Developer Diaries, chapter 2

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Developer Diaries, chapter 2

Post by Aura »

A blogish entry ahead since we have done very little in terms of visible progress since the last time i wrote something. Well ok, we have some more text and Nicol composed a few BGM tracks so the week has not been all procrastinating, quite the contrary.

So anyway, Skim is polishing her skills of drawing the characters, which of course resurfaced a lot of discussion about the girls and their looks. Shizune is probably getting her old character design back, just with black (or something) hair. The series of Skim's sketches and the following feedback discussion lead me thinking about feedback in KS.

Since we decide most stuff in an anarcho-democratic-socialist way, the only obstacle between a submitted piece of text/music/art and the said piece becoming a part of the game is often only the creator's own discretion and the semi-nonchalant approval of the rest of us. We rarely give really hard-assed feedback to each other. There are of course reasons for that. First of all, giving feedback is hard. Sure, everyone and their mother is an art_expert_(has_seen_1000000_anime_pics_completely) and has a visual image of for example the characters in their mind but not many of us can claim such expertise in literature that one could point out flaws in text on a fundamental level. Anyone can point out a sucky sentence or a tpyo when they see one, but what about the rhythm of a text, a scene, a game path? Another thing is that, well, each of us is making the game into what it should be like. A lot of doujin games are made by one or two guys, who have even less chances of getting feedback than we do, so they trust their own discretion. And so do we. If someone writes a scene, and that is what should happen in the game in the writer's opinion, who has the authority to question that?

Feedback has also much to do with the project changing from that stickied 4chan /a/ thread and a horde of anons brainstorming all kinds of crazy stuff at the old forums to what we are doing now. Although the dev team has shrunk to only 8 people + irc channel regulars, we are keeping everything transparent to any random passerby and anyone can comment on things, if they so choose. We even listen to and consider these comments. Or we might not do that, but that's the topic for next time.

P.S. Crud dislikes positive feedback in excessive quantities because that draws attention away from the negative/constructive commentary.

Incoming in the next weeks: more music, text, character art and backgrounds. Sounds promising!
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Post by cpl_crud »

I'd just like expand on my stance on "positive feedback".

As Aura has mentioned, as much as we "closed our borders" after the first forum move, we are still a pubically viewable project.

This means that anyone is able to gaze upon our works and post replies etc.

Whilst we all love hearing "Wow, that was a good scene", there is a problem in that we can't really gauge *who* thinks it's a good scene.

Within the dev team, we have all read/seen/heard enough of each other's works to have some kind of benchmark as to what it takes to make, say, A22 say "good" or me say "crap".
However, if you've jsut signed up to the forums, we don't know if you're some literary genius, or if the most inspiring thing you've ever read was "Free Beer".

Basically, it's a form of quality control in itself. If every scene, picture or tune we post is hailed with a thousand "Lulz awesome!" posts, then it's likely that we will start thinking that we are better than we are, and hence we won't be aiming to improve ourselves.

This is my definition of "circle-jerking"; ungauged, unchecked comments from parties unknown, leading to the dev team slacking off.

I do know that all of us can't work in a feedback-free environment. However, we must also be mindful that we're going to be searching for the good comments over the bad. Also, it's highly unlikely that a passerby is going to say "Luls that's not game-accurate!".

By limiting the amount of "spam" praise, we can start to see the "real" praise/critiques for what they are.

Another issue is that threads like the "submissions" threads are where Tc and so forth go to get the raw text for the game, or for editing etc. They don't want to be wading through pages of "OMG Hanako is adorable!" to get to where they need to be.

Stuff in the Oekaki forum is free of this caveat; it's meant as a place to throw around ideas, talk to other people, and have fun etc.
That being so, I ask you to keep all of your extranious comments there. Hell, even start a thread like "Emi's cutest moments <3" if you feel the need.
Just keep the Dev threads clean and useful. (You'll know when you're useful, as it will be then that we stop deleting your posts).

A note on deleting posts: Don't get bent out of shape about us deleting posts; it's mostly just to keep things clean and constructive.
If you feel the need to flame, then PM me or go for

If you think that this is unfair, or have a differing view, please contact me through the PM system and we'll discuss things.