*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 25, 2022, 08:19:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 91 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Shift in Indie Game Design?  (Read 18787 times)
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2003, 01:46:34 PM »

Greetings,

I hope this doesn't come across as sounding too harsh.

Quote from: C. Edwards
There's the rub.  The only way to tell if an idea can fly is to give it wings.  Petting it and cooing at it tend to be very unproductive, in my experience.  Ideas are malleable and slippery things and I would much rather see solid feedback on actual projects as opposed to commentary on seed ideas.


That's the problem though, isn't it?  Getting actual feedback on an actual work in progress.  Not easy, unless you're willing to post (at least in paraphrase) what you have.

Me, personally, when I need help on something I really am not looking to have to post the bulk of my material for comment.  I want to ask a general question pertinent to what I am working on and see what grist for the mill the thought processes of others returns.  Of course being too general isn't necessarily a good thing, either, as it tends to generate a knee jerk reaction in some of "put up or shut up".  Which, again, leads us back to the willingness to innundate the forums with reams of information about your material.  Which, to me, is pointless.

Why?

Because it takes time to paraphrase.  Time that, IMO, would be better spent working on the actual material.

So why not just post what you have?

Well, for me, that is problematic.  To see what I have for Crystal Spheres would require posting what, in 10 point, comes to about... oh let's call it... 10,000+ words in 40 some odd pages.  And that's just in my alpha work document, not all the little 'note' files of ideas, potential rules, things, and other stuff spread hither and yon in my work folder for CS.

Besides what is a game premise really but a collection of ideas?

The very first *original* thing I posted, way back when, was about a idea I gleaned from reading these very types of posts.  If not for them the germ of my idea never would have borne the fruit of "Pixies: The Gleaning".   Which, going by what you've described, would be thought of as vaporware and clutter to the forums.

But was it, really?

If memory serves in my fumbling around for ideas a third party was inspired out of something posted in one of those threads to generate material for Universalis.  Or was it Multiverser?  Hmm.  My imp of memory is strangely silent.  Evil critter!  ;)

ANYway, the point is that something of value came of this brainstorming.  And brainstorming, I thought, was part of what The Forge was all about?

So, I humbly ask, are such posts really worthless and not suited to The Forge?  Or, perhaps, is it just that the quality of the posts of late have seemed to not meet the standards that they once did?



Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
Logged

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Andy Kitkowski
Member

Posts: 827

I LIKE GAMES


WWW
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2003, 01:52:35 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan Walton
I'm not blaming you guys for the deterioration of the Game Design forum, but your departure is certainly not helping things.  It's a little like "white flight," where the affluent move the the suburbs and leave the inner cities to the destitute, and then complain about the rise of crime and how they don't feel safe anymore.


I can see where you're coming from.

I can also see where Clinton and all are coming from, too: I've seen far too many posts where known designers chime in to help someone with their nascent ideas, only to have them fall off the face of the earth, and all that feedback left like water on the sand.

Perhaps, with the refocusing that Clinton is showing in the Indie Design forum, it will bring these folks back to that forum. I'm looking at what he's doing now with that forum, and I can totally see it happening: Creating an environment that dedicated folks, eveyone actually committed to following through on their projects, will post to.

I know that I've stopped posting blatherings about stuff "I'm working on", because, honestly, I'm not working hard on it. I was running my mouth, gathering feedback to "eventually" follow up on later.  I realized that I was fooling myself, so I committed to Shutting the Hell Up until I had something substantial to show people.

Look at the "rpg-create" list on Yahoogroups for an example of what a thousand would-be designers - Who never, ever end up creating anything - is like. I sometimes find the design forum on RPGNet to be like that, too. Ron and Clinton are focusing on making sure that we don't even take two steps in that direction.

Hopefully in the coming weeks and months, as people follow Clinton's lead, we'll see more real feedback from real designers, offered to real would-be designers who are really going to follow through with their game.

I think we'll just have to wait and see.

But it doesn't hurt to make your complaints heard- Maybe it will help guide folks back to that forum...

Just a few yen.
-Andy
Logged

The Story Games Community - It's like RPGNet for small press games and new play styles.
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2003, 02:14:42 PM »

Quote from: Sidhain
Quote from: Valamir
This may seem a little harsh (and again not at you specifically) but The Forge and the Indie Design forum are for game designers who actually wish to complete, playtest, perfect and then publish (for free or pay) games.
.



Sadly, I've not seen this. I've come needing help on two serious projects and found little real support, help, or aid forthcoming for things I have in the works.  I shifted to trying various "hey I've got an Idea for a mechanic" mode--because this place hasn't really produced anything of merit for me. Those posts at the time were getting more regular response, than the others and so I was under the impression that was what the Forge really was for "just musing"---not for real game design support.

