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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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JoeCooper

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101 posts in this topic

"[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Beginners aren't necessarily lazy by asking a certain question.. some of them may not have developed the research skills necessary to be wholly independent ..."[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Incidentally, one time a user came into the beginner forum and asked how to make a game (or something like that) and was somewhat stubborn about the responses. He revealed he had no computer... [/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I decided to write to him directly and asked if he wanted to make games. He seemed a little weird, but I convinced him to get a computer, and... This took a few months for no reason I could gather. I pressed him and advised, then I tried to press him to do this and that and try this, but he'd just play X-Box all day.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Eventually I realized he was mentally challenged.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I forgot where I was going with this ...[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I somewhat dislike the presence of a smack button if folks are using it against newbies, but one could also make the case that newbies and lazy observers can smack someone responding with the local equivalent to "RTFM" on a topic that just plain isn't intuitive.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]In the latter case, using an anonymous smack button can fall under the "choosing your battles" principle. Sometimes it's obvious why something is smackworthy and you don't really want to get that invested in it..?[/size][/color]
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Check the [url="http://www.gamedev.net/blog/1037/entry-2250407-content-ratingreputation-system-and-call-for-site-developers/"]latest Staff Journal post I made[/url], everyone. We're looking for help in making these kinds of changes a reality. The more help we get, the sooner we can start implementing stuff that needs to be developed in order to make these features work.

[quote name='Yann L' timestamp='1310780974' post='4835862']
We have a [i]GD.Net facebook fan page[/i] ?! Please tell me this is a joke.
[/quote]
[url="http://www.facebook.com/GameDev.net"]Laugh it up, fuzzball.[/url] Although I wouldn't call it a fan page, since it's run by us.

[quote name='CamJackson' timestamp='1310785047' post='4835880']
There's always the stackexchange system, where downvoting costs you a tiny bit of your own rep?
[/quote]
We've been hearing this a lot. I'm in favor of it

[quote name='Matias Goldberg' timestamp='1310794008' post='4835898']
CgSociety for example is very strict and appeals to professionals, therefore people behaves a lot more there. I like their "critique system"; it's basically an "I like" button, but a window pop ups where you have to explain WHY did you like it, or WHAT did you like about it.
[/quote]
Are these critiques publicly visible? I think one argument to be made against this is similar to what Mike has been saying where a full reply would serve the same purpose and also explain to others what is good/bad about the post.

[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1310794046' post='4835899']
Since the new system came in, my rating has stopped being a static number, and is instead climbing daily... [b]it's pretty much just a counter for how long I've been active on the forums[/b].
[/quote]
Yea that's a good point to ponder.... still pondering...

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1310794996' post='4835901']
[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1310790178' post='4835889']
So if "Yann L" likes the post it will say so, and others aware of his considerable background can pay more attention to that post.
[/quote]
What if no one knows who Yann L is? The number system enforces "that person is doing something right and other agree with him". A bunch of random names doesn't seem as useful as it sounds.
[/quote]
True, but this is where stuff like badges can come in. You'll notice in the IPB post Mike linked to you can hover over names to see profile info. We can begin having badges that denote certain members as experienced users or experts on certain topics that mods can hand out to members they recognize for these abilities. It would at least let people recognize who is thinking their post is accurate/helpful

[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1310802493' post='4835915']
Reading through this topic, it seems to me that there's a lot of objection to the term "like this" and very little objection to the actual functionality -- perhaps we just need to replace the button with "agree" or something similar?
[/quote]
This should be possible - you can change a lot of terminology by editing the site's word bank. For example I changed all instances of "blog" to "journal"

[quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1310968858' post='4836657']
Of course, one option would be to remove the "up/down" model entirely and simply replace the buttons with a "tag this post" link. Meta-tags like "helpful" or "rude" or "inaccurate" could be supplied, so that people cannot simply vote down (or up!) a post without providing a cogent reason. By making it a tag rather than a free-form input, we can ensure that people don't just type "asdl;fkasdglk;mnsd" into the box and thereby go around abusing the system.

