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Jeff Vogel on Dodging Forum Flamewars

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Jeff Vogel on Dodging Forum Flamewars

Editorial - posted by Jason on Sun 9 January 2011, 22:03:58

Tags: Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software recommends that developers keep some distance from forums.

Forums contain a cacophony of people telling you to do diametrically opposite things, very loudly, often for bad reasons. There will be plenty of good ideas, but picking them out from the bad ones is unreliable and a lot of work. If you try to make too many people happy at once, you will drive yourself mad. You have to be very, very careful who you let into your head.​
Positech's Cliff Harris, on the other hand, believes it's possible to enter these discussions without submitting to the hivemind, provided you have the right attitude.

You develop a huge, planet-sized ego such as mine. This solves everything. That way, you can easily brush aside 5 page forum threads saying how you need to change the game to do X, because you know you are right and they are all wrong. It’s pretty much essential as a game designer working on an original design, to be pretty full of ego.

Most really good design decisions seem pretty insane. A turn-based life simulation game doesn’t sound like a top hit, nor does a politics game with a complex charting system of icons as a GUI. Nor does a space battle game where you can’t control anything. They all seemed to work for me. A virtual dolls house worked well for one guy, as I recall. You need confidence and ego to push those ideas through.​
Thanks to SUBSCRIPT OUT OF RANGE for pointing this out

There are 36 comments on Jeff Vogel on Dodging Forum Flamewars

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