Kenny VenOsdel
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I read the thread in question and I think you took the comments harsher than intended. It's easy to read more spite into people's postings, especially on BGG.

That said I like posting variants as well so here's some advice to help any other variants you think up go more smoothly.

First, try them out before posting. I am guilty of this as well because sometimes I know I won't get to try it, or I can't nail down a cost etc and need some help. Still, if your OP can say you've at least tested it you'll get more feedback.

Second, post complete rules for it. Do not assume that people can see what rules are meant to be followed as written in the rulebook. Try to touch on anything pertinent, even if its just to say do X, like the rules state.

Third, remember that variant threads thrive by building interest in them. If people are less than enthusiastic about your idea that's fine. Either ignore them or engage with them in conversation to help iron out the flaws in your variant.

Fourth, don't delete your posts! In the thread your posts had been deleted. Remember that if at least one person has responded to you then you can't delete the entire thread. Some of your comments were saved because people quoted you. If you delete your thread then it becomes confusing to people who later stumble on the post and may have actually been interested in it. A better solution, if you feel your variant didn't work out, is to edit the OP and change the header.

Variants are fun but they are usually improved when people offer feedback to help fix problems with them. Following the above advice, while remembering that there are plenty of people on BGG who actively dislike variants (and always assume that you think there is something wrong with their game) and they will likely chime in. Don't worry about it. If you keep people interested and talking you will have a better chance of landing on a good variant.

Also have fun
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michael dorazio
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Weird. I thought the guy who responded to the OPs post was polite and thoughtful, like he always is when i see his work. The OP brought unwarranted attitude.
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Cory J
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cradleofmilk wrote:
Weird. I thought the guy who responded to the OPs post was polite and thoughtful, like he always is when i see his work. The OP brought unwarranted attitude.


I agree with this assessment. The guy giving you feedback was just asking for clarification, and it seemed like you were snapping at him. Maybe you do need to develop a bit of a thicker skin. I would suggest, before posting something, read it over and if it seems rude, or uses the word 'DUH!', probably don't use it as it can be seen as overly confrontational and just not necessary.
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jaxommm wrote:
Re the thread you're commenting about. Why did you delete all your posts? What good did that accomplish?? And by my asking I'm not criticizing you. Just trying to understand where you're coming from.
Peace.
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Steven McBride
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Criticism is needed in order to fully develop ideas. Being able to take criticism is one of life's great skills.
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Evan Stegman
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Add me to the list of people who think people were polite in their responses. They appeared to be offering honest criticism.

You asked for your idea to be critiqued and when it was, you got defensive.
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David Voss
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"Always Assume Good Intentions"

On the Internet where all we have is the words on the screen and no other context, it's easy to read more into a response, especially when it's an opposing or critical viewpoint.
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Roger McKay
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jaxommm wrote:
us newcomers!

All I want to say is: be a wee bit easier on us new users! We'll grow thicker skins in time. For now we are just delving into the hobby and exploring the ludological landscape a step at a time!


Yup. That is the nature of humans AND the internet.

People attack the 'outsiders'. Make them 'pay their dues'. Act tough online, because they will never have to back up it up in real life.

It is a shame. I don't see any way to fix it. The moderators here aren't going to antagonize the veterans.

Just know that others have gone through it, and can sympathize with you.
 
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stemcider wrote:
Criticism is needed in order to fully develop ideas. Being able to take criticism is one of life's great skills.


Being able to treat others with civility and respect is a greater one.
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jaxommm wrote:
All I want to say is: be a wee bit easier on us new users!


I'm sorry, but if you thought ANYTHING in that thread was even remotely harsh rather than extremely helpful and non-biased in its presentation, then you really shouldn't post anything that you feel any attachment to.

You were treated with utmost respect, given reasoned arguments as to why your variant was not usable, and even given direction in which to take your variant in order to make it work.

You were given DIRECT HELP as someone tried to help you unwind the problems your variant created.

You then replied by attacking those asking reasonable questions with the ever respectful "Well DUH" to someone who was asking for clarification.

You then deleted all of your posts - pretty much the most disrespectful thing a user can do, rendering content unusable.

You were treated with the respect and honesty of someone who has been posting for a decade. How much easier can someone be? Did you expect someone to worship your variant, which was clearly not thought through? The community stepped in to examine it - which I believe is what you wanted.

What I see is people offering help, and you respond with whining and running away.
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I haven't read the thread that this comment is about.

