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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:17 am 
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It seems that a large majority of our new forumites come in with little or no idea on how to post constructive criticism. In an effort to better educate our community members, both new and old, and to encourage a better, more intellectually-driven atmosphere within the Custom Ships section of the forum, I have written a guide on how to post constructive criticism.

-----------------------Guide Begins Here------------------------------------------------------------------

What is constructive criticism? Constructive criticism is a comment that points out something wrong with something (usually a ship, in the case of this forum), with the intent of enabling the creation a better product.

As constructive criticism can look like an insult, care should be taken in both writing and reading it. An all too common cause of flamewars is someone misinterpreting a perfectly valid critique for an unprovoked attack on a creator of a ship (at least in this forum).

One of the common mistakes that can lead to such a misinterpretation is to not be clear enough on what is wrong with something. Always state exactly what you feel is wrong with something when posting constructive criticism. Saying "I don't like your ship" is not constructive criticism. It's barely criticism at all. Saying "I don't like those engine glows" is better.

But then there's something else. Note that it's called constructive criticism. Outright criticism has it's uses, but it's the constructive part that is usually missed. Take "I don't like those engine glows". What was failed to mention is why you don't like those engine glows. When posting a constructive criticism, it is important that you also state the underlying reason why you don't like something. "I don't like those engine glows because green doesn't fit in with the rest of the ship."

The final component of constructive criticism is posting an alternative. This is not necessary, but posting an alternative helps the creator to know how he/she can improve. Without this, constructive criticism has little use. "I don't like those engine glows because the green doesn't fit in with the rest of the ship. I would suggest you change it to purple, since it goes better with the blue".

"I don't like your ship" goes to "I don't like those engine glows because the green doesn't fit in with the rest of the ship. I would suggest you change it to purple, since it goes better with the blue". The former would start a flame war, the latter make the community respect you more.

See how much of a difference this makes? It's because knowing is half the battle. Or maybe a quarter. Possibly an eighth.

-----------------------New Update------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems that though the basics of constructive criticism are appreciated on this forum, the details are not. Thus is the purpose of ver 2.0

-----------------------Guide Begins Here------------------------------------------------------------------

Now that you have amassed enough knowledge to beat cobra commando... err... forum ignorance, it's time you began your second lesson. Constructive criticism has its finer points, some of which are so often missed.

Use only relevant examples, and explain them thoroughly. Saying "I don't like those engine glows because the green doesn't fit in with the rest of the ship. I would suggest you change it to purple, since it goes better with the blue" does have its merits, but if you give an example of a ship with red glows on a green ship, people will have doubts about your intelligence and the validity of your critique.

Do NOT gratify yourself with no cause. Saying 'look at my ships, they're prettier' is grounds for a warning if you do it often enough (it's called thread derailment, and being a general idiot). Unless if your ship has completely relevant details and is the best, or one of the best ships in your opinion to illustrate your point, do not bring them up.

[rant]
Constructive criticism is for one purpose, and one purpose only. To provide constructive. criticism. about. the. topic. you. are. discussing. I'm totally super-cereal. If you wish to make a sweeping argument about someone in your constructive criticism, then you are a whiny bastard. Come on. Be a man and make your own thread about it. Don't derail a ship thread just because you don't have the temperance to get over yourself and appreciate what is being discussed. The Custom Ships forum is a CUSTOM SHIPS FORUM. My fucking god. Leave your outside biases, OUTSIDE. If you don't like how someone acts, please kindly discuss it in our general nonsense forum, 3 links down. I may be a bit abrasive in this part (which is why rant tags surround it), but come on. You can't expect to blatantly attack someone and not expect them to attack back.
[/rant]

Lastly, remember that there are other people on the forums. It is not a one on one conversation. People can, and will react to your critique. If you are writing something stupid, you will be called stupid, regardless of who you are talking to.

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Last edited by Normandy on Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:28 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:17 am 
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I disagree with your saying that constructive criticism is an insult. CC is just pointing out what could be done better, and there's nothing inherently derogatory about that, just that the recipient may see it as such. That fact that someone bothered to look at your ship in detail to comment on its flaws should be, if nothing, a compliment since the criticizer has helped the shipbuilder to improve by pointing out areas of weaknesses (this is assuming, of course that the criticizer is giving constructive criticism and not flaming/trolling).

