NMA forums: heralds of the future of the industry

Not really. Ever look at how the heads of shavers work? Some have three circular fans of blades. They have metal covers that allow hairs to enter and be cut below the metal fan shroud instead of directly putting the blade over your skin.

Charles is mostly right, but i would say there is a big difference between a chef and a connoisseur; good taste, and criticism, without knowing how to cook, or indeed, what the next course is going to be, can exist by superfans. In fact, a suprising, unique dish is always better than a lasagna you’ve had a hundred previous times, even if, you know, lasagna is still your favorite dish.

My visualization of the original fan-fan razor simply had them going perpendicular to one another, but thanks for setting that lame, one-off joke straight.

Well, you said: “Gamers don’t know what they want, they think they know what they want.” How else am I supposed to interpret that?

Exactly as that.

Gamers don’t know what they want, they think they know what they want.

Gamers are gamers, not game developers.

Game developers are not just game developers, they’re also gamers. They see both sides.

Does it really take that much thought?

Gamers and gamer developers are disjoint sets.

Game developers are not just game developers, they’re also gamers. They see both sides.

Game developers are a subset of gamers.

Does it really take that much thought?

There are no game developers, QED.

While that was hilarious, I think what Charles is getting at is that gamers lack perspective in regards to game design. For instance, players might request a feature that would inadvertently trivialize a large portion of the game content. While from their limited point of view the feature might seem fun, in the end it would likely to lead to boredom as they realize the game doesn’t have much depth and subsequently lose incentive to continue playing.

Of course, that’s not to say that developers have a perfect perspective on the matter either, and in fact they’re often way off the mark. But as a general rule they probably have a better understanding of what makes their own game tick than the average schmoe. This is why playtesting is extremely useful while focus groups are far less so IMO.

If more people recognized this, the world would be a better place.

We’d all get bored of a zombie X-com.

Not in the traditional sense, no. His discussion is about control and influence of texts between producers and consumers. Fans is a collective term in which producers access or control over production makes them outliers for the purpose of that discussion. In other words, just because some fans may be on the team, fans as a collective didn’t make the game, a company did.

Can you go be pedantic in the corner?

Once you become a game developer, you may play games a lot, even compulsively, but you are no longer a gamer. No, once you become a developer, you see things you cannot unsee, and it forever changes how you experience games.

Saying we’re still “gamers” is just a convenient simplification.

This has much in common with childbirth.

I’m not bored, and I play it every night in my dreams.

I think this hits the nail on the head as far as where fans fit into the game creation process. Developers have a lot of ways to listen to fan opinion and do it in a passive way where fans don’t realize its happening or in an active way where they ask for opinion. But eventually the developer has to go ahead with what they think is right, given such realities as time, budget, and technology (things fans don’t always understand).

Valve is probably a good example of how the fan/developer relationship can be productive. If we believe the commentaries, they have significantly changed things based on playtester feedback. The key is making sure your playtesters represent the entirety of the market you are going after and that you react to their ideas fairly and equally, regardless of what your (as a developer) preferences are.

Dirt, I’m totally telling Damien you stole his account.

The problem with listening to the fans is that the most vocal fans are the NMAites of the internet.

Does that mean that NMA is a subset of itself?

Do we really need to bring Godel into this?

Godel has nothing to do with this. Technically, every set is a subset of itself. The real horror is that NMA appears to be the empty set, in which case it is a subset of every set.

Sure, and what I’m (snarkily) getting at is that this is just a way to try to shut down interesting discussion. He’s saying that unless you’re a developer, you can’t have a valid perspective on game design.

Try that in other art forms: Unless you write a book, produce a movie, paint a picture, or compose a piece of music you can’t have an opinion on those art forms? I think not. You don’t need to play the guitar to hear a sour note, you don’t need to paint to tell the difference between Thomas Kinkade and Vincent van Gogh, and you don’t need to write a book to realize that “renowned curator” are a horrible pair of words to begin a book with. There are many insightful critics who have never produced a single work of their own.

Gamers–all gamers–don’t know what they want? So the people who said they wanted a game that gave them a mall filled with zombies, and then loved Dead Rising…didn’t know what they wanted? The people who said they wanted an unapologetic shooter with hordes of enemies and virtually no plot, and then loved Serious Sam didn’t know what they wanted? When BobJustBob says that he doesn’t like cutscenes, he’s somehow mistaken? It is to laugh.

Yes, of course there are gamers who don’t have any insight into what they really like in games. Some of them even become game developers. Heck, even good game developers are going to have the occasional idea that seemed great in theory, but was deadly dull in practice.

That doesn’t make an attempt at dismissing the opinions of every person who has never written a game anything other than a ridiculous attempt at arguing from authority.