31 comments posted · 41 followers · following 0

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · +2 points

So like, instead of Hitler or Pol Pot or someone, the aliens would make propaganda posters based on Alex "icycalm" Kierkegaard, a videogame critic and theorist who they found out about by browsing random blogs?

Actually, I can get behind this propaganda idea:

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · 0 points

By "paid" I hope you mean "donated all money to charity." =P

As for EJ's games, I did a quick Google +; are these it? (I haven't actually downloaded any of them yet.)

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · +1 points

Could always get a TIGS account and post a continuous dev log there (they have a specific subforum for that). Despite the "indie" label it's not a bad forum for amateur developers (and there are few real alternatives at this point anyway, I guess), just note and avoid the posters who ramble on about creative bankruptcy and how indies are the only light in the industry. A few other Insomniacs (lol) post there regularly as well, I think. Either way, good luck! :)

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 1 reply · +5 points

You know, in a certain context I kind of even like thinking of old classic games as "indie." In little over a decade, the indie scene has went from making revolutionary games like Quake and Doom to making mediocre "retro" platformers like Super Meat Boy :( :( :(

Luckily we have the dependies to save us now. :D

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · 0 points

Haha, I guess that observation's generally true. I'd suggest you play a bit of it, though; the writing and humor were what initially attracted me to the game (due to the trailers), but it also has pretty good pacing (better than most modern JRPGs I've seen), and though the action commands in the battle system are shallow, they at least make the battles more engaging than just mashing A in menus. Battles also aren't random (enemies show up on the overworld and are avoidable), so you aren't necessarily forced to slog through repetitive boring battles (though the possibility for grinding still IS there, which is a flaw almost if not all JRPGs have); that isn't a feature unique to this game, of course, but it's still a nice touch.

The main flaws the game has are the low difficulty level and the horrible graphics (though that's played for humor a bit, but it still doesn't excuse it). It also has a few long text cutscenes at points (though the writing was generally fresh and funny enough to keep me entertained through them); I think the beginning cutscene's the longest one.

For what it's worth, I'd at least recommend it over Earthbound (another popular "parody JRPG").

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 4 replies · +3 points

Good point on Civ III and GM. From my experiences with it I'm pretty sure it would be able to handle less intensive 2D games (everything through 16-bit era, at the very least), though. But either way the point there was that GM limits the possibility-space of the game more than C or ASM does, which is true.

Out of curiosity, why did you dislike Barkley? I thought it was a pretty good JRPG, and I hate most of the games in that genre.

EDIT: while I'm asking you about "indie" games: have you played any of Konjak's stuff? ( ) Noitu Love 2 in particular seems like a game you might like, even though it's a bit too easy.

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 10 replies · +3 points

Oh man, shit just got real. :D

"The idea, then, is that the only way to be truly independent (i.e. to not have to compromise with anyone on anything) is to make the game entirely by yourself — but REALLY yourself, starting with 1s and 0s. If you employ the aid of even a language like, say, C++ you are still compromising with the people who wrote the language (— since, as every real programmer will tell you, any higher-level language than Assembly automatically restricts your code's possibility space; and the higher the language the greater the restrictions — at the level of Game Maker you barely have any choices left, which is why all games developed with it play so extremely alike)."

Taking this a bit further, even from a strictly programming perspective assembly language doesn't give you "true independence;" different processors have different instruction sets, different execution times for each instruction, etc. If I'm using machine language I'm still making compromises with the engineers who designed the processor I'm programming for, since I have to optimize my code so that this particular processor can handle it without slowing down, as well as accommodate for things I want to do that the processor might not natively support (e.g. the NES/SMS processors lacking an inbuilt multiply instruction). This applies all the way up to current 64-bit processors, especially if you want to use cutting edge graphics technology (which requires shit tons of optimization and compromise; just look at John Carmack's Twitter feed), and will continue to apply until either the end of time or the end of computers. In a way I'm even glad the need for optimization is there, because figuring out how to do so is a huge part of what makes programming fun.

For the record, Game Maker's language isn't *extremely* limited for making 2D games (it has basic 3D support but it's so dumbed down and useless it's not really worth talking about). It's just that platformers are easy to make (there are a bunch of tutorials for them) and every amateur developer has Cave Story on their "inspiration" list; you could easily make a shooting or tactics or JRPG or puzzle game as well. The real problem with GM is that it's a huge RAM whore (and also has some speed/screen tearing issues, which is why with a current game I'm working on I'm learning C++ and using SFML for rendering).

Either way, good article.

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 1 reply · +6 points

There are plenty of professional developers with small team sizes (Cave immediately comes to mind, for example). Creative freedom is cool and all, but at the end of the day does it really matter if all the developer is doing with that freedom is making yet another platformer or physics game? Even if you're making something like Owlboy or Noitu Love 2 or Dwarf Fortress or Barkley: Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden (aka: awesome Western amateur games), you would have easily been helped by a larger team size, more funding, etc. (which would also imply less "creative freedom," since as teams grow larger the amount of compromises made by a designer has to grow, and the funding has to come from somewhere) to make the games even better. You could even say that the teams who made Bayonetta or Deus Ex or Bulletstorm or any other top level AAA games had more creative freedom (or, to use a synonym, "independence") than indie developers, since while the vision of a few guys working in a basement is necessarily limited by skill and resources, the designers who made those games had large teams of skilled artists and programmers at their disposal, as well as a much higher budget. If you want to take this even further I could point out that many indie games are also made with game creation kits like GM or MMF2, which places yet another upper limit, and also means that 50% of the actual game code was written by a large corporation and not by the indie developers.

I've found that mentally replacing "indie" with "amateur" or "hobbyist" is usually the best way to go. I know the real definition of indie is supposed to be "self-published," but then people call Flow and Flower indie games (not to mention games sold on XBLA). The real advantage of an "indie" community, I've found, isn't in the quality of the games themselves but in having a place where amateur developers can talk and show off what they've made to each other to get feedback. (Of course, sometimes some of those developers fall under the illusion that the games coming out of their community have soul and heart or something while the professionally developed games don't, which is a disadvantage that seems to have arisen from the "indie" label.)

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · +3 points

Yep. So is your disagreement with what I said settled now then?

(also why did you create a whole new comment thread just to reply to my comment =P)

12 years ago @ insert credit - The madness of Craig G... · 0 replies · +7 points

The "ludic fallacy" is trying to use simplified probabilistic models to predict complex real events. That has absolutely nothing to do with what I said, which is that strictly speaking, every activity in real life (not even a model of real life) is a game, because there's an end goal and a ruleset, the rules of reality (which we can't actually ever find out completely; all we can do is create simplified abstractions and scientific models to try and account for what we observe (there's the real "ludic fallacy")).