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Why no innovation on this forum??

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Don't interprete this as a flame! It seems to me that the vast MAJORITY of the game design threads on this forum are based on one the following game types: (1) RPG (the majority) (2) RTS (3) Physics-based Simulations (4) Fighting games (least popular) However, major game developers worldwide are releasing innovation after innovation onto the marketplace. Games like Katamari Damacy, Magical Drop, Puyo Puyo, Roller Coaster Tycoon, the SIMS, Chu-Chu Rocket, Bonga-Konga etc. Even minor shareware developers are into the innovation game: Dweep, Insaniquarium, etc. Why aren't there more innovative design discussions on this design forum? Or is innovative game design the domain of only a few experts? Or are we forum members just not as innovative as the major studios? Let's hear your INNOVATIVE ideas! I'm getting tired of all the "yet another RPG combat/levelling system" threads :-)

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It's a good idea. I wish I had more creative, original ideas to share with fellow GameDev'ers. However, there may be justifiable reasons why people don't post such things here:

1. Good, creative, original ideas are simply hard to find. Do *you* have any really good ideas? OTOH, mediocre ideas are a dime a dozen. One can't be bothered to actually read all of them...

2. Many people who have good ideas are too afraid to post them, get ridiculed, be told it's already been done, or otherwise get shot down. Others are afraid someone's going to steal their idea and go make big bucks on it. (Is this last a valid concern? I don't know.)

3. Sometimes original ideas do get posted. I myself posted some experimental ideas, such as this one:

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=126687 *

* Note how RPGeezus cuts in and totally tries to rip me a new one because he can't handle the possibility of someone trying something that's been tried before and succeeding where others failed. This logic is completely and patently stupid - you could say, if the genius Leonardo Da Vinci couldn't build a flying machine, what presumption for a couple of bicycle mechanics to even try! Examples like this are one reason why I no longer post every good idea. However, if the idea is already in a copyrighted, demoable form, I wouldn't hesitate to post here.

Anyway, good luck. I'm sure if you look further back in the archives you'll see some interesting ideas posted here.

Tom

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According to my understanding of the functionality of the human brain: Creativity is the process of taking something that you already know, mangling it into some unrecognizable fashion, and spitting it back out for humanity to either cherish or despise according to their tastes and whims.

Indeed I concur that the boundaries set aside by PC Gamer magazine, and others who wish to stringently taxonomize our way of thinking, tend to inhibit the freedom of aberration -- especially in this forum.

But it is of capital importance that we all recognize the truth: Too much creativity is not appreciated in the population of the world. The cliches develop from a string of success. And very few people make it a habit of completely chewing their food before swallowing it.

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Edit: Haven't you started this thread before? /Edit

I'm going to go ahead and interpret this as a flame, and an underinformed one at that. The simple fact that a small percentage of the threads on this forum are based on brilliant new ideas is not an indicator that we are suffering from a dearth of innovation.

Generally, threads that have off-the-wall concepts fall into one of two categories:

1) Reckless amateurs with no actual design experience coming up with a--usually derivative--idea that they think would make for "teh best gaem evar". These threads are met with fairly standard responses, like, "Hey, good to see you're thinking. When you produce anything from this idea and have more specific ideas and problems to discuss, come back and we'll see what we can do to help. Good luck, and keep up that optimism!" Then, they begin the steady drop down the topic list and disappear into the archives.

2) Simple innovations developed by practical, experienced designers/programmers. These are usually manageable, but the original poster has pretty much figured out what it's good for and has a very specific set of questions to have answered. Once they're satisfied with the response, the thread stagnates and drops off into the archives.

The reason that the "major threads" that float at the top of the queue are all about fairly rudimentary issues is that they are accessible to everyone, and most everybody has an opinion on how they ought to be improved. These are the sort of discussions that you should expect on these forums. After all, this is essentially an academic environment. People with varying levels of knowledge and skill gather here. It's only natural that the common ground is the fundamental substance of the medium we're discussing.

Here at GD.net we cultivate refinement, skill and competence. If you're looking for genius, you're in the wrong place. Brilliant innovations tend to occur away from major communities. Maybe one of the newbs who get flamed out of here for their "jest liek teh MATRICX!!1" idea will actually produce it, but they won't be doing it step-by-step on these boards.

