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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SteveJ, Nov 9, 2016.
They're both really different activities that scratch different itches. That said, I tend to swing between doing a lot of making for a while and then doing a lot of playing for a while.
I got thinking about this when I saw a thread on TIGForums with developers discussing WHY they make games. A lot of them were saying things like "I enjoy playing games, so I decided to make them". I thought that was interesting, because it's probably why most of us THINK we got into developing games, but I don't know that it's necessarily the REAL reason. Is it just a mistake that we fool ourselves into believing because we've done both of those activities (play and make), and we've done them in that order, so therefore we assume one gave birth to the other?
So I started to think - which do I ENJOY more: playing games, or making games - and I realised that I *think* that I enjoy the process of making games even more than I enjoy the process of playing them. And that in itself is REALLY weird. I mean "Making Games" is work, right? And didn't I only start doing it because I like PLAYING games? Is it possible that I could have enjoyed making games without ever having enjoyed playing them? Are the two experiences completely isolated, or do they ALWAYS have to go hand-in-hand? And does PLAYING always lead to the desire to MAKE, and it's just those that don't have the skills to MAKE, that don't? Is every gamer out there wanting to MAKE games on some level? Or can you enjoy playing games without ever having ANY desire to make them?
Anyway, I don't specifically have a point I just think it's really interesting, and a kind of unique industry in that sense. I mean sure, a Tennis Coach might ponder "Do I enjoy coaching Tennis as much as I enjoy playing it", but it's really not the same thing, is it? Or is it? Or... IS it?
I often point out to people that if this logic was correct then we'd all be Steven Spielberg.
[Edit]Plus, look at all the people who start making games because they like playing them, and then never finish a single project.[/Edit]
For me, I always had a strong interest in computers. That got me into video games, because when I was a kid I didn't have much useful to do with computers and games were a cool way to see what they could do. The interest in computers also got me into programming at a young age, though I always assumed that game programming was something crazy hard that only geniuses or nutcases would do, so it was ages before I put much thought into it. Eventually I did combine those two separate-but-related interests, and many years later here I am.
So for me, the two are quite distinct interests that just happened to overlap. Also of note is that when I started getting into games it wasn't so much because I wanted to program cool things. I wanted to design cool things, and programming was a pre-existing skill that happened to be useful. This is probably a huge influence on my oft-given advice to not learn "game programming", but to learn general programming (ie: how to use computers to solve problems) and then apply it to games.
Don't forget me. I seem to enjoy talking about making games more then I like playing them or making them.
Your "Origin Story" sounds a lot like mine
And yes, good point, I forgot the third category "Those That Enjoy Talking About Making Video Games". Definitely a separate thing altogether
I'd say I have far more fun making games than playing them, under most circumstances. Sometimes I get frustrated with things not working and would rather go play a game, though...
When I do play games, I tend to prefer the games that let me be creative and build things. In fact, all my life I've loved building things in some form or another. And so maybe programming was a natural thing for me.
I've found recently that I only play games that I feel might in some way contribute to games that I'm making - i.e. lessons learnt, inspiration type stuff.
For example, right now I'm playing Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir (easily one of the best video games of all time), and World Of Final Fantasy - both games satisfying an interest in collectables, crafting, skill trees, etc that I'm working through the prototyping of for my own new game.
Seriously, if you own a PS4 (or PS Vita/PS3?) go buy Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. Do it now. Don't think about it. Go do it.
I've been a creative person all my life, to the point that I'd probably kill myself if I didn't have an outlet to create stuff. Lego, drawing, painting, sculpture, 3d modeling, modding, programming. That last one is always a major barrier, and the reason I didn't get to game programming until later in life. While the late 90s and early 00s gave me many games to play and enjoy, I had difficulty breaking the barrier of actually making games myself, having generated reams and reams of art and game design that couldn't ever be actualized. Of course, all those designs were either not good, not worth actualizing, or just simply too large to be actualized. So why then, would I prefer developing games over playing games if the chances of developing a completed game are so slim? Because along the way, there are many other skills that I develop to try and get to the end, and while I may not ever get to the end, I will have gained plenty of skills that can be applicable to other career-related advancements, and at the very least, knowing that when I pass, that I will have left something that I produced rather than have nothing to show for my life because I was too busy being a consumer instead. And this idea of the value gain always floods my mind when I give myself the decision of which activity I want to do.
