Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How would you process feedback on something you've written?

I'm writing a game called Left Coast, where you play science-fiction authors teetering on the brink of sanity. In July, I pulled together my notes and created a draft that I thought would be fine for others to play. Since then, I've received feedback from:

- Wayne, who's read it
- Simon, who's read it
- various commentators on Story Games
- Mike, who I playtested it with
- various commentators on the Forge
- Malcolm, Gregor and Per, who have playtested it without me

That's a lot of feedback (which has all been stored in my 'Left Coast - Next Draft' folder). Now I have to pull it all together and make some decisions about what it all means.

First, I'm reading through it all and looking for any feedback that almost everyone seems to be giving me. Usually I get overwhelmed by the thought of doing that, so I'm converting the feedback into a mind-map, so I can group similar comments and observations together.

It's already obvious, just from working through feedback from the first five people, that the game is still too complicated: I've layered on so many procedures, and 'mandatory elements' and 'things to keep in mind', that people are having to spend all their time trying to figure out how to make the game work (rather than finding out whether the game actually does work).

So I have two next steps: simplify as much of the procedures as I can, while digging deeper to see if there's anything fundamental that's lying underneath the feedback: stuff that's non-obvious but is actually the 'real' work that needs to be done.



What about you? How do you process all the information when you get lots of feedback about one of your projects?
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