VISUAL APPEAL VS OTHER CONTENT

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First off, my last thread was a total disaster. I tried to start a discussion, clearly making a mistake including a video of mine, and the response was split down the middle between compliments about the video or how inconsistent the graphics looked. This is my first rpg. Seriously. Though, nobody seemed to believe that.

I was conveniently sitting in chat while people condescendingly accused me of "just showing off." "Oh, he must be so proud of it."

NO REALLY?! If I didn't like my work, I wouldn't have posted it. But spare the B.S. Nobody puts user generated work on the internet, on a community for sharing that stuff no less, without wanting someone to see it. It's like posting a video on youtube of yourself doing something awesome and people saying "oh, you're just showing off." "Oh course I'm showing off! This is youtube!"

Someone else said "anyone could event a cutscene like that, it just takes time" - which is laughable, that can be said of any work that doesn't cost money

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So anyway, back to my intended point of discussion. In the past couple months that I've been in this community, the one thing I couldn't help but notice was that people almost exclusively talk about how the games look. SICK overlays dude. The only other thing discussed is the custom programming work, which made more sense to me.

I was wondering why that's the case. I dunno about everyone else, but I always enjoyed the stories in RPGs. My impression growing up was that they focused on the depth of their worlds just because they can't compete in gameplay with action games, etc. For me, strategy and party development aside, rpgs were like books when I was growing up. I remember stuff like the Arctica Castle opening. Killing Teo McDohl. Stuff sticks with you like any great movie, except unlike other mediums, you get to grow attached to the characters by playing as them.

So when I first saw rpgmaker some years ago, the appeal to me was making my own story in RPG format. Why not write a book? ...well because books are boring to me. I think to myself, man how lame was that ending, THIS is how I'd do it! Now I have the opportunity.

Couple years ago, I saw this website for the first time and tried a couple games that were well reviewed or got some awards or whatever. About all of them were such well produced games, insane attention to detail, etc. I couldn't stay hooked on most of them, though, because the dialogue was brutal. To be fair, of course, they're indie game makers, not writers.

Then I saw a couple games that had non-graphical redeeming characteristics that, for me anyway, totally trumped how bad it looked. One of them was this second mellynd war game. Man was that game ugly. But that story was captivating. Those characters were so developed. They didn't fall into a single voice(the voice of the writer) like other games I saw.

The other game that stood out to me was Rise of the Third Power. It was fairly visually appealing, but that paled in comparison to how colorful the characters and their chemistry were. I said to myself, THIS is what I was looking for! It doesn't even matter what kind of adventure they have, I want to see them do it.

=========================================================

I know people have limited time to make their games. When I see a beautiful game with sick battlesystems but mediocre story/dialogue, I wouldn't say go fix your dialogue, it blows. Maybe, they're bad at writing, can't help that. I dunno why the reverse has to be true. I can't make all the custom matching graphics that I need to represent the story I've written. Well maybe I could, but I don't have the time and energies for it.

So I ask you. What do you find appealing about making and playing indie games? What do you value in this stuff and why? I wanna hear what y'all think.

edit: holy wall of text, sorry
So if people start "trolling" you here will you pack up and move to another topic? Really though, if you want some serious discussion don't start off with a sad tale about how people on this site are mean on focus only on graphics. Your just asking for it. This is a whole lot of fluff and your OP is really only 1 sentence of discussion content.

So anyway, back to my intended point of discussion. In the past couple months that I've been in this community, the one thing I couldn't help but notice was that people almost exclusively talk about how the games look.


Is this really your intended point of discussion? The answer is simple; graphics are important for first impressions. Since there are hundreds(thousands?) of games on this site and many more floating around in cyberspace first impressions are very important. Plus most of us have seen countless games and don't like looking at crap.

You can't look at a game and tell if it has good writing and character development. That would take time playing it to tell and more often then not it turns out to be a bad game. Maybe some screenshots of dialogue or a well written description might give an idea, but it could be a false impression.

If a game looks good then most likely the author is not some kid messing around with a new program he found online. It's not a guarantee, but a hint that a game might be good. Whereas if a game has horrible clashy graphics the rest of the game is less likely to have any redeeming qualities.

