How to comment like a jerk boss

Posted by (twitter: @Crefossus)
May 2nd, 2016 2:00 am

Yoho, get your mind numbing liquids ready for this PSA. Seeing crooked? Okay you’re ready for a crefossus rant.

Expand your mind.

chrome

Chrome has a neat little feature that lets you expand the text box window. Horray. Don’t forget paragraphs with shift+enter. Other browsers may have expanding too.

Enhance your memory.

lazarus

Trapped in a fullscreen window or accidentally the page? Lazarus form recovery is there for you!

Good game. vs. “rewarding levels. I like the sfx, especially the yay [sound]…”

“…As others have said the eating hamburger sfx was maybe a little too long since it gets played a lot.”

Be specific! If the comment could literally apply to any ludum dare game, it’s not really too useful. Show us you played. You can argue that it might boost morale, but a bunch of “good games” and then landing in the bottom 20% of all ludum dare games feels like you’re all moms. I already have a mom, she’s nice. She also doesn’t throw cloaked daggers at me while advertising with a smile.

I don’t like this genre.  vs. “I usually don’t like maze games and…”

“…this game tends to make me feel lost and a little bored. Maybe there could be more landmarks or something else to do while figuring out where to go next.” (Not a real comment, :D)

This one doesn’t come up often, but what the fuck? It’s so short and doesn’t offer anything. Maybe you can tell us specifically what it is that you don’t like about the genre, how this game fails to address that, and how it could address that.

5+ paragraph essay that never ends  vs. Conciseness.

alligator

I’m guilty of this. Sorry. If you’re looking for advice on avoiding this pitfall…uhhh… well.. sorry I’m pretty much camped out on the alligator.

Also, as it turns out, not everyone cares for detailed feedback and would be satisfied with a “good game I liked the sfx”.  At least one person has chosen that on my survey for rating games. I’m still looking for people who will let me play with their source.

The trend to avoid

So you skimmed through the comments and are about to write yours. OH crap, you said exactly what they said using the same exact words. While at least this can provide some useful knowledge, ie multiple people saying the same thing lets you know that issue is common, do try and add to the discussion if you can. Sometimes I fall for this too.. Watch out. Also keep this in mind when you’re actually rating/giving stars to a game.  Usually I *rate* without reading the comments unless I get really stuck, they can contain spoilers anyway, and then skim the comments before commenting.

Don’t be a jerk

Rarely I’ll see rude comments, or maybe I have thin skin. You don’t need to have an edgy personality that absolutely destroys a bad game like a game review looking for extra clicks. These comments might offer some constructive criticism but also come laced with near valueless harshness.

Surprise! your experience is subjective

The trick here is to realize and state that your experience is subjective. For example, “I’m sorry, but this game is trash there is no redeeming quality to it at all! It’s terrible because of …” vs. “I’m not really into the hyper realistic art style since it’s so common, but maybe if you…” (not a real example). If you have to apologize for being a jerk, see if you can not be one and still get your point across.

Realize these games are made by people with skill levels across the board and they’ve had varying amounts of time to dedicate to it. Considering that – what different choices they could have made that take the same amount of time to do and fit their skills? Maybe there are games that do it perfectly that you can refer them to. They probably already know a lot of the main problems that they didn’t have time to address, and hey let them know just in case they missed something, – but they aren’t jesus christ, ok?

Try to figure out their game before stating confusion and running

I’ve seen games where things literally tell you what they do when you click on them and some people are *only* saying that a tutorial would be nice. I just don’t understand this, please some one help me. Yes tutorials/instructions in game (if done smartly) usually would be nice and it’s good to know that you think the game needed one, but there has to be something more you can offer or in addition/more specifically than just this. When/where did you get stuck? What about the actual game Etc.

The gist of it

Leave meaningful comments that are specific to the game you’re playing. Ideally add constructive feedback and anticipate questions the creator might have.  “I got stuck.” vs “I got stuck on level 3 and couldn’t figure out how to use the schwarzenegger tears move.” Avoid short comments that leave the creator with no idea how to alleviate an issue. “I don’t like it.”

The flip side

I guess sometimes even a few vague words is better than nothing (it sure is nice some one played it!) and as creators we need to learn how to divorce ourselves from our creations and handle criticism gracefully. Also, I love ludum dare as a jam because of the feedback period!

my entry


4 Responses to “How to comment like a jerk boss”

  1. managore says:

    This is a wonderful article, thank you so much for writing it up! The link to your survey for rating games seems to be broken, however.

  2. panurge says:

    Great post with lots of good points. For next LD, I’m actually considering using my comments to give a full breakdown of how I scored the game and a comment for each area explaining why I gave it that score. Hopefully people will find that useful and might even be encouraged to reciprocate.

    I’m really just in this to improve. If you want to mess around with source files, consider mine to be at your disposal!

    Also, as noted already, your survey link has snapped. :(

  3. Crefossus says:

    Thanks for letting me know – I’ve updated the form link in the article. It’s also here: https://goo.gl/forms/GPkBr2AqaQ

  4. cynicalmonkey says:

    I had a comment that was along the lines of “the controls didn’t work” which was super specific and as no one else complained about having any control problems and it literally follows your mouse around I have no idea how to even take it

    I try to be positive and always comment, which isn’t always easy. You play a 2 minute half prototype of a mechanic that has been in games for 30+ years (which actually could sum up my own entry) it can be hard to give constructive feedback in a way that doesn’t come across patronising. So sometimes I do go a little abstract and unhelpful cause all the game has inspired me to say is “I played it, it was okay, well done on submitting anything as jams are hard, please play my game :)”

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