Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

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Rinrinnya
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#61 Post by Rinrinnya » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:03 pm

Kokoro Hane wrote:As a game maker;
- When it seems my script file gets corrupted, or the error is so obscure I cannot find what is wrong. One time I was just making a test VN to test out some theories on how I could use certain codes, and then an error shows up. It shows me the line, and even when I fixed it, still got the same thing about the SAME line. I'm all like "THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT LINE OF CODE!" perfect indention, nothing broken. Maybe it was so obscure I couldn't see, but I eventually just deleted it.
- When there are some codes I can't figure out how to implement correctly.
This. ;A; So frustrating. I like your name btw ^3^
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#62 Post by J. Datie » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:35 pm

Blue Lemma wrote:* Cries of sexism/racism/homophobia/every other -ism or -phobia from people when there isn't any except in their heads - Example: This is why every man on a TV commercial has to be an absolute moron compared to a woman in the same commercial. Because if we had the woman ever be the moron, people would say "OMG SEXIST!!!!! WHAT IS THAT COMPANY TRYING TO IMPLY?!!!11" Call it "Homer Simpson Syndrome." This grinds me in game making because I have to question every little thing every character who isn't a White male does to make sure it's not too un-PC or has a balance (and I don't mean "Personal Computer.") Don't even *think* about including a minority-group member in your game that's portrayed in any negative way whatsoever, unless you are a member of that minority group yourself (see 2nd bullet point.) White dudes are always fair game, though. When in doubt, white guys can be your safe assholes and villains. <3
:shock:

*adds white guys to list of groups to be PC about*

That's it, this list is getting way too long. Clearly, the only way to make everyone happy is to make a game set somewhere where none of these people live. Therefore, in order to keep everyone in this thread happy, I've decided to set my next story in Japan. Luckily, I've already done a sugoi amount of research, over 1000 hours! It will be totemo accurate.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#63 Post by Rinrinnya » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:51 pm

J. Datie wrote: :shock:

*adds white guys to list of groups to be PC about*

That's it, this list is getting way too long. Clearly, the only way to make everyone happy is to make a game set somewhere where none of these people live. Therefore, in order to keep everyone in this thread happy, I've decided to set my next story in Japan. Luckily, I've already done a sugoi amount of research, over 1000 hours! It will be totemo accurate.
Your Megurine Luka quote is already sugoku accurate. <3 ^A^

I have to agree with literally everything Blue Lemma said, and I think this for everyone, not just me:

I hate when anyone makes something, a game, piece of writing, piece of art, whatever, and someone just goes and points out everything wrong with it. The person who made it probably automatically thinks 'Oh, there's nothing good about it then!' ;A; Cmon guys, give the good and bad points! Unless the thing actually has nothing good about it...lol jk o3o; But it's always good to look for something~.
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#64 Post by Misfile » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:59 pm

Rinrinnya wrote:I hate when anyone makes something, a game, piece of writing, piece of art, whatever, and someone just goes and points out everything wrong with it. The person who made it probably automatically thinks 'Oh, there's nothing good about it then!' ;A; Cmon guys, give the good and bad points! Unless the thing actually has nothing good about it...lol jk o3o; But it's always good to look for something~.
I think this rule needs a Michael Bay exception.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#65 Post by Kokoro Hane » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:21 am

Rinrinnya wrote:
Kokoro Hane wrote:As a game maker;
- When it seems my script file gets corrupted, or the error is so obscure I cannot find what is wrong. One time I was just making a test VN to test out some theories on how I could use certain codes, and then an error shows up. It shows me the line, and even when I fixed it, still got the same thing about the SAME line. I'm all like "THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT LINE OF CODE!" perfect indention, nothing broken. Maybe it was so obscure I couldn't see, but I eventually just deleted it.
- When there are some codes I can't figure out how to implement correctly.
This. ;A; So frustrating. I like your name btw ^3^
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#66 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:37 am

Hmmm, I haven't actually answered this properly. I was having trouble articualting what I wanted to say.

As a developer:
- Writer/Artist dissonance. This isn't really anyone's fault, but it is problematic. For me working as an artist, the information I recieve is through the writer. So there is a really good chance I'm not getting the whole story, despite their best intentions. This means I get very little chance to visually problem solve because I don't even know what the whole equation is. It makes it hard to do anything innovative.
- Lack of opportunities to work on what is mine. I've been involved in VNs for over 2 years and I haven't worked on something based on one of my concepts with someone. I'm hoping that will change in the future, but it's a very hard thing to manage as an artist. Writers are hard to find when you want them to write something that isn't theirs.
- Sheer tedium of drawing things you have already drawn.
- Working really hard on something ad then finding mistakes after the fact.
- Thinking up interesting ways to do CGs and poses that you haven't done already.
- People who think of all these things you should have had in the game without thinking about what that work load would have meant.
- People who think their personal preferences some how equate to what can and can't be made. If you don't like it, that's cool, but that character is still gay, have a nice day.
I could probably go on, but I'm really scrapping the barrel of things that annoy me. The last couple are only really minor.

