have an itch you need to scratch, that need will sustain you until the code is good-enough for you. For it to be developed further, you need to get feedback (and some praise!) from other users. Otherwise it's usually better to pass it on to a new developer with a different itch to scratch.

What I'm trying to say is that I know. I've been there. It's thankless, nobody's paying you for it, and precious few seem to even care. I totally understand that you just want to scrap it all and move on with something that doesn't drain you. And it is your right to do so, of course. But this is a small community, and even in huge communities the rate of feedback is minuscule (I just went back and did a quick "comments / number of downloads" calculation for my old ESO addons, and the result was 0.4% - and that's a community in the millions).

So here's my suggestion: Don't burn any bridges, just take a break. Do something else for a while. Leave the Mech Designer up there for people to try, use, enjoy, and leave feedback on. That way you can gracefully come back to it later if the original itch you had comes back.

Any way you decide to go, best of luck to you from a fellow dev who's been there.
 

Amechwarrior

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Overall I think you overestimated the size of the community and required a far higher level of feedback and expectations than feasible. As I've mentioned before, I run the Better AI mod, also contribute to the cFixes mod in addition to other smaller mods. These are used is in almost every major modpack, or their fundamental work is used in them and I converse with the authors of those mods regularly. The feedback I get from users is basically nill. The only time I get real timely feedback is when an update breaks my mod and the game ceases to function (see 1.6) and this is with mods with a much larger userbase considering the stand alone installs in addition to BTX3025, BTA3062, XLRP, RT users. No feedback means it's working and that takes some time getting used to.

As stjobe said above, you have to do these things for yourself. The designer program is good, I'm glad it was available. However, I was hoping to use it when I had time to build another FP, but IRL is still in my way and for a lot of the community it is the same. This isn't our jobs, it's what we spend our free time on when we get to it.
 

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Views for core threads here are in the thousands FYI. Those are all people interested in the project, most will never post though. Which is normal.
That's not bad.
Best wishes however it works out.
 

TLRoff

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people are following what you do closely. Please believe that. But we the bulk of the player base have also over the years seen mod makers that get.. well... a little "testy" of anything that might hint of criticism. Most of the players of battletech aren't young guys. Most of us have been playing for decades.

If you want feedback though, lemmie tell ya what is wanted.

The mech designer
A module for using mech engineer mod with it (for those who want more then vanilla mech lab mechs)
To be able to make a mech from scratch and have the ability to point it to the art file if your subbing another chassis because the mech your building doesn't have an existing model so you need to substitute.
to set up the mechchassis file so that "fixed" equipment is locked down.
to set up the movedef file properly.

so the mech designer has to plug the right information into possibly up to 4 files AND be able to add the information to the collections files so it'll show in game.

NOw I haven't looked at your mech designer in a couple weeks so I don't know if its doing all this, but I'll go take a look, today..

If for no other reason in that I want to plug the Taurian Concordat "Marshal" and it variants into my game. (hey, everybody has their favorite mech types!)

either way, yea take a break please if you need it. but your mostly only going to get feedback when something broken!

the real feedback is how often it gets downloaded.. and if you see a surge in downloads after you update it. if folks be downloading, and not complaining, then your obviously doing things pretty much RIGHT!

so thumbs up to you bud, ya rock!
 

TLRoff

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addendum.. so apparently how the hell do you download or did you pull the download links?
 

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@MasterBLB while I totally understand and support your decision to cancel this, I do hope that you reconsider and come back to it. I haven't had a chance to it yet, but I am at the point in making my Flashpoint where this tool was about to become extremely useful.
 

MasterBLB

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Mates,
Do I get it correctly that the real feedback is visits and downloads number (adding up all across the versions it'd be around 350-400) and no complains, which means Mech Designer is popular and works so well peoples don't abuse, right?
Okkay, still I don't feel an urge to develop it, but as least I restore download link.
 
