An Objective Take On A Subjective Industry

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Xandrith, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    So, this might be a mistake. This could easily Kindle the bonfires of past quarrel, so I ask that we all keep our heads on straight and respect each other. We're all just trying to find our way, and it doesn't help anyone to get angry or resentful. Let's just share our ideas and refrain post posting anything especially provocative.

    Really what I'm really trying to say is that xzamples shouldn't be allowed to post in this thread. Kidding.

    Okay. With that out of the way, I'd like to lay out my thoughts on the whole "that's subjective" meme and really break it down as articulately and as swiftly as possible. Here goes nothing.

    After a recent conversation, well, argument, with my brother, I've come to realize a few things that always seemed a little cloudy about the whole "objective vs subjective" mantra. First of all, neither side seems to be entirely correct. As is the nature of insight, the real answer lies somewhere in the middle.

    1. The idea that game design is subjective more than it is objective has been repeated ad nauseum. This is wrong. Design, all design, is nested in the substrate of our consciousness. Psychologically speaking, we are more alike than different. Our brains run on serotonin and are adapted to hierarchical truth. This means that design itself, is, or for the most part is, objective, in that what does and doesn't work can be predicted and learned.

    2. You are what you eat. We are shaped by our experiences up to a point, but there's only so much about your brain chemistry that a bad childhood can change, and it turns out that the psychological literature suggests that it's not much of a difference. The difference that does exist is enough to explain what we call "taste" in creative entertainment, but our brains still run on serotonin. We still like to win. We still hate things that are unfair or out of our control. We still live on hope.

    This is why Multis' idea of a perfect level, one that "always allows the player the potential to succeed" is genuinely remarkable. We live on hope, we construe the world as potential, and our psychology, the mechanics we like and dislike, are completely derived from that fact. That's why people would rather die than lose their freedom. That's why books about utopian societies are terrifying to read. There has to be an up, a potentially better future, a rank, a hierarchy.

    This may seem unnecessarily deep, but I think it's all very relevant to game design. I should also say, before the angry mob comes, that subjective thought absolutely does exist, but it's not the sum of all things creative. Even music has guidelines, called music theory. These rules are followed WAY more than they are broken, and I don't think it's radical to suggest that music is an even more subjective art than game or level design.

    In conclusion, there is such thing as poor level design. There is such thing as poor game design. As prescribed by the nature of our consciousness, some things will work, and some things will not.

    TL/DR: that's subjective
     
    #1 Xandrith, Jun 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  2. The Omicron

    The Omicron a permabanned Amish boy
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    Really interesting read, appreciate the thoughts you put into it and it does make the mind turn. I completely agree with Multi's idea of a perfect level. Always having the possibility of coming out on top even when odds are against you is exhilarating and when that comes true. I do think there is multiple ways of looking at design. I thinks its fair to compare thoughts on design with street smarts vs. book smarts. Both arent 100% necessary to be "successful" in life but I do believe if you have a good combination of those two things, you have a certain mindset that can help. Im not saying this is black and white but I think something is definitely true about it. Poor design does exist, but design doesnt always need to follow the book to work. Im probably reiterating a little of what you said but thought i'd put something down on the old keyboard. Subjective/Objective, maybe just Jective. Nice write up.

    [That Xzamples bit you added really doesn't help refrain arguments..]
     
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  3. Soldat Du Christ

    Soldat Du Christ ONI Agent

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    "First of all, neither side seems to be entirely correct. As is the nature of insight, the real answer lies somewhere in the middle."

    This is the relationship between the L/R brain, Ying/yang, order/chaos, etc. Polar opposites comming together to create something beautiful because of Love! That is the key, Love/ selfnlessness, compromise. Without love there would only be conflict between the two. But with love, they can both become fully realised. Both the logic and the narritive of a map coming to fruition simutaniously will yield the best results

    If you've ever had the layout vs aesthetic argument before, this is an example of that very dichotomy in action. Same with the casual vs competitive argument. A game void of any direction or hierarchy would be one side of the spectrum while a demonstration of cold hard game mechanics would be the other, both being vitaly important. Even chess comes with a kind of narritive to compliment it's logic; medievil siege.
     
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  4. GrayishPoppy210

    GrayishPoppy210 ONI Agent

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    I don't know about you guys but this debate seems kinda subjective...
     
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  5. ACTIVATE HALO

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    Sorry, but I have enough essays to write already lol
     
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  6. Dunco

    Dunco Troll Whisperer
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    That's subjective
     
  7. Alex Parsons

    Alex Parsons Spartan I

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    My opinion on this subject comes with one condition, and a warning. First, the condition is that you allow me to supplement my argument with quotes from some of my favorite philosophical works. I can't say as to how extensively, but I can already tell, it will take at least four sources.
    As for the warning, I have three rules for the use of trash talk.
    #1 Never use trash talk against a teammate. Even when you believe they need to be motivated into action. Instead, use sincerity and truthfulness to establish mutual trustworthiness.
    #2 Only use trash talk during the context of a game. Do not use trash talk before the game starts or after the game is finished.
    #3 Do not swear in public, especially online. It is indecent, and can cause people to dwell on inappropriate matters.
    These are my rules for the use of trash talk and I do my best to follow them. So, my warning is this, since I have entered in the Forgetacular contest, as far as I'm concerned, all the contestants are vulnerable until the contest is over.
    If all of this is acceptable, then I'll compile my response and get back to you when I can. If not, then I guess you can just do as you like and have fun.
     
  8. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    what the **** are you talking about
     
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  9. Preacher001

    Preacher001 Legendary
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    I'm sorry you lost all credibility buy saying something that makes multi sound like he should be up on a soapbox bathed in a glowing light with a shining halo around his head. Turn the light red add a couple horns while he throws his arms forward in a double middle finger gesture and I might have believed you.

    I can no longer read this thread.

    Farewell
     
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  10. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    I hope you're joking
     
  11. Preacher001

    Preacher001 Legendary
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    Well I guess that all depends on how you define what constitutes as a joke.

    **** now I'm reading this thread.
     
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  12. Dunco

    Dunco Troll Whisperer
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    Didn't you know that swallowing a Multi load instantly increases your level design skills x5?
     
  13. MultiLockOn

    MultiLockOn Promethean
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    Aww did I hurt your feelings at some point
     
  14. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    That wasn't even the point of the thread, I was just throwing that out there because it is remarkable and was relevant to the psychology I was talking about.

    It's really, really stupid that I have to say this, but It's not like Multi and I agree on everything. It's true that we agree like 98% of the time, so you can call that whatever you want, but just because I recognize someones feats who also happens to be a friend, doesn't mean I'm going out of my way to do so. Believe it or not, we aren't the same person. This sort of thing makes me feel like I'm talking to a bunch of children, even though I'm probably younger than all of you.

    Thread Status: Derailed
     
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  15. MultiLockOn

    MultiLockOn Promethean
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    That's just what insecure people do when they don't get attention man
     
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  16. Dunco

    Dunco Troll Whisperer
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    No where did you deny swallowing Multi's load. Are you saying this theory is correct?
     
  17. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    If you want to join in we could really make this a party
     
  18. GrayishPoppy210

    GrayishPoppy210 ONI Agent

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    Mulxandon is my favourite part of this dying community. I'm not letting your feelings get in the way of my fun .
    Dunco is already way beyond Multi in terms of level design ability. Joining in would just drag him down...
     
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  19. Dunco

    Dunco Troll Whisperer
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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Xandrith

    Xandrith Spartan III
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    nice
     
    #20 Xandrith, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018

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