You rant your heart out then end it with the most general question you could possibly think of. "What do you like about making and playing games?". I find pretty maps, consistent graphics, compelling stories, and well defined characters appealing in the games I play. My time for games is short so I don't "put up" with bad games so easily. I find the joy of creating appealing in the games I make. I value the life lessons we can learn from digital heroes; especially the power of friendship.
author=Link_2112
So if people start "trolling" you here will you pack up and move to another topic? Really though, if you want some serious discussion don't start off with a sad tale about how people on this site are mean on focus only on graphics. Your just asking for it. This is a whole lot of fluff and your OP is really only 1 sentence of discussion content.


None of them were trolling on the previous thread, they assumed I was looking for some praise and it became a discussion about my video, topic and focus of the thread was totally lost, wanted to try again.

I apologize for all the fluff. Wrote what I was thinking on the topic myself. And I haven't tried hundreds of these games. Just a few.

I know first impressions are important. I found it a total shame that commenting on how to improve your first impression is the only thing people seem to talk about, whether they realize that's all they're saying or not.

Despite your dislike for how I went about this, you wound up giving good input. That's pretty much all that counts. Thanks.

author=Sauce
I found it a total shame that commenting on how to improve your first impression is the only thing people seem to talk about, whether they realize that's all they're saying or not.


Because it's an easy thing to comment on. A quick glance -> write down your thoughts -> move on. To play a game and give detailed feedback is rare, most of us are very busy with other stuff. It's best to expect nothing and just accept whatever comments your lucky enough to get.

Also, it's not all that people talk about. Maybe it's all that you see. There's a lot of discussion about game mechanics and design. Just about everything has already been said, too. Often times when a topic from a new member emerges there's a collective groan of "not this again (insert link to previous 8 page topic)". There's lots of articles, too.

author=Sauce
Maybe, they're bad at writing, can't help that.
They can. It's not hard coded in their DNA or something.

Anyway, as strange as it may seem to you, graphics is part of the storyline. If you look at most professional media, you'll see that the visual style is a great tool for both characterization and setting the mood of the story.

Being a indie game developer is hard: you probably have just one or two things you can do well, but you have to get yourself to an acceptable level in everything.
If graphics aren't your thing, you don't need to become very good at them: you just have to become good enough that they don't detract from the things you can do well.

(Or you can form a team, but that comes with its own set of problems.)

And anyway, I got here about 2 days ago and I posted in 6/7 topics about important parts of game design, none of which had anything to do with graphics at all. °°

(Another thought: sad as it may be to you, in RPGMaker games graphic quality often is a good indicator of how much work went into a game. It's not a rule, obiviously, but a consideration born from years of emphirical experience.)
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
author=Sauce
In the past couple months that I've been in this community, the one thing I couldn't help but notice was that people almost exclusively talk about how the games look. SICK overlays dude.

Well. When people post screenshots of their graphics, pretty much all you can comment on is the graphics.

I don't think your premise is true though. I spend all my time in the Game Design & Theory forum where we discuss, uh, game design and theory. I like gameplay so that's what I spend most of my time talking and thinking about. If you only look in the parts of the site dedicated to posting images of your graphics, then of course the only thing you're going to see anyone talking about is graphics.

Though, despite the fact that I'm much more interested in gameplay, when other people post images or videos to show off their games' graphics, I will typically try to give them feedback about what can be improved. They obviously care about the graphics or they wouldn't be posting them, so I try to help them out by pointing out whatever I happen to notice.

It's true there aren't a lot of posts with people asking for feedback about their dialogue. Sometimes people talk about general plot ideas they have, but that's not the same as actually showing off something directly from your game...

Regarding your other thread, you specified that you wanted people to give feedback about the "scene itself" which was pretty fucking vague and includes every aspect of the scene, but I think most people took as meaning the appearance. Did you want them to critique something else? The writing? The music? You didn't specify.


author=Sauce
I found it a total shame that commenting on how to improve your first impression is the only thing people seem to talk about, whether they realize that's all they're saying or not.