I think GD.net is an invaluable resource, but it's fairly conservative. Take a briliant idea, run it through the community a few times, and it might be toned down enough to actually become a real game. This is the other side of the coin. I think you'll find plenty of bizarre, inspired innovations here, but they're usually in the first half-dozen or so posts a member makes. After that, the idea becomes all talk, and the other members are bored by it.

Take bishop_pass and his horse simulation system. He's got all the research, all the knowledge, and all the competence to make it work. For a while, you couldn't even mention horses on these boards without a dissertation from him on why your four-legged motorcycle was an abomination and how ungodly it was to reduce the horse to a simple means to an end. He's the reclusive genius. He may very well be 98% of the way through the most nuanced animal behavior simulation ever developed, but he knows that GD.net isn't the place to develop it.

Posters come here with questions and results, and we occasionally have a theoretical discussion. Look at the volumes that Wavinator has produced here, and then look at his website. For every thread he posts, he's doing twenty pages of work on his own. Most of his incredible ideas don't even appear here. He knows that this community is a tool to help him, and he has no obligation to entertain us (although we might get a mention in his credits when all is said and done).

So no, I don't think we lack innovation. We might not post enough to entertain you with our brilliance, but there are plenty of gears turning around here.

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Quote:
Original post by GemuhDesayinah
Why aren't there more innovative design discussions on this design forum?


I see neither point nor reason in trying to get more "innovative" design discussions. Design is in details - and while there are a lot of people with good, innovative ideas they don´t necessarily post them here. Why, I have about a ton of good ideas sitting in a folder somewhere. But why not post them? Because I might eventually do something with them - and when I do, when I have spent enough time with them and have come to a point where I feel that I need external input to progress, THEN I´ll post - but with specific directions and goals in mind.

What the world of game design needs most is realists who will crush a good idea to the point where it becomes doable.

The ongoing forum discussions are more of a design playground - we all have our pet genres we like to play around with, and there´s lots of fun in fiddling with the details.


Quote:
Original post by GemuhDesayinah
Let's hear your INNOVATIVE ideas! I'm getting tired of all the "yet another RPG combat/levelling system" threads :-)


let´s hear yours first.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
So no, I don't think we lack innovation. We might not post enough to entertain you with our brilliance, but there are plenty of gears turning around here.


I think that this is largely a semmantic war. And whether or not the original poster is "informed," bears very little relevence to the quesiton: Are our genre boundaries inhibiting our ability to design interesting games?

Anybody who reads (and moreso for someone who posts on) this forum could easily fall under the "Do not question me, I am an ARTIST!" category. We are narcissistically in love with our ideas and refuse to consider that the semmantic details of them fall short of setting these ideas apart from everyone else's.

What the original poster fails to consider is that 70% of all content on all web-forums is unoriginal, uninteresting, uneducated crap. Even moreso than that, we fail to consider when we, ourselves, full under that oh-so-terrible 70%. We get opinions, ideas, and the emotional flare drives us to post our ill-formulated thoughts -- whether these thoughts are in the form of a boring game idea, a flame, or a counter-flame.

We are all too much caught up in the act of being ourselves to really take an analytical, objective view of ourselves. This is why we use forums: So that others can kindly put us under the microscope and help us derive lucid judgments where introspection fails.

That is why people post their unoriginal game ideas on this forum. That is why people ever post flames on any forum. That is the nature of a forum.

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Design is the deliberate process of formulating an actious plan to affect, which usually results in a project focused on resolution of a specific issue or set of issues. In definitional compliance, "innovative game design" regards resolving novel (or unresolved) game issues. A discussion of "innovative game design ideas" requires identifying (or forecasting) the latest trends/information in interactive entertainment-related disciplines, such as cognitive psychology, sociology and technology.

1. Which novel game issues are currently unresolved?

2. Which novel game issues are forecasted?

Find a novel (or unresolved) issue. Start a new thread.

Discuss the issue and propose a solution.

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I can't speak for all the others, but I'd like to create a game I'd like to play. I like to play RPG's, space sims and to a degree FPS's. That's why most of my game related posts are in these areas. If my game of choice was SIMS, tycoon games, or weird puzzle games, then I'd probably wan't to create a game like that.

I dunno if I'm creative or not, but I can't possibly try to be creative in areas I don't have interests in. It would be like Beethoven creating hip-hop music, or 50 cents composing classic music.

