Help for the core Nadeo issues

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Bandittt
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Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Bandittt » 17 Nov 2018, 15:33

OK, I'm a bit bored today waiting for the MP 4.1 fix, so here's some input that might aim on the very core of (nearly) all issues. Nope: They ain't code or IT system related, but more essential.

Working as a digital business strategist for big & mid-size companies, I'm quite used to project management & business solutions. So here are some 1st-shot analytics & ideas that might help (but you'll know them anyway I guess).

1) Project Work:
The messed-up situation at Nadeo and the bad product quality is clearly a sign for an inefficient & chaotic project management. Even if I don't know any deep insides of Nadeo's daily work, for a business-trained eye a situation like this is quite typical. It doesn't matter how big or small a company is, a functional PM is always important. Mostly those issues are induced by the company lead, so a change has to start there. Now!

Fun story: It doesn't matter if you're a finance enterprise or a French gaming brand - at least it's all about getting stuff done the right way. And: Stuff that COULD be done in a realistic amount of time. 1.000 announced ideas that overwhelms the team, time & budget & appear as a scam to customers (Questmania...) won't work.

Ideas like this might help: Look for "How to Manage a Project: A Very Practical Guide to Shipping Projects Relentlessly" via plan . io
You don't need the latest freaky team work method fresh from Silicon Valley, but a realistic view what's important, possible & urgent to create a nice, functional PM plan. Gogo!

In general, we could be happy that so many nice community people such as Riolu, Miss, Eyebo etc. etc. are an "outsourced" man(and girl-)power that constantly helps rescuing (!) & improving the rather-bad product aka Trackmania all the time. In fact it's a sign for a great community, but it also shows the incapacity of Nadeo to do it themselves & at the first place. Or the second.


2) Customers First:
As soon as you buy a product such as TM2 Stadium for example, you are a customer & a user - no matter how big a "scene" is or how many people bought it before. Fortnite, some indie game, a Logitech mouse, new shoes etc.: Same rules. Always. What means: Customers first! We as customers pay Your office in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the rent of Your UX lead and Your shoes when You're standing next to Zerator on a huge event stage. Never. Forget. That.

Being part of the TM scene for some years now I always have the feeling that a) all Nadeo customers/users are used to be rather Alpha than Beta-testers & b) customers/users always getting misjudged, underestimated and getting for granted next to zero. Testing out new features "live" with a new release is quite common, but not with a semi-ready update built by some outsourced people in the last minute. Monsieur Hylis once said the fatal sentence of all sentences (as far as I remember): "We never should listened to the community." GG. Giving a sh*t about Your customers and Your community (who is always busy to fix Your bad products to the better btw!) is not even embarassing, but fatal. "If You don't like people close Your shop." my favourite bakery boss once said. True.

Funny thing with customers: They don't give a sh*t about bugfixes, half-arsed infos etc. - they just want to have a product that works. Ask Apple - the (still) very Kings of all related things to customer happiness, behaviour & service. Need a hint? Get those annoying creatures called "customers" for granted. They're paying Your food.

3) Marketing:
Through my work in the marketing field some years ago, I did tons of researches for huge companies about their customers, competition & business situation. The most important thing I've learned: A good product is alway the best marketing. And: Sell! Sell! Sell!
Again: The same rules for any product - bread, shoes, toilet paper, cars & games.

Tbh here: I'm ofc not too deep into any marketing plans or numbers of Nadeo, but there's a huge lack of marketing campaigns & actions clearly visible. Even if Your business is quite small & Your budget is rather low, You have to push the pedal to the metal! A good marketing doesn't need to be expensive - but smart. Use Your brain, Your resources and so on. The Zerator thing for example was an important step as was the TMWC this year. BUT: Speaking about "a good product as the best marketing": If You look to my point 1) You might see the problem: A lack of the product quality won't help the people who bought (or potential will buy) TM2 right now. And: Those Zerator-event-influenced & annoying people are customers who are paying Your shoes. Again.


Like I mentioned, I'm bored today. And a bit angry (again) about that shitty Trackmania product situation. But: I'm a professional in my working field, so it's not an "opinion" but a clear & objective analysis so far - even if it's kinda casually. I'm also sure that neither someone issue-related might read it nor that it will find some fertile soil. But I feel better now ;) Btw. Nadeo: I know some people or two who also work in France and who might help you with those issues.


glhf & stay fast
*B

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Miss
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Miss » 17 Nov 2018, 17:38

I'm tempted to merge this thread with all the other threads where people ask for "more marketing pls". :P Eh, let's see if there's going to be any serious discussion here or if we're gonna have to lock this thread by the end of the weekend :P
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Bandittt
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Bandittt » 17 Nov 2018, 18:08

Good idea Miss, why not.

