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November 21, 2019, 06:19:23 AM

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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesVideo Games, High Art, Roger Ebert & the Cultural Ghetto
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Author Topic: Video Games, High Art, Roger Ebert & the Cultural Ghetto  (Read 1047 times)
michaelplzno
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2019, 05:54:34 AM »

To quote the original cracker, "man was not meant to live on bread alone"
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Schoq
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2019, 06:42:46 AM »

yeah that's why I said games and bread
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2019, 06:48:41 AM »

That's a quality negotiating style:

https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/steven-martins-holiday-wish/n9507
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litHermit
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2019, 10:41:16 AM »

michaelplzno everyone likes what they like, getting your panties in bunch over differing tastes is rather comical though
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2019, 11:38:18 AM »

I'm mostly blowing off steam. And look at it from my pov: a game literally called "shit game" that its creator says is bad gets 100k views? Thats a panty twister.
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litHermit
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2019, 01:14:14 PM »

I'm mostly blowing off steam. And look at it from my pov: a game literally called "shit game" that its creator says is bad gets 100k views? Thats a panty twister.

Haha touche, I can get that.

I may have chuckled too hard at his flappy pipe though, and it piqued my interest enough to scroll through his other offerings. So I can kinda get the 100k views for novelty and quick, cheap amusements.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2019, 01:43:05 PM »

Well yea, I'm all for games becoming successful on novelty. I actually like games like Flappy Bird, its based on an old game that is a really good concept and it deserved to find a new audience. I do not like the concept of Shit Game because it seems very cynical with a good amount of contempt for the audience. Contempt for the audience was a pretty prevalent trend in Art some time in the 2010 area. And just to be on trend, I did not play it. I get that there are people who are REALLY into getting shit on though.

I still remember when the iFart dominated the app store on iOS, which seemed much more up my alley as far as novelties that become trendy go. Actually iirc there was a legal battle over that one.

The system for doling out which games "GO VIRAL" is just extremely upsetting as someone who would love to go viral. I hear, "well its random" but I'm sort of circling back to another thread here.
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Golds
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« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2019, 06:57:25 PM »

I made Shit Game with love.

Here's the original thread I made for it, and  Terry's writeup on the front page, Kotaku's, and then my contemporaneous thoughts after releasing it.

I put my heart into it, and didn't realize it would take off virally in 2008. Maybe give it a try before judging it by its name?

Well yea, I'm all for games becoming successful on novelty. I actually like games like Flappy Bird, its based on an old game that is a really good concept and it deserved to find a new audience


I also made a Flappyjam riff on Flappy Bird which also unexpectedly went viral last year. Maybe you'd like that?


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« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2019, 10:57:41 PM »

@michaelpzno Eh, I don't mind contempt for the audience sort of stuff. That's pure satire in my book and I love it. The audience needs contempt sometimes. Everyone needs a good hard slap on occasion Tongue (if it doesn't fly over their head)

Steaming frustration because your own games can't amass the similar popularity is understandable. Anyone doing this commercially would like to go viral and it sucks when you work hard and it keeps not happening. But man it sounds victimized and woe-is-me, I don't see how that helps you at all. Psychologically speaking, blowing off steam rarely actually blows off any steam, it just reinforces negative thought patterns.


@Golds I never stumbled on you games before yesterday. I just woke up and giving shit game a try needed to be done. I fucking nearly had a heart attack and then spilled my coffee laughing when that big head came up and destroyed my no doubt fueled reminiscing. Really fun(ny)! I can totally see why it went viral.


Now this is how I feel virality works. You stumble on something which makes you feel, it entices a strong reaction (usually a positive one) and you just have to share it with others to see their reaction. There are no forces governing what goes viral and what doesn't. And I don't believe it's exactly random either.

It's all about the work itself, and where you find the initial few eyes (who have a good reach, and liked a thing).
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Golds
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2019, 11:38:47 PM »

@litHermit thanks!  Cave Story

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There are no forces governing what goes viral and what doesn't.

