How much do suggestions mean to you?

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azureXtwilight
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How much do suggestions mean to you?

#1 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:21 am

When people gives suggestions to you about your WIP, what kind of suggestions will you take into consideration? Any suggestions that you remember the most? Should we really have to take majority suggestions for our VNs (a.ka. majority rule)?

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#2 Post by Aleema » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:31 am

Well ... Make a game that you want to make. If it's a hobby and you're releasing it for free, make something that you would want to play. If it's commercial and you want to appeal to a lot of people, because it means more sales, then you should probably lend an ear to suggestions. But feedback usually conflicts, so take what you know to be true and agree with, and perhaps leave what you disagree with for reflection only. You know, see something from a different POV.

Suggestions I remember the most? When people tell me that they felt creeped out or disgusted by something. Especially when it's supposed to be the opposite, haha.

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#3 Post by papillon » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:31 pm

Nobody should 'have' to take suggestions unless you've intentionally set out to make a design-by-popular-vote game. Quite often people looking at your WIP don't have the full picture because they don't know what you're planning for the rest of the story... they may be complaining that a character is slightly creepy, but you may know that the character is secretly a villain and that creepiness is exactly as intended!

If somebody is upset by something in a way that I didn't intend, that's worth paying attention to. For example (Magical Diary spoilers)
In an early draft, there was no way to get out of Freshman Initiation. You could resist Damien, but he'd yell at you and you'd fall back into line. This was because I wanted to be sure that the player had interactions with Damien before deciding to pursue him or not. But my husband was totally creeped out by the whole concept of Initiation - even though it's toned down from my real-life one - and did not want the player to be forced to conform to a hazing practice. So now you can stand up to it... which in later playthroughs where you might want to get rid of Damien as fast as possible is probably a good thing!
Otherwise it's mostly whether I think their ideas are good ideas, or at least not bad ideas. If a suggestion seems popular and incorporating it won't hurt anything, why not?

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#4 Post by Mirage » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:08 pm

I usually take off-hand/odd suggestion the most...it's not intentional I swear. lol!

Like I made Dudebuck, someone mentioned McMirage, and I go, why not? lol!
And then someone asked me if there's going to be a guy that based on the color pink in X-note. Since I needed a villain, so I go, let's make him pink! lol!

So suggestions are most likely used if I like the idea and whether it can be used within the story. If I couldn't add for current game, I can always add for future games. The only kind of suggestion I don't take is if it's totally out of character or will create plot hole. Other than that, I'm quite flexible.

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#5 Post by Camille » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:14 pm

When writing, I want the story to have certain effects on the player at certain times, or for certain characters to be perceived in this or that way. If this doesn't happen the way I intend, then I follow suggestions and change things in order to achieve those effects. But in general, unless multiple people complain that something is really bad/jarring/annoying, I tend to take suggestions with a grain of salt. I'd never want to take a lot of suggestions and have my game change drastically from where I originally wanted it to be because then I probably wouldn't have much fun working on it. Also I mean, most people reading the WIP only know a fraction of the story, so their suggestions may or may not be useful (or things I was already thinking of doing).

There was an article in the latest Game Informer issue that said there's a difference between games that try to tell a good story (or be innovative/artsy) even if it's very narrow vs games that try to appeal to as many people as possible. My games are definitely not the latter, so while I do take all comments and suggestions seriously, I usually don't implement other people's ideas except in the situations I described above.
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#6 Post by Taleweaver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:40 pm

Suggestions? In WIP thread, when I didn't ask for suggestions?

There MAY be occasions where I'm asking for advice. I may, even in a WIP thread, want to know what people think. However, most of the time, I'm very sure of myself, and my reaction towards suggestions will probably be very much like Clark Gable's above.
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#7 Post by teacup » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:52 pm

I usually always take suggestions if it's about art.
Other people always see things that look 'off' while I usually don't, and if that's the case, I'll try and go back to fix it [In my old WIP thread I redid one of the sprites and many people complained... I redid it SO MANY TIMES based on suggestions until 95% of people were happy ^^; But I'm happy I did, because the sprite ended up looking better in the end... even though I was annoyed at the time, lol]
Now, if they are giving suggestions about the story or characters... chances are I won't take it [unless I asked for them]. I almost always have the story planned 100% in my head and I can't just change it based on what others want.
If the suggestion is for the better I'll definitely listen, but when people want me to change the game just to fit what they personally want, that's not gonna happen >w>;
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#8 Post by PyTom » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:16 pm

If you're posting a WiP on a discussion forum, like LSF, you have a duty to at least consider suggestions. That doesn't mean you have to go through with them - that would be silly, as it's difficult for an artistic work to be designed by committee. But if someone goes to the trouble to point something out - "the text is too wide", "the font is unreadable", "a nose can't do that" - I think you kind of owe them at least a small amount of consideration.

Otherwise, there's no point in posting a WiP to a discussion forum in the first place - you might as well use a blog with comments turned off.
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#9 Post by Taleweaver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:43 pm

PyTom wrote:If you're posting a WiP on a discussion forum, like LSF, you have a duty to at least consider suggestions.
Really, there's nothing wrong with giving out some ideas when commenting on a WIP. I, for one, don't mind the inspiration. However, when I'm starting a WIP thread, I usually have a very clear picture in mind of the result I want to end up, and I usually just ignore anything that doesn't fit into that vision. (That's not to say that some suggestions I received in the past didn't totally rock my world and made me reconsider large parts of previous projects... however, it's a very rare occasion with me.)