Unfortunateley there has to be more than just some TM fans who are screaming "More Marketing!" to improve a general business behaviour of a company. I guess with all our effort we can just give the customer support people in this forum some hints they could (would?) address to their company. We don't have the power & ofc its not our business to define some marketing plans for a company ;) Ridiculous!

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Miss
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Miss » 17 Nov 2018, 18:18

I'm exaggerating a bit, of course. There's been a lot of these kinds of threads though, where "more marketing" is usually the core of their post.

I'm sure there's enough peolpe here willing to have a serious discussion about this! :thx:
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TMarc
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by TMarc » 17 Nov 2018, 22:44

The wording could have been better, like avoiding the lot of "sh*t" words, because this is just disrepectful towards all the effort the team is doing. They could have stopped any development for community-based and customized stuff, but thry didn't.
Still there is still lot of truth in your words, unfortunately.

Of course we don't know how Nadeo is working internally, and which constraints they are facing every day.
Some of the players like myself are working as professional software developpers, but telling that a "proper project management" will solve everything is just a lie. It only works well for stable development of small features. I can see this everyday, and we have lots of processes, tools etc. Partially we are forced to by customers or regulations, partially teams use state-of-the-art methods, it is never ideal or perfect like told in software development books.

Many things in a new development or in an experimental field like Maniplanet cannot be planned properly, only approximately.

The people who distribute the money often agree on silly deadlines and incredible features and they force the developpers to fulfil useless pseudo-quality metrics only or the paper. But it does not help the developpers at all, rather hinders them.
Every careful developper does proper requirements engineering, coding, testing and reviewing.
The problems come into picture when the developpers are not well trained, have not the same product and quality mindset, and where the managers force them to deliver at deadlines which simply cannot be taken for serious if the necessary quality has to be there.

Nadeo is trying to do their best, and this is why they stopped doing precise announcements of features, because they can't do that without disappointing the players or leading to threads like this one.
You know, the community is a bunch of individuals with own ideas. Nadeo cannot fulfill just every request. But every player has very individual perception and whishes.

On one thing you're very right, about the quality and release management.
Some of us have participated in a beta during the past few weeks, and a lot of stuff was reported, bugs, improvements and feature requests.
I was surprised to see the release of Maniaplanet 4.1 so early (not even half a day after the announcement that the release candidate was there), although a huge lot of the reported things were not even commented.
And I was a bit shocked to see that quite a few players have issues with the update.
It looks a bit rushed, and it breaks again partially some functionality, and this cannot be for a release of a "stable" product.
Here Nadeo should have learnt from the issues at the release of Maniaplanet version 4.0.
I hope there will be a better version soon.

But we have to trust them and also let them work.
They have been doing it almost like this for the past 15 years, and they cannot be doing that bad after all.
Perhaps Nadeo is lucky because Hylis and the boss of Ubisoft know each other well.
And this could explain why they can work like this (from our external perception, which is certainly not the truth either).

You know, from outside it often looks simple & easy, but inside it is often much different.
Try not to judge too hard only from what you're seeing.

For the 10years anniversary I had the chance to get invited to meet the Nadeo team and other players,
and the passion the developpers and the bosses have for their product is incomparable.
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Bandittt
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Bandittt » 18 Nov 2018, 14:29

Cheers TMarc for the wise words. And also thanx for the nice insides.

You as a dev guy defineteley feel it right at the core. In my work as a strategist/consulter, I co-work mostly with the client's team leads, but also with the UX & dev. teams to develop prototype ideas etc. as a part-step of the whole strategy process. One of my jobs is to bring the client's "unrealistic features & silly deadlines" into a realistic strategy & customer-centric shape to create a solution, achieved through a great product. This is the hardest part as you may assume ;)

At Nadeo you don't have to be a UX magician from Apple to understand that the product "Maniaplanet" for sure doesn't work properly. Like I mentioned: You have to be customer-orientated at every product, especially on digital platforms. To achieve that, you simply have to test it over and over by casual users (!), not by your dev. team members casually 10 minutes before lunch. Meanwhile this testing & improving phase is quite common at lots of UX & dev. related companies, as you surely know.

MP 4.1 feels exactly like that: Ca. 5 people have worked on their own tasks, finished them and gave an "OK" after that. But: Nobody has tested the whole thing afterwards, so it seems. A UI above a UI, content with mixed-languages, many basic features simply don't work, many UX user-flows simply don't work too & bugs got created. To be honest here: I know lots of companies that would immediately kick out the team lead who was responsible for a public release like that. No joke.

