Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

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PyTom
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Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#1 Post by PyTom » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:02 pm

This was going off-topic on the One Million Kisses thread, so I'm replying here instead.
Scout wrote:The tragic part is that A22 has made some legitimately good points, that will now be summarily ignored because they were wrapped heavily in venom. Had they actually been civily brought up, maybe they might've been acknowledged, and helped Mikey grow as an artist; but instead the whole thing is so hostile that nobody in their right mind could read any of his posts without immediately jumping to the defensive.
I think that this is basically a reasonable analysis of the situation. Frankly, I think the community has been getting into a bit of a rut recently. I mean, I look at the most recent Ren'Py games page, and if we leave off the commercial games, there isn't that much there I've actually enjoyed playing.

There's Ren'Ai Blogger, which I liked and thought worked well. I can see how people would like Dream Savior Gakuen, even if it isn't my cup of tea. But then you have a bunch of demos and tiny microgames that don't really do anything to set up a mood or get a story going.

I'm really wondering if we're moving to the Japanese model, where all serious games are going to be sold. One one hand, it's a good thing if people can support themselves off of VN. On the other, it's weird to me that we used to have a lot of high-quality free work that people spent a lot of time on, and we haven't been getting as much of that since the last NaNoRenO ended.

My sense is that many of the recent releases have been from people who have just learned Ren'Py, gotten it working, and released something relatively quickly. And I think it's important that we not scare away new people, as if we do that, the community eventually dies. But at the same time, we need to go from these demo projects to more serious works. To make the best damn game they can make, and then to make the one after that even better.

I'm wondering if people are willing to talk about this, and ideas to get things moving forward again. I mean, I expect that there will be a lot of second-class games, and that's something that's fine. But we've been suffering from a lack of first-class games originating in the community, and that might be a problem.

At the same time, there is something untoward about complaining about the free ice cream. I mean, mikey made 1 MegaKiss in his spare time, and we can't really say "why didn't you spend a lot of time/money to make it better". The real problem isn't any specific game, it's the lack of ambition in the forums as a whole.

Does anyone else see this as a problem, and if so how do we fix it.

Ps. I think the commercial side has been the most interesting to me over the past couple of months, as we've seen several complete, if perhaps short, games released there.
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#2 Post by PyTom » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:29 pm

A22 is awesome wrote: BS again... missing the fact that the game is actually flawed. Refusing to acknowledge that the game is flawed. Ignoring how I am the first person to point out that it is flawed.
I'm not sure lack of ambition* is the same thing as being flawed. I mean, is it a flaw in "The Answer" that it's in black and white? You have 4 color channels you could be using (Red, Green, Blue and Alpha), and you kept setting 3 of them to the same value.

* For some definition of Ambition. Making any reasonable game in 24 hours is ambitious in some sense, even if the results will almost always be of lower quality than a game that's taken months.
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#3 Post by A22 is awesome » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:48 pm

lol you think people will pay for OELVNs?
They're not going to do that unless it is straight up porn. Note how the most popular renpy game ever is Sexual Fantasy Kingdom.

What happens to games that don't have that incentive? Check out the other for profit OELVN threads. No one plays the full game, unless they got it for free. They just play the demo and remark on how they wish they could buy the whole thing, which is a cost of, what, 20 bucks?

Even if someone does buy it, it will be shared with 500 other people less than an hour later. Welcome to the internet.

Let's not even get started on how even the most B-grade three man two bit VN job in Japan has higher production values and care than 95% of the games on renpy.org.

Also this whole topic is dumb because you felt the need to make a topic because everyone bawwws about the words around the actual logical/helpful parts and gets snarky instead of, you know, reading the logical and helpful parts.

Also the Answer was purposely done in black and white, to set the mood for the game, which was grungy and depressed. People also have used black and white even with the advent of color because black and white has character which you cannot get out of color. The music was also faux-epic for that same reason, unlike the flawed backgrounds, writing that wasn't even run through spellcheck or else the grammar errors would have been caught, the total lack of music, and the outright bad color choice.