I had hoped that people elsewhere were wrong when called the Forge cliquish. I've not seen any serious evidence to counteract that, and plenty to support it. I find it a shame really. I would like to find a place that is what you say...maybe someday I will.


Ok, see posts like this concern me.  If this is an accurate assessment it is not a good one and one we should be concerned about.  So I did some digging:

I found Super Hero Game  Where you mention a game you have that "Right now it's only in the most initial stages--me getting my ideas on paper so to speak.  But it's forming up rather nicely"  This was March of 2002.  You posted nothing further about the game in this thread.  We just spent a whole thread discussing why Idea Ballons are not effective topics.

Then we have GunKnight from November of 2002.  Where you say "while I'm just in the tinkering stages this is one of the few that is sticking and going into production"  Given the committment expressed the thread drew quite a few comments including encouragement from people who really liked the sounds of it.  You then stopped posting about it, and it has not been heard from since.

You returned to the superhero game here in November 2002.  You asked a specific question about an issue and got two good suggestions regarding it.  You acknowledged those suggestions as being good ones, but reported nothing further on how it worked, or if it made things easier for the player in question.

That was the last thread started by you in Indie Design.  Having just reread all of these threads in their entirety, I don't think your assessment is at all accurate.  Is Hearts & Souls finished?  Its 5 months since your last design post on it...is it ready for prime time?  What about GunKnight, a game that was mentioned and never again returned to?

I don't mean this to sound harshly critical of you, but you sounded harshly critical of the Forge, and I don't think it was warranted.  You SAY that these are serious projects...I certainly have no reason to not believe you, but where are they?  I've seen no announcement from either of them in months?  Are they done?  Abandoned?  Already published?

You say you got nothing of merit, but in all three of these threads I see examples of helpful commentary.  However, in all three cases, the discussion ended.  Why?  Because YOU stopped posting about it.  We are here to help yes, but you can't seriously expect a queue line of people to form just because you asked for feedback?  It is your responsibility to generate interest in your game.  We are under no obligation to become enthused at every idea presented.  Tell us why we should be enthused.  Give us updates, ask questions (when you asked a question you got a helpful answer).  General requests for "feedback" aren't going to get you jack squat.  Nor should they.  If you can't be bothered to do the work to outline exactly what it is you need help or commentary on, why should we be bothered to do it for you?

The tone of your post above made it sound like you repeatedly came knocking with hard hitting game design issues and were chronically ignored.  At the very least its colossally misleading if not out right false.  It may have "felt" that way to you (I can't help that) but the facts don't support it.  You've only initiated 3 topic in Indie design (4 counting a request for hosting assistance, which you got), all of which generated at least some commentary and all of which petered out due to lack of follow up by you.  It is, after all, up to you to keep the conversation going until you get an answer that's useful.  

Again, I really don't want this to sound like a bash Sidhain post...but you painted the Forge pretty poorly above, and quite frankly...I don't see where any of your accusations stand up to the light of actual scutiny.

At some point...and this is definitely not directed at you individually, would be game designers seeking feed back may occassionally have to come to grips with the idea that their idea just isn't interesting enough to get anyones attention, go back to the drawing board and come back with something else.
Logged

Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2003, 03:27:04 PM »

I've never started a thread in Indie Design because:

1)  Some of the designers feel the work should be private.
2)  Most anything I get stuck on is an imponderable.  Sure, the thread may generate ideas, but it's likely it'll just be filler to get to:  'Do whatever you think is most appropriate for your game Jason'.
3)  I haven't felt my game is remotely ready for public consumption.  The writing, is...well, crap.

I think these are all perfectly good reasons to not post (well, the last one is a little fuzzy, but if you cannot express your game correctly it'll be pretty hard for anyone to help you).
Logged

- Cruciel
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2003, 03:27:23 PM »

Quote from: Sidhain

Sadly, I've not seen this. I've come needing help on two serious projects and found little real support, help, or aid forthcoming for things I have in the works.  I shifted to trying various "hey I've got an Idea for a mechanic" mode--because this place hasn't really produced anything of merit for me.


Damn straight.

That is, this place hasn't produced anything of merit to you. And it won't. You may produce things of merit here. Don't shift the blame onto Forge posters because you haven't completed projects. I will close down this thread like a clamp if I see any more whining.

That said, a few people have talked about the "big names" evacuating Indie Game Design like rats off a sinking ship. It's a good point, and maybe we should do something about it. I know I avoid it - in the past, my posts there have sunk like depth charges, getting few replies (well, since Donjon) among the high-reply, no-fiber wasteland.

