Why is it that this forum requests that people not ask authors about updates?

On the one hand, I can see where you are coming from. Wanting to know the status of a WIP for sure is reasonable and understandable.

On the other, an author may not know of the… investment their audience has in their work, and may simply never think that this is something their audience wants. They might not even want to publish a WIP if authors are told they have to keep this in mind because of the implicit pressure of knowing audience expectations beforehand. Or they might know, but don’t want to risk disappointing their fans by telling them they can’t maintain the WIP. Maybe they are having mental health struggles, or perhaps they physically can’t post anymore.

It isn’t just a matter of honesty. There are serious contextual factors that need to be considered, especially before we make any judgements about the authors. And, regardless of whether it is a disappointment that a WIP receives no news, I am truly of the opinion that this being something authors opt into is the best way for WIP threads and everyone involved to be treated.

Edit: Sorry if that was overly dramatic or anything. I just believe that if this is truly a serious discussion, we need to evaluate it from multiple sides rather than simplifying it as people (not anyone specifically, in general) tend to.

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I’d like to have had some closure on some of the WiPs I was most excited about, but I know it isn’t always easy to admit, even to yourself, that you can’t do something. There also isn’t always a clear end point.

I’ve once been in a situation where I was writing on a WiP that I was very excited about, and had resolved to finish. I was about halfway through a new chapter already, but then I realized my writing, especially my worldbuilding and character writing, were just bad. Did I go ahead and tell everyone about the scalding (but fair) review on the one game I was a part in writing that actually got published? No. Did I post what I had written already, with all the open ends and broken code? No. I was just upset and in denial for a long time. It was only when someone mentioned it on the “Which WiP would you bring back from the dead?” thread that I was able to admit defeat and put it into words. But a lot of writers won’t stick around on the forum when they’re not working on something, and will never see those kinds of questions directed at them.

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I agree with you that I wish this would be more common however I view it this way. If you see that activity is pretty much nonexistent then assume the project is dead. If it turns out that it isn’t and you’re surprised by an update then that’s a happy occurrence. If not then you’ve already made your peace with it and, after some disappointment, you can move on and very easily get dragged into following a new project that you fall in love with.

As for this point I think we all just gotta put up with. Have I been waiting an incredibly long time for Lords of Infinity? Yes. Does it frustrate me sometimes? Yes. Does it change the fact that when it releases I’m gonna be over the moon because I love the narrative and writing style? Sort of. If anything I’m going to be even more hyped and trust that the extra time put in will translate to a tangible benefit which is my own enjoyment. If a project takes forever to come out and you enjoy it at any point then it means that it was worth the wait in my opinion.

Besides, even when the author finishes there are delays with publishing. There’s a case on this forum that I think is a great example for both this and my earlier idea of the mindset I have concerning WIPs. The project A Long Weekend by Daleko was an amazing WIP I read that got updated much more frequently than typical which surprised me and made me really excited and happy to continue following it. Just because that project was being updated very quickly I just enjoyed it for what it was and didn’t change my expectations for other WIPs. Even when it was finished and I was never frustrated with the development I’ve been waiting for months for the publication so I could purchase it. Waiting sucks but it just goes back to one of my earlier points about how we as consumers are invested but don’t have as much say in the process. It’s just kind of the state of the industry. :man_shrugging:

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All great points last three people! :grin: I grew up with honesty is the best or rather only policy drilled in my head so I’ve always had to do that with myself even if I didn’t like it, trying to convince myself otherwise would just mean my mom or sister would call me out. (out of love :heart:) And of course if someone can’t physically do anything give that person slack. And I unfortunately have no idea how the industry works I can’t even imagine some of the crap an author might have to deal with in that area.

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Not much point in asking an author when the game will be released. We usually have no idea until it goes up on the release thread on the forums

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Also, keep in mind with COVID and other upheavals in the world, sometimes authors have setbacks, and sometimes these can be too personal (like a death in the family) to share with the general public.

One person working on a project means that anything that happens will affect the writing/coding of that project.

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Oh yeah, that is absolutely true. My point was that there is no inherent problem with it because it is out of the purview of the authors, so no pressure or demand on them, but I probably should have made it more clear that in all likelihood they won’t know so early on in the process. Potentially just a hopeful idea, but definitely nothing solid.

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cries in A Song of Ice and Fire and The Kharkanas Trilogy :sob:

The answer to this is ALWAYS “hells if I know”. Even if a release date has been set. Golden Rose B1, for example, had a release date set, and then got moved back, like, twice. I forget who, but there was a different author that someone asked when it was getting released, they said they didn’t know, a third person posted “this release date has been announced here, it’s X”, and the author went “huh, first I’m hearing about it”.

