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SinisterPride

Ideas are a dime a dozen...

88 posts in this topic

Architects may not construct the final building, but they don't just have ideas of what they want


I think architecture is a very bad example. Builders precisely follow the given blueprints, they are not allowed to change almost anything (even materials used or thickness of the walls), it's required by law. On the other hand development process stray so far from the original design document that... What the designers envisioned and what was delivered is so different that if it was a building it would surely crumble

Game designers are not like architects. They are not even remotely similar.

Hmm, I disagree. All you are really saying is that game designers have not learned how to be very good at their job yet. This is because we don't really understand games very well. If people truly understood games fully, it would be possible to produce a precise design that a programmer could turn into a completely functional and playable game.

It is rather beside the point though - the point was that anybody who is truly involved in the design process is also truly involved in the implementation process.

Edited by Kylotan
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If people truly understood games fully, it would be possible to produce a precise design that a programmer could turn into a completely functional and playable game.
What makes you think that game design is a fully deterministic process? All the evidence I see suggests that works best as an iterative process between designer, artist and developer.

We don't build a house with 12ft ceilings, make a beta tester live there for a month, and then rip the building apart to make 14ft ceilings. In game design, this sort of thing is a daily occurrence...
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It's pretty much a tautological fact. The only reason you ever need to iterate is because you didn't have enough information originally, because the act of iteration X is done to get you information for iteration X+1. It stands to reason that if you already had that knowledge and the same resources, you wouldn't need previous iterations. You could always have written the final version first, had you known that's what was needed.

 

On a more practical and less idealistic level, better understanding of games and software could seriously reduce the amount of iterating, waste, and trial-and-error that currently takes place. We're learning to iterate faster because it's easier than learning to understand better.

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It's pretty much a tautological fact. The only reason you ever need to iterate is because you didn't have enough information originally
That once again assumes that the problem space is fully deterministic.

It's not clear to me that abstract concepts like "aesthetics" and "fun" adhere to determinism in the same way as does the ability of a bridge to withstand 10,000 newtons of lateral shear... Edited by swiftcoder
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If the problem space is deterministic, then iteration is not strictly necessary. And if the problem space is not deterministic, then iteration is not strictly sufficient. The fact that we embrace the iterative process shows that we presume there is important information to be found about our designs, and I agree - I just think that we shouldn't think iteration is the only way to find it.

 

(As an aside, it's not strictly an architect's job to ensure a bridge withstands 10000 newtons of lateral shear - that's what civil engineers are for. Information is passed up and down the chain to facilitate the optimal design. This is quite relevant because I gave the example of an architect just to show that even someone who works mostly on the aesthetic and functional side rather than the low level implementation details still has to draw up detailed artefacts to show what they want constructing. Any iteration is confined to the higher level parts of the process.)

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Iterative cycles won't necessarily converge in a non-deterministic space, sure - and that's kind of what I am getting at.

If two engineers set out independently to determine the acceleration due to gravity, they will eventually converge right around 9.8 m/s. If you and I both set out independently to create "fun", chances are that we won't ever converge on the same definition thereof.
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That's a ridiculous comparison. A better one would be whether two teams of engineers architects electricians and plumbers would come to an identical conclusion about the optimal way to construct a cheap housing unit. Which they would not. The two results would never be the same.

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That's a ridiculous comparison
Intentionally. One is an emergent property of physics, and one is, well... something. We aren't really sure what, though.

To suggest that an abstract psychological/philosophical construct is amenable to the same sort of treatment as a physical property - that seems insane to me.

You can't universally quantify 'fun'. At best you might be able to build a probabilistic model across a limited segment of the population, but even that is going to be subject to local extremes.
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Well one major problem is how little entertainment success has to do with the product itself. So much of it is tied up in name recognition, popularity, marketing, and other such nonsense.

 

You really only need a baseline quality in a product and then its all about perception and marketing.

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Design is really not the same kind of activity as development.  There are many people who enjoy one activity and not the other, in both directions. 

I don't know... maybe... but still I find it suspicious, this whole division to design and development. I think I could agree to some people liking only development without design (like coders who like to code, whatever it is), but someone who likes designing and not liking developing? That does not make sense to me...

