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Fogel

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You sure about that? The front row of the Globe had no seats and was where the poorest of people could sit, and if they didn't like the play they had the mud beneath them to throw, and their feces. If Shakespeare was smart, he would have tried to write plays that everyone can enjoy, with points for the poor and the rich to enjoy, possibly together and possibly separately.

I never realized you were such a romantic, Cowking! Believing in art for art's sake, past the ability to sell said art. Let's see what my cynicism can do. It's just a much an art to be able to make a game that appeals to multiple groups, just as it is an art to make a movie or a story appeal to multiple groups. Guess which one will make more profit and allow for the art to continue? The one that appeals to the audience. True, you may some day make a game without any audience in mind (impossible by the way, because you will make it for yourself, and you then are the audience, but that's a tangent) and you may even be successful with it. Or that game could end up sitting on your hard drive waiting for a publisher, but none will touch it because they don't know how they could sell it. Maybe you publish it yourself, but without marketing for it and without an audience you know will enjoy it, how can you make any money off of it?

To put it simply and quickly, Cowking, my opinion right now is that if you are genuinely insulted it is by your choice and not really because of anything said here. Oh, and I don't recommend you try to argue against my thoughts on the audience of art because you're not the only one in this thread that has aspirations and experiences of being an artist.

You know, not everyone desires to make a profit off their work, I know people that make games for free, or comics, or software, or music. I do mean free by the way, as in no advertising or getting paid for it, at most they might have a paypal donation button. Some people probably do it for art's sake but I think some of them probably just do it to be nice.

 

Edit: As for what Cow said, I don't think that's Fogel's intentions. I think the thing about Fogel is that he throws in a lot of content when he writes in order to better describe and example what he's saying, and maybe people just misinterpret it. I think that's what I do half the time I read his stuff because I often throw in tedious details and examples myself when I'm saying things.

Edited by Deathmineral

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You know, not everyone desires to make a profit off their work, I know people that make games for free, or comics, or software, or music. I do mean free by the way, as in no advertising or getting paid for it, at most they might have a paypal donation button. Some people probably do it for art's sake but I think some of them probably just do it to be nice.

 

Edit: As for what Cow said, I don't think that's Fogel's intentions. I think the thing about Fogel is that he throws in a lot of content when he writes in order to better describe and example what he's saying, and maybe people just misinterpret it. I think that's what I do half the time I read his stuff because I often throw in tedious details and examples myself when I'm saying things.

Yes, there are artists that do that, but even those have a targeted audience, which CowKing appears to believe isn't important and counter to art. You can also include that people will do it for fun, by the way. I remember at an old forum I was a part of that was for an open source program. There were some absolutely great add-ons and plug-ins for it that were completely free and maintained. (I made some too.) Those were things for fun, for hobby, for education (that's the kind of software it was), and for being nice. It wasn't their job (except for the actual programmers) like game developing and publishing is for those artists that do create products for a profit.

Also, I thought of another reason for why you do have to consider your audience when making art. If you don't, you can lose your way. 'Oh this is a neat idea! Let's fit it in.' or ' I can do this, so I will.' Much harder to do that when you know what you're aiming at. The current story I'm working on is science fiction and because I am a science guy I will go into detail trying to explain things. Well, at least one friend that has read some of it is not a science person, so I want to change those science parts. Though at heart I intend the story to be for science people, science fiction readers, and some gamers/overclockers (basically you guys) I want everyone to be able to read it. I believe it is a good story and to make it something only the few can enjoy would be, in my mind, an insult to it. I want people to enjoy it as much as I do and I would not want anyone to be confused by it, so I make changes. It's not corrupting or harming the story at all. If anything, it makes it better and stronger by allowing more people to enjoy it, and it won't cause others to lose enjoyment either. Really, it is for the best that I make those changes, and why I asked my friend, knowing she is not a science person, to give me her opinion. Some points I have disregarded and others I have embraced. In the end, it is better.

