Where can I get help with Kind Words?
What should I write as a request?
A request is ideally an ask for comfort, advice or even just acknowledgement.. You have an opportunity to describe something in your life that bothers, scares, frightens or confuses you and ask for empathy, sympathy, recognition and perhaps advice on that subject. Because the request list is viewed by everyone, it is important that your request is something that most people can respond to in some way.
Good topics for requests:
- Relationship problems
- Health concerns
- General stress
- Family drama
- Financial woes
A request should not be:
- Directed at one individual
- Asking people to tell you their secrets
- Asking people to vent to you
- A quote, poem or other non-question
Do I have to remain anonymous? I don’t mind if people know my internet handle.
Yes. Anonymity for everyone is an important part of Kind Words. Even from internet handles and links. There are a few reasons. Safety is a big concern for us. Trolls are bad and predators are worse. We want what people share in Kind Words to stay in Kind Words. We also have a database full of people’s very personal lives. We do not want to store any identifying information in that database which could expose them. So any messages you write with identifying information may be blocked. This includes:
- Steam IDs
- Discord IDs
- Discord servers
- Twitter handles
Why can’t we carry on conversations with people / have penpals?
This is probably our most requested feature! It makes sense. You’ve had a great interaction with a real human; why stop there? Unfortunately, anonymity and the strict limits of discourse are key ingredients in the delicious cake that is Kind Words for which we have not found a substitute.
Trolling would be an increased problem. Trolls WANT people to write angry letters back. Kind Words denies them that and they mostly get bored and leave.
Yes, we could devise more filters and some player trust systems and opt-in mechanics, but all that work wouldn’t address Popcannibal’s #1 concern with opening up Kind Words to long conversations: Predators.
We’ve worked hard to make Kind Words signal to players that they should bring their honest, most bare selves to the game. People do and we take that very seriously. Many of our players are experiencing strong and confusing emotions. They are looking for comfort and friendly voices. That can make them vulnerable to the influence of predators who look for young, distressed people to take advantage of in many ways.
Since predators like these will always seem like the nicest people in the game, it would be very hard for us to identify them through language filters or automated reports.
Until we are confident that we can make Kind Words a very unappealing place for predators, we won’t be allowing on-going conversations between strangers. Sorry! We’re always eager to hear suggestions on how we can do better.
Why can’t I see which of my responses was thanked?
Lots of people want direct confirmation that a specific response they wrote was thanked. That way you know more about what people liked. I get it and it’s tempting. But there’s a flipside: if you know that a letter was thanked, you can infer that your other letters were not.
So much of Kind Words’ philosophy is a letting go of quantitative feedback. I don’t want players to ever give a moment’s thought to whether they are “doing well” at playing Kind Words. You are generally appreciated and if we gave you more concrete feedback about the moments where you are specifically appreciated, it leaves room for you to worry about whether you “failed” in your goal of helping someone.
Don’t worry about it. Just be nice and know that you’re helping.
How is the request list sorted?
Requests are one big global inbox that everyone shares. They are sorted first by number of responses (fewest to most) and then by age (oldest to newest). So the longer a message sits around without a response, the more people will see it. Once it has a response, everything with fewer responses will be seen first. We also filter out requests that you have already responded to.
How long does a request last?
Technically forever. But because it gets lower priority the more responses it gets, they tend to stop getting responses after 6 or 7.
How are airplanes sorted?
When you first open Kind Words, it grabs the newest 25. If you view all of those, it checks for new ones reading forward in time from when you started. If you catch up with the top of the list, it starts reading backwards in time from when you started.
It’s a little funny, but the end result is: everyone can see every airplane but different people are often viewing different windows of the master airplane list. You don’t actually miss them if they fly off screen.
I saw my own airplane!
Will there be more stickers?
Yes! We’ve added one sticker pack in May, 2020 and there’s another one in the works with a release date yet to be determined.
Does the MacOS version really require 10.12+?
Yes. It will start but fail to communicate on 10.11 and lower.
When should I use the report button?
Anytime! Reports bring messages to our attention
How do I reset the game?
When viewing your room, click on the icon with the three dots. Then “options”. Then “Entirely Reset Kind Words”. This will erase your local save file and if you use Steam cloud, it will erase that too. (Steam cloud is on by default for Steam users).
You may want to backup your local save file first just in case.
Where is my save game?
When you first start kind words it creates a file called kindwords.json. This file has a made up username and password.
The easiest way to find kindwords.json is to play the game and use the “export” option in the “…” submenu. This will open a file browser right to the location you’re looking for. Otherwise…
On windows, it’s usually in:
/Library/Application Support/Popcannibal/Kind Words/
How do I play with multiple accounts on one computer?
This is not ideal right now and we’d like to make it better.
If you use different operating system accounts to log in to the desktop, there should be no problem! If you share one login on a windows computer, it can get tricky because there’s only one place where the save file is stored.
If someone else has played on the same operating system account but a different Steam account their save file will exist on your computer. If you log in to your Steam account to play Kind Words for the first time, it will see the existing save file and assume that it is yours. Then it will upload it to your Steam Cloud.
If you find yourself in that situation, take a look at the instructions above for resetting your save game.
Will you translate Kind Words to other languages? Can I translate Kind Words for you?
Thanks for your kind offer, but no. A big part of what makes Kind Words work is our familiarity with the English language. That’s how we effectively manually and automatically moderate the game. We don’t have the language expertise at Popcannibal to provide the same high level attention to other languages. So while we’re very comfortable with the modest amount of non-english messages players write, we feel we’d be inviting trouble if we announced that KW was fully ready for use by non-english speakers.
Will you make a mobile version?
It’s under consideration.
What are you considering?
Whether to make a mobile version.
Don’t be a smart ass.
Haha. Sorry. We’d have to do a fair bit of technical work (offline mode, performance, vertical layout, touch interfaces, etc.). We’re also curious if the ability to play on-the-go would change the mindset and the tone of messages.
Can I change my name or initial?
You can change your initial via the options menu. Your name is never actually sent to our servers or to any other players. Just the first initial of your name.
Will you sell Kind Words on storefront X?
Right now you can buy Kind Words on Steam, itch.io and it is part of the Humble Trove. We are happy with that for now because it gives an array of ownership options without creating TOO many places we have to remember to update every time we change something.
Can I see or use Kind Words’ messages as a data set for my project?
Sorry, but for the safety and peace of mind of our players we are not sharing access to Kind Word’s database outside of playing Kind Words itself. We don’t systematically record personally identifying information and we work to remove identifying information people add themselves. However, it’s not possible for us to guarantee that it is a completely anonymous data set. Also, research is not the context that people intended their shared emotions to be viewed in and we want to respect their expectations.