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June 07, 2021

Can I ask a question?

Can I ask a question? image

Voltaire is often attributed (mistakenly, it seems) with a quote about preferring to judge people’s minds by their questions rather than their answers. And Douglas Adams’ revalation of the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything (in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) appears to be made in a similar vein.

I’ve found this in game design too: that good questions save development time and effort, and tend to be more difficult to conceive than good answers. I also prefer questions over specific suggestiong durring playtesting: both as a designer receiving feedback and as a playtester giving feedback to others. This style of communication feels more exploratory and cooperative, and less likely to be counfounded by incorrect assumptions from differing perspectives.

I’ve been noticing this value of questions in many aspects of life. The purpose of this site is largely to facilitate the sharing of questions. I can publish posts and articles to share thoughts about the questions that I am considering. And as of today, anyone who visits this site can also share their questions with me!

The old site changed from using wordpress comments to Discus (depicted in the image below) in 2013. My goals for this site are 1) to have the simplest looking and easiest to use interface for asking questions, 2) to releave users of the need to authenticate or worry about privacy when posing questions, and 3) to minimize the server-side resources needed to host this service. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of time developing a new service stack from scratch.

old site Discus interface

The custom solution for this site is based on this blog post about making REST API calls into google forms. When you type a question and click the “Ask Sugar Pill Games” button at the bottom of any page on this site, your question will be sent as an anonymous google form submission which is logged in a google sheet. From there I can review and organize these questions, along with my thoughts and responses when appropriate.

My hope is that these questions will help guide both the design and development of my games and articles, as well as supplemental blog posts on this site. I’m excited to see how this system weathers the tests of time, and look forward to any questions or concerns you have related to it.

Have a Question?