I agree with the general reminder that we are a community and that how we treat one another and represent ourselves is significant. We should all be careful in how we express ourselves ensuring that being negative has a positive intention and is expressed in a way that is thoughtful, careful and caring.

When it comes to arguments online the biggest cause for me is misunderstandings (already we see in this case that different perspectives understand and experienced the same events in different ways). Detecting tone and intention online can be very difficult. In general, it's really sad watching respected and kind users engage in some tit for tat argument that was caused when one user misinterpreted something or when the other misspoke.

A wee Story

A fair example of this is one of my first ever reviews - A new user fresh with no avatar I sat down and posted a review (I had worked hard on it and expected a positive response). The first response I got was a negative critical one 'strongly' disputing my central argument. Now I took this response incredibly personally. I was angry and upset and spent the next hour and a half writing a rather discourteous rebuttal. I was angry with the user, angry with all users and angry the site... my heart was racing I was angry.

Just before I posted my nasty response, I re-read his outrageous comment... With an hour to calm down I read it totally different 'oh' turns out he was just expressing his opinion and I wrote the review in the first place to chat to others and we both agreed it was a great game. So I changed my response to one that build on his differing viewpoint and we had a wee debate. This user has gone on to be someone whose opinion I greatly value, on whose ratings I've bought excellent games and who I still disagree with respectfully from time to time.


Remember - if you see something you want to react negatively to, flag it and forget it. If someone can't play nice, don't play with them. Using the icon serves two functions - first, if enough users flag a post then it will be collapsed from general view. Second, flagging posts helps bring them to the attention of the forum moderators.

It's also worth saying threads like this, which reference arguments and disputes with other users, in other threads, aren't a good idea - more often than not they just help to further that original argument/misunderstand.

If there are larger problems please contact the Community Manager directly:

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The Chaz
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Link for the lazy:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/931465/variant

And welcome to the internet, OP
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OP, I think both you and the user that Must Not Be Named take the hobby a wee bit too seriously. We are talking about board games after all.
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I posted questions about the security of posting any ideas of new games in BGG some times ago. Some people replied to me in a not so friendly tone, or could it be me who thinking too far?

I believe, as long as people responded to what I asked here in BGG, that is good enough. What if they give me no feedback at all, then wouldn't I feel like I am treated like I am not in existence? That was what I felt when no one commented on my variant for TtR. At least you get comments from people.

And how could I judge these people only by reading what they wrote? Do I know their feelings at the moment of writing the replies? Of course I don't know about it, so I would not assume that they are attacking me with their words. Who knows behind the toneless answers they gave me, it were really written with full of sincerity.

And who I am to expect people to spend lots of time to think the best sentences to be written to me, to spend their precious time replying to my questions (when they could spend it better by browsing the things they like in BGG or playing games with people or bots) or to give the exact thing that I required in the replies to be sent to me? Then, any reply given is considered totally worth it. I should not assume people will write all the things that please me. They will write the first thing that they thought of, then click the submit button, then I will read it, think positively, reply to him/her positively (if in need of reply), and thank them whole heartedly.

People are different from each other. The way of thinking, the way of seeing things... We have to accept it and respect it. But I do not say there is no room for an issue or a thing to be debated or discussed. When you read the comments of the BGG veteran, even you as a new user has right to say something and give feedback on it.

Thank you to those who gave feedback to my questions. I think you should too. However, use their comments to your advantage. Respond to it, debate it, discuss it.... Who knows, it will lead to not only a better variant, but a good new game idea. If it happens like so, please share the idea with me too. Hoho.
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Those who responded to your thread were critical yet polite and helpful. Your responses, by contrast, were rude and condescending.
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This isn't really aimed at the OP as I haven't read the original thread, just some general observations...

I've seen a few threads on BGG by people who should probably develop slightly thicker skins. As a refugee from some video game sites where EVERY comment can be jumped on and savaged by people, this place a cool ocean of calm, respect, conversation and helpfulness!

Context is always a hard thing to judge in a written response. But I take the view that there's people on this site who have been here for 8+ years, so either the site is horribly cliquey and exclusive or it's a good place to hang out and people know their stuff. I am finding (in my short time here) that it is the latter.

If someone writes a response you think is rude or off, walk away for a while, then come back and re-read it. Don't immediately bang out a reply. If you think someone is talking down to you on this site, re-read what you originally posted and have a think about what they've said. If you still think someone was being harsh or rude, politely bring it up in your response.

