How should we make criticism/advice?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Zbigniew, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Zbigniew

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    I don't know about others but I usually take criticism as an attack on me. Maybe because people don't guide me well on how to improve but rather tell me to let someone else do the improvement for me. :eek: All my friends except one of my family members told me to get an artist. But nobody would say "get these books on how to draw, read these tutorials, let me show you how to improve"... It seems they are telling me "You are obviously not good and don't bother on ever improving yourself, just let someone else do the work for you". So anyways I got artists now and it's working out fine "on the whole :D ".
     
  2. Ricardo C

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    You're the one that made the strategy game that's reminiscent of HoMM, right? Good game, once I was told how to move :D

    My suggestion that you hire an artist was due to my assumption that you want to have this game out soon... Sure, you could improve your artistic skills, but that's not something you'll learn in a few weeks or months. It's better to focus on what you do best and hire a pro to handle the rest.

    Let me tell you something about myself... I draw fairly decently. I'm also learning 3d modeling (though UV mapping is KICKING MY ASS :mad:), but there is no way I'm up to the task of handling all the graphics in my current project, even though it's a fairly simple game. I'm doing level design, texturing, and coding, but I will contract out the models and music. I hope that over the next few years my artistic skills will be up to snuff, if only because I'm such an egomaniac that I hate having to rely on others for assets. But an important part of being able to finish a game is knowing your limitations and finding the right people to supply what you need :)
     
  3. princec

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    Like water off a duck's arse.

    Cas :)
     
  4. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    If you don't like criticism, you shouldn't do anything in public. You should just quit making your game and go be an employee somewhere, because, when you release your game, the guys doing the GT roundup are likely to rip it up (like they do everything else).
     
  5. Zbigniew

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    Right vs Wrong

    There is right criticism and wrong criticism. Let's not be one of those parents who tell their kids they are useless and will not amount to anything.
     
  6. Ricardo C

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    Who said that to you here? No one, as far as I recall. You received a fair amount of constructive criticism. If you plan to make a living putting your work out in the public eye, you need to get rid of the fragile ego.
     
  7. princec

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    "You ain't never going to amount to nothin' but a worthless nobody"
    "You'd better hope so dad because the quality the home I put you in will rather depend on my success eh dad?"
    Hehe.

    Cas :)
     
  8. Sunshine

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    Well, I would recommend, instead of trying to get them to offer a diffrent type of critisism, instead just learn to take the useless "attacks" as you call them, and turn them into some usefull information and discard the rest.

    For instance you mention that they were critical of your art skills, Essentially you would take the base message that was inside the citisism, the "You suck" part. Then discard the rest. Once you know that the basis of the message they were trying to say was that you suck, the it is up to you to develop a solution to it.

    Just rememeber this if you still feel personally affected so much by those type of comments: Add the words, "This person thinks..", or "In thier opinion.." to the beginning of each of the critisisms. This will remind you that it is only one person's opinion, and each person will see it diffrently.
     
  9. Anthony Flack

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    This point will be somewhat underlined when you start getting people telling you they think your work is the greatest, while at the same time other people are saying your games are the worst they've ever played.

    That kind of criticism I find annoying, but I don't take it personally. Some people just have terrible taste. :)

    And very occasionally you'll get criticism that is hard but fair, as well as detailed and specific. And this is incredibly valuable and you should receive it gratefully.
     
  10. Chaster

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    Lots of great advice here... Here's mine (in no particular order):

    1) Have a sense of humor. If someone says "you suck" or "your game sucks" - just laugh. They obviously aren't interested in providing you helpful information, and hey, you made them feel better by "venting" their daily frustrations..

    2) Learn to turn the tables around *nicely*. If someone says "your game sucks" - you can say, "Hey thanks, I really appreciate the candor! I don't like people sugarcoating their criticisms and hey, do you have any ideas how I can make it suck less?"

    3) Be humble. Perhaps your game DOES suck.

    4) Be determined - even if your game DOES suck, it doesn't mean you can't improve it.

    5) Believe in yourself. This is the hardest. Believing in yourself doesn't mean ignoring negative criticism - it means believing that you can work hard and make a great product USING that criticism (even if it isn't given to you in a nice manner..)

    6) Realize that some people just don't like the game idea. Doesn't matter how well you do it, they won't like the BASIC IDEA. In this case, thank them cordially for their time, and find someone else who is at least open to the basic game idea.

