Cor! It’s DAW!

It took a while, but here I am on the bandwagon, just in time before the week actually ends.

So apparently it’s Developer Appreciation Week — I’d give credit where it’s due but I’m damned if I know where it’s due so we’ll just have to go with good intentions. I would if I could but I don’t so I won’t.*

(Click me to hop to the artist's site)

My problem with these appreciation hours/days/weeks is that they always make me think “Uhh, shouldn’t we be appreciating pandas/mothers/peace/developers all the time? Isn’t this a little facile? Do I have to go out and buy a Hallmark card just because everyone else does?”

I am not a big buyer of Hallmark cards, cute baby animals notwithstanding.

So here’s the deal: I love my devs whether the calendar or some blog meme tells me to.

  • When I complain about something in a game, I don’t assume the developers — or designers or artists or even Joe the Coffee Monkey — are out to get me or anyone else and did it on purpose and are now maniacally laughing at my in-game discomfiture.
  • I always do assume that developers give at least a little bit of a shit about the game I’m so passionate about, if only because of professional pride.
  • I’m not an industry insider but I know it’s a tough job from the outside where if you get it 100% right nobody will ever bother to thank you, but if you get it 0.0001% wrong, a thousand irate forum goers will rant about it for years.
  • Next time something irks you about a game, don’t instantly tie it to Gorgonzola the Mighty, Combat Developer — even if he posts on the forums saying you’re all noobs and he’s glad he screwed you over. Maybe he had a bad day (if he hadn’t, he’d have left the posting job to SmartNice the Community Person).
  • Next time you like something about a game, consider giving positive feedback for a change. It’s noticed. Positive feedback almost always is, since it’s so damn rare — and not just in game development circles.

Now get outta here before I get all maudlin. I hate appreciation days. Bah humbug.

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* Apparently this is all Scarybooster’s fault. I should have known.

8 thoughts on “Cor! It’s DAW!

  1. I couldn’t agree more, I don’t like those appreciation days.. Your last point is what I would like more people to follow. There is way too much complaining compared to positive feedback. Another case is people who are just complaining without even explaining what changes could be made, just pure in-constructive whining on the borders of flaming. If you want your complaints to be heard, it is better to be constructive, by supplying ideas of solutions and at the same time give credit for those things that are good. Also keep your language balanced so the post won’t be seen as a flame. Flame posts will just be ignored, so your effort will be futile, it won’t change much. Appreciate the devs any day, as they are the ones making the game you love and play so much (even if you hate some of those new features).

  2. Pfft, nobody sent *me* a card.

    Yes, positive feedback is a GOOD thing. It certainly works inside the sausage factory, as well as what we hear from the outside.

    When my work is unappreciated, ignored or actively lambasted, I frankly don’t feel like putting in my best effort any more. Why bother investing myself in something that I’m only going to have to change or take nothing but flak for? Maybe if I’m standing up for something important, I’ll do it no matter the flak, but if it’s just a job, well… screw it. I don’t need that kind of stress. I’ll just keep doing stuff that makes the boss happy (there’s that positive feedback again), and that pays the bills.

    …which bring up a tangent. Devs love positive feedback on forums and such, at least the attention nuts who love public praise, but we don’t get to read everything. Send us stuff more directly! We almost always have contact info for the company or even individual devs. Even just a “hey, dude, that was an awesome game” email will make our day.

    Oh, and if you like our stuff, buy it and tell your friends to buy it. We have kids to feed and clothe. This is a career, not a charity.

  3. Hm. Well, although I like to more or less agree that appreciation days are somewhat a silly idea, considering the second portion of the blog, this may be why it’s somewhat necessary, no?

    I think there is significantly too much hate for developers and not enough thanks for doing something right, understandable or not. Who really jumps out to say, “HEY, things are working out like we wanted it to!”

    If anything, this may almost be a necessary evil. No one really wants to be kicked in the face over and over about why what you did sucks…so can’t we actually use this day to give them a pat on the back and say “Hey, we actually DO like what you’re doing.” Besides, do you really think if we didn’t call it developer appreciation day we WOULD be using it to save those pandas?

  4. Scarybooster Rulz! … Whoops, I thought this was my fan club.

    I really didn’t plan on an appreciation week. It just happened because I was sick of all the whinning. Somebody had to do something.

  5. He planned it. He formed the plan to claim this week to make Developers feel good about themeselves for torturing us endless.

    Scary is an evil mastermind working in a secret lab somewhere, and as soon as I find enough people, and some torches, and pitchforks…we are coming for you buddy.

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