darx, you shouldn't take it personally when someone testing your map is negative about it. I know it is hard when you invest a lot of time into something, and a small bug equal to .2% of your work is the only thing being talked about, or causing someone to be negative; yeh gotta take it with a grain of salt. Be happy that someone will help you test, and find flaws. If everyone who helps you test is clueless what to do; take it as a sign. Every game that gets played without you, you wont be there to explain what to do. Even if you have a wall of text, it is clear that the average player would rather ask than read. Make an interactive tutorial, a short video, force someone to read a wall of text for 30 seconds before they can play the game. Have a mini-quiz.
Editing on WC3 for ... 3.5 years, I had a solid group of testers, about 10 core tested, and 20 come and go testers. The core group was always "rude" in my eyes (overlooking 50 hours of work, to tell me a graphic looks like shit) but they are the ones who made my map better. People who say "ohh, this is great, I love this!" make you feel better, but aren't really contributing.
Just a mini-rant. Don't take it personally when someone is rude about an unfinished product.
It sounds like many of you are forgetting a crucial part of any design process:
DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR WORK!
When someone says your map sucks, it doesn't matter if you agree with them or not. The best feedback you can get will always "feel" destructive if you become attached to your work.
If your map really does suck, wouldn't you want people to let you know so you can fix it? You can't make something better by only listing the good things about it. If a tester gave you a list of things they liked, you will undoubtedly want to ask, "but what do you think needs improvement?" That was the entire point of them testing your map in the first place: finding ways to improve it.
While it would be convenient if people dressed up their criticism in love and care, it's a simple fact that most people aren't going to do that. I actually prefer it this way. If I asked you to look at my work and you're beating around the bush I'm probably not going to ask you again in the future. I need you to be blunt about what you don't like. Worrying about my feelings wastes time and often prevents me from being able to fix problems. If I asked for your opinion, I should be prepared for any criticism that follows. I don't have to act on it, but hearing why you feel that way is important. This process helps me understand how others perceive my work and in turn will undoubtedly improve it.
By repeating this over and over again you iterate through many versions until you're satisfied. It is very rare to get something right the first time. This is true for games, music, food, sports. . . anything really. Don't treat your map as an extension of you. You don't suddenly consider your favorite band an utter failure when they release a song you don't like. You still enjoy their music, just not that particular song.
At the same time, remember that we are often equally critical of others. How often do you see "Omg this game sucks, the [ANYTHING] is broken" on a YouTube trailer or game forum? You can't expect testers to "be gentle" with you if you're not willing to do the same with gaming companies.
When someone loves the art object he's creating, no matter, is it a painting, music or map, he's trying to make it perfect. Love provides attention to details, it blesses with inspiration, stimulates imagination and gives energy to implement any complicated idea. Refuse love in sake of impertubability is too excessive price.
Actually, negative feedback doesn't hurt even if you treat your map as extension of yourself. It's a matter of way of utilizing the feedback. If someone says "your map sucks, because ...", it means "I think your map sucks, because...". And it's a big difference. Opinions are not the truth. You can measure the opinion, apply it to the situation and then neglect it or agree. If author loves his map and wants to make it rock, and someone gives negative feedback, which includes improvement ideas, the author feels good, because it's something he needs.
Someone may say: you suck because you're phisically weak. You can decide, that his opinion is a bull crap, because first, your aim is intellectual abilities, and second, you have a gun. Same situation with any feedback. You use one if you think it's usefull and you don't care about if you think this particular feedback is a nonsense. So, there is just no way to hurt the author by giving feedback to his results.
But still it feels better when feedback giver softens his opinions. Because there is a simple reactivity system in our mind, which starts to work before we understand what happend. Someone saying: you suck, and you instantly feel bad about it for 1 second, but then you like: wtf, he don't know what he's talking about. Because the way you think may remove the pain.
So, if someone got some criticism about anything, he can say it in terms "why it sucks", and have the author to be hurt for 1 sec. But the opinion will still be useful. Or he can say the same softly, and no one will be hurt, and author will know what to improve. So, second way seems a bit more humane, and it doesn't belittle the usefulness of the feedback.
But if author isn't in love with his work, no feedback matters, he will only create a piece of crap.
I think this is more of a case of how it's said than how useful it is. "UR MAP SUX" is just as bad as "Meh it's fine". Real feedback is "Feature X feels out of place to me because it overlaps with feature Y which has been done a lot better", or "Z feels imbalanced to me". There's a difference between simply ripping on something and providing feedback.