No, the problem is not a lack of ambition, because if that were the case there would be no VN. The problem is the lack of standards.

In before you all complain about getting troll rolled and miss the point entirely.

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#4 Post by Wintermoon » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:59 pm

PyTom wrote:
Scout wrote:The tragic part is that A22 has made some legitimately good points, that will now be summarily ignored because they were wrapped heavily in venom. Had they actually been civily brought up, maybe they might've been acknowledged, and helped Mikey grow as an artist; but instead the whole thing is so hostile that nobody in their right mind could read any of his posts without immediately jumping to the defensive.
I think that this is basically a reasonable analysis of the situation.
It's up to Mikey to have the maturity to accept valid criticism even when it's wrapped in venom, and it's up to the community not to allow their criticism to be colored by other criticism. Personally I disagree with A22's opinion, but that's just me.
PyTom wrote:There's Ren'Ai Blogger, which I liked and thought worked well. I can see how people would like Dream Savior Gakuen, even if it isn't my cup of tea. But then you have a bunch of demos and tiny microgames that don't really do anything to set up a mood or get a story going.
I rarely download OELVNs anymore. No offense to anyone in particular, but I'd rather spend my time reading a Japanese VN that I know is good than waste my time on an OELVN that, statistically speaking, probably isn't all that. Maybe we need a better system for sorting through the pile to find the real gems.

I did download Ren'Ai Blogger, but it never really caught my attention and I gave up on it after spending much more time on it than I felt it deserved. Maybe it gets better later. I wouldn't know.

The real standouts in that list of recent releases - and keep in mind that I only read a small fraction of them - were, IMO, Attorney D and Limitless Fire. Their shortness is exactly what makes them worthwhile. No wasted words, no wasted time.

PyTom wrote:I'm really wondering if we're moving to the Japanese model, where all serious games are going to be sold. One one hand, it's a good thing if people can support themselves off of VN. On the other, it's weird to me that we used to have a lot of high-quality free work that people spent a lot of time on, and we haven't been getting as much of that since the last NaNoRenO ended.
Be assured that my next game will be sold. :wink: It will be a real game, not a visual novel. I won't post about it, because it will be released under my real name and I want to keep my internet pseudonym identity separate from my real identity. But it will be sold. Or rather, it will be offered for sale. There's no guarantee that anybody will buy it.

Seriously, though, I don't think most people here are ready for the hassles and added scrutiny of a commercial release. And that's fine too. Not everybody who buys a guitar wants to release commercial CDs.
PyTom wrote:I'm wondering if people are willing to talk about this, and ideas to get things moving forward again. I mean, I expect that there will be a lot of second-class games, and that's something that's fine. But we've been suffering from a lack of first-class games originating in the community, and that might be a problem.

At the same time, there is something untoward about complaining about the free ice cream. I mean, mikey made 1 MegaKiss in his spare time, and we can't really say "why didn't you spend a lot of time/money to make it better". The real problem isn't any specific game, it's the lack of ambition in the forums as a whole.

Does anyone else see this as a problem, and if so how do we fix it.
I don't think there's much that can be done. Writing an ambitious full-length commercial-quality visual novel requires an enormous investment of time and effort, not to mention skill and inspiration. Some people have the drive to do it, but most people never have and never will. As the community grows, maybe it will attract more people with that kind of drive, but there's no way to force the drive onto the existing community.

What can be done:
  • Encourage more criticism. Create a rating system. Let worthwhile games rise to the top and lesser games sink to the bottom.
  • Some kind of contest might encourage more ambitious games. NaNoRenO just encourages completion.
  • In general, more focus on the games that are actually any good might encourage more of them.

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#5 Post by N0UGHTS » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:14 am

I haven't been in this community for a (relatively) long time, but it's true that not many of the new releases really catch my eye.

I have no idea what the "experienced" Ren'Py users are doing, but it doesn't seem to me there's a lot of activity... Or at least activity being posted. I think that may be because of education, work, and whatnot; surely if you were sixteen when Ren'Py first came out you have less time to do things now. Not that I'm aware of anyone who first got into Ren'Py at the age of sixteen four years ago... That's just an example. But even so, I think that some people here have less free time right now than last year. Losing time to think of ideas,write scripts, even develop those ideas, etc... Or maybe they're stumped on what to make. Who knows.