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Well, original ideas are few and far between. It would make sense that discussion of them is limited. Additionally, people have a comfort zone, innovative ideas are out of that comfort zone and are harshly ridiculed. People are scared of new ideas. This is true in general, not limited to gamedev.

Imagine if the designer of Katamari Damacy posted his idea here. The game is fun, but the idea is way, way out of the box. His idea would have been blasted and he would be laughed off this forum. Maybe even somewhat discouraged.

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Quote:
Original post by GameStudioD
Well, original ideas are few and far between. It would make sense that discussion of them is limited. Additionally, people have a comfort zone, innovative ideas are out of that comfort zone and are harshly ridiculed. People are scared of new ideas. This is true in general, not limited to gamedev.

Imagine if the designer of Katamari Damacy posted his idea here. The game is fun, but the idea is way, way out of the box. His idea would have been blasted and he would be laughed off this forum. Maybe even somewhat discouraged.


I don't think it's necessarily a case of being 'scared' of new ideas, but not being able to relate to them at all when presented in writing.

The problem with discussing truly original game ideas is that it's very hard to judge what is fun and what isn't, what works and what doesn't, because there's nothing to relate it to. This makes it hard to discuss on any level beyond "that sounds interesting, let's see a demo". Let's face it, "A game where you start off with a little ball thing and roll it around collecting scenery and getting bigger" sounds fairly lame on paper. You really have to play it to appreciate it. In any case, it's hard for anyone to really offer advice on how to improve the actual design details, because there's not a lot to compare it to.

On the other hand, there is still an enormous amount of room for innovation and growth within established 'genres' - but since the basic concept is much more familiar, and there is plenty of experience of things that work and things that don't, it is easier to have an actual discussion about it. As a result, discussions about games that can be classified within a well understood genre tend to elicit more responses and stay alive longer than those that can't.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Look at the volumes that Wavinator has produced here, and then look at his website.


Nah, didn't you know my sole goal is to have every thread in this forum start with "Wavinator." It's an Agent Smith thing. [grin] (Thanks for the honorable mention, btw.)

Quote:

(although we might get a mention in his credits when all is said and done).


Credits?!?! Are you kidding. You guys are going to be IN the game! ("You've been destroyed by the pirate cruiser Iron Chef Carnage!!!"[smile]

I think you nailed the purpose of this board, actually. It's not entertainment, it's a tool to acid test the crazy stuff in your head that you're way too apt to fall in love with (writers call this "Kill your darlings.").

I think the progress of maturity for an idea works a little like this:
1) Crazy brainstorm, half fuzzy, exciting because it's new or different
2) Translate it from the white hot, living space of imagination to paper / word processor
3) Test it out with friends, community
3 a )If response is "waaaa?" then refine
3 b )If response is "cool" then ask why (want more of that)
4) If committed to it, refine and make something; else abandon & move on



Quote:

Let's hear your INNOVATIVE ideas! I'm getting tired of all the "yet another RPG combat/levelling system" threads


No, let's hear YOUR innovative ideas! [smile]

I think the real question you may be asking is "Why aren't people proposing ideas for new games I'd like to play?" The cure to that is to POST YOUR STUFF!

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Search for bishop_pass threads. I've enjoyed Wavinators very thoroughly as well.

Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Take bishop_pass and his horse simulation system. He's got all the research, all the knowledge, and all the competence to make it work. For a while, you couldn't even mention horses on these boards without a dissertation from him on why your four-legged motorcycle was an abomination and how ungodly it was to reduce the horse to a simple means to an end. He's the reclusive genius. He may very well be 98% of the way through the most nuanced animal behavior simulation ever developed, but he knows that GD.net isn't the place to develop it.

Sadly not, but an excellent point.

[Edited by - Brandon N on March 3, 2005 6:02:35 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by GameStudioD
Imagine if the designer of Katamari Damacy posted his idea here. The game is fun, but the idea is way, way out of the box. His idea would have been blasted and he would be laughed off this forum. Maybe even somewhat discouraged.


NO! NO! NO! Sorry for the strident response, but I think this is a critical mistake that people make. Everything depends on how the idea is presented. You MUST take responsibility for the interpretation people will have of the words you use. If you use boring language, your idea will come across boring.