I've noticed how each type of feedback makes me act differently, but I think that my mindset is rational.
Feedback and effects on the mapmaker:
-> you start to work more on the map, you tackle systems that you delayed over and over, but which were nessecary [motivation]
-> try to find out what they believe to be the weak aspects in your map. Map lovers are motivated enough to think about systems and will listen to you argumentations.
-> try to find out why they hate the map (I had one that complained because my diablo map isn't like one starcraft broodwar diablo2 map). If they can't provide useful info, ignore them as they tend to not cooperate and only try to destroy your motivation. Try to ignore them as there are always haters which can't state their problems with the map.
-> Check them, try to understand them and try to fix them or give the reporters some info about what they should do the next time that problem appears like taking a screenshot, trying to remember their last item interaction, leave game and copy the bank file, etc [-> bug fixes]
-> leads to discussions and new perspectives about the game. The mapmaker needs to argue which direction he likes most and why. Discussions can make the map better.
feedback without real content, just their feeling ("it's ok, it's good")
-> try to convince the people to think about what could be improved or which systems could be problematic, etc...
I totally agree with Zolden. :D
You just need to accept that everything in your map can be improved (at least in theory) and nothing is perfect. Nobody does everything right at first try.
Also, these people don't try to hurt you, if they criticize some aspects of your map. They try to help you and that's a good thing.
When you fall "in love" with your work, you become attached to it. You find yourself having trouble making even the simplest of decisions because everything is "too important" to let go of. You are likely to cling to a bad idea even if scrapping it and starting over would be easier. You begin to accept less than your best and it results in lazy work.
Once attached to your map you start treating it as an extension of yourself. In your mind, your map IS you and therefore when someone criticizes your map they are criticizing you. It is impossible to maintain this mindset and still be objective. This can cause you to be defensive of your map and hostile towards advice. Separate who you are from what you do. Loving your work or being passionate about what you do is very different from falling "in love" with your work.
Could it be that you are all correct?! lol you guys this is funny.
It is okay to fall in love with your map. You can be logical with the ones you love correct? You can definitely tell when you're wife is getting fat, or too skinny, or a pimple ... your kid has a sloppy outfit or need her hir done. Of course, these are not things I would ask for feedback on and it is no one elses place to state so, because I do love them. Proziac, it is okay to become passionate and "love" your map, but
"Actually, negative feedback doesn't hurt even if you treat your map as extension of yourself. It's a matter of way of utilizing the feedback."
Zolden is right too that it depends on how you take it and that if someone loves their work they will push into further extents to make it right.
But prozac also makes the point that some may become real defensive and actually lose sight of a great map, ultimately losing sight of the outside perspective. .. bottom line is, it depends on how you take it.
There are rude people, which is why this thread was created, that seem to shut down motives. I asked for a tester and not even 20 seconds in he says "everything is too expensive". and... "I can't build anything" which is not true. every race has two build options at the start... the main building and the basic troop production builing... a command center and a barracks for example. you can build one but you can't afford the other.... so his feedback was false and I was already frustrated as i thought "dam I got another stupid tester"as i expected him to try and shut me down.
That test turned out fine.. found a few edits and he liked the map. Said it was already better than nexus wars :D made my day.. then he said his units were "sticking to the wall" because he built his structures "to far to one side". lol in what map do units EVER STICK to walls?! Maars shockwave ability was stopping the units for some reason. dnt know why.
You should take pride in what you create, but you should not fall in love with it. In fact, you should be ready to throw it away on a whim.
Time + Effort. These two things are required to make something good into something great. The more time and effort we put into doing something, the better the results.
When we pour our time and dedication into creating or perfecting something, we tend to get sentimental. The more time and effort we put into it, the more attached we become. It comes to a point where it may become difficult to throw our work away and start over, because we feel like would be a big waste of time. Why would we want to start over something we already have done, right? All it needs is a little tweaking. All it needs is a little bit more time and effort. That's how many people think.
This process overlooks the most effective way of mastering any art: Practice. To practice something, we have to repeat a process over and over again, making mistakes as we go and learning from them.
When it comes to creating something, sentimental value kicks in because nobody wants to see their efforts go to waste. But if they value the product more than the experience, they will end up holding on to something they could probably do better a second or third time. Making great maps is an iterative process.
