AuthorTopic: Community Problems  (Read 20076 times)

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #30 on: February 16, 2014, 01:14:27 am
Firstly, the animation you posted in my thread was most definitely not ignored. I apologize if I didn't properly thank you for your time on that one;( so, thanks!!)  sometimes, especially with a project thread like that, artists ( me) shift focus with intention of coming back to that subject matter at a later point.

Also, I remember seeing and internalizing all of these great edits. Unfortunately, they may not get through to the original creator, but they are all great sources of information for the rest of the community.

Offline ||||

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #31 on: February 16, 2014, 02:09:28 am
Tim I've seen your edits and have been astounded by them; so if some of the people you're trying to help fail or refuse to comprehend, know at least others who are willing to learn can browse through and gain from them.

  I've recently gotten back into this community and adore it; it's my favorite site as of now.  But I am definitely lacking in the community department.  I rarely ever critique anything unless it's something that I passionately feel needs correction.  And even then it's only when the solution is an easy fix. I don't like to be the guy whom demands that someone redo all their work. I especially dislike coming off as a know-it-all when I'm not.  I have tried to critique just to keep dialogue going with minor thoughts and I'm going to try harder to keep that up.  P-Driver said, "As a community we can try a little harder to help new users more often." But it's really hard for me to criticize even constructively for some reason.. I feel a tremendous shyness in that.

Offline Vakinox

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #32 on: February 16, 2014, 02:22:44 am
You're complaining about us

@tim I'm complaining only about certain community members and the way the forums work overall. If you feel insulted by my remarks, it is only because you have a perception or idea that aligns with the certain members I'm criticizing or you've done something to harm, segregate, and snub users whom have disadvantages using the site. What this discussion is for isn't for complaining about you or free help, it's for finding possible solutions for the admitted flaws and important parts of the site so that everyone's experience can be improved.

you said it yourself the "cost" of making a critique is more than the "reward". -Conceit

I'm not ignoring what's happening on the community's side either as shown by Conceit's reply, I'm currently attempting to discuss through PMs with other members on solutions we can create to also prevent the professional users who do contribute unique and exceptional content and critiques from having their time wasted. Also as Ryumaru points out, there is two side to every story. We currently should be having a discussion to figure out how we can help users like yourself feel motivated to contribute more of these beautiful pieces of advice and alterations in a way so that you will feel rewarded with the time and content you have put into the site.

And apologies for the communication breakdown.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 02:24:56 am by Vakinox »

Offline Atnas

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #33 on: February 16, 2014, 03:01:32 am
Tim, I remember seeing a lot of those and learning from them. Take what you will from that.

Vakinox I know people have said accusatory things towards you but I don't think insinuating Tim has done anything wrong is helping. He just gave a long list of examples where he feels insulted because he gave it of his free time and he sees people wanting more than he's already given, that's all.

@PPD That was a good post, thanks for that. It summarizes the community very well.

It seems like we've pinpointed some weak areas of the forum, lets stop pointing fingers at members and look at where the infrastructure can be improved.


I have been looking into using smf logins for a wiki and a lot of forums do it. I think that a wiki would be better structured for collaboration on various pixel art etc topics than a series of threads, this will be a much more natural way to organize all the information we've accumulated.

So to summarize things thus far, these are some of the features which have been brought up:

-Thanks system to reward good critique. Perhaps every month the top thanked member gets a shoutout or is featured in some way.

-New sort option to bring ignored threads with active OP's to the top.

-Tag system, cus good threads never stop being relevant.

-Wiki database of knowledge, with easy shortcuts to make disseminating core lessons easier, encouraging newbies aren't ignored.

Like PPD said, this is going to take time. Some of these can be implemented soon, like tagging and thanking, others will take much longer, like custom sort an wiki. The community is healthy and sturdy as it is, so I hope these do nothing but help it grow and become a better place.

In the far future we might like to archive specific posts that are good general critique in and of themselves. Whether this comes from an extension of the profile showing most thanked posts or simply having clickable cookies leading to the posts that have earned them that cookie, time will tell. Currently there is a lot on the to do list and we only have so many people capable of implementing stuff like this. Features are the only way I know how to shape the community in a positive direction and encourage user retention.

Offline Charlieton

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #34 on: February 16, 2014, 05:00:35 am
Giving critique and making edits of other people's art is challenging, but rewarding likewise. Not getting a direct response or seeing an obvious effect stemming from your critique does not mean that time has been wasted!

Teaching is a skill, and like drawing, it can be improved and refined through practice. And this improvement, I believe, is a good thing in and of itself. Wether you agree with me on that belief or not, you have to know that your performance of this skill (of teaching) has an impact on wether or not your critique is taken to heart by the reciever.

Patience is also a skill.