I [i]think[/i] this might be doable in the new IPB version with tag support, but I might be mistaken. If it is possible, I think it'd be a great solution to the issue. We could even have the tags be aggregated into a number automatically (every "negative" tag is -1, every "positive" tag is +1, show the sum on the post instead of the vote count). This could also be supplemented with a detection method that says "oh, hey, person A flagged this as useful and B flagged it as inaccurate; let's mark the post as controversial."

This solves the problem of nobody knowing why a post is red or green, while still retaining elements of both community self-policing (for negative behavior) and supplementing the rating system with a mechanism for objectively determining quality content.
[/quote]
Interesting idea, mainly because [url="http://www.gamedev.net/blog/15/entry-2070165-gdnet-v5-concepts-user-ratings/"]it's been suggested and considered before[/url]. I think it merits consideration again now that tagging is coming to IPB.
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Are downratings restored? I can't downvote others, but others obviously can downvote. Is that some new functionallity based on your rep number, perhaps?
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I respect the decision to remove the down rating, but in all honesty, I thought it was the best system GD.Net ever had. You had immediate impact on what specific posts got down rated.

The negative for keeping it is, some people may opt not to post specific content for fear of being downvoted or losing personal rep. Isn't that the whole idea of the reputation system? To be the little buzzer going off in your head that says, "If I post this I might lower my rep..."

Prior to the forum change I was getting downvoted for posting opinions contrary to the mood of the board, which really sucked. With the last system that happened maybe 1 or 2 times, because other people could see when you got down voted and vote you back up if you got downvoted for no reason. On that note, the times I did get downvoted were honestly warranted. It was a really well done feature that provided immediate feedback to posters.

The only real down side I saw was the abuse that you mentioned (which I think could be remedied), and the lack of ability to sort posts (specifically of yourself) by ratings.

It seems like every time the rate down feature goes away, idiotic posts go up exponentially.
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A suggestion for an alternative post rating/voting system from another site I often read: Instead of vote up/down buttons, have a combo box with a set of preset words. When you read a post you can select one of the words and the [i]average[/i] vote is displayed. The words could be something like "neutral" (the default), "helpful", "correct", "incorrect", "irrelevant", "off topic", "repeat", "funny", "rude", "flamebait", and so on. So if a few people selects correct and a lot of people selects incorrect the average would show incorrect, and in this way the community can converge on a classification of how informative a given post is. This system is used on [url="http://newz.dk/xamarin-overtager-mono-og-dertilhoerende-produkter#new"]newz.dk[/url] (in danish.) Of course, you must be logged in before you can select. Oh, and you are free to change you selection later, the average is computed dynamically.

I guess this could even tie in with a member reputation. Instead of having a numerical reputation, show something like "Most of this posters posts are <correct>".

As I see it this system has two advantages over a like/dislike system. 1) It is more fine grained: I can indicate [i]why[/i] I like or dislike this post, as in, was it correct information, was it rude, was it irrelevant. 2) It is "easier" to rate posts. I will only click the like/dislike button on posts that I am really sure are good or bad, the in-betweens are lost, but I can easily attach a word like helpful or irrelevant to how I feel about a post so I'm more inclined to do it.
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Downvoting is restored for some people - We are experimenting with factors that to help determine those who would be less likely to abuse the system and thus cause troubles for everyone else using the site. Think of it as automatic selection of meta-moderators. Think of the algorithm as a big black box where a bunch of calculated variables based on your account go in and it decides whether or not to give you downvote access yet. If you don't have access, it doesn't mean you're not trustworthy.. at some point you may get access.

