Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Raph Koster on why fanboism is bad for the industry

WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 665Member Uncommon

This is a great read for anyone interested!

 

This is a snippet but the entire article is a very good read on gaming development by one of the forefathers of MMO gaming design.

 

http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

 

The meat of it:

 

People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is. Especially watch out for the ones who tell you that nobody understands your genius.

Honestly, this is going to sound horrible, but self-doubt is one of your most powerful tools for craftsmanship. None of the designers you admire feel self-confident about their work in that way. None of them think that they are awesome. They all suffer from impostor complexes the size of the Titanic.

I am not saying that you need to lack confidence in yourself. (Heck, you’ll never put anything out if that’s the case! You need to have the arrogance to assume anyone will care in the first place). I am saying that nobody is ever done learning, and people who tell you you have arrived will give you a sense of complacency. You should never be complacent about your art.

What are your other Hobbies?

Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

«13456789

Comments

  • AdalwulffAdalwulff Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,152Member

    This is awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this, its something I find very disturbing and very common around here at MMORPG.

    This website used to be a great place to talk about gaming, now its a flame fest, the fanbois against the naysayers.

    Maybe this article will bring back some sanity......

    image
  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon

    The worst part of fanboism is the closed/early beta phase.

    Content/classes/ect  that are stupid and/or broken get pointed out by apparent haters, the fanboi brigade comes in and defends, then developers do nothing, then the fanboi quits after the free month because of the exact same issue.

    It happens over and over and over. Its usually the same people too.

  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 665Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Adalwulff

    This is awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this, its something I find very disturbing and very common around here at MMORPG.

    This website used to be a great place to talk about gaming, now its a flame fest, the fanbois against the naysayers.

    Maybe this article will bring back some sanity......

    Thanks I figured a few people here would appreciate this.

     

    Conversely the "Everything is shit" crowd is just as bad... MMORPG players are just as bad sometimes as the people that rate thing on amazon 1 or 5 stars.... It's either "OMFG this is teh bestest!" or "This is shit"

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

    I think while thinking everything you do is awesome is bad, too much self-doubt and thinking change for the sake of change is desirable is equally bad. There's a definite happy medium.

     

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    He would know; he's always had more than his share.

    But a warning against hubris is pretty much always in order. Advice that's never taken, though.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    Originally posted by Adalwulff

    This is awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this, its something I find very disturbing and very common around here at MMORPG.

    This website used to be a great place to talk about gaming, now its a flame fest, the fanbois against the naysayers.

    Maybe this article will bring back some sanity......

    one can always hope.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon

    The "never stop learning" part I absolutely agree with.

    The "self doubt" part I do not.  Self doubt is great for people who are wrong a lot or make frequent mistakes.  I think may have just chosen his words poorly.  You want somebody who is confident but not arrogant, somebody who can admit to his mistakes and learn from them.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • BraindomeBraindome Posts: 769Member Uncommon
    You are right, all games suck. Feel better? Good, now get to making an epic MMO...
  • monochrome19monochrome19 Chicago, ILPosts: 455Member Uncommon

    /Applause

    Here sir, take my like: +1

    I couldn't have said it better.

  • GregorMcgregorGregorMcgregor FalkirkPosts: 222Member Uncommon
    It's a great read! And so very true, SWTOR would be the prime example of what he means (or how I take it), for months players complained as a army of FBs swore blind that nothing was wrong. Now it's a F2P mess. Ahh well. :)

    No trials. No tricks. No traps. No EU-RP server. NO THANKS!

    image

    ...10% Benevolence, 90% Arrogance in my case!
  • Swedish_ChefSwedish_Chef of heroes, MSPosts: 213Member

    Not a bad read, but hard to take seriously from someone who hasn't been involved in the production of a decent game since UO. Well, I guess EQ2 was okay.

  • HrimnirHrimnir Qeynos, COPosts: 1,597Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wighty

    This is a great read for anyone interested!

     

    This is a snippet but the entire article is a very good read on gaming development by one of the forefathers of MMO gaming design.

     

    http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

     

    The meat of it:

     

    People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

    They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is. Especially watch out for the ones who tell you that nobody understands your genius.

