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Anyone else ever have this situation:
You're playing your game, it's going pretty well, no major problems or anything, you get to the end and much fun was had by all. Sounds good so far. Naturally, as a good GM you're on a never-ending quest for self-improvement, so you ask your group for feedback. It could be positive, negative, any kind of constructive criticism, really. Sure, the game went well, but no one's perfect and there's always room for improvement, right? So you ask your players for feedback. And what do they say? "Nope, nothing to say here." "Lots of fun!" "No problems." "Nah, I'm good." "You're fine." *sigh*

No, I don't want my ego polished, give me some useful feedback, dammit!

Maybe they don't want to risk making you angry. Maybe they're afraid of some kind of confrontation or argument. Maybe they're just useless lumps of opinionless jelly! wink.gif

So has anyone ever had an experience where they had trouble getting criticism from their players? If so or if not, what have you tried to wring feedback out of them, and how did it work?

Of course, if the last time you were given feedback you threw a tantrum then there's really no question here, is there? biggrin.gif

Discuss. smile.gif
Wow. This is a nice post and topic... I see no problems with it. nyahnyah.gif
Buy a round or six of beer.....

Offer a karma for feedback of paragraph length.
Offer candy for feedback.
Make a Dumpshock Poll for your game.

Non verbal cues
Do the players talk about the game outside of the game session?
Do the players arrive on time for the game?
Does the player send you the 50 page novel bg for their character?
Does the player cross dress for the halloween session?
Does the player rip up their character sheet, throw it on the floor, stamp on it, and run out of the room crying never to be seen again?

Personally I'm happy if they show up the next session.
QUOTE (Konsaki)
Wow. This is a nice post and topic... I see no problems with it. nyahnyah.gif

i agree completely with konsaki... it's absolutely perfect in every way biggrin.gif
Talia Invierno
It's human nature, at least in our current incarnation.

Judge what is in front of you, and if there's no serious problems we have no problems finding something adequate or better.

Ask what could be improved: and suddenly you're requiring creative thinking outside the box. Most of us don't do well with this ... which is one reason why SR4 is as popular as it is: it gives Answers which were previously only teased around.

(I hate that cliché. Anyone got a better one?)
James McMurray
When the first guy gives a no comment, snap out your spurs and slice a chunk of cheek off of him. Then ask the next guy.

Other than that I think DireRadiant's got the right of it. My players sound a lot like yours. We all rag on games that were horrible in the past, but show up every weekend to play in whatever game presents itself, so I have to use nonverbal cues. The biggest cue for me is when someone (except one guy whose as big a BMaholic as me) offers to run a game. If the permaplayers sitting at our table are looking to run a game, things are going majorly wrong.
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
So you ask your players for feedback. And what do they say? "Nope, nothing to say here." "Lots of fun!" "No problems." "Nah, I'm good." "You're fine."

If you ask a vague generic question, you're going to get a vague generic answer.

Ask specific questions to get specific answers.
Rule #1 of asking for feedback (seriously, I leanred this in a teaching class): Ask direct question.

Do not ask "Give me feedback". Ask specifically "What did you like about the plot" and "What didn't you like". Even more specific, "What did you think about the NPCs I used?", etc.

Don't worry, it's not your players, it's human nature to not really volunteer info unless specifically asked.

And as soon as one guy starts saying one or two things, it'll start pouring out as the other agree/disagree on what's said.

And yeah, beer helps facelick.gif
Questions to ask

Instead of karma what reward do you want me to consider for your character? (This also let's you know what they are really interested in)
Did everyone get a chance to do something they wanted today?
What kind of cool run would you like to do next?
Was there something you felt was missing today that you would have liked to have done?
What does your character plan to do in the downtime between this run and the next?
What was the funnest thing that happened tonight? (If you do the each players hands out one karma to someone else for something, this often reveals what interests the players.)
What was the funnest thing someone else did tonight?
I ask this question. Sometimes I get more detailed answers than others. Most often I've found my responses are more vague when the players themselves are still trying to decide what they want out of the game.

Give them some time.
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