As a player:
-Monologuing.
-Lack of dynamic dialogue. Since the visuals are rather static, the dialogue should carry a lot of character. When it doesn't, it's really boring to read.
-Over explaining or exposition in general.
-Being too wordy.
-Trope characters. Personal thing, I understand their appeal for people.
All of that is pretty obvious and much a muchness to everyone else.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#67 Post by Obscura » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:27 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote: Lack of opportunities to work on what is mine. I've been involved in VNs for over 2 years and I haven't worked on something based on one of my concepts with someone. I'm hoping that will change in the future, but it's a very hard thing to manage as an artist. Writers are hard to find when you want them to write something that isn't theirs.
Is there a reason why you don't write your own stories? Do you feel like you're not a storyteller, or that you lack skill with dialogue and/or description?

I think most people can tell a story. And you don't necessarily need the latter to help you do it, especially if you've got the skills as a visual artist.

It would be so awesome to see a VN without any words whatsoever (which, according to some, wouldn't be a true VN, but really, who gives a crap). The choices, if any, would be images, and at most you might see an exclamation point or question mark, etc. over somebody's head. If you've got the artistic skill...which you certainly do, I can imagine words would only lessen the impact of what the art could convey.

It's like those comics that are done completely without text. There's something so raw and deep and universal about them, when they lack a written language to distract from the sheer power of the imagery.
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#68 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:49 am

Obscura wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote: Lack of opportunities to work on what is mine. I've been involved in VNs for over 2 years and I haven't worked on something based on one of my concepts with someone. I'm hoping that will change in the future, but it's a very hard thing to manage as an artist. Writers are hard to find when you want them to write something that isn't theirs.
Is there a reason why you don't write your own stories? Do you feel like you're not a storyteller, or that you lack skill with dialogue and/or description?
I can write, and I have. I wouldn't call myself good because I lack the practice, but I can write stories. And I adore creating concepts for stories that have vibrant characters and worlds. But the idea of doing both the writing AND art for a VN doesn't exactly excite me. Art takes me a very long time as it is, so the idea of putting writing on top of that just seems exhausting. Plus, I really enjoy working with other people. I don't get the same buzz and motivation when I work alone.

Don't get me wrong, I love working on other people's concepts, especially when they are very talented writers. I love helping them bring their characters to life. But it saddens me that so few artists get the opportunity to tell their stories without taking on the whole workload themselves. I have no doubt that it contributes to to lack of available free artists here.
Obscura wrote:It would be so awesome to see a VN without any words whatsoever (which, according to some, wouldn't be a true VN, but really, who gives a crap). The choices, if any, would be images, and at most you might see an exclamation point or question mark, etc. over somebody's head. If you've got the artistic skill...which you certainly do, I can imagine words would only lessen the impact of what the art could convey.

It's like those comics that are done completely without text. There's something so raw and deep and universal about them, when they lack a written language to distract from the sheer power of the imagery.
That's kind of what I'm talking about with the first point. Being able to do interesting visual things. Doing things like combining the art and the type, or creating visual cues for choices. But that stuff has to be designed, and you can't design for it if you don't understand the whole concept down to the details. I think writers forget that others aren't privy to everything in their heads. Add to that that they will tend to think first in words and not images and they usually miss opportunities to do quirky things.

I'm not sure how you solve that problem completely though. Maybe by giving artists problems instead of solutions? Instead of saying 'I want 3 sprites and 2 backgrounds', say 'I want to do this type of scene, what do you think?'

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#69 Post by Obscura » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:05 am

Don't get me wrong, I love working on other people's concepts, especially when they are very talented writers. I love helping them bring their characters to life. But it saddens me that so few artists get the opportunity to tell their stories without taking on the whole workload themselves. I have no doubt that it contributes to to lack of available free artists here.
Yeah, I can see that. I was always under the impression, however, that artists were in higher demand than writers on the VN scene, and would be able to trade work if they needed to? Or am I missing a part of the picture?
But that stuff has to be designed, and you can't design for it if you don't understand the whole concept down to the details. I think writers forget that others aren't privy to everything in their heads
This sounds like the writer is writing the story while the artist is creating the assets, am I correct? It would seem that if the artist were handed the entire script beforehand, this problem could be resolved, no? Or is this realistically impossible?
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#70 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:27 am

