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GD Revolutionaries Roundtable

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As an infrequent visitor to this forum, I've decided that there are two equally respectable classes among the regulars: The first class is comprised of amateurs who voice their opinions based on little experience or knowledge beyond basic gameplay. These individuals have an interest in game design, but have no academic background in the subject upon which to base or develop their ideas. These individuals' ideas run the gamut from conventional to groundbreaking, but in my own opinion tend to have limited foresight and seldom innovate; or conversely, the ideas are so wild and random as to have little practical application. The second class includes notable indivduals like Inmate and Dauntless, to choose a couple of names randomly. These folks give the impression of having studied game design for years, or else their academic level of interest in the subject combined with an "intellectual" view point almost invariably produces revolutionary ideals and spawns fascinating material amidst the traditional debates. There are a significant number of individuals of such high caliber on this forum, and I have always enjoyed debating with them. Now, I have a proposal. I hope it does not seem overly predjudicial. I have been toying with the idea of setting up a special forum for the purpose of inviting revolutionary idealists in the amateur game design arena to participate in frequent roundtable discussions on a variety of pre-determined topics. I'm curious if there would be any interest among all of you in seeing what kind of new ideas might arise from such a forum. The discussions would be restricted to a handful of participants, and those participants would be selected by all of you at the GameDev.Net Game Design forum. The discussion would go on for about a week, and the resulting discussion would be published here on the GameDev.Net forum, or with the operators permission, perhaps even as a series of articles on GameDev.Net. As a disclaimer, I myself do not claim to fall into the second category, and with my limited participation here lately, I would not wish to be selected early on; although if my future participation on this forum warranted a nomination, then so be it. The idea here is that the participants are chosen fairly, with the whole community having an opportunity to honor the individuals we feel have the most to offer in terms of innovative and exciting game design ideas. A wordy post, for which I apologize, but I look forward to everyone's feedback. **************************************** Brian Lacy ForeverDream Studios Comments? Questions? Curious? brian@foreverdreamstudios.com "I create. Therefore I am." [edited by - irbrian on February 7, 2004 5:59:50 PM]

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The round table discussion format is a good one. Several game industry trade papers/magazines do this and it usually works quite well. GDC and the IGDA also host similar discussions.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

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Sounds like a good idea, however we already have #gamedev on the AfterNET network. But, I don''t attend there, I run the channel #neocesspool on the EsperNET, which has on average about a dozen members.

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quote:
Original post by krez
i nominate warsong.


I wouldn''t. I nominate Iron Chef Carnage. If memory serves me right, we''ve disagreed on some things before, but he''d deserve a place on the Revolutionaries Roundtable, in my opinion.

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Sounds cool to me. I like the idea of bringing the discussion back here in the end so that the ''first class'' of people can then add their input on what the ''notable individuals'' have discussed.

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Nice to see the idea has been well received. I''m thinking it should work like this -- the number of individuals invited to participate in each discussion should be decided first. I''d think Five would be about right.

Then, each week (or month -- maybe that''s more realistic?) a topic would be decided. After the topic has been decided GameDev game design forum visitors could nominate the individuals we feel are most qualified to contribute valuable insights to the discussion. Individuals that receive more than one nomination would be added to a simple poll, and each visitor can vote for the previously decided number individuals (i.e. five). The top (5?) individuals would then be invited to participate.

Although I don''t think there should be limits to how many times or how often an individual can be invited to participate, although visitors ought to base their votes primarily on how much the individual can contribute given the topic. I also think the voting should occur prior to every discussion so that other individuals still have a chance to participate.

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Interesting idea..but who chooses the topics that should be discussed?

-Luctus

Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
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Maybe a public pool about the points in game design that are considered the inefective, or a way to solve tought specific design problems. The options in the pool would be suggested by the selected members to participate in the discussion.

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Honestly, I refuse to accept that ANY area of Game Design has been so thoroughly tried and tested as to merit no further innovation. In particular, I was thinking that we ought to simply pick topics each (month?) that keep coming up over and over in this forum. The only question that really matters is how specific to make the topic. I mean, should a panel be discussing ways to improve the First Person Shooter genre, or should they be discussing the use of sniper rifles in FPS''? Should they be discussing realism in games, or realism in bullet effects? Violence in games, or the appropriateness of dismemberment in teen-targeted games? MMMORPGs or the Economics of Health Potions in Fantasy MMORPGs?

Naturally, these are extremes, and most topics should fall somewhere in between. It seems to me, the more specific the topic, the more direct and specific ideas will come about; on the other hand, if the topics are too narrow, there just may not be enough interest to sustain a decent discussion.

At any rate, as I said, I think the topics should be selected first from those that come up regularly here on this forum. Maybe visitors could propose topics and then vote on topics in the same manner in which panel members are selected?

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I have my own plans to try and nurture true game designers on these forums when the new codebase is implemented. The roundtable is nice, but it focuses far too much on a single group of people, and possibly doesn''t allow for new voices in the crowd to be heard.
There are some truly stunning things that have come out of this forum, once upon a time(see dwarfsoft''s "The Future of RPG''s" for examples).

