Getting Feedback is difficult
Posted on:October 07 2016
Since the first day when I created software, I always wanted to have feedback from people, so that I could improve my software. That's one of the reasons why I started blogging back in 1998, when the term 'blog' didn't even exists. (I was working on an isometric diablo like game named 'Irrlicht' back then, which unfortunately was never finished).
I've learned that the average willingness of giving feedback voluntarily is very, very low. For example for every 100 readers of this blog, only 1 will post a comment. Driving this value up is possible, but telling the readers that you want feedback usually will not work. (But making some unusual claims or invalid statements will do this easily, usually.)
Until now, about 2000 people have downloaded the alpha demo of my game. You would expect that I already have at least 20 people giving me some insight on how to improve it. Interestingly, I only received 6 so far, of which 3 are angry that the price of the game is so high. (What!? It's just 9 euro!?)
Not sure what this means. Is this a good sign? Do people like the game, and they don't see any reason to complain? OR is it a bad sign? The game is so bad that they don't bother to deal with that at all? I have no idea.
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Warning: lots of rhetorical questions ahead.
I'm glad to hear you have had six people give you feedback. I highly suspect that the total number of downloads is somewhat irrelevant or misleading. Don't take it to heart as some sort of "rejection ratio" or anything like that.
Feedback is complex. I've never seen two people react the same way to it. Have you considered asking a close/trusted friend what they think the feedback means? They could give you a different perspective, as a person that is not the developer.
bq. Not sure what this means. Is this a good sign? Do people like the game, and they don't see any reason to complain? OR is it a bad sign? The game is so bad that they don't bother to deal with that at all? I have no idea.
If this is the first time you have gone through this process of releasing a demo then you only have one sample point to go on (or 6 if you want to count that way). You need to keep going and get some more data before you come to any conclusions with certainty.
Did you expect to have a full and complete understanding of how you should go forward after releasing your first demo?
bq. [...] of which 3 are angry that the price of the game is so high. (What!? It's just 9 euro!?)
Hehehe :) There are multiple ways to evaluate the value of something.
Someone new to the game does not (hopefully) pre-conceive anything about the game. They try to evaluate its positives based on what they read about it and what it's like when they try it. In other words, you need to convince them that it's worth the costs.
The maker of a game is very familiar with their creation and believes it valuable from the get-go. They already like it and it takes effort to make them think it's not worth the price they have decided it is worth.
Just as it's easier to find flaws in someone else's essay rather than your own, it's easier to see flaws in someone else's game than your own.
For me atleast: I would not buy it in its current state. Here is my evaluation of it:
- gameplay uninteresting
- appears to be going down the path of 'buy into the development', which many games have lead down to unreliable or mediocre paths.
- costs 9 euros
- written by an interesting developer
- demo is free
How does that compare with your internal list of pros and cons?