Andrew Krausnick

Executive Producer, Trion Worlds

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 10, 2015

Discussion

Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
I have spent the last 8 years designing online games and am at present the lead developer of Trove (a free to play sandvox RPG for PC and Mac which you should download right now). When I’m not making or playing games I also enjoy a well-made cocktail and exploring San Francisco. I can be found online making only the finest tweets at @heyandrewk.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@heyandrewk Thanks for being here today. 🙌During your career to date, what has been your a) most challenging moment and how did you overcome it? b) proudest moment and why? c) most surprising moment?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@ems_hodge Definitely! a) We've gone through three iterations of the game that is now Trove. Starting from 0 multiple times and expecting that each time you're going to make something great is a huge challenge. End of the day you have to always give it everything you have, no matter what the outcome could be. b) Beta launch for Trove. This is when it felt real. This was something that I'd been working on from nothing, seeing it grow has been fascinating. c) The most surprising thing has been how much I've enjoyed live streaming on Twitch. We do it every Friday and I'm a natural introvert, but I've gotten used to being there and it has been a blast.
Tyrynn@tyrynnstormrage · twitch.tv/tyrynn
Hey Avarem! I've been so impressed with how interactive the dev team has been with its players and specifically (and selfishly) the streaming community as well. What made you guys decide to be so interactive with the players and streamers? I have never played a game with devs as interactive and supportive as you guys are!
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@tyrynnstormrage It's cheesy, but the games are about the players. I actually wish we could do more!
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@heyandrewk @tyrynnstormrage And to elaborate a bit - we also knew with the type of game we wanted to build (community content, collaboration, etc. that it would be very important) On top of that we have a dev team which I think as abnormally high skills when it comes to being able to be let loose in front of players (it can be a tough relationship, obviously we can't always keep everyone happy or doing what they want, plus also you guys can give us feedback we need to hear but it can be hard to hear sometimes too).
Tyrynn@tyrynnstormrage · twitch.tv/tyrynn
@heyandrew I honestly think that this is what makes Trove stand out - seeing community created content in game is really awesome and something I find super intriguing. Thanks for making such a fun game! :)
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@taliyuri I think some areas (adventure boxes, dragons, classes) we will eventually slow down or change up how the systems work. Not everything works forever and it's an evolving game. That's what makes it so hard to answer this type of question. I will say that I see the game having wider reach, systematic improvements across the board (I can't wait to do Clubs 2.0) and other such improvements. One coming soon (that is causing some... uh... strangeness with today's patch) and relevant to you is including our ability to localize the game in other languages. And even exposing this to you guys to be able to create language mod packs for the client as well.
Tali@taliyuri
@heyandrewk Oh wow! I wasn't expecting that, but I'm very happy to know, just seen the en and fr folders! Thanks!
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@heyandrewk Hey Andrew! Obviously you guys have done a great job separating Trove from the pack, but when you were starting out, were there concerns that people would dismiss you guys as just another Minecraft clone because of the art style? Obviously the two games are vastly different, but I'm curious if you ever ran into any issues with this.
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@russfrushtick Absolutely! And Cube World also came up. Especially when it came to talking about the game very early, before a lot of our features were ready. At the end of the day you have to trust that what you're making will stand on its own and that you'll be able to win people over.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What idea in game design have you seen recently that made you think, "Damn, I wish I thought of that first"?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@jacqvon I bet if I said Minecraft here that would get some attention... but I'll go personal and say "Magic: The Gathering". It is probably my number one all time game and I love everything about it. From how they work in a sense of world and place to the interlocking mechanics and giant community. Despite the success of other games in that area I think it has really stood the test of time.
Tali@taliyuri
Hey Andrew, happy to see you're doing this so i can ask some of the 50 questions i had saved for you. Trove has new updates and new content being added so often, which is why most people play it, but how do you see trove in , let's say, 5 years with all this being added so frequently? (maybe having 30 different classes to choose from?)
Ken Kaneki@_shadowkaneki_
@heyandrewk when in trove come the mastery cap patch will it be 250 or 300 ?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@_shadowkaneki_ Not sure yet, but it will be either 250 or 300! And we'll be doing it before the end of the year.
Kukui@kukuigaming
@heyandrewk Are there any plans to add harder content? Currently the content is so easy that everyone wants to build pure dmg, but with the new class, Revenant, we somewhat brake that meta. Because of this, a lot of players feel that playing another class that can do higher dmg is better, as why would you want to be super tanky if you can kill everything in a matter of seconds with a class like the Lancer or Boomeranger?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@kukuigaming Fantastic question. There is plans for harder content, and we also want to add more variety where different classes can shine. Not something that will happen until a bit more in the future, but it's something to be on the lookout for.
Derekxec@derekxec
