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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignplaying your own game
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Haze
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« on: June 27, 2007, 06:31:01 AM »

How do you feel playing your own game (finished or WIP regardless)? Can you switch out of "developer mode" and just see things like the player would see them? Is it possible to control this (without intake of expensive drugs)?
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Alec
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 06:44:10 AM »

I find that sometimes I can play AQ as if I'd never seen it before.

Usually I have to be really tired. Its a really weird feeling.

Sometimes happens if I'm writing music intensely, then take a break and come back to listen to again. Usually it sounds totally unlike what it did before I took the break.

I think in both cases, when you're working on something intensely, you're all into the details - the nitty-gritty of putting it together. But if you take a break to step back and look at everything, you see what other people tend to see on their first impression... the overall big picture.

e.g. In the case of music its like you don't hear that really cool counter melody you just added. Now its buried in the mix and it doesn't add anything to the song.

In any case, it feels weird. Smiley
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BenH
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 07:26:23 AM »

I can do it to a certain extent if I take a long enough break away from it, but I think no matter what you do, you'll always know how everything works and what went into creating it. Unless you travel back in time and collect your past-self to come to the future and play test the game for you, but then everything goes terribly wrong and everyone dies Sad
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ravuya
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 08:04:50 AM »

I cannot switch out of developer mode. This is sometimes good because small technical or graphical flaws irritate me to an unreasonable degree, but it is often very bad because gameplay flaws get glossed over as "I'll fix it later" or "It's good enough now".
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Guert
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 08:50:03 AM »

Same here. Whenever I play one of my games, I can't stop thinking on how I should've done it or what bugs me.

I can play it to test something and know if it's fun or not but I'm not going to enjoy it much... Even in mods or custom maps I create, even if I'm enjoying the game with other people, I can't stop thinking how it can be improved.

Later!
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 02:22:57 PM »

it's a rarity, but when it happens, it's fucking glorious. I remember play testing a few months back and getting totally enveloped by it to the point that I actually lost track of time and spent the remainder of my night playing rather than working on the game Smiley

most of the time tho, I just furrow my brow because the damn physics aren't working right. stupid math  Angry
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 02:40:14 PM »

I can control it somewhat -- most of my games have full screen and windowed mode, and when I play it in a window it's usually as a developer, and full screen it's usually as a player. It's somehow more engrossing to play a game in full screen.
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Radix
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 06:59:36 PM »

I can and do pretty often, which was useful back when I was making little authoring tool games every month as a hobby since I made a point of only releasing things I enjoyed personally (which is hard to gauge in 'developer mode'). But it's especially great when I play things a few years old, once a lot of the details are forgotten.
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Haze
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 11:00:13 PM »

I was also wondering if it might be bad to playtest your game too much (before it's actually released). The "hell yeah, I wrote that!" effect does wear off pretty quickly and from then on it is just working off a huge todo list. I also noticed that after listening to some tunes I made I thought they really sucked even though they were probably OK.
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Alec
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 11:17:04 PM »

Think its kinda good if one listens to their own tracks long enough to get annoyed...  find that it usually leads to making small tweaks that improve the looping.
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4baka
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 01:17:39 PM »

Ya I can't separate myself from developing to playing.  I do it with every game I play.  I dissect the graphics game mechanics, story what ever.  I always have a list as long as my arm for things I'd change.

Unfortunately I find that I cant enjoy games after I've gone through the story mode once.  If there is no way to make those changes I want to I lose interest in the game too fast.

Not that that makes me enjoy the games less, it does make them hard to play after I've gone through them once all the way through though.
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TeeGee
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2007, 09:45:10 AM »

I play MAGI at my day-job sometimes and then, when other things are concerning my mind and when I just want to take a short break, I can switch from the "developer mode" and just enjoy the damn thing Wink.
When I'm doing this in free time it all depends. Sometimes, after some long development period, I just play the game with all new features and consider it a reward for my work. But when I get back to the game after some good time, I immediatelly get trapped in the "hmm, this could be better" thinking...
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Tom Grochowiak
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2007, 06:49:00 PM »

Oh man, I can't stand playing my last game any more. I don't even want to look at it.

But, during development, I had a lot of fun playing it. Wonder what that says about the game.
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2007, 07:05:43 PM »

I guess the exception is the murderous glee i feel when pwning some one else in a FPS though.  That I could do all day n never complain. =)
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 06:35:54 PM »

I never finished some games because I couldn't stop playing them, instead of finishing the last pieces of it Embarrassed
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 10:07:53 AM »

Its only now that I'm doing some independent work that I really enjoy playing the game I'm making. Hitman was never my thing, and for Freedom Fighter we had a really nice Mario'esque control scheme that I felt was perfect but when we got a new lead it was changed to something more akin to the hitman setup - which totally destroyed it for me - its probably just me though as the controls was well received in most reviews.

The game I'm doing now has been on my mind for years and it feels like I've already played it a thousand times and just know how it should be. Its not there yet but we're getting there. The best thing is when I connect my PC to my big tv where it suddenly looks a lot better (I prefer playing games on consoles/tv except for FPS shooters like TeamFortress2 or other FPS shooters).

So long story short, I feel I'm playing it as a gamer first and foremost, and the motivation behind making it in the first place was to make a game I'd enjoy to play myself..
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Dennis Hansen
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Golds
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2007, 03:33:10 PM »

Sometimes if I play my stuff with a different setup (especially a TV), that is not tied to how I work on it in development, it helps to distance myself from the work enough to experience it more objectively.

Another great technique is to get a friend to play a WIP and watch silently from over their shoulder.  While I guess in ths case you aren't actually playing it yourself, you get to experience what the game is like from a cold start vicariously.  Not always comfortable, but usually very useful.  Introversion has a kind of cool blog post about playtesting in this way as a formal event for their upcoming multiplayer darwinia project.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 03:37:40 PM by Golds » Logged

@doomlaser, mark johns
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2007, 03:52:57 PM »

my game crashes on my machine.
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Melly
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 05:16:25 PM »

I guess a good thing to do also is, while in the final testing phases, just leave the game aside for from a week to a month, then play it. Your head will usually have cooled to it, allowing you to see gameplay issues that you couldn't notice before because you were so absorbed by it, especially in the difficulty curve area. And by distancing from it I mean not doing anything related to it at all, with the exception of playing other games.
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 03:23:44 AM »

I can up to a certain extent get out of the developer mode.

You know you have a hit when you release your game and you still get engrossed in it. Smiley

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