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  • Looking back on the community in 2013


    KasperVld
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    <table width="100%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;">

    <table width="80%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;">A personal note

    The year 2013 is coming to a close, and what a year it's been! I joined the community team back in January. Being asked to do this was a big honour. I had some previous experience, such as being the community manager for a small open source clone of Theme Hospital called CorsixTH, but nothing quite prepared me for what I was about to face. It's been a great learning experience and overall I'm very pleased with how things went over the last year. In my current position as senior global moderator I work directly with Rowsdower to manage the community and perform administrative and moderation tasks. This community is a shining pearl in the ocean of gaming communities: people treat eachother with respect, make constructive contributions and share their common enthusiasm in a way that is not often seen. Sure, things can go wrong sometimes but we have a great community moderation team that steps in, often because the community members report problematic situations to us. The community as it is now would be impossible without this co-operation.

    2012 was a year in which the community management professionalized, and 2013 is no different. We've had a big restructuring in the moderation team, we've got a new community manager, the PR department got involved, the rules were rewritten, the infraction system revised, helpful sticky threads were introduced.... the list is very long and represents hundreds of hours of work by many people. The foundations of improvement were laid by people who have since left us, of course this includes the former community managers Captain Skunky and Damion Rayne, but also the moderators who came before me, and we mustn't underestimate their share in forming the community; we owe them a lot and their work has been invaluable. The most challenging time for me was the void between the departure of Captain Skunky as community manager and the arrival of Rowsdower. Together with the other senior global moderators sal_vager and Ascensiam I was left in charge of the forums with background support from Maxmaps, who did a great job in what must've been a stressful time for him as well. It may have been the most challenging time, but it also represented a great opportunity to get to work on things that had bothered me for quite some time. Cutting overhead, re-arranging user groups, the new infraction system... Community management almost became a full time job for me at that point which didn't go too well with my Criminology study and regular job, but things worked out in the end.

    We've had challenging times as well, think of 'the great April forum Kraken attack' which wiped almost all content from the forums between September 2012 and April 2013. I think you can understand the amount of work that generated for the community team, but again everyone soldiered on and chipped in to make sure the forums went back to normal as soon as possible. The move to our new host also presented some issues but they were quickly solved. Many improvements were made to the stability of the forums: those of you who were around during the pre 0.19 era will remember that when a new version of KSP was released the forums would not work at all for at least a day or two because the servers were being used beyond their limits by people downloading their new copy of KSP. In 2013 the forums were put on their own server, the downloads were moved to an off-site cloud service and a patcher was introduced. The 0.23 release was the smoothest I've seen so far, and looking at how much work Squad is putting into it I believe it can only get better.</td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/md81msU.png" /></td></tr></table>

    <table width="80%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" colspan="3">People who moved on</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/CvpsLN5.png" /></center></td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/mym46VT.png" /></center></td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/ZtdfI6t.png" /></center></td></tr><tr><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><b>Damion Rayne<br /></b>Then: Community Manager <br />Now: Lead Designer on <a href="http://www.seedofandromeda.com/" target="_blank">Seed of Andromeda</a><br /> </td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%"><b>Ted<br /></b>Then: Senior Global Moderator<br />Now: QA lead for Squad<br /> </td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><b>Captain Skunky<br /></b>Then: Community Manager<br />Now: digital currency trader<br /> </td></tr><tr><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%">Working for Squad and being a part of the KSP Project was some of the best times in my life. I never thought I'd go from Military service to working in the games industry, and the team and Squad made that whole thing happen. They launched my career and gave me something to strive for. I learned a lot, mostly from a great deal of mistakes, but still learned a lot nontheless. I use what I learned now in several projects that keep me busy day to day. The KSP community was, and still is (in my opinion) the best damn community on the internet. Thanks to all of you who supported me. All of you who were there for me, and all of you still there for me to this day. It was an honor and a pleasure.

    Fly Safe</td><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%">In 2013, I watched as KSP grew from a relatively 'underground' game to a top seller on Steam and the Community growing superbly alongside it. Managing a Community is no easy task and whilst it was never my discrete or specifically assigned task, I offered assistance in it where it was needed and volunteered innumerable hours for it. Mid-year I was employed as the QA Lead and took a step back from Community Moderation/Management. I'm inexpressibly glad to have interacted with the Community and watched it grow the way it did - undoubtedly due to each and every one of you contributing the outstanding KSP content that you do. Here's to the 2014 KSP Community!</td><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%">Watching KSP grow in 2013 with its release on Steam has been amazing. Seeing where KSP came from, how it was getting there, and thinking about where it can go has been wonderful experience. <br /><br /> I wish KSP and Squad an even bigger 2014 and a long future!</td></tr></table><table width="80%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/XgdHfUS.png" /></td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;">Initiatives that stood out

    You guys have produced many, many exceptional things. Whether you make Youtube videos, mission reports, mods or just participate in the general discussions surrounding KSP you contribute to the community. Some of those contributions stand out and we love to show them. The most notable community initiative of the year without doubt must've been KSP-TV. Yargnit started rounding up KSP streamers with the vision of a channel where they could share the best live video content available for KSP. The names of Spootyman, EJ, Tanuki and the other KSP-TV streamers will be very familiar to most of you, and even before the project launched it was picked up by Captain Skunky and Squad, which resulted in a great channel with even better content. I haven't seen anything like this for any other game and everyone involved deserves a big compliment.