Obscura wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I love working on other people's concepts, especially when they are very talented writers. I love helping them bring their characters to life. But it saddens me that so few artists get the opportunity to tell their stories without taking on the whole workload themselves. I have no doubt that it contributes to to lack of available free artists here.
Yeah, I can see that. I was always under the impression, however, that artists were in higher demand than writers on the VN scene, and would be able to trade work if they needed to? Or am I missing a part of the picture?
But that stuff has to be designed, and you can't design for it if you don't understand the whole concept down to the details. I think writers forget that others aren't privy to everything in their heads
This sounds like the writer is writing the story while the artist is creating the assets, am I correct? It would seem that if the artist were handed the entire script beforehand, this problem could be resolved, no? Or is this realistically impossible?
Yep, artists are in higher demand because there are a lot of writers looking for workers to make their stories. But there aren't many writers who are willing to write someone else's concept for free. I'm not entirely sure why that's the case. They come in with their own stories in mind, and they want to do those ones I guess. You rarely even see writers offering a trade of work. Personally I think it would serve writers well to do so in order to earn the respect and trust of an artist instead of wanting it up front. In this community, the writers are generally the creative leads. I would be interested in seeing other combinations.

Yeah, it's easier to work from a script. It's much better in getting a good grip of the story and what is happening. Though cases of writers having a full script is uncommon, you usually end up working on both the art and the story at the same time, especially on longer stories. It's not impossible of course, but it doesn't happen that often I don't think. But it doesn't necessarily have to be the script, a decent overview would be good. The key is for the writer not to tell the artist what to do, while still giving them enough information to work with. You want to give the artist a list of symptoms you want cured, not an order list from a menu.

Though this is separate from commission work. As always, if you are paying you can ask whatever you want. But for everything else, sometimes it's a really good idea to let an artist do what they are good at, which is visually communication.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#71 Post by latte » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:44 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote:In this community, the writers are generally the creative leads. I would be interested in seeing other combinations.
I second this so much. Anyone can have great ideas, but artists (or coders, or designers) often lack the practice needed to write well and/or develop said ideas. Unfortunately, it's far too rare to see a writer look at character images and concepts and think "I want to write this story", whereas you can often spot amazing artist working on other's projects for free.

Though the only example I know of an artist being the creative lead resulted in the worst game of its company... /sob

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#72 Post by nyaatrap » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:47 am

Obscura wrote:artists were in higher demand than writers on the VN scene
Is that so? Maybe it's true in English VN world. But I have an opposite impression in Japan. There're many skilled artists, but skillful writers who can match to them are rare. Skilled (not just wanna be) writers are always lacking compares to amount of skilled artists.

Though I think programmers are more lacking and undervalued. I'm actually an artist and a translator, and programming is my second skill. Even though, I don't think to hire a programmer in a replace of me. Because I can't find a programmer who has both programming skill and artistic sense.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#73 Post by Deji » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:57 am

On the topic of stories ownership, I've often found that yes, writers are the ones with the stories, while artists are the ones "just" illustrating the writer's stories.
Artists have to learn how to either mindread the writer or to follow instructions, while writers "only" have to write their stories and make sure to communicate what's in their head so the story gets visually told the way they imagine.
I'm not fond of this way of working, but when I'm commissioned, I do as I'm told. I just wished writers wouldn't expect me to love their stories as much as they do when they're basically just letting me participate as a vehicle of their stories, without much ownership if any at all.
It does feel kind of unfair that artists have to do the mindreader job and writers don't seem to be willing to do it the other way around...?
I've always thought they have enough stories in their head already, so why should they write somebody else's and try to please them when they can just do their own ^^;
And yes, I do prefer when I'm given a script and/or an outline of what's happening and I'm allowed to visualize and draw whatever coms to my mind, instead of being told "this is the image I have in my head, please draw it" and you have to do your best to match it. I think my best work has been done in those conditions. "Here's the script, draw it to your heart's content!"

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I have no idea how it happened, but currently our NaNo project is pretty much me, an artist, giving the general direction. And it's working O_O.
However, I think since I don't have this idea in my head I want matched (my ideas are always very blurry and hazy "Orz), everybody can do whatever they want and we're all happy with what each of us does :) (it's funny how we all praise eachother and squeal at eachother's job every day and how it all comes together nicely). Each of us is doing what they do best and having fun with it. We all brainstorm, one writes, the other draws, the other does more graphic job and networking and... lots of stuff actually, and the last one codes. And we barely tell each other what to do :'D But we make sure to share every step of the process (:

Maybe it'd be different if it was my "dream story", like writers each have their "dream story" and they have this particular movie playing int heir heads and they want it to be specifically this or that way... Maybe if it was like that, it wouldn't be so... easy to work together like that? I'd be bossy and tell everybody exactly what to do and they won't feel as free, have as much fun or feel as much ownership and pride on the project?
Something to think about.