Lately, however, it''s fallen into stagnation and bullshit.

In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong in discussing a certain genre or aspect of game design. I don''t mind seeing a thread about RPG''s, or RTS''s. What I /do/ mind is the fact that 90% of these posts are about the same thing time and again. I used to be in here discussing regularly and actively. Now I just get bored. Maybe even moreso because once in a while I''ll bring something to the table and it''ll get half a page of replies because everybody else is busy discussing the intricacies of whether Armor Class should be expressed in negative or positive terms.

Once upon a time, everyone who reads this, the Game Design forum was a place of true research and development. You couldn''t come in here without wanting to read all the active topics. Discussions not on the minutae and numbers of game design, but on the actual theory and philosophy behind it. And that''s what I''d like to see returning here. Landfish, to use the largest example, didn''t come in here proposing that goblins deserved to have more hitpoint; He came here and started one of the greater discussions of these forums, "Why do we feel that only through mass slaughter of weaker races should a character advance in skill?"

That''s what I miss the most. Simply coming in here and feeling like I was in a room of great minds. That if I threw some wacky one-sentence idea out into the crowd, they''d understand, extrapolate, and analyze what it would mean to a game if implemented. Now we just worry about whether blue lasers are more psychologically impacting than green lasers. Argh.

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Your points are all valid, Shadows, and I would love to see more discussion along the lines of what you''re suggesting. But I don''t feel the situation can be corrected simply by stating the problem. There are no rules about what constitutes a valid game design discussion, and in my humble opinion it should stay that way. If you have other ideas about how to bring back "the good old days," then I''m sure we''d all be very interested in hearing them. (Would be helpful to start a new thread on the topic, of course, so that it''s easier to follow both topics separately.)

What I''m proposing is not intended to be a method of excluding anyone. Instead, I hope that we can foster some really interesting discussions by inviting those that have proven to have a lot of interesting ideas. The topic needn''t be considered closed once the panel has concluded their roundtable discussion; instead, their debates will hopefully spark still more exciting ideas once the discussion is opened for commentary here on the forum.

Anyway, there''s nothing wrong with recognizing certain individuals for the many exciting contributions they''ve made in the past. I have seen some truly unique and revolutionary ideas thrown about in here, and I feel that more often than not, they are eventually trampled underfoot and thrown by the wayside in amidst chaos of daily forum traffic. These ideas are considered by those who read them, and are never really thought of again, let alone attributed to the individual that first proposed them. Let''s institute a system whereby these folks'' ideas can be heard, pondered, respected, and remembered by as many as would come across these roundtable articles.

****************************************

Brian Lacy
ForeverDream Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?
brian@foreverdreamstudios.com

"I create. Therefore I am."

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Like I said, my own plans are in place but on hold.

However, if you do plan on starting up a discussion setting like this, I''d be more than happy to ''sit in'' and play Devil''s Advocate in the name of whatever needs championing. My greatest love in game design is the love of the theory itself. Of what it takes to create /fun/. And as for that entire discussion, well, four years from when I''ve joined and this forum is stil continuing to create new ideas.

- It''s a life''s work
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-ryan@lecherousjester.com

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I think it''s a great idea; and while Shadows brings up the good point of it being limited to a few people, I think this is a PLUS, NOT a minus: allow these people to say what they''ve got to say, and attach a forum to it for comments from others; in the next roundtable, you could have the same people, OR you could have others who made good points in the forums and have a totally new set of people.

By connecting your choice of participants to those posting in the forum, it encourages intelligents posts to be made, and hopefully less of the blue laser/green laser poo that''s started taking over this (and, honestly, just about every other) forum. It gives individuals who wouldn''t otherwise be in the limelight the chance to do so, and allows them to thrive and discuss their ideas with like-minded individuals.

I propose this be a new feature of GDNet, rather than taking place somewhere else; if you''re serious about spearheading this project, Brian - and I see no reason why you should not be allowed to do so, as its your idea - email Dave and/or Kevin and see if it''s possible. It could simply be posted as an article so no new modules have to be built for the current version of the site, and the article could be updated as often as you''d like to include new day''s (I wouldn''t update it more often than once a day, for the sake of the readers) debate(s). Perhaps for the new site, a subset module based on the new forums could be constructed, where only members of the current roundtable discussion could post to it (the link to the roundtables should be totally separate from the forums, so they don''t get mixed in and demoted to "regular forum topic" status), and users could also respond on a daily basis to the related forum - perhaps just a simple link to a "Roundtable" forum, where a new topic would be created for every new discussion, and new topics could NOT be created to make sure that it doesn''t become yet ANOTHER "lounge" forum - one Lounge forum is already too much.

-Nick "digisoap" Robalik
Web & Print Design, 2D & 3D Illustration and Animation, Game Design
http://www.digital-soapbox.com
nick@digital-soabox.com

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