I'll change that in the next few weeks.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2003, 03:41:49 PM »

Okay, let me add a 'long timer' perspective.

On the one hand, I'm hearing a lot of complaints about too little 'experienced designer' input.  On anther, I'm hearing 'there is too much noise.'  Yet another point seems to be appearing; 'the Game Design Forum is deteriorating.'

Well, you know what?  The exact same thing happens every weekend.  Know why?  Access issues.  That's what all these complaints have in common.  First of all, we've seen 'experienced designer drought' before.  Quite frankly this has a lot to do with how random events aggregate; each 'experienced designer' has flush periods and dry periods in terms of posting.  Because these are somewhat random, every now and then they happen all at once.  Like all the times before: give it time, it'll pass.

The second phenomen is a little more what is about to dealt with.  For some unknown reason, the Forge has become rather popular of late; many new posters have shown up (many that don't follow the general internet wisdom of lurking for some time before posting; and I mean more than a week or two).  What this results in is a lot of posts that don't fit 'Forge ettiquette' about focusing subjects and such.  This can't be helped; so goes the internet.

These same people aren't interested in hanging around for substantive input, especially when attached to a primer on ettiquette.  They come; they go.  Now, in exactly the same fashion that 'experienced designer' have streaks randomly, so to do 'superficial newbies.'  They just seem to aggregate into clumps; I've seen that around here too, it'll pass.

What is happening right now?  One of the rarer (but hardly impossible) situations is where both happen at once.  It actually does bias the 'return of experienced designers' slightly; who wants to answer all the 'superficial newbies' in hopes of catching that one 'new Forger?'  This likelihood precludes forcing one's self out of such a slump.  Fortunately both situations are as temporary as they are unstoppable; even this will pass.

I see the effort to clarify the 'policy sticky' at the top of each Forum as a good thing.  It lowers the resistance to the 'return of experienced designers.'  It won't make them post, but it will make them less likely to stay away.

Mostly though, I want to point out that this has happened before (and will again), a little patience and everything will get better.  This is not a matter of permanent deterioration.

Fang Langford
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2003, 03:45:55 PM »

I thought about this thread alot on the drive home today.  Wanted to add one additional thing that came to mind.  I was thinking about which games presented on the Forge got alot of feedback and which games didn't.

It occured to me that the games that generate the longest, deepest, and most thorough analysis are the ones that are complete.  Not complete as ready to be published, but complete as ready to be playtested.  

Donjon, Otherkind, Nicotene Girls, Dust Devils, The Pool, Wyrd (back in the day).  These games generated responses AND continuing interest.  Because when the designer came to the Forge with a "here it is, any feed back?" post...they actually had a game capable of being played, at least in rough form.
Logged

C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2003, 04:22:19 PM »

Quote from: Kester
I hope this doesn't come across as sounding too harsh.


No worries, not harsh at all.

Quote from: Valamir
It occured to me that the games that generate the longest, deepest, and most thorough analysis are the ones that are complete. Not complete as ready to be published, but complete as ready to be playtested.


Is that a viable prerequisite for posting in the design forum? A game complete enough to playtest does show a certain amount of investment on the designer's part.  Should there be a seperate forum for other design queries not involving ready-to-playtest projects or does that defeat the purpose?

-Chris
Logged
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2003, 05:26:35 PM »

Quote from: C. Edwards
Quote from: Valamir
It occured to me that the games that generate the longest, deepest, and most thorough analysis are the ones that are complete. Not complete as ready to be published, but complete as ready to be playtested.


Is that a viable prerequisite for posting in the design forum?


Okay, I both really like and am somewhat scared by that suggestion.

First, having a game ready to play DOES show a commitment from a designer.  You could have mechanics that you didn't like to much, you could have uninteresting bits that you'd change later, but at least people would have something where they could imagine what the game would play like.  We've had a rash, of late, where people post game "concepts" without any concrete mechanics or real thought put into how the game will actually be played.  This would kick those out the door immediately.  If people say "here's my idea for a game" you say "where're the mechanics?" and if they don't respond with some, you just ignore them until they have some.  Heck, suggest they take 24 hours and write a complete game.  Then, they can build off of that (which, on a related note, is the best use of a 24-hour game, in my opinion).

However, if people already think of the Forge as an elitist, insular, stuck-up clique of Narrativist snobs, this will give them a few more reasons to believe it.  If we don't care about that (I don't know that I do particularly, because I know better, having become a "regular" after just a few months), we can say "screw 'em" and have that be that.  However, if we want to be welcoming and supportive of designers that aren't getting their voices heard elsewhere (esp. female designers, minority designers, gay designers, etc.), that might not be great policy, since it might drive them away along with the less determined designers.

