Volunteer Update

Oh, dear. That didn’t work at all!

In an attempt to re-connect with old volunteers whose contact information I had lost, and make it easier for me to organize my e-mails, I made a Volunteer page with clear instructions on how to contact me if you’re a volunteer. The result was a flood of new e-mails from people offering to volunteer to help out with the game. Since then, I’ve spent around 8 ~ 12 hours a day reviewing and replying to volunteers.

Even though I’ve been doing literally nothing but eating, sleeping, and reading e-mails for the past several days, I’ve still got dozens of e-mails remaining to answer, and I seem to be getting new ones at a faster rate than I can answer the old ones, so the pile only keeps growing! Most of the e-mails that I’m replying to are several days old already.

On one hand, it’s extremely heartwarming to know that so many people are generously offering to help out with Yandere Simulator. On the other hand, not a single new line of code has been added to the game since July 1st, aside from bug fixes.

Most volunteers who contact me are very skilled people, but I find myself not able to give them any tasks, because all tasks have already been taken up by the first people who volunteered. I constantly find myself thinking, “Drat, I shouldn’t have given the task to THAT guy. This other volunteer is WAY more skilled. I should have given the task to HIM, instead!” It’s an absolutely terrible situation to be in.

Because I’m going to be doing absolutely nothing but answering e-mails for the foreseeable future, it looks like it’ll be absolutely impossible to include anything remarkable or noteworthy in the game by July 15th. This is extremely disappointing to me, since the new Volunteer page was supposed to help development, not bring it to a complete halt. I don’t use the phrase “absolute disaster” very often, but I don’t know how else to describe this situation.

If you’re one of the people who e-mailed me at any point in the past week, I deeply apologize for how long you’ve had to wait for a response.

On a more positive note, the past week has put me in touch with dozens of extremely talented people who I’m absolutely honored to be acquainted with, and once I’ve “separated the wheat from the chaff”, so to speak, Yandere Simulator is going to have an absolutely awesome team behind it.

How can I help?

This is going to sound very harsh, but in the interest of saving my time and your time…

  • Don’t volunteer to be an artist if you can only draw stick figures.
  • Don’t volunteer to be a voice actor if your microphone sounds like a tin can and a string.
  • Don’t volunteer to be a 3D modeller if your idea of “texturing” is downloading an image from Google and putting it onto a model with no UV mapping whatsoever.

61 thoughts on “Volunteer Update

  1. Ok for the ones that want to show you fanart,do you have a special page? Or even a facebook or deviantart account? 🙂

    • I think that’s an idea. In order to unload e-mail at least a little it would be good to create another way to send fanarts. Deviantart account or forum topic somewhere, or gallery, of facebook group.

      Will see what is the YanDev’s opinion.

  2. To be honest, I don’t think anyone would mind not having a reply if their email is unimportant or just some fanart, since it’s just impeding progress on the game. You could always wait and reply to the fanmail and such later on, when you feel like you have made a enough progress to relax a little. That’s just my opinion though. C:

    A DeviantArt group sounds like a good idea too. Or perhaps a forum to organize things?

  3. Hey YandereDev ! First, I want to say good luck with all that work, I’m sure you’re going to make it ! 😉

    So, I’ve read that you don’t want to hire a secretary because you only trust yourself, which is understandable. But still, it could be really helpful, even if the person only sorts the mails, like putting the fanart mails together, putting the already known bug mails together … It will spare you so much time and you could still count on yourself to see if the emails are important or not.

    If you ask people to volunteer to your work, it means that you trust them to do the job, right ? So why not ask someone to help you with that too ? 🙂

    That being said, of course it is just a suggestion. I bet you received a lot of messages like this one already, but I like to think that the more you’ll receive the more convince you’ll be ! 😛

    In the end I just hope that everything works fine to you and that you’ll keep having fun developping this game, I can wait to see it finished !

