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Old 18 December 2017, 01:01   #1
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Logic vs Creativity

Hello again, it's my 2nd thread in the site, and I hope this is the proper sub-forum.

Making a videogame isn't any easy, from a mental point of view, IMO. I have a fear that by going too hyperrational I'd miss on the "fun factor" and end up with a boring game, while going to the other side I'd miss on the tech factor and end up with something not so playable. Proper balance is necessary, it's just so hard to achieve.

It's somewhat hard to explain, especially in a non-native language like English, so I'll try using examples.
From mine part, thanks to what I have learnt about animation matters throghout the years, I manage to create many kinds of effects for the Sega Genesis' VDP with varying levels of complexity, and sequences, enemies, bosses and so on, in such a way that the movements display some certain "style", just like the Amiga demos or many arcade games from the era. "Cool and flashy" some say, however my coding is nothing to be proud of; messy especially during the progress, and although I attempt to write "lightweight logic" in a natural way, I'd take proper care regarding CPU usage (up to microcode level) at key points only, such as effects that use the Horizontal Interrupt or long loops. I try to follow the mindset and flow seen in Sonic the Hedehog's games; I'd rather work in the visual side than, say, write a decompression algorithm.
In contrast, there's our hyperrational mate and its friends, who would say my code is logicless even if my made my "best" (pff) effort. When they program, they would take care until the minimal detail, try to take the best possible from every memory byte and CPU cycle... and not move on until get it right. However the visual style from their program plays... very flat and rigid. A friend of mine has rewritten his scroll engine more than 5 times as well, and his game is taking many years without a release. And most of the other people either ends cancelling their projects (energy over?) or switch to create minigames instead.

So, I'd like to know... if the goal is to create a game in the vein of, say, Sonic The Hedgehog, Contra Hard Corps or a flashy Amiga demo, and there's no time limit for it, what you believe would be the best approach here?

Last edited by Hcktrox; 18 December 2017 at 01:07. Reason: grammar
Old 18 December 2017, 01:32   #2
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Hello @Hcktrox
I worked in the gaming biz a bunch of years back in the day (1998-2003) and before that I did actually finish a hobby project game (PC DOS at the time). In a large team you are likely to have a bunch of different types of ppl..
What I was used to however, is that the best ideas came from one group (game designers who really can put soem thought into the gameplay mechanics etc), the best visulas from another (graphics artists obviously) and the best code from a certain portion of the coding team (The nerdy elite).. +sound etc...
But still... to get a good result you need to put that all together and be susceptible to feedback from a range of various users.
From my perspective Id say that coders should never decide or steer the idea of the game through their solutions that were chosen due to purely technical reasons. Rather they should have a "design document" that dictates what is necessary to make this game interesting, then try to solve that challenge and if they need to compromise, they need to pick the right things to cut without killing the gameplay.
On rare occasions, there can be a "reality check" that kills all your darligns, but for the most part its about finding the best compromises.

Unless you are making another Tetris, I think you'll need to have the right mixture of several things to stand there in the end with a good game..
A fun game can be fun with ugly graphics, but making graphics great in a crappy game is not the way to make it more fun. Same with coding.. Perfect scroll in a super boring horisontal shooter is of use to bloody no one.. You get the idea.
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