There are lots of things that don't make sense to me (like how anyone could like sandbox games, lol) that evidently make sense to people who are different from me.  I think of design and development as different types of activities, but they're not wholly separate in that both are essential to artistic creation.  A successful creator is by definition able to do both, so perhaps the reason why you have difficulty picturing a designer who does not like developing is that they are set up to fail at actually creating anything.  But that doesn't mean they don't exist, and a few succeed by either forcing themselves to do the development like it's exercise or homework, or by using money as leverage to get others to do the development.  I don't know if you've ever glanced at my developer journal, but both my recent guide to designing a pet game and my old writings are all primarily about design; the only development I talk about is writing documentation and creating concept art.  It seemed quite natural to me to separate design and development when I wanted to write educational materials aimed at walking people through designing a game.  I don't hate development, and I've done some, but design interests me far more as a subject to theorize and teach about.  Probably the reason I gravitated toward writing fiction as my first vocation is that it's the art form with the highest ratio of design to development.  But even there, I find coming up with story ideas a lot of fun, while writing them down is not as fun.

 

Personally I think the process of creating a sculpture or painting is much more similar to game development than architecture.  They are more iterative, though that iteration usually only involves the artist.  Like game design they can start in multiple places, such as the artist envisioning an audience member's visceral reaction to the finished piece of art, or something less tangible like an artist deciding to make a piece representing an abstract theme (e.g. transcendence), or something more functional like an artist being commissioned to make a replacement carousel horse which will be durable and fit in visually with the existing horses.  Like game development the craftsman may create the work in layers or pieces, with experimentation necessary in either approach, and some of those layers or pieces may be redone when they don't pass a beta evaluation.

 

Notice the difference between design as art and development as craft, just like a painter or sculptor would talk about the difference between artistic goals and craftsmanship.  That's how I see design and development as different but working together.  It would be an oversimplification to say that they are separated chronologically, because even in an iterative process you don't have pure design phases and pure development phases.  Development inspires (re)design, and design doesn't exist in the world outside the artist's head unless you at least develop it with some documentation and/or sketches.  Architecture is actually an extreme example of chronological separation between design and development, and it only is that way because economics and safety concerns force it to be, somewhat against human nature.  In the realm of fiction writers there's actually a big 'political' divide between those who chronologically separate design from development (outliners) and those who try to integrate the two as much as possible (spontaneous writers or pantsers, meaning people who write by the seat of their pants).  Screenplay writers, like architects, are pretty much forced into a development process that separates design from development.  And I think this is where some people entering the field of game design get the erroneous idea that they can write a game design document or game script and sell it to a game studio; because that is how it would work if game studios were more like movie studios.

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That's a ridiculous comparison. A better one would be whether two teams of engineers architects electricians and plumbers would come to an identical conclusion about the optimal way to construct a cheap housing unit. Which they would not. The two results would never be the same.

 

I don't think anybody is talking about an 'optimum' for a fairly broad concept such as 'a cheap housing unit'. It's more about one organisation's preference for a fairly specific product - in that case, it is certainly reasonable to expect that they would converge on pretty much exactly what they want, whichever way they approached it, given enough time/knowledge/resources.

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To suggest that an abstract psychological/philosophical construct is amenable to the same sort of treatment as a physical property - that seems insane to me.

You can't universally quantify 'fun'. At best you might be able to build a probabilistic model across a limited segment of the population, but even that is going to be subject to local extremes.

 

That is sort of moving the goalposts to be something deliberately fluffy however. The fact is, people do try and understand fun (eg. Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design), they classify fun (eg. Nicole Lazzaro's 4 types of fun), and consider the reasons why people enjoy games (eg. the Bartle player types). These are known, they have some empirical and theoretical support. And as a result you can deliberately design towards them. You don't need to try and find some universally fun mechanic - you just need to find a way to make your game enjoyable to the people you are aiming it at, and there are tools and research to facilitate that.

 

But even if you ignore all that, the fact that you think that iteration and testing can 'find' the fun shows that you're measuring it somehow, even if it's just a case of knowing it when you see it. And when you see it, you can usually understand why it is fun. And someone with that information can replicate that in future.

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@Sir Sloper: First off, thank you for gracing my thread with your presence biggrin.png 
 
You've been a huge fountain of information, inspiration and have unknowingly shown me tough love. I can honestly and without question say that you are one of the main reasons I did not drop my long-term passion for game design and development. If it weren't for your input I would be content with being a gamer, focusing on my writing career, and would have long since discarded any notion of design even as a hobby. Although I don't consider myself above or much further than a Gamer/Fanboy I have to thank you for making your experience and knowledge so easily accessible.
 