And here we go again: The community saved it like Marius89 in a TTC race. Hooray! A big honest "cheers!" to all the smart guys like you, Miss, Riolu, Speedy etc. who found workarounds etc. etc. But: You guys are already work for Nadeo, I hope you know that. I'm afraid they got pretty used to that "community parachute" option.

Like I also mentioned before: It's not about a bug here & there. I'm playing Quake Champions for a while since it's still in Beta and many things work different there. Ofc the game got a major change like the special ability for any character right now that raged a bit the community and so on, but Bethesda does simply the better job. The Beta-process is very very slow currently, but you won't find any UX or work process related major issues like in MP 4.1 on nearly any update. It's just good quality. Like TM, the Quake scene is very old (+ even older, since 1996!), so the users are very picky and simply expect a great, working product. Btw., so do the Fortnite players.

Could be, should be, would be. At the end, we as (paying) users always expect a functional & nice product, especially at an update for a 7-year old one (MP). Like I said: We are pretty much used to the lack of the dev. abilities at Nadeo (harsh, but that's what it is) - but imagine all those kids from the current so-called "Fortnite-generation" who bought TM after they saw the amazing (marketing-) job of folks like Zerator and simply stumble over the bad UI and the defective UX in MP. I wonder how many TM keys straight went to the bin. Assuming again, but realistic I guess.

So GG for the great conversation here ;) Ofc it will just stay like that & we won't change a thing, but - tbh again - it's simply not my job to analyse Nadeo's work & business behaviour deeply & to develop more efficient & relevant change mgmt. strategies for them, at least not unpaid & as a paying product user ;)

Monk9443
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Monk9443 » 23 Nov 2018, 12:52

Hello, i'm going to chime in a bit here. It looks tense and fun and i get to speak some gibberish so why not.

Firstly i would like to say that bragging with your current work or past work experiences means little on the internet. For all you people know i may as well be a cat. Also important thing to note is that most work experience, especially so in big companies, is not transferable. While it may be applicable on a smaller scale, judging things by your standards is just bad practice. Do try to evade that behavior.

Nadeo has been nadeo for like always, nothing will change, there is no need to insult or defend them. They have bad practices they will not change and well at the end of the day it is their product. If someone has the power to turn off people from the game it should be the people who made it. Oh and business based on trust is bad business.

Just to mention, maniaplanet is one big service, so a small change can have big consequences. Not that i am defending nadeo, in hindsight it was a really bad decision to make one big platform since support get exponentially harder with more releases. But who am i to judge.

Was a really fun thread to read, am hoping for more. Do continue.

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null8fuenf10
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by null8fuenf10 » 23 Nov 2018, 14:42

@Bandit


Wise words, NADEO should think about... :1010


Greetings :pil

Frankthetankmp
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Frankthetankmp » 23 Nov 2018, 15:33

@Banditt
Interesting opinion. I can agree with most of it.

Bandittt
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Re: Help for the core Nadeo issues

Post by Bandittt » 25 Nov 2018, 21:09

Monk9443 wrote:
23 Nov 2018, 12:52
"bragging with your current work or past work experiences means little on the internet."
There's a difference between explaining where someone comes from and bragging. If describing very objectively where I'm coming from to explain why & what I know about issue-solving in teams & companies related to the infos & ideas I've written about, and you see it as "bragging", it's your problem. You have to be aware of the fact that every TM player and/or forum reader has a different job background here (baker, car repair shop owner, astronaut, IT coder, professional cat etc.), so you always have to explain your experience background before you might open your mouth with writing things about issues & solutions. Maybe I should link my LinkedIn profile or my current portfolio next time. I guess it's also a difference if I would be a little gaming shitkid talking crap about Nadeo than having some useful experience with issues like those.
Monk9443 wrote:
23 Nov 2018, 12:52
there is no need to insult or defend them.
As I said: Objective research & a derivation is not insulting. It's a normal process. My louder comments are loud to wake some people up, but I'm very sure that they're true (it's not so hard figuring out that e.g. a bad product doesn't work well for people). It's not about opinions, but about proven facts.
Monk9443 wrote:
23 Nov 2018, 12:52
They have bad practices they will not change and well at the end of the day it is their product.
"They won't change" is a proofless assuming. Ofc it's their product, but me, some other thousand people and also maybe you have already PAID for a product which is currently undergoing again through lots of bad services. Btw.: It's not 100% their product anymore. If you substract all community-created work, support & content, you would be surprised what would be left then.

Btw. MP 4.1. is going better now. Wake me up when it's working.

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