stickmanland.com

Fun Feedback and Deliberate Delivery

Gotta take off that blindfold

Posted: August 14, 2022

I gotta know what people actually think of this place, and not just for the warm fuzzy feeling! I'm like the cashier behind the counter, but I'm wearing a blindfold and noise-cancelling headphones. Which is really sad because I don't know what people actually want to buy.

Not only that, but I want to give you what I'm offering in a memorable way that sticks in your brain. Think Nintendo Video, or maybe even Playdate Season One, perhaps. You never know what seemingly minute, negligible details will stick fondly in people's minds!

Tell Me What You Think

This site has no comment sections. It'd be nice to have, but it'd require technical feats currently beyond my understanding (and don't even mention moderation). So what options do I have?

The Flaming Garbage Disposal

Well, social media comments exist, although they're not the best. Social media's got a few problems:

  1. It's full of garbage and distractions. We need less of those.
  2. It's incredibly boring. Every indie developer and their uncle has a social media page, so it would be nice to be different!
  3. It's not family-friendly. Hard deal-breaker.

Social media will just be there, but still, I need to get real.

Discord Is Not a Good Thing

A Discord server sounds fun, but there's a small plethora of reasons I'm not too fond of the idea. They're shut off from the rest of the Internet, so cool posts can't be spread everywhere. Their moderation tools are suited for friend groups, not keepin'-it-clean environments. And you've got to be teenaged to participate!

Even better than Discord would be setting up some on-site forums, where virtually all of these problems will be vaporized. That'd be nice, but I keep finding myself fueled by ideal ideas which aren't quite feasible yet. Somehow, I have to balance taking the ideal route with whatever is feasible with my current skills. Still, it's gonna take a heck of a lot to convince me Discord isn't not a good thing.

Put It Right Here!

Somewhere down the line, I want an issue tracker! It'd be really awesome to have a directly on-site feedback system that doesn't require any social media accounts to use.

I think Butterscotch Shenanigans's Feedbag is a great model (watch out for general PG-13 tomfoolery on their site though). It isn't presented as a bunch of long forms about what behavior you expected and how you reproduced it and what you had for dinner last Thursday. Even though you can and probably should give that information (well, maybe not the dinner thing). Once again, though, technical feats, so this'll have to come later. (I gotta get good.)

I'm Not Being Funny

On Millie's Weird World's itch.io page, I used to have a Donate button, which raked in a grand total of 0 (zero) pennies. And eventually, I'm putting a Donate button on stickmanland.com to ensure I'll be able to cash in all of that income! Hey, the Donate button could potentially work as a form of feedback– you could tell me with your dollars which of my games you want to see expanded. It works well on paper, at least.

I'm not gonna rely on this Donate button to live, though. I'm a person, not an open source foundation! Any and all donations are seen as delightful bonuses. No need for a song and dance about it.

Electronic Post (Even On Sundays)

Finally, there's good old-fashioned email. It's simple, and it works! Are you wishing there were a comment box? Really, really can't live without a Discord server? Email me what you think at support (ahait) stickmanland (doittecayumme). (I'll get a real email obfuscator someday.)

Give It To You, Now!

I want to be very deliberate and intentional on how I handle news-and-stuff delivery. I can't just rely on social media alone! It sucks, remember?! So I wanna look into old-fashioned stuff like RSS feeds and mailing lists. And maybe one day, I'll be able to serve up new-fashioned stuff like spicy news apps.

RSS Feeds for your Friendly News Needs

I always liked the Nintendo Channel on the Wii. You were able to check the Nintendo news and watch videos in a cool, safe, family-friendly place. All with that distinct Nintendo personality to boot! I consider it the golden standard for news-and-stuff delivery (though that could just be the nostalgia talking).

That's why I've added two RSS feeds to this website– one for new blog posts, and one for new games. Imagine a news feed, but it's only the stuff you want and it's all in one place. That's the idea! You have these cool programs called RSS readers which go and fetch all the new content from the feeds you choose, and bring it back to you in a rather email-esque format for your focused consumption. My hope is that, since the content of your RSS reader should be easier to control, it'll be a great family-friendly option.

I've just had an idea. What if I built an RSS reader specifically for this website, and put it on app stores? I'd basically have my own Nintendo Channel! Then maybe I could spice up the news app itself and make it exciting...! Of course, the way RSS works doesn't really support immediate push notifications. Also I have no idea when or if this is ever happening.

A Mailing List will Still Be Missed

I heard on some talk, I forgot which one it was, that newsletters were way more popular than Discord and social media, which affirms my worldview so I'm going to call it true.

In theory, setting up a mailing list should be simple. Just get a bunch of people's emails, and then when I've got something to put out, automatically send it to each one! Right? I know how to automate stuff!

I dunno. For one thing, how do I allow people to actually sign up? Here's the thing– if you click "sign up" somewhere, it's gotta add your email to some database at that moment, and I dunno how to do that. Perhaps more important is signing down– I mean, unsubscribing. Wouldn't be a good look to miss that someone unsubbed and send him an email anyway.

Also, I... don't actually know how fancy emails are done. I have only needed to write texty emails with the odd attachment. Something to look into. I know there are services for these things, but it feels nice to keep things as homemade as possible.

So there is no mailing list yet, but it's definitely on my radar.

Back to Real Work

There! I better stop worrying about how to give you games, and start worrying about the actual games! If you have any ideas on how to give me feedback, make sure to give me feedback! (Uh oh.) Anyway, thanks for reading.

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