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kuchitsu

Choosing feedback style depending on the mapper

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Do you change your feedback style and\or wording depending on who you're giving feedback to? Some people are more sensitive than others, and while one mapper will be perfectly fine with "this room is crap, remove it!", someone else might get deeply offended. Some mappers are less confident, and it seems that sometimes they aren't even looking for detailed criticism but more like just a confirmation that their map is indeed fun. So they would rather hear about your positive experiences than receive some five-paragraph essay about misaligned textures and monster closets that could have been more efficient. I believe I'm kind of like this: usually I'm not really actively looking for things I could improve, I just want to hear that people had a good time to some extent at least.

Do you think about stuff like this? Or do you just talk however you want and if the author gets offended then they're a pussy?

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I used to tell em exactly what I thought, that didn't go down so well.

So now I either don't bother or just sugar coat it to the point where I have to go out of my way to be as gentle as possible, that went down better.

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Well, I dunno. I'm a little sensitive myself.

However, giving an honest review to someone by pointing out the negatives/positives is the best way for that person to improve his skills the next time (assuming that person takes it into account).

I mean, I've had a few of my maps completely gunned down by people and I've tried taking into account most things that were said to better myself. Wether or not I suceeded in that aspect is up to you people :)

On the contrary, I think sugar coating something just to make the person happy is counter productive. That person will think that his map is good and will continue in that aspect, failing everytime and not knowing why. So no, I don't think one should addapt a review for anyone. I'm not saying one should sound like an ass either, I'm just saying, stay honest.

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Well, not everyone is in this to become a professional or whatever. Maybe the guy just wants to create stuff for fun and sometimes be reminded that people are actually interested in seeing more, which can be encouraging. But he doesn't want to spend hours refining his maps, improving texture alignment, testing on all five difficulties or whatever. Some feedback on this forum makes it seem like we are in a professional environment and people are always expected to do high quality work.

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I guess my feedback is based on two factors. Often it's relative to the 'newness' of the author, the other factor is based on their enthusiasm.

An author who doesn't seem to show much care for their work instantly has me preparing for a bad experience, whereas someone who seems happy with their work and are enthusiastic about is has me more excited to play their map. I feel this manipulates the way I review things.

If a mapper is new, naturally I am far more lenient; we were all new to this at one point or another and everyone's made bad maps. Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to point out what's good and then kindly suggest how the not-so-good could be improved.



kuchitsu said:

testing on all five difficulties or whatever.


Just for discussion purposes I guess I'll throw out that I don't think I've ever tested on Skill 1 or 5. Skill 1 is the same as skill 2 with double ammo and less damage; and skill 5 is generally too difficult for the vast majority of players that it's not worth spending the time to try to refine the experience!

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Not really sure, but I think trying to be honest and polite, and giving constructive critisism might be a good way to go for? Just saying "the map is bad/mediocre/something" isn't as useful as specifying more in detail what could be improved.
I'm not a mapper (yet), but I think I would apprectiate such feedback.

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kuchitsu said:

Some feedback on this forum makes it seem like we are in a professional environment and people are always expected to do high quality work.


Well, from you exactly people do expect high quality work. I mean, you're considered here an experienced mapper, if there's even an entire Wiki page about you.

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That's actually really uncomfortable. Having to use pseudonyms so that people wouldn't be overly critical of your work.

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I will criticise (that is, if I bother playing a map in question at all), and I'm totally fine with being criticised, moreover - shrieks of frustration and curses aimed at me make me laugh.
Re: quality and "professionalism" - I think it's fine to expect a skillfully crafted work for my entertainment and disregard something that's not without giving a damn about author's reputation, working process and sensitivity. It's not my problem that some folks take negative reaction (or the lack of reaction for that matter) to heart.

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Well, one doesn't have to be over polite, though I don't see any reason to be rude just for the sake of it. Middle-of-the-road is good in many cases, I Think.

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edit: can't actually work out how to articulate what I mean so I just deleted it

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The_Trigger said:

Well, I dunno. I'm a little sensitive myself.

