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#21 zephyr   Members   -  Reputation: 133

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 02:29 PM

The artwork rocks. But just a little point - it wouldn't hurt to make the background images a bit wider (maybe 2048, just blank area). I use a fairly high resolution, and they tile at the right edge. I don't think it would increase the file size dramatically.


Edited by - zephyr on October 3, 2000 10:50:29 PM

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#22 Graylien   Members   -  Reputation: 160

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 03:06 PM

Landfish : Just a quick question, take it at face value and don''t read too much into it. It''s just a thought that came across my mind while reading through this thread. Do you ever get tired of people telling you what you can''t do?

#23 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4178

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 03:50 PM

quote:
Original post by felonius

Stay focused. Work on one title only. Ditch the others.




Now, if I as a writer were to follow that policy I would never be ready to start a new project when I finished the previous one. I have a novel in progress, 2 unrelated short stories in progress, vague outlines for 2 more novels, and a bunch of random ideas that will eventually get incorporated into something. I get the most work done overall by working on whichever project I''m in the mood for just then. In most creative processes there comes a time when you''re stuck for inspiration and you just need to put that idea away for a while so your subconscious can work on it. But meanwhile you need to do something else so you''re not wasting your time.

#24 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 03:59 PM

That''s a good point s&s. Coming up w/ ideas for several different projects is different than actually implementing them. I don''t think it should hurt to at least think about a few different projects. Trying to actually develop several projects at a time is crazy of course.

"'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree

#25 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 04:14 PM

quote:
Original post by sunandshadow

Now, if I as a writer were to follow that policy I would never be ready to start a new project when I finished the previous one. I have a novel in progress, 2 unrelated short stories in progress, vague outlines for 2 more novels, and a bunch of random ideas that will eventually get incorporated into something. I get the most work done overall by working on whichever project I'm in the mood for just then. In most creative processes there comes a time when you're stuck for inspiration and you just need to put that idea away for a while so your subconscious can work on it. But meanwhile you need to do something else so you're not wasting your time.



Well, if you never complete any of your many projects you might say that you have wasted all your time all along. Want counts in the real world is what you *complete*. One completed project is worth more than 10 uncompleted ones - except of course that you might have learnt something in the process.

I don't know if writing novels and computer games really compare. A computer game takes 20+ man years while a novel at Steven King writing rates takes much less than one man year to do - and the smaller the project the bigger the chances of completion.
Furthermore, novels don't have the risk of becoming outdated as computer games does, so you can't let a game wait too long before it doesn't really matter anymore whether its done or not.

So I will repeat: Stay focused or fail. I really mean it. Don't even think about other game project before you are at least half way through with the first one. You should focus on adding quality and content to the first one not to future ones that might never be.

I have been part of several project myself that failed for various reasons including:
* Being too ambitious, so it took to long and people lost interest.
* Being to unfocused; different people wanted the game to go in different directions.
* Taking too long, so it was outdated before its planned release.

Of course, these problems are a lot less if people on the project actually get paid money while they work. That can really help motivation and the chance of getting done.

Jacob Marner


Edited by - felonius on October 3, 2000 11:21:33 PM

#26 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 04:56 PM

Fer: I know the mistake you THINK I''m making, and I assure you, I am not making it. You''re confusing the creative and the developmental processes. The creative process is a helter-skelter one, it goes where it pleases, as S&S describes.

The DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, of actual coding and art and design and music, is straightforward. I would never think to have two projects in the works at the same time, but it''s always good to THINK about where you might go next. In the text that I will put up on the porjects page, I will stress the word tenative.

But the fact is, when you''re dealing with a whole creative team, sometimes you have to just let the ideas fly, and file them away for a later date. That''s what I''m doing. DEVELOPING Multiple projects at the same time would be suicide, and I know it.

Graylien: You should have seen the original design for the site. It was a parody, Bad idea. All we ever did was tell people what we weren''t going to do and we did so in a biting, sarcastic tone. It got to so much that we scrapped it. Good thing, too.

But at the same time, much of what I want to do in games is a result of what I don''t want to do, so I don''t think mine is a completely horrible stance to take. I speak of revolution, and you can''t revolt without something to revolt against, right?

Though I really appreciate all the input, I''d like to keep it to the nature and writing of the website, not the nature of my team. I''m intimately familiar with the small likelyhood of my success in this venture, and that is one of my driving inspirations. Telling me it won''t work won''t help, ''cause I know that already. Stick to criticism of the site itself, please...

#27 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 05:26 PM

Landfish, one thing I think that needs to be determined:

What is the main purpose of landfish.com. Is it mostly to document your projects and views about the game industry and how Landfish is going to be different, or is it more to attract potential people to help fund Landfish''s projects?

