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Prevention of Fan Game Drama
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Kallisto Offline

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Post: #1
Prevention of Fan Game Drama
I've noticed in the past that for some reason someone tries to stir the pot against a creator, and then it becomes a pit of hate (mob mentality). I don't find this healthy, and could deter would-be creators in the future.

There is a even a youtube channel out there dedicated to that negative mentality for these games only. Lot of this seems to be coming from the younger demographic, and much less the older crowd (though I could be wrong).

Also I've noticed this rigid thinking that every fan game must mimic a official game, and if it is not that way then people throw up arms about it, this is also not healthy. Some people forget that fan games have free flexibility just as long it is actually fun & not buggy, one example was that fan game for FF7 where it was made to be more of a beat-him-up game, it was quite successful. Strangely enough this does not happen with MMX games, but MM games that get targeted.

I was hesitant to post this topic at first, but I hope in the future we can prevent such repeats from happening to future creators & current creators working on their projects. It is better to have a positive image rather than a negative one, what happened in the past I believe has hurt the community as a whole.
(This post was last modified: 22-11-2016 11:55 AM by Kallisto.)
22-11-2016 11:54 AM
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Rhythm Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Prevention of Fan Game Drama
Fangames get weird. It reaches into a strange area of development. On one hand, the fan base can forget that the creator has put a ton of time and effort into a product that will yield no monetary reward. It is, at its core, a work of dedication to the franchise that it's trying to be a part of. On the other hand, some creators forget that when making a fangame, it's not them that the game is being made for. It is for the fanbase as a whole. This gets lost sometimes. Yes the creator has every right to do what they want to do, but it's important to not forget who the final target demographic is.

For example, if you choose to make a game for you and your buddies who are die-hard speed runners who enjoy balls-hard difficult curves and instant-death challenges that require pinpoint accuracy and lightning fast reflexes, you don't go about stating that it's a game for everyone, and then get defensive when it's called out for being too hard.

I've consistently touted that a key to a good game is diversity in its playtesters. If the same people who were there from the very beginning are the only people still testing it in its final stages, you've set yourself up to fail before the game even comes out.

There's also the notion of controlling the hype of a game. Far too often the focus is about the additional content, the final pieces in development: Music, graphics, add-ons, etc. People focus too much on how to make a game stand out from others that they lose sight of making sure the basics of the game works. And then the delays happen. And the inevitable cancellation due to the overwhelming pressure on the one or two people doing the most important work on the game: the programming.

Then there's the separate topic itself about the fanbase not knowing itself what it truly wants. Some want more of the same, some want completely out of right field obscurity. Many people ask "why not a game in mm7 style?" or "are there any good mmx fangames?" But don't understand that the more detailed styles requires much more work be put into it...which requires effort and patience, two things that are quickly disappearing in the age of instant gratification.

Unfortunately there is no good answer. This franchise in particular spreads across various demographics, age groups, game tastes, mentalities, and styles. Anyone who considers themselves a fan does so for a multitude of reasons. The simple-but-effective gameplay, the "story" (which does become prevalent in the later series), the wide range of characters, the music, etc. and it's these reasons are what we all look for in each fangame. Knowingly or subconsciously, it's what says we like or dislike a game, and it's felt that since it's a game being made by a fan for fans, that the fans should have some form of input, as they too have their own reasons to want each and every fangame to succeed in the end. It's when the clashes begin that the cohesion breaks down and the bickering and name calling and backstabbing begins, and the entire thing falls apart.

[Image: 67617b7e1d6Ur.png]
(This post was last modified: 22-11-2016 01:23 PM by Rhythm.)
22-11-2016 12:48 PM
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Flashman85 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Prevention of Fan Game Drama
Adding to what Rhythm said (P.S.: very well put, Rhythm), I would say that there are a few things both developers and fans can do to break up the mob mentality.

As a developer, you can set clear expectations for your game. Let people know if you're new to programming and this is your first game. Give a rough idea of the length and difficulty level. Be transparent about how many ideas and resources you're recycling from other games. By presenting a clear picture of what your game is like, you take the punch out of any argument that your game doesn't meet some arbitrary standard you were never shooting for.

Equally important is to prepare yourself for criticism, no matter how great you think your game is, and actually listen to your critics. People aren't automatically wrong just because they don't agree with you. Think of the general public as the largest group of playtesters you'll ever get. If every one of your playtesters told you your game was too hard, or was horribly buggy, or had terrible music, wouldn't you do something about it?

Even if you choose not to act on fan feedback, you can refrain from being condescending or defensive. If you're happy with your own work, then it doesn't matter what the critics think, because you made this for yourself and for people like you. But if you made your game with the aim of making other people happy, and you're unhappy because they don't like it, then it's up to you to figure out how to make them happy without compromising your vision. You can always make a better game or improve the one you have, but you can't always win back the fans you've alienated with unfriendly responses.

As a fan, you can monitor where your criticism is coming from. Are you genuinely trying to help the creator improve their work? Are you simply frustrated and need to vent? Or do you get some kind of pleasure out of tearing other people down? A little bit of unfiltered criticism is healthy, but negativity is infectious, and it only takes one person harping on something to get a mob mentality going. Don't let it be you. And don't be afraid to speak up if someone else starts going in that direction, even if you somewhat agree with them. Sometimes all it takes is one levelheaded person to make a mob realize they've been swept away by something they're not truly passionate about.

Perhaps the best way to avoid a mob mentality is by pointing out the positive when discussing a fangame. Most games are a mix of good and bad, but we tend to focus only on what matters most to us. Giving the developer credit for a stable engine, clean graphics, a decent plot, etc., even if those details aren't a big deal to you, can go a long way in keeping discussions from devolving into bashing sessions. Plus, saying ANYTHING positive can be a crucial self-esteem boost to a developer who's devoted untold hours to making a game they hoped would be good.

No matter where you go, there you are.
30-11-2016 10:02 PM
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