Interrogative Games Pt. 2
Let me outline a few quick things that come to mind when before I attempt to recap the editing process I went through in collaboration with Plain Vanilla Games, the makers of Quiz Up.
1. Not everyone wants quality when they’re on a deadline. In fact, most will settle for anything in high quantity as long as it functions.
2. Teenagers make awful collaborators.
3. Free labor/internships afford you all the work and none of the control.
4. Published doesn’t mean available.
5. If you put in the effort and communicate with your industry contact, they’ll give you better tasks.
6. None of it matters once it’s out there. You can always update.
I guess that about covers my experience with the Anime topic project for Quiz Up. I mentioned before that I was given editing rights to a document of 600+ questions. It took a few days to go through them all. The file had a list of contributors with editing rights and access to the file who had added questions in a random and unsupervised capacity.
I started adding my own questions to the file before tackling the existing questions. Lots of them were already flagged for problems like going over the maximum character limit for use in the game. One of my contacts at the game company told me that most of the contributors were teenagers with poor writing skills. I sorted them all by title to get a grasp of how balanced the question pool was and added my contributor tag (D.G.) to all of my own content to keep it straight. After putting in about 30 hours proofreading, editing, and organizing the file it was ready to go.
Then, trolls. A few days later I logged in to add ten more questions. Someone had done a little editing of their own. I’m guessing that someone didn’t like all the work I had done and decided to delete about 50 of my questions, rewrite some of them, remove my contributor tag, and revert all the questions they had written to their original form. They undid lots of hours of work.
So, I did my best to go back through and fix the immediate problems. I emailed my contact and he booted the person responsible. I went through one last time and flagged all his poorly written, typo-filled questions quickly with a comment marker. I wasn’t about to redo all that work. It was an unfortunate thing that had happened.
Later the same contact emailed me back saying he was reinviting the culprit to edit the file after it was published in its current form. Salt in the wound. It’s hard not to take something personally when you’ve put a lot of quality effort into it. So I was done.
I stood my ground and told them how unprofessional and unfortunate it was for the game to allow this user to stay. They agreed. A day or so later, they offered me the chance to write the topic description and reward titles for Anime and Avatar: the Last Airbender. A nice little consolation prize.
The topic was published a few days ago. But, it hadn’t posted until yesterday. I obsessively checked the game every day until it finally showed up. Apple takes a few days or so to approve even small updates.
The 40 or so questions with bad editing do bother me when I play the game, but the community of players it has created were worth it. It’s in the list of the most popular categories still. Most of the people I play have already grinded their way up to level 30. That includes people from all over the world. It’s quite an amazing feeling to have something you’ve created entertain the world.
Like I said before, once it’s out there all the drama just doesn’t matter. There’s always future updates to make it even better. I encourage you to download the game and give it a try.