Friday, July 13, 2012

It's not a paradox

So, our publisher Paradox really likes what we're doing for them and the game Magicka. Seeing one of their representatives play some of the new stuff we're making, grinning, going "aaah" and "oooh" and ending it all with several big thumbs up really made my day. And it was already a pretty good day.

While I obviously can't say much about what I'm currently working on due to reasons, we're really thinking outside the box with our upcoming things, both in terms of game mechanics and difficulty. I can't personally beat our stuff alone but I've made sure it's balanced and possible. Every time I fail I know it's because I wasn't good enough. I have all the tools at my disposal to beat it but I get tripped up. Tripped up by the very things I added to the game to cause the player to trip up, even. How's that for irony?

In other news... I tend to get chosen as administrator or moderator for forums, because I know how to stick to rules and not abuse them, and I'm fairly good at being fair. Sometimes you need to actually act, which some moderators fear, but you can't just start banning and deleting just because you and other users don't share the same opinions or do things that others are not allowed to - unless this is stated in the forum rules and guidelines.

For example, on the Paradox Plaza's forums, they don't usually allow for links to external sites. Being given administrator rights, I asked them for scenarios where I would like to link to external sites anyway for either good solutions for potential problems with Magicka and the like, as I felt I might need it. I didn't but asked anyway because that's what I do. I try to keep things professional.

Then it comes as a surprise when one user of a community sub-forum that I've become moderator for goes on a righteous rampage over how horribly unfair and tyrannic I am when I decide to delete some posts of his (and mine) where he starts being sarcastic and makes me defend myself. I did so and responded that "wait, I should have just deleted this trolling and drama, my bad". I was appointed moderator status to prevent and stop drama and not feed into it myself. But this was incredible terrible and on top of that, I've apparently (according to this one user) been horribly sarcastic and horrible to everybody else for a long time and deleted their posts like a mad man. Ironically, I've never heard any of this from anyone (nor deleted anything but clear verbal punch-fests just as I'm supposed to).

And oh my god, the time and energy he put into proving how I abused my power (though I'm hardly ever online, for one), but all the examples he could come up with was times that I had nagged and complained about things and how people act. Yep, I do that sometimes, but when I say "this is really annoying" he have systematically interpreted this as "you should and may not do this", or something. I don't know, the whole thing is illogical and blown up into cosmic proportions... because he can't take the fact that he have done something wrong and just go on.

Well, letting things like these just go is one of the tools in a moderators tool belt. Yes, you should naturally try to handle problems with professional dialogues and, when needed, admit fault if you do something you feel is unfair. Yet, the most important thing is to move on. Some users will dislike you, your ways or the products you're working with or supporting, regardless of what you do.

Moving on is important for two reasons:

  1. The problem is noted and left behind, because most of the time the problem just isn't worth putting time and energy into compared to other things. Also, some users just won't give up. Is one user that important to you that you'll drop everything you're doing and everyone else just to make that one user happy? Probably not. You'll of course try to solve the problem, but once you've done what you can then that's it.
  2. The problem itself is oftentimes the mere existence of itself, as it's often just a brawl, trolled up drama or a heated argument. As a moderator, you're there to prevent and quell those things, not feed them or let them be fed by others, regardless of what you emotionally feel that you want yourself. That's why it can be hard, but you're a moderator and it must be done. After all, if you can't be expected to, nobody can.

So yes, what makes it a good day is the realization that hey, I don't have to deal with this. It feels good to be able to stop and say "hey, it's actually not my responsibility to make that person understand that his logic is broken"Someone might not like me for it, but I do what I can and have no obligation to do anything more for this one person, and he can dislike me all he wants. I've done my best, and if you still don't like it, then that's not my problem. Move along. I do. And it feels so good.

A couple of years ago I wouldn't be able to let things like this go. I'd defend myself to the end. This person is still that kind of person, and believes that this issue is so important that and huge that he must see to it that I fall from my high horse (by riding one himself). Yet, I'm just trying to sit and relax on a bridge by the lake. I want to take it easy, to chill out, but then there are people like him that sees the smallest conflicts like a great battle against the evil dark and the ever-shining good, and he appoints himself courageous knight of the latter.

So, why this rant if I can let go, you ask? Wrong conclusion. I've let that argument go and done what I can. I should put a temp-ban on him for not stopping when told, but I think I'll just let it go. He won't learn from it anyway and it'll just feed his martyrdom. I'm writing this because I wanted to spill some of my day to my blog for once. I seldom do. And I felt this was the perfect example to just talk a bit about how work, hobbies and one's personal life can blend together and cause problems if you're not careful.

I love when my hard work pays off and people come to me and say "hey, you've done one hell of a job". That makes stupid things like these feel so minor, like drops of water running off of me in the rain and down into the water below me as I sit here on the bridge, dangling my feet over the lake's surface.

EDIT: Oh and apparently one of the main designers of the original Magicka, Emil Englund, saw the new content the other day and said that he was very impressed with it.

EDIT 2: Snapple crackle. This upcoming stuff might be some of the best consumer value stuff yet!

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