Meet Dario Quondamstefano: Winner of November's Player Insights Champion Award
Affogata's Player Insights Awards celebrate leaders who have taken a data-driven approach to improve their games based on the voice of their players. They are also dedicated to using player feedback to drive change and putting the needs of their players first.
We're proud to announce that Affogata has chosen Dario Quondamstefano, Community Manager at Wooga as its November Player Insights Champion.
With that said, let's begin getting to know Dario. We asked him to describe his job and how does his day-to-day look like:
"Being a community manager at Wooga gives me the opportunity to provide our players with content that is interesting and engaging, and to celebrate our games with them, aiming to enhance their experience by growing and maintaining a supportive, helpful and creative community. Surely, things may not always go as planned, so part of the day-to-day is ensuring that crisis within the community is also managed."
We continued asking Dario how long has he been working on the player-facing field and what does he like about it:
"I shifted fully to a player-facing profession five years ago, when Wooga doubled down on the importance of Player Feedback by having “Being Close to Our Players” as one of our company values and highly investing in my development as a community manager. It has been by large the most rewarding working experience of my life so far! People close to me, in and out of the office know that I never get tired of talking about our players and every time I can put a face or a voice to a screen name is just another Christmas morning for me! Player interviews are definitely on top of the list and one of the most heartwarming experiences has been welcoming our fans to our Wooga headquarters. For the second anniversary of June’s Journey, the world’s leading hidden object game which is made by Wooga, we had the pleasure of having some of our players from all over the world, visiting the office after they had won a contest. Being able to see them in person, hug them, feel their energy and spend a whole week together around Berlin as friends, was the highlight of my career so far."
Then, we asked him if there are any other professionals he particularly admires or learns from and who they are:
"Absolutely, and I’d like to keep this local: I tend to grab ideas here and there, from anything or anyone that I lay my eyes on and the team I work with is the best for that. Our Community Lead Bakary, with his positive, kind, and reassuring approach to listening to our concerns and ideas set an example of how our communities should also be addressed. The passion that drives Rodrigo, another great community manager at Wooga, to create such fun and engaging content and his extroversion are a great source of inspiration. And last but surely not least, someone whom I often referred to as a muse to me, our Senior Community Manager April. I wouldn’t be half the community manager I am today if it wasn’t for her expertise, mentoring, and patience!"
Next, we wanted to hear what's the importance of player feedback in Dario's role:
"and in turn, keeping us community managers extremely busy. Player Feedback is the starting point of many projects for us. Reports, in-depth surveys, interviews, focus groups to name a few, stem from having Player Feedback high on the priority list of drivers for success."
We then asked Dario why he needs a tool like Affogata:
"I need Affogata as much as lab scientists need their test tubes or detectives their magnifying glass. Affogata is vital in providing evidence for a claim. On a daily basis, much of the information we gather from our players is processed through our community managers’ sixth sense for “Player Vibes”. Vibes are an unofficial form of data which helps us bring about initial hypotheses, it all starts there for us. Affogata helps by bringing a scientific view to what would otherwise be a concept too abstract for everybody to understand."
And what was the situation before they started using the tool?
"Bringing Player Vibes to the table had many of our colleagues puzzled. When our community management team was first put together, we could go to our developers and tell them that the community was unhappy about a feature, or that they really appreciated some content and wanted to see more of it, only to face questions that we were not able to answer fully. With Affogata we now have a very holistic and scientific view of our community’s sentiment and can now answer with certainty those initial questions. What is even more exciting for us is that the ongoing collaboration with Affogata, ensures that as our games evolve and grow, so does the level of details that Affogata is able to provide us with."
What was the goal or the problem they were looking to solve with a player analytics platform?
"The first goal had been to quantify sentiment. One of the most recurrent questions from our developers has always been “How many players are talking about this?”. As community managers, we take great care of each and everyone’s opinions and we do our best to have open conversations with them, mitigate and resolve conflicts, but on a high decision-making level, precise information about what works and what doesn’t and the level of concern that the community as a whole presents us with is vital to take well-informed steps forward… or sometimes backward, as long as we are all on the same page."
How does it help the team reach the goal or solve the problem?
"Affogata has provided not only a tool but a whole team of professionals behind it that are open to listen to our needs and make adjustments, improving our experience with the tool as our games and our needs evolve. Affogata provided the right amount of structured framework still giving us plenty of room to explore and customize searches, topics and the level of details to what the needs of the moment are."
And how do they measure the success?
With that information, we can be key players in maintaining a stable player sentiment by engaging in well-informed conversations with developers, focus on relevant social media platforms, create content that is appropriate, and refine our language and information flow to address concerns from our players. Internally, what we’re most happy about, is that the company as a whole has now access to universally understood streams of quantitative and qualitative data about how our players are feeling as Player Sentiment becomes even more embedded in the Wooga culture."
Finally, we asked Dario what was the impact of Affogata on him personally and he answered:
"Historically, I have never been the best “numbers guy” and I must admit that I still use my fingers when it comes to basic calculations. With a decade spent managing translations in several languages and after shifting my focus to community management, numbers were very far on my radar… but I’ve always respected them. With the right interpretation, numbers never lie and I am glad that how my job evolved and Affogata’s influence, have both brought me closer to considering numbers as great allies!"
Besides eternal glory in the hall of fame of Affogata's Player Insights Champion Awards, you might be wondering what the prize is. We wanted the prize to be meaningful and long-lasting, so we planted 100 trees 🌳 in Dario’s name and sent him a certificate showing exactly how her eco-impact is making a difference.
Thank you, Dario, and congratulations! Your work inspires us and many other pros out there🔥