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August 13, 2022, 01:42:31 AM

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flowerthief
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2022, 07:03:17 AM »

However, while I do agree that there's little correlation between cover-art and good works, I conversely feel that there's likely a correlation between a lack of cover-art and poor works.

Well if there's little correlation between cover-art and good works, but there's a correlation between a lack of cover-art and poor works...then the standard implied is to have any cover-art at all no matter how bad. Any crappy cover art will do, even cover art that misrepresents the product.

(Speaking of cover-art that misrepresents reminds me of the notorious cover-art for the western release of Mega Man 2 aka Rock Man 2)
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ComfieDev
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2022, 10:04:14 AM »

Hey,

I seamingly forgot about posting this, and the discussion in this thread is really great! I think that the 'richness' I meant might come from games being unique and different.

I've thought about this for a long time, and the more I compare old indie titles to newer ones you can clearly see the medium pushing cool shit that the older games actually have. This might be because in early 2000's and 2010's indie games were still really untapped, which meant it was easier to innovate.

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michaelplzno
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2022, 10:28:36 AM »

I just got into an argument about unique and different!

I was actually told that since my games are not like other kids games that is why I'm not successful:





That essentially, to make a hit, you have to analyze the market and "read the tea leaves" and essentially try to guess what people want. I'm not a fan of that kind of thinking because it makes me unhappy to make a game that is totally not what I feel like making and instead just a slave to what the masses on steam thinks is a good game.

But it does seem like a lot of the big wheels in today's market are just chasing trends, which I wouldn't say is a very rich creative ethic. In fact, one could argue it is cheap.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2022, 02:04:45 PM »

Just to expand on this: in the early 2000s there was a lot more curation platform holders did. That was essentially elitist, in that the devs who had connections were the ones who were let on platforms. But the upside to this system is that the devs who got a golden ticket could make a game they truly love and it would be a hit because there was so little competition. If Braid or Super Meat Boy launched today, and someone like me made them, they would likely be a flop because they are not trendy enough.

So there you have both sides of the coin: open market cheapens games but anyone can make a game, while closed market raises the bar assuming you like the elite few who are chosen to be at the top.

There must be a better way.
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Thaumaturge
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2022, 06:13:10 AM »

Sorry for the delay in my response here: I've been rather tired and low on energy of late, and wasn't feeling up to a contentious debate. :/

The reason I'm so "fearful" of subjectivity is that it seems to be the genesis of a ton of crap that simply cannot be cleaned up without OBJECTING to so many people's warring tribal narratives. When people disagree, we can cut the crap till the Truth is revealed. Its not popular but cleaning isn't popular either.

I see what you're saying, but I don't think that it's anywhere near the danger that you suggest.

Especially as we're not talking about everything being subjective--just some things.

Edit: If I'm fearful of subjectivity, then it seems the bulk of people I run into on the internet are utterly horrified to the point of abject terror at the idea of the actual honest to god truth.

I'm sorry to read it. :/ That certainly hasn't been my own experience, I'm glad to say!

Well if there's little correlation between cover-art and good works, but there's a correlation between a lack of cover-art and poor works...then the standard implied is to have any cover-art at all no matter how bad. Any crappy cover art will do, even cover art that misrepresents the product.

(Speaking of cover-art that misrepresents reminds me of the notorious cover-art for the western release of Mega Man 2 aka Rock Man 2)

Okay, that's fair. I should perhaps rather have said that there's a correlation between poor or no cover art and poor works.

(With some degree of accounting for the norm of the cover's context, I do think. That Mega Man 2 cover, for example, comes from a time in which such covers were, I gather, not all that uncommon.)

I seamingly forgot about posting this, and the discussion in this thread is really great!

Speaking for myself, it has proven very interesting! ^_^

I've thought about this for a long time, and the more I compare old indie titles to newer ones you can clearly see the medium pushing cool shit that the older games actually have.

I think that there are at least some new things being yet made.

But still, you may be to some degree right: I wouldn't be surprised if, with more collective experience and exploration done in the space, there's more emphasis now on taking the results of that experience and exploration and using it to make more and more-varied things, and indeed, improved things.

That essentially, to make a hit, you have to analyze the market and "read the tea leaves" and essentially try to guess what people want. I'm not a fan of that kind of thinking because it makes me unhappy to make a game that is totally not what I feel like making and instead just a slave to what the masses on steam thinks is a good game.

