Nordic Weasel Games

The blog home of Nordic Weasel Games

Upgrade your design: Reviews, feedback, the internet and sucking it up

So you have written your game and you have gotten some play testers on board. Feedback is coming in, you have incorporated it and now you are ready for something resembling prime time. 

You put your book out there. Maybe its for money, maybe its a freebie. You do a little promotion and eventually someone buys it. People are actually playing it! Now is the time to go see what all these people say. 

You check your email, blog replies and a few forum threads. Most of them are enjoying the game or asking questions. There's some criticisms and you take them on board. Maybe you could have done a rule better in hindsight or you forgot something obvious. Maybe you straight up screwed up. All things to learn from. You keep a note pad with these things so you can work on them later.

Then there's the posts that make you pause:

This guy says the game doesn't have a rule that is absolutely in the book.

That guy says they changed a bunch of the rules and that the game is broken (because they changed those rules).

A third guy says that since the game doesn't do something it was never intended to do, its crap. 

A fourth guy just straight up made up a story about how you play tested the game by kicking bunnies. 

Guy number five says that "he heard" the game is shit, so don't play it. It's clear from the post he never even read it. 

Sixth guy is oddly obsessed that the game does not include a rule for different types of pontoon bridge and is disappointed that you left out such an important factor. 

Guy number seven points out that a rules term sounds like the word for a jihadist terror group and could that be changed? 

What do you do? 

You are a writer, nay a game designer! You can create worlds! You can wield the flaming wrath of the pen!

And you are going to sit your ass right down. 

Look up any established novel writer and they will tell you that the first lesson to learn is to not get into it with critics. You are likely to seem petty and aggressive (and if your self control is lacking you may very well be petty and aggressive) and to an extent, you are invading a space that isn't for you. When someone posts about a game they are expecting to talk to other players, not to have the writer looming over their shoulders. 

Unless you are a huge sales success you are going to trade on your reputation to an extent. The reputation of "googles his own name and then fights people over elf-games" is always going to be worse than the result of some guy who didn't like the game and was grumpy that day.