But surely there are people working on big projects. ...Right? Maybe there's a bit stuck. (Neon Lemmy Koopa still needs an artist or two...) Or, maybe they're waiting to announce it until a certain point of development has been reached... Or maybe that's just me. :p

I think that most of the new, dedicated, original games are actually going to come from the newer users... I think they have more time than us, and as they gain more experience their ambitions won't seem so far-fetched anymore. XD Joke, it's a joke, I'm joking...

As to how to solve it... I don't know. Maybe it's the kind of mentality people have. Maybe they're thinking, "I want to make a VN," instead of "I want to make a VN that'll wow people," "I wanna pull something great off," "I..." Or, how about this idea? Maybe, people are more focused on getting the fun of game development than actually making (and finishing) a game that's fun. But maybe as people get older, they'll start thinking more like the latter way... I don't know. Precognition and telepathy aren't exactly my strong points.
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#6 Post by Turn A 22 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:24 am

Sup guys? I'm about to go to bed, but I figured I would say that this discussion is also hella OLD and the question of why no one cares about OELVNs has been answered already. Right here. Of course the majority of you will probably act like little kids and ignore it, but it's your loss, as it is quite enlightening. Check it out:

Since this discussion seems to be a good opportunity to bring this up, I'll zoom out to something fundamental, and actually I don't expect everyone to agree, even the forum regulars... :) but it's on my mind, so here it goes:

I had a discussion with a friend some time ago about how it is more important for this board to be nice, than to try to help - if ever these two things should come into conflict. In essence if you'd ask whether that means "when in doubt, sugar-coat your comments", that's exactly what it means.

I will agree of course, that the tone of the posts in question wasn't anything of chan board caliber, and I'd also agree that this would be perfectly acceptable in a typical anime board. However, for LSF, it's still too sharp, and many people explained what it was that got them a bit upset about the way the posts were made. Of course the logical outcome will be accusation that LSF is hypocritical, that they never want to call things by their true names, but this is the price to pay. I'm much happier if the LSF is being perceived as a community of people who stroke each other's backs and overlook faults in their games, since I think it's actually the purpose of LSF to motivate and help people to finish their games, rather than it is to get people to achieve some kind of excellence.

This may be a reason (not the only one, of course) why some of the more ambitious projects are developed outside the community. LSF has this amateur aura and associating with the community usually has this negative connotation - recently I've found quite a number of negative references to Ren'Py/LSF. But as the number of projects grow, it is also a good time to remember what the actual purpose of LSF is.

For me, it's supporting people in making their games, especially those who never made any. Inspiration, rather than training. You can see it as primary school - the most important is to understand the medium and what one can do with it - what you do next - stay at LSF, or make your own team and forums - is up to you.

Usually people who are already established in one way or the other and want to start their main production on the forums will want a different attitude from the comments - more precise, to the point, direct, without needing to make everything relative by saying "oh but that's just my opinion, and there's no harm in making a different decision regarding [something]". I think often a lot of the frustration of existing or even longtime members of LSF comes from the fact that it's really in this primary-school level, that LSF doesn't help anyone to expand and grow once they have grasped the basics. It's great for making your first VN, but probably not so great for your large and ambitious project, the "real deal", so to say. For that, you need clarity and direct and honest opinions from your team members or potential audience as well as a direction. Coming to the LSF for this kind of feedback however, will often end up in frustration because here, everything is more or less relative.

Again, as you will have noticed, this relates only marginally to the ongoing discussion about having arguments on the forums. Also, it doesn't mean you can't make an ambitious project through the LSF. But if people need more space, where there are their rules in order to advance to the next level, then the LSF primary school of VN-making may not be the right place.

