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(PA) Why your games are made by childless, 31 year old white men

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by RK47, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    Why does the Codex dislike Limbo so much? Sure, Braid is overwritten and pretentious as fuck, the platform/puzzle version of Bioshock: Infinite, but Limbo is pretty nice. The puzzles and the platforming aren't particularly difficult, but everything just fits together so well in that game, not a single element feels out of place. And it manages to tell a non-trivial story without a single line of dialogue and about 10 seconds worth of cutscenes altogether. I wish we had more games with such a well-defined artistic vision and tight production (Hotline Miami comes to mind as well).
     
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  2. dnf Pedophile Dumbfuck Shitposter

    dnf
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    Do not mistake me for the codex brah. I just dislike Limbo gameplay. Too much casual, even for me...
     
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  3. Gozma Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Gozma
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    Ticks too many self-conscious stylish indie checkboxes. I get kinda grossed out by art that knows exactly how to be perfectly fashionable. It says something unpleasant about its conception.

    For whatever reason Hotline Miami didn't set off that tripline for me. Maybe because the cartoon bits like faces and masks look so amateurish and '80s synth is more fun and corny than cool. And it isn't a platformer.
     
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  4. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    Eh, I would have thought the pixel art of Hotline Miami would be ticking many more "stylish indie checkboxes" than Limbo's minimalistic style. I guess you could make the argument that it looks like a game made in Flash with a fancy monochrome makeover, but I think pixels are still king among indies. I don't even think Limbo looks that good in and out of itself; I think it looks just right for the kind of game it is. And "just right" is still something extremely rare for videogames (Thief is a much more impressive example of "just right" though).
     
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  5. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    I am over 31, white, and childless. Clearly I should not design games.
     
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  6. chestburster Savant Illiterate

    chestburster
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    "we need more developers other than 30-year-old childless White male" somehow equals "30-year-old childless White male should not develop games"?

    :hmmm:
     
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  7. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    As I would just add to the surplus population, yes it does.
     
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  8. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    The typical childless japanese legions would certainly create a pink marshmallow universe.
     
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  9. sea inXile Entertainment Developer

    sea
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    The hilarious thing about this is that so much time is also wasted at game development studios. You read so many stories about how people who worked on triple-A projects were responsible for doing tiny amounts of work in the grand scheme of things... "yeah, I made the model for the minigun and the assault rifle, plus a bit of extra work here and there." That's all you did for the 3 years of development? We all know crunch hours burn people out, but the irony is that by working people so hard you have them become so unproductive and wasting so much time that it'd be two or three times more efficient to simply impose a hard 40 hour cap on their work week.

    Looking at modern games, if you take out the colossal number of art assets, I honestly have no fucking clue where so much of the time goes. Okay, making a hyper-scripted, huge game with tons of detail, levels, etc. takes a long time... but not that long. And this is using less-than-ideal tools, as well. This is supposed to be after all the planning and discussion and design has been done, too, which is supposed to save time.

    Why is it that as a level designer I can put together (frankly) great-looking stuff in a day or two? And I'm not much of a 3D modeler, but I'll bet if I got good at it, I could probably make at least one or two decent models in a day, once I got the workflow down. Why is it that I can make an interesting, well-written RPG quest with good C&C in the span of a few hours, while BioWare stuff their games full of boring fetch quests that you can literally throw together in a half-hour? Are the people they hire incapable? Is there so much apparatus around them that tons of time is wasted getting anything good approved? Are the "core" writing staff jerks who won't let anyone else do anything interesting? I don't know, but I just do not get it.

    Studios are licensing more tech than ever before rather than developing their own, releasing the same games across more platforms thanks to unified development environments and hardware, and they're even starting to rely on purchasing art assets rather than making brand-new ones, because they realized nobody gives a shit if you reuse a brick wall texture from Google/CGTextures/etc. Things should be getting faster and more efficient, not less. I am not an Unreal Engine expert, but it's totally possible for one person to make a short, simple game in it in a couple of weeks. So why is it that teams of 300-500 spend 3-5 years putting out copy-paste shooters?