Now, I realize this doesn't fully answer the question of whether I find development enjoyable. Maybe I don't. Maybe creativity is truly a curse, because some days, I do feel like I'm wasting my time. These sorry-ass planted ideas in my mind that want to hog up my free time, never seeing the light of day, thinking that I'm enjoying myself with a gift, when in reality, it's destroying my quality of life..? At this point, you do have to step back, and usually this is the point I switch to doing other recreational activities other than games, like hiking, or driving around, or drinking a beer and watching some sports, cartoons, movies, or binge watch a show. I guess I haven't found much value in playing games lately. I'm trying to get through XCOM2, but I can't bring myself to finish the campaign as excitedly as I did XCOM:EU. And other than Pokemon GO*, my gaming has resorted to reading about them, and wondering whether I want to purchase them on a sale on Steam for a future playing time in the retirement home. I had several opportunities to end this with a summarizing sentence, but failed to, so that's what it's gonna be.
* Anyone else still playing? That Halloween event was great, especially since I spent most of the weekend in San Francisco. It's a mildly enjoyable game that gets me out and about to places I've never been. I think that's good value in a game, at least, personally. Unfortunately, since the FastPokeMap shutdown, I've lost significant interest in it.
I loved (and still do) puzzle games. The more complex the better. The first game I was truly passionate about was the zorks and hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Later stuff like lemmings, myst, and the incredible machine. I was never much into platformers (Mario and the like). But I did enjoy competitive games against other players. But games where you have to solve puzzles and figure things out are my passion.
Making games was a very natural progression for me. When first tried my hand at it on a PET, it was very challenging and basically a really hard puzzle. I knew what my goal was, I just had to find the right combination of code to solve it. Making games to me is just really just solving puzzles. These days I do lot more creating than playing, but is all just the same thing to me.
The inverse notion, that someone who doesn't like or has never played a game, yet somehow makes it into the core of the industry, just seems unfathomable though. Any industry fueled on passion is likely to be this way.
From an artistic standpoint, who else but consumers of that medium are going to understand what it can do.
So to be serious, I enjoy both. I probably spend more time playing then making. Developing requires a fair bit of brain power, often at the end of a day I have more energy to play then to develop.
I'm not really sure that they have a lot in common on a day-to-day basis. Playing games takes care of my short-term pleasure but it isn't comparable to the experience of designing, creating and managing something - they're totally different really.
Aside from simple narcissistic pleasure, if I had to say the one thing that playing (some) games do for me is to 'rebalance' my personality. It might sound weird considering how violent games usually are, but it has nothing to do with that, in fact I find that violent games make it harder to identify these opportunities. It's just an abstract question of being able to consider yourself in a certain light or in terms of a given exaggerated situation. If you do it right it's something you can take away and use constructively in a lot of areas of your life, but you have to be careful to not take it too seriously or 'literally' or otherwise it feels (and is) stupid and ridiculous.
But creating games on the other hand is real, substantial and enjoyable work which is of course where I like to spend most of my time.
I like making games only when Github's bullshit doesn't interfere and delete a week of work. -.-
I don't always "enjoy" working on my game, but games are one of the few things in life that I genuinely care about, and my skillset happens to be diverse enough to work on all aspects of a game (I did try to make a movie once, but that isn't for me). Combine that with an inner desire to "create something", and it just seems like the most logical choice for a second hobby after gaming. I do see myself as a gamer first and a dev second.
I can very well imagine people only enjoying one of the two.
Have you seen this one yet?
It is another assembly programming (and some circutry design I believe) game from the developer of TIS-100 and Infinifactory. It also includes the competitive statistical histograms at the end of levels that show you how good your solution performed compared to other players.
I've played some more Infinifactory lately, but I found that in the later levels I'm starting to "just get through" and no longer strive for optimal solutions, because the machines you build get soooo big. It's starting to feel a bit like "work". Have you finished that game?
They are different reward types, short term vs long term. Though they're part of a same ecosystem. I wouldn't imagine liking making games if I didn't like games.
This. Just recently started up building a prototype for a game that popped into my head. I've been spending a bit of time every day working on the prototype and playing Skyrim (the original since the remaster doesn't support the mod I want yet). There are periods though where I work exclusively on the game for the day and days where I just feel like gaming only.
Have you seen Obduction?
I enjoy putting different thing together because it's fun and I'm not here to make game for a living!
I've been making a lot of cool stuff that could release on play store but meh!!
There's a kind of people who always value money and always say thing like "Make a game, upload it to app store....blah blah blah". I'm not that kind of person.
Since most of the game company these day have this kind of **** money center people, I build my own dream game and experiment it for fun.