Being a good teacher is not only dependant on you being able to present the right theoretical knowledge to be applied to a certain case, but also to be aware of the feelings and sensibilities of other people (especially the student in this presumed scenario). For example, an abrasive personality that presents impressive edits that look far above the quality of the students own work might actually be detrimental to the students progression. It's easy to feel intimidated when faced by such a response to your small plea for some help and guidance. Some students might enjoy and feel inspired by such exhibitions, but I'm guessing most don't. I don't.

My personal experience of posting art and recieving critique - given the circumstances that have led up to this topic being brought up - has been pretty positive. I don't post very often, but when I do I have usually recieved several replies with mostly helpful suggestions and critique. When my threads have died, it's been because of my own failing: I stop working on my art and don't update the thread. One reason for this that I know of is that I'm very cautious of other people. Even as a stranger among a group of strangers, I'm worried that I might do something embarassing or improper and be percieved as a bumpkin. Whenever I'm about to try and reach out to other people (online), looking for help or just socialization, I take care to read up on and properly identify the decorum of their group. Maybe understanding and performing correctly in these systems eases my (eventual) introduction to the group, but it certainly has never helped me improve my art or made it so I actually reach out to new people and make friends. Introduction doesn't guarantee a cure to my cautiousness.

So, if I know it's so bad being this cautious, why won't I just be honest? Honest about my ignorance, honest about my lacking skills, honest about needing help, honest about my insecurities, honest about my own personality, flaws and all? I don't know the whole answer. But I do think that the attitude of dismissing this issue that's brought up by Vakinox, by stating that only the people who are "hard workers" and put in noticable "effort" into improving their work will get/deserve attention and help, further stigmatizes these feelings of ineptitude. I've let threads die because I've gotten so many good suggestions that I fear I'll expose my ignorance by even attempting to accomodate them. What if I haven't understood the instructions people have given me? Will they think I'm stupid?

The one who is seeking help is always the disadvantaged one. It's important to try and keep this in mind when approaching someone who is looking to improve with their art. To expose your skill level publicly with that first post is the most valuable action of all, and it alone makes that person worthy of attention. And respect. Unfortunately, even going in with this mindset, there will be a lot of unattended queries. It's okay to say that this happens because there simply isn't enough time or energy on the part of the people who could help out. But never say that it's because they are undeserving of attention! Even if that is what you percieve to be the truth, don't say it. Because such a statement will only cause harm, and possibly stifle activity even further.

Thank you for reading. I'm not sure any of this is applicable to the discussion any longer. But writing this has made me have to think a lot of things through, and I can't abstain from sharing it now. (that is also how I feel about attempting to give critique: you learn by putting into words. You learn by teaching. And, hopefully, you'll get better at it and it might even help your own artistic pursuits)
(Time is never wasted if you're trying to help someone)
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

Offline Cure

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Re: User Problems

Reply #35 on: February 16, 2014, 05:30:46 am
We currently should be having a discussion to figure out how we can help users like yourself feel motivated to contribute more

The discussion is about getting good critiques at this forum. Part of that is creating incentive for experienced artists to contribute. The other half of that responsibility is on the person who is seeking feedback. Everyone is responsible for their own improvement, and knowing how to ask for advice and show appreciation for advice or opinions received is an important part of having a successful thread. There are behaviors that thread-creators should avoid: being vague about the direction of the piece or the areas you need help resolving, taking long breaks between responses, and abandoning a thread after receiving advice. This discussion should be about educating inexperienced artists as much as creating incentive for experienced artists. These are things the general rules and FAQ cover, but there will always be those who don’t read stickies or possess forum etiquette.

I think some good ideas have already been posted:
*wiki for hyperlinking key terms
*archiving solid threads with good general critique
*archiving solid threads that cover recurring themes (need help making a tree? A sword? Check the archive)
And for creating incentive for experienced artists:
*’thanks’ system (weighted as Atnas described)
Does the karma system here work? Or is it just rarely used? Are there penalties for abandoning threads (or asking how to pixel a sword)?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 05:56:23 am by Cure »

Offline tim

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #36 on: February 16, 2014, 01:49:51 pm
Tim I've seen your edits and have been astounded by them; so if some of the people you're trying to help fail or refuse to comprehend, know at least others who are willing to learn can browse through and gain from them.

Tim, I remember seeing a lot of those and learning from them. Take what you will from that.

Firstly, the animation you posted in my thread was most definitely not ignored. Also, I remember seeing and internalizing all of these great edits. Unfortunately, they may not get through to the original creator, but they are all great sources of information for the rest of the community.

Thank you all. Really. It's heartwarming.
You see, none of us want to be worshipped.
But we want to know that our posts have been useful.
If some of you learnt from us, then it was definitely worth our time.