However, I think that some of the anger such a move would cause might be worth it.  If people are angry because they can't have a forum to post their unformed brain-matter on, maybe they should be angry, leave, go somewhere else, and come back when they're ready to do serious game design.  There's a level of maturity and commitment that I feel the Forge encourages (but doesn't yet demand), and I would definitely like to see things continue in that direction.  People are right that fewer high-quality posts would be far more useful and enjoyable than the mass of gunk we get now.  LESS TO READ AND MORE TO THINK ABOUT!  That would save time to actually get game writing done.
Logged

Christoffer Lernö
Member

Posts: 822


« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2003, 05:31:38 PM »

I thought I'd jump in again.

I think Fang brings up a very valid point when it comes to explain the "lack of feedback". Everyone can't always have a lot of time and interest in everything.

I don't read everything in Indie Game Design. I get involved in games I think sound like I want to play them, or if I for some other reason have some particular interest in them. And I only comment if I feel I really can commit myself to keep up with the thread.

Ultimately it comes back to the thing that's been mentioned time and again (to me as well): no-one here is paid to offer feedback and comments. People do it out of charity.

I think the difference between the Forge and other places is that while feedback might sometimes be sparse it's definately committed and well thought-out. Other places have more comments but with trade-offs in commitment and thought.

It's a bit painful because comments are so good here at the Forge that one could almost get to addicted to it (the contrast coming from other forums is great).

Maybe it would be helpful to lay down these rules in the forum-sticky as well.

I feel it's easy to get caught in a feeling of disappointment when postings fail to catch on. Maybe suggestions on "what to do when your idea fails to spark any interest" would be nice too for the sticky.

Most of the above, incidentally, comes from my own experiences. With that I mean I learned the above the hard way, by annoying the shit out of people and having them getting bloody pissed at me. Just sharing that wealth of knowledge ;)
Logged

formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member
ethan_greer
Member

Posts: 869


WWW
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2003, 05:49:03 PM »

Hey all,

Remember this thread from October of last year?  At the time, I got all up in arms about it and acted like an asshole because it really worried me.  Now, in this thread, I'm hearing a lot of echoes, so I'm not going to worry about it this time around.

I think it's good that these things get tossed about every once in a while.  These threads serve as a reminder of just what a damn good community this is.  With a group of people as passionate about games as we all seem to be, I really don't think we have anything to worry about.  And I'll be there six months from now to provide a link to this thread when the subject comes up again.

Rock on.
Logged
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2003, 06:30:36 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
These games generated responses AND continuing interest.  Because when the designer came to the Forge with a "here it is, any feed back?" post...they actually had a game capable of being played, at least in rough form.

I don't know if that's necessarily true, Ralph. For example:

Orx was ready for playtesting -- it was finished, though badly in need of some editing and clean-up to cover spots I couldn't personally see as problems: hence posting to the Forge for feedback.

Yet, Orx didn't generate much interest or feedback here. Finally, when we playtested it via the Indie Netgaming group, I got a huge amount of awesome feedback -- from the playtest group. I posted some more on the game to the design forms, and recieved little feedback again -- at least in comparison to other games and from the playtesters.

Another example of this is my adaptation of Immortal posted to the Sorcerer forum: it drew excellent critique and feedback -- from one person. This was another design completed when posted, though obviously I fleshed it out and changed things based on the feedback.

I'm not whining about this (even though it has bothered me): fine, they didn't get anyone's shorts all wet, I can deal with it. What I am saying is that completeness isn't the necessary ingredient because it doesn't fit in all situations.

Now, I don't know what that ingredient is, but something else occurs to me: Apparently something just didn't click with the designers here in regards to Orx, but what that is, I have no idea, because no one said anything about why it wasn't engaging -- but certainly that would have helped the design quite a bit.

So, please think about this: feedback on why a game doesn't interest you as a designer would be a good idea to write up as well. I see too little conversation coming from designers who aren't engaged by the designs posted, detailing what is lacking for them and how it might be altered to appeal to them. Certainly no one has to take that advice, but it is more helpful than silence is.

We can't pride ourselves on being a group of designers who really really design games and really really support indie development and publishing, if we're only doing it when we feel like it. To a fledgling designer, any constructive feeback -- even "negative" feedback -- is preferable to silence, which is ultimately useless and even contrary to the purposes of the Forge.

In fact, in thinking about it more, I guess it sometimes seems certain people seem to recieve more feedback on their designs than do others. Look at the games you mentioned: they're all from a central clique of designers. I doubt this is conscious, but I am noting it and it concerns me somewhat.