I have to disagree with your post though (to some extent).
 
Yes, my choice of words could have been more accurate. However, it was taken out of context. I'd wholeheartedly agree if the quoted statement stood alone. As it was intended, the commentary was about comparing Design & Development. I meant to say that design (thoughts, organizational aspects, iteration) is more cerebral, artistic and creative than Legendre was painting it out to be. While development (programming, 3D modeling, and such) is more logical, adheres to more rigid constraints leaving little room for artistry and there is often no way around certain things. By nature, these disciplines in the development phase are unequivocal with indisputable aspects.
 
I have in fact read article (aka lesson) 14 multiple times at different points through out the years. I know exactly what it is you wish to enlightenment me on. Thanks again Sir smile.png 
 
?§•??§?
 
@Archaris: Hello again Archaris, glad to have you back in the conversation  smile.png

You made some good points which made me conscious of the unbiased/varying nature of my perspective (if only by actively acknowledging it; I know its there lol) with this:
 

I could agree to some people liking only development without design (like coders who like to code, whatever it is), but someone who likes designing and not liking developing? That does not make sense to me...

 
To which I reply with - If one side of a pendulum/spectrum is plausible why is the other unacceptable/unthinkable?
 
Out of respect and appreciattion I was gonna quote/add some commentary to Lady SunAndShadows' posted re:re: reply. On my second and a half read through of her post however, it dawned on me that I rather not quote or comment. Not because I don't have anything to say. On the contrary, I have so much to say and feel so strongly about her post that I found it more fitting and respectful to NOT comment. It was beautifully, accurately, purposefully as well as distinctively worded so I couldn't possibly allow myself to skew any of it by disecting it in my mind.
 
Thank you for your input Lady SunAndShadow, it is thoroughly appreciated happy.png
 

The other part that which struck a chord was (paraphrasing here):

 

 

Builders precisely follow the blueprints made by architects. They are not allowed to change almost anything or else a building would surely crumble. On the other hand, the development process can stray so far from the original design document that what the designers envisioned and what is delivered can often be so different.

 
Game designers are not like architects. They are not even remotely similar.

Wonderfully thought out analogy in my opinion (even though Kylotan countered it pretty well) with a great explanation to your points/reasoning. Kudos wink.png 

 
?§•??§?
 
@WodinOneEye: That has to be, by far, the closest comparison to the sentiment which has driven the majority of my reactions and behaviors pertaining to my ideas. Well said, I felt a very strong connection and adamantly agree with everything you've said.
 
These parts significantly resonated within me:
 

The nature of your  'idea' will significantly effect any answer you can get. It is a paradigm shift that noone in the industry will seriously consider

 
...or that many within the industry will commonly apply in practice. Even if the shift were to begin occuring, it won't be largely supported/practiced by many in the western culture (for atleast another decade as you said).
 
?§•??§?
 
This is (in my opinion) because physical examples are collectively malleable and have assessable traits which can be agreed on across the board. That allows for things like realistic deadlines, budget constraints and tools/technological capabilities/ceilings to be calculated.
 
Our (as in you and I),proposed means of operation implore thoughts in place of physical examples. Ideas/thoughts have all the capabilities of physical examples and more due to being infinitely malleable/nebulous by nature. This poses infinite problems as well as infinite possibilities which is a playground few would dare tread on.
 
?§•??§?
 
Two things have to occur for this to become plausible in a professional setting. Again, this is all opinion:
 
This ties into part of the point that Kylotan was making when he said:
 

All you are really saying is that game designers have not learned how to be very good at their job yet. This is because we don't really understand games very well. If people truly understood games fully, it would be possible to produce a precise design that a programmer could turn into a completely functional and playable game.

 

As a side note, Kylotan, I loved what you said here (mainly how you said it):

 

the point was that anybody who is truly involved in the design process is also truly involved in the implementation process.

 

One of these things that would have to occur would be advances in communication and iteration techniques/skills across the board for all disciplines. 
______
That means more diverse education within each member off a team. Everyone would need to have a decent grasp of everyone elses discipline while having a strong sense off their own, allowing them to realistically process as well as pass on ideas. If each member can atleast grasp a sense of what the ramifications of their own work can cause a coworker, things become more harmonious by principle. They can both minimize conflict as well as constructively contribute through suggestions or streamlining of the others work.
 