    There is no reason your engine-in-a-box shooter needed 5 years to make, period. It's all bloat, bad management, insisting the graphics need to be so good that they burn your retinas out, restarting the game 5 times over for no reason (hi BioShock Infinite), and wasted time, often all the result of publisher interference.
     
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  10. Cosmo Arcane

    Cosmo
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    The bigger the machine, the more energy it'll waste...
    Only there it's not bigger, but more bloated.
     
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  11. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Sea's post reminded me of an old saying I've heard. "If a person can't get their work done in 40 hours a week, find someone else".
     
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  12. almondblight Arcane

    almondblight
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    A number of non-games came out in the 90's like Puppet Motel and Freakshow. I remember them being interesting. They didn't really catch on. Despite gamers clamoring about art, they just want validation for blowing the heads off of zombies.
     
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  13. almondblight Arcane

    almondblight
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    This reminds me of why Clocktower is so awesome. I was also favorably impressed by Hide. Surprisingly enough, games are more suspenseful when you're not massacring legions of your enemies.
     
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  14. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I don't think most gamers care about art, just liberal arts graduates doing games "journalism" that get tired of being made fun of by their more successful peers.
     
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  15. chestburster Savant Illiterate

    chestburster
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    Fair enough, although I think "games", being the "interactive medium" they are, unlike architecture (which strictly concerns inanimate objects), should be intrinsically MORE capable than films to tackle ANY themes.

    I also think a game about mid-life crisis CAN be done: just make an RPG in which you play as Kevin Spacey the mid-aged loser, who has to make some C&Cs regarding his fantasy about some teenage whore, his fucked-up relationship with the bitch wife and boring work with no future. Sure such a "game" is not "fun" at all, and the average young nerds will never buy it, but I don't see any reason why this "game" cannot be suited to tackle themes about midlife crisis.

    And since you mentioned Pathologic -- that game is pure Kafka. Incidentally, it is developed by some crazy Russians, not from the usual American man-child that's being responsible for those homogenized AAA games.
     
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  16. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    Why would they be? Architecture is more interactive than film or literature, since, well, you get to choose where to go. That doesn't make it more effective at tackling arbitrary themes.

    And you just described Heavy Rain, but with the plot ripped off a better movie this time. It begs the same question Dear Esther does: What do you gain from making it a game? Why not stay as a movie? Because you need your hobby validated as a work of prestigious art?

    Also, you keep talking about this as if the developers themselves were the reason AAA games are what they are. But, more than anything else, it's the audience that consists of manchildren, and it's the publishers who want to sell 5+ million that force everything into the same homogeneous mold. You're deluding yourself if you think putting a middle-aged woman with kids at the head of an AAA development team would result in anything different. And if you target women as your audience, what you end up with is The Sims, which isn't exactly encouraging.
     
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  17. chestburster Savant Illiterate

    chestburster
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    No I didn't just describe Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain is a lousy third-rate thriller wanna-be with bad plot and no meaningful "interactive experience" (I use this phrase instead of "gameplay" because "gameplay" usually describe something "fun" and "fun" is not what I look for). --The QTEs of picking up your milk and brushing your teeth are NOT a meaningful representation of those daily activities. You cannot seriously argue that when you play Heavy Rain, you gain any perspective of life as you would when watching American Beauty, because, those QTEs are just fucking gimmicks. And the plot of Heavy Rain is shit.

    What I want, is a meaningful interpretation of life, expressed in an interactive media. I could care less about this whole "art" stuff, but I do want a "game" that makes me think about some existential questions after I finish it. Heavy Rain does not provide this, with its stupid QTEs and kindergarten plot.

    I'll tell you what I'm trying to describe: Mafia mixed with L.A.Noire, only if the game is not about cool gangsters and cops and shooting, but about a regular joe's life set in a sandbox environment, and with a plot written by someone competent.

