A case for hate and harshness in creative communities.
Having recently sort of gotten back into game development, I decided to pay one of my favorite communities again. As expected, it hadn’t changed much in my absence. People were still arguing over every little difference in each others opinions, giving ridiculously harsh “feedback”, giving short and blunt answers to people asking “how do I make game?”, and generally being a bunch of annoying little shits. Yes, there was also some solid progress being posted by some very cool developers, but those tend to drawn in the swarm of shitty posts.
I think all that makes it a really strong community.
You won’t hear me advocating extreme harshness towards folks, but having it happen to or just around you really toughens you up. Feedback on art or features or whatever may feel downright crippling but there’s usually some truth to it. And those who don’t listen, insist their work is simply the best, get kicked hard for it. Rightfully so, in my opinion. “I’m great, no need to improve” is an attitude you don’t ever want to have.
Besides, if you plan on going big, you will have to deal with flame and hate and all that. I’d rather grow my thick skin early on, than suddenly be overwhelmed by the 30% hate comments in my fanmail inbox. Let’s be real here, being popular is cool and all, but even if your work is widely praised, there’s always going to be some folks who will scream “burn him at the stake” at the very sight of you.
And the community still has its lovely sides. As I mentioned, there’s a lot of cool people working on some really cool games, which warms my heart. And when someone’s seriously stuck or just having a hard time with whatever (gamedev, life, etc.), a large chunk of the community’s there for them. It’s a nice contrast to the otherwise rowdy atmosphere, too.
It can be hard getting a reasonable discussion going, but that’s also kind of hilarious from time to time, just fooling around.