The second would be a stronger sense of poise and discipline to allow the "treading on an infinite playground" to be plausible.
______
If every single member of the group is equally dedicated to maintaining a certain level of poise and discipline, never letting it falter below that level,certain things become less of an issue. If this level of focus were carried out in all their actions,  priorities become simple to meet, giving more time to delve into extra content or focus on quality. There wouldn't be any restrictive time constraints or fear of not reaching deadlines. This fear and pressure alters behaviors and forces certain common results which tend to weaken the quality of projects. A deadline wouldn't need to be established/required in this sort of environment because the time frame will realistically present itself (and be accepted or dismissed) if everyone is working at peak performance.

 

As a side note, peak performance does NOT mean worked to point of high end negative (there are forms of positive) stress. Peak performance is when your resolve/poise is in harmony with your surroundings/environment.

 

The other thing that would be less of a worry is budget constraints. I'm not saying a budget isn't required, that's ludicrous. What I'm saying is that if money wasn't the primary focus, people wouldn't be as greedy. AltarOfScience commented/contributed handsomely to this point:

 

Well one major problem is how little entertainment success has to do with the product itself. So much of it is tied up in name recognition, popularity, marketing, and other such nonsense.
 
You really only need a baseline quality in a product and then its all about perception and marketing.

 

This means a budget can be managed more conservatively without the need to compromise quality or over indulge in salaries. In a sense you wouldn't feel the budget cap nor would you be stressing over the minimum required assets to see a project through if the product came first and potential gross/marketing/popularity came last (not second). <~~~ Ahh, if only people were that unanimously passionate, uninhibited, motivated, dedicated and inspired by their work. We would have such a rise in quality (of product, work ethics, happiness?) and progress within the industry.

 

?§•??§?
 

They are obviously farfetched ideals/principles to implement in western culture, but not entirely unrealistic in my opinion. I know that my reason for having these standards as a person aren't normal or common. Alot of it is derived from about two decades of traditional martial arts training. Basically, I don't expect everyone to become Vulcans, able to mind meld in order to share ideas exactly as they envision them. I also don't expect everyone to adopt a monks sensibility and work ethics. Its a nice thought though lol

 

Adding these principles to practice would effectively cause a sense of infinite potential in my opinion. But I'm a pragmatic realist (for the most part tongue.png I like to dream too!) and the world isnt perfect. There will always be limitations. Allowing ideas to be more affluent within a proffesional environment and loosening the safe:risk ratio won't cause this fact to magically ceast to exist.

 
Another part which sparked something within me was:
 

DO you know it will work ?   Thats sometimes the hardest of all -- to realize an idea just wont work (or rather work in the right way  so players would actually want to play it). 
---
Ideas ARE a dime a dozen, but demonstratable ideas cost alot more...

 
..and as convenient as interactive/demonstrable ideas are, they can simply be unrealistic/implausible/unfeasible/impractical to develop JUST as a demonstration tool.
 
?§•??§?
 
This is what I was trying to put into words when I was originally flamed and accused of "too much dreaming and not enough doing".
 
My stand was (and probably still is) mistaken for a lack of willingness to flesh out a prototype. The fact is that I an not willing to flesh out a prototype specifically for the sake of demonstration.
 
It can be argued that  a prototype specifically for demonstration, would be work done towards your project (as experience if nothing else) and can ultimately be used within the final product. But as you so elegantly put it, demonstration of the material kind are expensive and time consuming. So much so, that the scope/scale of something as I wish to develop, would not allow it and could quite possibly rendering it pointless. The amount of time and effort I'd spend even producing a prototype could easily cause an overlap of technology, cultural relevance, fall steeply under the trend curve as well as be out developed by up and coming concepts.
 
?§•??§?
 
My reasoning behind this is well demonstrated by an event (may not be monumental but it had relevance to me later in life) in gaming history. The lesson came in form of a development team (Team Tachyon of Techmo if I remember right) who worked on the revival of a classic known as Rygar aka Argus no Senshi which was released between 1986-1987. The result, was Rygar: The Legendary Adventure, a title that was released in 2002 and did quite well in my opinion. The thing is, some digging into development journals and minor research will explain the 15 year gap in between releases had to do with something similar to what I'm mentioning. Trust me, the gap was not due to loss and subsequent rekindling of interest.
 
