Sep 012012

1) The sorting options for games are terrible. Worse, the default random order gets changed every time you click on a page number. As I browsed through, Layernet’s goddamn skyscraper game followed me through four pages until I finally downvoted it. It would be nice to sort games by overall rating, and it would be especially nice to sort games by my rating, so I can see how games I upvoted are doing without wading through all that Layernet crap I downvoted.

2) The tide seems to have subsided a bit, but damn there were a lot of idiots posting ineligible ideas (e.g. Halo) or other garbage that first day. Today I saw some MS Paint pictures and a racist photograph passed off as Greenlight projects.

3) I wish there was a dismissal option besides downvoting. But since there isn’t, I have been downvoting. A lot. I can always change it later.

4) Did you know you can change your vote?

5) Oh man, Layernet. Ha!

6) Pitches need gameplay videos. If it’s not there, instant downvote. If you don’t have gameplay you can show me, even with placeholder graphics, then it’s way too early to ask for my support. Convince me that you know how to make a damn game. Saying that you are an industry veteran means nothing. I am a food industry veteran, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to hire me as your wedding caterer. It certainly isn’t a good idea to exclude actual caterers from the marketplace just because I know how to take a picture of a zucchini.

7) It’s also generally a good idea to have a gameplay video of a PC build. That is, don’t have the touchscreen controls of your Android port visible.

8) Games need to have an original idea. I don’t have any use for more old-school 2D RPGs, side-scrolling action games, roguelikes, or third-person multiplayer brawlers, nor any damn game at all featuring zombies or World War II. I have, nonetheless, upvoted games in all these categories, because their developers have convinced me they have something unique and interesting going on in their games. Sell me on what makes you special. If nothing makes you special, reconsider the project.

9) I confess a terrible weakness for isometric RPGs, but I have downvoted several. Guess why.

10) No one word instantly erects a higher barrier to my upvote than “retro”. If all that you can say about your game is that it is like older games, I am not interested.

11) Trying to sell your pitch on the basis of your game’s deep story is a losing proposition. Not only is this impossible to assess, it’s also practically the equivalent of saying you have a perpetual motion machine. If you have to talk about story, talk about how the game mechanics reinforce your story. If the game mechanics do not reinforce the story, reconsider the project.

12) Accept that even if you do everything to satisfy me, or any other advice-giver, you will still get tons of downvotes. Don’t take this personally. Especially do not take to the comments section to angrily defend your game against attacks on its graphics, gameplay, or voice acting. You have invited people to pass judgment on your game. As long as they stay within fair bounds of criticism, you just have to suck it up. To behave otherwise makes you seem incapable of growth or improvement.

13) It’s very hard to sell me on just being a parody, particularly if you’re aiming at a soft target like JRPGs, adventure games, or self-important indie platformers. Aim for higher targets, or make sure you bring something big and bold to the table.

14) Get somebody to proofread your pitch. Whether English is your first language or not, assume you have made man embarrassing errors that will make you look like an imbecile. There’s a good chance you’re right.

15) Does all of that sound terribly unfair? Well, the crowd is not fair, and you should not expect it to be.

16) What the hell is up with all the slenderman games? It’s not that interesting of an idea.

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