PM Letter - May 2018

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  • Hello Sprite Messengers

    Finally, we can use the forum gain. So now it is about time that you receive an update from the current Grand Fantasia team!!

    In this Team Letter we will focus on the new members and give a few general updates. As always, we can’t go into detail on every topic, but we hope we will be able to give a little insight.

    April was a month with a lot of changes (and other surprises). Product Manager (PM) Morgoth left, I - former Assistant Product Manager (APM) Mechium - became new PM, APM Darthbear is meanwhile the APM of Aura Kingdom and Community Manager (CM) Alikar became the new APM of Grand Fantasia.

    *gasp for air*

    Doing the math, you’ll probably realise that there is one CM less. But appearances are deceiving, as we have already found a replacement:

    Proudly presenting CM Cucudrula! Followed by a self presentation:

    Hi Messengers!

    Im Cucudrula! The new GM for ES.

    Im from Venezuela, although I lived a few years in Spain before being here with you.

    Obviously, I´m starting... I´ll try to catch up as soon as possible! To be able to help each other and make this family bigger and more nice every day.

    Any questions or suggestions, you already know where to contact me!

    Last but not least I’d like to emphasize that I am very happy to be back on Grand Fantasia and hope to stay here for a while. Those who have played our games for a longer time will know that we change and shift people a lot. Maybe not more than in other companies, but it is much more visible.

    I joined Aeria Games in March 2016 as CM (formerly GM) on Aura Kingdom US and DE, in-between I was also CM for mobile games, later I was APM on Grand Fantasia and recently PM of Wolfteam. I’ve moved desks roughly 20 times already, but that keeps me fit.

    I wanted to work in a gaming company as I used to be a gamer myself and wanted to see how things work behind the scenes. Also, very important for me, is that as much as I meanwhile see a game as a product, it is your free time you spend on the game. I want you to have as much fun and as little worries as possible.

    On Grand Fantasia my main aim is to keep the game not only alive, but also vivid. So, as I get back into the game, I hope to pick up where Morgoth left and continue with the improvements (economy, bug fixes, …) that he brought to the game. GF is in pretty good shape already though.

    Obviously I don’t have as much in-game experience as Morgoth has, so I’ll be happy to read your feedback (in this thread if you like) and we will listen to it where we can. I also have a crush on documentation, for which I’m spending quite some time on currently.

    If you want to know more, poke me on Discord. I am a rare sight at the moment, as I’m concentrating on - you would never guess - documents and documentation. Also presentations, reportings, technical “stuff” etc. may block me now and then. I still try to be as present and responsive as possible - if it takes me a week to reply, just poke me again.

    Of course, as the team changes some former decisions or certain processes may change over time. This is necessary as we need to not only adjust to in-game changes but also to changes in the company and team. It isn’t always nice, but some decisions are made so we can simply manage the workload.

    This leads me to the next topic:

    Last year the Product Support Team took over the test and live QA of maintenances and patches of all games. Step by step and due to structural changes in the company, a big part of this field is being handed back to the game teams. In April the CMs already took over the maintenance QA and they are currently being introduced to patch QA. On average, each team member will spend 16h a month on QA related tasks. It may not seem a big deal, but it also means 2 of workdays of ~25 days per month less for community and customer related tasks.

    Bank holidays, sickness, vacation, team changes etc. have an additional negative effect on the daily tasks. Most noticeable will be the response time of our tickets, but we have adjusted and are working on reducing the response time. Meanwhile, we ask for your patience.

    That was it for now. If you have comments or questions, feel free to post below.

    See you soon!

    PM Mechium