I've actually written a bit about this. I posted a tweet the other day about it, as it's something game developers, and anyone else trying to make a living on the Internet needs to understand,





Basically, almost everything you see on the internet follows a popularity distribution known as the power law (pareto principle). You might know this as the reverse-exponential curve, or 'the long tail'

Some people at the Aspen Institute wrote a really good paper about it, and speculated on its social implications: https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/2013/02/Power-Curve-Society.pdf — it's a free paper, and I highly encouage reading it.

Essentially, all open platforms tend to skew out this way. A very few mega-hits (Your Undertales and Minecrafts), then a lower tier that does sort of okay, and then the vast majority at the tail end of the spectrum receive almost no attention.

I first came across this reading a post on kottke.org, where he noticed that blog-link popularity matched a power law curve at 98%—this is back in 2003: https://kottke.org/03/02/weblogs-and-power-laws

I found some other interesting stuff out last year, and posted about it on Hacker News:

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"the world still rewards value, even if it takes some time. The people clamoring that it doesn't are doing so because they want to believe that it isn't their fault they didn't succeed"

The funny thing is, this is not entirely true. Quality is only important up to a certain threshold, after which you're at the mercy of what are essentially chaotic network effects early in the lifecycle of your product.

Salgankik, Dodds, and Watts performed an experiment that begins to provide some empirical support for this intuition [359]. They created a music download site, populated with 48 obscure songs of varying quality written by actual performing groups.

Visitors to the site were presented with a list of the songs and given the opportunity to listen to them. Each visitor was also shown a table listing the current “download count” for each song — the number of times it had been downloaded from the site thus far. At the end of a session, the visitor was given the opportunity to download copies of the songs that he or she liked.

Now, unbeknownst to the visitors, upon arrival they were actually being assigned at random to one of eight “parallel” copies of the site. The parallel copies started out identically, with the same songs and with each song having a download count of zero. However, each parallel copy then evolved differently as users arrived. In a controlled, small-scale setting, then, this experiment provided a way to observe what happens to the popularities of 48 songs when you get to run history forward eight different times. And in fact, it was found that the “market share” of the different songs varied considerably across the different parallel copies, although the best songs never ended up at the bottom and the worst songs never ended up at the top.

Salganik et al. also used this approach to show that, overall, feedback produced greater inequality in outcomes. Specifically, they assigned some users to a ninth version of the site in which no feedback about download counts was provided at all. In this version of the site, there was no direct opportunity for users to contribute to rich-get-richer dynamics, and indeed, there was significantly less variation in the market share of different songs.

There are clear implications for popularity in less controlled environments, parallel to some of the conclusions we’ve drawn from our models — specifically, that the future success of a book, movie, celebrity, or Web site is strongly influenced by these types of feedback effects, and hence may to some extent be inherently unpredictable.][/i[

That study was done at Cornell, and you can read about it here: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kleinber/networks-book/networks-book-ch18.pdf

But basically, we're all at the mercy of network effects, and small variances in those network effects at the very beginning of your "product"'s lifecycle are very important. Now, I believe quality is incredibly important, but so is novelty and getting to a new market early — and in my case, humor seems to be a booster. If you come in late, probably the best bet is to have the assistance of one or more people who already are "super-nodes". But I'm not entirely sure. As the Cornell paper notes, there's a lot that seems up to what they describe as "chaos".

And keep in mind that I've worked very hard on plenty of things that also haven't gone viral, so I understand being bummed about the lack of uptake on personal projects that you feel strongly about. I showed a game right next to Jason Rohrer's Passage, and my game was the hit of the event — if you were there in person. But as far as people writing about it, well, Jonathan Blow wrote a nice thing and a few others, but it was Passage that is now in MoMA's permanent collection. I count Jason as a friend, but that still stings a bit.

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It's all about the work itself, and where you find the initial few eyes (who have a good reach, and liked a thing).

yes.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 02:48:52 PM by Golds » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2019, 12:04:39 AM »

That's a lot of useful info to dig into, awesome!

