Monday, September 12, 2016

Critics, ass holes and how to tell the difference

I appreciate criticism. I really do. For example, we were recently green lit on Steam, which made me very excited.

 To all of you who voted for us – thank you very much! It was interesting to me that a lot of people gave specific criticisms to us about the game, and some of those people voted for us too. One of the criticisms that came up a lot was that the graphics could be better. I actually agree with this but I don't make games just for myself and we are little company and we have to set priorities. Our first priority is making games that really work to teach kids (or adults, we know some of you guys play as a stress reliever, we don't judge you – Maria says that she judges you – just ignore her).

Getting feedback that graphic seems to be the area where players and potential players think that we should expand our efforts is extremely helpful. As soon as I finish the task I'm working on now, which will be in a week or 2, my next thing is to move on to improving the graphics in Fish Lake and I'm very excited about that. I never thought that I or our games were perfect and having a group of people who play games a lot and hence have a good background to judge them point out that in their considered opinion this is the biggest priority and not, say, game mechanics or the educational component or something else is useful criticism.

Now let's turn to the people who are not useful. When someone posts, tweets, etc. about my game or just about anything else "YOU SUCK!" Or, "you will never succeed because you have X flaws" they aren't being a critic or "telling it like it is", they're just being an ass hole.

Everything has flaws. I'm writing this blog with the latest version of the Dragon naturally speaking software that came out for the Mac less than a week ago. It has some significant flaws. It has crashed Google chrome twice tonight. It doesn't work nearly as well is the Windows version that has been out longer. I could give you a long list of things that it doesn't do. However, that doesn't mean that it is a failure or no one will ever buy it. (Thank you, Ronda, for the birthday present, by the way.)

In fact, it's probably the market leader in voice to text software.

Disneyland and Disney World are super expensive and crowded. Often, the ride you really wanted to go on is closed for repairs or something.  Yet, millions of people go to the Disney theme parks because they have fun on the rides, enjoy the shows or grew up with characters like Mickey Mouse.

 Similarly, while this software occasionally puts in random letters, spells my daughter Ronda's name with an H and I have to correct it manually every damn time and other annoyances, it actually does a pretty good job of writing what I say and saving my hands.

 You don't have to be perfect in every way to succeed. You just have to be good at some things that are important.

  So, critics tell you what you can do to be good. Ass holes just tell you that you're bad because you're not perfect.

Learn from from the critics. Ignore the ass holes. Have a nice life!

Learn more! Try our games! Run on Windows, Mac and now Chromebook!


coyotelibrarian said...

Asshole is properly spelled as a single word. Just sayin...

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Ha ha. I know. My voice recognition software refuses to swear so that is the only way I can get it to write it.

mandy said...

Steam?! How cool! My son plays a lot of games there. I hadn't heard of it back then, but have since bought 7-8 games for myself, although I haven't had time to fully explore them. How exciting that must be for you and all involved at your company. Congrats! My niece plays Sims games pretty religiously on Origin. I've never tried that service, but from her comments it sounds similar. Best of luck! Oh, and let Maria know that people who laugh at adult gamers grow copious amounts of hair on their chest. I thought she should know!

Anonymous said...

So true. Dr. Ann Demars I actually find it fascinating that you make games for people to become more smarts. Do you except volunteers to help your company out. I would gladly want to volunteer my time without pay. I hope you don't find this creepy. Email me at
I'm 20 years old and am in my second year in college at csuf.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Not only do we accept volunteers but we give you cool stuff for volunteering

Ardebaren said...

The problem is (and I say this as gamer of literally 20+ years) when people see games, they look at 3 things

- graphics
- story/plot
- overall value for money

The problem with platforms like Steam, Origin, Uplay is that people are generally looking for 'games' games, not educational games. That said, when Fish Lake goes fully live on Steam I'll buy it for my sons, my eldest is getting to that age now where he can/will start understanding educational software.

I hope it goes well for 7gen.