Because I think our opinion of the website has much to do w/ the intentions of it. Personally, I''m unsure of your intentions.



"'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree

#28 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 01:53 AM

quote:
Original post by Landfish
The DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, of actual coding and art and design and music, is straightforward.



PLEASE! Now you are really underestimating every one else''s work. Coding, art, design and music is NOT straightforward. First it is very complex and second it is not something that can be done from the beginning to the end without reiterating underway.

A game is not "done" when ideas have been laid out. It is here the fun ends and the real work begins. If you just want the fun part then you should write books, not games.

If I was you I would read some books on Software engineering, the subject on how to manage a software team/project and making it succeed in the end. This is no simple task and as a writer you do not have the qualifications to do so, namely because you do not have the proper training.

I am myself a programmer/designer (not a writer) and I think you should not underestimate the technical complexities inherit in building commercial class games.

quote:

Fer: I know the mistake you THINK I''m making, and I assure you, I am not making it. You''re confusing the creative and the developmental processes. The creative process is a helter-skelter one, it goes where it pleases, as S&S describes.

I would never think to have two projects in the works at the same time, but it''s always good to THINK about where you might go next. In the text that I will put up on the porjects page, I will stress the word tenative.

But the fact is, when you''re dealing with a whole creative team, sometimes you have to just let the ideas fly, and file them away for a later date.


I am not confusing anything. I am even saying you should not THINK about other games once you start working on one. If you can''t keep your minds focused on getting the all your creative ideas into one game then maybe that game isn''t going to be that good after all. You should use all you energy on making that single game the highest quality possible. What happens in two or three years when the your first game is complete nhobody knows. That is a long time from now and the needs in the computer industry may have changed in the meantime. Do only one thing, but do it good. Do waste time in the meantime discussing ideas that won''t be realized in a long time. It is really a waste of time - except of course that you may learn from it.

All this of course assumes that you intend on making a commercial class game. If not, I you all are just doing it for fun and can keep your ambitions down then the work needed to write and develop the game is much less and might succeed.

Jacob Marner

#29 MadKeithV   Moderators   -  Reputation: 971

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 02:05 AM

From the Theory of Constraints, one of the most influential management techniques of the moment, there is one item of paramount importance in running ANY kind of project:

Clarity of Goal



If you are working on more than one project at a time, with the same team, you no longer have clarity of goal. Your people cannot be focused, and cannot be sure what is important in the organisation. ( Do we have to do this brainstorming right, or do we have to finish that other game? )

Commit to ONE of those, all through the process there will be plenty of opportunity and necessity to do further creative brainstorming WITHIN THE SAME PROJECT. It is only when part of your team will no longer have to contribute anything to a particular project that they can move on to another.



People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

#30 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 02:35 AM

MadKeithV,

I agree totally.

I think a general problem with new development teams is that the leader/coordinater often do not have a proper background in management and therefore do not have the knowledge and compentance to complete the project satifactory and on schedule.

I do not have this kind of training myself, so I stay away from management. One should only do what one is good (or even trained) at, but having a bit of knowledge in the other areas is also good.

Jacob Marner

Edited by - felonius on October 4, 2000 9:36:14 AM

#31 Luxury   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 01:09 PM

Looks great landfish. where do i sign up?

-Luxury

#32 Shinkage   Members   -  Reputation: 595

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 01:22 PM

quote:
The DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, of actual coding and art and design and music, is straightforward...


Not to be terribly adversarial, but that just simply isn''t true. Programming, art, music, and everything else is just as easy to go off on tangents with as design and writing. Perhaps using this as an excuse to spread your design efforts thin over many projects is not such a good idea...

#33 MadKeithV   Moderators   -  Reputation: 971

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 08:58 PM

Felonius - are you a professional game developer? You SOUND like one, I''ve just read your comments on the design document thread, and now you''re agreeing with me on management techniques...
Are you running a company?


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

#34 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 256

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 09:07 PM

ghhhh, I''ll have to disagree here.
"Ce qui se conçoit bien, s''énonce clairement" (what is clearly conceived is clearly enounced).
When you design clearly everything, the actual process of doing it becomes *MUCH* easier. You still need to have constant feedback, but a good design in the first place will leave MUCH much less room for personal interpretation, hence more "stragithforwardness" in the making process.
Now, we are not actually talking abour *art* when we talk about game art, or music, or programming. It''s more illustration, code typing, etc. And that''s a **big** difference.
If you give me some specs for a character, if you tell me that the guy is to be blond, that he is wearing a full plate armor of a late 17th century style. I''ll do that, filling the gaps where they need to. That''s where the design is essential. If the design was saying I shouldn''t be drawing any particular symbols, or patterns on the armor, because they could imply things the designer don''t want, then I don''t draw the fancy celtic patterns I like to do so much, and I stick to a plain riveted metal look.
For an artist, it''s pretty much a straightforward process to do the drawing, if everything is already said and specified through a good design.
For programming, well, it''s the same... it''s engineering after all.
For music, I dunno, I am not a musician myself

As for team management, project management, yuuuk. There are courses for learning that. I did, and I am not the guy who''s gonna get headaches doing it This suck major a*s. But it''s necessary evil if you want to bring your team anywhere near completion.
Yeah, I am gonna be an amateur all my life, I don''t like the constraint of commercial software (not just games).

