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Do you really want feedback?


When a developer creates something that they feel proud of, it usually involves a large amount of time, energy and emotional investment. It is not uncommon for people to pour their heart and soul into something creative and then feel overly sensitive afterwards when confronted with a stranger's opinion.

Understanding what type of feedback is being offered can help you get past defensive feelings and realize that feedback is about helping to improve something, not hinder it.


"Yeah your game is awesome!"

Receiving compliments about something that you have worked on for a long period of time is great. Apart from the feel good factor, Candy feedback can also lead to other people being curious enough to want to try the game as well.

The best type of Candy feedback is when it is specific about something in the game and that is usually a good indication that the game is going in the right direction.


"Why does it work that way?"

Questions are always good feedback because it is someone trying to understand why it works. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn how to express your ideas in a way that others can easily understand. When someone initially asks a question they usually have further feedback, but they don't know how to express it yet and need more information.

Always remember there is no stupid question and answer politely because it will often lead to feedback that has been thought about over a long period of time.




"Your game sucks!"

Nobody wants to hear negative comments and it can be really easy to take this the wrong way. Feedback posted in anger is about frustration and lack of understanding. You need to put on your detective cap and find out why, be polite and ask simple questions. Why? What? How?

Remember to keep your replies free of emotions and to the point, if this is someone who genuinely does not understand it will often lead to good feedback because their problem was so frustrating that it drove them to comment!


"Your game is good, but..."

Usually starts with a good compliment to break the ice, quickly moves onto the feedback and then sometimes a solution to fix it! The perfect feedback is when someone has logically thought through a problem, able to explain themselves and give a possible solution.

Thinker feedback is often referred to as constructive criticism and is the easiest type of feedback to understand because the thinker is direct and to the point, they want to improve the game.




"No comment"

There is nothing more frustrating than ‘no comment'; I would take a hundred angry people shouting feedback at me any day of the week than wondering why no one has made a comment.

Besides access problems (lack of login id, restrictive websites and foreign language) the lack of comments often stems from social convention that if you got nothing positive to say, then say nothing. At least a negative comment can lead to change, ‘no comment' leads to nothing.

If you are defensive and angry towards feedback eventually no one will comment and this is not where anyone wants to be. Try to engage people with questions, get people involved in the process of creation and most importantly accept all kinds of feedback without prejudice.




"This game feature is so stupid!"

Fanatically feedback is ultimately positive because it can highlight really obvious problems that should be fixed. Passionate fans of games get a bad deal when compared to sports fans because they are so vocal.

Having someone engaged and wanting to be heard is the perfect starting point for a conversation and once all the feedback has been broken down into facts it can often highlight the most obvious problems that are overlooked because most developers don't think like new players.



Feedback is something that should be embraced because it can take a game in new directions and add features that were obvious to new players. Looking past the emotion of Internet feedback will stop you from getting upset when someone is not being subtle with their thoughts. Posting stuff on the internet is about asking for feedback and expecting only good comments all of the time is naive. The best kind of feedback is pointing out things that are wrong because then your game will improve rather than just be ‘no comment'.

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Well written as always Sock. I really like how you labelled different kinds of feedback and then eloborated on each one. It puts things in a clear perspective and the whole article has a helpfull message. Looking forward to the other parts.

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This series of articles was inspired by some people I know who claimed to have received 'hateful' feedback. Their comments made me wonder what exactly did they mean and how did it influence their project in the end. Personally I think feedback is the best way to improve a project and I believe that people here at mapcore should try to offer as much feedback as possible to new people seeking advice on their projects. It certainly is good trait for a professional career to be able to give feedback on other peoples work.

If anyone thinks there are some more feedback catagories missing, please let me know. I would also love to hear from anyone about how forum feedback influenced their project and was their final outcome, better or worse?

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Very easy to be over-sensitive about feedback. I've gotten good at taking it after many years in the creative game, but I remember when I started I'd spend so long arguing and defending against people's criticisms of my work that I could have spent on making the work better instead.

Very important to take it gracefully and thank people for it too, then they're more likely to give it in future!

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In the spirit of the subject matter, I’ll give some constructive criticism ;-)

I pretty much agree with most of the article, and I think you give some good advice. However, I believe the article lacks focus. After reading through the whole thing I’m uncertain if your goal for the article is an analysis, a how-to, or an argumentative essay.

Also, anecdotes from personal experience would help to provide some backdrop or to drive your points home.

Bear in mind, I’m not a professional writer. This is just what I could think up by analyzing the article.

Looking forward to the rest of this series!

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The idea of this article is to get people looking at negative feedback in a different light. I think people should not be afraid to say if they feel something is wrong because this can lead to things improving. I know it is impossible to make everyone happy and some people will always dislike what you are doing but any feedback is better than no comments.

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I know what you were going for, and I agree with your sentiments. These are merely my suggestions to improve the flow of your future articles. The way this article changes its focus between analysis, persuasion and helpful advice, hampers the sense of direction I get when reading it.

I hope you understand where I’m coming from. If you want me to elaborate further, feel free to send me a PM.

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