    Or, alternatively, I want something like STALKER but without the shooting and mutants and exoskeleton scifi soldiers. I want a game about roaming the post-USSR landscape, with space-time distortions and other weird stuff to represent the ridiculousness and the twisted beauty of the USSR (I grew up in an ex-Commie country) and the human condition. More like STALKER the Movie. -- I know you would say I just decribed Dear Esther. I would argue that Dear Esther showed potential but failed because it oversimplified the "interactive experience" into a "virtual tour" and the narration of Dear Esther is not particularly good --hence, the boredom when "playing" Dear Esther. But I still have some faith that the developer of Esther can put their shit together in their future projects.

    I'm not. I'm just saying that developers are part of the problem. Manchild developers and manchild audience are of a chicken-and-egg scenaro. This viscious cycle feeds itself. Replacing all developers with mid-aged Chinese women won't magically solve the problem. But certainly maintaining the status quo won't solve it either. And therefore, I applaud the Boucher-Vidal guy's effort in the OP article. At least he's trying to make a change instead of throwing his hands up in the air and shouting "the audience is the fucking cause of the decline; fuck this I'm just gonna play along with the decline."
     
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  18. Cabazone Educated

    Cabazone
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    I understand what you mean but your use of statistics isn't correct. You can't infer anything with a sample so small. The probability of the correlation just being the result of randomness is way to high. For example, say a person, whatever he is a male or a female, have a probability of making a non-nerdy game of 10%. If you have five games made by women, the probability of having at least one of them being non-nerdy is around 40%. That mean there is around 40% chance of having at least 20% of women designed games ended up being non-nerdy. To put it in another way, you have 40% chance to see a very strong correlation which simply doesn't exist.
     
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  19. chestburster Savant Illiterate

    chestburster
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    True. Now that I suddenly remember Dragon Age 2 made by that Helper woman, which cannot be more of a nerd fantasy ... hmm ...
     
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  20. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    See bro, that's the thing, you're trying to describe what your game is about, but not what you actually do in it. You want Mafia and LA Noire, but without the shooting and investigations? What would be the primary interaction then, pray tell? You yourself admit that you want a more elaborate version of Dear Esther, which is an admission that you don't actually want a game, but a movie that tricks you into thinking you're actually doing anything of import.

    I actually think that what you're describing could be possible as an adventure game (I've seen some impressively mature adventure games), but you yourself still clearly imagine movies, and then try to force them into the framework of a game. Let it go, bro, it does not work.
     
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  21. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I think something like an interactive play could have value as a video game. It would have to have the world's best text parser though.
     
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  22. Morgoth Arcane Patron

    Morgoth
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    Guise look how adult people (David Cage my ass, not even his real name) are making adult "games" that can receive an award at some Film Festival!



    God I hope this shit bombs so hard.
     
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  23. Morgoth Arcane Patron

    Morgoth
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    Press X for Aiden.

    Gameplay evolved.
     
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  24. chestburster Savant Illiterate

    chestburster
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    You know, I've yet to see a movie into which I project a virtual body that can freely walk around, examine things and interact with environment elements. --That is Mafia II when the protagonist is not shooting things.

    I've also not seen a movie in which the protagonist (my virtual self) can die about ten minutes into said "movie", be resurrected in a second "playthrough" and take a complete different approach to proceed. -- That is STALKER when you're not shooting uber-soldiers and monsters like a marine from DOOM but only trying to walk around radiation zones, like you would do in real life if you visit the Zone.

    Clearly what I'm decribing is not movies. Clearly none of what I describe can be achieved by movies.

    How about a game in which you use "skills" on stuff, Fallout 1/2-style, only with non-Sci-fi non-gangster stories? Why can't someone make a Fallout-style RPG in which you play as a corporate goon with skills and perks such as "accounting" and "PR bullshitting"?
     
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  25. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Codex 2012
    For the same reason why no one makes a cRPG about being a paedophile.
     
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