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Why Don't Developers Tell The Hardcore Community To Just Fuck Off?
June 2nd 2002, 12:04 CEST by Leslie Nassar

The internet has given every hardcore gamer a voice and evidently every hardcore gamer has chosen to use that voice to bitch about developers. (*)

Why do developers subject themselves to such abuse?  What good comes from having punk after punk bad-mouth them on their own websites?  Is the hardcore market so big that pandering to them is critical to a title's success?

I say close down the message boards.  Stop giving interviews and screenshots to every 12 year old with a 'fan' site.  Stand up, raise your middle finger, and tell them to back off or fuck off.  You've had enough and you're not going to take it anymore!

(*) Thank you,  Kevin Smith.
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#1 by chris
2002-06-02 12:11:44
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Because it takes less effort to just not talk to them at all? =)

Most developers don't seem to pay much attention to the hardcore.

-chris
#2 by chris
2002-06-02 12:11:45
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Because it takes less effort to just not talk to them at all? =)

Most developers don't seem to pay much attention to the hardcore.

-chris
#3 by chris
2002-06-02 12:12:02
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
eek?

NEUTERS!

-chris
#4 by Osmosis
2002-06-02 12:17:25
osmosis@shaw.ca
Freedom of Speech is the most valuable freedom, and you should be thankful for it.  That you would write a rant post about rant posts is just silly...

Solid construction (no rubber bands)
#5 by Morn
2002-06-02 12:27:40
morn@planetcrap.com http://hmans.net
Where does Freedom of Speech come in?

Hendrik "Morn" Mans • morn@planetcrap.com • admin/coder/lover/kraut
#6 by "Stralutia"
2002-06-02 12:31:26
stralutia@hotmail.com None
#4:

Freedom of Speech is the most valuable freedom, and you should be thankful for it


Yeah, freedom of speech is great and all.  But it is nothing without the freedom to choose who and what we want to listen to.  Nowhere is the author claiming not to be greatful for our fundamental right to free of speech.  He is simply asking why devolopers don't excercise their right to ignore people who choose to post inflammatory and unconstructive comments on their own websites.  

Nowhere is #0 saying that the people posting these things don't have a right to do so.  The author is simply stating a fact:  developers aren't necessarily obligated to listen to incessent whining from the hardcore community, so why do they?  

-Stralutia
#7 by Duality
2002-06-02 12:37:47
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Freedom of Speech only goes as far as the outside port of the company's router.  As soon as its in their network, on their forums, its private property -- they can do whatever the hell they please in terms of administration.  Be it fair or unfair, they can silence anyone they want.

Doesn't sound right, but its true.

#8 by "Stralutia"
2002-06-02 12:42:51
stralutia@hotmail.com None
Anyways, with regards to the topic at hand.  Leslie, I don't know.  I think there is a balance, though, between appeasing the hardcore while drawing the line at taking flak and abuse from those who feel as though the game should be made to appeal only to them.

I think that the hardcore community is not necessarily the problem here, per se.  It is the segment of the hardcore community that doesn't know the difference between constructive and unconstructive criticism.  This segment also doesn't realize that if the game they are following at the moment doesn't suit their gaming needs, they can always move on to another game on the market, instead of bitching and moaning.  I think that if more people were to offer constructive, well-reasoned comments, then developers wouldn't be forced to look at the hardcore community as they look at that mother-in-law who can't keep her mouth shut for more than ten seconds about every little thing that you're doing wrong with in your life.  

The situation in many cases now is one of appeasement it seems.  Developers don't want to alienate the hardcore, because they know that the hardcore help to push the title by word of mouth.  They also support the game via fansites and the like.  The problem is that once the hardcore community (or a small segment within) decides that they should be making development decisions, well...they become the new idea men, don't they? (Sorry, had to)

I guess what I'm saying is that the hardcore community isn't that bad, is it?
#9 by zakk
2002-06-02 13:20:54
zakk@timedoctor.org
This is silly.
Smart developers _are_ telling the hardcore (online) community to go fuck themselves. Witness id doing Doom 3 as basically Single Player only, when the hardcore OMG U BITCH U AWP'd ME kids are all (presumably?) cheering for more multiplayer && realism. Or at least that's what seems to be popular these days.

-zakk
#10 by Leslie Nassar
2002-06-02 14:01:25
http://departmentofinternets.com
Worst. Topic. Ever.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#11 by Caliban
2002-06-02 14:12:04
gunnar@caliban.de www.kaliban.org
There's no point in this topic -- some developers listen too much, some too less, some not at all -- there's no trend or common ground here.
But then there's my personal theory that listening to the hardcore idiots is what ruined the flightsim genre -- you could see the craving for acceptance in the eyes of flightsim developers when you talked with the about their forums. So the games they made were aimed at people who liked realism over playability. Which killed the games for a general audience.