However, giving an honest review to someone by pointing out the negatives/positives is the best way for that person to improve his skills the next time (assuming that person takes it into account).

I mean, I've had a few of my maps completely gunned down by people and I've tried taking into account most things that were said to better myself. Wether or not I suceeded in that aspect is up to you people :)

On the contrary, I think sugar coating something just to make the person happy is counter productive. That person will think that his map is good and will continue in that aspect, failing everytime and not knowing why. So no, I don't think one should addapt a review for anyone. I'm not saying one should sound like an ass either, I'm just saying, stay honest.

This is the key. If the goal is to prevent the person from mapping again, be rude. But usually this isn't the case. If the mapper is new, especially new to the community, at this point in the community's lifespan it's in everyone's best interest to try and get them to stick around and improve instead of frightening them off. If the mapper's old, my critique usually depends on how well I know them.

Within the team I usually work with, we are very rude to each other and critique mostly comes in the form of "here's what to do: delete it." However to people outside this circle we usually try to find redeeming qualities in maps along with the faults and try to point these out fairly because we know that it's not a person accustomed to the way we speak with each other. Highlighting redeeming qualities doesn't make the mapping endeavour seem to pointless/worthless (which in turn reflects on the mapper). There is a difference though between being nice and being helpful, though I'm not saying being helpful = rude.

On the other hand, if it's someone who continually puts out trash and is not willing to improve (someone like joe ilya), I have no problem using my usual critiquing style with whatever comes along with that. If you aren't willing to improve, I'm not willing to truly help you.

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Partly consciously and maybe partly unconsciously, I'm trying to express the negative parts of my feedback much more carefully when I have a reason to suspect that the mapper was the kind of person who can't stand negative feedback. I'm generally trying to express myself carefully when I smell a misunderstanding.

In my ideal world, I'd speak the same way to everybody - just casually, honestly, expecting the other person to understand the point of whatever I was saying even if he didn't like it or disagreed, and expecting the person to not react overly emotionally in any way. I'd be glad if everybody spoke that way to me as well. After all, in the case of internet forum communication, it's just words, just information, not anything that could have direct consequences on one's life - not the words themselves, only possibly the person's decision influenced by those words, and that can't and shouldn't be controlled by the one who said the words in the first place. And in my belief, being informed truthfully always is the only and ultimately good thing, no matter what the truth is. Because whoever isn't truthfully informed in long term, he might make mistakes with worse future consequences than the person who informed him untruthfully could ever have predicted and that might not be possible to correct anymore. That's my reason to favor full honesty, sorry for the little off-topic.

I also try to change feedback style depending on the feedback which I've given to the same mapper previously, to avoid repeating myself as I've learned that I have a tendency to do so sometimes. Well, this is of course primarily related to feedback content, but feedback style is affected too.

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scifista42 said:

In my ideal world, I'd speak the same way to everybody - just casually, honestly, expecting the other person to understand the point of whatever I was saying even if he didn't like it or disagreed, and expecting the person to not react overly emotionally in any way.


Everyone's threshold is different. You are also sensitive, but it's probably at a farther level than these "overly sensitive people" that you refer to.

You know what "scratching fingers on a chalk-board" sounds like? They're just sound waves, but many are very sensitive to them.

I think Cire summed it up very neatly, and I gotta agree.

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When criticizing a map, the more detail, the better. "This is great!" feels good, but it is not useful. "This is awful!" is both rude and not useful. If you see something that needs fixing or improving, point it out. If you see something the mapper did well, point that out too.

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I want to say no but I think evidence will show that its probably more leaning to yes. I think its important to nurture new mappers while they attempt to develop their skills. I hate it when people embark on something as generous as contributing maps or music or graphics or anything else of value to the community and then disappear forever because the community is a bunch of assholes.