Also, I prototype in 2D with some software like mathemtica then bring all my ideas to 3D engine. It's more easy to to do it mathematically! (Learn from my friend who is advanced in A.I field)
The fact that it took years to get there doesn't preclude the possibility that only geniuses or nutcases would do it.
Is that really the case though? Or is it simply that they have responsibilities in life that need a good source of income to properly address?
Just as an example mortages in my area start at around one thousand dollars per month for a very basic house. A basic job requiring only a high school diploma will barely pay for the mortage yet you have costs that go beyond that - transportation, food, clothing, etc. All the necessities of life add up very quickly. Especially if you have a family with kids.
Don't be quick to judge people and label yourself as better when you're not fully aware of their circumstances.
In Poland to have a normal family (2+3) and a condo mortgage in Warsaw you have to be within top 10% of the richest (income) people in the country. To get to that top 10% you need to make around 1.5k$. You Americans have it easy.
Wouldn't doubt that Americans have it much easier than many countries. Still doesn't change my point though that people trying to get good paying jobs may simply be trying to provide for their families to the best of their ability.
depends what kind of game and what step of developing is going on. actually, i hate ui and social part
Because they center themselves on money and other thing that can be change over time. Not only their life will never be happy but it will also affect other people too. I'm not concern about those problem since I don't have any control or power to change it.
I don't have job but I do have some money from doing freelance. People also give me money because I know what is the right thing to value and it's not money, and I'm happy. If they think money as a first priority object in life then they might not need any profession or skills, any jobs could make money. Then living a hard life because they earn less and become unhappy, then people like me talk something and they get offend because they're not happy.
If I were the president of your country, I will give a free book that talking about self help to everyone.
@Ryiah if you take sometime off the internet and read some self help book, It might help you and maybe influence other too. I wouldn't center myself around internet forum and facebook feeds all day long.
@Quingu : We Americans have it easy? In a lot of cities you have to make over 12 grand a month to even barely survive outside of the projects, and that's barely slipping by. And most apartments and such are around 3-6K a month, so after the taxes of 12 Grand you're looking at around 5-7K left. So now you're broke again.
So believe that, Americans don't have it easy. I wish 1,500 would make you rich here in the USA, but it doesn't. Not sense the 50's.
Granted in places like where I live, you can get a decent sized house for 500 a month, but that's the catch. Just because it's affordable doesn't mean there are jobs to pay for it. Most jobs in my area and strictly part time minimum wage. Unless you're a Doctor or Nurse, you're not out on your own.
I decided to be happy today, and I smiled all day long, but smiling makes me hungry. What does it say in your self help book about that?
Hunger is desire. Desire is incompleteness. Incompleteness is sadness. You must eat bacon.
Bacon? IN THIS ECONOMY!?
In the beginning I like making a game more than playing it. But then when I'm testing it and I like playing it more than making it.. I know its getting good!
Anyway, making a game is kind of a game in itself. Well all life is a game so...
I am not a big game "Player"...I have played games over the years, but enjoy making them more...I look at a lot of games now days, and see a lot of similarities...I think these similarities come from playing games...I could be wrong, of course, but I hear a lot of game makers say that they would like to make a game like, "..........", but with "This or That added to it"...Imagination and originality could be altered by playing too many games...Without seeing what someone else has done, may push someone harder to come up with an original idea...Then again, playing a game could inspire an idea...When I was a kid, there were almost no video games, so we had to play outside...We would play Cowboys and Indians sometimes...We played this because we watched it on TV, and other kids around played it, because they watched it on TV...What would we have played if we didn't watch TV...We would have to invent a game....These are just my thoughts, not meant to cause any havoc...Just something to think about...CO
This thread got me thinking about why did i start making games.
It made me think about the first thing i ever coded and that was probably simple html.
When I was 12 i bought a book about html and css, I don't know why i did, the idea of making websites was appealing to me.
Slowly i moved to other stuff like php and later something completely different vb.net.
Then in high school i've started studying c#.
Making games was always a dream but for some reason it always seemed complicated and out of my league.
It took my sometime to find the courage to start learning it (for some reason)
i like them both
Sure, I just don't count myself within either category.
I read this as "I have no major responsibilities in my life". Unfortunately not everyone gets to have money thrown at them and you may eventually notice this or you may be among the relative few to have money thrown at you way past the point where it brings a return.
Nietzsche and Marxist probably have money throw at them too.
Well, arguing with you will not help anyone. I hope one day you'll understand ... or never.
