Feedback is Garbage and you Should Ignore 90% of it!

ShiraCheshire

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I don't know if this experience crosses over to game development at all, but from doing a fair amount of writing I don't think any feedback should be ignored completely. You just have to figure out what it's actually saying. Feedback is like your confused grandma saying "The computer doesn't work!" when she means anything from "The monitor is unplugged" to "I forgot my email password."

People will say "this game is too short" when they mean "The ending didn't give me a proper feeling of closure" or "The marketing for this game misled me on how long it would be." Tho yeah a lot of feedback does basically amount to "I like shooter games, why aren't there more guns in this Tetris clone?" which is pretty safe to disregard. But you won't know if something is category A or category B until you've thought about it for a bit.

I also think an important step in feedback is considering that someone might have a point, even when your first instinct is to reject it. Sometimes people have said things about my writing that made me think 'No way!! How could you even say/think that, my story isn't like that!' But when I considered it for a while... a lot of the time, they did have a point. Their advice wasn't always useful, the words they used were sometimes unnecessarily harsh, and they didn't always properly articulate exactly what the problem was. But a lot of the time, they do have some sort of point in there that really can expose a flaw (minor or major) in your work. It's just hard to train your brain to go "Okay, the work is good, but this bit needs a little more revision" instead of "oh NO my work is terrible and my life is a waste and everyone hates me! This is the end of the world!"
 

Helen1701

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I'd say ignoring feedback would be a bad idea if lots of people are saying the exact same thing. Like, say you added a mechanic that allows you to catch insects, but then the player couldn't do anything particularly useful with them except sell them for small quantities of money (which they could obtain other ways anyway), it would be quite valid if people were asking why that mechanic is even in the game. If however those bugs were a potions ingredient, that's a different matter because you've given the bugs a definite use in the game.

I mean, if someone says 'this sucks' and doesn't take the time to bother to explain why, that's not helpful feedback and you should obviously ignore it, or ask why. We all put our heart and soul into our games, I'm still at the making graphics stage because I want mine to look unique, and I don't want it to be the same as everyone elses. I'd be gutted of course if someone said they didn't like my tilesets or sprites, but if they could tell me why not I'd go back and possibly change something depending on the reason. Like, if someone said that my pallettes were too saturated, it might be just that they prefer another art style (mine is upbeat and cartoony, much like the game I want to create), and I wouldn't have to change anything. But if they said that they couldn't tell what something was supposed to be, then I'd have a big problem and I'd need to go and edit my tileset so that it's readable.

So what I'm saying is that I see there is a difference between 'this kind of game isn't my cup of tea' and 'oh, you messed up right there, if you go back and fix it, then it will be great'. The former is just an opinion, and lets face it, NOBODY can please everyone. The latter is where a definite problem that needs fixing is identified.
 

KenKrath

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People in general cannot accept criticism and those that accept criticism as a TOOL to improve their products are generally the ones that succeed. If you ask for feedback/criticism with the false hope of getting praise; your project is more likely destined to fail and will never improve.

I've stopped giving criticism (I won't say on what) as a way to assist folks but stopped because the response I've received went something along the lines of "You don't know what you're talking about" when I have quite a bit of experience in what I'm looking for. My thoughts are "If you're the expert then why are you asking for feedback and why aren't you successful?"

So no feedback is not garbage and should not be ignored if you're trying to improve. If you're complacent with producing a crappy product then by all means ignore feedback.

And for the record, I'm referring to constructive feedback.
 

HexMozart88

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I'm a little mixed on this. I'm terrible with feedback (as I've quite literally gotten personally attacked by multiple people during critique sessions before, so now I default to "your work is terrible and so are you") so a lot of times, I tend to try and ignore certain words, like annoying, frustrating, boring, etc., because I tend to turn those into "your game is bad." I think if feedback has such a negative effect like it does for me, then do what I've done lately and don't release your games until you're more confident in your abilities, so you can start separating feedback from ad hominem attacks.
 

Arthran

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Confucious said:
If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
Confucious was pretty widely regarded as a smart dude, but even he was willing to admit that he always had room for growth and that there were always things he could learn from other people.

No matter how great you might think you are at something, I guarantee that you have room to grow at it, and I guarantee that you will have many more opportunities to do so if you keep an open mind towards feedback from other people.

I'm not saying that you should just blindly accept what other people say and assume that they're always right and that you're always wrong... I'm just saying that you should give honest consideration towards what other people say, because sometimes they *are* right, and sometimes you *are* wrong. Nobody is perfect. Nobody can see everything or consider every possibility. Sometimes we get tunnel visioned and can't see things that are apparent from a different perspective. And sometimes, even if the feedback that your getting *is* wrong, it could still wind up giving you inspiration on some other matter entirely.