    Honestly, this is going to sound horrible, but self-doubt is one of your most powerful tools for craftsmanship. None of the designers you admire feel self-confident about their work in that way. None of them think that they are awesome. They all suffer from impostor complexes the size of the Titanic.

    I am not saying that you need to lack confidence in yourself. (Heck, you’ll never put anything out if that’s the case! You need to have the arrogance to assume anyone will care in the first place). I am saying that nobody is ever done learning, and people who tell you you have arrived will give you a sense of complacency. You should never be complacent about your art.

    He is absolutely correct, its something us old EQ1 vets know very well.

    The unfortunate problem is that he is making the mistaken assumption that modern gamers actually care and want to improve themselves.  That style of gamer is long long dead. Bones to dust dead.  Modern society has taught our younger generations that simple participation in an activity is acceptable, that competition and being good at something is not is as important as "getting out there and giving it the ole college try".  People nowadays are perfectly content with being lied to and told everything is hunky dory, rather than facing the truth that they in fact suck.  This is prevalent in all aspects of modern western society.

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Paradigm68Paradigm68 New York, NYPosts: 886Member Uncommon

    Nice but... The industry really does go out of their way to create and cater to the fanboy as part of the their marketing drive. The people behind the devs don't want a good game, they want a return on their investment and none of them are going to support an MMO that doesn't do it's damnedest to convince it's playerbase and potential players that their game isn't the holy grail of gaming.

    So, you know, plenty of blame to go all around here.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Some people can't take negative feedback and stagnate inside a bubble of fans.

    Some people can't take positive feedback and shrivel up in the harsh winds of the words of strangers.

    The latter group rarely gets their projects/careers off the ground in the first place though.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hrimnir
    Originally posted by Wighty

    This is a great read for anyone interested!

     

    This is a snippet but the entire article is a very good read on gaming development by one of the forefathers of MMO gaming design.

     

    http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

     

    The meat of it:

     

    People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

    They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is. Especially watch out for the ones who tell you that nobody understands your genius.

    Honestly, this is going to sound horrible, but self-doubt is one of your most powerful tools for craftsmanship. None of the designers you admire feel self-confident about their work in that way. None of them think that they are awesome. They all suffer from impostor complexes the size of the Titanic.

    I am not saying that you need to lack confidence in yourself. (Heck, you’ll never put anything out if that’s the case! You need to have the arrogance to assume anyone will care in the first place). I am saying that nobody is ever done learning, and people who tell you you have arrived will give you a sense of complacency. You should never be complacent about your art.

    He is absolutely correct, its something us old EQ1 vets know very well.

    The unfortunate problem is that he is making the mistaken assumption that modern gamers actually care and want to improve themselves.  That style of gamer is long long dead. Bones to dust dead.  Modern society has taught our younger generations that simple participation in an activity is acceptable, that competition and being good at something is not is as important as "getting out there and giving it the ole college try".  People nowadays are perfectly content with being lied to and told everything is hunky dory, rather than facing the truth that they in fact suck.  This is prevalent in all aspects of modern western society.

    Heh it's not just gaming.  Go run a marathon; it's truly pathetic when +50 geriatrics finish in the top 1% among a field of predominately -25 yr olds

    image
  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,869Member Uncommon

    The biggest issue I have with both defenders and complainers is, they take everything out of context.

     

    I can write up 2000 letter reviews and someone is sure to come in, throw 1950 characters out and turn it in to a mud slinging contest with a misquoted sentence.

     

    I do my best to point out good and bad. I just find other people take what they want and ignore the rest.

     

    As for Raph Koster, I'm pretty sure if I went to any of his feeds and pointed out some of his flaws he would block me. Just saying...

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon

    Ah the sweet melancholy that is Raph Koster: the Robert Smith of game developers.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,223Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    Ah the sweet melancholy that is Raph Koster: the Robert Smith of game developers.

    Sometimes you come up with some great ones Foo. This is one of them.

    The article was a good read. If you didn't notice there will be an AMA and he's giving a seminar at GDC.

  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by karmath

    The worst part of fanboism is the closed/early beta phase.

