The CSM Summit is next week. It has been a frustrating year so far. An anger making one in truth. It is a muddled mess and it has become harder and harder to sort out what can be said and what cannot yet be said and what shouldn't be said and what should. It is a greater struggle to remain polite or neutral about things. It is something that I have always prided myself in but it is something I have not been able to do for some weeks now.
I'm not happy to the change in the white paper that excludes media. I was less happy to learn about it second hand while at work when someone messaged me to inquire about it. I have presented that disappointment to CCP. It is an unacceptable break down in communication. I find myself rather embarrassed in such situations. It is the other side of honesty. "Hi there everyone. I had no knowledge of this change. I'm blindsided by a document that is supposed to define huge swaths of what I've been doing here."
It makes me angry enough that I don't want to have a polite, rational argument about the idea being a good one or not. Normally, I'd want to sit down and go over pros and cons and figure out what we are accomplishing. Now, I'm angry enough that I want to reject the change.
So, call me frustrated. Ishmael would be a cooler name, but I'll stick with frustrated. Actually, angry but I've been actively working back down to frustrated. I'm a hot head when I am angry and I will say things that I will not regret. However, I don't feel that I have the freedom to do that in a position that isn't just about me. Consider me late to the party.
It also means that next week I still get to be politely productive. I still get to make an effort to be comfortable to work with. Over the last few weeks I've struggled to express the 'stuff' aspect of the CSM. But maybe I can now.
Next week two things will happen. We will sit in many meetings and discuss aspects of game mechanics, player relationships, and pros and cons of the games development features. As happens each time we will learn good and bad things. Limits will have been reached by the developers. Mortality and the limits of it will be faced with all of its frustration. It will be as productive as we can make it.
The second part is, what feels like the endless dance of the CSMs position inside of CCP. Communication. Trust. Interactive. The place in CCPs informational cycle that includes the players feedback. There will be frustration that things where not averted sooner. Often that frustration is that things are not averted before you, the player knows of it. I've long considered that one of our more important jobs. I want developers to dream, reach, and stretch. I just want to be there to point out where it may cause harm or angst in their community before it gets there and frustrations build. I'm delighted when features are rolled back but I want to keep as many of those features from every reaching the public.
It has been a learning experience, one that I still find a bit overwhelming, to figure out how to balance all of these things. It is the second part that is the exhausting part. We're not employees. We're a weird volunteer contractor customer. But, we step into what I consider a professional relationship and when that relationship is not fulfilled and instead struggles along, it becomes an unpleasant experience.
It is one I've tried to share and I have come to feel that I've not done a good job of doing so. This is something I have to sit down and consider. Perhaps, when I write my retrospective, things will be more clear. For now, I refuse to give up on the potential of what we can be and what we should be.
I have a lot of unresolved issues to try to work into the table. More things are cropping up as these major changes are going forward. But that to is the nature of these things.