IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME? AM I JUST NOT A GOOD DEV?

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pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26260
You know me. Or at least, after all this time, I hope most of you know about how I react to certain things. In discussions, I can overreact, get impassioned, and sometimes cross certain lines of decorum and politesse. All of us can become like that to one extent or another. I'm not asking about heated discussions. One thing that you should know is that I take criticism of my work directly, and with full acceptance. There are times when someone will criticize me for one point or another that I feel is purely subjective and that I don't agree with and will state my disagreement, but even then, I don't get offended by the criticism in question.

Earlier today, there was a criticism of my IGMC game that has prompted me to ask this question. The criticisms made me quite insecure. It started with a thorough derision and ridicule of my game page on itch.io and continued through 15 minutes of playing. S/he didn't even give the first dungeon a chance and based how s/he criticized my game page, I actually doubt s/he would have given my game a chance, regardless. Included in the criticisms where my bland artwork and my bullshit music choices that were putting x/er to sleep. The final verdict was to get this shit the fuck out of here. Looking in the comments, there were also comments about how my game is particularly bad because it seems like a troll game, but then acts like it's serious, and so just looks stupid.

Now, the worse of this is that this all comes from people whose opinions are well known and respected by this community. So, I can't help but wonder now, am I really that incompetent of a maker? Am I simply overreacting or is there something about my games that just makes them terrible? I wonder if it should even be up on the IGMC game list because if it's really that awful, should I even bother continuing to compete? The derision of my game page hurt more than anything else. I really didn't react too well to the streamer making fun of my inspiration for the game. Was I wrong to include it? Should I be writing my game pages differently?
...if it was a certain youtube/RMWer, they're hard on everyone and plays up the anger/frustration angle a lot. Besides, you know better than to take one person's thoughts as the only thoughts.
Sometimes you just have to take things as they are and not negative or good. Regardless of quality there's always going to be someone who just a writes a youtube comment to the effect of "this thing fukn sux" and leaves it at that. Not only can you not please everyone but you can't appeal to everyone either. It's just the way it is if people are completely dismissive about something you put a lot of time in. The most important is that you believe in your ideas and hope there are other people that take to what you were going for.

Also don't let your skill in a hobby/career define you as a person.
Coming from someone who would have the same reaction, don't get too down about it, piano. Just focus on the positive reception you've gotten for your games and keep making the things you want to instead of trying to work up to the standard of a few people. Chances are they won't like your stuff whatever you do if they were that flippant about it? Better to just take on legit criticism if it's there & then forget about the derision.

unity
You're magical to me.
11833
My advice is: if you enjoy what you're doing, then just keep going. If its something that makes you happy, then it doesn't matter if someone doesn't like it.

Something like 15 years ago, I started drawing and posting my art online. I got some of the nastiest comments about how amateurish and terrible the art looked, and those hurt a lot. I considered quitting and thought I just didn't have what it takes to draw. But I realized that it was something that made me happy, so I kept at it. I can't say that I'm a great artist or anything, but its an important part of me that brings me joy.

You have a unique vision you bring to your projects and they always feel very different than the usual fare we generally get with RPG Maker games. Its very refreshing to see that, and I think it would be a shame to lose your creativity over some overly-harsh comments like this.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
13903
Keep in mind that a fault found with one work does not mean all your works have the same fault. I did a quick search and found what I'm guessing is the video in question to get a better idea of what was up. It sounded as though the LPer wasn't really into playing the game, but not necessarily because of the game itself. They were working through a list of IGMC games, so they may have been worn down by other entries before that point. Basically, they might have already been predisposed to this outcome.

That's not to say they didn't have any fair criticisms; there were things they pointed out along the way that didn't feel right. I dunno what kind of time limit you faced in creating the project, but it did seem as though it was missing polish.

I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with you as a game designer. A paradigm like that will only hold you back. Learn what you can from this and apply it to future endeavors. That's all you ever can do with such things.
kory_toombs
Live we shall, through moments both fleeting and eternal.
13356

I have received my fair share of criticism for my games. And some games haven't gone over very well with a lot of people. But now and then you'll see a post on your game page from someone who tells you how they enjoyed your game. So no matter how bad your game is there's someone out there who will like it, eventually...

Completely different kinds of comments for the same game:






kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
Yeah, the person leaving those kinds of comments are playing to their audience, who get their jollies from shitkicking others with hyperbolic statements. It hurts you to hear it, but that is secondary to their goals, which is usually to 'entertain' others at your expense.
Taking criticism is pretty emotionally draining, but that's the hazard of doing anything creative. There's no equivalent of a hard hat for this type of work; you just have to work out your neck and back until you can take the falling debris.

