Once again, the Tropican Ministry of Propaganda and Misinformation has conducted an interview with the magnificent producer of Tropico 6, ‘Don’ Martin Tosta, who took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about how requests from the community and beta testers are finding their way into the game.
Tropico’s favourite former radio hosts (Tropico News Today Radio) Penultimo and Sunny Flowers are back to make this interview possible, as well as our sponsor, El Prez’ Swiss Bank Ltd.
Penultimo: Mr. Tosta. Thank you for giving us your time once again. Would you be able to talk about how the great feedback from the Tropico 6 beta testers finds its way into the game?
Martin Tosta: Of course! This process indeed needs some explanation. First, it all starts from within the community of our dedicated beta testers. From here, all discussions and feedback are gathered by our team.
Sunny Flowers: So you’re actively in touch with the community?
Martin Tosta: Absolutely. Any player can get in touch with us. Either via our official forums, social media channels or Steam community hubs, to name just a few possible channels. And naturally, we always try to get back to them as much as we can, all while still developing the game.
When players share their feedback and ideas, our Community Management and Quality Assessment teams starts to gather them together, sorting them out and creating a pool of requests. They then filter them by validity and feasibility, eliminate duplicates, and send the results over to the producers, who will then work together with the developers to discuss which of the requests can and should be done. The objective is to get as many requests done as possible with the given time and resource constraints, as the development of the game is still ongoing. Every single remaining request is then sorted into 3 categories:
Rejected ideas are those that are impossible to develop/implement. The reasons could be because they would change the core of the game completely, require too much change to the structure of the game, or simply do not fit thematically into Tropico or the genre in general, for example.
Backlog ideas are solid and will be stored, but they might require more time or they are dependent on another step in the development that needs to be achieved first, e.g. the implementation of a gameplay mechanic or the creation of art assets.
Sometimes, requests will also have be put here to simply achieve a healthy task load for the development team.
Implementation means that the idea/feature will be directly integrated into the internal development planning.
Sunny Flowers: So, when an idea has made it into implementation, it will be in the game pretty quickly?
Martin Tosta: Wouldn’t that be great? There are many steps to be followed and departments to be involved before a request is implemented, though. Let’s take the Trade UI changes as example, from our latest January Update.
The process starts with the art department, which has to create new assets, or edit existing assets from the game. From there, our game designers need to design systems for the features and behavior of the new UI. They also need to check, if the new system is not breaking or intervening with other features of the game.
Next, the coding department starts programming and actually implementing it.
Once all this is done, we go back to testing to check that the new UI works correctly in-game. If everything looks good, then we’re able to release the new feature. Bug fixing also goes through a similar process, but has an additional step, which is QA team testing and verifying bugs.
Pretty impressive, right? There are so many hard-working people involved in making Tropico the best it can be. In fact, they are going through this process now while you’re reading this article.
The Ministry of Propaganda and Misinformation
Sunny Flowers – Freelance writer. Loves Tropico and its flora and fauna.
Penultimo – The voice of Tropico, and right-hand of our beloved El Presidente.
Martin Tosta – The real voice of Tropico and producer of Tropico 6 at Kalypso Media.