Ahw ell ... what can I do ?

#35 MadKeithV   Moderators   -  Reputation: 971

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 09:13 PM

Actually, I enjoy management, and reading/learning about it. I guess I should be the one to get a team together huh


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

#36 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 09:52 PM

MadKeithV,
No I am not a professional, although I work hard to get the education to do so. Why are you asking? We have mailed personally Joris? You are a CompSci ph.d. student in image processing and I am a graduate student in CompSci and specializing in computer games. It is pretty certain that I will be developing commercial games in a year or two (in fact the censor for my thesis is a developer in a game company - so I hope to get a job offer already at my master''s graduation)

Is it no so strange that we agree. We have the same kind of training, and like you are try to learn everything that I can to become good.

And ahw,
I that is what is meant "straightforward" then ok, developing is more straightforward, but in my sense of the word being "straightforward" == "trivial", in which case the original statement absolutely is not true.
It might be that developing games (*not* being creative that is) is a craft, but that doesn''t make it simple. In my opinion, there is a very thin line between being creative and performing a craft.

If drawing art that is determined somewhat beforehand is craft then making some new RTS and making a good balancing is certainly also a craft. There is no "real" creativity here.

In fact, I don''t really believe in creativity. This is just a personal opinion. Everything we do or say is deriavations of input we have gained elsewhere. Nothing new is created out of limbo, except if you are really talented (or crazy?) like for instance Einstein, Picasso, or Leonardo da Vinci. "New" stuff is made by combining old stuff in new variations to achieve good results. If this isn''t a craft, I don''t know what a craft is.

Jacob Marner

#37 MadKeithV   Moderators   -  Reputation: 971

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 10:00 PM

Hrm, just noticed your signature and remembered the name
I guess that our training does indeed mean that we tend to see things more from a practical perspective - "How do I make this profitable".

People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

#38 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 256

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Posted 05 October 2000 - 01:21 AM

felonius : I read somewhere that geniuses don''t have bigger brains, as some may think. Rather they have better connected brains, they use them more efficiently, and can make connections between things people would have never connected, hence the cool ideas they can come up with.

As well, I never assumed coding was easy. Otherwise there wouldn''t be newbies, and lecturers, and I would have no hope of getting a job if you can learn everything on your own.
I was just pointing out that as a professional, or at least someone with l33t skillZ, when you know what you have to do, the ''doing'' is purely a question of time, and practice. The ease of the task is of course proportional to the skills you''ve got. But you can''t really say that you are having a hard time doing your job, otherwise, well, what are you doing there ?

I have been bothered long enough by my lecturers to know that most of the stuff we do in computer games is not real Art as defined in schools of Fine Arts ...
now on the same line of thought, Leonardo Da Vinci painted his Mona Lisa as a commanded work ... (not that I think this is a masterpiece, but people like to refer to that one), Michael Angelo was commanded the roof of the Sixtine Chapel, etc.

We are just artisans doing a high tech job. It''s a hard job you have to learn slowly, but it''s just a job. The ideas now ... *that* is another story.
And that''s where you need a creative guy. And a person who can explain those ideas, and put them so that other people, with skills in various domains, can make them come true. Hence, I assume, the overall importance taht LF is giving to the designer. If you don''t design the ideas properly, all the skills of your makers (graphists, musicians, programmers, etc) are wasted.

youpla :-P


#39 MadKeithV   Moderators   -  Reputation: 971

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Posted 05 October 2000 - 01:26 AM

But, by that standard, you have only said that designing a game is around the same skill level as actually programming the game, which contradicts the "we''re working on several designs, but only programming one" strategy that Landfish.com seems to be taking. They all (programmers, artists and designers )need to obey the "Clarity of Goal" law - people should only be working towards a single, clear goal at a time.


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

#40 DungeonMaster   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 05 October 2000 - 01:43 AM

I dont think LF said they were designing several games, I think he said that while discussing, some ideas arise that are stored to be used (or discarded) later.
Well, this is what I understood, feel free to correct me if you see things otherwise.




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