You should take pride in what you create, but you should not fall in love with it
Could it be that you are all correct?! lol you guys this is funny.
Well, yeah, that's what I said earlier when I said we're argueing semantics. Everyone's saying the same thing; don't see your map as an extension of yourself, use good criticism and ignore the bad, and don't get worked up over rude people, though it's not really a good thing to be harsh for no reason. Prozaic is just saying it as 'don't fall in love with your map' while Zolden is saying it as 'do fall in love with your map', and Eiviyn is saying 'negative feedback is the feedback you want' while Glorn is saying 'don't take it personally when someone is rude'.
It's all the same thing, but the names folks use for it make it appear as if there's a difference of opinions and discussion going on.
yea I know a few ppl who are hanging onto never ending projects.. they keep at it to hopefully make it playable. Quality over quantity... these maps have quantity.. lots of triggers.. lots of layers and doodads and data edits lol but quality of it feels choppy. I never tell them, "your map is something I would never play." I do say that this or that is wrong but some just seem to have a plan already.. so the feedback I give them is deflected into a "I'll think about it.. no really, thats a good idea.." which means I dnt really like it.
As an editor; it is often very difficult to take suggestions, if you were already planning on doing something a different way; or worse, have already done something. It has been mentioned a few times; but it is a lot harder for (us) to openly admin "Yeah, you are right, this system that I spent 30 hours on is not that good. I should delete the whole thing and start over." It is a lot easier to say "welll, I can't do that, but maybe I can change this around, and make it not so bad?"
I wouldn't really call that "falling in love with your work" or anything, but it is a measure of pride. Anything you invest, hopefully, hundreds of hours into is not the kind of thing you should be willing to scrap on a whim. It is hard to draw the lines sometimes. It is easy to give and read and understand advice from an outside point of view. I am sure no one here can deny trying to work around scrapping a system, to replace it with a nicer looking one, that accomplishes the same ends.
The best thing, IMO, is to get feedback BEFORE you start to make a system (or general area of your map). I have lucked out with many of my ideas, and encountered problems early; and been given suggestions of other ways to do it. What I ended up doing is much better than what I had planned. I know that if I spend all the time doing it my way, I wasn't gonna go back and do it a different way. This is why I am trying to get a review team for "map ideas" rather than just finished maps. People can be told that their ideas are bad before they spend the time following through with it. It would make them much more open to change, and in the long run, add to the number of "high quality" maps floating around. (see that little plug I did there, for my idea? wink wink, get in on it)
Put a link in your signature if you really want ppl to check out your threads. I have tried to make a system work. It would look nicer to have the buildings do the visual animation for producing units... but the training image came up grey so I scrapped it for my system that works, it just has units manifest next to the building and go into battle. if I ever got the nicer way to work seemlessly I would definitely put the time in to do it.
I think the worst advice I had ever recieved was form a guy who prbably never tested a map before. He told me "you should make zealots fly"... really?
yea but he also mentioned how every noobs effort is "shit" as he couldnt find any of the good stuff.
"I think we need the big "fuck you" thread, as it was called, back in the Team Recruitment forum ...
Sugarcoat it all you want but you know that you agree with me ... noobs are filling up the recruitment forums with projects that will never see the light of day because all they want to do is be "Project Manager and Terrainer" ... come on ... wtf mates ... at least make it a requirement that they handle _one_ of the big two, Data/Scripter, because I cannot find the good projects with potential under all this shit."//
He has some strong points but just the way he put the efforts of the noobs down and "proposed" the solution like everyone was stupid. I mean, it's really how you take it but his approach was far from presentable... slightly disrespectful. He felt he could express himself, sure lol but he also felt high enough on himself to label other noob projects as ones that "will never see the light of day" as if any idea they come up with had no potential..
I love this becuase it brings my thread back to life haha... He was an editor.. he was probably very good at it too... but his social skills were just as equal to any other "angry pro editor".
There's not much I can do about that unless I went into a long conversation or actually fixed his map myself (which I've done in the past, but as you can imagine, time is limited!).
I am not even that great with the map editor but i do know my way around some of the advanced functions on it, and i already understand exactly what you are talking about. You make a map and all of a sudden people want you to come help fix there maps and do things for them, and they get upset when you try to explain that i am sorry but i do not have the time it takes to fix your map. Its a pain in the ass sometimes but i have learned do what i can when i can do it, and to not care anymore when they get upset that you can not help them as cold as that sounds lol.