»Reality can be useful«
#12 by m0nty
2002-06-02 14:44:21
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Forum ranters have an unalienable right to say whatever they want. Developers have an unalienable right to ignore each and every one of them.

Beyond that, I would say there are several reasons that devs visit boards (not listed in order of magnitude).

- Public relations, to give them brownie points by being "close to the player community".
- To improve their game by sifting out the intelligent posts from the trolls.
- To bask in the glory of the abject devotion bestowed on devs by average geeks.- Because they like yakking with people who have similar interests.
- To pick up chicks.
#13 by Matt Davis
2002-06-02 15:00:22
http://looroll.com
I think most good developers know the product they want to make, and they go make it, they don't end up getting 1000 fanboi comments onboard, theres so much noise that you'll never find the signal.
#14 by Hugin
2002-06-02 16:19:27
lmccain@nber.org
There's a level where developers aren't all that different than fanboi geeks.  Maybe a few years ago they were fanboi geeks. Or maybe they're fanboi geeks for a level of insider they feel themselves below (For example, all the pros in the industry who get all giggly and blushy around Warren Spector).

So going into a (virtual) room full of other geeks to talk games at a level thier own spouses won't go, for as long as they like, and maybe get sidetracked and talk about, I dunno, who'd win in a fight between the Hulk and the Thing, or who's cuter, Buffy or Willow, etc etc, isn't all that unpleasant, even with a healthy percentage of people whining and bitching at them.

Besides, if they pick and choose carefully, I think some of it is solid feedback.
#15 by m0nty
2002-06-02 16:39:36
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
The Hulk is cuter than Willow. At least he doesn't talk like a 6-month-old.
#16 by The_Joker
2002-06-02 16:50:22
http://www.jackinworld.com
Well if I look at the type of aliens in DNF, there's a good possibility someone somewhere in Japan is going to release a tentacle rape mod for DNF. I'm interested to hear PC's thoughts on this.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#17 by Hugin
2002-06-02 17:06:59
lmccain@nber.org
Ooh, don't mess with Willow Monty...Willow is Teh Cute.  Especially with Tara.  Who's now dead. *sniff* Yes, I'm a huge Buffy geek.
#18 by "Fallon"
2002-06-02 17:36:51
Willow is a stupid fucking ginger 'tard. She is the reason I watch Angel.

The FPS hardcore don't know what they want, by the way. Go onto any random gaming forum - they want Quake 1 simplicity with round-based realism with a sci-fi RPG setting in space, in the future. The hardcore are neglible bar the hardcore who form MOD groups - who increase the lifespan of a game. Who make what they want.
#19 by Hugin
2002-06-02 17:42:37
lmccain@nber.org
Angel has Fred, who's almost as good as Willow.
#20 by Sgt Hulka
2002-06-02 17:52:34
Oh.  When I read Willow, I was thinking of the midget in Ron Howards film.  Silly me. I don't watch Buffy.  No wonder.  Go figure.  Cheese in a can? No way!

DOOMED! - Videogames Turn Deadly.
#21 by Caryn
2002-06-02 17:58:38
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Here's my shot at an answer to the topic at hand:

For some titles, the hardcore is your market (the Quake series, SoF series, etc.).

Secondly, as someone else mentioned, the hardcore crowd is the one that pushes the title word of mouth. Most casual gamers have a hardcore gaming friend. Hardcore gamers are also the ones that create fan sites, and fan sites show up in Google searches done by casual gamers.

Thirdly, the hardcore gamers create mods that extend the life of a game. Half-Life definitely sold tons of units on its own, but when Sierra packaged Counterstrike as a retail product, casual gamers everywhere were getting into it and they sold tons more. Magazines these days are offering mods or map packs on their monthly CDs; casual gamers get these and realize that there's more stuff for free that they can play with their game, and it's the hardcore crowd that made it.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#22 by Leslie Nassar
2002-06-02 18:01:46
http://departmentofinternets.com
You made my cry, Caryn.  What a horrible industry to work in that demands one grin and bear the abuse of those insipid little monkeys :-(

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#23 by Warren Marshall
2002-06-02 18:12:27
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
The way to handle the hardcore is to give them tools so they can make the game they want.  That's really all you can do.  Then, hopefully, over the course of failing at that they'll gain some respect for how hard it actually is to create a freakin game.

As for suggestions ... the key is to not respond to them.  Listen ... filter ... filter some more ... maybe use what's left ... but never respond.

WoT?
#24 by LPMiller
2002-06-02 18:13:38
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Hardcore gamers are the new fucking 'ginger tards.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#25 by LPMiller
2002-06-02 18:14:28
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I should mention, however, that I have no idea just what a fucking ginger 'tard is, so I could be wrong.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#26 by Darkseid-D
2002-06-02 18:14:46
rogerboal@hotmail.com
any opinions on that NWO multiplayer test?