So for those who were wondering and partially challenged me on it:
Yes, I do have some reasoning, history, and research behind my choices/actions which falls back to when I said:

 

..as I have, to some extent, consciously kept things at a design phase.

 

Thank you for your input Sir WodinOneEye, althought you wrote so little the potency of your words meant a great deal to me. It was greatly appreciated ph34r.png (wish they had a bow/namaste smiley lol)
 

?§•??§?

 

Lastly, I'm not gonna name names or point fingers but you guys are bickering about semantics and losing focus on the main topics at hand. Lets try to tone down the pretentiousness a bit, then take a step back. We're getting lost in disagreements on analogies and metaphors while agreeing on the same topics rolleyes.gif

 

?§•??§?

 
Man... I'd really like to thank every single one of you for contributing to this thread. You guys have seriously turned it into quite a discussion whle keeping the negativity to a minimum. 
 
Heres to the productive sharing that sure to come throughout my prospective time spent on these forums laugh.png
 
Sin ?§•??§?
 
Edited by SinisterPride
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That's a ridiculous comparison. A better one would be whether two teams of engineers architects electricians and plumbers would come to an identical conclusion about the optimal way to construct a cheap housing unit. Which they would not. The two results would never be the same.

 

I don't think anybody is talking about an 'optimum' for a fairly broad concept such as 'a cheap housing unit'. It's more about one organisation's preference for a fairly specific product - in that case, it is certainly reasonable to expect that they would converge on pretty much exactly what they want, whichever way they approached it, given enough time/knowledge/resources.

Just the same as each game design team eventually converges on their preference for a fairly specific product. They will look at it and say: "This is what we wanted." But just like the game design there will be consequences they didn't anticipate and they won't be able to say with assurance that that is the proper way to do it.

 

Hence why its a good comparison.

Edited by AltarofScience
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I meant to say that design (thoughts, organizational aspects, iteration) is more cerebral, artistic and creative than Legendre was painting it out to be.

This is a common misconception that the "ideas guy" has. Design is far more cerebral, artistic and creative than mere daydreaming. However, daydreaming is far easier and "lazy" than design, which is why ideas are a dime a dozen. On the other hand, good design is very hard work, and is worth a lot more.

While development (programming, 3D modeling, and such) is more logical, adheres to more rigid constraints leaving little room for artistry and there is often no way around certain things.

On the contrary: creativity and artistry is about skillful, innovative use of the available tools, materials or techniques or the ability to invent/create new ones. Well designed games are those that are able to tell a compelling story or craft amazing gameplay within the given constraints.

Take for example, the combat in your "Project: Alter Ego". Given the constraints of the PS3/Xbox controller, you try to design a fun combat experience for your user. You also need to consider the constraint of how this combat control system fit in your overall game, and how feasible it is to implement vs a simpler system. You also should prototype, test and iterate. You might have to come up with creative ways to pull off certain features given the limitations of the controller. This is design.

What isn't design: ignore all the constraints and assume that you can motion capture all user actions in-game and somehow allow your users to perform difficult moves like somersaults and fencing moves. Then proceed to daydream a game where users participate in epic medieval battles in a virtual reality with life-like detail. Takes zero effort, zero creativity and is completely worthless. Edited by Legendre
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I think you underestimate the value of a prototype.
 
A prototype can tell you many things, and most importantly of all, it tells you things before you invest too much into them. Rather than developing a whole game and then finding out that several core features suck, you can throw together some quick and dirty minigames that demonstrate the core features and prove that they are a) feasible to develop and b)  entertaining enough to justify their inclusion in the game. The more atypical the feature, the more important this is.
 
If you don't want to develop prototypes because your features are so complex that it would take "too long", that to me is a pretty clear sign that your features are not feasible for you to implement. In a way, the prototype has done it's job without even having to write it - it's just up to you to accept what it's telling you.
 

 

 

By prototype do you generally mean a full on mini game that is released to the public (with very limited marketing and a different brand), or something you produce internally that your internal team and small group of alpha testers uses to give you feedback?

 

I'm dealing with this issue for my own game.. trying to decide if launching a fairly unpolished game missing many features (that nonetheless is fully playable) in 1 year is the way to go versus a much more polished, feature-rich game in 2.5 years.

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When doing UI prototyping at my old employer (In mobile UI industry), some prototypes involved absolutely no code at all.

Just cardboard cutouts, postits, tape and studs.