I think there's a bit of a difference here. C&C is always welcome, even in the form of "this here would be better if...", so as a suggestion. However, just suggesting stuff that should "totally be in the project because that stuff is awesome" - I am very likely to ignore that. It's not a suggestion that helps me improve on my vision, it's one that adds something that wasn't part of my vision. And I call Clarke Gable on most of that.
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#10 Post by JustAnotherMe » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:51 pm

It means a lot to me. But then again, it's because I had only the vaguest idea about a story. But I think if I've done and sure about my story, I'll still ask for their opinion though I may not take things too far as to redo the whole story because of it. But, well, I guess I'll change something and fit them into the story if something is really off.
As for the art... well, I don't know if I'll change them because I don't really have much time and diligence to redo that. But I do redo the art if it's not after I've done them 100%. So I guess I'll make a WIP with just the sketches, and see their opinion, then maybe change something I could afford.
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#11 Post by herenvardo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:08 pm

I can't say too much about the project I'm currently working on (there is an agreement with the rest of the team to avoid making any announcement until it's almost done). But, for starters, I can say that there are at least two major aspects of the project that are a direct consequence of feedback I received back in 2008 while working on the FoJ project.

In more general terms: there are many "layers" of feedback, each of which deserves a different kind of attention. I normally split feedback into these groups:
  1. Major issues: Game crashes, grammar/spelling issues that make the text nearly unreadable, scenes that show the wrong piece of artwork (like showing a character's sprite when it's someone else who is in the scene), and GUI issues (on games where there is significant GUI tweaking): all of these need addressing. The key point to keep in mind is that this are unambiguously and objectively wrong: each of these you fix will invariably make the final result better.
  2. Minor issues: Minor typos, barely visible glitches in artwork and/or GUI, minor plot inconsistencies, etc: just like the above, these should in theory always be fixed. But in practice, you need to evaluate how much real impact they have on the gaming experience, and how much effort would take you to fix them. If you feel that your time and resources would be better invested on some other part of the project, then don't waste your time here. Just don't dismiss this kind of feedback straight away: evaluate the importance and cost before taking a choice.
  3. Style controversy: Some players (like me) like RPGish games with some combat and character progression systems; others prefer to stay with "pure" VNs; there are DS enthusiasts as well; and a whole spectrum between those. You can't make everybody happy, and nobody can tell you what kind of game you want to make. However, there are cases where a reasonable compromise can be reached. For example, in Elven Relations by chronoluminaire, there was a preference to enable the combat minigame or to disable it and stick with a summary of the outcome. This way, both "RPGists" who enjoy a combat system and "purists" who dislike such mechanics could enjoy the game. If you can make your game appeal to a broader audience without investing too much effort and without sacrificing the game's own identity, then I'd say go for it. If the cost is prohibitive, or if you really don't like where the changes would lead to, then it's your game, so do it your way. How much "too much effort" is; and how much change can the game endure before "sacrificing its identity" is something you should judge.
  4. Trolling / non-serious feedback: from time to time, you may find that some people post jokes in feedback threads; and you may even encounter the seldom blatant troll. Fortunately, these cases are often easy to identify. It's good to take jokes with some sense of humour (the joker probably didn't mean any offence), but those are just that, jokes, so don't take them seriously. Trolls are better off ignored and/or reported.
In summary: some feedback is obviously worth listening, some is utterly useless, and there is the whole grayscale between these "black" and "white" extremes.
Note that the "scale" above is mostly built around scripting and writing (the aspects of a project I'd normally work on), but it can easily extrapolated to artwork and music.

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#12 Post by jack_norton » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:18 pm

I got very good tips from people's suggestions for all my games. Of course there are going to be more or less useful suggestion but I always read them all :)
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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#13 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:41 am

I listen and I think about it.

I'm not a total noob and I work professionally in the creative industry, so I know when a suggestion has potential or not. Then I consider if this will fit what I am tryng to do. If it doesn't then I can discard it. If I think it will be beneficial, I figure out how I can use it. I'm usually pretty aware of my faults so I know when someone has hit on something, and I listen most carefully to them in case they have an idea of how to fix it. I don't really appreciate people telling me I should pretty much change what I'm doing to what they want, since I was pretty obviously doing it for a reason, but apart from that, I take most of it in. People can come up with some pretty interest POV sometimes.

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#14 Post by tigersmurf » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:42 pm

I just made my first WiP thread, and I will consider any and all suggestions for it.

It's nice to get a wide range of feedback from different opinions to give a better idea of the preferences of people who might potential be playing my game. But, ultimately, since I'm just making games as a hobby, I decide which feedback to listen to and which to politely disregard, you know?

Feedback is an essential part of making a game, if you have any desire at all for others to play it and enjoy it. But, I won't substitute my own judgment for that of someone else.

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Re: How much do suggestions mean to you?

#15 Post by PrettieAngel » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:20 am

Taleweaver wrote:I think there's a bit of a difference here. C&C is always welcome, even in the form of "this here would be better if...", so as a suggestion. However, just suggesting stuff that should "totally be in the project because that stuff is awesome" - I am very likely to ignore that. It's not a suggestion that helps me improve on my vision, it's one that adds something that wasn't part of my vision. And I call Clarke Gable on most of that.
I more or less agree with this.
I think for me, if they're suggestions about problems, or potential errors or issues, they deserve to be considered with at least some level of seriousness, especially if they're brought up more than once. As a creator, I find it sometimes possible to overlook flaws, with knowledge of the complete story/ history. I generally don't launch into a project without a very good idea of what's what in the story, though, so suggestions by others may conflict with the established story/ setting. While I think it's good to take into account what others would like, if it doesn't make sense to include it, I won't. However, if it sounds like a great idea that simply hadn't occurred to me, I like to endeavour for a way to include it (as sometimes is the case).
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