Showcase appreciation

Browsing the Showcase section, I find it a bit depressing how little feedback some of the games there get. Of course, providing feedback can take quite a bit of effort (downloading, playing, thinking, writing, etc.) but it would be nice if we could do something to encourage people to make the effort more often.

So I propose a new bit of forum etiquette: When someone gives you feedback on your game, appreciate it.

I don’t mean the traditional form of appreciation (although that’s good too). I mean the “Appreciate” button at the top-right of the post that you click to give the poster a medal. (Newbie tip: If you can’t see the button, then you haven’t made enough posts on the forum yet.)

I’m not saying that every post deserves a medal, and there’s no need to give more than one medal per person, but if someone provides an error report, makes some sensible suggestions, or shares opinions on which bits of the game work and which don’t, then I think they deserve a unit of appreciation at least. It’s not much, but it might help make the Showcase section a happier place.

What do people think? Should we start decorating our Showcase threads with medals?


Disclaimer: Of course I’m not suggesting this out of altruism. It’s pure self-interest.
a) I want more medals! I know they’re worthless, but they’re shiny and I like them.
b) I want more feedback on my own games.
c) I want to feel less guilty about not giving feedback on other people’s games very often.

I think it’s a good idea!

I think with this new etiquette rule n00b badge-avid users, like myself, will provide more feedback and less help-me-please posts.

I think this is a really good idea. sometimes the sentence: “Looks good so far!” can cheer you up a lot, and make you proud of your own creation. However nobody really seems to bother. :-\

It basically boils down to a sense of entitlement. If you can’t bring yourself to provide as much feedback as you would when you would be publicly awarded for it, maybe you have to reconsider your motivation for being part of a community. It might be that people have been playing too many grinding MMORPGs where it’s all about points and statistics. In a community it isn’t about that, it’s about making a friendly gesture.

When you receive a medal it’s nice to know it’s sincere. When we would follow an etiquette, we create a atmosphere where one feels entitled to that medal, draining all the positivity from it. We have enough posts pleading for medals as it is.

It also boils down to time. I try to play and comment on every single game that is posted but I sometimes just don’t have the time to devote at least 5-15 minutes to each game.

True, it would change the nature of the medals. If you want the medals to keep their current, enigmatic purpose, then I’ll drop the suggestion. (*)

More generally then, are there any other ways we could boost the amount of activity in the Showcase section? Or am I the only one thinking that the Showcase is a bit undernourished? (**)


(*) And I won’t mention my plan for an automated system that tells your friends on Facebook every time you give feedback on a game.

(**) I haven’t forgotten the thumbnail pics on the front page. They’re fab! More things like that please!

I may suggest automated rate by mod (usually by Kappa). If it has update then ask the mod to rate again (ofc mod can do it or not freely when being asked for a reason, ie too little update applied).

I guess I see the showcase differently. To me (hobby) game development is something you do mostly for yourself, not others. And so the showcase is also for yourself, to take pride in your own work. Nice that you sometimes get feedback, but you shouldn’t expect it IMO.

At least that is the attitude I adopted long ago when I didn’t even get feedback from people I considered close friends. I no longer aim to impress others through my hobby projects, I only do it to make myself happy.

[quote]At least that is the attitude I adopted long ago when I didn’t even get feedback from people I considered close friends.
I know.

I used to have the same thing happen to me when i would show others the music I had written. I always wished people would just tell me they didnt like it if that was the case. No feedback is far worse than negative feedback, you cant grow from criticism. Music is like programming in that it takes 100 x the the hours to create it as it does to play it, to not even be acknowledged for your commitment to see something through is frustrating human behavior. So yes do these things for yourself to avoid disappointment.

Cas :slight_smile:

No matter how many times you say it, people will still rather not reply than to say it’s bad. It doesn’t look good and people end up judging them as negative, mean people :slight_smile:

To put it simple, don’t really depends on this showcase. You can ask your friend to test it, or put it online with a site. No guarantee but should help. However some anons may come in and say “sucks!”.

This, over and over again, and this is an even bigger problem for game programmers.

So you’ve made a game. It took you weeks, maybe months, but now you finally have completed it. You may have some really nice 2D art, very fast code and even the coding structure may be a masterpiece, so you decide to put it out for people to test. There’s always a bigger fish/game, so there’s bound to be something that you will get criticism about, but no one wants to be the one to tell you that, so that Josh Olson guy said that you should try to show your work to someone who isn’t a screenwriter. For games this is even worse! You’re game is going to be compared to all the new popular games; WoW, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Civilization, e.t.c. A person who plays lots of casual games / flash games might be able to criticize you in a helpful way, but let’s face it: A lot of people can criticize a story better than a game, or at least they have more opinions about a story, not counting the actual quality of those opinions. Any solutions? Anyone?

Sticking with that analogy, I’d say that the Showcase is more like a Writers’ Workshop. People with a range of experience give feedback on each other’s work with the aim of all becoming better at their trade.

(I’ve never been to such a thing, but they crop up in films and novels pretty often. Is it the case that successful authors are paid to attend? If so, how much do we owe you, Cas? :wink: )

I think gimbal’s comment above is a good one: you shouldn’t expect to get feedback. But at the same time, if you don’t get any feedback, that’s a failing of the community.


I have this problem - I used to try and leave useful criticism, but I just felt like a dick. I started a rule of always leaving a positive comment with every criticism, but from the replies it just looked like everyone would read the positive bit and ignore the criticism so now I don’t even do that.

Although now I’m coming to the opinion that players don’t know what the hell they want, and should probably be ignored anyway.

It’s a hard problem, but I don’t think (ab)using the ‘appreciate’ button will solve things.

I mostly don’t say anything any more about other people’s work for various of the reasons outlined in that slightly satirical but accurate blog post. I have wondered lately whether it’s also because I’m too jaded and just don’t actually like anyone else’s games (after all, I think most of the reason I write games is because nobody else makes the games I want to play dammit!) but then I was so enthused about Pineapple Smash Crew the other day I emailed the author with praise and, ahem, a list of “improvements” I wanted to see in it :stuck_out_tongue:

Generally though I subscribe to the point of view that if you’ve nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. Your absolute best bet with appreciation is handing over money. Then you know for sure that your game is ace. I know I sound like a Ferengi but it’s the only non-dick way of saying what you really think of something. But then that also means a game is more than just the sum of its code, graphics, sound, and gameplay; it means it’s being sold professionally, it means there’s been effort marketing it, getting it out there. You know, the other 80% of making games that few people explore. Mostly because of not getting the first 20% finished :wink:

Cas :slight_smile:

If it’s fun, which isn’t all that often, I will post something saying I like it and usually a couple reasons why. If it isn’t fun, I don’t usually take the time to break down why. I don’t respond if it isn’t fun usually because the OP doesn’t ask for something specific enough. Being negative isn’t fun, and I just got done having no fun playing a game. :stuck_out_tongue:

This is crap. It isn’t comparable to asking on the internet for feedback on a game you’ve created. If you have time to waste dorking around in a Java gaming forum, you certainly can’t use the time sink argument for why you don’t respond to showcase threads. Also, on the internet, no one tiptoes around trying to be nice. The article is nicely written but I don’t agree with it even for screenplays. It isn’t akin to asking a painter to come paint your house, it’s akin to asking a painter to come look at the living room you painted and tell you what he thinks. Sure, a famous screenplay writer probably gets asked more, but it is the same. What he is really complaining about is that he’s famous (poor him) and he doesn’t have the time.

You probably don’t get quite as many crazy emails as me though :smiley:

Cas :slight_smile:

That’s what I thought too.
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.