Not to undermine the significance of LSF or to suggest that primary school is less important than high school or university - it's just to really think about the different approach. The forums have to have at least a general focus, a primary objective, and that to me would be supporting the very beginners. It doesn't mean the forum is full of beginners, but it does explain why it's so crucial to be over-polite and think about how people may take your comments, admittedly more than in other communities.

A22 wrote:
Quote:
"I do, to an extent understand what you mean by "doesn't start off with a hook" and I agree that everyone has a right to their opinion. However, Nicol, you phrased it in a much better way than A22. "
Translation: "Lawl I agree with everything but the phrasing was not simple enough so I totally misunderstood and took it as trolling."

I'd say this really brings it to the point - it really is only in the way of saying it. Let's call it having more simplicity in statements, being more civil, descending to the LSF's sugar-coating of words, whatever term works for you. But this should have been done, and the argument would have been avoided.

And if you'd ask why one would need all this extra care in formulating things - that would be the whole primary school theory, asking ourselves what really is the purpose of the forums.

Again, I don't expect even the forum regulars to agree with me, but I really think that it's more important for LSF to be all nice and avoiding conflicts, than it is to help people if there ever should be a conflict between these two.

Courtesy of Mikey, BTW.


tl;dr you guys would rather be nice than actually provide criticism. That is why outside of this insular community, OELVNs(and LSF) are seen as a joke, because this is the forefront and you'd all rather circlejerk than work towards accomplishing something good. Which is apparently what you want. News to me. This is ESPECIALLY hilarious because Noughts just brought up how the problem might be people wanting to just make a VN, not a good VN. Hilarious because "hey any VN is better than no VN" is, according to mikey, the philosophy of LSF.

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#7 Post by papillon » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:28 am

lol you think people will pay for OELVNs?
They're not going to do that unless it is straight up porn.
You're incorrect, A22. At least two OELVNs are making good money without being porn. I can't say whether they are making as much as Sexual Fantasy Kingdom (I would guess the answer is 'no', from what data I do have), but your suggestion that "no one" outside this community is interested in them is just plain wrong. This community is less interested in them than others, unsurprisingly, because this community has access to lots of free games and the tools to make even more free games.

This community also isn't falling over itself to worship SFK despite its sales success, because it's not really what this particular group of people is interested in.

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#8 Post by PyTom » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:54 am

A22 is awesome wrote:lol you think people will pay for OELVNs?
They're not going to do that unless it is straight up porn. Note how the most popular renpy game ever is Sexual Fantasy Kingdom.
I don't know how you managed to get the sales stats for Summer Session and Heileen. Jack Norton keeps those numbers close to his chest. You may be right, and you may be wrong... but I suspect you're confusing popularity on dlsite with popularity on the internet as whole.

DLSite takes a huge share of the money for a game, so it doesn't make all that much sense to distribute non-adult titles there.
Let's not even get started on how even the most B-grade three man two bit VN job in Japan has higher production values and care than 95% of the games on renpy.org.
Let's compare apples with apples. Compare the free games we make with the free games translated in the two al|together festivals. I think our best games (say, the top 25%) compare favorably to the majority of games released in those festivals.

Or compare non-hentai commercial games with non-hentai commercial games. IMO, Summer Session beats many Hirameki games. I'd say it was better than the Ai Yori Aoshi game, Amusement Park, Ishika & Honori, Piece of Wonder, and Tea Society of a Witch, and worse than Ever 17 and Hourglass of Summer. 3rd out of 9 isn't bad.

Heck, compare Tsukihime and Heileen, both essentially indie games. Here, I've made a picture so you can compare the production values. Please compare the complex characters and artistically drawn backgrounds of Heileen with the filtered-photos of Tsukihime.
compare.jpg
There's a strong selection effect going on, in which only the best games are translated, while you're seeing the entire output of the OEL community. It's the same sort of thing that makes the average British show on American TV above-average.
No, the problem is not a lack of ambition, because if that were the case there would be no VN. The problem is the lack of standards.
What sort of standard would you set? Would Tsukihime, with its lousy art and filtered-photo backgrounds meet it?
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#9 Post by N0UGHTS » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:01 am

