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Forcas

FADT's

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A couple years ago, I was reading GameDeveloper magazine, and I noticed a really cool article. I wasn''t too interested in game design back then, so I just ignored it.... but I just a few days ago, I dug it back up. The article I''m talking about is Doug Church''s proposal for something called Formal Abstract Design Tools. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/19990716/design_tools_02.htm Now... this is article''s a couple years old, as I said, so I''m sure some of you have already discussed it... For those of you that already have discussed it, what did people think of it? For those of you who haven''t discussed it, what do YOU think about it? I think FADT''s are a great idea. The three tools that Church mentioned in his article can be found in varying intensities in TONS of games. We, as developers need a more defined vocabulary, and I think that this article is a good place to. If other people on this board like the idea of FADT''s, maybe we should start coming up with our own FADTs. -Forcas
"Elvis is alive. He is Barney the purple dinosaur. He is the pied piper that leads our children into the wages of sin and eternal damnation."

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I wanted to answer this, but I had just started a job search and was a bit busy...

FADT are intriguing, and I''ve actually seen a few posts that ran with them either with or without knowing what they were (there was a post awhile back about the ball as a paradigm in non-sports games).

FADTs have two problems that I''ve seen:

1) Agreement - Since games are so much more wildly variable than Church''s example of other movies (I remember he mentioned movies), the few attempts that I''ve seen to create common language usually end up in disarray.

2) Maturity / Culture - Even after 30 years or so, I think the industry is still too young to adopt formalized terminology across the board. We have some widely accepted terms, of course (levels, enemies, avatar, etc.), but I don''t think there''ll be a whole body of terminology until gaming is more rigorously analyzed.

But I still think FADTs are a good way of thinking about and communicating about games, and will be inevitable. I think it''s just a concept before its time right now.






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quote:
Original post by Wavinator
FADTs have two problems that I''ve seen:

1) Agreement - Since games are so much more wildly variable than Church''s example of other movies (I remember he mentioned movies), the few attempts that I''ve seen to create common language usually end up in disarray.

Is it really that games are much more wildly variable than movies? Or is it just that we lack the language and vocabulary to be able to spot and label the similarities properly?

As someone who''s studied language before, you quickly learn that ''artificial'' attempts to create new words tend to meet with failure. If it''s to work, the new terminology needs to be visible, permanent, and authoritative. In other words, it needs to be published by someone reputable: preferably in a book. One good example from the programming side: ''Singleton''. There is little to no disagreement over what a ''singleton'' is, as books such as ''Design Patterns'' have explained it clearly.

Perhaps Game Design lacks such works that look at these elements and attempt to label them. I''ve only heard of 2 or 3 game design books, and perhaps they don''t try very hard to analyse. If they did, we might have some building blocks.

quote:
2) Maturity / Culture - Even after 30 years or so, I think the industry is still too young to adopt formalized terminology across the board. We have some widely accepted terms, of course (levels, enemies, avatar, etc.), but I don''t think there''ll be a whole body of terminology until gaming is more rigorously analyzed.

A lot of movie terminology has derived from theatre, which in turn took a lot from poetry and verse. So in that sense, computer games are certainly very ''immature''. But I think it would help for everyone to try and start the ball rolling, and some decent study of design would be useful.

Maybe that would be a nice idea for an article. Do I have any free time... *checks diary*

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