You're not a bad developer; you're a developer who's still learning. Creating an rpg requires a knowledge of game design, art, music, coding, and writing. There are a lot of factors at work, and most people only have time in their lives to master one or two of these, and you're having to do them all. I'm sure there are seeds of truth to some of the criticism because it's impossible for you to make the perfect game alone (especially under time constraints). And, even if you make a game that you love and others love and you think is perfect, someone is still going to come along and shit on it. As hard as it is, all you can do is learn what you can and move forward.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26260
Thank you, guys.

Yeah, Kory, that's not what this was. This was something very different. This was humiliating.

Hali, the way they went off on my game description, it was almost like there was every intention to destroy my game from the very start, so I see exactly what you're saying there. As for any useful criticism, I couldn't listen to the whole thing. I tried, but in the amount I managed to view, I really didn't see anything useful. It felt like they tried with their jabs about my music, but even that sounded really spiteful.

Liberty, unity, Darken, Suzy, thank you so much. Those comments really mean a lot to me.

EDIT:

@Kentona, that's what Libby said. Thank you!

@Housekeeping, thank you.

This, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this, for the most part, wasn't criticism. The fact that it was done publically is what really has me emotionally drained, and to have them just make fun of my inspirations that I wrote about on my game page and then to have these people in a comment section just...and then to just keep going in the same vein in the same way. A lot of people have been run out of professions and communities over less. I'm just feeling really emotionally drained right now.
After a while, it gets easier to tell when people are genuinely critiquing your game (an all too uncommon thing nowadays) or when people are trying to play to their audience. It doesn't really help that half of youtube wants to be the next AVGN; The whole "the big mean video game was bad and it was mean to me" shtick continues to dominate the landscape.

author=pianotm
This, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this, for the most part, wasn't criticism. The fact that it was done publically is what really has me emotionally drained, and to have them just make fun of my inspirations that I wrote about on my game page and then to have these people in a comment section just...and then to just keep going in the same vein in the same way. A lot of people have been run out of professions and communities over less. I'm just feeling really emotionally drained right now.

Toxicity can spread like wildfire, and when one person comments that a game is bad, other people set up their expectations accordingly and go into it with a worse mindset. "This guy said its bad, so I want to see just how bad it is", etc.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
Unfortunately, this is the internet. I wish people would stop being scumbags, but... you just have to get used to it. Believe me when I say I know what it feels like. If you saw the fury of some people after Remnants of Isolation was announced as the winner of the first IGMC, you'll realize that you will never please everyone.

To date, my favorite attack against me was that I was a social justice warrior simply because RoI had a woman and a black male as the main characters. The moment I read that piece of "criticism," I realized that there were people who would never respect me, unity and Sooz, and what we went through to accomplish what we did. Based on what you're saying, it sounds like this person and their fans are the same type of people.

These kinds of people will be around, and they cannot be stopped. Take pride in the game you made, and the gauntlet you ran through to make it. Listening to some bootleg AVGN slag on all that hard work is only a net less to your sanity, and you have far better things to do with your life.

That said, there is one piece of "criticism" that is factually, objectively wrong:

The final verdict was to get this shit the fuck out of here

Fuck this.

Fuck this, and fuck anyone who supports this.

pianotm (and anyone who has ever entertained this line of reasoning), let me make this as blunt and direct as possible: Your game has every right to exist, and you have a place in the IGMC.

If you ever, ever hear someone tell you to take down your entry, you are no longer obligated to internalize their "feedback." This is neither feedback nor criticism. This is their opinion, and absolutely nothing more.

You worked your ass off in a month to bring a game from conception to completion. Do you have any idea how rare that is? I see 252 entries on the IGMC page. You can assume at least double that amount took a shot at the contest and dropped out for one reason or another. On top of that, it looks to me like you did all of this by yourself. Close your eyes and think about that for a minute.

Entire teams have failed. You, pianotm, did not. No one will ever take that away from you. No one.

EDIT:

Oh. I went and looked up the video in question (I probably should have done that first before getting triggered, haha). That... wasn't as bad as you made it sound. I thought it was a genuine slag on the game with a claim that it should never have been made in the first place. That was not the case.

If it helps put your mind at ease, I've seen other vids by this person, and they have stated that the vids are not for the devs. They are purely for entertainment for the viewers. Sure, they are genuine opinions, but please understand that this was not blind, frothing hatred.