 

Prototypes should be just that, the bare minimum to show the concept and enable the team to play around with it, and modify what doesn't work until it works. (or is thrown away)

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What is a common misconception people like me, oops I mean "Idea Guys" (.. silly idea guys) have?

 

That game design (thoughts, organizational aspects, iteration) is more cerebral, artistic and creative than YOU proposed when you vaguely defined Game Design as: 

 

Taking an idea (existing or brand new) and making it work in an actual product under resource/time constraints

 

You were so "precise" in your statement that you could of been talking about a magic 8 ball and defined it the same way. Which is why, at the time, I recycled some words within the surrounding post to stay relevant to the topics at hand and said:

 

What you defined is functional game development. Game design is in fact more about daydreaming and spewing ideas. Where they meet, tying into what you're saying, lies within the balance of ideology and functionality/feasibility.

 

Take note of the wording. I never said Game Design is in fact ALL/MOSTLY/ABOUT daydreaming and spewing ideas. I even admitted to Sir Sloper that I made a poor choice of words which is where your retort comes into play.

 

Design is far more cerebral, artistic and creative than -mere daydreaming. +Legendre was painting it out to be.

 

Makes more sense now that I paid more attention to what you chopped off. Its ok, you've made some points which I admit have shut me up or changed my perspective/made me think. However, the "Idea Guy" can totally prove you wrong some times too.

 

Speaking of which:

 

On the contrary: creativity and artistry is about skillful, innovative use of the available tools, materials or techniques or the ability to invent/create new ones. Well designed games are those that are able to tell a compelling story or craft amazing gameplay within the given constraints.

 

On the contrary? What are you countering? The quote you highlighted was taken out of context and spoke of the more mathematical/logical/scientific disciplines within the development process. They're jobs DO in fact leave little to no space for artistry. The only part which was even remotely close to what that quote was refering to was the mention of creating tools. In case you didn't know (but ofcourse you do, you're not an idea guy like me) creating tools is something that has to be done often from scratch by Programmers to aid Graphic Artist as well as streamline work for other Programmers.

 

Also, your comment:

 

.. skillful, innovative use of the available tools, materials or techniques ..

 

.. is so vague that you basically described what 95% of all Craftsmen/Artisans/Creators do. Kudos wink.png

 

As you may already know, I was making a comparison and subsequent correction of a common seperation/horrid definition of Design/Development. I was making a differentiation in definition which many seem to have a very failed concept of..

 

Don't worry, I'll break it down a bit here:

 

Definitions taken directly from Www.Dictionary.com

 

Development: the act or process of developing; growth; progress:

 

Developing: undergoing development; growing; evolving.

 

Design:

1. to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of.

 

2. to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan.

_______

 

So what does this tell me, the "Idea Guy"?

 

It tells me that I have an Idea of where and how to show that there is a line drawn which clearly states what is and isn't design within the industry. The confusion which so many others seem to have stems from a misunderstanding and generalization of terms which I will attempt to mostly clarify in one a simple statement.

_________

 

Design is inarguably a part of Development within the gaming industry (as well as many other industries) and therefore IS a form of Development. Development however, is comprised of multiple aspects some of which (NOT all) comprise elements of Design.

 

Therefore, Design is ALWAYS Development while Development does NOT always entail Designing.

_________

 

I hope that was clear and accurate. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

 

 

I'll now address some more direct comments on my work. If I didn't know how to receive criticism and opinions I would of taken direct offense to the manner in which some of this was stated.

 

However, the way I see it, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I can either choose to agree or disagree. In essence, my choices are to bicker like an immature little child and respond in a detrimental fashion or I accept your input in a productive way even if I don't agree with it. I did in fact take more offense originally before rereading and editing this. Reason being that I felt you know nothing of what is developed out side of ONE facet which I've shared. Nor do you know much of anything about what knowledge I may possess aside from what you assume to know about me. What makes it worse is that this is all according to what little I have shared pertaining mostly to my opinions since introducing myself a couple of days ago. As I said to Sir Sloper, I haven't claimed to be anything more than a Gamer/Fanboy. I am not an industry proffesional nor do I even consider myself an official hobbyist designer/developer. Sadly, the commentary on my game idea bothered me less than what I presumed as you insulting my intelligence. I humbly apologize if I have offended you Sir Legendre.