A22 is awesome wrote:lol you think people will pay for OELVNs?
They're not going to do that unless it is straight up porn. Note how the most popular renpy game ever is Sexual Fantasy Kingdom.
On the contrary, I'm less likely to buy "porn games" because I've got more than enough porn already. XD ...I think one of the major reasons Sexual Fantasy Kingdom has made so much (at least in comparison to other games) is because it has porn that's different; 3D, animated, fantasy-oriented, and in English. Or am I the only person who has trouble finding other porn games like that? But I think it's a good guess that if there were more games like that outside the SFK franchise, SFK would make less money... I think that's true for any genre; if it looks good, and it doesn't have much competition/it's a little atypical, you just might make a lot of money off of it, especially if you do your advertising right. I believe this was the case for Lightning Warrior Raidy; there really aren't a lot of erotic RPGs commercially available in the West in English, and from the looks of it, I think many people pre-ordered this game...

Now, I'm only saying it looked good, not that it was actually good. (Which I can't say anyway because the negative reviews have scared me off.)
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#10 Post by frumplstlskn » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:58 am

To solve the problem the simplest solution is to try and grow the community bring more people in. Growing the community will likely bring in more talent and more people who are willing to give criticism.

This community is too insular. People may make games in their own time, but don't see anything else to keep them around, the community is pretty tightly knit. One possibility I see is to try and expand beyond just these forums. There are other existing communities which are interested in VNs and by extension OELVNs(as if there's a difference). Regrettably, to my knowledge, the largest is 4chan's /jp/ board. I think to help expand the community some networking is necessary; though not particularly with /jp/, as it is not even a structured community. Lately, however, even /jp/ has been giving a lot of attention to OELVNs. They want to play more games, ones in their own language. Certainly there are others around who are also interested but see nowhere to go. We have two ends of the spectrum, the overly watered down LSF and the abrasive /jp/. People in between have no where to go.

So, I think we need much better PR. We need some very strong games to draw people in, and then when they arrive, the ones who aren't that great at all aspects will feel welcome in this nonjudgmental atmosphere. The ones who are looking to improve or join with others will also hopefully find what they are looking for.Perhaps even reaching out to writing or art communities would be a good idea; showing them this new form of media, one which they might take to.

While a forum is a fine way to run a community, I can think of many very good examples, this one isn't working as it is. If people more readily gave criticism, I don't think it would really change too much. Not everyone wants to create. A better atmosphere for people who just want to play, enjoy and review games or provide opinions/critique is necessary. Lemmasoft right now is all about creation.

The most radical and very unlikely way to break the stigma, gain a larger userbase and expand would be to start fresh. New name, new location, new community. Promoting a new community being much easier than to promote and change people's minds on an already existing one. A new community also gives people the chance to get in there early and have an impact or just simply get in and enjoy. This place does not have to be closed or end, no one might take to this idea. To me, it seems like a good option.

Tom, Tsukihime is 8 years old this December and the creators have gone on to do much greater things. It is not the best example. And you left out the writing aspect. Nasu's writing works very well for his games and he has created whole worlds and endearing characters. They also had a market for their games, a problem which is affecting the OELVN scene.

I doubt most people know of the best games made with ren'py because the first things one sees when visiting is a randomly selected creation. You're not proudly displaying the community's best games, which just goes back to the points I was making about having better PR. The only place games are marketed to is here, Lemmasoft, maybe trickling into blogs, /jp/ or otherwise.

The archive doesn't have a rating system. Implementing one would help the sorting system and enable people to play the highest user rated games if they choose to. This lets them get started playing right away without having to sift through many pages of games that might not be their cup of tea or might even make them wonder where the good games are at. Also say they don't know what they want, they can play the games with the highest rating and hopefully enjoy something that other people have. Another way to break this up might be an enjoyment rating and a production values rating. Maybe eventually even critic scores.

One other thought before I end off. To help the appeal of games, even ones made by people without the talent in all areas, some stock music, art and UIs might be a good idea. If that happens, make sure they are excellent quality.

tl;dr: Community growth is necessary and achievable through better public relations, representation and maybe even a new locale.
Last edited by frumplstlskn on Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#11 Post by KomiTsuku » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:04 am

So much for me going to bed anytime soon.