Which sounds more interesting:

"A game where you dance or fight with a sword every once in awhile, avoid guards in cities, and use a boat to get money..."

or

"A pirate adventure where you plunder your way through the Spanish Main, sinking galleons, engaging in legendary sword fights, conquering townships, and winning the hearts of beautiful maidens, all to become the greatest pirate in history?"

The first is bland and uninspiring. The second uses active, colorful language to inspire interest. (The game, btw, is Sid Meier's Pirates! which is unquestionably innovative)

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As mentioned in other places, one of the reasons people keep making RTSs and RPGs and FPSs is that they generally follow a fairly coherent and similar control system and are easy to pick up and play, making them fun. As stated by other people, if I can't pick something up and play it within, say, 10 minutes, or if I have to sit there for 5 minutes trying to figure out how to do some basic thing (like moving a ship), then I don't really think that game is fun. If there's a tutorial I'm usually alright.

Take, for example, the demo for Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. I've heard great things about this game, but when I went to play the demo, it dropped me in a mission without any indication as to what the controls might be - I was stuck there for 5 minutes trying to figure out how to move my ships (while they were under attack, no less). Not to mention the controls aren't extremely logical until you actually learn them (i.e. I would have expected clicking anywhere on the screen to move a ship). It looks nice, is somewhat original (not too many fleet-style games are around), but the documentation is hidden in the README file and IMHO the interface is just too deviant.

Just my opinions. Cheers!

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
(The game, btw, is Sid Meier's Pirates! which is unquestionably innovative)


I challenge that. It is well executed, nicely rounded, visually appealing but definitely not innovative.
On the other hand it´s a typical example of what we´re talking about. Design isn´t in the grand ideas - absolutely nothing in the "new" Pirates! is new, but as a whole it has still managed to win the audience.

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Innovative people have no need to discuss their ideas on public forums.

If you're innovative then external input on your ideas will break your project.

Still, there are some interesting people here whose opinions I often read with interest.

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One of main reasons you don't read about innovative ideas here is do to the fact that game design is a very practical field and not a highly theoretical one. Its very hard for people to recognize a good idea until they have seen it implented. This is espically true of innovative ideas because people lack a frame of reference to compare the idea to. So often time they will misinterprate the idea and associate it with something else.

The next great game may have already been stated in this forum it just that no one can regonize from few paragraphs posted about one part of it.

Quote:


Let's hear your INNOVATIVE ideas! I'm getting tired of all the "yet another RPG combat/levelling system" threads :-)


How about a game that takes place with player moving around the interior surface of a sphere. And I don't know you do stuff and grow bigger and sphere move from opaque to translucent the bigger you get. Until you encompass the whole sphere and find your self moving around a universe composed of obstacle related to things you did in the sphere. Then you have to roll around the universe avoiding obstacles to get to the goal. Once you reach the goal you break out of the sphere and find yourself in a bigger sphere.

Then you give it some bizzare name like "The whole worlds a hamster ball" and you have your self an inovative game idea.

But just remember the key phrase in video games "Its not who did it first, its who last did it best."

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Quote:
Original post by infrmtn
Innovative people have no need to discuss their ideas on public forums.
Sure, they do. All ideas require scrutiny. Refer to the Scientific Method and the Design Process, and associated reasons for utilization of those procedures.

Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
How about a game that takes place with player moving around the interior surface of a sphere. And I don't know you do stuff and grow bigger and sphere move from opaque to translucent the bigger you get. Until you encompass the whole sphere and find your self moving around a universe composed of obstacle related to things you did in the sphere. Then you have to roll around the universe avoiding obstacles to get to the goal. Once you reach the goal you break out of the sphere and find yourself in a bigger sphere.

Then you give it some bizzare name like "The whole worlds a hamster ball" and you have your self an inovative game idea.
I disagree. That sounds like swinging at the wind, blindfolded, until you hit something. That's not game design. That's not design. Refer to my post earlier in this thread concerning design as a deliberate process and "innovative game design" as a method of solving novel (never before seen) and/or unresolved game design issues. For instance, if a company creates a computer monitor which projects images within a glass spheroid, innovative game design would necessitate developing a game that works well and is fun when displayed in such an environment. If a company creates a user input device, similar to a VR glove, innovative game design would necessitate discovering a way to allow usage of that technology in a manner appropriate per genre. Those two examples are technology-related; however, perhaps one day cognitive science refines the way we understand the operations of the human brain. Innovative game design would involve adapting game design methodology to that new understanding.