- Michael
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I curious if the ratings could be setup so that beginners have to "earn" the right to upvote or downvote a post. This could be participation in the site, not having less than 0 for so many months, or getting their posts upvoted.
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1311196577' post='4838141']
Downvoting is restored for some people - We are experimenting with factors that to help determine those who would be less likely to abuse the system and thus cause troubles for everyone else using the site. Think of it as automatic selection of meta-moderators. Think of the algorithm as a big black box where a bunch of calculated variables based on your account go in and it decides whether or not to give you downvote access yet. If you don't have access, it doesn't mean you're not trustworthy.. at some point you may get access.

- Michael
[/quote][i]
[/i]
I'd rather not think of it as a magical black box of judgement. Even though you say it's not a measure of trustworthiness, that does appear to be exactly what it is (people more likely to abuse the system == less trustworthy). It's apparenty not a GDNet+ thing, so I'm guessing it's just a plain old "if you have >n reputation, you can downvote"? (Incidentally, I can downrate journal entries, but not posts - is this a bug?)

I'm curious to know if you've actually confirmed any cases of people "abusing the system". Unless this is actually a problem, and was happening in more than one or two cases with the old system, this is somewhat reminiscent of premature optimisation. (And if it was in the Lounge, then you could just not allow rating at all in that forum).

I also don't really see how you can judge some users less likely to "abuse the system" than others. Letting everyone vote both up and down means that you end up with a post rating representative of the community as a whole.

[quote name='mrchrismnh']
[size="2"]Without downrating, when someone comes onto the forum and is WRONG how else is the army of GD.net computer geniuses supposed to punish them?[/size]
[/quote]

Maybe my sarcasm detector is broken, but it should never be about punishment. Post ratings should just be about marking incorrect information, IMHO (another reason to not have ratings in the lounge, or at least not to count them towards user reputation). I'd be perfectly happy with user ratings being removed altogether, but it's also why I suggested basing the rating on number of +ve or -ve posts above, rather than directly on the number of pluses or minuses. That way one bad post in a thread with lots of traffic doesn't nuke someone's reputation, and you don't get the perception of being "picked on" leading to a long-lasting stigma.
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[quote name='__sprite' timestamp='1311255662' post='4838436']Maybe my sarcasm detector is broken, but it should never be about punishment. Post ratings should just be about marking incorrect information[/quote]
If you post incorrect information and you get downrated, then that is a punishment. Now if a post is marked as "INCORRECT", that would be another thing. (Hopefully a post marked as such would have an explanation as to why it's incorrect.
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There were at least two incidents of outright evilness being done in the old up/down vote system, that I can think of offhand. There may well be more. Obviously the situations were sensitive so I can't go into details, but it's not like we woke up in a cold sweat one night thinking "oh noes what if someone's rep turns red and they didn't deserve it!?"
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[quote name='__sprite' timestamp='1311255662' post='4838436']

I'm curious to know if you've actually confirmed any cases of people "abusing the system". Unless this is actually a problem, and was happening in more than one or two cases with the old system, this is somewhat reminiscent of premature optimisation. (And if it was in the Lounge, then you could just not allow rating at all in that forum).

I also don't really see how you can judge some users less likely to "abuse the system" than others. Letting everyone vote both up and down means that you end up with a post rating representative of the community as a whole.

[/quote]

Yes, many many confirmed cases. Put it this way, if there wasn't we wouldn't have bothered to address this as an issue. On judging users less likely to abuse the system, unfortunately what seems ideal doesn't always necessarily work out that way. If we didn't have to do this we wouldn't.