Based on a single screenshot, description, or video, without playing the whole game, all we GET is a first impression. So naturally that's all we can comment on. What the fuck did you expect us to say? "Oh, I can't comment on this without playing the rest of the game to see how it all ties in"? If you don't want people to comment on something without context, don't post it without context. Just post your whole game and wait for the full reviews.
author=Sauce
Why not write a book? ...well because books are boring to me.


It hurts.
Why not write a book? ...well because books are boring to me.


I don't think many people are going to sympathize with you.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13865
You have to understand that forum users here have this strange reaction, where if anybody posts anything about their own project, everybody will jump on them and criticize them for sharing something from their own experiences.

GAME PROFILE OR BUST

(If you make a blog post, don't worry; just look at the last two weeks of blogger data, where only two posts got >10 replies and most average at: 0. This was a very informal study but jus' sayin')

that said I didn't see the video you put up and I have no idea if you actually connected it to a discussion well and honestly I didn't care enough to read your giant OP so I have no idea if the video was ugly or not, but if it was, uglies are uglies? but this community also has serious issues with being defensive about... amateur game devs developing amateur games so
If you're not writing a book then you should make up for it to visually. You are telling a story, since this time you actually present, you have to actually IMMERSE the person into your game. Clashing graphics destroy the immersion.

And writing is pretty subjective, people have different writing styles, Have you read the Little Prince? If not, go read it now since you're missing on one of the best literary piece there, and it's not even that long. Games are the same thing. You said some games in this site has awards etc. but none of them hooked you, and you think the dialogue is atrocious and mostly the part that pisses you off or something. But it doesn't mean that everyone shares the entire same view as you do. We tend to be lenient about writing because what matters is the GAMEPLAY FUN FACTOR which covers all 3 aspects: Visual Eye Candy and Atmosphere (Includes Music), The General Direction of the story, and the SYSTEMS if they are fun or what.

Writing a book is different from writing a game. But there's also the subjective art games like Until the day I die, Wither, Loved, etc. If you're talking about writing without the novel descriptive words, then you should be researching different kinds of storytelling. I just gave some examples so whatever, go do research!

author=Darken
Why not write a book? ...well because books are boring to me.
I don't think many people are going to sympathize with you.

I have yet to see a stellar writer that NEVER read many books in some form. This is just bull. If you expect to be SUPER DUPER AWESOME in writing without exposing yourself to many different kinds of exposition, then that's just bullshit. Any decent indie or professional writer will tell you that.
Stories are all the same. Gameplay and atmosphere is most important besides lookings.
If it was all about storie I would read a book.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
6489
Now I have something to read on the bus, thanks!
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20832
I liked the part where he established that he was our intellectual and moral superiors.
Well, caring about looks (either in video games or in partners, which is a pretty creepy parallel now that I think about it) does make you automatically shallow and evil. Especially on the internet.
author=Archeia_Nessiah
I have yet to see a stellar writer that NEVER read many books in some form. This is just bull. If you expect to be SUPER DUPER AWESOME in writing without exposing yourself to many different kinds of exposition, then that's just bullshit. Any decent indie or professional writer will tell you that.

let me rephrase that - I find writing a book myself boring, a lot of books are interesting

author=Deacon Batista
Stories are all the same. Gameplay and atmosphere is most important besides lookings.
If it was all about storie I would read a book.

Sorry, I don't agree. I can't give any arguments other than that for this.

author=Archeia_Nessiah
And writing is pretty subjective, people have different writing styles

As far as writing goes, of course there are different styles. But writing can be bad regardless of its style.

Art and visual appeal is also pretty subjective. For example, the graphics in my game are bad. Terribly inconsistent. There's no two ways about saying that. However, I can't just say "oh, it's not bad, it's just a different style. Mix match style. Look it up, it's in the dictionary." That would be total bull.

Chalking up dialogue/storytelling that someone finds bad to being "different" is horrible reasoning.

author=LockeZ
Regarding your other thread, you specified that you wanted people to give feedback about the "scene itself" which was pretty fucking vague and includes every aspect of the scene, but I think most people took as meaning the appearance. Did you want them to critique something else? The writing? The music? You didn't specify.

