The other month, I released "The Next Day," a short art-y game. Now, it does several experimental things and has sort of odd emphases for a text adventure, so I was logically prepared for ambivalent responses. Knowing that, I should be pretty happy with its reception so far, as it has gotten a lukewarm-to-somewhat-warmer reception, but mainly, I am just reminded how much I hate getting criticism, no matter how helpfully constructive.
I mean, I do want to get better as a designer so I should want to hear what people have to say (and my games have been improved by things I've been told), but on the other hand, all I really have to keep me moving forward in this hobby is my enthusiasm and people-not-enjoying-your-vision is a severe enthusiasm dampener, to the point where I wonder if I should try to release games as secretly as possible.
I'm a big hypocrite, too, since when reviewing other people's games, I don't hold back on weaknesses, and I hate to think how many people's enthusiasms I have dampened. Emily Short (wow, mentioned her 2 or 3 posts in a row!) started a blog the other month called Shiny Happy IF Reviews- or something like that- where the rule is, you can only say nice things about any given game. It's funny, because it's a great idea yet there's still some part of me that makes me think that only saying nice things is kind of insincere. I think I'll have to eventually rewire my brain on this one.
It's also a reminder that I probably work best when I cut myself off of all sorts of distraction- not just criticism, so there's that, too.