Innovative games are not simply "new ideas." Everyone has unique ideas. Sometimes these ideas may share similarities with other ideas, but these unique ideas remain unique because they are different from the others in some way regardless of minority difference.

Innovative games resolve an issue (or set of issues) in game design never before seen (or never resolved) in the history of game design. Which novel issues would your unique game idea resolve? If none, then it's not innovative design.

With regard to understanding discovering opportunities for innovative game design, apply this quote belonging to Rene Descartes, "I begin to understand the foundations of a wonderful discovery all the sciences are interconnected as by a chain; no one of them can be completely grasped without taking in the whole encyclopedia at once."

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I think some established genres are better for discussion than more whacky ideas. Occasionally you do see innovative ideas here, but people dont get into deep conversations or long threads about them because they can't really nitpick the details. For example, if I posted on the forums:

- "I have an idea about a game where you roll a ball around and it picks up objects around you. It starts out small and ends up growing to hundreds of meters in size." (Katamari Damacy)
or
- "What do you think of a 2D platformer where you control a living ball of tar?" (Gish)

People may say "that's a funny idea" or "sounds good you should make it" but they wouldn't really go in depth, maybe give some enemy or powerup suggestions. Now if you had a working demo (or even good looking screenshots\videos) of one of these whacky ideas, and it was actually relatively fun, then people would get excited about it, but working demos are rare here.

There also seems to be a focus on improving realism and simulation on the GD.Net game design forums, and a lot of it seems to be people coming onto the boards when they just finished playing WoW or GTA or Halo 2 or something and feel like they can improve the genre. Although there's nothing wrong with either of those things.

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really innovative ideas, in games, came from the 80's and early 90's.. there's not much new under the sun today. The fun part is that those game ideas still work; and they will continue to work for a long time , imho.

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"GemuhDesayinah Don't interprete this as a flame!"

But we like RPGs and it's a pretty difficult to make one, and it has a very interestin problems when you are creating one. In comparison RTS are boring.
And don't forget you will not be out of ideas for RPGs anytime soon. Novels and bigger books are full of new ideas for 3200 years.

BTw what is new and wonderful color? What was a new and wonderfull color a few years ago? And what few hundred years ago? What is new and wonderful is just a part of a deffinition of current designers, not something that could be said with any guarantee.

SIMS a new idea? You must be joking. It's quite common someone would come with idea lets make detailed and realistical simulation with xxx. Sims are one of such simulations. I would accept them better if they would be an 3D RPG engine with an external funciton of being playable as SIMS. It's however more like marketing artefact, than simulation. It remminds me of a thousand toys based on SW, or an another marketing hype.

re infrmtn

Correct. It must crystalize first, or others would try to modify it to look like something they know and then discard it as a boring.

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There are no original ideas in this forum because people are greatly discouraged from doing so. Quite a while back, I read a post about an idea for an online community that I thought was pretty clever. The poor bastard that posted it was like a cow in the middle of a wolf pack. Everyone told him it was either impossible or too similar to game XYZ, (insert excuse here). (Can't find the thread... think his name was Marc sumthin'.)

I talked with him in IM and he shared his design doc with me. It was a pretty solid idea and quite original. The brilliant thing is that it was a community where even small children could easily participate and not lose the interest of teenage and adult gamers. It was just a simple game mechanic with infinite possibilities.

Good ideas just don't go over well here.

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I believe its not what the idea is but how it's done. Allot of different styles of game (the background story/style/setting) play very similiar to others-it's whats done while you play or HOW it's done.

Games can easily become unique when you single out a certian aspect they include-combat, vehicles, level design and make it like no other.

Halo did this-it's Halo because of what it did with the combat-although when I first saw Halo it just looked like a nicely dressed-up "run-of-the-mill" shooter.

I have found that NEW idea's are harder to try and make play differently. New idea's are harder to get your barrings with and try to expand on without making it play like others in it's chosen genre.

I believe thats why there is so many sqaud-based realistic shooters- developers have allot of recources to work with on this type of game (Know what works well) and they are always trying to go further with regards to realism and options to make the whole thing play more comprenhensively thus seperating itself from the crowd.

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