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Warsong

Essence of warsong

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I come and go and I still see no one coming close to gather the essence of game design. Pointing out a few so so games as examples might help but only if you are looking for the root of the problem. I think we talked about why games are fun, and why they are addicting and the rest but I do not see them all in one orderly fashion and people keep repeating the same questions in different ways. People should try and learn how to dissect small games and understand them well before they can make big games. Some say some good points, some just touch on them, and others just don’t know how to appreciate. Just take things one step at a time and small steps. Understand the how, why, what, where, when, etc. People should take key notes and post them up, and others can take the information and refine them. Throwing big examples just means more people will ask the same question and the design will not be as efficient or fun just like most people have made. To make a better game you have to be a bit pessimistic in a way and think that the game needs more. When you think that the game is all that and think there is no room for improvement they will make no room for improvement. Also if the only purpose is to make the game is to be fun, then we need to understand what is fun and how not all fun games can be good, but a total mental, physical, and financially productive time gone to waste.

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What you have said is absolutely true. It is also painfully obvious.

"Where's the beef?" Where's the insight, the breakthrough, the critical opinion, the suggested alternatives, the hypothetical models, the prototypes, the products?

I'm critical about a lot of things, but I think that it's more important that we try to actively change the things we are critical of, which is why I'm pursuing the formal training paths I am. Once I acquire the skills, experience and necessary capital/cachet, I can begin to make products that challenge the norm of whatever industry I operate in. Until then, I believe I should issue an opinion and then move on to the next thing.

So I agree with you. What now?

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Perhaps the reason that what is needed doesn't take place here is that those doing real indepth games design who are thinking beyond "game x did this like this how should I do it or improve it" have the worry about discussing their ideas. Those that are able to really think about things on more than the levels that seem to have populated this forum for a while now are just not the ones that it attracts. I'm sure this gets said everytime this question gets brought up but there does seem to be some fear that if you say something about an idea that someone will "steal" whatever you say.

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I think that a lot of very interesting and original ideas have been presented here.

They generally don't go very far, because an interesting and original ideas will not flourish in academic discourse, which is the best we can offer here. Really interesting and original and revolutionary ideas prosper best in the mind of an insane genius.

The best ideas we see here are not presented to and refined by the community. Someone logs on and says, "In my experimental AI system using world taxonomy and environmental triggers to replicate simple animalistic behavioral paterns, I'm having some trouble deciding whether regular eating is fum gameplay or a tedious chore. Can anyone offer an opinion on that?"

Nobody ever says, "I have discovered how to create the perfect video game. I'd like to invite the GameDev.net community to participate and derive honor and profit from my kernal of genius. Anyone who wants to take part in a project that will change the face of video gaming, respond to this post."

Oh, wait. People post that all the time. We flame them, and rightfully so, because they are, without exception, eleven to fifteen years old and obsessed with The Matrix and some third-rate anime about phallic symbols and blinking lights, and they want to become their favorite movie star, and they think making "teh bets gaem evar!!1" is the easiest way to go about achieving that goal.

If you're offering to write up a seminal dissertation on the mechanics, psychology and economics of video games as a whole, with such profound detail that it'll make the systematic production of efficient, popular, progressive games a matter of academic exercise, then I'm behind you 100%. In fact, I'll send over a few semi trucks to pick up a copy when you finish, and invest some of the billions of dollars I make from that occult knowledge back into your enterprise, so you can get cracking on music, movies, religion, science, news media, life, the universe, and everything.

Seriously, stating the abstract problem and suggesting that a solution be pursued in a systematic way is not particularly helpful. If you can distill this sophisticated system into a handful of rules and principles, then you'll be to video game design what Sun Tsu was to competition. Good luck, pal.

Tell me the purpose of laughter.

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Now what?
The obvious is not so obvious. But for something to be obvious it would look simple when understood. And simple things are not found in complex matters and everything is trying too hard even though they should not be.

It is not as much as an idea being discovered but how the idea came to be. We don’t have to say ideas that are ahead of time but take the slow steps to get up to them. Everyone wants to take on a big challenge and games are progressing faster than designers understand what is happening. Maybe people should try to understand everything about a 4 big game and they move on.

Just because the game industry doesn’t take the right steps does not mean people should. One example is the game industry thinks it is above making 2d games but they did not do all that 2D games can do. It is good that some companies understand that there is more to be done and they go back to 2D.

Ideas might prosper in an insane person but I would not go as far as genius. The people that made mortal kombat wanted real looking characters and violence and that sold well and they admitted that it would not have sold if it was not for that. They were the first to do it which helped them be the official and well known people and anyone else would be a copy cat second. The same thing goes with GTA how they put a realistic environment and gave the person freedom in a 3d world

No real critical or analytical thinkers in the game industry to even come close to making a periodic table. Most people have an idea but they are not the type of people to put some kind of order in it.

Look at the design forum posts and you see a pattern. And again the obvious is not so obvious. Instead of people asking why a particular game is addicting why not ask why are games addicting and put it in an orderly chart? I did that I gave it to some designers in here and they appreciate it, and some try to understand it and make a better chart. Obviously the real designs are done in private and the general rough ideas come with the help of a forum sometimes. I hinted on some things in old topic which many did not like and attacked it but some took the challenge and game some good replies. Obviously this is not easy but I just think people should try to master something small than something big first. It is like martial art class where the students have no teacher around and they persist in learning how to do the touch of death as their first move. LOL HAYAAAAAA

Not to be mean as how some may assume of my topics but maybe everyone should say they suck as designers and take it from their. It is funny how every programmer thinks they know how to design but I don’t see any major games being made by them with all the knowledge they have, and some young kid that got an idea and thinks he can make the best game just because of a gimmick or 2. I think some come up with cleaver topics to think about which some are easy to answer and some make you think that can be more challenging than a game.

