Public Moderation of Topic

“Mechainics”, “Inlcuding”. On the comic. Does that qualify as hard pass? Will you ignore all the good points of the comic just because of a typo or two?

I think you misunderstood me. I wasn’t criticizing the comic at all. I was responding to the OP’s request for other things that are important in game openings generally. To reiterate: I think the comic is a very helpful tool for checking our own writing.

1 Like

I agree, but I think you misunderstood me. There are great works of arts with brilliant ideas, but suffers from typos. To dismiss such works due to a blemish on the opening page, in my mind, is just as bad as judging a book by its cover.

For example, Jimmy Maher’s Digital Antiquarian usually has several of such mistakes, but I still read the works in full.

YMMV. Just my opinion. You are welcome to have a differing opinion.

It would be a shame to dismiss a good game because of a blip. Show me a long written work without typos and I’ll gape open-mouthed in wonder at it!

While sometimes it’s a Herculean task to remove every oops from a long game, it’s very doable to focus on the opening sequence and take the effort to polish it up so you put your best foot forward. But I certainly would not advocate that people throw a game in the trash because of a mistake (you would never get through a single game if you did that!). Something to strive for, but certainly none of us ever achieve perfection and we should be generous to others about their mistakes.


I think there are maybe two different aspects to an effective opening that are worth teasing out, here: the first is the ability of the opening to entice the player/reader into playing more by effectively conveying what the game is going to be about and providing some initial engagement; the second is whether the opening signals that the author has taken enough care with the game to smooth off rough edges.

I think Bez’s comic is mostly about the first aspect (and does a good job of distilling some key advice!) but things like typos and default responses to X ME go to the second - it’s like the brown M&Ms rider in the Van Halen contract, a sign that the author possibly hasn’t gone through a testing, editing, and revision process.

Some people get annoyed by this and interpret it as the author asking the player to care about something they didn’t care enough about to polish, but beyond that it really can be a warning sign when it comes to a puzzle-based parser game where sloppy coding or incomplete testing can very easily make a game impossible to complete or at least very frustrating. The stakes are often lower with choice-based games since typically it’s easier to get through them even if some stuff is broken, and of course typos in a blog will barely slow down most readers, so I think having different tolerances for that sort of thing depending on what you’re reading is reasonable.

Anyway back on topic as I said this is all good advice, especially since it provides some helpful ideas that go beyond the typical injunction to establish the key conflict in the opening, which IME doesn’t always work.


@AmandaB, I agree with you 100% on this. I think making an opening typo-free is a great point! Especially for the first paragraph/first few lines imho–if there’s more than 3ish unintentional typos at the very beginning of a text-based game, the author’s ability to deliver a quality piece within that specific medium can be questioned. I’m also glad that my comic could help you improve your Spring Thing work–that makes me very happy. :purple_heart:

As for @ramstrong. . .

Look I don’t have the energy to parse out all the reasons why you’re wrong, but while you do have a nugget of truth within your words, your approach, and all-or-nothing take on that, is wholely inncorrect.

It would be one thing if you had been seeking a thoughtful discussion on whether great works can be dismissed b/c of typos and mistakes–because that does happen! Instead, you replied to AmandaB with a badly-phrased “gotcha” trying to prove her wrong:

By changing Amanda’s point from “polish your opening free of typos to give a good 1st impression” into “Amanda is saying that she personally will dismiss great works because of small mistakes”, you are being extremely disingenuous.

And in your reply to her response (where she politely assumed that you had misunderstood and clarified further), you adopted, as I read it, a needlessly declarative tone–more of one debating his side in an argument, not discussing an interesting idea with his peers:

And to top it off, at the end of it all you say these words:

You can’t charge in like you’re disputing a fact (one YOU misread [intentionally or not] from Amanda’s original reply), and then end by saying that it’s “just my opinion”. I and everyone else was just trying to come together as peers in the craft, and YOU made this into a debate about facts, questioning Amanda in needlessly bad-faith ways.

I think you should dial it back and apologize, but at the very least, ramstrong: please do better.

