Ok question for all you authors and reviewers out there on reviews. Namely bad reviews.
How do you approach a situation where you’ve got large numbers of them. From what I’ve seen, they seem to fall into a few categories:
- Obvious trolls
(and what almost seems to be a subset)
2) People who go around rating almost everything from hosted games (or at least everything not free) with 1-3 stars and complaining about how bad they are. (Still not sure why you’d continue to download them if you find you hate almost everything but each to their own I guess).
People who are mistaken about the nature of the company (ie things like they think it’s one author writing everything and are peeved when it’s a completely different kind of work- like complaining it’s not like “Life of a Wizard”).
People who are annoyed at having to pay for an app and think it should be cheaper or better yet, free. And of course longer.
Odd comments that I’m not sure how to take (ie your choices make no difference in this game (when the problem is they affect it too much and I shouldn’t have branched it as I did), I can’t play music in this game? etc).
Really hash unhelpful comments. ie “This game is crap”, “Worst one ever”, “I can’t get a refund, sure that’s on purpose. Don’t buy it!”
Genuine grievances that have had stars removed for them. (ie: “I didn’t like “x” in the book.” “Y could have been handled better.” “There were spelling/grammar errors” etc.)
Ok so, when you’re getting large numbers of bad reviews in the “Harsh, unhelpful” category, including people that are only basing it on the “free” section and seem to be feeding off the other bad reviews (ie just as I thought from reading the other bad reviews, I’m not buying it, it’s crap sort of thing), what do you do? I’m honestly wondering whether or not my writing is a bad as it seems to be made out in the reviews whether it’s time to walk away. I’ve actually had stuff I’ve written win a country wide award and be published, but it was in a quite a different style of story telling and maybe I’m just not very good at this. At the moment I’m fairly divided, I mean no one wants to spend the better part of a year working on something that almost everyone is just going to hate anyway. So how do you know how much stock to put in the reviews? If there were more in the “genuine grievance” category, it would give me something to work with, but “It’s trash” doesn’t really help me much.
I’ve identified a few areas where if I did write something else I’d change (I’d definitely keep it more linear, maybe try to include more character trait sort of interactions and stats if possible. Linear would also help with the endings as while it’s not much of a deal to write another chapter or two, writing another chapter of two for 19 odd different endings that are traveling in different directions is a whole different ball game. I tried to finish things at a “conclusion” part of the story but obviously failed on that as well).
For anyone who has read my work, (Or if you haven’t even one of the WIP’s I’ve had up over the year). I’d actually like to hear from you. If it’s as bad as the reviews make it out, it’s probably worth while knowing about it sooner rather than later so I can make a decision about the WIP’s I have sitting in stasis. If I did write something else, what did you like or hate about wizardry that I could take into a new project.
I’m not putting up this thread as a “everyone try to make me feel better”, more as a what do you really think? And for authors, how do you deal with that sort of crit in the reviews yourselves.