As one of the horrible, horrible amateurs, I have to agree. Who gave me criticisms that helped me figure out what I did wrong and rework it for my next project? Who pointed out my hideous errors? Except for some very light advice, I was pretty much the only critique of my work. I can't fix the problems when everyone turns a blind eye.

I don't know if the big names are working on their projects or not. I know I'm stuck because I can't find an artist. I think the general populous would be very, very happy if I didn't draw ever again.

Most of the newest releases are leaving me... bored. I like short stories, but I want something that will take some time and really develop. A lot of releases are getting shorter and shorter, meaning they can get done faster but leave me with less story...

I've got no solutions, just more problems. I'm hoping this is just a temporary situation and more people with inspiration, vision, and the ability to pull it off rise up.

Sadly, I have to agree with A22 on a lot of points. You don't have to go after people with the Harpoon of Flaming, but the best way to fix the rut is to support each other with both encouragement AND advice. You can't set standards but you can help the bottom pull itself up.

No matter what happens, though, I'm just gonna continue on with my work. It's the only way it'll ever get done... In the morning though... Bedtime now...

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#12 Post by Samu-kun » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:20 am

Mmm... Well, since I'm supposed to be one of the said creators on this board, I suppose I should try to put in my 2 cents in this matter. ._.; But just be aware that I have a massive essay to write analyzing 19th century french literature (written in french. ) and I've just returned from a three hour kendo workout where I split my expensive mandrake bamboo sword that was supposed to last me for another month in half when I can't afford to buy another one, so I'm under quite a bit of stress right now, so maybe it won't really be articulated in the best way. XD

Really, there are a number of factors that keeps me from regularly updating progress on my game here.

1. Real life issues, full time student, part time job, kendo, friends, yadda yadda yadda. This is just the operational constraint that everyone has to work under, so I suppose I don't even have to explain this much.

2. Desire to avoid spoiling the game. What's honestly the point of even making a game if I'm going to release every single CG and story snippet to the public the second I happen to complete it? I need to keep some things under wraps just to avoid revealing too much of the game or else the impact of the game when it's finished will drop.

3. Desire to avoid over saturating the game. Honestly, if you just promote a game to death and it starts getting 100+ posts in a single topic, eventually people are just going to get tired of it and won't really even care anymore how many words you happened to write for the story this week.

4. Words mean nothing, games mean everything. Ultimately, nothing in the WIP topic really matters unless you deliver the completed game, so I don't really see the necessity of even publicly updating game progress any more. Who really cares how many winnable characters you're going to have, or what length your story is going to be. What matters is the completed game, not your plans for it.

So I don't really feel that obligated to really show off the day to day progress of my game here. I might show off a picture or two on the chat channel just to stroke my ego every now and then though. XD It's not really that there's no ambition to be had in this board. I would say that it's exactly the opposite that is true and that there's too much ambition and projects generally never get finished because creators just want to keep improving them. That's the number one problem with me, anyways. The majority of the day to day game progress is done behind the scenes and just not seen by the general public, and with no actual finished product because of an excess of ambition, it just feels like there's nothing going on here when in fact everyone's working. XD

Oh man, what a wild change in direction the board is taking. All the time, everyone used to scream, start small, think small, limit everything. Now you want us all to create big all of a sudden? >:3 Hey, I actually like that... That's generally what ends up happening to all my projects... Which explains why none of them ever get damned finished!

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#13 Post by N0UGHTS » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:52 am

One thing about a ratings-and-reviews system:

Let's just hope people actually play and review the games. XD Especially the older ones. And I've... personally gotten disinterested with looking at most of the new releases to be honest. But I will try to review them when I'm not working on anything (and I've hit writer's block), if a ratings-and-reviews system gets implemented.