Indeed, that can be a difficult pair of opposing forces to deal with: On the one hand, the desire to make something simply that one wants to make, and on the other the issue that the more niche a thing is, the harder it (naturally) is to find an audience for it.

A lot, of course, depends on your goals: if you don't mind a small audience, then niche works can, I suspect, still find that.

Conversely, if you want a large audience, then that means producing something that a lot of people will enjoy. That would seem to mean either making something known to be popular, or determining what will be popular, or making something and it working out that said thing is popular.

But it does seem like a lot of the big wheels in today's market are just chasing trends, which I wouldn't say is a very rich creative ethic. In fact, one could argue it is cheap.

Oh, that's nothing new, I daresay.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2022, 06:43:14 PM »

The new bit isn't that the big wheels are chasing trends, but also they seem to be working, perhaps even in unison and collaboration, to prevent "breakthroughs." Its not that new ideas don't exist, or that they aren't being made, or that they aren't good work, its that games that move the trends in different directions are knowingly pushed aside.

Minecraft was a totally new direction for games that has become the norm everyone loves, but for a long time that game was not even publicly discussed on so called gamer blogs. Different ways of thinking are verbotten, and if you make your voice loud about how new ideas are treated poorly, you end up getting sent to the bizarro dimension where you live in a small room for 20 years without human contact. If you create something different and tell some of the guys who are copying the trends that there could be a better way, then all of a sudden no one wants to work with you.

This may be my subjective view, perhaps I present myself in an unpleasant way. It seems like if you don't go to GDC and the parties there you are already a radical, then to openly say that the herd mentality is bad means you end up completely isolated. Maybe other people have had different experiences, but its a hard knock life for me.





Really, I've come to suspect that I'm in some sort of prison dimension, and that there is some other version of me or some other force poisoning the well for my work. The only upside is that I have a few good people who support me IRL but the internet and all the media I see on tv and in theaters is somehow antagonistic to my way of thinking. Its as if the very god of entertainment hates me even though all I want is to be an entertainer. The fact is, if you told me I had a good deal, I would probably work on some derivative stuff just because I know whatever the big platform is when I launch will be pushing it. I would be happy to work with some publisher who says "no, you can't change the game too much, just make a simple clone" if they actually had enough power to get my game seen.

I guess if I was a good entertainer, I would just go party with the important people of the world and "entertain" them, hang out in the Cosby suit with the Blizzard execs, etc.

But my prison dimension theory has to do with my reticence to accept subjectivity, it feels like I'm not even in the same space as everyone else and the more I try to make better and better stuff the colder the audience gets. I get the tease of having a different subjective view to escape from a larger truth, in my experience, the larger truth is what saves me from lesser subjective ones. Meaning, I know that my work is good and prolific and that I'm a very powerful creative with a unique voice who is talented in multiple mediums, but I am subjected to a world where the most popular work is a hot take on if the ice cream truck jingle is or is not racist. I have a set of somewhat objective theories that explain why the stuff I've made is better than the ice cream straw man, but if I just relent to subjectivity, its clear that the narrative about racist ice cream workers is much more worthy of attention than what I've made.

I even made a game where you become president by just yelling loud sound bytes which broke through a lot of the clutter and was seen in a bigger way than a lot of stuff I do. It seems like I am now stuck in that game. I meant it as a joke, but here I am in a world that has become an even bigger joke and only now do I realize how quickly I got tired of that gag.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2022, 06:26:01 AM »

Okay, that's fair. I should perhaps rather have said that there's a correlation between poor or no cover art and poor works.

Then we're back to judging a book by its cover.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2022, 12:17:13 PM »

I'm sorry to say that the current wisdom is that, yes, you can judge a book by its cover.

However, I recently watched a movie "OldBoy"





And the netflix thumbnail clip was Samuel Jackson getting money and I assumed the film was about him beating up a ton bad guys and getting revenge but the entire film was totally different.

The thing is that most people don't do enough work to actually judge things properly before they get into it unless they are paranoid.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2022, 11:26:37 AM »

^ Did you watch the original? The remake is never as good as the original. (I've watched both)
I'm sure they'll be remaking The Handmaiden and Joint Security Area before very long  Undecided
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2022, 10:33:28 PM »

When I watched it I wasn't aware there was an original, and the movie was too "revenge porn" for me to want to see another version of it, even one that is better. If the trailer for the movie on netflix were more honest, clear, and representative of the work, I may have watched the real version, but then the impact of the surprise would have been lost.