I have to say static pre-rendered lightsourced maps look, bloody AWFUL moving, but great in screenshots...

and demos that bug out at the least suggestion of doing anything are teh LOSE LOSE LOSE, not to mention demos that wont let you rebind keys properly, incomplete documentation..


I wont go on, suffice to say NWO is now No Way `Ose!



DS

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#27 by LPMiller
2002-06-02 18:15:20
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
The way to handle the hardcore is to give them tools so they can make the game they want.  That's really all you can do.  Then, hopefully, over the course of failing at that they'll gain some respect for how hard it actually is to create a freakin game.


The way to handle the hardcore is to beat the living shit out of them, then give them a free, Get A Life card.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#28 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:15:33
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Leslie:

  
 You made my cry, Caryn.  What a horrible industry to work in that demands one grin and bear the abuse of those insipid little monkeys :-(


I wouldn't say they should grin and bear it. What I meant was something more like what Warren just posted. There's certainly reasons for trying to work with the hardcore community (the ones I mentioned), but when it comes to their every little complaints, you have to know what to listen to and what to ignore. The problem is, I think, that most of the developers came from the hardcore community, and so they read the game site forums because to them, it's peer review.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#29 by jjohnsen
2002-06-02 18:16:01
http://www.johnsenclan.com
For some titles, the hardcore is your market (the Quake series, SoF series, etc.).


Can teh hardcore be a market?  I mean, are there enough hardcore players to support a game so that the developer actually makes money?  I think the idiots that are complaining from the links in #0 are hardcore, but they might only be a small percentage of the actual playing group.  Sure Quake has hardcore players, but to make money didn't a ton of regular players have to buy too?
#30 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:16:52
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
(My grammar has been appalling this morning in every thread I've posted in. I'd just like to state that this is due to me not being quite awake yet, not any grammatical deficiency.)

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#31 by jjohnsen
2002-06-02 18:19:16
http://www.johnsenclan.com
If developers are going to message boards for game ideas, they are screwed.  You can't please everyone and if you incorporate an idea from one complainer on a message board, then you have to deal with all the other whiners screaming about how their idea is so much better.
#32 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:20:40
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
jjohnsen:

I think the idiots that are complaining from the links in #0 are hardcore, but they might only be a small percentage of the actual playing group.  Sure Quake has hardcore players, but to make money didn't a ton of regular players have to buy too?


I think you answered your own question: I think there are a lot more players than there are forum posters. This is all what my job hinges on (I work on the hardcore or "enthusiast" titles) so let's hope I'm not uninformed, but I would say that our definition of hardcore (the Shack forum posters, for example) is a subset of the publisher's definition of hardcore (the people interested in buying the game).

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#33 by LPMiller
2002-06-02 18:20:48
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Test does not equal demo.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#34 by Warren Marshall
2002-06-02 18:21:07
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Caryn
The problem is, I think, that most of the developers came from the hardcore community, and so they read the game site forums because to them, it's peer review.

I think that's fine as long as, before they act on what they read, it's run ny the lead designer.  The shit filter.  Someone who has some perspective.

WoT?
#35 by Leslie Nassar
2002-06-02 18:22:27
http://departmentofinternets.com
Obviously there are hardcore assholes in the console world, but I don't see too many console-only developers inviting them into their homes via a message board.  Don't those developers need the hardcore to drive sales by word of mouth as well?

In the PC world, the harcore are given tools to create mods, the mods are used to get coverage in magazines.  The thought that mods are driving the PC games industry makes me want to cry some more.  I need 300mg of Wellbutrin, stat!

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#36 by Warren Marshall
2002-06-02 18:24:00
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
LPMiller
Test does not equal demo.

It does unless you're id ... and even then, sometimes it still does.  You can't hand something that barely works to people and tell them it's a test.  In their minds, it's a demo.  Period.

WoT?
#37 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:26:20
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Obviously there are hardcore assholes in the console world, but I don't see too many console-only developers inviting them into their homes via a message board.  Don't those developers need the hardcore to drive sales by word of mouth as well?


Good question. I'm not really familiar with the console market, so I can't really put up an informed argument, but I would say that console gaming is inherently non-hardcore, whereas PC games kind of started out that way and have a very large, built-in hardcore audience. ?

In the PC world, the harcore are given tools to create mods, the mods are used to get coverage in magazines.  The thought that mods are driving the PC games industry makes me want to cry some more.  I need 300mg of Wellbutrin, stat!


They may not be driving it -- there's certainly many PC games out there that don't bother with a mod community -- but in the realm of titles that are considered hardcore (and I would say that bloody FPS are considered hardcore) they have a big influence on things.

