THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT - PERCEPTION OF DESIGNER & PLAYER "RESPONSIBILITIES" IN AMATEUR & COMMERCIAL VIDEO GAMES

Posts

author=Darken
It's not just a crystal sprite its the millions of other "unperfected" tiles/charsets/poses/animations/pixels etc. that ridiculously somehow need to be addressed. A game is a lot of work and like Lennon said you can't just perfect everything or you'll never get the game done, 10 minutes of respriting a crystal could have been used for something else. If you apply that to every sprite in a video game it eventually adds up to the supposed CBS/CMS example you're giving.


Oh, I definitely agree. I didn't mean to say that developers should kill themselves over the smallest problems, though I can see now why it would seem like I said that. :U
kentona
▲▲▼▼◄►◄►(B) (A)
19528
"In the interest of improving their decision making, individuals revise their opinions on the basis of samples of opinions obtained from others. However, such a revision process may lead decision makers to experience greater confidence in their less accurate judgments. The authors theorize that people tend to underestimate the informative value of independently drawn opinions, if these appear to conflict with one another, yet place some confidence even in the spurious consensus, which may arise when opinions are sampled interdependently."

How interesting!

I wonder if when we are posting our opinion publicly here on RMN we aren't just looking for that consensus, to further justify our opinions, since we give such great value to that consensus.

Making reviews private between the developer and the reviewer would be an interesting experiment.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
4927
you can't just perfect everything or you'll never get the game done
Correct. That is, in fact, the idea. Your game should never be "done." You should always be continuing to improve it.
author=kentona
Making reviews private between the developer and the reviewer would be an interesting experiment.


Actually, that does sound like a good experiment. Obviously since strictly speaking, nobody else really needs to see anything besides the score. It would also help to influence more people into reviewing, due to the want to discuss the game in depth with the creator.

author=LockeZ
Correct. That is, in fact, the idea. Your game should never be "done." You should always be continuing to improve it.


I'm going to outright nitpick the shit out of that sentiment by saying that I think you mean "Always improve your craft."
Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8404
I *hope* that's what he means!

I do hope my finished games can really and truly be finished, so I can safely move on to new games. Anything else is just insanity to me.

Making reviews private between the developer and the reviewer would be an interesting experiment.

Perhaps, but to play devil's advocate this does not well serve the site's "user base (audience)".

Edit: Really leaving now.
Making reviews private between the developer and the reviewer would be an interesting experiment.


I just PM people my clumps of feedback nowadays mainly because a review has to have some official stigma attached to it like proper paragraphs, organization, overview of the entire game, etc to benefit people who aren't the developer. I'm just too lazy nowadays to write that shit up for a public star rating. It would be cool if these "private reviews" had something that made the feedback spitting easier like answering some quiz that the developer made "was this boss fight too hard" "did you know what to do when x".
kentona
▲▲▼▼◄►◄►(B) (A)
19528
Yes, I posted that facetiously because ostensibly we already HAVE a "private review system". You can just send a PM.

so I got to wondering why we post so much publicly (as either comments or actual reviews). so there are ulterior motives at work here (good or bad or unconscious even!)
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Well, it's one thing giving a little opinion here and there, it's another "interfering" with a PM, (especially when you don't really know anybodt well enough!).
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
4927
I "finished" my game, Vindication, last October. But that was the third time I've "finished" it, if you want to get technical. I kept working on it, and made it better, and released it again with major changes, twice, over a span of maybe five years. And a lot of other times in between, with smaller changes. And I'm still making changes, any time I become aware of a problem. I don't expect the game to ever be "finished".

They say an artist can keep painting the same painting for his entire life, right? And the only reason they don't is so they can release it for other people to see, and so they can get paid. Well, with the advent of the internet, you can release it to the public *and* keep working on it, and change it later any time. And you're not getting paid anyway. So I don't see any reason to ever stop!


author=kentona
so I got to wondering why we post so much publicly (as either comments or actual reviews). so there are ulterior motives at work here (good or bad or unconscious even!)

Yeah, actually. I have the ulterior motive of hoping that more of the designers on this site will see my comments, and it will help improve their game design too. When this happens, it's way better than just helping the one person who made the game I'm posting on the gamepage of.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
17912
author=LockeZ
I "finished" my game, Vindication, last October. But that was the third time I've "finished" it, if you want to get technical. I kept working on it, and made it better, and released it again with major changes, twice, over a span of maybe five years. And a lot of other times in between, with smaller changes. And I'm still making changes, any time I become aware of a problem. I don't expect the game to ever be "finished".



I can understand that you really love your project and are attached to it and want it to be as good as possible, but I don't think saying the project will never be finished is a good attitude to have. Eventually you need to be able to reach a point where you say "okay, the game does enough, it's finished" and step away. It's true some artists are never truly satisfied with their work, but obsessing over the same project forever will literally drive you crazy.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
4927
I don't see any advantage to stepping away. If I am open to improving it in the future, then it will get better. If I'm not, then it won't. Better games are better than not-better games. So continuing to be willing to improve it in the future is better.
Wouldn't it be better to try and expand your talent by making games of other styles, or just a new game in general, then coming back once you feel like improving it?

