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Subject: How often do you accept advice? [poll] rss

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Mike L.
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West Virginia
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A lot of people come to BGG to ask for advice on how to improve their games. We give advice and usually have a conversation on how to implement such a change. This often leads members to discussing large changes to the designer's game, which leads to cognitive dissonance within the designer (essentially when a person is given competing or contradictory ideas, they feel uncomfortable and defensive in the face of change). The post eventually fades and the people giving advice often have no idea if their ideas had any effect on the designers game decisions.

The question ends up being, when you post board game design questions on BGG, how often do you actually attempt the changes suggested?

Poll
1. How often do you implement game ideas given by BGG members into your game? I try out...
all of their ideas
all of their ideas, but I make a lot of tweaks
some of their ideas
some of their ideas, but I make a lot of tweaks
a few of their ideas
a few of their ideas, but I make a lot of tweaks
None of their ideas
2. If you turn down ideas, what are your most common reason doing so?
the change is too drastic
the change won't work in my game
the change just doesn't feel right for my game
the poster was rude
the ideas were not what you wanted
they are dumb ideas
my system works better than those stated
      37 answers
Poll created by nitro9090
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J C Lawrence
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Re: How often do you accept advice?
I have often accepted and worked on and with suggestions. The most common reason for my not adopting a suggestion is that it changes the focus of the game away from my intent for the game.
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Mike L.
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Re: How often do you accept advice?
clearclaw wrote:
I have often accepted and worked on and with suggestions. The most common reason for my not adopting a suggestion is that it changes the focus of the game away from my intent for the game.
Sorry, I put down as many choices as I could think of at the time. For your response I would go with "the ideas were not what you wanted". Seeing as changing the focus probably isn't what you wanted.
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Adam Trzonkowski
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I love getting feedback from folks here and elsewhere. I always feel like people see things that I don't and sometimes it gives me a different vision for what I had in mind. Someone may give me an idea that leads to something wholly different.

I think what people should keep in mind is that people giving advice may not have the understanding of your goal that you do. All advice should be shaded with that in mind.

As an example, Havok & Hijinks was meant to be played in 15-30 minutes. My friends who love DEEP, DEEP strategy games kept suggesting more advance concepts. They were great ideas! They just weren't for Havok & Hijinks.

Still, some interesting and simpilar concepts came out of it.
 
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Mike L.
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Ferrel wrote:
I love getting feedback from folks here and elsewhere. I always feel like people see things that I don't and sometimes it gives me a different vision for what I had in mind. Someone may give me an idea that leads to something wholly different.

I think what people should keep in mind is that people giving advice may not have the understanding of your goal that you do. All advice should be shaded with that in mind.

As an example, Havok & Hijinks was meant to be played in 15-30 minutes. My friends who love DEEP, DEEP strategy games kept suggesting more advance concepts. They were great ideas! They just weren't for Havok & Hijinks.

Still, some interesting and simpilar concepts came out of it.
That's a very good point. From experience, it can be very important to clearly get across your design goals when you post for help.

Another question, I just noticed I wrote "the change just doesn't feel right for my game" as one of the choices. I think it should have been "the change doesn't sound right for my game", I realize one implies you tried it out and the other doesn't. Would that have effected your answer?
 
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Noah Gadea
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I'm rude for saying it, but someone considering one of my games for 5 minutes and making a judgment call is rarely going to offer advice that trumps the collective days I've spent.

Every now and then I get a real gem out of a playtester that flips my game on it's head and I love finding playtesters like this.

For the most part though, the best advice I've received so far has been from my own insight.
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Nick Hayes
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Brius wrote:
I'm rude for saying it, but someone considering one of my games for 5 minutes and making a judgment call is rarely going to offer advice that trumps the collective days I've spent.
The other side of this coin is that you've been so close to the game for so long that you can miss an obvious design flaw. I know that's happened to me countless times.
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Val Teixeira
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I've helped (and am currently helping) several budding designers with their game ideas. I've also gone through various stages with games I've designed. There are two significant factors missing from your poll:

1) The stage my game is currently in. The later the stage, the less likely a suggestion given by someone will (a) be something I hadn't tried out already or (b) will play out better (according to playtesters) than what I already have.

This will be different if it was something I specifically queried, then it's likely I don't have a clear answer yet from a few different choices, or I am legitimately stuck on an issue on my game - in which case I'll try anything.

2) The degree of change. Any small changes and tweaks, I'm likely to try out (if I hadn't already or didn't have clear and obvious reasons why I didn't, which is agreed upon by others). Large changes are less likely, but I'll still often try them out at least, unless it really comes across as someone wanting me to make their game for them (and not really caring whether my game works or not). If the change is big enough, I usually chalk it up to an interesting idea, and one that I may use if all else fails.

When I give advice and ideas to other designers, I usually approach it in the same manner. I know my ideas won't be gold every time, but sometimes they will work better and it's worth trying it out to see. I usually try to keep my suggested changes to tweaks rather than overhauls, unless it's a very early stage game. I usually try to understand what sort of game the person is trying to create and work within that rather than against that.

I can't honestly say how many of my ideas get used, but more and more people keep asking for more of my ideas, so I must be saying something right. (Of course I do worry that I'm working to much on other people's designs instead of my own, so I've got to reign myself in sometimes).
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Wes Herndon

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I can honestly say that some of the thoughts I've gleaned bouncing off ideas on here have been crucial in the direction of my game. Thanks BGG posters!
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John "Omega" Williams
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The most common factor for rejecting any given bit of advice is that the person wasnt in the target audience and was suggesting changes to push the design out of the core target and over to their particular ideal.

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I consider any advice that I get. When it comes to something on which I'm working, I know the direction in which I want to go, but I don't always know exactly how to get there. Most often, when I reject advice, it's because the poster seems to be really excited about a mechanic/idea/element that works for them, but isn't right for my project.
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Michael Iachini
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I haven't really come to BGG specifically for advice very much, but I have often sought out advice in other places. I typically will get some suggestions that I want to try, and I do so (and often times they work).

The class of suggestion that I don't try are those that make me say, "That would be an interesting change and lead to an interesting game, but it's not the game I want to make."

For instance, Alchemy Bazaar (my major work-in-progress) is a worker movement game (worker placement, but with relative location being important). Players collect various types of resources. I've often received the suggestion to allow players to trade resources with one another. That would be an interesting game, but it's not the game I'm interested in making this go-round. Trading games are their own genre, and they have different dynamics, which I'm not looking for right now.

I've implemented tons of other suggestions from play testers, though, and the game has become much stronger for it.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games
 
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Adam Trzonkowski
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nitro9090 wrote:

Another question, I just noticed I wrote "the change just doesn't feel right for my game" as one of the choices. I think it should have been "the change doesn't sound right for my game", I realize one implies you tried it out and the other doesn't. Would that have effected your answer?
It would have yes. I think I'm more likely to heavily consider a chance that doesn't sound right but not actually try it if it is well outside of the design goal.
 
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