 

Nonetheless, here goes my response to your commentary on my ideas:

 

Take for example, the combat in your "Project: Alter Ego". Given the constraints of the PS3/Xbox controller, you try to design a fun combat experience for your user. You also need to consider the constraint of how this combat control system fit in your overall game, and how feasible it is to implement vs a simpler system. You also should prototype, test and iterate. You might have to come up with creative ways to pull off certain features given the limitations of the controller. This is design.

What isn't design: ignore all the constraints and assume that you can motion capture all user actions in-game and somehow allow your users to perform difficult moves like somersaults and fencing moves. Then proceed to daydream a game where users participate in epic medieval battles in a virtual reality with life-like detail. Takes zero effort, zero creativity and is completely worthless.

 

I've noticed you use the word constraint quite often. It sparked a memory (I have a bit of a accurate memory for detail if my mention of Rygar and Bushido blade didn't demonstrate it [I was about 7 years old when Bushido Blade was fresh on the  market if it puts anything into perspective]) of something which although I don't remember where I read or heard it, stuck to me: 

 

"A good designer takes into account their teams' as well as their own strengths, weaknesses, tools/skill sets, resources, and available time. Knowing these things very well, a good designer sets a realistic perimeter of what CAN be acchieved. However, limits are NEVER drawn, they are reached. A good designer knows this."

________

 

 

Your comments:

 

.. need to consider how.. combat control system fit in your overall game.. feasible to implement vs a simpler system.

 

The combat system is one of the key features and core mechanics. How could I:

 

1) Not consider every other aspect around a key feature as well as consider a key feature around every other aspect.

2) A simpler system which is common place to REPLACE a key feature? wheres the challenge and attempted innovation in that? sleep.png

 

..should also protoype.. creative ways to pull off... limitation of controller.. -*bright smile, thumb up, wink*- "THIS is Design!"-

 

Good point, I actually have to fight my perfectionist tendancies/urges all the time in the name of productivity (look at how many average edits each of my replies and post have sleep.png its a curse and a gift lol). So I understand everyones concern with Q&A and prototyping quite well. Its unrealistic to think you can land something from concept to final product without tweaking, testing and generally stressing the hell out of that product in every form to squeeze out every tiny bug/unexpected/unintended outcome you possibly can. Why does it seem everyone assumes I'm against fine tunning my work? laugh.png

 

This is the end of my reply to Sir Legendre. Again I'm sorry for my childish behavior and I humbly offer my apologies.

_______

 

I said it somewhere on here the other day, I have my reasons for why I never actively stepped passed any of the various forms of design. Aside from emotional uncertainty, as I also said somewhere, I'm human and not all of my decisions are based solely on logic. That doesn't mean I'm not willing to do anything other that write in order to forward my work and passion.

 

I'm not one to boast or speak of my achievements and capabilities with high regard but in this case I'll push it just a bit.

 

I've done my own concept art, written my own lore, designed my own technical input/motion layouts, taught myself basic scripting in hopes of being able to atleast contribute or do some of the programing, designed skill and spell systems and trees, developed the way(s) I want to track expierience which isn't as mainstream as we're used to/have seen, designed multiple menus, huds, UIs and concepts for tracking things that are usually displayed on huds without having to clutter the screen, extensively thought of time mechanics to interact with varying other mechanics in the world enviroments as well as for character development, explored methods for online multiplayer which localizes server loads between players wishing to play with each other (sort of like lan with a bit of a twist in networking) which would in theory allow large gatherings of adventurers without requiring dedicated servers by spreading the load of bandwidth allocation to each individual player wishing to play, developed professions which tie into character development in a direct way not just as varying side benefits, extensively tied the environment into said professions while theoretically eliminating extensive rendering or resources in the enviroment when entering and moving around areas, theorized on ways to minimize input lag by uniforming control and response methods between the world and the player/npcs (this ties into the combat system as well).. and other stuff that I probably cant think of off the top of my head.. 

 

This is why I was so adamant by Lady SunAndShadows post. I approach from a design heavy perspective, but that doesn't mean I dont understand and take other aspects of development into account.

 

Last bit of general commentary on what I feel is unfair and would like to see less of around here.

 

 

- It seems some people feel strongly about triggers (things I have said or are commonly said)  which leads to a automatic dismissal and subsequent tossing of everything that comes along with a given comment or proposed topic. This is unfair, we should strive to look past our prejudices and disect/attack the topics at hand, not our assumptions of what whoever said it may be like.