This makes me realize that gamers are similar to readers. There are differences between readers of fantasy, mystery, horror, and so on, just as there are differences between gamers, even without considering genre. A reader of books like The Lord of the Rings is different from a reader of Sherlock Holmes where you have to make a whole new world for LotR with various species, while Holmes is set mostly in London. With science fiction you have to be able to accept some things that are not explained up front, or might not be explained at all, later on, because they are written from the point of view that this is the world, so why should it be explained? I'm not saying any kind of gamer is analogous to any kind of reader. The point I'm trying to make is that reading different kinds of stories can require different kinds of reading, so you don't want to write a horror-mystery and try to sell it to purer fantasy or romance or comedy readers. You also don't want to expect every horror reader or every sci-fi reader to enjoy it because some sci-fi people don't like horror and some horror people don't like sci-fi. Don't expect me to try to give definitions to different kinds of readers though, because that is at at least two dimensional; one dimension being the genre (as mentioned) and the other being reading level (Harry Potter and LotR may both have magic, but that doesn't mean every fantasy reader will enjoy them both).

I'm very tired right now, so I apologize if I rambled in there.

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I think the definition is fine but you're definitely right about game developers an publishers trying to go in too many directions at one time. Personally I don't think it's that hard for them to figure out what people want. For example Crysis 2 should have been the easiest thing in the world to understand what the PC community wanted out of the game, but they didn't deliver those ground breaking graphics, I don't think any amount of definition would have helped there, I believe that was just pure neglect of the PC community by Crytek.

 

On personal level, the graphics don't matter to me a bit in that game or any game really, but that was the thing that the majority of PC gamers really thought was going to happen with that game I think. I think that's purely poor judgement though, it wasn't hard to figure out what the PC community was expecting from that particular game. I also believe that to be true with any game that is the successor of a single platform game by the way, I think if a company makes a game exclusive to the PC, 360, PS3, they shouldn't have much trouble figuring out what that platform wants the next time around.

 

I only see that with big games too though, a lot of smaller and indie games are actually pretty well done even if they are multiplatform. I think the real problem with the industry is a lack of passion for art and game making, all these AAA titles that everyone loves, those are simply products, that's just something EA or Activision has to make and get out the door by a certain time, they don't really hop on forums and interact with their customers about the games like a lot of indie devs do. A good example of a great indie developer is Cold Beam Games, the guys that made Beat Hazard, they made the first release of the game a ton of fun and everyone loved it, then they improved on the game based on what their community wanted, they actively watch the Beat Hazard threads on the Steam Forums and respond to their fanbase.

 

Though I have not played Crysis 2 myself to see what everyone is talking about, I have seen the gripes and the majority falls on the PC side. So based on what I've read I would agree with what you said. It sounds like they forgot who their core fans are and decided to reach out for the masses.

 

Games that include their fans in the design process typically do a lot better. Though at the same time the developer has to keep their direction. I have also seen games ruined because the developer tried too hard to appease everyone and it lacked direction or the balance was off. It's like letting too many hands cook a soup, you better have someone with a keen eye watching all that goes in or you will lose track. But overall I still agree with you and that is a reason why I too like many indie games and think they deserve more respect than they get.

 

 

Fogel, what you're proposing it taking away the art form of making a game. Shakespeare didn't model his plays around the audience that was watching it. I'm extremely insulted by this thread now.

 

I don't understand what you are offended about as you didn't explain it. An artist has an even more secluded definition. An artist creates for himself/herself, then they pray others see what they see and appreciate it for what it is. You think Van Gogh was painting for the masses? You think his thought process was, I am going to create paintings anyone can enjoy? Art is something that is personal to the artist. They are sharing their personality to the world through their creations.

 

If a game company wants to express its artistic side they can still fully do so. But they don't have the luxury most artists do - at some point they have to consider their audience as they create the UI so that people can actually play the game. The more people you factor in will keep chipping away at the original vision as you open up the game. The game may also be too difficult for many in its unpolished state. If you don't define your audience then you don't know how much you have to sacrifice.

 

Art with intent to appeal to the masses often lacks soul and heart as it no longer is personal to the artist.

 

 

You know, not everyone desires to make a profit off their work, I know people that make games for free, or comics, or software, or music. I do mean free by the way, as in no advertising or getting paid for it, at most they might have a paypal donation button. Some people probably do it for art's sake but I think some of them probably just do it to be nice.

 

Edit: As for what Cow said, I don't think that's Fogel's intentions. I think the thing about Fogel is that he throws in a lot of content when he writes in order to better describe and example what he's saying, and maybe people just misinterpret it. I think that's what I do half the time I read his stuff because I often throw in tedious details and examples myself when I'm saying things.