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:20 am 
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Location: "not here" would probably be accurate
you know, looking at those two posts, and than looking at what the topic is kind of amuses me :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:40 am 
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Indeed, its constructive criticism on a topic on constructive criticism. :D

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Curvy Alien Fleet: http://www.wyrdysm.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=4959
Thrusallanian Naval Database: Patrol Craft to Behemoth, support ships, stations, warp gates, everything.
http://www.wyrdysm.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2791&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
Fleets of the Five States, get it here: http://www.wyrdysm.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1929


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:49 am 
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Its nice to see this be acknowledged. The current mandate about having to accept whatever is said if you post your ship is fine, but only to a point. I've seen far too many games dwindle to a few dozen vets because of noobs being chased off by downright hateful comments.

I've gotten great advice out of vets, but only after receiving useless or general or insulting comments, and pushing for more. After all whats the point of being a vet if you don't share your experience. If they saw the (to you) obvious answer, they would have taken it. They didn't, so you can either call them an idiot or help. What you do says alot about your character imo.

In the same way, chasing off a noob for asking a stupid question or making what we consider to be a taboo mistake is dumb. Simply explain why its wrong, and see how they fix it. If they don't, flame away. But while some of the best builders on here started off by getting ranted at by the mods or other vets, many potential ones no doubt gave up.

good post.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:02 pm 
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Quote:
What is constructive criticism? Constructive criticism is a form of satire, where an insult is directed to expose something 'bad' within a design.

As constructive criticism is an insult, care should be taken in both writing and reading it. An all too common cause of flamewars is someone misinterpreting constructive criticism as an attack on the OP [original poster].


Um.

Wikipedia wrote:
Constructive criticism is a compassionate attitude towards the person qualified for criticism. Having higher experience, gifts, respect, knowledge in specific field and being able to verbally convince at the same time, this person is intending to uplift the other person materially, morally, emotionally or spiritually. For high probability in succeeding his compassionate criticism the critic has to be in some kind of healthy personal relationship with the other one, which is normally a parent to child, friend to friend, teacher to student, spouse to spouse or any kind of recognized authority in specific field. Hence the word constructive is used so that something is created or visible outcome generated rather than the opposite. Participatory learning in pedagogy is based on these principles of constructive criticism. Here the saying applies that example is better than precept.


Your topic is actually explaining Destructive Criticism.

That said, it's a decent topic, and constructive criticism (the real sort) should see more use around here.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Constructive criticism doesn't have to be an insult. You can do it without insulting. Both I and SWS have done it before. However if something is so utterly horrible that it makes baby Jesus cry, I'm going to say "That fucking sucks".

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Just remember to say why it sucks, Liz. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Would, "That fucking sucks because it's utter trash." be sufficient?
Also, hi.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:36 pm 
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Nah, I'm pretty sure it needs to be more specific than that, although there are some situations where something is so horribly bad, where saying that would likely be appropriate.

Also, hey Wilbky. Haven't seen you around for a while.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Stickedystick-sticky.

Also, welcome back Wilbky.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:39 am 
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Since this got posted, I thought I'd just add that there's been quite a lot of unnecessaraly harsh criticism in the past on several fleets and ships that I thought undeserving of such a slating. When I was lurking on the forums I saw a heck of a lot of cussing thrown around, particularly by SWS (no offence), that made me reluctant to join the community. Recently it seems to have been much better (perhaps fewer noobs? lol), but often it still seems that the vets prefer to offer destructive criticism than constructive. Not happened to me personally, but it's the impression that I've got from reading around.

On the flip side, if the forums hadn't had such a stiff standard set on them it's likely that I wouldn't have tried so hard when I commenced building ships to show (you should see some of the crap on my hard drive...), and there have been several people who's ships were abysmal but rose through and learned from the harsh critiques to produce some nice stuff. If it's bad then it should be labelled as such, no doubt, but the difference between ranting and critiquing is mostly in the language used.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:45 pm 
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Eh, well, there's a difference in saying "waaa that sucks, motherfucker" and saying

"Wow. That's...really bad. It's repetitive, the colors just SCREAM and, generally, it's a fucking aegis whore. Please, no. Don't. :? "

We mostly do the latter, although it may be a bit more...colorful with some of the others. But the point stands, constructive critisism is in there, it's just clouded a bit by months of shipbuilding experience and months of having to say exactly the same thing to dozens of people. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:23 am 
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I chose 'insult' because of this quote I read: "Good advice is one of those insults you 'ought to forgive".

Also, now I don't have to provide more examples of constructive criticism :P .

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:18 am 
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Firstly, you spell 'learn' wrong...

Do I have to give more examples? like
'There's something wrong with the parenting, please check (image of floating section after destruction of a certain section)'
'The bottom rectangular section has been offset downward by 1 pixel'
'Your ship have too many beamers stacked together in the front. I would like to remove some or combine them into a powerful beamer'
and so on...

In fact, I left not just because there are no update of BSF, it is that the forum seems going bad with full of insults and foul languages.


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