Deciding that I needed to start getting input about my work thus far I posted a couple of videos on line and asked the hive mind on Reddit to evaluate and critique my game play. Since I could only really offer video, some of the full VR effect would be lost, as screencapping VR severely limits the FOV and scale of things.

So I posted on Reddit’s GameDevExpo, and got a few repsonses that are steering me in new directions – hints that my fondness for ellipses needs to be pared back, my 3D level is incongruous with my 2D characters (something the wife has pointed out on more than one occasion) and other tidbits like this:

Your kid is more talented than you are.

Well – that caught me by surprise. Of course, with a username with @$$hole in it, what can one really expect, eh? But still – it nagged me. I’m fully aware that the internet exists fully for people to be as sanctimonious and nasty as possible, I’m guilty of it myself – but, dammit, I wasn’t expecting it so quickly out of the gate.

So, I fumed about it for a bit. What to do? Argue back? That’s a waste of time. Ignore it? It would fester and bother me. I felt like this smartmouth was getting the last word. So as I was pondering my response, Son #2 asked about our weekend plans and asked if we were going to see his Granpa’s extensive train set. Which got me thinking about my father-in-law; a very personable, gentle man with a passion for puns and Dr. Demento songs.

I remembered how he told me stories of his youth and how he turned bullies around by ‘agreeing’ with whatever phony criticism the bully would use to intimidate him. If a bully told him he ‘threw a ball like a girl’ he’d agree, and then ask the bully to help teach him how to throw properly. And amazingly, made a new friend in the process. So I decided I’d try the same tactic. I agreed with his premise, even going on to tell them that I had drawings from when I was the same age as my son, and indeed, my kid can draw better than I could at that age.

And that’s what turned it around. I not only got a more pleasant conversation, but got more feedback on how to make the level look better. I even got a slightly conspiratorial confession that my snarky commentator had tried to do something similar once.

It felt like a win. I can’t say I’ll always have time to try and bring people around, but I at least have a plan to try it in the future.


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