  4. Hm, Dev, I know it’s sad to say it, but… At this point you can’t reply e-mails and code Yandere Sim at the same time. I think you should update the game every 1st day of the month. Sad, I know, but I think it’s the better way to get rid of all those e-mails.

  5. It’s going to be a pretty tough job for just one person, but hopefully you can start to establish a team. At the very least, a second-in-command who could monitor and organize the volunteers while you focus on the game.

  6. Going to echo what I said last post, answering every single email is going to be the downfall of this game. You are flat out going to have to get an email guy if you want the game to make progress if you want to or not. The email count is only going to grow as the game gets more exposure.

  7. I say, make several different emails. One for bug reports, one for people working on the game, one for people who want to work on the game, and one for fan art and other fan-made things. I think it would really help sort things out a little better, so you don’t have to sift through so much without knowing what’s what

  8. You should make a new email address just for volunteers and add some tabs to this blog where people can post fan art and bug reports. I’m sure some people would be willing to moderate this blog for you.

  9. Perhaps you should have a designated day/s where you spend time answering emails, and not bother checking your emails until said day. And if you find anyone promising that wants to volunteer(Or has volunteered), just make a proper email for them to email you, one that’s not in the public domain and is limited to just the workers on your game, that you should check daily.

  10. “Don’t volunteer if you’re still in elementary school.”

    BWAHAHAHA I’m in middle school suckers! >:D AND I can draw really well for someone my age >:3

    • excuse me….you’re being kinda rude, like you’re better than many people…i checked your art in deviantart…i didnt want to do that but…sorry…guess you’re not enough…

    • I think your art is cute, but I don’t think it’s your right to say that you’re ‘good for your age’. You could say “I believe I am a good artist”. Stating an opinion like that as a fact is bragging, and kind of rude. But I still like your art tho 😉

      • Yes, I can get a bit rude and bossy when I’m angry. It’s easy to anger me, and I’m not good at optimist-ing. Maybe once school starts again, I can pick things up. But not now, not when I’m sad and angered and stuff.

    • No offense, but I checked your DeviantArt and your artwork is pretty shit. You’ve probably worked hard on your works, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact that your artwork is kinda crap.

  11. Frankly, you should probably just find a dedicated freelance artist/modeler of two and pay them, with the amount of work there is to do. Then you wouldn’t have to manage a bunch of people – just say here, modeller, I have modelling work, please go do it.

    The other things you should probably just save until closer to release anyway.

    That and closer to professionally talented people, particularly those with a lot of time on their hands, usually want to be paid for that work, as I’m sure you know :P.

    You could once again let on volunteers once the required dev work starts to decrease and you are really starting to work on visually polishing the game.

  12. You really should have a second email strictly for you and active volunteers. Also make use of the extra people and have 2-3people working on same project. That way you can chose the best work and have fallback if someone taps out

  13. Oh my.. I’m so happy you’re actually answering us volunteers! It’s extremely sweet of you! I hope the e-mails will become less soon and I hope that you get great volunteers and I’m myself glad to have sent you an e-mail!

    • No one really cares about that. There’s no enforcement there, whatever you choose to play is entirely up to you regardless of your age.

  14. If possible, you could always try some way to redirect volunteer emails to another email address at least. If you can do it right, that might at least filter out the people who didn’t get the format right for emailing, at least until you’ve had a chance to contact the people you’re confident working with.

  15. you are awesome

    09.07.2015, 08:05, “Game Development Blog” : > yanderedev posted: “Oh, dear. That didn’t work at all! In an attempt to re-connect with old volunteers whose contact information I had lost, and make it easier for me to organize my e-mails, I made a Volunteer page with clear instructions on how to contact me if you’re a ” > >

  16. mmm :/

    “I constantly find myself thinking, “Drat, I shouldn’t have given the task to THAT guy. This other volunteer is WAY more skilled. I should have given the task to HIM, instead!” It’s an absolutely terrible situation to be in.”

    that sucks but, yanderedev should probably make a note to his volunteers that if someone better comes along the task may be switched over.
    even though it may be hard for the previous volunteer to swallow, if its for the sake of making a better quality game then you should put that first. of course this is just my opinion~

  17. I think you should get a volunteer to help with project management. It sounds like you have a lot of admin task at hands and getting someone to help you with that sounds like something that will help you tremendously.