Not everyone is going to agree with your point of view, and if you post something, you really need to be open to negative (constructive) criticism.
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Why post about your treatment and then remove the original post so we can't see what was said?
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Jdoki wrote:
If someone writes a response you think is rude or off, walk away for a while, then come back and re-read it. Don't immediately bang out a reply. If you think someone is talking down to you on this site, re-read what you originally posted and have a think about what they've said. If you still think someone was being harsh or rude, politely bring it up in your response.


+1

I think I got fired up once. Foul on me.

The lack of facial expressions and body language occasionally hamper my ability to understand some comments at other than face value. I'm sure others are affected the same way.

I think BGG users are among the politest and most thoughtful people on the interwebs. Rarely do I encounter discussions or users that are truly vitriolic and spiteful.

Best advice is what Jay said above. Give it some time and come back later on after you've had some time to think about the comments, both from yourself and that of the other user.
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Completely asymmetric response to the respondants to your variant question.

PS... Your thread titles make me feel like I'm watching a talk show.

Examples:

Can I...?
Is it possible....
Why are there 650 ratings for a game that has yet to be released?
Not a major concern, but...
How many boxes...?
Does anyone think that end of game scoring...
Will owners of the original Pandemic edition still be supported?
Does it always swell when its rubbed?
How important is game art for women gamers?
Is Amazon the only option?



jaxommm wrote:
us newcomers!


I attempted, as one of my first posts recently, to suggest the possibiity of variant for a game. I hadn't thought it through too much. However, that was the whole point. I was seeking advice on this one small kernel of an idea, not trying to demonstrate a concept I had tested out multiple times and had spreadsheets for. I made that clear. Yet, I was still attacked for my lack of intelligence basically by a user that Must Not Be Named.

All I want to say is: be a wee bit easier on us new users! We'll grow thicker skins in time. For now we are just delving into the hobby and exploring the ludological landscape a step at a time!
 
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Steven McBride
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RogMcK wrote:
stemcider wrote:
Criticism is needed in order to fully develop ideas. Being able to take criticism is one of life's great skills.


Being able to treat others with civility and respect is a greater one.


This is moot as it has very little to do with the situation.

Did you look at the thread in question? Responses were legit criticism in a Variants forum, where the whole point is to receive criticism. If you dont want to have your variant critiqued, why post it?

The fact that people even responded at all shows respect. Having your idea legitimately critiqued shows respect. They could have ignored the post or said "Nope. Your idea is garbage." But they didnt.

EDIT: It actually really surprises me how thin peoples' skin is on this site. Its like this is the only site they've ever been to on the internet.
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stemcider wrote:
EDIT: It actually really surprises me how thin peoples' skin is on this site. Its like this is the only site they've ever been to on the internet.


Hah, I know right? I remember one of my first reviews someone pointed out in a comment I had made a mistake on a rule, and naturally at first glance it seemed like a rude post. But he was right about the rule in question and it made the game play better. I thanked him, he was very polite and said he liked the review, everybody went away happy. And fyi my account is only a few months old, and I've seen some amazingly polite and generous people here... So don't give up hope OP!

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BGG has a very strong dislike to variants to begin with. Changing the rules to a game is something the community takes very seriously. I think most long time gamers have a house rule horror story they can tell.

Lots of variants fix things that many people don't think need to be fixed and even if they do make for a better game are they worth it? Variants mean different groups are playing different games and this acts as a barrier to discussion of this play on a site like BGG.

Every popular game is someone's favorite game and when you post how you 'fixed it' they are going to post why you are wrong in thinking it needed fixing.
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sbauer9 wrote:
Lots of variants fix things that many people don't think need to be fixed and even if they do make for a better game are they worth it?


Yes, they are worth it. First, variants are optional. No one is being forced to play variants posted here. Second, if someone has more fun playing a game that they spent a significant amount of money on by using a variant, good for them. I can't believe that it would be better that someone put it away in a box never to play again because it wasn't fun for them in it's original form.

I think discussion is good though as someone said before, maybe it's a misunderstanding of the rules. When you're talking about tens of pages with sometimes confusing rules (especially when it's a new game where no one in the group jas played) it's easy to misinterpret things and have the game be a horrible experience.

Sometimes change is good. Think of where we would be if no one ever challenged the status quo.
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