I don't know that anyone will agree, and I don't know that anyone knows what "the ingredient" is or if there even is one, but perhaps we should all be a bit more careful and more supportive of new games, even, or perhaps especially those we "don't get" and "have no interest in."

I realize that's a bit like screaming "Stop being so damn selfish and help ME!" and perhaps it even is, given that this is everyone's free time. On the other hand...well, community and purpose require some degree of personal sacrifice, right? Or it becomes instead a lot of people demanding that they be first priority, screw everyone else.

Obviously, I don't expect everyone to agree with my assessment.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2003, 07:00:27 PM »

Quote from: greyorm
Another example of this is my adaptation of Immortal posted to the Sorcerer forum: it drew excellent critique and feedback -- from one person.


And sometimes that's all you need: one other person to take a serious and thoughtful interest in your game.  I did this for deadpanbob/Jason when I first came to the Forum, putting my heart into it and really getting involved with the Incarnate design threads, because they sparked my interest.  I starting doing this kind of thing again when Shreyas started posting about Torchbearer.  The synergy that this kind of close, cooperative feedback creates (you comment on my game, I'll comment on yours) is incredible and amazingly supportive.

I would suggest that all designers, as often as you can manage it, pick a Indie Design thread where the designer looks to be struggling with the seed of something beautiful, but is having some troubles.  Then, intentionally check/post to that thread whenever you're on the Forge and see if you can't help them along.  People become part of communities by making personal relationships.  Make a relationship to a newcomer or struggling designer and watch them grow into somebody that inspires you to be a better designer.
Logged

Sidhain
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2003, 07:07:36 PM »

quote="Valamir"]This may seem a little harsh (and again not at you specifically) but The Forge and the Indie Design forum are for game designers who actually wish to complete, playtest, perfect and then publish (for free or pay) games.
---
That was the last thread started by you in Indie Design.  Having just reread all of these threads in their entirety, I don't think your assessment is at all accurate.  Is Hearts & Souls finished?  Its 5 months since your last design post on it...is it ready for prime time?  What about GunKnight, a game that was mentioned and never again returned to?
[/quote]

Unlike others here, I produce /long works/ that means considerable development time--H&S is 50 pages long as it stands sans art, and I'm working on getting the last 50 together from notes, and details I needed to add still. Most of what's left is just setting and Art at the moment. (Two fairly detailed settings)

It may be fine for you to turn out a work that is short, but it isn't for me. I want to produce quality and substance.

GunKnight is on hold, simply because Hearts and Souls and my FRPG take more time (I'm also jotting notes for a game which I have an artist interested in, and would much rather be able to produce a complete work with art than have a manuscript idling.


Quote

I don't mean this to sound harshly critical of you, but you sounded harshly critical of the Forge, and I don't think it was warranted.  You SAY that these are serious projects...I certainly have no reason to not believe you, but where are they?  I've seen no announcement from either of them in months?  Are they done?  Abandoned?  Already published?


Why should I come and bring more material here if I'm getting very few comments on them? Why should I repeatedly ask for help when I've been shown that with few exceptions (thanks to a those few btw) I've had little input. Should I post my entire game? I come with issue, I get a ffew suggestions, thats good, I don't produce enough discussion to merit coming back with furthur information.
Quote


You say you got nothing of merit, but in all three of these threads I see examples of helpful commentary.  However, in all three cases, the discussion ended.  Why?  Because YOU stopped posting about it.  We are here to help yes, but you can't seriously expect a queue line of people to form just because you asked for feedback?  It is your responsibility to generate interest in your game.  We are under no obligation to become enthused at every idea presented.  Tell us why we should be enthused.  Give us updates, ask questions (when you asked a question you got a helpful answer).  General requests for "feedback" aren't going to get you jack squat.  Nor should they.  If you can't be bothered to do the work to outline exactly what it is you need help or commentary on, why should we be bothered to do it for you?


Again, without respondants why should I? What is the Forge for if not to draw people who are /willing/ to comment, I don't expect long threads every time, I do expect more than I've gotten. How much enthusiasm am I supposed to put behind a discussion here, when only a few here bother themselves?
Logged
Sidhain
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2003, 07:14:04 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
[
Damn straight.

That is, this place hasn't produced anything of merit to you. And it won't. You may produce things of merit here. Don't shift the blame onto Forge posters because you haven't completed projects. I will close down this thread like a clamp if I see any more whining.


 /I/ have never done this before, and I'm doing it /all/ on my own with a few suggestions from game designers I know /personally/.  

So answer me this--in all honesty---Is the Forge really about /indie/ support, or supporting those /already established/ on the scene?
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!