274: Philosophy of Game Design - Part Two

Philosophy of Game Design - Part Two

Data, observation, and player input are either crucial or irrelevant to good game design, depending on which philosophy you follow.

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Well, I would say that the problem with argueing game design philsophy is that pretty much everything I've read so far seems to entirely omit money from the occasion. I don't think there is anything philsophical about the goals of the people making the games today, even though there might once have been. Few people in the industry really care about making a game that is good, as long as the game makes money. If a piece of shovelware sells a million copies, then that's a success, yet nobody including the industry considers it a good game. Various tie-in games to kids movies are an example of this. Maybe you could associate them with the logic of some great philsopher, but in the end it's nothing like that, some fat cat in a suit is figuring "Hey, this disney movie is coming out, parents will bring their kids to disney movies in massive droves without even thinking about it. Those kids will whine for the game. We buy the right to stamp that label on a game and we'll make tons of money!".

I'll also argue that innovation is not nessicarly a good thing. Too much innovation is just as bad as stagnation. People did not "retire" Chess entirely and stop playing it in favor of redoing the entire game and still trying to say it was Chess. People still play that game more or less unchaged today because it's pefect at what it does.

When looking at video games, people will make arguements about things like JRPGs, and Turn based combat, and similar things, and talk about stagnation. Those things and formats continue to exist because they are perfect at what they set out to do. Granted they might not have the sheer fanbase compared to the mainstream audiences for other titles, but there is nothign fundementally wrong with them except from perhaps a financial perspective where their fan base is not as large or profitable as that for flashier and more innovative games. Just as today not everyone plays Chess, in fact I'd argue that the majority of people probably don't know how to play Chess, but it still has a MASSIVE following viewed objectively, chess sets are still sold, and and no sane person suggests that we should change the rules to make it simpler, or officially rename the pieces after pop culture icons (ss opposed to simply making pieces in their likeness for those who enjoy that sort of thing) to make it more popular.

Such are my initial thoughts and opinions upon rading part 2.

Really, I'd like to see a more philosophical aproach to game design, and people trying to make good games for the sake of making objectively good games, but as we're dealing with a huge and corperate business that doesn't seem likely.

Wow, that was a rambling mess.

Once again, there's no actual insight provided here. You bring up subjects, ask some obvious questions, then switch topics. Hume, neoliberalism, and logical positivism are shoved in where they bring no value to the article.

You don't seem to have any actual ideas. Is this entire series going to be nothing more than a transparent excuse for philosophical name-dropping?

I liked these articles. A little long winded I guess but overall I liked them. I definitely think that last sentence is very true... probably why WoW is so massive.

You at least cite specific games and methodologies of design, which is helpful, but it is discordant to hear you use all these big fancy terms without bothering to explain them or tie them in at all. You do seem to be co-opting these terms for your own use, sort of like jamming the proverbial PS1 controller into the N64 system...you remind me of the rather lofty philosophy majors I knew in college. That is a compliment or criticism depending on your viewpoint. :)

Here's a game philosophy for you: it's only a good game if I think it is.

Now from the publisher's POV: it's a good game if it makes enough profit.

The only thing you can hope for is enough like minded people, so the industry can make the type of games you like.

*waits for "reason" to appear in pt. 3 or 4*

I'm not sure if depth is the goal of this series, seeing as I'm attempting a general survey of game design AND philosophy. Just one would've been difficult enough.

And I think game design is the synthesis of science, art and politics. Why shouldn't I draw from all three?

Ok...fool me once (article 1) shame on you, fool me twice (article 2) shame on me. These articles are rambling messes that do not educate, inform, or entertain me. I won't be reading the next ones. Peace out!

I'm sure that the design of soccer is also a synthesis of science, art and politics.

As I'm sure that just about everything ever is.

I really don't understand the point of these articles; they're all over the place and I'm not sure why you're bringing in all the terminology and points of view if you can't string them into any kind of coherent argument.

And it ignores above all that some of the most popular games in the entire world are not video games. People love watching football, soccer, volleyball, whatever matches as much as some actually like playing those games. I also like watching people play tournament-level SF3:TS and Quake 3, but does that mean I would want to play at that level? No. SF3, quake 3, etc are part of a culture I take part in, I understand these games and I enjoy watching people best one another at them.

There's a whole cultural element you're outright forgetting, and also why Portal is not accessible what so ever to someone who isn't familiar with playing shooters to begin with. Try getting your grandma to play it, yes? Or any generation gap like that, and you'll see just how accessible it is.

We see videogames through "gamer goggles," let's not ever forget this. We pretend that games like SoTC and Portal* can be appreciated (and SHOULD be appreciated) by everyone, but we fail to realize the detail that it's not part of everyone's culture or interest. It's not big enough for anyone to care unless they themselves are part of that culture, when it then becomes relevant enough that they have an opinion on it.

Anyway, I hope there's no part 3 if it'll be more messy writing and "I know something about philosophy, look!" nonsense.

*Or so some people say, I don't give much of a damn about Sotc or portal to be honest.

These articles are such a hodgepodge of concepts and ideas so loosely put together and made to relate to gaming that it gives me a headache. Each article contains six good ideas for articles trampled over like a frog on a freeway. Reading it has been more depressing than Kafka.

Since Gamestop doesn't exist in my country and so I don't care about it at all, there are now two ongoing four-article series I'll just skip every week.

The Escapist should be glad that I am a calm and considerate man, or I could go and do something drastic like complain about it on the internet.

I was saying this sice I stoped buying games: The cost will never make a difference, do not give shit about it.

The Random One:

The Escapist should be glad that I am a calm and considerate man, or I could go and do something drastic like complain about it on the internet.

Internets, +1, you.

Wow, about half the responses to this article are insulting. That's not what I expected.

Sure, it rambles a bit, and there are a few words that seem put in there merely because they sound smart, but is that really so insufferable?

I enjoyed it, and the ending was quite interesting. I've never thought of it that way.

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