Hopefully, soon we can return to the original topic b/c I didn’t expect to see half of the replies dedicated to your bad-faith take.



You know, a whole lot of people have been doing that to me, but when I complained, I was told to grow “thick skin.” So, I thought that it’s acceptable to do. Anyway, it’s not just language. As an ESL, it’s very difficult to adapt and “do better.” Sorry I don’t know how to do better.

Not for lack of trying, mind you. I certainly love it if people points out mistakes on my work, and those can certainly be easily fixed. Isn’t that what beta-testing is all about? Sorry you feel your work is perfect as it is.

My biggest worry is that I don’t know what I don’t know. Therefore, I seek as many alternative viewpoints as possible. Turns out, only a few other people do so, and a whole lot of others feel their point of view is Supreme. Sorry I misread you.

Sorry I intruded your peaceful world. But I can learn. I will strongly reduce my participation on this board from now on.

I hope that’s enough for you. If not, then let me apologize in advance, since I won’t be participating here much in the foreseeable future. Thank you for understanding.

Edited to add:
Trying to “dial it back.” I just don’t see how a question can be interpreted as a declarative statement? Those are questions, not statements. Upon re-reading, I suppose those are Socratic questions. But they are still questions, and IMO, Amanda answered those brilliantly.

1 Like

Unfortunately, the “20 years ago” me disagree with you. The “present” me is much better, but still very insecure with my ability to be “perfect.” It really is that difficult to understand culture, especially when said culture spans worldwide. For example, American humor and European humor are usually different. Add Asian and Australian humor, and well, I just don’t have the confidence to build a perfect opening. But I’ll stop here. I no longer have the desire to be involved in this conversation. I simply request that you accommodate those cultures different from your own. Thank you.

This is not a culture/language issue. This is an attitude issue. You saying sarcasm like this drives that point home:

In addition, justifying your approach by saying, “Well, other people acted rudely like l did, so I thought it was fine,” doesn’t make those actions any better. Nor does acting like this is a matter of you trying to point out mistakes/encouraging “Socratic questions” in good faith–as I discussed in great detail in my previous reply, that was not at all what occurred.

It’s clear you aren’t interested in improving your approach, which is disappointing. This thread was intended as a starting point for peer discussion, not an argumentative debate. If you truly feel that you must make this a fight, then I encourage you to walk away as you say you will do in your reply.

Take a step back and revise your stance. This is not about any grievances with you personally, or me wanting a “peaceful world”–this is about you bringing a bad attitude to what should have been a good thread.


Google “People who can’t understand sarcasm”
I don’t do joke either. I did, however, beat Glkchess at level 5. That makes me intelligent. I still don’t understand sarcasm. Good bye.

Note to mod: you may want to split this to another thread.

You’ve said this before.

You’ve fallen back on this excuse before as well. Since you understand that you are often misunderstanding things “due to culture”, you should be quite aware that it may be a good idea to perhaps hang back and review what you are saying and think about all the wrong ways people might interpret it before you post.

You note that this rarely occurs with anyone else. If it does, we talk to them and work it out, usually in private messages, and then it’s not a problem. I have discussed this issue with you many times privately, so publicly is how we’ll do it now. It may be cultural and people are misreading you, or it could be that you’re being abrasive, whether unintentionally or intentionally and unable to employ tact and see yourself objectively.

I’ve observed this happen with you in multiple instances: instead of participating in a discussion constructively, you complain; instead of going with the flow, you desire to control the conversation; instead of seeing others’ viewpoints you want to be “right”; and you want to critique advice you are given and get angry that people who respond are “wasting your time” instead of simply taking what’s useful and letting anything else roll off. And you want to hold grudges and get that “gotcha” when someone turns your attitude back at you.

Nobody is looking for you to be “perfect.” We’re looking to get along and discuss games without people’s feelings getting hurt.

Intelligence does not equal empathy. Again: We’re happy to have you here if you want to get along. If you find it difficult to interact, perhaps reading and not posting might be a better option. Or you can continue to tell us you’re leaving and go off in a huff again while insisting that everyone else is wronging you. Your choice.