    Of course, KSP-TV is not the only intiative that stood out, but how do you make sure that the best ones stand out? To facilitate this the community team picks a list of threads every month and sticky's these, so they get maximum visibility on the forums. These threads of the month were an initiative started by sal_vager and I'm sure that the people who have been featured in them have (deservedly) received a lot of attention because of it. Modders, streamers and fan work artists have also been given a permanent spot in what was first the KSP Weekly but is now the Daily Kerbal.

    Another shout goes out to the International forums. They've been expanded this year, giving more room to the most popular foreign languages on the forums. Of course, having people post in a foreign language a lot also requires that the community team can keep an eye on it, so new moderators had to be found. Compliments all around: the International forums are made possible by the support from the community members who applied to moderate them.

    Mods
    Mods are and always have been a part of KSP. The modding community produces quality work which has become an invaluable part for most people here on the forums. Mods allow you to customize your game and will make KSP provide a gaming experience that closely resembles what you want, and that's what makes KSP great in my opinion. In itself, KSP is a great game but when you combine different sets of mods you get a completely different experience. You can go the realistic route and add mods such as [thread=54954]Deadly Reentry[/thread], [thread=26935]Ioncross Crew Support[/thread] or [thread=56399]RemoteTech[/thread] and [thread=24646]Figaro[/thread], or you can do different things with mods such as [thread=25241]B9 Aerospace[/thread], procedural [thread=39512]fairings[/thread] and [thread=29862]wings[/thread]. Of course there are also the mods that enhance already existing game features, for example the [thread=50524]Enhanced navball[/thread] and the [thread=60227]Alternate Resource Panel[/thread]. And lets not forget two of the most popular mods: [thread=12384]Mechjeb[/thread] and [thread=23979]Kethane[/thread] as well as the promising [thread=55832]Scansat[/thread] and [thread=55835]KMP[/thread]. The list is nearly endless.</td></tr></table>

    <table width="80%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" colspan="3">People who joined the community team</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/S0a76kE.png" /></center></td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/dj0qy4a.png" /></center></td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><center><img src="http://i.imgur.com/FXYo5KN.png" /></center></td></tr><tr><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><b>Maxmaps<br /></b>PR Manager</td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%"><b>Calisker<br /></b>PR Manager</td><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%"><b>Rowsdower<br /></b>Community manager</td></tr><tr><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%">
    Joining the team, seeing the game and fanbase grow with release after release has been incredibly rewarding. Putting my skills to use in an environment like Squad and with a team like ours is so fun that I hesitate to call it work. Here's to making it all even bigger and more fun in 2014. A big shoutout to the moderation team here in the forums as well as the awesome people in KSPTV and Media group. You guys rock.</td><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="34%">
    Thanks to each of you who play KSP. It's a fun group of gamers to support and we appreciate the support we've been given for a game that's not even finished yet! 2014 should be a special year for Squad, KSP and those who participate in our community. Happy New Year!</td><td style="vertical-align: top; align: center; text-align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;" width="33%">
    When I stepped into the role of CM, I came to find out one thing very, very quickly. There's no community more passionate, with more direct access to the people behind the game than this one. I take pride in being your community manager and look forward to every single change - every single tide that turns in 2014. Big things are on the way and I can't wait to share in these upcoming experiences with you. Thanks for being a community truly worth being a part of."</td></tr></table>

    <table width="80%" align="center" class="cms_table" style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><tr style="vertical-align: bottom; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;"><td style="vertical-align: bottom; align: center; border: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;">Statistics

    So you're thinking to yourself: they can tell me all they want, I don't believe 2013 was such a good year before I see some numbers. Fear not! We've sent out our Kerbal interns to the innermost dungeons of the forums and they returned with suitcases full of meaningless numbers, and a single sheet of numbers we could actually work with. Lets start with the member count: on December 31st 2012 the forums were home to approximately 59,000 members, which has risen to approximately 101,000 on December 31st 2013, a rise of 71,2%. Together with the 59,000 existing members the 42,000 new members have left us more than 560,000 new posts in 35,392 new threads, which, compared to the 235,139 new posts in 17,591 new threads in 2012, means a rise of 138.3% in new posts and 100.1% in new threads between 2012 and 2013.

    2012 also marked a new peak in the amount of users that were online at the same time: 4,128 people visited our forums on the 22nd of May, around 8:30PM GMT. The most often viewed thread is the [thread=12384]Mechjeb[/thread] thread. The most often replied to thread is the [thread=24533]Show off your awesome KSP pictures[/thread] thread. General KSP Discussion is still the most popular forum and our very own sal_vager has posted more messages than any other member: 6,905 posts!

    Moderation

    Tens of thousands of new members, tens of thousands of new threads, hundreds of thousands of new posts, what does that translate to in terms of community management? To put it bluntly: it translates to a lot of work! In total we have recorded just over 26,000 moderator actions since the middle of August, ranging from approving posts from new members to closing threads and handing out warnings or infractions. Moderators are watching over 2,000 - 3,000 new posts every day and log between 6,000 and 7,000 actions every month.

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    The year 2014



    The year 2014 is one of many opportunities and hopefully fewer problems than 2013. We're going to try our hardest, but for now we can look back at a very successful 2013, despite the bumps. Community Management is not an exact science and different people approach it differently so there will definitely be changes over the coming year, but we'll worry about them as they arrive.

    On behalf of the whole community team I wish you a happy new years & best wishes for 2014!

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    Errandum: the initiative for KSP-TV came from the old community managers, though Yargnit does maintain it.

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