When I see a new mapper releasing their first map, I can understand that their skills aren't fully developed, they might not be aware of certain standards in mapping or how to use some tools correctly, and most importantly they may not have manifested exactly the thing they sought to create in the first place. So I feel its important to evaluate it fairly and refrain from destructive negative language and instead describe each flaw as an opportunity to learn something new or keep an open mind about an alternate way of doing things that they might not have thought of.

Though with more experienced mappers who have been around for a while, I can be a bit more terse. Though I'm working on refraining from using negative language to describe anything. There's nothing to gain for both parties involved.

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Beyond what was already said, in the context of public feedback I think it makes sense to adapt your feedback to previous reactions. i.e. if everyone is praising a bad map, a dissenting opinion can make for perspective; however, if a newcomer is already getting roasted from several angles, it's probably not worth it to pile on even if your criticism addresses different points.

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Lotta good points here; I think I agree with them all. I'm of the mindset of honesty with tact in that if I do not know you, I will sugar coat and compliment-sandwich and circle jerk a bit to make my criticisms less harsh and more relevant. This is partly due to the fact that most are strangers here and I believe that until you know someone, you shouldn't be "abrasive" towards them, though that is a good standard none of us will live to see. Also I think the more negative something is, the more details it should have to show evidence of "not trolling." For example, "that room with the 4 Avs sucked, remove it," vs "that room with the 4 AVs sucked because they all bum-rush you at once, there's no cover, and you forgot to give us a weapon. Remove it." Which sounds better?

But for people I'm very familiar with and for myself, I'd rather people cut out the circle-jerky bullshit and just be honest, as I like the thought of improving. Personally I'd rather an asshole totally roast my map than a pus say it's the greatest thing ever, though I suppose in the end mixed reviews are the most helpful and carry the most weight, aren't they?

This is one reason why if you are mapping to get better, it's a good thing to ask a few questions with your map; much greater chance of them getting answered, though of course are they the right questions... who knows.

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Honest feedback with some proper manners. That's all I want. Ultimately I would love to hear my work was fun and great but that takes listening to all manner of criticism. By doing so with my project, I have moved from "It's too slow and boring" to "I want more of this, it just needs a little bit more going on". If I keep listening I just might achieve the response I always wanted.

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imagine you made the map. what feedback to you want to read? there's always some angle the mapper has not considered, but you can present it in an objective and helpful manner.

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Pirx said:

imagine you made the map. what feedback to you want to read? there's always some angle the mapper has not considered, but you can present it in an objective and helpful manner.

I find this is the best way to give criticism. I managed a pizza place for ten years. People don't listen to yelling or being rude, but if there is a point to be had it should be brought up politely.

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40oz said:

I want to say no but I think evidence will show that its probably more leaning to yes. I think its important to nurture new mappers while they attempt to develop their skills. I hate it when people embark on something as generous as contributing maps or music or graphics or anything else of value to the community and then disappear forever because the community is a bunch of assholes.

When I see a new mapper releasing their first map, I can understand that their skills aren't fully developed, they might not be aware of certain standards in mapping or how to use some tools correctly, and most importantly they may not have manifested exactly the thing they sought to create in the first place. So I feel its important to evaluate it fairly and refrain from destructive negative language and instead describe each flaw as an opportunity to learn something new or keep an open mind about an alternate way of doing things that they might not have thought of.

Though with more experienced mappers who have been around for a while, I can be a bit more terse. Though I'm working on refraining from using negative language to describe anything. There's nothing to gain for both parties involved.


Very much this. One veteran mapper in particular took a disliking to my first project for being too orthogonal. A valid criticism in and of itself, but they proceeded to fire a load of snark in my direction into the bargain. Whether this was an attempt to discourage me taking my mapping career any further or just a distaste for newbies mapping for advanced ports I can't say, but in spite of all of the other middling to positive comments I was getting, this individual made me feel like shit.

I can take criticism, I can handle someone telling me that an aspect of my work sucks and needs fixed/ditched, that's fine. That's called learning. What I can't take is someone being an arse because they apparently make better levels than I do.

I try to be as constructive as I can, even with maps I really don't like, but if something has glaring issues I'll call them like I see them.

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