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overactor

Member Since 20 Apr 2013
Offline Last Active Feb 09 2014 12:56 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What's the true worth of an initial game idea?

14 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

Yep. "But i still hold my view that possessing a skill set does not make an artist, it is necessary, but not essential."

 

Besides, it's pretty much the central tenet of this argument. The "idea guy" has a grand vision and it's left to the artists, programmers, etc to get on with the boring and menial task of turning the Best Game Idea Ever ™ into a reality.

 

Hell, in this topic, the programmers and artists don't even rate as hired help, they're "the manufacturer of the paint"

 

I said it is necessary, didn't I? All I implied was that it's not the most important thing for an artist.

 

It was just a metaphor and I never claimed it was entirely accurate, it talks more about their artistic contribution to the game than the amount of work they put in. They could very well be considered artist and their lines of code or drawings could be art in their own right, but ideally, they don't change what the game is in a significant way. Unless of course they are better game designers than the game designer.

 

 

Why does everyone here always focus on monetary value by the way?


In Topic: Game that tackles suspension of disbelief vs challenge.

13 May 2013 - 10:54 AM

I loved Maniac Mansion, and that was a game that didn't think twice about completely screwing the player hours after they messed up by making the game impossible to beat due to a bad decision.  Heck, you could walk away from the character selection screen and already be totally boned, and nobody would tell you.  Even though there was 0% chance of success, you were allowed to flail around and try to solve puzzles that were absolutely insoluble.  Is that good design?  Maybe.

 

I like how you leave it completely open whether it's good design or not.

What I'm thinking of course is to be a bit more consequential and direct but also a bit more forgiving.

You'll know when you've fucked up and the game will fuck you over, but not so bad that you have to restart.

After all the whole idea of the game design is that it doesn't ever break immersion. And having to restart breaks immersion immensely.


In Topic: What's the true worth of an initial game idea?

13 May 2013 - 10:49 AM

You have a really cynical view of artists though.

 

In case it wasn't obvious, I posted the image as a comment on your 'ideas guy as an artist' stance, rather than a comment on artists in general.

 

As for the 'real meaning' of the image, (which was created by an artist, presumably) that, like all art, is open to interpretation. 

 

On the subject of artists, have you ever watched an artist at work? Because they don't always get things right first time. They prototype, iterate etc. just like developers.

 

I did mean an ideas guy who is also the lead game designer, I don't see why he shouldn't be considered an artist.

Yes, artist don't always get it right on the first try, but they try to get it right without getting too distracted from what they were originally trying to convey.

 

As for a game designer having to eb able to collaborate, of course that's an important skill. But if you as a programmer suggest a game mechanic and he doesn't see howm it fits in his design, why would it be a bad thing if he doesn't want to change it? There's a difference between being a diva and knowing what you want your game to be.

Nobody is suggesting this. A critical skill for a lead game designer is knowing which ideas and changes to incorporate and which to leave out, and when to remove ideas that sounded good but that aren't working out.

 

The main thing we are suggesting is that the lead game designer must be willing and able to apply the same process equally to their own ideas and those of others.

 

Game design doesn't have to be a democracy, and it probably shouldn't be. A benevolent dictator will work fine.

 

I fully agree with you there, the only thing we have slightly different opinions on is to which extent a game designer should deviate from his original idea to optimize it.

And to which degree his original idea is worth anything. (I do think it's only worth anything in the hands of a capable and passionate designer with the possibility of actually making it.)


In Topic: What's the true worth of an initial game idea?

13 May 2013 - 09:11 AM

If a good game designer thinks of or gets a hold of a game idea and falls in love with it. I think he should, depending on the type of idea, refine it as much as he can without even taking steps to developing it. And when he feels he has done all he can to make it perfect in his mind, he can start on implementing.

What advantage is there to refining an idea in the abstract, rather than in a concrete series of prototypes (also know as "implementation")? Game development isn't Socratic philosophy, you know...

 

 

>Another thing I'd like to comment on is that I notice that a lot of people seem to object to the game designer being the true artist at work in game design. Even stating that you can't be a game designer without other relevant skills.

Collaboration is a relevant skill, I'd settle for that. No one likes a diva, which appears to be what you are describing.

 

 

I feel like implementation will take you away from what you want to achieve with your game and drag you into teh question of what you can achieve. I'm not saying tehre is something wrong in principle with doing it that way, I just don't get why refining it in abstract seems to be frowned upon. Is knowing your game and what you want to achieve with it through and through by the time you have to deal with practical problems really such a horrible thing that's not only not worth the time you'd spend on it but just a plain bad idea?

 

As for a game designer having to eb able to collaborate, of course that's an important skill. But if you as a programmer suggest a game mechanic and he doesn't see howm it fits in his design, why would it be a bad thing if he doesn't want to change it? There's a difference between being a diva and knowing what you want your game to be.

 

 

Another thing I'd like to comment on is that I notice that a lot of people seem to object to the game designer being the true artist at work in game design.

 

-picture-

 

biggrin.png

 

Note that I never said I see myself as an artist, I don't think I have it in me.

You have a really cynical view of artists though.


In Topic: What's the true worth of an initial game idea?

13 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

I've read through all of the replies on this topic since my last post and, for obvious reasons, won't bother with quoting them all. In stead I will tell you where I stand on the issue now, after your input and some reflection on my part.

 

I have concluded that the points raised in my initial post might have been a bit miguided, if not wrong.

It's obvious that I don't have much real experience in game development and I don't think I ever tried to claim otherwise.

I will try to rephrase some of my views to better fit how I feel now.

 

One thing the gaming business seems to rely on very heavily is iterative processes. This is of course very understandable given the complexity of an average, let alone a large, game. It also seems that these iterative processes mostly come into play during the implementation. And that's where I have a bit of a problem. Of course it is unavoidable that there will be a significant amount of iteration during implementation, but I am of the opinion that starting from an idea that has been thought out to great extent and will thus require less iteration will result in a product with more integrity. Furthermore I feel like the need for iterative processes are a shame. In a way, it reduces people to components of a machine, each with their own specific functions. This is good for implementation, but not ideal for refining ideas. In stead of working as one creative person, you work more like a computer program.

 

Another thing I'd like to comment on is that I notice that a lot of people seem to object to the game designer being the true artist at work in game design. Even stating that you can't be a game designer without other relevant skills. All I can really say is that I disagree. I think it is sad that it is froyned upon that some people want t get into the gaming business without art or programming skills. Game design is a very real skill set and good game designers are just as rare (if not rarer) and intergral to a game as good programmers and artist. (and writers and composers and animators etc.)

 

So here's what I now think the value of an initial idea is: I think the value of an initial idea lies in how it can make a game designer passionate about it. If a good game designer thinks of or gets a hold of a game idea and falls in love with it. I think he should, depending on the type of idea, refine it as much as he can without even taking steps to developing it. And when he feels he has done all he can to make it perfect in his mind, he can start on implementing. He can do that alone or with some friends or with a hundred man team. And I personally believe that at this stage, sticking to your idea can sometimes be more important than listening to everyone who has a way of optimizing it. Of course you can consider every suggestion, but weigh the possible benefit against how it fits with the integrity of your game.

 

Thanks for all the replies on this thread, I really appreciate them. If I offended anyone with one of my posts here, please know that I purposely took a bit of an extreme stance and didn't mean to insult anyone. I'm not done thinking about this subject yet but I think this thread has helped a lot.


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