Quality Control for "new levels"

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Quality Control for "new levels"paula_angela11/15/2010 - 17:31

World of Goo is such a great FAMILY game.  Parents love it, and my 4 year old can do several of the levels by himself (and is becoming quite the little addict).  The game play is fun and the little story elements are cute too.

We've also been peeking through some of the un-official extra levels available out there.  There are so many of them that it's easy to imagine them being incorporated into a second MUCH BIGGER release of World of Goo.  Of course, as the FAQ points out, this will NOT HAPPEN, EVER, REALLY, PROMISE...because there isn't going to be another release.

Some of the unofficial levels add all sorts of cool stuff to the game play and story.  But the grammar of those levels often leaves a lot to be desired.  And one level even had me cringing over the misogyny.  Is there any quality control over what is put out there?

Re: Quality Control for "new levels"Pavke11/16/2010 - 03:31

hi paula_angela  :)

Yes, there is a quality control for custom levels.

We moderators (me among them) control what levels are available to public.

I'm very sorry if you felt insulted in any way. If you tell us what particular did you find offensive we will consider taking it down immediately.

We are just bunch of kids having fun... didn't mean to offend anyone. :)


Re: Quality Control for "new levels"paula_angela11/21/2010 - 06:15

Hi, Pavke.
Thanks for answering  :)

I think the "beauty" theme is skating on thin ice. 

It was the level which contained the signs "who is the ugliest goo of all" and "personally, I can't stand ugly" which made me very uncomfortable.  The goo which are being called ugly are female, which reinforces the messages we are fed in society at large, that women can't be ugly.  These sorts of messages erode women's and girls' self-esteem.

Interestingly, the level with the "beauty-contest/genetic-sorter" managed to fall just the right side of the line, for me.  I think it was the sign which said "I don't care what you look like" which helped.  It is also an interesting and fun level with excellent game-play.  But ANYTHING on the beauty theme has to have carefully devised signs, because it is so easy to get it wrong.

Personally, rather than "ugly" goo, I would rather have "mutant", "diseased" or perhaps "genetically modified" goo.  In fact, it could be quite easy to re-do the whole "beauty/ugly" theme in terms of "genetically modified" goo - an experiment which needs to be corrected. 

The "beauty" theme personifies goo a little bit too much as well - making the act of destroying those princesses during game play a little too personal.  If we were talking about "genetically modified" goo, then it might return us to a sense of ambiguity as to whether goo is animal or vegetable.  I think that would be a good thing.

Do you think the game writers would go for an adjustment of this sort??


Re: Quality Control for "new levels"Soultaker11/22/2010 - 04:09

I'd like to point out that there is no official connection between the 2D Boy game (which is official, complete and unlikely to change in a substantial way in the future) and GooFans.com, which is an unofficial fansite. Anybody can upload mods on GooFans.com and as a result the quality of the levels varies considerably. You are likely to encounter spelling errors, programming bugs, crude art and other defects.

So to answer your question: there is only a minimal amount of quality control, and personally I think that is how it should be. It gives authors free reign to experiment as they wish without being constrained by other people's standards. (This is how World of Goo was originally conceived too!)

If you don't like a particular level, the best recourse is probably to just delete it and try another one, possibly noting the author so you can avoid his/her levels in the future. Of course, if you encounter any egregiously offensive levels, then it's probably best to open a topic on the GooFans.com forums rather than here, where it is likely that an administrator will take note. I don't know which level in particular you are referring to, so it is hard to estimate how bad it really is.

And I'd like to mention that you can also rate and comment on levels on GooFans.com itself. Most authors love to receive feedback, even if it is negative. As Pavke pointed out, it's likely the level's author is just a kid. I wouldn't be surprised if you read more into it then the author intended. Engaging in a friendly discussion with a level's author may be a more fruitful course of action than trying to get administrators to take it down.

Re: Quality Control for "new levels"paula_angela11/22/2010 - 16:21

Hi, Soultaker.

Thanks for explaining some more about how the game and the discussion groups work.  It's a revelation to me just how open it is set up to be.  And I agree with you, that this makes it so much more valuable.

I didn't post here seeking the removal of a level.  I was looking for any way of emailing the game owner/writer, and this is what I found.  I'll have a think about exploring the fan forums, as you suggest.

For me, this is part of the bigger question of how to help my 4-year-old safely discover cyberspace.  Do we stick to the official release? Do I explain how the system works and help him post reviews of the new levels to the fan site?  I think the latter is ultimately better, but it's a matter of giving it priority, and having the time and head-space to do it.

Thanks, again.  Hubby always says that answering newbie questions is good for your Karma :)