I get that it can hurt your ego when someone else makes you feel like you are lacking. But being able to recognize and acknowledge your flaws is paramount to becoming the best version of yourself, because only then can you correct those flaws. Refusing to do so, because it hurts, is kinda just setting yourself up to continue getting hurt in the long wrong.

But all that philosophical stuff aside, you also gotta consider who you're making this game for. Of course people are going to "want to have an opinion" about the games they play. There are so many other games that people could be playing, so they have no need to just eat up whatever slop they're given. If you're releasing a product that is meant to be consumed by others, then you probably do need to actually consider the opinions and preferences of those others to some extent.

If this is just a passion project that you're mostly making for yourself, then that's one thing. But if it's important for you to have a lot of people actually play your game, then going into it with the mindset that 90% of those people are irrelevant morons is probably not going to do you any favors.
 

KenKrath

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I'm a little mixed on this. I'm terrible with feedback (as I've quite literally gotten personally attacked by multiple people during critique sessions before, so now I default to "your work is terrible and so are you") so a lot of times, I tend to try and ignore certain words, like annoying, frustrating, boring, etc., because I tend to turn those into "your game is bad." I think if feedback has such a negative effect like it does for me, then do what I've done lately and don't release your games until you're more confident in your abilities, so you can start separating feedback from ad hominem attacks.
Anyone that personally attacks you with feedback is simply hating and not providing feedback at all. In cases like that you should ignore it. For example my brother had a growing YouTube channel where he was making money reviewing watches. People commented that his fingers were fat so he stopped making videos. I couldn't understand that.

Here is some feedback I've received and I how handled it internally:

"I can't take your character seriously because of his name."
-Most folks are connecting the dots with the name so it works. At least he watched all my videos LOL so he must have liked the storytelling.

"LOL, your character looks like....."
-I looked up the character in question and I guess he does. At least he told his friends about it and they commented and now I have more views and interactions.

"I'm not crazy about the artwork."
-Point taken. Does it do what I want it to do? Yes. Understandably it's metal and not for everyone. Maybe females can look a little more feminine.

"The voice acting of so and so doesn't match."
-Great point and I didn't notice it. Will be aware of this in the future.

"This will die because episodes are being released so far apart."
-Seems to be a consensus. Maybe look at creating x amount of episode and release weekly.

Everything else is noise and should be ignored. I'm not sure of the context of your feedback. Typically you should be your biggest critic so if you're giving a subpar effort and not giving your project all you've got then the poor feedback is warranted. Also the majority of your feedback should be positive. You need to focus on that and take positive feedback as a cue that your project is heading in the right direction.
 

Archduke

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Hm, no. All feedback you receive is valid and meaningful, especially if you get the same feedback from more than one person. It is up to you to review that feedback in as objectively a perspective as you can and see if it would actually contribute to the goal of your project or helps in what you're trying to do. If you have doubts or uncertainties, then I would redirect that feedback to a second or third or fourth person for thoughts and opinions.

To only pay attention to 10% of the feedback because you've decided that most people are just trying to hate on your project is limiting your view on the genuine thoughts of people out there. Everyone may not be the best at communicating those thoughts, and you certainly shouldn't feel the need to try to coax an explanation out of people all of the time, but take and consider every point of view for your project with a grain of salt and see how you could really apply it. You see your project in a very biased way, so there are things you may just be blind to. Just because X person was mean does not mean he was wrong.
 

HexMozart88

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Anyone that personally attacks you with feedback is simply hating and not providing feedback at all. In cases like that you should ignore it.
Oh, I realize that now. It's just that some of the people who have personally attacked me have been teachers (long story) so I literally just have no self-esteem now and everything feels like I'm being told I'm a failure.
if you're giving a subpar effort and not giving your project all you've got then the poor feedback is warranted.
Heh, nope. I literally devote my life to every single game I make (sometimes a little too much, but we won't go there). The poor feedback is just because I'm a bad game dev, LOL.
Also the majority of your feedback should be positive.
Again, bad game dev. I literally don't get any positive feedback other than "uh, well, it's a good concept" and "pretty art". So I kind of stopped bothering putting my work out because I'm literally useless at my job.
 