Remember, this isn’t people’s job. Like, most (all?) authors don’t make enough money from this to support themselves, and you know whose deadlines you acutally can’t afford to miss? The ones set by your actual boss, not if you want to, y’know, make rent. And eat.

Also, and I think I’ve already said this in another thread, authors should never, ever, ever, EVER promise deadline updates. E. V. E. R. If they want to set goals for themselves, they should, like, write a post-it saying “10,000 words by the end of the month” or whatever, put it up on their screen, and never tell anyone about it. Because life gets in the way, or the inspiration just doesn’t come, or your computer fries, or whatever, and then you miss the deadline you promised, and then you get stressed about missing the deadline, and then people go “hey, you promised a new chapter this June and it’s like June 10th already, where’s the chapter” and then you get more stressed and you know what doesn’t help creative endeavours? Being hungry. But also stress.

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I feel that this notion of the author’s “respect” for the reader is a straw man argument. The author puts in a lot of effort and time to create their work and are providing it freely for others to consume. Readers have no obligation to consume these works in progress – they do that entirely of their own volition. The author doesn’t owe someone anything just because they provided an incomplete piece of work to the general public. The reader chooses to read it, knowing that it is incomplete. If someone does not want to spend time reading a piece of work that might remain unfinished, they can simply choose to only read finished works. Or to put it another way, to voluntarily choose to engage with a clearly incomplete material, then become upset when that material remains incomplete, seems to be at odds with the notion of “respect” – at least for me personally.

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I don’t want to speak for @MissBehavior but I don’t think that was the point she was making. Rather, she was talking about common courtesy. A forum like this could be a lot nastier place if there weren’t written and unspoken rules that say you should always be respectful towards the author and refrain from criticising a game in a manner that might discourage them from continuing the project etc. None of that is a given. And while I agree that an author isn’t or shouldn’t be required to inform the readers about progress, it’s still a nice thing to do.

It’s a matter of whether you see readers merely as content consumers who receive something for free, provide nothing of value, and can therefore be disregarded. But often times they do provide something in return like reports of bugs and typos. Even something as simple as encouragement has value to it.

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I don’t see how that could be a straw man argument when it’s not an argument but an opinion. I thought I made it clear when I began with “my thing is” but in case it wasn’t, I’m letting you know now.

I think we just have very different opinions on a writer/reader relationship or more generally, what the relationship between a content creator and those who consume your content should be. I think if you create an audience you should keep in mind the responsibility that comes with catering to it which you are allowed to opt out of at any time.

I believe I mentioned that I don’t expect every WIP to be completed and I would agree with the point that readers should understand the risk that what they’re reading might never be finished. And yes readers don’t have an obligation to read your work, but when you pour love and hard work into something it’s rewarding to see others pour it back.

I think that if I should decide to stop writing my wip tomorrow, I should at the very least inform my audience who have supported me till now, that I won’t carry on with my project. That’s the respect I’m referring to. You may believe that an author is under no such obligation and that’s a view you’re allowed to have, I wouldn’t call that a straw man.

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I don’t know how authors who publish WIPs can stand the pressure, even from just the WIP existing out there in the world, building up expectations. If I wrote games, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it, no matter how polite and boundary-respecting the readers were. You’re often watching someone learn, in real-time, how to write satisfying interactive fiction and how to code in choicescript, and probably juggling work and family/life events at the same time. Like inviting people to watch you learn how to play the piano while also composing your first symphony, the stuff of nightmares.

Out of respect for that vulnerability and the generosity of publishing a WIP at all, I kind of think the only acceptable, unrequested feedback should be “I really enjoyed reading that and I look forward to reading more!” And if you feel otherwise, it should be kept to yourself.

It’s not like the author is just going to plum forget that they’ve written 200k words in an interactive novel and need a reminder to finish it. If they have a schedule or a deadline they feel comfortable sharing with their audience, they will. Getting hit with constant "update when?"s certainly wouldn’t make me any more comfortable.

Long story short, I think WIPs are extreme labors of love and rare, almost uncomfortably precious gifts, especially if the author is new and still learning the ropes. Please don’t make authors regret sharing their WIPs with the public.

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I considered it an argument given the tone and the context of the thread as a whole, so apologies for misunderstanding that part of it. (Or in other words, an opinion that in context very much seems to me to be a justification of a previous argument. As well of the use of inherently argumentative words like “you should” and “you shouldn’t”.) But regardless of why I seem to have misinterpreted it, I think the straw man idea still stands at the very least on a conceptual level. Respect is not what the topic of this thread is about, and as what you said is in a continuation of previously given opinions/arguments, the making a point towards the notion of respect seems out of place to me when considering the actual point of the discussion as a whole - of course it can be justified that there should be mutual respect between an author and a reader, but that doesn’t have much at all to do with not asking authors about updates. There is a difference between the respect that drives you to inform your readers of progress and the idea that pestering an author - even if well-intentioned, or if you feel like you inherently have a right to do so given the nature of the material and its consumption - is respectful.