Maybe, to keep our motivation going, we have to find a way to aknowledge our "usefulness".
I understand you don't want / have time to post each time you learn from a post or an edit.
But it's really important for us, otherwise we feel let down.
A thanks system (I would prefer a humble "like" system) could be the solution.
Founder of Odd Tales
Art Director - Game Director - Game designer - Motion designer

Offline RAV

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Re: First World Problems

Reply #37 on: February 16, 2014, 02:30:01 pm
This is not so much a critique of Pixelation, but a critique of life.
The problem or solution is not a person.

People do what they can
sometimes that's not enough
albeit it's a whole damn much.

There are unrealistic expectations stressing too few factors.
That will wind this place down faster than ever.

Disciplinary debates and placebo policy won't help
in a hapless masquarade of matters.

This thread started an impeachment
but when this community handled it
with goodwill fairer than recieved
it proved what it's worth
contribution deserved.

Clearly this incident opened up a bigger can of worms that needed some talk anyway.


At this point in time, the procedures of Pixelation exceed its resources.

I remember there being arguments about tutorials versus custom critique in the past.
For the longest time Pixelation took pride in the later, because ideally it is the best.
However, it also is the most demanding and work intensive.

This reminds me of the current discussion on animation techniques:
Of course frame-based has the best potential, but for whom other than an immortal god?
When you look at the greater picture, you can get more creative results with more productive methods.
In the end it is the right mixture tailored to you that's best.

Same in this here.

Tutorials propagate a limited view on things, but they are there to help.
Who wants to be responsible for creating fads and nasty habits?
However, what does it matter when the better alternative is not available?

What ambition someone has is their own business.
Dealing in absolutes does not make the world better.

Those that do not want to be serious about their work
can help themselves until proven serious enough
for the benefit of both parties involved.

There is one trick remaining to get the best of it for the low end:
Instead of one example in one tutorial to one thing
compile a hundred examples to every one thing
according to every artist's quirky whim
and have the order presented randomized each click.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 02:49:16 pm by RAV »

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #38 on: February 16, 2014, 11:16:34 pm
For start I apologies if I make some writing mistakes, English is my second language.  :)

From what I have read here, I mostly agree with Kcilc, PixelPiledriver and tim (I remember most of those edits  ;)), but I also must say that Vakinox is right for some things.

I like this forum, and almost every day I drop by to see what's new. I learn very much from some treads. Like Vakinox I was also disappointed couple times and stop visiting site, but somehow I always come back cause really there's no better alternative.   

I think that people need to give some kind of feedback here. That don't have to be amazing edit, or very long and thorough comment, simple feedback I like this/ change that is more then enough. Main thing I post my work is to hear how people react to it, and to use that information to improve it. To many times, you can see that more than 5 users are online (including some of "200+" users) and there's not even one comment on top current treads. Many times I have waited for any kind of comment, and didn't get any for days. I agree that nobody is forced to give you comment, but out of those 5 active user at least one have some sort of opinion about at least one tread on the front page.

PixelPiledriver is most useful user here, and it's pure gold when he gives you a comment. :) Unfortunately that can't be very often. :(
On the other hand, some users first need to learn to draw before start to make pixel art. Some newbies think that because resolution is small making pixels is very easy. They think that they can compensate lack of artistic sense, by doing pixels. This kind of treads are usually the ones that get 0 reply. I also skip this kind of treads.

I draw purely for fun, and personal pleasure. I like to critique characters and character animations so I usually skip nature, foliage or painterly pixel treads. When I make an edit I usually come back to see what was the reaction, and was it helpful, and sometimes (like tim) I see that it was just a waste of time. This is something that can't be prevented, it is what it is, but it doesn't mean that some other user won't appreciate your effort.

At the end, I'll still comment, I'll still post cause I simply love pixel art.  :D

Offline yaomon17

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #39 on: February 16, 2014, 11:45:12 pm
For me personally, I don't really like giving feedback due to the subjective nature of art. If the original artist disagrees with me, I feel as if my input was in vain. In addition to this, I am sometimes doubtful of whether my opinion of the piece is really justified (ex. I tend to prefer high contrast over low while others might not >> conflict >> me sad). The problem with "high quality critique" is that no one can really judge the quality of the critique unless it is really obvious, even then some people might still not take the critique into account (though this hasn't been happening as of late, moreso just abandoning the topic for unknown reasons). I feel that we need to set some sort of posting standard in the community and some tacit rules about posting. I am an offender when it comes to one liners and lazy posts asking for critique and I understand that there would be very little to work off of. When a piece is posted there should be some background such as purpose and audience as well to help people form an opinion. Instead of ignoring topics without extra information, members should actively ask for information that will help them critique the piece easier. The hope is that people will eventually see the "ideal" way to post to receive the maximum amount of help and can adjust their posts accordingly.