You know, I've just thought of this: I think reviews will be more helpful and honest than actual forum posts. We really need them if we want better games... I think this because since reviewing is so impersonal, that (stupid :mrgreen: ) "praising the herd is helping the herd (and thus, yourself, unless you are one of those sadists...)" mentality will go away.
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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#14 Post by Guest » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:09 am

Same as Samu-kun and others, not a lot of time left to work on projects, don't see the point in posting WIP but still progressing (very) slowly so LSF is for me checking technical problem and tidbits talking.

AFAIK in the free doujin VN pool, I have yet to see an outstanding one to confront O3 or Heileen but Narcissu, the problem is that the latter is made by a VN pro team, which is an obvious advantage. If we don't have some then let's make them but not every 6 month like ZUN please, we are not workaholic :mrgreen:

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Re: Criticism and Pushing the Envelope

#15 Post by Jake » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:42 am

I'm with Scout, really. A22 brings up a lot of valid points, it's just that he's a total cock about it. He seems to enjoy rubbing people up the wrong way and pretending that it's all perfectly OK because he's painting himself as some kind of bullshit-cutting saviour.

News flash, A22: You're not a bullshit-cutting saviour, you're an arsehole. Piss off.




Yes, this forum is insular, and generally speaking less ready to criticise than it should be. No, flying in and doing absolutely nothing but insulting people is not the right way to change that. In fact, it's the right way to get everyone to totally ignore you, because you're a troll. It doesn't matter that you're saying things which are true, it doesn't matter that you're pointing out flaws which need to be surmounted if this community is to become actually useful past initial creator-support - you're still a troll. If I went to a fundamentalist Christian forum and started pointing out to everyone that there was no scientific basis for the existence of God it would be true, but I'd be a troll.

The case in point that sticks in my mind actually isn't anything to do with picking up the problems in anyone's work, but the recent brief discussion about Photoshop and hardware acceleration. Delta was sitting in the thread making valid comments in an assertive and slightly derisory manner, but he was being generally civil about it. A22 follows each of his posts with a "lol moron" response of his own. I agree with pretty everything he said in that thread 100% on a factual basis, but his posts were totally unnecessary - delta had already brought those points up - and apparently only intended to annoy people. Thus, I think his contribution in that thread wasn't useful, it was "being a cock".




It would be great to get some proper constructive criticism going on this forum, I don't disagree. And it would be foolish to suggest that all the games here are of the highest quality, and I can appreciate all of A22's criticisms of mikey's recent title. Hell, mikey conceeds that they're all valid. But fundamentally, if you want to help people develop a culture of critique in a place like this, then you need to be polite - because if you're not, all you're doing is setting a bad example. Nobody is going to follow in your shoes, because they don't see "useful feedback", they see "arrogant self-righteous arsehole". They're not going to follow the example you set if you get everyone's back up and annoy them.

I think A22 knows this, because of the way he's been behaving. I think he just doesn't care at all about helping this forum, because he's obviously articulate enough to write polite posts, and obviously intelligent enough to realise that being this much of an arsehole is never going to help anyone. Here's what I think happened; he kicked up a bit of a fuss in Mikan's game thread and decided he liked it, and this forum was a soft target; he refused to take part in the civil conversation on the topic that followed because he wouldn't be able to antagonise us; he posted that pathetic "The Answer" (summary: shit music, boring self-aggrandising writing with only one amusing scene, interesting art) in the hope of generating a backlash which then didn't happen, so he needs a new target. So now, he picks on the latest work of a well-known and well-loved forum figure in the hope of generating an argument, which he in turn gets. If he wanted to help, why pick on mikey's work in particular, when mikey has been shown to produce much higher-quality stuff all-round when he puts his mind to it? Quine recently got bumped, for example, with a translation no less; why not mention that this has all of the problems that mikey's One Million Kisses has and some similar feedback? Is it because he thinks Kikered's not so likely to get people jumping to his defence?

He's dressing his trolling up as useful critique either because he thinks it allows him to get away with it for longer or because it makes him feel superior. He's either a dirty troll or not nearly so intelligent as I'd given him credit for and honestly doesn't understand that insulting people doesn't help. Which is pretty stupid.
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