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Hellbent

Is it really clever and sophisticated?

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Taken from DBX upon launch:

Rule of thumb: if you think something is clever and sophisticated beware -- it is probably self-indulgence.

-Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

 

Why, when I design something that is clever and sophisticated in Doom is it likely to be self indulgence, rather than something clever and sophisticated?

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Yeah, I think what Don Norman was getting at has a lot to do with being humble and making something because you believe in it, rather than as something you believe will earn you wealth, fame and/or admiration and such.

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Arguably a level designer or a creative person of any sort is the least well-equipped person to objectively critique and analyse their own work; it's why having an editor can be so important, and why (for example) the weaknesses of the Star Wars prequel trilogy are often attributed to a lack of anyone in a position to tell George Lucas that he was being self-indulgent and that his unfiltered ideas weren't actually as good as he thought they were.

 

You may think that something is clever; the people playing your level may instead feel that it is obtuse, or that it is obvious; they may respond that it's not as clever as it thinks it is (or that you think it is) or that it's too concerned with being clever rather than working toward any of a multitude of other gameplay and design goals.

 

You may think that something is sophisticated; the people playing your level may instead feel that it is overwrought, or pretentious, or represents an expenditure of time and effort on something that doesn't merit it or which fails to achieve what it set out to.

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11 minutes ago, Vorpal said:

crudream.wad

shotsfired.wad

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in artistic fields self-indulgence rules. when people dismiss stuff as being noodly or conceited or pompous that often just means the work is more concentratedly about-itself than they're used to seeing. just people weaponizing their preferences; don't let the imaginary critic in yr head talk you out of yr own ideas

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1 hour ago, yakfak said:

in artistic fields self-indulgence rules. when people dismiss stuff as being noodly or conceited or pompous that often just means the work is more concentratedly about-itself than they're used to seeing. just people weaponizing their preferences; don't let the imaginary critic in yr head talk you out of yr own ideas

Any artistic vision (within reason) can lead to great art, but where people usually succeed or fail is in communicating the vision to the audience. And to understate the obvious, an uncommon, less "tried and true" vision is harder to communicate than a common one that's been hammered to death over decades of use and has its own tropes and subtropes and rulebooks. Someone already mentioned the Star Wars prequels; they were meant to be a parable of complacency and bad governance but end up looking an awfully lot like a crumbling tower of huge CGI fight scenes and wooden dialogue because that's mostly how they present themselves.

 

When you get constructive feedback, the question isn't "Who is this person to challenge my vision, and why are they too blind to see what this is actually about?", but rather, "How can I make it clearer what this is actually about, and do it better?" On the other hand, if you get unconstructive criticism (which is also a dime a dozen), you may as well ignore it and seek out a more experienced opinion. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the person giving unconstructive criticism doesn't know how to communicate their ideas properly.

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Posted (edited)

curation.jpg.0a8ed1b3ab2fe2fac8270680e269b63b.jpg

 

sorry for being snide, giggle

 

i think a lot of these conversations about idea communication find endlessly in favor of convention, and you could say maybe doom geometry is just another language to be learnt but languages have poets and glossolaliacs

Edited by yakfak

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4 hours ago, yakfak said:

curation.jpg.0a8ed1b3ab2fe2fac8270680e269b63b.jpg

 

This is a very disappointing implication.

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