Comparing it to art again, it can never hurt for an artist to try a new style every now and then. It just expands their talent, and might help them better themselves when working in the style they usually do.
author=Max McGee
If I mention that I had trouble with 'Mechanic X' in 'Final Fantasy Game Y' the response is just as likely to be: "You suck at Final Fantasy, bro." Can't beat Sephiroth? Try playing better.

Imagine if I was trying to explain being unable to get past a boss battle in Eternal Paradise, on the other hand. Maybe I made an LT of it and posted it on RMN? I very much doubt that anyone would come back with "you suck at Eternal Paradise"...not even Ephiam. Instead, the consensus would most likely be: game's too hard, bro! Tone it down!


Haa. I like how Eternal Paradise was used as an example of a game that needed to tone down it's difficulty. I did tone it down however, and made a few bosses in particular much easier than their original incarnations. But if the player you're referring to is YDS, well...

Before the battle with Chimera II, a mini-boss in the game, she...
-Entered the battle a second/third time without recovering HP/MP to full even while having the money to do so.

-Didn't bother buying items that combated the effects some of the boss's attacks dealt to you.

-Didn't re-arrange equipment what-so-ever, or buy any new equipment regardless of having the proper funds to protect against an attack she knew was going to occur.


There were more points than that, but I can't really remember what they were now. I did tone that boss (and a few others) down though, but it WAS possible had she put a bit of thought in to it. The game may have been (and probably still is) difficult to some degree, but it's still the generic RPG fare with no custom systems or fancy effects.

In the end though, it did help me see quite a few of the flaws that were present, which resulted in the game being re-worked in to what it is now.

I just want to point out that there are some commercial games that undergo changes due to fan scrutiny. An example being uncharted 2 and 3. Naughty Dog releases a beta (online multiplayer), listens to feedback from fans, and changes and fixes the major issues. Whether they are technical bugs or gameplay features, it's invaluable information from an objective perspective.
Remaking a game over and over sounds like rubbing off its identity. Perfection is such an unrealistic and silly goal. Some of my favourite games have huge gaping flaws (the flaws even tend to emit a weird charm). For example one of my favourite SHMUPs is Abadox. The game's hit detection is glitchy, the bosses can be eliminated in a matter of milliseconds if you know what to do and yet... I love it because you can fuck around with the enemy patterns and try pacifist/speed runs etc. I mean there's also the fact that it's a neat shooter, but still. A supposed ultimate perfect game just sounds boring to talk about.

Deckiller
Deckroposting since 2009
17794
author=Space_Monkey
In most of the rm let's try I've seen the people run through everything, skip all the dialogue, avoid or run from battles, etc.

Maybe I should get back into LTing again to offset this.
So much to say...I'll take it in blocks.

For starters, I agree with much of what's been said regarding LT's, and I think it's really a shame that such is the case. There's only so much a developer can do to compel an unwilling player, and if the person LTing your game really doesn't want to be, the result is gonna be text breezing, battle skipping, and lots and lots of unhelpful whining. It's unfortunate because this kind of feedback can be extremely helpful to developers; too bad the person who spearheaded them is also one of the worst offenders.

Next, regarding the desire to perfect a game, I can understand why that's something one would like to do. Especially if this is just a hobby for you, and/or you don't have any huge aspirations or future ambitions, you can work on these things as much or little as you please. It's only a problem if it starts holding you back. If there are projects further down the line that are getting stopped up because you wanted to tweak that one little flaw, then you need to take a step back and look at your situation realistically. How much effort will it take to fix this thing? How big of a deal is it? Will fixing it make a noticeable difference? Etc, etc, you have to weigh your options and do what must be done. Sometimes, what must be done is draw the line on a previous work.

Next, about critical analysis of games; I, too, have started to notice things while playing commercial games. I can pick up on how things were designed and decide for myself whether they are done well or poorly. I can not only tell when something is handled badly, but when something is designed excellently. I can really appreciate numerous aspects of the games this way, and use it to improve the way I design my own (and give better advice to help others improve theirs).

Lastly, regarding the actual subject of the topic, I agree with Max that the distinction between amateur and commercial games is not so blatantly obvious. Games are games, and there are critical standards that can be applied to both, regardless of their production values. If anything, commercial games done badly can be knocked harder because of their big budgets and vast resources. I think we hold amateur games developed here to a somewhat higher standard because we think our opinions matter. And they kinda do! The things we say can result in changes being made. Whether they're for better or for worse is up to the creator, and what they do is their decision to make. Many creators could afford to be more receptive to feedback, but many criticizers could also afford to be more respectful of their design decisions.
Just sayin', people who think endless improductive critique exists only on RMN (or for amateur games) have never set foot on a MMORPG's official board. Good for them, too. But the idea that this is specific to this community is pure wishful thinking ; as soon as players feel empowered to affect the development of a game, infinite nitpicking ensues, it's a theorem.
Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8404
author=Ephiam
author=Max McGee
If I mention that I had trouble with 'Mechanic X' in 'Final Fantasy Game Y' the response is just as likely to be: "You suck at Final Fantasy, bro." Can't beat Sephiroth? Try playing better.

