Author Topic: On Posing, Expectations and Criticism  (Read 15413 times)

Mobius

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« on: August 30, 2009, 03:52:07 PM »
I was tempted to turn this into a poll, but since it's mainly supposed to work as a pure discussion I decided to post it here. Additionally, it's not my intention to divert attention from the successful poll regarding SoL's multiplayer.

I'm currently doing... something, and started thinking about an important aspect of project development. After reading Ransom Arceihn's replies on the Project 03 thread, I kind of understand what Ransom is currently up to.

A while ago, on another community, I noticed a discussion about criticized games. It was proved how long awaited games tend to get strong criticism when they delude the fan's expectations, even if the games themselves are pretty good and superior to most games in circulations. The very same principle is applied to the successors of well praised games which exploit the "trail" of their predecessors to the limit in the effort of attracting as much attention as possible. The point is that a fan who looks forward to a game and somehow finds out that the game is not as good as expected... well, is very likely to write detaiiled and harsh critiques.

I think there could be a parallelism with commercial games and mods, such as the ones developed by the FreeSpace community.

My questions are: is raising the expectations of the community favorable? The risk of deluding someone and read demotivating critiques is concrete. On the other hand, a nearly-unknown mod may emerge quickly upon release if it's very well done. When games don't have great expectations, their opinion on "unknown" projects can only improve. I know publicity and positive feedback keep a team motivated, but I'm also realizing how too much expectation may turn into delusion.

This is a generalized thought, and it's not intended to be a reference to projects X and/or Y.

Discuss. :)

Rodo

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 04:03:57 PM »
well.. depends, it's true that most of the long expected games CAN be really dissapointing for fans, but this can only be really true for sequels, as new games do not necesarily have something to compare to.

I think sequels are more likely to be dissapointing, even more than new games, the two are new games, but the sequels necesarily need to keep up the work and improve a lot more from the previous releases, can be true also for new games, but only if they are heavily sponsored and they are made by a high prestigious company / experienced crew members.


The management of every project should think twice before getting into publicity, a long awaited release can make a lot of people discontent at the end... this is why I like working for minor projects XD

The E

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 04:35:19 PM »
I don't think you can make any one-size-fits-all rule about this. In the end, it comes down to what the teams and creators feel comfortable with. Some like to do an all-out "ad campaign", if you will, others like to work away in secret. Both approaches have their pros and cons; While a secretive project will come as a (hopefully pleasant) surprise to many (Ransom's Windmills, for example), it is also less likely to attract random people wandering in and wanting to contribute. "Public" projects, on the other hand, have to spend at least a part of the development time on publicity matters, if only to make sure that people are still aware of their existence.

Expectations are a two-edged sword, really, while they may backfire on you if you don't make an effort to live up to them, I know a few people (myself included) who work better under such pressure. Having to deal with people asking "When will it be done? Can I haz? What about nao? I can haz nao?" is, in my eyes, a minor price to pay for a good motivation.
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Snail

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009, 05:27:06 PM »
It's not too big provided you can live up to the community's expectations. The way I see it, it's a much smaller problem among this community since mods are really quintessentially similar - Dogfighting, capital ship killing, a few new weapons/ships. Usually the problem in the commercial game industry is stupid fans expecting some groundbreaking new gameplay mechanic or something that is truly revolutionary, which is something which game developers rarely deliver. The expectations regarding mods are much more realistic; since on the whole people have an idea of the standard of work needed to create the finished product.