You quit being banished?!
#38 by LPMiller
2002-06-02 18:27:30
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Well, then they are all stupid and I don't want to play with them any more.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#39 by Leslie Nassar
2002-06-02 18:32:01
http://departmentofinternets.com
Caryn:
I agree.  I think the size of the audiences explains why console developers don't have as big a problem with the hardcore as their PC counterparts.  It helps when your game as a saturday morning cartoon as well ;)

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#40 by Duality
2002-06-02 18:32:16
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Do console game developers run into the same sort of thing?

I admit I only go to a couple of forums relatively regularly, and the only console games I've heard any real criticism of any kind about is the new Zelda and Metroid Prime games.  Otherwise, do the hardcore fanbois spout on and on about them?  Dev seem to get their shit done without hassle from their market and still make money ...

#41 by Charles
2002-06-02 18:33:15
www.bluh.org
As a developer, how 'bout this:  fuck you.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#42 by Duality
2002-06-02 18:33:29
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
And apparently I shouldn't have gone potty while posting, or else I would actually have something not already stated!

#43 by Hugin
2002-06-02 18:39:58
lmccain@nber.org
Leslie, I work in IT.  All day I bear the abuse of insipid little monkeys.

Before that I worked in a bookstore: Many, many insipid monkeys.

Before that, an big art museum:  Pretentious, stuck up insipid monkeys.

People suck. Not just fanbois.
#44 by Charles
2002-06-02 18:41:11
www.bluh.org
Console developers have a level more between them and the crowd usually.  And half the time, that's a language barrier.  Anyone know how bad the japanese fanbois are?  Would be interesting to know if this is mostly a north american thing.  

Really though, there are very simple reasons to ignore hardcore.  Most of the time, they don't even know what they want.  Are we supposed to listen to the same people who want nothing but the latest buzzword?  The people who want one thing, then hate it when it's given to them?  

The hardcore audience can actually ruin games that would have been good.  Or at least, games that would have been better.  I disagree that modding is the balance though... I'd bet money that most hardcores are just there to bitch, and have no interest in doing any work to make it better.  They want someone else to do all the work for them.  Yes, I'll say it, though over used:  They are idea men.  Except, they aren't just normal idea men.  They are idea men with the disposition of a 3 year old with a poopy diaper who wants more chocolate.  Extremely vocal, yet nearly impossible to please.  

There are some hardcore people out there who do have good ideas.  But like Warren said, it's best to find those few, and listen to them, without ever letting on that you are doing so.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#45 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:42:29
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Leslie:

I agree.  I think the size of the audiences explains why console developers don't have as big a problem with the hardcore as their PC counterparts.  It helps when your game as a saturday morning cartoon as well ;)


Yeah, definitely. And I think you hit it on the head with the size-of-the-audience argument. We all must know a hardcore console gamer, don't we? (I do.) There are console game fan sites out there that will likely turn up in a Google search. But I think the size of the audience drowns out what bitching there is.

You quit being banished?!
#46 by Caryn
2002-06-02 18:44:15
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
One thing I've always kept in mind about the hardcore community: the people complaining are likely in the minority on an opinion; it's just that they're so loud, and when you're happy with something you're less likely to say anything about it than when you're not happy.

You quit being banished?!
#47 by Duality
2002-06-02 18:44:40
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Could it also be that the Internet is almost the PC gamers' stomping grounds?  I can't think of a single gamer I've met in my travels that was entirely console.

#48 by "Fallon"
2002-06-02 18:52:11
Could it also be that the Internet is almost the PC gamers' stomping grounds?  I can't think of a single gamer I've met in my travels that was entirely console.


Maybe when the PlayStation 3 has Internet access eh? If you have a PC and use the interweb superduper information datanet (tm), and you're interested in gaming, you're going to look up PC gaming.

Natch.

Of course, the hardcore that matters = fanbois. The dissenters who want ultra-realistic modes and other fancies aren't usually the ones driving the community with webpages and mods.

Well, unless you get a kick of out modding for a game you don't like or play. In which case you're dumber than Willow with pool cue rammed through her skull.
#49 by "Fallon"
2002-06-02 18:53:07
PS: You may surmise that I do not like Willow. That would be accurate.
#50 by Hugin
2002-06-02 18:53:22
lmccain@nber.org
Oh goodness, I know hundreds of console only gamers.  Tons and tons and tons of women who play console games only.  Tons of adults who play console games in the living room with thier kids but never play computer games on thier own (okay, maybe solitaire or minesweeper).  Tons of casual gamers (actually, a lot of black folks come to think of it) that play console sports games with tier buddies and talk a lot of smack and even bet money on games, but never bother with PCs.
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