I can understand where you are coming from I truly do the thing is though is that with what your saying the author has no room for improvement if all we say is things like ‘this is great good luck’ or whatever other general platitude the author has no real idea what might need improvement, if a person wants to they don’t need to put up a wip (I’m pretty sure they don’t anyway right?) They can just publish it whenever they feel ready too it kinda feels like the whole point to put a work wip up is to receive opinions and feedback even if it might be hard to hear but that’s where true growth can happen you need to go through the lava pit if you wind up like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker is entirely up to you.

Because it is considered impolite and rude

I mean no matter the situation one should always strive to be respectful while I do want this thread to be a bit loose compared to others where people can have heated discussion or even straight up arguments you can do those things while still being respectful, unfortunately it can be very hard to do that particular because txt doesn’t have tone and it’s soooooo easy to assume that if someone doesn’t agree they are having a bad tone. I like to read comments in my head as like if Daria where a robot it sounds silly but it helps.

If an author wants specific types of feedback, they can request that, too. “Please tell me what you thought about the ROs!” or “I’m not sure what the choices should be here, any advice?” or anything of that nature is fair game. That’s what they’ve actually asked for, not implicitly invited or whatever.

If they say “I have trouble following through on things I start, so to help motivate me, please feel free to remind me of deadlines and help keep me accountable!” then by all means, ask away (still, politely, of course, they haven’t requested abuse).

Otherwise take it for what it is: a free performance in an opt-in public space. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to say anything.

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Well, isn’t this a hot topic within the CoG forum community, I’ll keep this short.

As the moderator stated, it varies within each creator, some creators are easily stressed and it will overwhelm them causing lack of willpower to continue a project, long ass break, and just generally lower moral. Though, some creators often need a reminder of their goals and will allow and support people asking about their game and an update, gives them a sense of purpose and people actually wanting to experience their novel and love their creations, though this all varies within how to ask the questions.

Asking a writer about, “when will the game be done” or “when is the next update” can be posted as aggressive or impatient, there’s a tone with each question. If a user said, “When is the next update, it has been weeks?”, to the user, they didn’t intend on it sounding impatient or aggressive, they were generally curious about the games updates; though, this might often make the creator feel like they are failing their community they built upwards and I’m return, failing the project. Though, if a user simply stated, “Hey, this was honestly an amazing W.I.P, I’m curious if there’s a way to check the updates (Tumblr?) or could anybody tell me when it will be?” The user protrays a appreciative tone and wants to respectfully and patiently know when an update is out. I’ll just also use one of the most common, “when is the next update”. This is borderline annoying to creators and a loyal fanbase and often met with, “wait” or “when it’s done”. Instead of asking questions like that, just add some respectful details and honestly, the creators can do something about this.

I feel like some writers can help themselves in this department if they are feeling like these questions are demoralizing themselves. They should have a Tumblr or such to have like monthly updates or catch up with a community, apart of having a stable community is having the ability to speak with them and assist them with understanding the basis of this game, locking updates with Patreon where you have to support the game to get updates and understanding of where your at and the future projection on completion of the game and expect to not have people ask for updates is quite foolish to me. Though, creators are limited in their ways to assist with this issue, we appreciate it if you try already.

So, in total, asking questions toned with respect isn’t bad at all. Just, don’t be an ass about it.

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I can definitely get behind the if you don’t like it don’t read it sentiment. Thing is what if I do really like this one particular work and I see allot of potential though I have a few ideas on how it could potentially be improved but the author hasn’t said anything about wanting any feedback they haven’t said they don’t want feedback either I’m a jerk for putting my opinion out there?

I would never suggest that you are “bad” or “a jerk” for this stuff; I don’t want to put that kind of feeling into the sort of moderation that happens here; however, since as a previous poster noted, tone can be difficult, and because different authors can react quite differently to different posters, we put a gate around the whole issue by just blanket not allowing it until explicitly invited by an author.

It is definitely true (like any rule or guideline) that this blunt rule will almost certainly disallow completely benign interactions, but I’m OK with that because it will easily allow me to moderate all of the ones likely to stress out an author. At the end of the day, for me, that’s the value of this particular forum norm. – it’s a clear, bright line. On the other hand, as for “putting my opinion out there,” I would say that is almost certainly welcomed by most WIP authors as long as it is done in good faith.

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