My only hangup is: When you say we can't ask about specific games, does that mean also questions such as "Did you expect (audience reaction) when you made (X Game)? Would (X Game) have been better if its announcement had been delayed until (X Event)?"
Maybe not the best example, but I'm curious. Otherwise, I'm excited for this idea.
That's because NeoGAF was averted to change and stagnant for years.
But let's not derail the thread. I love the idea, I only ask that you do whatever you do keeping in mind us Europeans and our time zones. However the fact it isn't going to be live already alleviate some fears.
I think it's a wonderful idea but, like others have stated, it's questionable how effective or doable it would be in the first place, and what would the benefits be for the developers, or rather what would it take to attract devs and industry people to invest some significant time and effort to answer the more interesting and deeper questions, apart from marketing purposes.
It would be useful to maybe organize these Q&As as prep work and research for more elaborate editorials or articles, in the sense that the ERA staff and some of the more knowledgeable forum members would not only curate everyone's random questions, but they'd also decide on and clarify the overall theme or topics of that specific Q&A so that the end result is indeed a useful and insightful collection of answers. What I see as a potentially bright future for this idea is a treasure trove of interviews and insights into the nitty-gritty details of game development, more akin to Gamasutra articles, Noclip's short documentaries, Jeff Gerstmann's more casual talks with devs during E3, podcast interviews and the like. That kind of format relies heavily on the interviewer's (in this case, the entire forum) professionalism, industry knowledge (both of which most people don't have, naturally) and familiarity with the devs (which ResetEra would hopefully build with time), so that they can ask the right questions in a respectable manner while also making the interviewees feel comfortable enough to answer those questions. I feel those are the environments and situations where I've seen the most honest, insightful and human answers from devs, and for a good reason. And I'm not necessarily suggesting that the end result would have to be an edited article, just suggesting that we should probably organize the Q&A process in a way that will be the most effective and most welcoming for everyone.
I'm sure a lot of smaller, newer indie devs will be a bit more willing to do these Q&As, especially at first, and would be more open to answer all sorts of questions, which is awesome. As for more experienced veterans and industry people working in bigger studios, it might be smarter to start by having more specific Q&As with much narrower topics, inviting artists, sound designers and musicians, writers, level designers, programmers etc. to talk about who they are, their experiences in the industry, the company they now work or have worked for, their own creative process, what it looks and feels like to work in large teams, their sources of inspiration, what drives them, how was it like to work on X project and working with X person or just really talk about one of those aspects for the entirety of the Q&A session, and find a way for the ResetEra team to get honest and informative answers in a thoughtful way. Of course, a lot of these questions would still be difficult to answer, especially depending on the company the interviewee works in and their position in said company, so I imagine it would be very important to make a very specific, narrowed down list of topics, but also be mindful to ask the questions that would get the most interesting and insightful responses without exhausting the devs with thousands upon thousands of very similar, often asked questions that would most often get a generic response. The ResetEra team could even suggest certain topics of inquiry to the community, based on the narrower theme of the Q&A, so that everyone might think of more specific and interesting questions to ask.
Even if this would to become a bit of a marketing platform for devs, it could still be a great way of communication and a great source of knowledge if done well.
While Q&As can be interesting, this will probably mainly work as a marketing platform for the developers. The most controversial questions will not be answered (or selected), and if they do, it will be in form of PR-responses, that only serve to work as marketing tools.
I'm probably being a bit negative here, but what would any developer have to gain by using their time on this? Except for the free marketing, that is.
This is a great idea. I'm an indie dev with quite a few years' experience in AAA, and most of my experience on the business/production side of things. Happy to feedback to any questions that are relevant to my area. Things like finding a job, starting a company, working at a company, everyday running of a business, finding funding, and more. Email sent.