Some people have to eat. To do that they have to have a job. To get a job they may have to drive 40 miles because there aren't any nearby (and they can't afford housing close to the job). To drive 40 miles they may have to buy a car. To buy a car they may have to make money. And so on.
If you happen to be in a situation that doesn't require all of those things, that's wonderful for you. The vast majority of the world isn't and can't be in that situation. That's reality, not some philosophical fantasy world. I hope one day you'll understand.
For once I couldn't agree with you more. Good thing there is a forum ignore feature. I won't be tempted again.
Money is insanely paradoxical.
A pile of it can be worth insane amounts, and yet in essence it's nothing, cheap used old paper at best. It brings problems to those who don't have it, and possibly even to those who have too much of it. And yet it can solve so many problems. A very practical, yet imperfect tool.
The problem with money is that is so universal, and so present in everything, it's just there open to criticism. It's everywhere, in people's minds, and places you enter. So it's very easy to hate (or love too much).
It's not strange that someone would abstract from all that, and see money for what it is: nothing! An odd witchcraft that drives people mad enough to pursue it all their lives.
And yet that's the core of money's practicality, to be nothing. To be cheap to make, and cheap to transfer, it's a cheap thing. But it's not evil (nor good).
It turned out to be so efficient compared to bartering, today it dominates everything we do ... historically the very thing humans have fought against the most, to NOT be dominated.
Oh that's what's going on here. I wondered why you were talking to yourself.
For me personally, I really love making things.
I started with carpentry, building tree-houses as a kid (and most recently designing and building my own "real" house). In those kind of professions your always limited in what you can create by the materials you work with.
I suck as an artist, so anything beyond drawing crooked sticks was immediately ruled out.
Then I found this thing called game programming, where there are basically no limits. The fact that I can build ANYTHING i set my mind too, from a working coo-coo clock to a working space station made out of mud pies and inhabited by a race of sentient slim jims....
I feel like a kid in a candy factory with every project I get to work on.
However I hardly ever play games
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Making games I guess, if your making games all day i dont know if you want to play games as well. Unless I see something thats really up my alley
I played butcher, slayaway camp, and hyper light drifter (recently) but i didnt finish any of them
The year is 1987, I am 12 years old... I'm in a K-Mart store. I see a Commodore 64. I read the back of the box.
"OH MY GOD MOM I HAVE TO GET ONE OF THESE, I CAN MAKE MY OWN GAMES WITH IT!"
And thus began the journey to my career as a .NET web/database developer that I am today.
Similar story, but its 1978 and I get my first Atari 2600 (I eventually had 3 of them over time). I hooked it up myself on our Zenith TV and played games and begun to wonder about making games, but better than what they had for the Atari.
Now I write software for desk top programs, web applications with databases; BUT thanks to Unity I have had time to use my knowledge, experience and talent to write games the way I want too.
I started with c++ and DirectX 7 in the late 90s. I started using c# with XNA in late 2007, now I am here with Unity Engine and I do not plan to leave as long as Unity Technologies does not abandon Unity Engine.
For me it was a little strange journey, a little similar to what @BuckyLuis had.
For some years I've enjoyed playing games a lot, being a sort of completionist with them, spending hundreds of hours per title (trying to "complete" f.e. Planescape Torment, by which I mean seeing ALL story branches... yeah...). It was greatly satisfying.
And at one point a couple of years ago I've started fiddling with ways of making games, just a hobby, nothing professional, but the whole viewpoint changed. Step by step, it was like a transition from a player to game mechanics analyst.
Right now I'm struggling to keep interest in games long enough to "complete" them, even if I find them very enjoyable to play. One moment I'm emerged in the world, and suddenly a "click" happens and I realize I've seen enough game mechanics to be able to understand how it was done and extrapolate the rest of it. And puff... interest in the game nosedives to almost zero.
It's like seeing the hidden mirror/trapdoor on a magic show. Completely changes the experience.
Sometimes I'd love to go back to my "ignorant" days and just be able to enjoy the gameplay again, but I guess that's not happening. It's still absolutely top level fun for me to try to dissect the underlying techniques and tricks used, but I don't know if it can be called playing anymore Even the games I do fire up regularly aren't immersive anymore, as it's hard to inhale the game world when you "see" algorithms instead and it's just a push for improving player skills/enjoying playing with friends that keeps me there.
It's funny when I'm browsing f.e. Steam and just looking for games with interesting interactions to analyse more than anything else. Hard to find something truly new, but those gems are totally worth it, even if the game overall is crap
So I guess I'd put them in the order of analyzing game mechanics -> trying to replicate them (guess it's kind of making games?) -> actually playing.