Also, as much as I have my own grudges, I can't really relate to hating someone that much, or feeling as trapped as being in one room for 20 years. Edit: I do feel angry that some people make it who are scum, and I do feel trapped in some weird dimension, but the movie is just over the top.

Luffytaro is trying to escape though:

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16comma7inPx
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« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2022, 07:50:53 AM »

Hi folks,
i replying mostly to ComfieDev's first post (don't think it require citation).

I totally agree, even when there is definitely a lot of nostalgia for olden days. I honestly feel flush of warmt over heart, from some games mentioned in debate. Knytt is perfect exemplar of this simpler and half hidden, but more impactfull design, but i was young. Cave Story mark for me, slow transition towards more "product" oriented approach. In the rise of digital distribution entire gaming changed. Professional games lose their pedestal of technological dominance, but also rarity and a large portion of value. Similar to loss of adoration for music albums. Now they dominate only by manpower. Indie games grown immensely, but strength in numbers bring loss in clarity, but still not always in substance.

Indie games was more works of passion for medium itself. Just like at the beginning. Because the chance for profit was very limited and seem to be unreachable for individual. The desire to make something cool, even if just for one time, become main factor. Chance of becoming a cog in industry, just like in any other creative job, was miniscule. Only payment you've had was reaction of audience, often only presumed, shrouded in eternal haze. You then tend to see player as a mirror of your own personal experience. Game as art is forevermore unfinished. Until one day find its player. Games are means of communication. Meaning arise in players mind, it is not planted. It is dialog by mail, crude and uneffective, but deep. It is also thrilling to picture how receiver may feel. Exactly because you can't know. You will never know. But remember? Ultimately we are attempting to build anew, those moments of awe.

For artist, player is a stranger visiting alien land, through game as a window to its fiction. For developer, player is a specimen in experiment, utterly fascinating, but replaceable. For market, player is not, never was. Game is then uncomplete and dead. Artist is destined to be poor, his wage did not lay in this dimension, but One deserve to eat. Maybe it is about Us... how many times we did not give a look to what lay in front of us? Maybe...

Now, reaction mostly to Michaelplzno in summary of his thoughts so far. Thus without citation.

In the end, we will play games in small clubs similar to meetings of the poets. Dreamers make for those alike. Thus gamejam had born. But what is the value in art made by man, in age of AI generated images and frog-mice wars on the net? Is there something worthy? You guys had spoken of terminology behind "rich", "the" etc. So, language is living thing, interpretation as important, as intention, forever imperfect. Clarity is attribute of science and its tongue is mathematics. Our common tongue is tool of humility, without which mankind suffer by shackles of ego. So, there is strength in Unity, but is there strength in Division? Division is variation, it is sole ingredient of life. Whole divided is more vivid and flexible in front of unknown. But also fragile within, without division into individuals we die in front of unpredictible. Just like some will run out of danger, and others stay freeze. Until we know what can be done beforehand, by drill. Value of division is imperfection itself creating space for iteration. And art is ultimate manifestation of this. Value of human made art is also imperfection. Thus it create empty void of new possibility. We as creators are keen to adore incomplete, because it give us purpose as an audience. Through this, we become bros with One who made. In perfection lay no possibility, and this is reason why for us, feel commerce oriented games holow, rather then rich by meaning.

Do you copy? Smiley
« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 08:54:40 AM by 16comma7inPx » Logged
michaelplzno
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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2022, 10:04:49 AM »

@16comma7inPx I get some broad strokes of what you are communicating but no, I don't really copy. I'm much more formal with language and thus I need that rigid structure to hang on to when I read like a handicap bar. I feel you, in that the emotional tone of your writing seems interesting and I want to understand more. But I can't really make sense of what you are getting at. I don't mean that as an insult, I mean its on me for not understanding.

"we will play games in small clubs similar to meetings of the poets" and talk of unity, division and various kinds of strength therein. (I've said my fists have UNITY and DISCORD written on them because of those two titled software tools being so essential to my dev process.)