    Content/classes/ect  that are stupid and/or broken get pointed out by apparent haters, the fanboi brigade comes in and defends, then developers do nothing, then the fanboi quits after the free month because of the exact same issue.

    It happens over and over and over. Its usually the same people too.

    It is not so much the fanbois quit but that their voices get drowned out when release comes. Say in early beta there are 5000 total players. Of the 5000 about 3000 of them are rabid fanbois. Those fanbois will have the power to shout down any and all constructive criticism which effectively makes the early beta useless. When the release comes a few months down the road the population of the game spikes up to 300k or even a 1million. The fanbois become a tiny minority and can no longer control the conversation. All the criticism from early beta that was never fixed comes back to haunt them. The game quickly goes from massive hype to being labeled a failure by the larger MMO community. At some point some fixes are made but it is too late to save the game as most of the reasonable players have already quit. This leaves only a small core group of fans sticking with the game.

     

    We have seen this happen in dozens of games such as: Rift, SWTOR, TERA, APB, etc.

  • Neo_ViperNeo_Viper NotyourbusinessPosts: 598Member

    The eternal naysayers, who whine about everything and who are never happy, are just as bad if not worse. Just look at this website and these forums, and some of the trolls who keep on bashing games they don't even play anymore, most of the times with misinformation, sometimes years after they stopped. Those are just as bad as the fanatics of the other side.

    Extremes and fanaticism are never good, be it for games, politics, religion or anything else.

    Those extremes are often the most vocal, but they definitely aren't any kind of majority. The majority is between those two extremes.

     

    Originally posted by Foomerang

    Ah the sweet melancholy that is Raph Koster: the Robert Smith of game developers.

    So right... imageimage

    Raph said many good things, but also a good amount of nonsense. At moments, it seems that himself is living in one of those virtual worlds and not in reality.

    My computer is better than yours.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    What he was getting at is that you learn nothing from those who think your game is great and plenty from those who do not think it is that good.

    So for a dev the naysayers are more useful. But a game gaming company does not just have devs in it, I am sure marketing is very happy with the fanbois.

  • Neo_ViperNeo_Viper NotyourbusinessPosts: 598Member
    Originally posted by Scot

    What he was getting at is that you learn nothing from those who think your game is great and plenty from those who do not think it is that good.

    So for a dev the naysayers are more useful. But a game gaming company does not just have devs in it, I am sure marketing is very happy with the fanbois.

    It's a bit silly even from a developer perspective. You also want to know what you did right. When the vast majority praises a feature, it's not "fanboism", it's that the feature is simply good. The few grumpy sad people who think otherwise won't change that fact.

    My computer is better than yours.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Neo_Viper
    Originally posted by Scot

    What he was getting at is that you learn nothing from those who think your game is great and plenty from those who do not think it is that good.

    So for a dev the naysayers are more useful. But a game gaming company does not just have devs in it, I am sure marketing is very happy with the fanbois.

    It's a bit silly even from a developer perspective. You also want to know what you did right. When the vast majority praises a feature, it's not "fanboism", it's that the feature is simply good. The few grumpy sad people who think otherwise won't change that fact.

    It's a weird perspective to have. If your game's crafting is widely regarded as awesome and people praise it everywhere, listening to the few guys who say it sucks (and they'll exist no matter what) is far from smart.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by free2play

    The biggest issue I have with both defenders and complainers is, they take everything out of context.

     

    I can write up 2000 letter reviews and someone is sure to come in, throw 1950 characters out and turn it in to a mud slinging contest with a misquoted sentence.

     

    I do my best to point out good and bad. I just find other people take what they want and ignore the rest.

    i agree

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,575Member Uncommon

    I think this part is even more important:

    "Good work may not have an audience.

    This is a sad truth. There is no correlation between quality and popularity. You may make something that is sophisticated, subtle, expressive, brilliant, and lose out to what is shallow and facile and brash. Oh well. And that really is the right attitude to have about it, too: oh well. Getting bitter about it is pointless.

    That said, don’t underestimate the skill required in being simple, polished, and accessible. Dense and rich is easy. Simple is hard. You denigrate “pop” at your peril."

     

Sign In or Register to comment.