  18. For the love of God, STOP EMAILING HIM. It gives him an excuse to rake in the donations without doing anything.

    • Wow, you have this entirely backwards.
      As a backer, I’m much, much more annoyed with the people emailing, than the way Dev chooses to spend his time.
      Consider, too, that a donation is not an exchange; you are owed nothing for the money you send. Your expectations of being given any future game updates are self-fabricated.

  19. JUST START A FORUM ALREADY. It will be million times more efficient for you to gather and manage all that feedback.

    • Another awesome proposal.
      But it will require him to set the forum, and that means less time devoted to Yan-chan.

  20. I know with hotmail you can make rules for how emails are sorted. I’m not sure how it works for other email services, but I would imagine it’s at least possible to do so (if you haven’t already done so). Different folders could be made depending on the content of the message (and what’s in the subject line), and while it might not help with the amount of messages you’ll receive, you’ll at least be able to focus on the more important ones.

  21. Maybe it’ll sound harsh. But if you don’t do anything but read and reply to emails by August 1st, I’ll withdraw my support in Patreon.
    Get a secretary or don’t, but our support is not for you to spend your time replying mails.

  22. If I were you, I wouldn’t reply to any of the emails. I’m sure those who sent you one wouldn’t mind, because in my opinion, wasting time answering them WILL be the downfall of “Yandere Simulator”. Just don’t answer them for a little while, and when you finally made some progress with the game, sort them out. Because it sounds to me that you’re just mindlessly going through the emails without a clue whether they’re useful or worthless, which leads to you wasting 8 hours writing back :/

  23. Have you considered using a bug tracking system or adding a dedicated volunteer sign-up page? It seems to me that your problem is that you’re using email for something email was never made to do. There are really only two things you’re trying to accomplish with email: bug reports and volunteer sign-up. You have a very specific format that you want for each of these. Wouldn’t it be easier in the long run to have a specialized system for handling these tasks?

    Right now, every time you receive a bug report, you have to personally read it (assuming you can find it in the ocean of emails) and add it to the list of known bugs. You have to manage the known bugs constantly, because if you don’t update the list quickly you’ll get multiple reports on the same bug, and/or you won’t be able to find the report later because it will be buried.

    Volunteers are a similar story. You have to personally read each email from each volunteer and respond to it. If they’re signing up, you have to check if there’s any work for them, let them know if there is any and maybe update the list of currently assigned jobs. If it’s a volunteer that finished some work, you have to check that the work was done correctly and update the list of currently assigned jobs.

    Basically, your job is reduced to moving information from one place to another, something that computers are very good at doing. If you got used a specialized system, a lot of the problems could go away. For bug tracking, a basic system could be as simple as a form where people could submit any information about a bug, and another page that would display all the bug reports submitted and whether they had been resolved or not. Ideally, there would also be a way for people to mark bugs as duplicates or add comments, but it isn’t necessary. A similar system for volunteers would consist of a form where people leave their info. If/when you have a job that needs doing, you could simply look through a list of available volunteers and select the one with the best qualifications, and when they finish the task they send you their work. The key is that you don’t have to personally respond to every volunteer sign-up or bug report. In fact, you don’t even have to look at any of the volunteers or bug reports until you’re ready to deal with them.

    Obviously, it would take a bit of time to implement such a system, but right now, development is at a halt anyway. Spend a few days, or even a week or two, building a good, reliable system to handle these common tasks, and it won’t take long to recoup the time investment.


    My suggestions:

    – Make all bug reports visible to everyone so you don’t have to worry about personally updating the list.
    – Make a form for volunteer sign-up so you have all your volunteer info in one place and don’t have to search around to find the people you’re looking for. You also won’t have to respond to people until you’re actually ready to have them work on something.

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