 

Ya, bad habit of mine. :)

 

The funny thing is one of my friends makes mobile phone games. Some with his own vision and some for the company he works for. The ones he created prior to joining the company aren't popular compared to the ones mentioned in this thread, but he kept his style and the artwork is masterfully done.

 

As for your first paragraph I used to provide art for free on the web. I did it simply for the love of the trade. Good feedback inspires you to keep going. With free you open up your audience for feedback so I can see why game companies want to appeal to everyone, but never once did I create for someone else. If i created something it was a vision I had and wanted to share. I didn't change that for anyone as it would no longer be my vision. But I lack the skill to put the ideas in my head onto paper, so I stopped. :)

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You sure about that? The front row of the Globe had no seats and was where the poorest of people could sit, and if they didn't like the play they had the mud beneath them to throw, and their feces. If Shakespeare was smart, he would have tried to write plays that everyone can enjoy, with points for the poor and the rich to enjoy, possibly together and possibly separately.

I never realized you were such a romantic, Cowking! Believing in art for art's sake, past the ability to sell said art. Let's see what my cynicism can do. It's just a much an art to be able to make a game that appeals to multiple groups, just as it is an art to make a movie or a story appeal to multiple groups. Guess which one will make more profit and allow for the art to continue? The one that appeals to the audience. True, you may some day make a game without any audience in mind (impossible by the way, because you will make it for yourself, and you then are the audience, but that's a tangent) and you may even be successful with it. Or that game could end up sitting on your hard drive waiting for a publisher, but none will touch it because they don't know how they could sell it. Maybe you publish it yourself, but without marketing for it and without an audience you know will enjoy it, how can you make any money off of it?

To put it simply and quickly, Cowking, my opinion right now is that if you are genuinely insulted it is by your choice and not really because of anything said here. Oh, and I don't recommend you try to argue against my thoughts on the audience of art because you're not the only one in this thread that has aspirations and experiences of being an artist.

You obviously just don't get it. Shakespeare WAS smart; he created stories that have lasted hundreds of years. Who wants to watch a play that someone with only zero education can enjoy? Do you know what you get when you create the art around the audience? You get 'reality' shows. Sure, they make a lot of money, but will anyone remember them 5 years after they're gone? No. Money isn't everything. That's something you just don't seem to understand.

 

I love that last sentence of yours, Internet Tough Guy.

 

Yes, there are artists that do that, but even those have a targeted audience, which CowKing appears to believe isn't important and counter to art. You can also include that people will do it for fun, by the way. I remember at an old forum I was a part of that was for an open source program. There were some absolutely great add-ons and plug-ins for it that were completely free and maintained. (I made some too.) Those were things for fun, for hobby, for education (that's the kind of software it was), and for being nice. It wasn't their job (except for the actual programmers) like game developing and publishing is for those artists that do create products for a profit.

Also, I thought of another reason for why you do have to consider your audience when making art. If you don't, you can lose your way. 'Oh this is a neat idea! Let's fit it in.' or ' I can do this, so I will.' Much harder to do that when you know what you're aiming at. The current story I'm working on is science fiction and because I am a science guy I will go into detail trying to explain things. Well, at least one friend that has read some of it is not a science person, so I want to change those science parts. Though at heart I intend the story to be for science people, science fiction readers, and some gamers/overclockers (basically you guys) I want everyone to be able to read it. I believe it is a good story and to make it something only the few can enjoy would be, in my mind, an insult to it. I want people to enjoy it as much as I do and I would not want anyone to be confused by it, so I make changes. It's not corrupting or harming the story at all. If anything, it makes it better and stronger by allowing more people to enjoy it, and it won't cause others to lose enjoyment either. Really, it is for the best that I make those changes, and why I asked my friend, knowing she is not a science person, to give me her opinion. Some points I have disregarded and others I have embraced. In the end, it is better.

This makes me realize that gamers are similar to readers. There are differences between readers of fantasy, mystery, horror, and so on, just as there are differences between gamers, even without considering genre. A reader of books like The Lord of the Rings is different from a reader of Sherlock Holmes where you have to make a whole new world for LotR with various species, while Holmes is set mostly in London. With science fiction you have to be able to accept some things that are not explained up front, or might not be explained at all, later on, because they are written from the point of view that this is the world, so why should it be explained? I'm not saying any kind of gamer is analogous to any kind of reader. The point I'm trying to make is that reading different kinds of stories can require different kinds of reading, so you don't want to write a horror-mystery and try to sell it to purer fantasy or romance or comedy readers. You also don't want to expect every horror reader or every sci-fi reader to enjoy it because some sci-fi people don't like horror and some horror people don't like sci-fi. Don't expect me to try to give definitions to different kinds of readers though, because that is at at least two dimensional; one dimension being the genre (as mentioned) and the other being reading level (Harry Potter and LotR may both have magic, but that doesn't mean every fantasy reader will enjoy them both).

