On polls.

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PyTom
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On polls.

#1 Post by PyTom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:20 am

Recently, we've had a plague of polls on the site. My gut feeling is that polls are generally a bad idea when it comes to game design. Designing a game by committee is never a good idea, and while it may sometimes make sense to float an idea by the forums, the best way to do that is by posting a thread, not a poll. In a thread, people have to defend their positions, while in a poll, they can simply vote without comment.

Finally, let me point out that it's important that people here try new things, things that may not be the obvious consensus choice. It's only by pushing the envelope that the envelope becomes biggger.
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#2 Post by MsDuck » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:28 am

Oh I don't let people tell me what to make, I just wanted to know whether they think i'm nuts for doing it, not for whether they think the project itself is crazy. :twisted:

If I listened to what others thought of it I might as well not do it. Mind you, feedback is important, but doing it how the creator intends to do it is a little more important. :)

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#3 Post by mikey » Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:25 am

Also, typically polls will represent a vocal minority - those who like to take votes. There is normally a far larger group of potential players out there who just read the post (lurk), or to whom the game will get through release channels, like renai.us or similar. So if you make a decision based on polls alone, it's not very representative of what the people actually want. Not to mention the fact that polls have limited choices and those who vote choose the option that they feel is most related to what they want - and as a designer, you have less specific feedback.

In any case, a normal explanation of your point regarding a question is leagues more valuable.

On a personal note, I never take part in polls - even when I write into the topic and explain why I like say Choice-2, I never vote for that choice in the poll sticked to the topic.

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#4 Post by DaFool » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:02 am

I'm guilty of this...

but I should also mention that my game Nettestadt Troll -- the one most likely to see completion was made feasible by the brainstorming thread.

It's as if I had a whole planning committee on hand to direct me. The purpose of the poll was to gauge the feasibility of something, rather than whether people like a concept or not (although the lines are often blurred). So basically, I trust the technical advice people give, whereas artistic discretion is best left to the creator. We want to push the envelope in both cases, but it doesn't hurt to play it safe on the technical side.

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#5 Post by PyTom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:27 am

Yes, but a poll (rather than a thread) is not the way to gauge the technical feasibility of somethjing. I mean, if you get a half-dozen people voting that something can't be done, and (say) Monele posts up working code that does it, well... he's made a very compelling case, hasn't he?
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#6 Post by Mr. E » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:36 pm

On the defense of polls: I believe the main utility of polls is to give a voice to the people that, for one reason or another, don't want to defend their ideas on a thread. ( There are some people that, for example, wouldn't defend publically that a hentai game would be good for the comunity. :roll: ).
Of course polls aren't a perfect mirror of reality, and changing your game development only because of a poll is... Risky, to say the least. But I don't think polls should be disencouraged or frowned at... :(
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From the two writers above, I guess we can see that there are a lot of ways, and a lot of opinions on how to write or what to write. :P

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#7 Post by mokenju1 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:21 pm

PyTom wrote:Yes, but a poll (rather than a thread) is not the way to gauge the technical feasibility of somethjing. I mean, if you get a half-dozen people voting that something can't be done, and (say) Monele posts up working code that does it, well... he's made a very compelling case, hasn't he?

That is the reason I can't truly believe in democracy :lol:

And to be a little on topic, I have to add that I think a poll shouldn't be a main factor in a great decision like the concept of the game or the gameplay. You can end not making anyone happy because you tried to please everyone. I think it's better to make things your own way although in the end you are the only one that enjoys the game (although this is a sad,sad thing :roll:)

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#8 Post by chronoluminaire » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:54 pm

If you don't like polls, Py'Tom, why do you have them enabled in the forum software?

I was responsible for one of the polls (about a potential sequel to Elven Relations). I had originally planned for it to be a multiple-checkboxes-allowed poll with about 20 options, because I thought the forum software allowed that. Obviously I misremembered, so I had to edit down my list of possible mix-and-match options into a few broader and vaguer categories.

But you'll note I did include a big disclaimer at the top of the thread saying "I won't promise to abide by the results here". I wasn't saying "Decide what I should write", but rather asking people's opinions (on a variety of aspects) so that I could make a more informed decision about what I choose to write.

As Mr E said, I was wanting to let people chime in who (for whatever reason) wouldn't want to post on the thread.

It was quite interesting and entertaining, actually, because after four votes had been cast (and 5 posts made in the thread), there was one vote for each of the options :) But that was counting Py'Tom's and mikey's "I'm-not-going-to-vote" votes-by-post, but assuming everyone else had voted what they said in their post... It'd be easier if either everyone voted or no-one did (whose opinion reasonably matches one of the poll options, anyway). (Interestingly, the votes there are still very closely balanced between all options. Oh well. I was always going to do whatever I wanted anyway; that just leaves me most open to do that :) )
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#9 Post by PyTom » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:57 pm

chronoluminaire wrote:If you don't like polls, Py'Tom, why do you have them enabled in the forum software?
Hm... Because I'm libertarian enough to realize that just because something is a bad idea, doesn't mean it should be illegal?

Seriously, there are some cases where polls make sense. It's just that they're overused, especially when they're used to make game design decisions.
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