The "Critique Please" initiative

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Deji
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The "Critique Please" initiative

#1 Post by Deji » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:03 pm

Just a random idea that I had just now >>;
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In the spirits of improving the feedback on LSF, and following the idea of the long-deceased Artistic Circum-critique thread, I present you the "Critique Please" Initiative , to be implemented inside the Skill Development forum.

Problem: lack and/or disorganized meaningful feedback on threads all over LSF
While some people come to the Skill Development forums asking questions about how to improve their skills, many critique opportunities are presented inside WiP threads that end up under-critiqued because:
  • a) People may not be interested in the game the pieces (art/writing/music/etc) belong to, so they never get to see the pieces.

    b) People are put off from critiquing due the many "yay, it looks so good!!!" encouraging posts inside such threads, and end up looking like "the bad guy" if they dare to say anything that doesn't praise the author.
Proposed Solution:
Encourage people to post their works (art/writing/music/etc) on the Skill Development forum with the tag [Crit Please] or just [Crit] .


This way, users not paying attention to particular WiP threads that are still looking to help others in developing their skills could easily find pieces an author wants feedback on, without having to deal with a mountain of encouraging/supportive/"yay xD!" posts by just looking at their Unread Posts list and checking the threads that have the [Crit] tag on their title.

Users will be encouraged to give helpful critique inside [Crit] threads, while cheerleading posts without feedback will be discouraged; you can always give positive feedback and let an author you like what they do by pointing out the exact things that make you like it and that you think are well done.

I understand that sometimes authors are hesitant to post their works on public boards to get feedback because said works may be part of a project they don't want/are not allowed to spoil people about. Ideally, a Critque Encouraged community would be a good place to find people that you trust to have a good judgment/critique eye so you can PM them asking for help on private works.

*There would be an implicit rule of politeness and respect towards the authors; this should be (imho) an instance for people to get help in developing/improving their current skills and not something only the super tough-skinned dare to try.
Meaning saying "You have *a lot* of anatomy problems here, particularly this and this" would be ok, while saying "Your anatomy is SO WRONG! Please go study before you draw people again D:" would be not.

-----------------------

This is my random idea. It'd be nice to hear what you guys think, if it would be possible at all or if it would need changes for it to be implemented.
I thought about making a separated board for this very purpose a looong time ago (and never did >> ), but we do have the Skill Development forum and there would be no need for a separate place for that.

So... thoughts?
Last edited by Deji on Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#2 Post by usul » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:08 pm

This appeals to me. Most of the feedback on this forum is very supportive (one of the most positive forums I've seen in fact) and while this is good for encouragement, it leaves a lot to be desired in way of 'tough love' critiques that help the creators improve their games.

In short, I'm all for it.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#3 Post by dstarsboy » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:12 pm

Great idea, Deji. We should definitely turn this into a standard around here.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#4 Post by Samu-kun » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:22 pm

Sounds great. Hopefully, I'll have some stuff for people to look at soon.






edit:
.....waaaaiiit a minute, did I just post a "sounds great!!!!" post right now? XD..... *gets rained on*

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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#5 Post by CaesMRaenes » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:25 pm

I support this. Not only would threads with the tag of [CP] but the Skill Development forum would get a lot of attention.

I agree with your examples of critique. I find that being reasonable is a lot better than being nice for critiques. It's been taught many times, over and over, in our art classes that when critiquing, it is etiquette to do so with the positives first before the negatives. But there ALWAYS must be a negative because for art and development, there is always room for improvement. As such instead of "You have *a lot* of anatomy problems here, particularly this and this", you would also provide "Your coloring style is unique and would be wonderful when developed. But you do have *a lot* of anatomy problems here, particularly this and this. If you add meat to the arms or short the legs blah blah blah...."

The only thing that concerns me is the potential of the Skill Development forum being overran with threads of [CP]s which isn't too bad of a problem but could be if people create individual posts for every little thing they do. Say that I made 12 different threads with each piece of artwork I did and 2 posts of poetry. It'll be a bit of a hassle then to sort out. How about each person make a [CP] for their own personal stuff and edit their titles with updates like "[CP] CaesMRaenes' stuff - Update: 7/1/2010"? Be less of a cluster then.

Oh, and I use myself as an example because I am a good guinea pig. Heheh.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#6 Post by IxIoN » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:25 pm

Great idea.

I honestly haven't seen mean people that likes to say "you suck" in this forum, but there are a lot of people that can help improving a game so it's really useful and can make the standards of Ren'py games go up, fixing some things that are wrong with help of the members.

And yeah, it's kinda scary to say something negative in a WIP because some people can freak out *trembling*.

So I will post my CP topic when rules and such are made. And again, great idea, good sir EDIT: lady. XD
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#7 Post by Ren » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:28 pm

Doesn't sound so random, as an idea. It's a bit similar to the initiative they had in Deviantart, but could potentially be more successful, as it would highlight the creators who will welcome criticism and makes it easier for those willing to comment, too.

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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#8 Post by PyTom » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:37 pm

I think this is a great idea - but perhaps it should go one step further. I dare say that this should extend to both SD and WiP, and it should be the default state of threads. Polite critique should _always_ be allowed and encouraged, and I'm not sure we want to make the [CP] tag an explicit requirement - I'd rather have it the other way.

I'm going to be trying to pay more attention to the WiP threads, and make at least one post in that section a day from here on. I suspect that if we had a half-dozen or so people who could commit to posting crit once a day to either SD or WiP, we'd raise the level of those boards quite a bit.