Cloak

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Most of my feedback so far has been pretty positive, although given that they're coming from friends it could be skewed in my favor lol. With that said, I've sometimes found myself incorporating certain ideas I like from inputs that I've received from them. It's always nice to see how someone else views your project and get a fresh perspective, because of course everyone's mind will reach a certain point where creativity begins to stall. When that happens, I find the quality of certain characters, story points, maps, etc. not meeting the standards that I had placed for myself when I started out. So getting that small input or suggestion from others can really help in picking up on that slowing rate and help me get back on course and schedule. My 2 cents!
 

RCXGaming

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Wait, why are people mad at me? T_T What did I do?

"People" -- more like only me. I have serious beef with your attitude and honestly I think we need to address it as long as we have a morbidly appropriate backdrop.

So I fundamentally hate it when people are like "oh woe is me, I'm so terrible" and "I'm useless" because 1: you are not useless, that's not fair to yourself and 2: you need to have more faith in yourself as a creative, because why are you here? Literally why are you on a forum of game developers who spend most of their time breaking down mechanics and story beats, given how often people share their very strong opinions here?

I do not say this because I don't like you, it's because I can emphasize and I don't want you to get discouraged from making the things you love. I understand the struggle and the need to defend what you've done, but you can't just openly expose your vulnerabilities (i.e responding to people who hate [x] mechanic that you've put in your own game) every time something rubs you the wrong way.

I guess you could say this is the kind of feedback this thread was made for, because you don't need to listen to me or appease me in any way. I'm just telling you my mental process with this.
 
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HexMozart88

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I'm not trying to be woe is me, and I'm not trying to expose my vulnerabilities or anything. I'm just trying to explain why I have a bad history with feedback. Honestly, I don't know why I'm here. You're 100% right. I shouldn't be here. I don't belong anywhere.
 

kirbwarrior

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Plenty of people had great (and better than my own) responses, but I'll add something simple; There's a different between outright ignoring something and just not letting it sway you. You can read over a thousand pieces of feedback and then consider what you should do about it, if anything. I want to know what about my game doesn't work, I need others' perspectives to do that. And when it comes to looking for anything, you have to swim through trash to find the treasure.
 

Helen1701

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I'm not trying to be woe is me, and I'm not trying to expose my vulnerabilities or anything. I'm just trying to explain why I have a bad history with feedback. Honestly, I don't know why I'm here. You're 100% right. I shouldn't be here. I don't belong anywhere.
That's a bit dramatic, isn't it? To make a statement like 'I don't belong anywhere' all because of a disagreement on an internet forum is rather OTT.
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I am someone who had bad critiques on my project before. I don't mean good, constructive feedback on how to improve something but stuff like "Female Protagonist bad, change to male" or "Too many party members, cut out every mechanic that makes the large cast relevant and only have four party members" and none of it explains why I should do it other than their personal tastes.

I do get good Feedback though andI can tell due to them going beyond "This is bad, completely remove it" and if they do have that, they at least give strong arguments as to why.

But there is a difference between good feedback and ones that are there to put you down or because someones bias is showing.
 

VegaKotes

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This thread is bait, right?
Eh, I think Thomas mentioned in one of these threads that he made the titles provocative on purpose to get people riled up so they'd be more likely to discuss things. Passionate people like to argue after all. But As for being bait specifically I think no, we've mostly been having a decent discussion about how we all interpret what makes for good and bad feedback and how to sift through what we might consider bad feedback to find what's actually being said, etc.

It's an aggressive way to drum up discussion but I'm giving my benefit of the doubt that the goal of these titles really was to get people to discuss these topics.


@Bernkastelwitch I said it earlier but even that kind of advice can tell you a lot. While you should never feel that you need to tailor your game to the specific whims of a single individual usually people's gut reactions can show you what's frustrating about your game. Now granted some complaints are just going to be silly. Like the gender of the lead. Do I play a lot of games with female leads? No, not really. Do I want the developers of those games to change the gender of their lead to better suit my tastes? Also no.

But it is still a complaint worth putting some thought into, it's essentially saying "I can't relate to this main character and I want a character better suited to myself so I can relate better."

Whereas the party size complaint can be seen as "I feel like there's too much going on and I'd like to have a more focused party to cut down on the chaos and tedium."

And I must repeat myself once more. "You can't please everyone." Is totally a valid conclusion to come to. If you feel your lead should be female then she's female. If you feel your game doesn't work with a smaller party size then it doesn't work with a smaller party size. There's absolutely no shame in sticking to your guns. Just, if you can, try and consider why people are complaining. You might find there are other areas you can compromise on to better suit more players without sacrificing what makes your game...well *your* game.
 

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