But basically, we're all at the mercy of network effects, and small variances in those network effects at the very beginning of your "product"'s lifecycle are very important. Now, I believe quality is incredibly important, but so is novelty and getting to a new market early — and in my case, humor seems to be a booster. If you come in late, probably the best bet is to have the assistance of one or more people who already are "super-nodes". But I'm not entirely sure. As the Cornell paper notes, there's a lot that seems up to what they describe as "chaos"

This more or less reinforces my (entirely intuition based, off of subjective data) understanding of how it works. It's definitely not all up to quality, as in all industries a lot of quality work gets swept away. I feel like novelty has more influential power and I've observed it happen in games, music, tv shows, books... it just (usually, bot not always) needs to be backed by enough quality to give it wings. Undertale feels like a prime example.
And then there's the mix of luck and effort in getting it before others.

Randomness can't not be a major player though, but I don't see it as an absolutely defining one.
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litHermit
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2019, 12:46:39 AM »

Also, just wanted to add that Pareto's principle (the 80/20 rule) is a topic which warrants reading into irregardless of what you're applying it to. Richard Koch did an good book about it in a very approachable manner; and lots of entrepreneurs have been quoting it for years
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2019, 09:05:22 AM »

My gut reaction is to post this video without comment, and not read this stuff:





but alas give me some time to actually look into this... stuff.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2019, 02:05:23 PM »

@gold So my reaction to Shit Game was correct on closer examination. I downloaded it and played it, it messed up my monitors, and almost relocated the icons on my desktop. IDK when Alt-Tab was ever the keys to activate windowed mode, but it most certainly did not work for your game.

I got to the foot stomping area and after I made it past the foot I was done. It was exactly what I expected, a very cynical piece, if you consider that love, I'm not sure I want to be in your circle.

I wonder about the video you posted as the impetus, as it has been deleted.

When it comes to chaotic networks, I agree with your take on it: there needs to be a structure imposed on it for the benefit of everyone. I've gone nuts railing for freedom etc, but chaos and freedom are different. The open market is a start, as I said in an earlier thread, but we need a system that actually regulates that market. The better that system the better games we will have, indie and otherwise.

@litHermet Complaining can reinforce things, but I once heard the head of the IGF say "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" that was before he was forced to resign due to misconduct.
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Golds
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« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2019, 03:37:47 PM »

I got to the foot stomping area and after I made it past the foot I was done. It was exactly what I expected, a very cynical piece, if you consider that love, I'm not sure I want to be in your circle.

I guess you have no emotional connection to 90s and 00s American pop music rendered in General MIDI. I loved that No Doubt track so much I let it go for two levels. And you missed the George Harrison and the airplanes, the Das Boot score and the hidden floating Type-VIIC-, the ending montage with KC and Jojo

Regarding your technical complaints, I made it quickly for Windows XP almost 12 years ago. You can view it in speedrun form if you don't want to actually play it.





As for regulating power law popularity distributions... I don't think there's that much you can do when given free choice on the open Internet. Buddying up to other super-nodes seems to be the way forward for now, and to me that looks like indie publishers, or pursuing direct funding from big platform companies like Apple, Epic, Humble. Google, et al. Though some have success going it on their own. Petri and Arvi's's Noita being a good recent example of technical novelty matched with classic good design.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 04:01:16 PM by Golds » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2019, 09:12:17 AM »

After listening to the lyrics to the pop songs you chose, it seems like this is a breakup game more than being about love. I mean as far as emotions go, I know as a coder I'd be pissed struggling to make the physics work and have them be so wonky. So the impression I get when I play the game is one of frustration at least from the technical end.

Then lyrically you have a lot of songs about faith, war, and love falling apart. Even the ending which is much more of a true love song, involves the main character floating through clouds alone, as if to say he has sort of conquered love. Like, finally the pain is over and now he can sit at the top of the mountain.

Just in terms of gameplay, there are constant traps and false turns in almost every level, not even standard mario style traps that signal at the solution, but more even "crazy ivans" that are designed to be misinterpreted.