I like my old topic and so did some people but many could not understand and attack since they could not understand the general point. That is the point to be limiting to see what design you can make when you only have very few options. The best designer is not them one that can make the best out of everything but the best with very few things. People should make a good simple game then they should go up top making something up to date like 3D, MMORPG, and the rest. Make a better pacman, Tetris, etc with limitations or have a competition about it and then talk about why people did what they did in the game. Everyone is bites off more they can chew. A mathematician does not do advanced math if they do not understand how math works and this goes for other things as well and game design should not be an exception only if you want to trial and error and shoot in the dark.
--

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I have a challenge to you: Lose the ego. First of all, consider your post title, "Essence of warsong." You didn't title the post "unified theory of game design" or "game design patterns" or "what is the essence of game design." Why not? It conveys the impression that you are more interested in talking about yourself than about ideas you have that would improve games or shed new light on how to build them.

Second, why do you ignore existing attempts to analyze and classify gameplay, and the opportunity to improve/criticize them? Mark Le Blanc and Greg Costikyan (among many many others) have been analyzing what specific mechanisms make games engaging for many years. The MDA Framework is an example of work Mark Le Blanc's been participating in. At this year's GDC, I noticed that even the academics are increasingly becoming involved in this effort as they see the cultural, aesthetic and societal implications of this emerging field.

I don't think there's anything wrong with an attempt to categorize and analyze, but it's important to point out that you'll never get as much funding for idle speculation when it comes to gaming as you would get for, say, particle physics or biotech. A periodic table for game design, then, is about as appropriate and unlikely as a periodic table for writing. Guides, advice, hints, principles? Sure. But no laws. Game design depends heavily on culture and perception, and as with all art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Original post by Warsong
The obvious is not so obvious. But for something to be obvious it would look simple when understood. And simple things are not found in complex matters and everything is trying too hard even though they should not be.
There's a good example of the problem. That's a whole paragraph. Would somebody please diagram this? Even though I don't know what it means, it is obviously condescending.

I'm assuming English isn't your first language, Warsong. Having made that assumption, I would like you to try simpler sentences with more coherent meaning. Stop writing in riddles. To be totally honest, I don't have enough respect for your opinion to decypher them. Tell us what you mean, and get off this "Zen master" kick of yours. If I want to exercise my existentialism, I'll study my Dhammapada. I come to GameDev to read about game design.

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wav
No ego but the facts, you should know this already. The name warsong gets more attention.
The people you stated have points but people should keep putting them in better order and we both know that better design will come out sooner or later and people should look at other sources for inspiration.
I agree with some of the things you say but up to a point. It does depend on the culture to a point and hostile people like hostile game. Here is a site that might help you see about how different cultures see games different. http://www.the-magicbox.com/charts.htm

Iron
I like what you say sometimes and you have a better grasp of design than most but you are not perfect. You come to game dev to read opinions of game design and I am giving you another opinion which you can think about it or not think about it. Others like what I have to say and they think about it and I do not expect people to take everything I say as gold but take some ideas of what I say. Just like my signature how once I had a post about it and then I found a saying that reflects my post which many did not get it. Do you remember that one about opposites? Just becasue can not see it does not mean it does not exist. I do not have all the answers since I am not in the mood to present it well. People learn better whenthey discover it with the help of others more than being told of it.

Here is another one read my post about addiction and try to list the main points about it and put it in an orderly fashion. I think you will find it beneficial.

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To make a better game you have to be a bit pessimistic in a way and think that the game needs more.


Creativity != pessimism. I'm not interested in creating games because I think they suck but in creating games for the sole purpouse of creating them. I build models, I grow plants, I'm rewiring my house for a computer network and more. My desire is not to better things but to create them in the first place.

Quote:
Also if the only purpose is to make the game is to be fun, then we need to understand what is fun and how not all fun games can be good, but a total mental, physical, and financially productive time gone to waste.


It has been proven that people who take no vacations have higher stress levels and die younger (I think...). Show my why something fun is a complete waste? Solitare provides problem solving, FPS games and such increase reaction times, simulations are based enough off of reality that one can learn without actually doing something. All games have benifit one way or the other if nothing more than stress relief.

Quote:
It is good that some companies understand that there is more to be done and they go back to 2D.


Good to go back to 2D? Heck, I think it would be good to go back to text based. There is so much content that could be added to a game that would overload the best computer we have right now, much less adding graphics on top of it... but thats just my perspective.

Quote:
Instead of people asking why a particular game is addicting why not ask why are games addicting and put it in an orderly chart?


It might be, but have you considered how much work it would be to create an orderly chart? First you would have to get the reason why games are addictive from everyon (a few billion entries), then order this by the importiance given by each person (square those few billion entries). By the time you're done, what you probably end up with is the opinion of the lowest common denominator, probably the most profitable approach but I don't care for many of those types of games.

I prefer asking what is good about a particular game because you are using an existing baseline and not starting from scratch. People (me anyway) tend to learn better by example. If someone says this is a good game and gives the reasons why, others can play the game and feel why the game is good.

People are not computers, we do not learn in an orderly one bit at a time process but by absorbing in parallel all inputs (sight, sound, emotion and others that might not be related to games). Analysis on paper may be good and well but (to me) it is extremely limited next to actually experiencing the thing you are studying.

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