Monday, 17 March 2008

Taking the Rough with the Smooth - Version 2

This is partly a replacement and partly a follow-up article to Taking the Rough with the Smooth, as the original doesn't really get across what I wanted to say, or more importantly, why I felt the need to say it.

Not long before I wrote that article I'd received my first piece of hate mail. In the couple of years I've been publishing software online (since 2002 in fact) I've been lucky in that the correspondence I've had from users has been positive, even from those who've had problems. So this one came as a nasty surprise.

I'm not going to repeat the email in question, but needless to say it was far from encouraging or constructive. When people contact me with problems, I usually go out of my way to help resolve their issues. More out of habit than inclination I did the same here. I thanked the sender for taking the time to get in touch, explained some of the points he had raised and promised an updated release which would fix another issue that he'd had.

Needless to say I didn't receive a reply.

I didn't feel very good about myself after that. Even though I hadn't done anything wrong (and forgetting the positive things that people had said about the same game) I felt thoroughly de-motivated.

I'm always very nervous about releasing stuff online whether it is a game or a blog entry, so this was a serious blow to my self-confidence.

This got me to thinking. Why am I putting myself through this? What am I getting from the many hours of my time I pour into each game? What gives some ungrateful twonk the right to pull the damn thing apart?

The answer to why I do it is easy. Positive feedback, the thank-you emails, unsolicited reviews on other sites, those are the things that keep the spirits up.

Discovering that RetroRoids is this weeks "Game of the Week" on has really brought this home to me. I didn't submit the game to them. They found it, wrote about it, and linked to it. More importantly, they liked it!

I suppose that is what I mean by taking the rough with the smooth. To get the plaudits I've got to keep on risking criticism, I've also got to learn to be more thick skinned about it.

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