    7) Set HIGH standards. My artist is struggling with this right now. He sets very low standards of quality. Which was okay where he worked before, but not okay with me. I made him redo ALL of the artwork on Spellunker FOUR (!) times - before it got to the point it is at now (which is just "adequate" imho..) The same goes for programming (although that is harder to evaluate sometimes). In my experience, if someone says "the game sucks" as their first (& only) comment, that is usually because the game is lacking in the production quality department. Games which have high production quality but are lacking in other areas are often given more "useful" feedback... (weird huh?) Of course, this is all in my experience - others may differ.. :)

    Chaster
     
  11. Chris Evans

    Moderator Original Member

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    I'll throw my little advice in as well...

    If you find yourself receiving a lot of criticism of your game, just take a day or two off. I mean a real day off. Step away from the computer and go outside. Then maybe play that videogame you've been meaning to for the past couple of months. Just relax and clear your head.

    When you come back to your game, you'll usually be able to have a more positive outlook on the criticism. You'll look at it objectively and not take it personally.

    But I do want to say, it's a perfectly natural response to take criticism personally when it involves your own game. When you work on your own game after a certain point, it becomes an extension of you whether you realize it or not. That's why we take criticism personally sometimes.

    Just keep in mind, the people who are usually critiquing your game aren't intending to insult you personally (usually ;) ). That's why I think it's important to take a step back, so you can separate yourself from your emotion of the game. Then you can look at your game with a clear head and tackle the important issues.
     
  12. princec

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    Just have a search for threads with Alien Flux in for my detailed responses to criticism to learn how I coped with it :) Over and over and over and over again.

    And they're still all wrong! Haahaa.

    Cas :)
     
  13. Emmanuel

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    I've requested and received a lot of feedback (criticism) for products in the past (most are successful products today). I'm in the process of receiving useful feedback for Garden War as we speak actually :)

    I handle feedback/criticism by :
    1. Focusing on my goals
    and
    2. Cross-checking it with my design decisions

    My goal is to hit a sales target with a particular product. By requesting and receiving feedback, and then acting on it, I increase the chances that my product will sell, bringing me closer to my goal. I know it's easy to take it personally, a game is an expression of yourself. But by getting even harsh feedback and acting on it, I inch closer to my goals.

    Secondly, if I can answer to feedback by explaining a particular design decision, I may not act on it (or I may decide to clarify a part of the game so that the design decision is more obvious -- the player is not supposed to know them) !. If I can't honestly and rationally explain it by a design decision, it's usually a telltale sign that I need to do something about it.
     
  14. Zbigniew

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    Thanks

    Thank you for great advice for handling and acting on different kinds of criticism.
     
  15. monco

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    I cherish criticism. I tried getting feedback on my first educational game in several forums and got no response whatsoever from several of them. Zip, nada, bupkis, squat, zilcho. Talk about frustrating. The responses I *did* get were like gold to me. I sent each respondent a personal reply thanking them, even if they were rude.

    Seek feedback early and often. Release prototypes, screen shots, technology demos, whatever, and see what the users think of it.
     
    #15 monco, Dec 21, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2004
  16. wazoo

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    I had to send this to my folks..

    Thanks Cas, I just spewed my coke all over the keyboard from laughing so hard....

     
  17. Zbigniew

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  18. Curiosoft

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    Hey Z,

    You are a very hard and focused worker. I look up to you in that regard. I think that getting an artist is a great thing. It saves you time. If you want to do the artwork yourself, start drawing a little bit each week. In a couple of years, you will have the skill to add awesome artwork to your game.

    By that time, your RPG company will be so big that you will not have time to do the artwork. So you might as well practice working with other people now :)

    Take care,
    Curiosoft
     
  19. Triple_Fox

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    It's taken me about 3-4 years to learn both coding and drawing to competent levels, and I could not have rushed either if I wanted to. I'm still working on the sound/music aspect(soaking up different styles of music seems to help me a lot)...

    But I am very passionate about putting in exactly what I want to see, so I charge ahead with learning these things - and if in the future I don't use them so much, I will at least be able to use my training to clearly ask of others what I need. But if you already have a project off and running, it makes sense to get the extra help. It would just take too long the other way.
     

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