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September 30, 2014, 08:00:15 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignThe danger of over-polish
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battlerager
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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2012, 02:54:30 AM »

To me it seems the word you guys are looking for is OVERDESIGNED.

Here is a blog post describing good design and the dangers of overdesign pretty well:
http://nomeswisdom.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-designers-folly/

Basically, you play a game and whatever you do, it feels like you do exactly what the designer wanted you to do, there is nothing to explore and zero room for emergent gameplay. Something like that  Cool
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C.A. Silbereisen
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« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2012, 05:02:02 AM »

this article pretty much nails what im trying to get at, thank you.

i already said this but i think its an ego thing mainly. some games feel like the designer is jerking himself off over his own "cleverness." either that or the assumption that players are idiots who cant figure things out for themselves or make their own decisions and need everything shoved down their throats.
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« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2012, 05:14:51 AM »

There are no overpolished games. That's literally like saying something is "too good".
What happens is when a game is actually bad, but there are so many good-looking and well-executed details that you WANT to believe it's not a bad game, until you are just tired of it for some reason. We call these "polished turds".
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J-Snake
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« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2012, 07:48:31 AM »

Basically, you play a game and whatever you do, it feels like you do exactly what the designer wanted you to do, there is nothing to explore and zero room for emergent gameplay. Something like that  Cool
That's another nonsense in play of words. These are just design-decisions. Rage is a good example for their hand-holding. One might call it "over-polish" but it is the ultimate consequence of their design-decision. What if the designer wants to provide a world to explore? That's what a designer might want you to do. And in a puzzler I don't want the player to have cheap solutions in a challenging level, that is why I am blocking them off. I call it quality, not "over-design".
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 08:07:28 AM by J-Snake » Logged

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battlerager
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« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2012, 07:54:05 AM »

Basically, you play a game and whatever you do, it feels like you do exactly what the designer wanted you to do, there is nothing to explore and zero room for emergent gameplay. Something like that  Cool
That's another nonsense in play of words. These are just design-decisions. What if the designer wants to provide a world to explore? That's what a designer might want you to do. And in a puzzler I don't want the player to have cheap solutions in a challenging level, that is why I am blocking them off. I call it quality, not "over-design".
I think this has a lot to do with the genre and type of game. Also I never talked about "cheap" solutions.

Oh, about the article I linked, it's about DotA style multiplayer games, but it is very much general and applies to a lot of genres.
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J-Snake
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« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2012, 08:07:38 AM »

However there is a point in holding his own cleverness back, especially in a puzzler, I can design fancy and really sophisticated levels but many just won't get them. I would lie to claim I am not tempted. But I am aware of it and try not to exxagerate. But "over-design" may be misleading. I think it just about good or bad design-directions something can take.
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« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2012, 08:37:22 AM »

"What makes this particularly dangerous is that it befalls primarily the most conscious designers who tend to overthink and analyze, then plan and respond to, each and every possible outcome and consequence of a design decision, thereby shutting down the possibility for creative, unintended use of mechanics."

I contradict. If your system is blocking off some creative use of mechanics then very likely it wasn't spent enough thought on this, rather this way, not the other way round. Baldur's Gate is one of the most complex and "overthought" games ever, that is why you can let your creativity flow.

In reality players are rather concerned with unintended glitch-fests because the game wasn't spent enough dedication to avoid them.
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« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2012, 12:01:58 PM »

An extremely polished game and an extremely well-designed game are both good things, there's no such thing as "overpolish" or "overdesign." What everyone seems to be talking about is a designer eliminating meaningful player choice while still trying to retain the illusion of that choice, which doesn't have anything to do with polish as much as a designer wishing he was making movies (in other words, usually just another subset of "bad design.") This isn't always such an awful thing however, since all of these "cinematic" games like Portal 2 or Uncharted derive a lot of their value from the railroaded moments and these flaws would usually only pop up on a second playthrough. (Though the ideal would still be a game which has both the aesthetic impact and an awesome system.)

Streamlining never really had a negative connotation for me either. It's the removal of meaningless choices, whereas dumbing down is the removal of meaningful choices in order to make the game more "accessible."
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« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2012, 04:55:12 PM »

Overstructured, perhaps?

Either way, I think that for the most part, there's no such thing as "overpolishing."
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C.A. Silbereisen
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« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2012, 05:09:14 AM »

Quote
Streamlining never really had a negative connotation for me either. It's the removal of meaningless choices, whereas dumbing down is the removal of meaningful choices in order to make the game more "accessible."
the thing is, in game industry marketing talk "streamlining" and "dumbing down" are p much synonymns especially when youre making a supposedly "hardcore" game.
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battlerager
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« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2012, 05:59:07 AM »

I personally still stand by the "overdesigned" problems, but I generally also hate linear puzzle games, so I dunno  Durr...?
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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2012, 12:44:30 PM »

I dont agree with you about those games having over polish but games like zombotron  is a good game that I didnt play for a while because the art style was so detailed and polished and when looking at a thumbnail it can be very overwhelming  Outraged
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« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2012, 07:23:50 PM »

I dont agree with you about those games having over polish but games like zombotron  is a good game that I didnt play for a while because the art style was so detailed and polished and when looking at a thumbnail it can be very overwhelming  Outraged
That's not over polish, that's not focusing details, Portal 2 looks absolutely terrible if you look in the right places, but they focus the details into certain areas and it makes it very easy to play and look at.
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