I'm very tired right now, so I apologize if I rambled in there.

Wow, you got it so wrong in the first paragraph. You don't know a single thing about me and you think you can type such tripe. What you're suggesting is pandering to the audience and that has never worked well, ever. Call of Duty does this and while they do seem to make a lot money they're not going to be making money in a few years when people start realizing it's the same rehashed crap. People get bored when you start making things that are so focused on including everybody that no one can truly enjoy it. I'm just going to make a game that I think is right and what people is interesting instead of just making something they will have seen a million times before. If you want to make a story that everyone relates to then fine, but you're disregarding you're main audience. Dune was confusing as hell at points, but no one will ever say that it's a bad book.

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Yes, there are artists that do that, but even those have a targeted audience, which CowKing appears to believe isn't important and counter to art. You can also include that people will do it for fun, by the way. I remember at an old forum I was a part of that was for an open source program. There were some absolutely great add-ons and plug-ins for it that were completely free and maintained. (I made some too.) Those were things for fun, for hobby, for education (that's the kind of software it was), and for being nice. It wasn't their job (except for the actual programmers) like game developing and publishing is for those artists that do create products for a profit.

 

Also, I thought of another reason for why you do have to consider your audience when making art. If you don't, you can lose your way. 'Oh this is a neat idea! Let's fit it in.' or ' I can do this, so I will.' Much harder to do that when you know what you're aiming at.

I think you're right that there is a targeted audience even in free art, but I also think there are free artists that don't target anyone in particular but themselves. I think targeted audience happens more in software and less in music or drawing. For example, and many here probably don't relate to this but, there are trainers for games, for cheating, that I've seen made in three different ways. One being a business, CheatHappens is a website that makes them for profit. The next being a community of free trainer makers, SICheats is a website consisting of a handful of skilled trainer makers that has a little bit of advertising but they do it for free and for fun mostly. The last is what I guess could be called freelance trainer makers, these people don't even have their own site really, they just make the trainer and upload it to places like GameCopyWorld or MegaGames. Now here's the thing that I find most interesting about the example I'm giving, Cheathappens does it in a business sense but they actually have the poorest releases, SICheats has mediocre releases, and the freelance people often have the best releases, I find quality goes up as love for the art goes up. Not to say they don't have an audience, they might, but I think it's more along the lines of them doing it for themselves and then releasing on some site for others to enjoy, like other people are more of an after thought in the process.

 

In a way I think you're exactly right about losing your way but I also think different direction can help as well. A good example of this is Disturbed, back when I was younger and they first came out, I loved their music, I really liked the style and sound of it. However over time that band changed their sound a great deal and become much more popular because of it, but personally I hated the change and I can't stand to hear any of their new stuff, in my opinion they lost their way, however others might feel like they got on the right track.

 

Another example of this would be Call of Duty, I used to love the Call of Duty games, but after a while I felt they lost their way. I liked Call of Duty all the way up until MW2 basically, once they released that game, I lost all respect for the series because it seemed like they didn't even respect themselves, they were just trying every silly little thing they could to expand on a game that shouldn't have been expanded on instead of just making something new. However according to sales, they went in the right direction with that game.

 

In the end I think it's impossible to say whether an art or company has found or lost its way, I don't think it's up to an audience as a whole but rather individuals fans to determine such a thing. I think that's the magic of trying to reach out to multiple audiences though, eventually you won't have a real audience to target because it could just be everyone that you're targeting and no one in particular, and when that works, it's considered a success by the industry.

 

Ya, bad habit of mine. :)

 

The funny thing is one of my friends makes mobile phone games. Some with his own vision and some for the company he works for. The ones he created prior to joining the company aren't popular compared to the ones mentioned in this thread, but he kept his style and the artwork is masterfully done.

