State of Production #11
August 27, 2020
Hello everyone, my name is Tim Perreault and I’m the Executive Producer at New World Interactive. August has been an exciting month for the Studio; we’ve been putting the finishing touches on and releasing Clean Sweep, announced an acquisition by the Embracer Group, made some big changes in our Player Support process, updated the hiring portal on our website, and are making huge strides in our 1.8 development.
Key Points of State of Production #11
- 1.7.1 Clean Sweep Release
- Embracer Group
- Player Support Site Update
- Careers Page Update
- Studio News and 1.8 Development
1.7.1 Clean Sweep Release
We’ve recently released a minor update for Sandstorm, 1.7.1 Clean Sweep. This update was focused on responding to community feedback, optimization, bug fixes, and finishing our game engine upgrade plan. This was a huge opportunity for our programmers to focus on some bug fixes and optimizations they haven’t previously had an opportunity to work on. It also gave some of the other developers a chance to make some tweaks and fixes that have been on the back burner for a while. As Sandstorm continues to mature as a product, we intend to continue providing these minor updates between major content releases with more of an emphasis on responding to actionable community feedback.
It was recently announced that New World has joined the Embracer Group as part of Saber Interactive but continuing to operate as an independent studio. This is great news for Insurgency: Sandstorm as it means we will be able to leverage the skills and resources that come from being part of a larger group of studios. We are all extremely excited about what this opportunity means for our projects and we’re all looking forward to what the future holds. Check out our post here for a bit more information.
Player Support Site Update
Over the last few months, we’ve made some big changes in our Player Support process. I’ve invited our new Player Support Lead, Luke Simms, to speak directly about the big changes going on:
Hey everyone! Recently, Player Support made some structural changes in order to better serve our community and playerbase. As of this SoP’s release, I am pleased to announce the major update of NWI’s Support Desk which is coming Monday, September 7, 2020.
The main purpose behind our website update was to improve the way we handle and provide customer support. In order to achieve this, New World Support will be utilizing Zendesk for all of our support suite needs. Zendesk will allow us to organize player-submitted tickets with little to no limitations. With AI feedback, centralization features, and new incentives, Player Support will be able to apply user reports and feedback to our games in a streamlined fashion.
In addition to our internal changes, Player Support will be improving on several current policies and procedures. Earlier this month, we updated New World Interactive’s Official Community Guidelines with the goal of developing a more transparent look into our expectations of players. We’re also working on better player reporting/ban appeal policies, as evidenced by our new Developer Ban Appeal Form. Creating thorough and concrete protocol will continue to be a top priority for our team in the coming months.
Above all, we want to make customer experience an intrinsic part of NWI’s culture. Gamers are some of the most vocal customer bases there are, and because of our consistent development cycles, your feedback plays an integral part in identifying issues and determining what should be prioritized. Our mission is to assist players as quickly as possible with any problems they may be facing so that they can get back into the battlefield as soon as possible. With all of that said, I’m looking forward to hearing from some new voices within our updated support channel!
We’re always here and happy to help.
Careers Page Update
This month we rolled out an updated Careers page on our website in an effort to streamline our hiring process as we continue to grow. I’ve invited Roxann Morrill, our Special Projects Manager to talk about the new page:
When we arrived in Calgary our company was just over a dozen employees. Now that NWI is becoming part of the Embracer Group and Saber Interactive family, we are happy to announce the upcoming recruitment for many new positions that will enhance our development and production capabilities. We are also adding cool new tools to improve our hiring process. The integration of a new applicant tracking system (ATS) will ensure a smoother on-boarding experience for new hires and provide more visibility for prospective candidates. Our ATS will speed up the recruitment process enabling us to provide better and faster candidate screening. One of the highlights of the new ATS is the “Connect” tool, which helps candidates to submit their application, before jobs are posted, for departments they are interested in joining. In addition, candidates will be able to learn more about our team members from our new career website. Check it out here.
Studio News and 1.8 Development
With Clean Sweep out the door, our development team is now completely focused on the 1.8 update. We’ll be wrapping up development at the end of the month before moving into final testing and polish. You can expect to see teasers for upcoming content coming your way on our 1.8 website. For the first week of September, the entire studio will be taking time off to give everyone a much-needed break. After the week off we’ll be back and firing on all cylinders to get this release finalized, do our public Community Test of the release, and get it shipped in October. Keep your eyes on our release website for the latest!
That’s it for this month’s SoP, until next time, keep your stick on the ice.