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Article - 'Understanding Criticism' by Fallen_Spades

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 1, 2004

Blurb

Excellent article. Top notch stuff. It basically just tries to educate people on how to understand and make use of their criticism, as well as acting as a basic pep talk. It especially applies to Gaming World. (harhar)

Body

Understanding and Handling Criticism 101
By Fallen_Spades

Please Read this before proceeding:

First of all, I'm sorry if I have typos or any grammatically wrong
sentences on my article, afterall I'm using the english language as
my third one, note, my "THIRD" language.


Preface:


When I was on my early stages of creating my very own game on rm2k(3)
I tried promoting it to everyone I see, I told them that it was
awesome, blah, blah, etc. I would hear thier comments and thier
"good lucks".

Time came when I was to release the very first version of my game,
"The Eternal" I recieved harsh comments and criticism. But thankfully
I also recieved some good advices from several people who tried out the
game.

I was left questioning myself, "WHERE DID I GO WRONG?". It was only
then after a few days I realized there was nothing to worry about.
I realized the potential of the game and understood the people
criticizing my game. It was all "Normal". I then thought to myself ten
different reasons why I should continue with my game despite of the
criticism I had been recieving.


I. You Aren't Perfect.

First of all, you must understand that no one is perfect. Everything
and everyone would always have flaws. That principle would also apply
to Games.

You as the creator of the game would have this goal of creating a
perfect game. A perfect game that would really blow "thier" minds. You
anxiously prepare it and release it only to find it criticized by people...

Don't be too harsh on yourself, please remember that you weren't designed
perfect. Therefore you could never make anything "perfect".

Stop moping around and don't ever believe in those comments that mean
"Your game sucks". Never stop believing in your game, cause for all we know,
you game might make it into the "Limelight" of the rpg making community.


II. You can't please everyone.

Going back to reason I: You aren't perfect, you were designing a game
that you think would be perfect. But remember everyone would always have
different concepts of what "Perfect" is. If you think that an awesome
game would be action-paced and would have an awesome CBS and CMS They
might like the opposite.

I was told once that my battle theme was too rock-ish to enjoy, I then
understood that he didn't like the battle theme because he didn't like
Rock music. It affected his views about my game since most of the game
was about battles.

See my point? That is why you should not be discouraged if ever someone says
he didn't like a certain part of your game.

If you think that that certain part of your game is esssential yet is
being criticized, believe in it and keep it.


III. You are from "Earth", They are from "[insert another planet here]"

This is probably the most common reason why people criticize you, It is
because people are meant to live in different ways.

What you think is allowed in your place might be taboo to them.
What you think is taboo might be already accepted in thier community.

When people design games, thier opinions, ideas and talents flow and
shine. But there is more, thier beliefs, religion, grudges, happiness,
heritage and lifestyle would dominate most of the game's world.

If your beliefs and thoughts clash with thiers, they might think it's
either taboo or ridiculous.

That's why they criticize you over this, don't worry, its just that
those stuff that you were expressing just weren't understood by them.


IV. They might have thought you were a threat to thier existence.

Criticims sometimes might also be a form of self defense. It is normal
in human nature to be jealous, it just can't be prevented.

It might be normal to deny this in here, but I can openly say that deep
inside we have that something that would wish we had the best of everything.

I had this new neigbor and classmate she was very pretty and she was really
good in sports. A few days later I would hear girls criticizing her. I heared
them talk how ugly her hairstyle is, how cheap her clothes are, One even said that she
only takes one bath a week.

Those other girls thought that they were overshadowed by my classmate,
therefore they had to bring her reputation down. They started looking
and creating her bad points instead of her good ones...

So if they start looking only at the bad parts of your game, and they
never noticed its strong points, you might as just smile and ignore it.
They might just be jealous.


V. They might have never wanted to help in the first place.

Be aware that there are those individuals who make themselves feel
better by criticizing people. One of them who criticized you might
have been one of those types of people.

These people like to criticize because it makes them feel cool. It makes
their egos satisfied expressing that “they are hard to please”. These types
of people might just criticize you all the way without even knowing
they are hurting you instead of helping you. These types of people
might act cool and all, but deep inside they are insecure.

If ever someone says something bad about your game, look to it that
they are expressing a point, if they aren't. Just ignore them instead
of feeling terrible. Because they might have just been one of these
types of people.

Its not you who needs help… ITS THEM!


VI. They might have just repeated what other people said, they are
just drones following the majority.


This is mostly common ing Gaming Communities as I've noticed. If the
early posts regarding your game say that this and that is good, that
would probably be repeated by the people who reply late.

If someone of great influence(mods, admins, staffies, popular people)
post bad comments about your game, other similar bad comments would
surely follow.

Sometimes this occurs just out of coincidence. But sometimes, people
just say it to raise post counts.

So don't let a post meant for post-raise, let you down! It would
just be too unfair.


VII. You werent popular enough.

No one can deny this. Popularity has some kind of influence as to what
you do. If you were popular and you posted something that was not too
good in terms of graphics, you would recieve:

*Comments on how well you used the chipset
*Polite comments on areas to improve
*Polite Constructive Criticisms
*Offers on helping you in creating that map.

But if you were unpopular you would recieve:

*Flames
*Harsh Criticisms
*Harsh or No Constructive Criticisms!
*Comments on suggesting to either change the chipset or stop
making your game.

And that is just the harsh reality. Popularity is indeed one of the
main protections against "harsh" and "disrespectful" criticism.

So if you are unpopular, and got bad criticism, you might as well
accept it, It was just normal, and that's the harsh truth.


VIII. They never liked the genre your game was set in.

Some people hate RPGs set in Medieval-eras. Some people hate RPGs
set in Futuristic Eras. Some even hate RPGs.

I read this one criticism on a game on about how slow it was. That
person said that the game was too slow to be enjoyable.

My reaction to what he said? Of course its slow, RPGs are meant to
be set to that pace. If you wanted something faster you should have
played an action game instead.

I often criticize games because of poor-quality battle systems. It
is because I like games who have interesting battles.

And that is what you should consider. If you recieved criticism
regarding the genre of your game don't worry. It's perfectly normal.


IX. Everyone is and will always be biased.

As mentioned in the last chapters, they will always have different
wants and likes. And because of that they might not have the same
thoughts and ideas as you.

But remember, criticisms aren't always bad. They can also help you.
There are still those *GOOD* criticisms that are aimed for the benefit
of your game.

How to determine *GOOD* criticisms from *BAD* ones?

I'll mention it in another article if I have the time.


X. Your game/idea needs more work.

Classic games become classic games because they set thier own
standards. Another why you get criticism is simply because you keep
following the footsteps of other games, this is why fangames are hardly
accepted by the community. You should start setting your own pace, your
own name and your own style. Originality is the keyword.

Another thing why you might get crtiticisms is probably because
you really deserved it. If your map really was let's say unrealistic,
then instead of fighting the criticism, do your best to fix the map.
Criticism might just be your best weapon if you know how to use it well.




And that’s how it ends. Thank you for your time.