Rodo

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2009, 06:34:45 PM »
Quote from: Snail;120580
It's not too big provided you can live up to the community's expectations. The way I see it, it's a much smaller problem among this community since mods are really quintessentially similar - Dogfighting, capital ship killing, a few new weapons/ships.

true but not that true either.. E.G:
BP is a standart FSO campaign and still we hope (well at least personally) to get a good background story and a much more polished campaign with those special dramatic moments inherited from BP AoA, exceptional music and all other things, always comparing with the first release of course. And as far as advertising comes,  we can be sure the next release is gonna be good indeed... but how good it will be?? will it live up to the expectations of the community?
I mean, the expectation by the community on this particular campaign has surely put up a lot of presure over the team... and this surely makes a difference in the building up process, well GB could enlighten us in that matter of course if he's around, but I don't doubt that a lot of things had to be "retouched" because of the fans expectations.

ngtm1r

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 11:47:09 PM »
Blaise Russel never advertized.

He was considered the best FREDder in the community until Ransom released Transcend, and in many way's Blaise's work remains eminently better; certainly more playable.

Ransom has never advertized either, although his work is considerably less consistant in quality.

Advertizing is totally unnecessary. If you can produce quality work, go and do the damn quality work instead of wasting time on showing off.
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karajorma

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 01:06:14 AM »
Quote from: ngtm1r;120608
Blaise Russel never advertized.

He was considered the best FREDder in the community until Ransom released Transcend, and in many way's Blaise's work remains eminently better; certainly more playable.

Ransom has never advertized either, although his work is considerably less consistant in quality.

Advertizing is totally unnecessary. If you can produce quality work, go and do the damn quality work instead of wasting time on showing off.


Note that both of those are FREDders who worked on campaigns requiring no mods. As soon as you start needing a team to work on a project you quickly get to a state where you simply have to advertise in order to get anyone to work on your project.

I'm sure Mobius is well aware of this given the amount of advertising he's doing for Inferno.

Axem

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 01:50:32 AM »
I didn't advertise JAD at all, I let other people do it for me. :p The power of uncontrolled word of mouth is the best way to advertise.

In fact, the one time I did advertise, I never even finished the mini-campaign. Not that any tears were shed anyway, where there's one preview/announcement/trailer thread, there's 5 billion others.

Also I think a trailer or preview or anything like that, has to be backed up with very serious and very real behind the scene progress. A trailer or cutscene or screenshots won't be remembered 6 months from now.

Rodo

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2009, 02:20:26 AM »
true, btw I loved the way ships blockade nodes in jad... I almost wet my pants at that particular moment.

and true, modders need to get praised for their work.. if not the inspiration goes away too fast.

ngtm1r

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2009, 03:01:43 AM »
Quote from: karajorma;120617
Note that both of those are FREDders who worked on campaigns requiring no mods. As soon as you start needing a team to work on a project you quickly get to a state where you simply have to advertise in order to get anyone to work on your project.


Thus campaigns without modding are superior? :P Transcend included a number of mods but they were off the shelf. We have hundreds of already-existant mods that nobody's used. Some things, TCs like Diaspora or functional TCs like Terran-Vasudan War, absolutely require new work, but frankly a lot of campaigns want to go out and built themselves new modpacks that are totally unnecessary. (That's why we have so many ships that aren't being used.)

The other major release of recent times and the only person who poses a serious challenge at the moment for quality work (although it's a different, uniform sort of quality) is Darius. AoA was also more or less a solitary work using off-the-shelf stuff.

It also was not advertized.
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karajorma

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2009, 03:09:44 AM »
I'll agree with you on that front. Too many people decide that they absolutely need to have a ton of new ships for their mod when there are plenty of ships already out there which would do the job perfectly well.

shiv

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2009, 06:36:54 AM »
Is that a reference to ED modpack, Karajorma? :P
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karajorma

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2009, 07:27:48 AM »
Not really. Pretty much every campaign makes that mistake. Hell it's the main reason BtRL is the only release of my missions. Both TMA and SoR would have been out (along with tonnes more stuff) if I hadn't decided to mod myself too.

shiv

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2009, 07:44:56 AM »
Well, ED is 20 years after Capella, so new ships are needed.
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General Battuta

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On Posing, Expectations and Criticism
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2009, 05:53:23 PM »
Word of mouth is the way to go.