Right now we don't formally publish any guidelines as to how you become a moderator either, so this automatic selection of people with downvote capabilities represents something akin to selecting moderators. I remember how Slashdot used to call it Karma, and when you had enough Karma you would sometimes be selected as a meta-moderator.
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I suggest ratings in the Lounge be the below:

[list][*]Great?[*]Good?[*]OK?[*]Meh?[*]Hmm?[*]What?[*]Eww?[*]WTF?[*]Should I sit in crap instead? -- maybe we should change this one[/list]
In short, Lounge ratings should have a different set of ratings than the other Forums.
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We're going to be killing ratings entirely in The Lounge and Help Wanted. Possibly Your Announcements too. I'd like to leave them here in CSI, but decouple them from any effect on reputation so people can still easily give their opinions on ideas and suggestions.
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1311390167' post='4839200']
We're going to be killing ratings entirely in The Lounge and Help Wanted. Possibly Your Announcements too. I'd like to leave them here in CSI, but [b]decouple them from any effect on reputation so people can still easily give their opinions[/b] on ideas and suggestions.
[/quote]
Well can't you do that with the Lounge?!
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I suppose. Might just keep the Like and not allow downvoting. Because really that's just only going to further antagonize the religious and political threads it'll be used in most anyways.
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If it were up to me (which obviously it isn't), I would keep up and downvoting in the Lounge, but decouple them from Reputation. Also, (if possible) I would make the ratings for the Lounge different from anything else on the board. For example, "Like This" and "[i]Haaaated[/i] It". For Help Wanted, I would keep only upvoting and let it tie to reputation. Things like good advice, pointing to other helpful resources, or connecting two people should be rewarded. Same for CSI and Your Announcements. All the other forums get up and downvoting (thumb up and thumb down, respectively) and are tied to reputation.
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I'm completely against downvoting in the Lounge, personally. But there are three other votes to consider amongst senior staff...

HW Mod jbadams has said he doesn't want any ratings in the forum, but maybe he'd be okay with only Likes. We'll have to wait until after the honeymoon to hear from him again tho... :)
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1311206677' post='4838196']
I curious if the ratings could be setup so that beginners have to "earn" the right to upvote or downvote a post. This could be participation in the site, not having less than 0 for so many months, or getting their posts upvoted.
[/quote]
The whole idea of having to spend reputation to down vote others is a form of earning. That idea has been mentioned a few times.

I still think voting on posts should lock after a fixed time period and you can only up/down vote a user so many times per length of time.
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1311547747' post='4839765']
I'm completely against downvoting in the Lounge, personally.[/quote]
Honestly, speaking for myself, I don't see the big deal of downvoting in the Lounge if voting either way is completely decoupled from Reputation. I mean... it's the Lounge. It's opinion-based, non-technical. So why limit an user choice to express their opinion? People have downvoted [b]and[/b] responded to posts before. There's no danger in that[b] not[/b] happening. And... it's decoupled from Reputation. Completely harmless, IMO.
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[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1311551488' post='4839780']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1311206677' post='4838196']
I curious if the ratings could be setup so that beginners have to "earn" the right to upvote or downvote a post. This could be participation in the site, not having less than 0 for so many months, or getting their posts upvoted.
[/quote]
The whole idea of having to spend reputation to down vote others is a form of earning. That idea has been mentioned a few times.[/quote]
Honestly, I see it as a way for some not to spam downvotes at a whim.

[quote]I still think voting on posts should lock after a fixed time period and you can only up/down vote a user so many times per length of time.
[/quote]
That's a good idea. I could go for that.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1311566627' post='4839840']
[quote]I still think voting on posts should lock after a fixed time period and you can only up/down vote a user so many times per length of time.
[/quote]
That's a good idea. I could go for that.
[/quote]
I like the idea of up/down voting a specific user only once an day, or whatever, as long as you take into account these issues:
- If I upvote, I should still be able to undo it by downvoting, and vice-versa.
- I need to be able to upvote/downvote multiple [i]different[/i] users in the same thread, without being timed out.

Those two issues make implementing your suggestion slightly more complicated. Keeping track of the time of my vote, the user I voted on, and what type of vote I did (up or down?). The more they have to tweak, the more they get away from the 'off-the-shelf' version of the forum software.

But I totally agree, that would be the desirable solution. And hey, GDNet isn't a really off-the-shelf community; they knew they'd have to at least do some customization the shape the site around us. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif[/img]
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