 

- As soon as some of us are convinced/assume that someone is "THAT" type of guy often refered to as the "Idea Guy" (which I've taken a liking to calling myself lol) a subconciously (or possibly conscious) trend of finding fault in just about everything that person can say occurs. I think we lose so many oppurtunities to educate and constructively contribute due to this.

 

- Some of us (I can be accused of doing it or coming off this way at times as well) have a "high-horse" attitude and scoff at ideas which is never an appropriate/mature response. We should take oppurtunities like this to either enlighten or pose a constructive response not condescend.

 

My ShiGong, Grandmaster Alan Lee once told me something which I will never forget:

 

We all start as novices in all given respects. It is the responsibility and duty of the more experienced to educate, lead and protect the inexperienced.

 

Regardless of what the case maybe I would appreciate it, if above all, we:

 

-Stop automatically assuming that inexperience is equivalent to lack of knowledge.

 

-That unwillingness to follow certain "standard paths" is a sign of doomed failure. We all walk our own paths in life, Game design and Development is no exception.

 

-Mainly, I would appreciate it if we could stop bashing each others strengths, methods and preferences. As Lady SunAndShadow so eloquently put it:

 

I think of design and development as different types of activities, but they're not wholly separate in that both are essential to artistic creation.  A successful creator is by definition able to do both, so perhaps the reason why you have difficulty picturing a designer who does not like developing is that they are set up to fail at actually creating anything.  But that doesn't mean they don't exist, and a few succeed by either forcing themselves to do the development like it's exercise or homework, or by using money as leverage to get others to do the development.

______________

 

On a more personal note:

 

If I had listened and taken to heart all the negative commentary through out my years of pursing this "hobby", I would of never been able to consider setting foot on the path to become a designer. In fact, after my first attempt at college (which failed in case you were wondering) in which I studied Multimedia Development with a focus in Game Design, I left the path to later pursue a career as a writer/artist and almost didn't set foot back into it. This should put my OP into perspective in regards to some of the vague details in which I praise and thank Sir Sloper.

 

This may all have seemed like a huge vent but I'm confident that aside from being that it has plenty of useful perspective and information. I am simply making a stand. If anyone has anything to say to or about me on ANYTHING within this post that does NOT pertain to design or development. Please, feel free to private message me. I'd be more than glad to hear you out if you feel I am wrong for saying anything I have said. But I will not have bickering that is of no benefit to others littering my thread.

 

 I'm gonna go through hell editing this sleep.png Guess averaging out 90wpm isnt as fun when you have to go back and edit lol tongue.png 

 

Edit: I did go through hell editing that laugh.png

 

I'd like to thank all of you who down voted my original version of this reply/post as well as Sir Milcho for private messaging me and opening my eyes wider to the error of my ways.

 

Sincerely,

Alfred Liriano

aka

SinisterPride

?§• ??§?

Edited by SinisterPride
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Welcome to GameDev.net where you will find that a large percentage of the posters have a leaning towards the more practical side of game creation i.e. the actual work in making games a reality. This does not make them right I should point out but it also does not make them wrong either.

So true.  I was reflecting on this while I was writing my pet game guide - it was initially for a different community than gamedev, and I noticed how that made me feel freer than usual to talk about designing MMOs and similar large projects that are impractical for any beginner indie designer to try to actually make.  If I'd been writing it for here I would have known from experience to expect flak if I didn't spend an extra paragraph or two discussing why beginners are unlikely to succeed at making any but the simplest game.  SinisterPride, being a new fish in this pond, isn't familiar with the fact that "do whatever it takes to actually get a game made, including thinking small and unoriginal" is a popular 'political' platform here, and so is kind of always there in the background of every conversation about game design.  Even in this post I'm wondering whether I have to include extra sentences about how the value of actually getting a game made is inarguable, and designing something small but good is just as challenging as designing something big; doesn't seem safe to assume others will assume I know that.

 

I dunno; I've spent years struggling not to be "the idea guy" (or girl, rather).  I have a natural tendency to that role, but it's not ultimately satisfying because it just doesn't work.  Still, even though I know it's "fighting the good fight" I get really tired of working against my own nature; that's not terribly satisfying either.

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I'd like to bring attention to the edit of my ignorant post earlier. I took some time to rewrite the whole thing.

 

Again, thank you all for your input you guys are awesome happy.png

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