Doesn't change anything I said before. If anything, this makes me double down on what I said: Be proud of what you've made, and don't internalize an exaggerated video for entertainment.
What I see a lot with this sort of thing is how reasonable criticisms can get lost amidst bullying, obnoxious delivery. There are likely worthwhile points to take away from whatever the streamer didn't like about the game, but I know that when someone is a complete shit about it, it makes you want to ignore them completely out of spite. When that initial shock and hurt wears off, you may come away with ideas to improve your future work. I hope that's the case.

Here's an example - During the first IGMC, I saw someone critique one of the games and they noted that the project automatically went to full screen when you started it. This person ranted for like six paragraphs in ALL CAPS about what a horrible, terrible idea this was and how cruel it was to force full screen on people. And like...yeah, mandatory full screen is a bad idea. But still...really? If I were the dev, I'd read all that garbage and be very tempted to write back "It's gonna be full screen forever. Die angry about it."

Other people have referenced this, but it boils down to the choice of whether someone wants to help your game or just to be mean and supposedly funny. In this case, I'd say it was definitely the latter and unfortunately that's pretty common. Someone who really would like to see your game improve will present the criticism in a reasonable way, but like I said, sometimes jerks stumble onto a good point in spite of themselves so keep an ear open for that.

I don't know what use it is to criticize a contest entry page, though. Who gives a shit what the page looks like?
Hexatona
JESEUS MIMLLION SPOLERS
3787
You know, the comments stick on a stream, between games. The comments you were looking at were for the previous game, not yours. Like, the super mean ones, anyway.

#TheMoreYouKnow
I'll go ahead and throw my opinion here as well. I test a lot of games behind the scenes, which means I've played some of yours as well (though those were just normal plathroughs since if I tested every single game I played then I'd burn myself out). I can say with 100% certainty that there is nothing wrong with you as a dev. The impression your games have left on me is that you want to experiment and try new things, and that is something any dev should be doing really. It's fine to make games with old ideas that work, but it's also perfectly fine to get creative and try new things, because people just may enjoy it.

My advice is don't let it get to you too much, and do what you enjoy. I can't say I've tried the game in question yet, but I may give it a run when I get a chance and give you my own thoughts.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
13903
from Hexatona
You know, the comments stick on a stream, between games. The comments you were looking at were for the previous game, not yours. Like, the super mean ones, anyway.
I suspected this as well. Doesn't make it any better that those comments were directed at someone else's creative endeavor, but yeah, it's entirely possible they weren't meant for the game in question.

Also...
from Red_Nova
That... wasn't as bad as you made it sound. I thought it was a genuine slag on the game with a claim that it should never have been made in the first place. That was not the case.
I got this impression as well, so I hope...
from Volrath
When that initial shock and hurt wears off, you may come away with ideas to improve your future work.
I haven't even seen your game, let alone played it, and you're already getting lots of good advice from everyone in the community anyway, so maybe I have no business throwing my two cents in...

But there's a certain point of C&C civility where, once crossed, you should just disregard everything that person says. Either s/he is a child in mind whose judgment is best ignored, or s/he is acting out a gimmick, fancying themselves as some kind of self-styled Angry Video Game Nerd for the indie community.
You get no benefit from listening to that sort of drivel.
I ain't got no special insight to say more than others have said so I'll just suggest that you take time for yourself and destress! Here's a handy guide to get started:


Although given the context I'd suggest swapping out "Make something" with something like "Have ice cream" because ice cream owns.


Don't forget that making and submitting a game in a month is an accomplishment and you should treat yourself as a reward too!
It really comes down to this: do you agree with this guy's criticisms/comments. If you agree with some of his comments, accept it as suggestions and make use of it to improve your gam. If not, ignore or explain (risky lol) your reasons and move on. It is true there are a lot of AVGN style channels on YouTube, im a big fan of some of them. They usually take everything at face value and know zero to nothing about actually making the game or using the game maker software. They might have some legitimate critique but they will usually go overboard like a Spanish inquisitor. Whether your a good dev is really a self esteem thing. It didn't depend on other people opinions at all. Besides, games using sample maps and auto generated dungeons go on steam. Would that make those devs better than you? Probably not.
Eh, with a few notable exceptions, you're only a "bad" developer if you stop trying. It might surprise you to learn most of the notable developers in this community started off with very humble beginnings. Learning to accept criticism is all part of the process, albeit sometimes a tedious one. It's nice to see someone speaking openly about this, because most people just silently internalize it.

This might sound vague, but just try to think critically about what type of feedback you're receiving. Are they being constructive? Do you they genuinely want to help you improve? Are they giving specific examples of design flaws? If not, they might just be one of the many ego-boosting trolls that are out there, and they may not be worth listening to. This doesn't just apply to IGMC content either.
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