 

As for your first paragraph I used to provide art for free on the web. I did it simply for the love of the trade. Good feedback inspires you to keep going. With free you open up your audience for feedback so I can see why game companies want to appeal to everyone, but never once did I create for someone else. If i created something it was a vision I had and wanted to share. I didn't change that for anyone as it would no longer be my vision. But I lack the skill to put the ideas in my head onto paper, so I stopped. :)

That's a good point about the feedback, I think artists really love to see that someone liked their work. I used to create things at one time and seeing even one person enjoy it would put a smile on my face.

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You obviously just don't get it. Shakespeare WAS smart; he created stories that have lasted hundreds of years. Who wants to watch a play that someone with only zero education can enjoy? Do you know what you get when you create the art around the audience? You get 'reality' shows. Sure, they make a lot of money, but will anyone remember them 5 years after they're gone? No. Money isn't everything. That's something you just don't seem to understand.

 

I love that last sentence of yours, Internet Tough Guy.

 

 

Wow, you got it so wrong in the first paragraph. You don't know a single thing about me and you think you can type such tripe. What you're suggesting is pandering to the audience and that has never worked well, ever. Call of Duty does this and while they do seem to make a lot money they're not going to be making money in a few years when people start realizing it's the same rehashed crap. People get bored when you start making things that are so focused on including everybody that no one can truly enjoy it. I'm just going to make a game that I think is right and what people is interesting instead of just making something they will have seen a million times before. If you want to make a story that everyone relates to then fine, but you're disregarding you're main audience. Dune was confusing as hell at points, but no one will ever say that it's a bad book.

Fine, maybe I don't understand what you've been saying, but you obviously don't understand what I've been saying either. Here's my evidence:

What you're suggesting is pandering to the audience and that has never worked well, ever

 

Not at all what I've been saying and far from what I've been thinking. I have never once said you should create solely for the audience. In fact, here is what I did say what I said was that I get opinions from my friends and:

 

Some points I have disregarded and others I have embraced. In the end, it is better.

I firmly believe that you should always create for yourself because no one is so different that they can never find someone else to like the same thing. I didn't go into much detail on that, but I did briefly mention it.

 

you may some day make a game without any audience in mind (impossible by the way, because you will make it for yourself, and you then are the audience, but that's a tangent)

I never said Shakespeare was not smart, I said:

 

If Shakespeare was smart, he would have tried to write plays that everyone can enjoy, with points for the poor and the rich to enjoy, possibly together and possibly separately.

He did that. He was smart. He wrote plays the poor and rich (you brought up education, not me) enjoyed.

Also, I wasn't trying to be an internet tough guy. I was trying to make the point that you seem to be taking the stance of, "Well I am artist, so I know this stuff and therefore must be right," but you are not the only one here that knows this stuff. Yes, I wrote it with attitude because you have been getting on my nerves. You first said this is futile and pointless, then claimed you said we were wrong and contributed, when you said this is futile and pointless. You also apparently missed the point I was making that I have made and maintained items, for free, which was in that first paragraph you must have read, since you say I got it "completely wrong." Kind of interested in how I got it completely wrong, when I did it? Apparently my experience isn't valid, or are you calling me a liar? Alright, then how about my experience of volunteering my time to teach teachers how to use that educational program? I went in on my day off, expecting nothing and got nothing. Completely free to my school and cost me a day. Why did I do that? Because I believed the school could benefit from it. I was being nice.

You're right, I don't know you from Adam, and you don't know me either, but I do know that the impression I've been getting of you from your posts in this thread has been exactly what I said in my previous post. Also, as you apparently missed it, I bolded the word appears in that first paragraph specifically because it is what that impression is. I didn't say you are, I said you appear. I also bolded "seem" earlier, when I gave my impression of you in this post, specifically because this is an impression. I don't pretend to know you, but I do know what you've written and what I think, based on that.

I never said I wanted everyone to relate to my story. I said I want everyone to be able to enjoy it. There is a difference and my specific point was that if someone is confused by it, they won't enjoy it. Funny thing is, you agree:

I'm just going to make a game that I think is right and what people is interesting

So you want people, an audience, to find it interesting. I want my story to be enjoyable to people. Sure sounds similar.

Now, are you going to keep this back and forth up where you misinterpret what I write, make incorrect accusations, and then I reply when I'm still irritated by you putting words in my mouth? If you are, please let me know so I can leave this thread and let the others continue their conversations without this stuff in the middle.

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