I asked if action scenes with low quality graphics were viable. Basically if it was worth the effort. I got my answer. No. It's not okay. I'm not lacking in effort. It's pretty much impossible to match all my facesets. It is possible for THIS scene, but not the rest of the game.
edit: double post, sorry
edit: triple post, sorry
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
6489
There's an edit button, use it instead of triple post.
Also man, take a break. No one is flaming you. Take a breather, cool off, and come back with open mind to hear out other opinions without subjectivity. You seem stressed, dude.
author=Sauce
author=Archeia_Nessiah
And writing is pretty subjective, people have different writing styles

As far as writing goes, of course there are different styles. But writing can be bad regardless of its style.

What kind of "bad style" are you thinking about? Writing style is pretty much developed once you exposed yourself enough into. The only time I found writing is when the obvious grammar and spelling errors. If not that, the direction of the story is stupid or BAD characterization. My definition of writing style is how the author portray his storytelling in a different format. For example, repetition of words to prove a point, so on and so forth. I would link you to a site to prove it or show professional examples, but the storm here is killing my internet. BUT I have yet to see a BAD "writing style."

author=Sauce
Art and visual appeal is also pretty subjective. For example, the graphics in my game are bad. Terribly inconsistent. There's no two ways about saying that. However, I can't just say "oh, it's not bad, it's just a different style. Mix match style. Look it up, it's in the dictionary." That would be total bull.

You should totally learn about Art History or do research 8'D
I suggest Sidney Nolan and Secret of Kells (the original, but the animated movie actually shown their work and portrayed the shifting of art styles appropriately) or hell, just look at Amano's art style. I wouldn't call it anatomically correct, but his art is still pretty and wispy and idk, based on religious Buddhism style or ancient china, I forgot.

Sorry but art is about expression (writing is art too~). Yours is bad because it is a MIX AND MATCH without consistency, but the other "bad art" has consistency in them and a purpose. Like some throw away perspective for A REASON. Yours isn't done on purposeful meaningful way that actually IS CONNECTED to the story, setting wise. Well that's hard to explain, in fact check Yume Nikki to see my point. Everything in that game should say something what the game is about. But if you want me to elaborate on why yours doesn't work I'll do so later.

author=Sauce
Chalking up dialogue/storytelling that someone finds bad to being "different" is horrible reasoning.

Sorry but I never said this. It might gave you that impression but I was saying a different point all together. For example, I DIDN'T really like Lord of the Rings style of writing, but I still enjoyed the book. But I loved Harry Potter since it was simpler to read and understand. I liked Final Fantasy Tactic's ORIGINAL translation even tho it was said to be as bad dialogue because, idk, for me the idea was still there and understood it and I enjoyed it. Never deterred the story away from me and I found FFtactics as my most favorite game (And arguably by most, the best FF game out there). If you want the good translated version with PROPER dialogue that you value, then that would be Final Fantasy Tactics: War of The Lions PSP port. *Rolls eyes*

It's a game, not a book. As long as I can get the idea and the story and enjoy it without seeing stupid plot holes whatsoever (A perfect example that it the parody sums it up well), I couldn't care less. AWESOME writing in indie games (or in this case RM*) is just a bonus for me at this point.

So I ask you. What do you find appealing about making and playing indie games? What do you value in this stuff and why? I wanna hear what y'all think.

The Idea. The Gameplay. The Story. Or all three. Or being memorable after all this time.

In my case. And yes the links above are all different games. They all made impact on me and made me rethink how I should go on about my games. As for how I work on my games, it's the creative process I enjoy the most. I don't really care much about finishing the game but the learning. It'll be awesome if it gets done though.
author=Archeia_Nessiah
What kind of "bad style" are you thinking about? Writing style is pretty much developed once you exposed yourself enough into. The only time I found writing is when the obvious grammar and spelling errors. If not that, the direction of the story is stupid or BAD characterization. My definition of writing style is how the author portray his storytelling in a different format. For example, repetition of words to prove a point, so on and so forth. I would link you to a site to prove it or show professional examples, but the storm here is killing my internet. BUT I have yet to see a BAD "writing style."


I dunno, am I missing something or typo somewhere? I said piece of writing can be bad regardless of its style. I didn't say a "style" can be bad.

My bad graphics example was just to support that. I dunno if you think I'm defending my graphics. I'm saying it's indefensibly bad. No talk of style or likewise can defend how bad it is.
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