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TheBuzzSaw

"Game devs should avoid forums." WHAAAA?

12 posts in this topic

Quote:
Original post by TheBuzzSaw
http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-reasons-creators-should-never.html

I have a lot of words for this person, but words cannot express how wrong he is on this position. Thoughts?

I think it's important to read them, but it's a bad idea for anyone who's not paid to moderate the forums to post on them other than to give acknowledgement type feedback on things like bug reports.
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Quote:

I have a lot of words for this person, but words cannot express how wrong he is on this position. Thoughts?

I think Vogel's mostly right here. I almost never read any of the forums related to the games I have worked on, for mostly the reasons he lists. I'm also pretty sure you're wrong about words being incapable of expressing how wrong he is, so why don't you explain why you think that's the case?
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I agree with way2lazy2care that unapproved employee (like minor programmers and such) shouldn't say anything, I think it's important for most people to read them.

I've seen more than enough of my share of forums to know that whatever happens, someone will whine about it. There's some people (mostly kids) who know next-to-nothing about game development who think it could be done in a much better way and can't be impressed by anything. If you just read a bit about video games on internet in your life, you know that's just plain normal, and you can't do nothing about it. You should just ignore deconstructive comments. You won't burst into rage if someone don't say something true that made you think.

Still, these posts/users can easily be discarded (and should be done by a moderator periodically) and you can actually find nearly as much really good intelligent content.

Unfortunately, some users have awesome ideas that could save a game in just a few hours of work that goes unnoticed. Also unfortunate, the information passed back to the users through "sticky" posts mostly contains generic un-informative texts and have been written by people who had no parts in the actual game development.

I personally think every game should nominate one employee who know about the game to be the public spokesperson and actually respond real content.
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Quote:
Original post by Dunge
Unfortunately, some users have awesome ideas that could save a game in just a few hours of work that goes unnoticed. Also unfortunate, the information passed back to the users through "sticky" posts mostly contains generic un-informative texts and have been written by people who had no parts in the actual game development.

as a developer your experience playing the game is also very biased. It's sometimes hard to be honest with yourself about what is and isn't fun or realizing how fun something you thought was really minor actually is.

I know I look at games I work on with an entirely different eye than I look at a game like say League of Legends, which I play to relax and have fun after work.

Also many eyes make all bugs shallow is just as true of gameplay choices that might just be bad though not necessarily bugs. After all, these are your customers. If they aren't happy, your sales are going to be crap.
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Quote:
Original post by Dunge
I've seen more than enough of my share of forums to know that whatever happens, someone will whine about it. There's some people (mostly kids) who know next-to-nothing about game development who think it could be done in a much better way and can't be impressed by anything. If you just read a bit about video games on internet in your life, you know that's just plain normal, and you can't do nothing about it. You should just ignore deconstructive comments. You won't burst into rage if someone don't say something true that made you think.


But as Mr. Vogel pointed out, even with intelligent posters and their posts, with solid information to back their opinions can come to opposite conclusions and be unhelpful to the overall process of the game.

Take the Call of Duty series for instance. When Modern Warfare 2 came out, the choice was made to go to P2P rather than dedicated servers. Obviously Treyarch, the developer of Black Ops, read the forums, and the next iteration went back. I'm sure certain individuals read the forums, and at the same time, I'm sure they excluded paying attention to the posts that were phrased similar to "P2P ***** you *****. Dedicated Servers!" Or at least they didn't put as much emphasis on them. But with Black Ops, there are well thought out posts that go against the readdition of dedicated servers. Who do you listen to when there are opposite sides who are both right?

Personally, I think it comes down to the designer, knowing that the game is in fact their creation, and not the publics. Sooner or later you will alienate your original fanbase. It's either that, or not growing. You can't sustain a fanbase indefinitely without evolving. And unfortunately, some people, who were there from the start to encourage you, will be pissed off.

I don't necessarily think though that anyone who works on a project should be excluded. It's a personal choice. As he also mentioned, many times, when you're trying to build a reputation, paying attention to the forums is a good thing. But it changes. Also, despite what certain companies may like their employees to believe, not everyone has an equal voice. Individuals within the development cycle often have disputes about the approach. And while a person with authority might not benefit much from reading the forums, I don't think a person with little to no say is going to come away from reading forums with any more input into the project, regardless if they agree or disagree with a post.
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I never read the forums on our games. I might make a post about a bug being fixed or for more info on a issue but I don't ever make idle chatter. Its the community manager/moderators jobs to filter out all the crap and bring us the stuff that is worth looking at. And we have taken ideas from posters and used them in game. As a developer you are naturally biased towards your work. Looking at the posts from people that are just trolls or plain idiots and having the opportunity to directly address them is probably asking for trouble at some point.

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Seems to be fairly good advice. When the forums are less populated, and there is far more signal than noise, you can culture a good fan base by interacting in the forums. Once the community grows you end up with far too many trolls and louts that simply do not have the ability to think before posting. At this point it's best to just stay out of their way, for your own sanity and the good of the community.
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Jeff Vogel (paraphrase): hope the preceding discourse "makes clearer the instincts of efficiency and self-preservation" leading me to distance myself from my fans... those who want to discuss my work even while I prefer to dispense time in ways that don't involve discussing my work... as is my right.
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I still hang on on the GameSpot.com forums, since I was hanging out there long before I got into game development and have quite a few friends. After our latest release I enjoyed reading the comments on the game. Even if there was hyperbole and all over the place, it was still interesting to read the opinions of the people that buy the game. Plus there was one troll who said our game sucked because our director was a woman...even though he's actually just a dude named "Dana". Got a few laughs emailing the link to that one. :P

It does annoy me though to see people make misguided comments about "lazy developers", when really they just don't understand the practical realities of game development. And then of course there's the people who think they understand graphics because they once overclocked their GPU and ran 3DMark06. I really do try help them out and explain things from time to time, but since I don't mention that I'm actually a graphics programmer they don't listen.
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Well if there is something I disagree with him, it's the title. Never say never, there's always exceptions :)
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Quote:
Original post by stupid_programmer
Its the community manager/moderators jobs to filter out all the crap and bring us the stuff that is worth looking at.


QFT.

And for the OP - way to misquote the guy. [sad]
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