The more I pick at it, the less of an expression of love it seems to be, more an expression of pain and frustration.  But IDK maybe I'm projecting. Furthermore, if you were trying to express feelings this way, you then dump on the whole thing by calling it "Shit Game" as if to say that the whole effort was in vain, ill conceived, and bad. They say love is to pray, but I'm sorry I don't pray that way.
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Golds
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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2019, 05:20:42 PM »





Quote
the impression I get when I play the game is one of frustration at least from the technical end.

Ahh, no. What I did was take Multimedia Fusion 2's built-in "Platform Engine" presets and build a game around their wonkiness. I also imposed a limit of ~1 minute for each frame of art asset in the game, so they were all off the cuff.

The point then became to take something glitchy and build a game based around exploiting those glitches, and a game about off the cuff one-off elements, each with their own unique little mechanics.

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it seems like this is a breakup game more than being about love.

When I say I made it with love, I'm not talking about romantic love of another person. I'm talking about a love of the medium of video games, and especially the spirit of indie games in 2008, where indie developers love certain video games so much, they make their own homages to them, and this game was a homage to that.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 05:25:43 PM by Golds » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2019, 12:34:30 AM »

But there *is* a great deal of cynicism in whatever relationship you are portraying here, be it an awkward teen pop relationship, the relationship designers have with games in 2008, or the relationship the game's main character has with his eye. Whatever the target, war, game designers, 90s pop, perhaps all, you are taking a shit on it, no?

If i had made a game with 90s pop in it and saw all the big wigs of the 2008 year indie scene go nuts over "Shit Game" I wouldn't feel flattered, and should I?
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Golds
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2019, 03:28:10 AM »

But there *is* a great deal of cynicism in whatever relationship you are portraying here, be it an awkward teen pop relationship, the relationship designers have with games in 2008, or the relationship the game's main character has with his eye. Whatever the target, war, game designers, 90s pop, perhaps all, you are taking a shit on it, no?

I feel like your main criticism is over the fact that I named a game Shit Game, and that it then resonated with some amount of an audience all those years ago. That was the working title as I was making it, and after mulling it over, I thought it would be best and most honest and funniest if I launched with it—and generally had a lot of fun making it and crafting the trailer.

From the feedback I got, I think other people did too. I made it while traveling in California and Oregon, just before finally getting to meet the TIGSource forum members I had been talking with for the first time at GDC.

Quote
If i had made a game with 90s pop in it and saw all the big wigs of the 2008 year indie scene go nuts over "Shit Game" I wouldn't feel flattered, and should I?

People in this scene really weren't "bigwigs" in 2008. It was such a small community, the world of people that were making these little indie freeware and shareware games and connecting on TIGSource & Tim W's indygamer blog. Such a small group back then that everyone who was doing it could basically know everyone else, all across the planet. It was just a tiny scene with a couple of internet forums bringing people together. #tigIRC had about 15 regulars in it. Braid hadn't launched yet. World of Goo hadn't launched yet. There was no Indie Game: The Movie. No 'App Store'. Nobody was even on Steam.

It feels to me like you're the one being bitter. If you don't like this game, and still insist that I was somehow being cynical, well, fine. I don't think I'm going to convince you otherwise.
I sincerely hope you find the success you aspire to, and that you give all your projects the best, most nuanced of titles.  Coffee  Gentleman
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 04:46:08 AM by Golds » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2019, 07:26:39 AM »

I'm generally skeptical of power relationships that make the shit roll down to the less powerful. I suppose that makes me bitter. I wish I just "got it," and could enjoy Shit Game and be part of your movement. I'm just trying to tell you how it feels to me, and express my critical opinion of it.

I can shut up, and leave this forum. I've got no real reason to be here, other than to perhaps have genuine interaction with other gamedevs. It seems like if you have a difference of opinion that is considered bad here anyway.

I have heard the mermaids sing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.

Edit: also nuanced isn't what I would describe as the antithesis of your title, but who cares what I think.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 07:53:13 AM by michaelplzno » Logged

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