At one point on the Fallout 3 Forum GreenEyes asked if the developers would come out of the sandbox to post in other topics, when they are finally allowed to talk about Fallout 3, and got several positive responses, like this one from Orin “lancekt” Tresnjak:
If we have time, sure.
A positive development, followed by a question by an anti-Fallout Fan troll:
How do you feel about the negative comments and predictions taken by some of the Fallout community? Has it affected your opinions in anyway? What do you feel towards such pointless and nonconstructive comments?
Here are some of the replies, first by Ricardo “Socrates200x” Gonzalez:
Is there a such thing as a forum without trolling and other brands of negativity? Could such a thing even be called a forum qua forums? Doubtful. What I’ll say about the FO forums is that most complaints here are paired with concrete and even reasonable solutions, with which I agree and disagree on my own terms. There are certain forum communities that’ll remain nameless ( *cough* WoW General *cough* ) that make a e-career out of flaming for flaming’s sake, which makes me greatly appreciate the constructive, albeit sometimes harsh, criticisms I find here.
And now from Erik J. “DoctorSpooky” Caponi:
I do read most of the forums and of course, I’m very aware of the things that people have to say. Behind a lot of the negative comments, there are some good ideas and genuine criticisms, so I try to peel away the negativity and see those for what they are. And of course, there are some people who just enjoy being negative. Having written my share of vitriolic diatribes, I certainly see the appeal. Righteous anger just feels… good. But, the best thing to do with those people is to tune it out and not take it personally.
You learn to develop a thick skin pretty quickly when you’re in game development. You have to. No matter what you do, no matter how many people praise it, and matter how many people buy it and love it, somewhere, someone thinks that it sucks and they just can’t wait to tell you all about it. And thanks to the power of the internet, they can. Frequently. But, it can serve as a not-so-gentle reminder that no matter what you do, there’s always room for improvement.
And now for Fred “fizzbang” Zeleny:
Well, that last question was a bit leading, wasn’t it? But I think I get your gist.
I used to dread the idea of posting on the forum, because I had heard (and seen) so many horror stories on various fan fora – not even just on games, but on all sorts of topics across the internet. But having had the chance to talk to folks on this list, and getting to recognize some of you as individuals, it’s been a lot more pleasing and rewarding than I had expected. A lot of you have provided valuable insights and perspectives on what you most loved about the game, and I really enjoy the discussions – even if I can’t talk about anything particularly juicy, yet.
As for the “nonconstructive comments”, I can entirely understand the anticipation and anxiety that a lot of Fallout fans have about us working with the franchise they’ve loved for a decade. Hell, even I occasionally feel anxiety about being able to live up to what I consider two classics in the medium – any creator does, to some degree. And considering how badly the loyal fans have been burned in the past, I can understand the bitter distrust of anyone else with it – you can only get screwed over so much before you get mean. Add that to the long, long wait since a game worth the name came out, and you have to expect a certain degree of frustration and nastiness.
So there are a lot of negative comments that I don’t really mind – in a lot of cases, I chalk them up to worried but well-intentioned people blowing off steam and venting frustration. And that’s no problem, because I know how they feel, and I don’t begrudge anyone the occasional complaint. Especially not when they’re intelligent and reasonable. I’d much rather hear a well-reasoned, harsh critique of my work from someone who respectfully disagrees with my choices than receive vapid fawning and bootlicking from someone who only likes my work because I’ve got a fancy logo next to my name. At least the critique can lead to better work in the future.
The only thing that bothers me – and this happens on all over the internet, not just here – is when someone goes way out of their way to find something “bad” about an otherwise fine piece, and uses that smaller imperfection to tar the whole piece as being terrible. That’s the sort of thing that can be frustrating to any creative type who’s pouring their heart into their work, and that just hurts the final piece. And we all want the final piece to be the best it can be – even when we don’t all agree on exactly how it should be.
Pretty reasonable stuff, you can check more at the Bethesda Fallout3 Forum.