Imagine if I was trying to explain being unable to get past a boss battle in Eternal Paradise, on the other hand. Maybe I made an LT of it and posted it on RMN? I very much doubt that anyone would come back with "you suck at Eternal Paradise"...not even Ephiam. Instead, the consensus would most likely be: game's too hard, bro! Tone it down!
Haa. I like how Eternal Paradise was used as an example of a game that needed to tone down it's difficulty. I did tone it down however, and made a few bosses in particular much easier than their original incarnations. But if the player you're referring to is YDS, well...

Before the battle with Chimera II, a mini-boss in the game, she...
-Entered the battle a second/third time without recovering HP/MP to full even while having the money to do so.

-Didn't bother buying items that combated the effects some of the boss's attacks dealt to you.

-Didn't re-arrange equipment what-so-ever, or buy any new equipment regardless of having the proper funds to protect against an attack she knew was going to occur.


There were more points than that, but I can't really remember what they were now. I did tone that boss (and a few others) down though, but it WAS possible had she put a bit of thought in to it. The game may have been (and probably still is) difficult to some degree, but it's still the generic RPG fare with no custom systems or fancy effects.

In the end though, it did help me see quite a few of the flaws that were present, which resulted in the game being re-worked in to what it is now.

I think the fact that you feel the need to defend Eternal Paradise in response to my post is simultaneously antithetical to and demonstrative of the point I was making. Might not *always* need to change.

What I was trying to imply was that Eternal Paradise, hypothetically, might not always be at fault.

The truth is, if you want to analyze it more specifically, the standards of "easiness" required of RPG Maker games are pretty pathetic, especially considering how they accompany the outcry against "mash space"
gameplay.

Just sayin', people who think endless improductive critique exists only on RMN (or for amateur games) have never set foot on a MMORPG's official board. Good for them, too. But the idea that this is specific to this community is pure wishful thinking ; as soon as players feel empowered to affect the development of a game, infinite nitpicking ensues, it's a theorem.

Besides vast barrels containing fuck-off sums of cash money, MMORPG developers have something to counterbalance the constant criticism and bitching that amateurs don't...actual fandom. With the exception of a few games that are community canon, simple enthusiasm and positivity was so strongly discouraged as "circle jerking" around '06 and '07 that it's very rarely and sporadically expressed now. Fan behavior has largely fallen out of the community culture. Part of it has to do with our selfishness. And of course "I like it, it's good" is useless as feedback to a developer primarily looking to improve..but it's more complicated than that. But this probably deserves its own topic as well.

So much to say...I'll take it in blocks.

For starters, I agree with much of what's been said regarding LT's, and I think it's really a shame that such is the case. There's only so much a developer can do to compel an unwilling player, and if the person LTing your game really doesn't want to be, the result is gonna be text breezing, battle skipping, and lots and lots of unhelpful whining. It's unfortunate because this kind of feedback can be extremely helpful to developers; too bad the person who spearheaded them is also one of the worst offenders.

Next, regarding the desire to perfect a game, I can understand why that's something one would like to do. Especially if this is just a hobby for you, and/or you don't have any huge aspirations or future ambitions, you can work on these things as much or little as you please. It's only a problem if it starts holding you back. If there are projects further down the line that are getting stopped up because you wanted to tweak that one little flaw, then you need to take a step back and look at your situation realistically. How much effort will it take to fix this thing? How big of a deal is it? Will fixing it make a noticeable difference? Etc, etc, you have to weigh your options and do what must be done. Sometimes, what must be done is draw the line on a previous work.

Next, about critical analysis of games; I, too, have started to notice things while playing commercial games. I can pick up on how things were designed and decide for myself whether they are done well or poorly. I can not only tell when something is handled badly, but when something is designed excellently. I can really appreciate numerous aspects of the games this way, and use it to improve the way I design my own (and give better advice to help others improve theirs).

Lastly, regarding the actual subject of the topic, I agree with Max that the distinction between amateur and commercial games is not so blatantly obvious. Games are games, and there are critical standards that can be applied to both, regardless of their production values. If anything, commercial games done badly can be knocked harder because of their big budgets and vast resources. I think we hold amateur games developed here to a somewhat higher standard because we think our opinions matter. And they kinda do! The things we say can result in changes being made. Whether they're for better or for worse is up to the creator, and what they do is their decision to make. Many creators could afford to be more receptive to feedback, but many criticizers could also afford to be more respectful of their design decisions.

I agree with everything halibabica said here, and he covered a lot of bases.
Also, another quick remark : a gameover screen is a very acceptable kind of feedback, but I DO believe that if the player actually ragequits, then you've done something wrong. I doubt that getting enraged is the reason why we play games. Challenge is okay and I don't mind retrying a battle ten times if necessary, but getting frustrated because the cause of my defeat was totally out of my control is not, is never a good thing. So, having a grand vision for your design is good, but at some point I think that the feelings (rather than the opinions) of the players should be taken into account.