Last edited:

XTRMNTR2K

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Mates,
Do I get it correctly that the real feedback is visits and downloads number (adding up all across the versions it'd be around 350-400) and no complains, which means Mech Designer is popular and works so well peoples don't abuse, right?
Okkay, still I don't feel an urge to develop it, but as least I restore download link.
Thank you.

I was deeply saddened by your announcement to stop development. Like others have said, only a tiny fraction (between 0.5 and 2 percent at most) of users usually comment on one's work, much less provide useful feedback. Considering what you've achieved and MechDesigners usefulness I agree that the lack of feedback is frustrating, but these things can take time. Sometimes all it takes is a few feedback posts to motivate others to chip in.

The bottom line is: I hope you're taking a (well-deserved) break from MechDesigner, but stay open towards continuing development at a later date. There is nothing quite like it out there, and as others have said, it's a huge help for Flashpoint developers who want custom loadouts in their FPs.
 

stjobe

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Mates,
Do I get it correctly that the real feedback is visits and downloads number (adding up all across the versions it'd be around 350-400) and no complains, which means Mech Designer is popular and works so well peoples don't abuse, right?
With 350 - 400 downloads, I would have expected low single-digit number of comments. You obviously have more than that, and as far as I know you haven't gotten much abuse, so yes, Mech Designer is popular, and seems to have an active (if small) user base.

For reference, one of the top addons for ESO has as of this writing 6,558,491 downloads and 670 comments - that's less than one comment per 10,000 downloads. It has been through 98 releases and is on its third developer.
Okkay, still I don't feel an urge to develop it, but as least I restore download link.
That's good. Take a break and let the comments accumulate. Once you find the urge to develop return, you'll have some feedback to work off of - and who knows, maybe it's a piece of feedback that gives you the urge back.
 

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Screenshot_20190630-112803~2.png

Screenshot_20190630-112803~3.png
 

MasterBLB

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Since around October 2018
 

OathOfFealty

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That's a fairly short time. Give it time and better yet, do it mainly for yourself, not for others.
Also, BT is a niche and the Designer attracts only some of this niche's fans and you might want to promote it on other forums and social media to gain more views.
STJobe got it right IMO.
 

MasterBLB

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I make announcements on Reddit, Steam forum, and Nexus Mods every time I release a new version. Sadly, I'm one of these types whose don't use facebook etc. social stuff.
 

OathOfFealty

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Despite, you might want try discord. I have an invitation to my own server below. From there on you can join other servers like the TT-dedicated server. There's a different crowd over there. Myself being a non-SM guy I found discord helpful in the end but it's up to you.
 

Havamal

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@MasterBLB discord is indeed a destination for many prospective end users now.

You might want to look into the various BT discords and the Mechwarrior online one too.
 

MasterBLB

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Well, I'm somewhat known on RougeTech, BattletechGame and Mech Engineer discord channels. In fact, I've spotted quite big download spike after announcement on Reddit and these discord channels, around v0.72 or v0.73 release.
 

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I don't usually comment on stuff for the following reasons -
1 - The app/plug-in/etc works just fine
2 - Someone else has already reported the bug or made the suggestion
3 - It's volunteer-driven, I don't really want to be the demanding type, especially when I'm not technical in nature and can't contribute on my own
4 - Tipping hrm, not opposed to it, it's honestly mostly an awareness, don't think about it, etc - also not an easy way to do it (edit, I mean stupid easy). I do it sometimes on a phone app - ie a guy made an android flashlight app that has no ads, has a button for an automatic small $$ (like $2) tip on the screen for "coffee" or such - it auto charges on my google pay. That's a great setup, and I think I hit it a few times for him. I see it every time I open it, love that I don't have ads, and it's just so easy to toss him a tip when I'm feeling appreciative. I'd probably do the same for a ton of other apps, programs, plug-ins, games, etc if it were an option and that easy.

I usually comment for the following reasons -
1 - I found a bug
2 - I have a feature idea that is really important to me
3 - I'm really invested in the game/program/etc
 
Last edited:

MasterBLB

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Hmmm, do you suggest Brother @brajalle I should make donation link in application more visible?