EDIT: I realized I can put a "Critique" field in people's profiles, that people can select between yes or no on. I've added it to my account, and if people think it's a good idea, I can use database admin powers to set it for everyone.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#9 Post by Deji » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:56 pm

@usul: we do need a health dosis of "tough love" around here, indeed

@dstarsboy: the idea is to start with the CP tag so we can slowly build a critique-encouraging community; then, ideally, it will no longer be necessary.

@Samu-kun: I shall summon a rain cloud over you until you learn how to write lengthier meaningful posts! xD

@CaesMRaenes: Yes, positive feedback should always go before pointing out the flaws on a good critique! Thanks for reminding us C:
The problem with people spamming the forum with [CP]s is complicated. You obviously don't want to have one thread per artwork, for the same reason you pointed out, buut you also don't want a 12+ pages long [CP] post that may be confusing for somebody that hasn't been around for a while but still wants to give some feedback on the author's newer pieces... So I don't know what would be the best solution to that myself D:

@IxIoN: People are very nice around here. Too nice, for some of us. We need some tough love C: I'm a girl, btw ^^;

@Ren: Yes, that's exactly the idea. Normally people won't give feedback unless asked to, so the CP will tell people from the start (the very title of the thread) that the person is looking for meaningful feedback.

@PyTom: I think it'd be nice to have [CP] implemented on WiPs too, though I'm not sure how willing to accept it are people there.
I wouldn't hacvbe CP by default starting now, though, since the idea is to start moving the community towards that direction, getting the users used to critique, so they learn to likeit, love it and wat it. I'm sure at some point we won't need the [CP] tag, but I think that in the state things are right now, the [CP] tag is advisable.
Still, i think people should be encouraged to post the pieces they want critique on on the SD forum and not only inside their WiP threads. As I said, some people may not be interested in a particular game and not keep an eye on their WiP thread, but may be interested on helping the author improve their writing or drawing skills, regardless of the game.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#10 Post by Wintermoon » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:03 pm

I support posting art in the Skill Development forum to ask for critique, of course.

However, the [CP] tag is unfortunate because those letters have another common meaning. Also, all posts in the Skill Development forum should be implicitly open to critique. That's why it's called "Skill Development".

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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#11 Post by CaesMRaenes » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:15 pm

PyTom, the Critique option in the profiles is an interesting idea and could act like a red target, but sadly, it's tucked away. Most people only look at profiles in curiosity as to how and where to contact a person.

Deji, you do prove a point with a long-butting thread with so much artwork clumped in. It could be intimidating for new viewers. I can't think of a way to help reduce that overload there, but another idea I thought of is similar to what I'm doing in Google Documents with my artwork. The idea is: when critiquing a specific artwork, the critique would need to start with the name of the work so that there is reference back. Probably to help with organizing a little would be to edit the first post, much like how WIP threads have been working lately, with only [link]s of the artwork. i.e. "Sketch of a Wolf [link]" so that the first post won't be a long post. And of course, a "rule/consideration/follow this" stickied thread could help a little, though that would be another thread to add to the cluster.

Huh. What to do.

Wintermoon, you completely flipped my reading on this thread. I forgot that CP also meant that, and well, people who frequent 4chan would find a kick out of that, plus put us on the big list for it. I'm not liking the idea of FBI breathing down my neck over something as simple as me wanting help with an artwork.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#12 Post by Deji » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:17 pm

Wintermoon wrote:I support posting art in the Skill Development forum to ask for critique, of course.

However, the [CP] tag is unfortunate because those letters have another common meaning. Also, all posts in the Skill Development forum should be implicitly open to critique. That's why it's called "Skill Development".
Oh, I didn't know it had another meaning ^^; We could always come up with another tag, if needed.

EDIT: It means a lot of things, I don't exactly know which one you're pointing to >>; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP)

And yes, I agree that all posts at SD should be implicitly open to critique. The current problem is that the forum is not being used and taken advantage of as much as it could be.
Ultimately, this is an initiative to *encourage* people, not a new thing. Like those ad campaigns that remind you to call XX number in case of an emergency; the number has been there for decades, but a reminder campaign every now and then helps people have the number fresh in their minds and actually remember to use it. Same with this and critique.

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I actually think that's a good idea! Editing the First post with links to the works and that people giving feedback on a work put the name of the work you're providing feedback on written on the 'Subject' or on the first line of the post
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#13 Post by CaesMRaenes » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:28 pm

Excuse me for posting so immediately, but uh, it's this one, Deji.
Child Pornography or Cartoon Pornography.
Don't know why I felt the need to put a spoiler tag though. Haha. Just saying.

We could simply use [Crit] as a tag since it's a critique wanting tag, plus it's like being crit-ed (critically hit) in video games (darn crits)... unless there's another meaning that I'm not aware of.

EDIT: Edited out the link. I'd feel guilty if I led a randomly innocent person in there.
Last edited by CaesMRaenes on Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#14 Post by Deji » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:33 pm

CaesMRaenes wrote:Excuse me for posting so immediately, but uh, it's this one, Deji. (*edited*) Just reading the first few lines there and it's enough.

We could simply use [Crit] as a tag since it's a critique wanting tag, plus it's like being crit-ed (critically hit) in video games (darn crits)... unless there's another meaning that I'm not aware of.
Oh, I see >>;

I actually thought of [Crit Plz] in the beginning, but thought It'd be better to abbreviate it more ^^; I think [Crit] would work better C: *goes to edit first post*
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Re: The "Critique Please" initiative

#15 Post by Applegate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:36 pm

That'd be interesting. It's a little disheartening to be unsure about your work and see a lot of people going "it looks great!" even though you're still saddled with the feelings of insecurity because you disagree, or don't know what's so great - until someone strolls in from elsewhere and says it sucks. :p

I guess many don't enjoy being the "bad one" by saying "I found this to be bad" when others enjoy it.

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