Tag Archive for saying

Motivation

You might have noticed that the last couple of weeks have been filled with half-hearted posts and automated reposts of things I’ve tweeted.  Sometimes I just can’t think of anything worth saying, and other times if I think of something worth saying I just can’t find the energy to say it.

Still, at other times, I have something I think is worth saying, but I’ve said it so many times before that I’m running out of new ways to say it without repeating myself.  This has been pretty much the reason for my lack of posting lately.

When it comes to game design, I’ve pretty much said the same thing over and over for years now.  Games like World of Warcraft are fun, but they do not excite or engage me.  I want more story (and by that I mean more put into the world for me to discover and use in my story, not to be confused with clicking through a story someone else wrote – or worse, sitting and watching cut scenes of stories where I don’t even get to participate – in my view EverQuest had more story that most current games), and I want grouping, and I want less focus on levels and gear and racing to the “endgame”, and I want a slower pace that allows me time to interact with other players while playing as opposed to button mashing extravaganzas where I have to stop playing in order to talk to people.  And if a game needs to have voice chat it should be in the game, not a 3rd party tool (or ffs integrate some damn controls through your game’s UI so that I don’t have to alt-tab out to join chat with people).

At this point, my gaming talk will probably fizzle out and just be the random post now and again about a game I’m playing or something I’m doing (or if I win the lottery, the game I’m building), so I apologize in advance if the posts I do make don’t interest you.  Since I’m no longer motivated to ramble on about game design, I’ve got to seek out other motivations…

More to come… I hope…

The Tools You Need

There is an old saying that goes something like this:

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Throughout my career in computers, I have often referred to various tasks as “handing out fish” or “fishing lessons” depending on how I decided to approach it.  In recent years, I have often leaned toward fishing lessons over handing out fish because I hate having to repeat work, though sometimes if a task will never need to be repeated obviously teaching is a waste.

More recently, I’ve come to realize that I enjoy working with people who can figure things out, where I don’t need to actually teach them, but I can just give them the tools they need and they’ll teach themselves.  This I have come to refer to as “giving them a pole and showing them the ocean.”  Of course, this technique does require that the person is familiar in the arena.  I couldn’t do this for a programming job with the guy who cuts my neighbor’s lawn, but if I’m talking to another programmer then he should already be familiar with enough basics that if I give them a language and a goal they should be able to fill in all the missing steps themselves.

Since I put this in the gaming category, how does this pertain?

I’ve always admired EVE Online, even if I didn’t overly enjoy the game, because the game itself is little more than a set of mechanics and some tutorials in how to use them.  If that is all the effort you even put into the game, EVE is shallow, bland, repetitive and boring.  However, using the tools of the game and the Internet (in the form of message boards and other bits) and stepping outside the safeguards of high security space, the players have crafted themselves a very deep game of social interactions and political intrigue that rivals the plots of many popular novels.  And it is a game you can’t teach.  You can’t be an EVE player and teach someone how to get involved in the machinations of the social entities.  You can only give them a pole and show them the ocean.