Friday, September 04, 2009

fan feedback

Ethic from Kill Ten Rats said this on Twitter today: "Reading MMO forums sucks the life AND magic out of the games." I completely agree.

It's not just the rampant pessimism and bickering on forums. It's that approaching a game from a designer's view steals some of the fun. It's easier to accept or ignore flaws when you're not thinking about how the game could have been better, how it might be improved. It's more fun when you accept a game as a finished product.

That's a major issue with MMOs, but it applies to all games. These days, all games have forums and fansites. Developers of all games request feedback from would-be players. Feedback is great. It's important. But it's also a double-edged sword.

The more you invite players to be armchair designers, the more difficult it will be for those players to enjoy your game.

That said, feedback isn't the only benefit. If a fan community is well attended to and not heavily moderated, with developers interacting with fans directly, that fosters personal connections. And personal relationships can be a factor in whether or not someone decides to give a game a chance. Still, I think developers should be careful in encouraging players to take on the role of design consultant.

Let players be players.


  1. Perfect. Couldn't have said it better myself. I know I've written similar stuff, just not as well as you just did. LOL. Ethic actually tweeted that after a "little" tirade I went on in the CoW forums about the current whiners on the CO boards. I figured I would let it out there instead of on the official boards. Another guildie offered up some good advice - "stop reading the forums". I think I'm going to take that advice.

  2. Yeah I find the more I read the forums, the more I find out some way my character is messed up or the game is broken. When I just play, I don't know that stuff. Much more pleasant.

  3. yup yup, sono di accordo

  4. The reason why I'll resist beta invites is for very similar reasons.


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