When It Comes to Criticizing Sports Games, We Can Do Better as a Community - Operation Sports Forums

When It Comes to Criticizing Sports Games, We Can Do Better as a Community

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Old 06-20-2017, 01:08 PM   #1
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When It Comes to Criticizing Sports Games, We Can Do Better as a Community

There aren't many fans of sports games more hardcore than those who visit Operation Sports.

To us, the desire for more realistic sports-simulation experiences to be created by developers is extremely high. We want nothing more than great, balanced and realistic simulations of sports.

To that end, we believe the absolute best way to achieve those experiences as a community is to take an active and positive role in sports game development, not a confrontational one.

We do not, in any way, condone trashing developers, cursing at them or assuming the worst about what they are trying to accomplish in creating great games. Over the years, partnering with developers and producers to collaborate on the issues facing sports games and giving realistic suggestions as to how to correct issues has led to real progress.

Offering constructive and creative feedback is, and will always be, the absolute best way to see better games released year after year. In our short video series talking to the guys at 2K Sports, the consensus opinion was that people working on games take notice and listen most to those who offer consistent, high-quality feedback on games. Last weekend at EA Play the developers of Madden, NBA Live, FIFA, Need For Speed, Battlefield, Battlefront and the entire EA mobile lineup brought in 300-plus of their Game Changers to provide first-hand feedback on their entire game lineup.

It's no coincidence that the community members who end up working on games are typically those who consistently worked to improve the experience for other gamers versus those who spent their time tearing down the merits of a developer's passion or talent.

The culture we live in today certainly seems to lead to results via negativity in some respects, but we have yet to see that when it comes to sports games. Some of the best features in sports games today were the result of the community offering constructive feedback on sports games.

Today we're calling out the community in a bold way, to challenge everyone to step your game up and offer solutions and not complaints. We want better sports games, and so do you.

Past results speak for themselves, and we think everyone should follow a simple template when addressing a concern about a game they are playing:

First, document your problem with video.

It's easier than ever to capture video with the PS4 Share and/or the Xbox One Game DVR features. Include context around the situation and (if possible) show the steps to re-create the issue. While normal text-based feedback is still valued, video is irrefutable proof of an issue.

Second, bring the problem to a developer with what you think a solution might be.

Complaining without a solution is simply complaining. If you see a problem, documenting it, explaining why it's a problem, and what you think an ideal solution would be will end up with better results. It's also important to do this respectfully and not assume anything.

Third, after presenting the problem, respectfully following up a time or two is fine. Hounding a developer is harassment and not constructive.

Following up a time or two with a developer is fine. If you daily ask a dev, sooner or later you are going to get frustrated and end up with a negative relationship. Your capital will be ruined, and your ability to affect change diminished. Devs do see everything, good or bad. If you need follow up, contact one of the community leaders of the game you are interested in. You will find most of them on Twitter or even here on the OS forums.

We believe that sports games can be made better. There are certainly issues where the community could easily partner with developers to identify problems and work out solutions.

We are committed to helping provide a place for this to take place. Know that developers read Operation Sports daily, and we want to help be a place where real solutions to sports game issues are created.

What we are asking of you is to join us. Please provide problems you see with documentation, please provide solutions you think might work. Always be respectful.

As a community we can all work together to provide a better experience within sports games. Leave the unnecessary negativity at the door, and let's work with developers rather than against them in the future.

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Old 06-20-2017, 01:50 PM   #2
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Re: When It Comes to Criticizing Sports Games, We Can Do Better as a Community

That REALLY needed to be said. Also, it should honestly be admin-pinned at the very top of every game's forum.

Last edited by bcruise; 06-20-2017 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:08 PM   #3
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First up...what a great point.
I have 2 perspectives here.
1. Do we stay realistic & complain within the realms of what is practible?
2. Do we put forward a wish list of what we desire?

At the end of the day we all have an idea of what constitutes the ideal sports game.*

If it was down to me I would stick my fingers up to anything that refers to Online Gaming. I'm simply not interested. And yet straight away I invite conflict. So right from the onset the realisation that there is no absolute answer becomes apparent.

Therefore all I can offer to developers is that they make their games in a way that we can edit & amend to a point that they serve the individuals purpose. *There are a number of games that fail to engulf the Online community yet others, such as Golf Club, tend to alienate the Offline player.

Make games in a way that everyone can find a way to enjoy them. That for me is surely the answer. *As a developer don't sway to trends, don't *look for a path of easy income (EA take note), just find a way we, as an individual can enjoy the product.*
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:32 PM   #4
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OS should be a safe space for devs, a win-win situation. As self selected fans of the sports game genre, we get our voices heard in products we commit to. They get insightful and poignant feedback from a literal subject matter expert community.

Blasting someone on high profile, social media is a surefire way to get a project defunded and/or s/he canned. Funding streams over-value these sentiments.

I'm not saying some games aren't flaming piles of poo. Still, these are few and far between, likewise devs who aren't willing to correct shortcomings. (As a decade long game reviewer for 5 sites, I speak from experience).

Great article.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:34 PM   #5
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Re: When It Comes to Criticizing Sports Games, We Can Do Better as a Community

I agree both with the general premise, and that the suggestions posted are good ones. Being an unruly, abusive troll is never the right answer.

However, what's the next step when we, as gamers/consumers are polite and professional, but are completely ignored? When the companies take out features that have long been enjoyed by gamers, for example. Or marganalize/minimize popular aspects of the game, in order to focus more on new additions instead?
Anyone who claims to be a fan of two teams in the same pro sport is actually a fan of none.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:55 PM   #6
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Well said.*
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:21 PM   #7
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Agreed on the feel/idea of this. But I*do question #2. I feel like this is the "easy out" for not providing constructive criticism. I'm not a game designer, coder, or software engineer. Thus, I can't speak, in detail, to why "too many curveballs are becoming passed balls".

To be honest, I feel like the video game industry*is one of the very few industries that can get away with this. If I buy a car from my local Ford dealership and, 2,000 miles down the road it stops shifting into 3rd, am I expected to explain to the dealer/Ford why my car won't shift into 3rd and how to fix it? My answer, if I was asked, would very simply be "the proposed (and only)*solution is that*my brand new $24K*car shifts correctly".
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:45 PM   #8
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Totally agree! When does OS plan to start providing in-depth critiques of sports games?

Oh you mean you're just telling us fans to create the content for you while you keep your hands clean with vanilla reviews? Got it.
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