I've been trying to make a community around my games for years, maybe even decades. It seems like over the internet that cannot be done (for me at least, due to reasons I cannot understand) and that the universe is telling me I have to meet up in person. I'm just weak at doing that because in person there is an overload of information that is too much for me to process that quickly. I've tried to do stuff in person and just ignore a lot of the information and focus on what is important to me, and it seems like the groups there react unfavorably to my selection of what info to prioritize. I'll say one slightly mean thing and its like a declaration of war, or I'll ignore some small gesture and I'm being an insensitive oaf. Or similarly, I'll read into something that someone says which is on its surface polite but actually a backhanded burn, or I'll take note of something like a group of people sitting on a higher set of chairs than the rest of the group and get annoyed that they seem to think they are above everyone, when I'm the only one who even noticed that. It takes more than my mind can muster to handle all the nuances of social groups in person like someone going to a formal ball who has two left feet and then trying to make it seem like my way of dancing is a cool new trend.

So unity, division, I'm really just trying to make a system work for me that I'm too much of an awkward weirdo to comply with. I'm like a nerd who is overweight and trying to fit into a shirt that's too small, its just awkward. I snap at people who may be trying to help. I'm friendly to people who may hate my guts. Its enough to drive you mad. All I can do is be me.



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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2022, 03:51:31 PM »

I think that the 'richness' I meant might come from games being unique and different.
Yes, bad choice of words as "richness" and "uniqueness" is in many cases orthogonal to each other. So a game can be both, but it is important to distinguish between both aspects. You also have to take Jon Blows statements through a grinder. The fact that he can rarely provide a straight answer means that he doesn't greatly understand the subject matter himself. It is not supposed to be a critique, but a realization that this is the process of discovery in the jungle of thoughts. And, to a varying degree, we are all in it. So we can help each other to sort them out.

I consider Uniqueness in itself actually not interesting, or worth pursuing, except there is substance to it. It can add an effect of novelty though. But richness is something substantial to consider. It can trigger the psychological effect of immersion. I see two major ways (not mutually exclusive) in how it is provided:

1. By engaging lore that is reflected by visual/interactive/narrative detail.
 
2. By great mechanical depth.

Many gamer would love to see 1. and 2. combined in action, but this is very hard or expensive to achieve. However, if you successfully combine some kind of richness with uniqueness, there is a chance for a phenomenon to arise, like Disco Elysium for example.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2022, 07:19:07 PM »

If richness means "Depth" then would you say that it has declined in the 2020s?
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« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2022, 02:51:40 PM »

I've been trying to make a community around my games for years, maybe even decades.

Ok, maybe it is simply inequality spike in distribution. You know, naturally it develop in any form of human endeavour. In books sold, music heard, etc. There is always 1-15% of folks that grab 80-90% of sales, or other forms of value. When somebody make successful product (or decision) it increase chance for next success. Problem is, that it cout even for chance to get your thing tried. It is like book, until somebody open it and start read, cover is only thing there is. But even cover is not enough reason to convince. In olden days, people can read articles, see screenshots, or play on blind. It was easier then see a video. Now when we have gameplay on YouTube, it become sort of an mating ritual of the birds, to get your game a trial for one time. Quality is hidden behind colourful feathers. First you must convince that there is something unexpressible by sight. Something worthy of exploration in person.

Games are realy like books, just faster - first you have priests and monks of the mainframe terminals. Only they know how to read, book is item worth gold. Each copy was unique and only few ever see it. Then you get printing. Anybody can read and write - indie. Then come inqusition to prevent wrong ideas - let's keep decorum. Now we are in true begining, we aren't seen nothing yet.

If richness means "Depth" then would you say that it has declined in the 2020s?

Richness is abundance. Question is not when to use it, but what content of richness meant. Depth of my pocket increase, it's hard to reach my riches since 2020. Now I am emotionally enriched instead. Similarly, what kind of "depth" you mean?

1. By engaging lore that is reflected by visual/interactive/narrative detail.

What about atmosphere? Do you need narrative or lore, to convey atmosphere? Interactive detail count rather as mechanical.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2022, 05:09:45 AM »

I'm pivoting again: I've decided that "fuck it" I'm tired of trying to make popular games, or really anything that caters to an audience. I'm a fascinating multifaceted individual. I'm going to try to express the beautiful and infinite complexity of my flawed and deranged soul. If that makes money great, if not I'll just get a day job.
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