@heyandrewk Love the game man, but I have to grill you some. One of the main problems I see with Trove is optimization. What is being done to improve it and are we going to see any pure bug fix patches instead of new content patches anytime soon?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@derekxec I like the grill. If we need our feet to the fire, I really don't mind if you guys do it. One of our goals going into Christmas and New Year is to make sure we can enjoy our holiday and feel like things are in a good place. We're going to slow down content some and focus on improvements to game mechanics. The PvP/Battle Arena stuff is the last major feature of the year. I'm going to start a thread hopefully later today to solicit some additional community feedback on this as well.
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@heyandrewk @derekxec Also, to add some more detail here. There are some areas that are easier for us to address and we're committed to in the short term (mechanical fixes, individual system optimizations) and some areas that are higher priority but also going to require some longer form refactoring and work (server downtime and optimizations). These will both be ongoing and you'll see more immediate results from the short term fixes and the longer term ones will come online as that work is completed.
Derekxec@derekxec
@heyandrewk Sounds good man! I look forward to it :)
Nima nadari@nima_nadari · Shneems McDunmire
@heyandrewk How does your face being an emote on @dunmire1234's stream make you feel? We're you even a little bit surprised when he did that?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@nima_nadari It makes me feel the love. Not at all surprised.
Ryan Dunmire@dunmire1234 · Twitch Partner, I yell on the internet
@heyandrewk On a serious note, thank you so much for doing everything you do for the community! We appreciate it more than you know<3 Now on to my questions! What's it like being so beautiful? Also, tell us about your path leading up to being the Lead Dev of such a successful game! A lot of people ask where you see yourself in 5 years, did you ever see yourself in this position 5 years ago?
Nima nadari@nima_nadari · Shneems McDunmire
@dunmire1234 dunC dunH
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@dunmire1234 Beauty is a curse my friend. Mostly I just kept working on it and nobody told me to stop so that's how you ended up stuck with me. In 5 years... I could barely tell you what I'll do in 5 months. But hopefully still doing the type of thing I'm doing right now. It's a lot of work and also a lot of fun.
*Wheels out dead horse* Plasma Fish? :D
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi @heyandrewk thanks so much for joining us today. Would love to hear how you monetise a free games site? Which platform is more popular with you and your users, mac or PC? P.S. What is your fave cocktails?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@harrystebbings Right now PC is more popular than Mac, but largely due to where we started. We spent a lot of time building up that audience (I still remember the days of logging in to the alpha servers and being able to hang out with all 100 people online). I expect that over time they'll get closer. Mac still has a lower representation as a gaming platform, but we have some hardcore fans there already. Rules for monetizing free to play: respect your players and give them something they want to pay for. Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Hi Andrew, excited to chat! Any interest/thoughts on bringing Trove to other platforms? Console perhaps?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@alexcartaz We would love to bring Trove to console. It's one of those things I can't talk about right now, but I will point out that we have controller support and that we'd love to get feedback on how that is working out!
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@heyandrewk hey Andrew! Thank's for doing this AMA. I'm wondering, what's the best thing you've come across in the last 30 days and why? Could be anything, a product, an article, a tea, a quote. Anything! Thanks for answering.
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@daniellevine I picked up a book called 'Idea Work' a few months ago while in Denmark but haven't gotten to dive in to it until this month and it's great. It's about creative thinking in all types of industries from law to finding new sites for oil and what ties them all together. My favorite quote so far from it, "Good ideas don't develop from consensus. Ideas need to be tested, to meet resistance and criticism, before they can become good. Tough problems are a source of energy and creativity. This is what drives us forward."
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@daniellevine Also, Fallout 4 is pretty great.
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What's been the biggest struggle for you in the development of Trove?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@jakecrump It's a lot easier to make and add stuff to a game like Trove than most other games. That makes it really hard to not want to do everything.
Kate@katesegrin · Community @Tierion
What has been the most fun SF adventure you've been on?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@katesegrin I love walking around the city, especially in areas that are harder to get to. Mount Sutro and Land's End are both amazing for being out of the way and not feeling at all like a major metropolitan area despite being within San Francisco. There was also something called the Games of Nonchalance but that has sadly ended... worth a look though via a documentary called 'The Institute'
Kate@katesegrin · Community @Tierion
What's your take on the current state of indie games?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@katesegrin Having never made one, I am reluctant to speak too strongly. That said, one of the big things right now is people saying 'it's over' since there's so many games and so few succeed. I think that's always been true, but it's easy to forget all the games that never made it in the past and just focus on what worked. Just making a 'good game' isn't all you need to do for success in games, but I think there's still plenty of room for good ideas executed well.
Derekxec@derekxec
@heyandrewk When are you guys going to start using the test server as a test server instead of a preview server?
Andrew Krausnick@heyandrewk · Executive Producer, Trion Worlds
@derekxec If you knew how often it crashes... We update it a ton and test on it often. The marketplace and PvP have both gotten a ton of testing there and I log in to it more than I do live these days.