Some guy asked a question about a specific game development. The question isn't phrased too well, and has long and lousy code attached.

I wanted to help the guy, and made a 1 hour effort to re-write the code for him. I think the outcome is quite neat (but maybe that's only me).

Now, I don't care about gaining reputation for it, but I think some SO guys could be a bit more patient with the guy and at least direct him, and maybe not vote against a question before the guy can improve it according to comments.

I also think (in general) sometimes a good answer worth keep a bad question, and that someone who answers can have a say (at leave his input for the moderator) before closing the question.

What do you think?

What is the right way to go for making this game?

  • 18
    Personally, I don't have time to be patient and hold the hand of every user that posts a vague question then dumps all their code. It's great that you made the effort to help this guy, but it's still not the kind of question we want on SO.
    – Blorgbeard
    Jul 24, 2013 at 23:53
  • @Blorgbeard: the question is off topic, and maybe in this case the answer is to. But what about (other) cases where some very constructive input was made as a response to the lousy question. Is it justified to sink it with the boat?
    – Elist
    Jul 25, 2013 at 0:00
  • 3
    There's a difference between closing and deletion. Closed, but not deleted, questions are still available to the general community, and are still eligible for improvement and reopening. So I'm not sure it's fair to say that questions are "sunk" when they get closed.
    – user102937
    Jul 25, 2013 at 0:12
  • @RobertHarvey, thanks for clarifying it.
    – Elist
    Jul 25, 2013 at 0:14
  • 1
    And BTW, you completely ostracised yourself from the core community here by saying you don't care about rep. ;-)
    – aybiss
    Feb 17, 2014 at 3:51

3 Answers 3


The question is not only too localized (as I still like to call it) and therefore probably not helpful to future visitors but it also seems more suitable for the game development SE site and therefore should be (and apparently has been) closed and/or migrated.

You successfully posted your answer. This means that if the answer is good or helpful enough it will be rewarded (you said you don't care about rep, but seriously: who doesn't here?). It would have been worse if the question was closed while you were posting an answer (as many times happens to all of us).

Also remember that closing a question doesn't mean that you can't improve it, and that it could be reopened again if happened to be acceptable after the edit (which in my personal experience is very rare).


Note: I did not interact with this question before this Meta post.

I agree with Blorgbeard's comment.

Can someone point me in the right direction for making this game?

I want to make a game similar to this: http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=24495

Alarm bells right there. "Point me in the right direction" is not really the kind of thing SO is meant for; it's a fairly good signal of "too broad". Also, at least in my experience, "I want to do something like [[link]]" is an indicator of Did Not Do [Enough] Research, usually indicating that the OP didn't bother to find out what techniques were used. (Call that an overgeneralisation if you like; I spend most of my time in SO's review queues, and may be biased.)

[[three massive code dumps elided]]

A grand total of *looks at source* ~240 LOC just reinforces my "point me in the right direction" fears; the explanation-to-code ratio is far too low, signalling . 1) Too broad; 2) SSCCE, please?

This is the sort of question that should be closed.

  • Yes, 240 LOC takes too long to type into Google.
    – aybiss
    Feb 17, 2014 at 3:52

Other people have already contributed answers that comment on the specific question that you asked about, so I'm going to talk about something else a bit more general that I think is extremely important.

I think some SOF guys could be a bit more patient with the guy and at least direct him, and maybe not vote against a question before the guy can improve it according to comments.

Being patient with people is a good thing, you're right about that. So is directing people to do the right thing, and leaving constructive suggestions in the comments. Keep doing all of those things!

But putting the question on hold is also the right thing to do. The idea is that the question gets put on hold while the user makes the edits, before the question gets a bunch of answers that such edits may make irrelevant or obsolete. Putting the question on hold also reinforces to the asker that the larger community stands behind and agrees with the comments from the one or two people who left these suggestions on how to improve (and adds a big banner that contains some additional, more general suggestions).

In fact, this is exactly the thinking behind the recent UI change from "closed" to "put on hold". While "closed" has a note of finality to it, "put on hold" emphasizes the temporariness of the condition. It helps to encourage people that they can edit their question according to the provided suggestions and that it can be re-opened afterwards.

So it's not out of a lack of patience or a cold heart that we vote to put questions on hold. It's exactly what the system is designed for. It would only be rude and cold-hearted to delete the question outright. That would be robbing the person of a chance to improve the question, effectively giving up on them. We only do that for things that are clearly spam.

For more detailed thoughts on this, see my answer here.

As far as downvoting goes, that's up to each individual person. If you don't think the question deserves a downvote, then don't cast one. But others have the right to make different decisions about their votes. Neither perspective is right or wrong.

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