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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#74 Post by vividXP » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:56 am

Blue Lemma wrote:Cries of sexism/racism/homophobia/every other -ism or -phobia from people when there isn't any except in their heads - Example: This is why every man on a TV commercial has to be an absolute moron compared to a woman in the same commercial. Because if we had the woman ever be the moron, people would say "OMG SEXIST!!!!! WHAT IS THAT COMPANY TRYING TO IMPLY?!!!11" Call it "Homer Simpson Syndrome." This grinds me in game making because I have to question every little thing every character who isn't a White male does to make sure it's not too un-PC or has a balance (and I don't mean "Personal Computer.") Don't even *think* about including a minority-group member in your game that's portrayed in any negative way whatsoever, unless you are a member of that minority group yourself (see 2nd bullet point.) White dudes are always fair game, though. When in doubt, white guys can be your safe assholes and villains. <3
I see this a different way but I'm just as annoyed/conflicted about it.

The dumb guy/hot woman dynamic, to me, is more male-fantasy fulfillment than the fear of those pesky feminist hordes. It's a weird thing that men are allowed to be overgrown children and still be able to get some all-her-shit-is-together, super-rational supermodel. In real life do we think that woman would ever look twice? The opposite is only true in stuff like YA romance novels and even then the girls are still held to super high standards. The only flaw a lot of these stories seem to give their girls is that they are just clumsy enough to stumble into the arms of hot hunky love interest. It's kinda ridiculous, but I think people are getting better about this so to me, I'm not all that mad about it. Dumb guy/perfect woman or "clumsy" woman/perfect man is finally becoming tired and it can't be too soon.

As for writing race/ethnicity (and let me include gender/sexuality in this), to put it simply:

I think it's a 'you' problem (not 'you' specifically, this is a you referring to a hypothetical creator) not a 'them' problem.

I think there are two major scenarios:

1) Someone is wildly ignorant of what is offensive or not. Like the dude writing an emasculated Asian sidekick speaking engrish or the predatory transgender woman trapping straight men being shocked, shocked! that people are offended.

2) Someone who is scared at the prospect that someone may find a portrayal of a poc offensive.

I have no pity for #1. #1 didn't know? Well as they said, now #1 learned the hard way. #1 wants to stop writing people who aren't white/western/male/straight/mainstream/etc. because of the backlash? Good, I think that's probably better for all parties involved. Some people just don't see or get it, and I think we should give them the permission to ease their burdens.

As for #2, I have to say (and I rarely get to say this so I'm excited), stop being so sensitive and scared. I think #2, if they do manage to find the courage to risk criticism, tends to overcompensate which results in uber-comptent characters with no flaws or conflicts. In other words, they make flat, boring two-dimensional characters that no-one gives a shit about. Just write people. If you do get called out on it, see if they have a point. If they don't, ignore it and keep it moving.

For example, Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey's Anatomy) wrote Scandal who has Olivia Pope a black woman as the lead character. I've seen people attack Shonda because, get this, Olivia is a Mammy, Sapphire and Jezebel sterotype all at the same time. Anyone has to see that critique as patently ridiculous and shrug it off. And Shonda Rhimes is a black woman too. So it happens to everyone. It sucks that if you write a white straight cis-man you rarely have to justify it. Write anything else then questions are asked and it all of a sudden becomes a political statement. Sometimes I even get scared to write a character that looks like me because will people think I'm being militant? It's a crappy feeling.

However, no one is going to please everyone. Some people are just haters. And, writers do make mistakes sometimes, and it can be used as a learning experience. It grinds my gears when people don't bother trying, but it also is an added incentive to tell my own stories.

On that note I'll end w/ this quote from Junot Diaz (who is an awesome writer):
"You guys know about vampires?" Diaz asked. "You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn't see myself reflected at all. I was like, "Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don't exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."
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Re: Game Makers! I'm curious? What grinds your gears???

#75 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:09 pm

Deji wrote:And yes, I do prefer when I'm given a script and/or an outline of what's happening and I'm allowed to visualize and draw whatever coms to my mind, instead of being told "this is the image I have in my head, please draw it" and you have to do your best to match it. I think my best work has been done in those conditions. "Here's the script, draw it to your heart's content!"
One of the reasons for this may be the mysterious disappearances of artists partway through a project, even when they are being paid.
Then it becomes "good luck trying to figure out what the person before you was planning".
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