Stop being such an asshole to people who don’t start from scratchPosted: June 15, 2012
I make games, lots of us do these days. and we are crazy productive too. mostly because we have tools that make it easier than it used to be.
some people like to imply that those of us who use easy tools are less skilled, or lazy. and in some cases that our games are less valuable because of it.
some people are assholes. and should shut the fuck up.
I won’t pretend I can’t relate to these assholes, back before I learnt how to make games, I was really passionate about my 3D art (it was originally my intention to never program at all, I was all about the visual art) I hung out on deviantArt and shared my work and it was cool. but then tools appeared that made certain things easier; poser, terragen and similar software let people make 3D models without even requiring an understanding of the 3D building blocks; faces, vertices etc.
I was seriously miffed, I had worked crazy hard to make character models, and these people had the nerve to submit poser models alongside mine as though they were equal? it wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair. I had worked hard and these people had barely worked at all.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you find yourself thinking like this you are an asshole, and you are in the middle of a tantrum.
my particular tantrum lasted a few years. it gradually waned as I matured and gained more experience doing 3D art (both the hard way and the easy way). Ultimately I eventually realised, my prejudice against people doing things the easy way was a combination of petty jealousy, and a fundamental misunderstanding of what was important about my work.
The jealousy is understandable, it’s ugly but it makes sense. other people had similar or better results and didn’t have to struggle as I had.
The misunderstanding is where I really let myself down; in learning to make 3D, I had forgotten what was important to me when I started out in the first place. The actual process of crafting a 3D model was a skill that took effort to develop, and it’s a skill that I took a lot of pride in (and still do). I let that pride get in the way of what I developed the skills for in the first place; to realise my vision.
I had spent so much time amongst all the vertices and UV co-ordinates I couldn’t see past them on this issue. The people using poser were simply realising their vision, as I was trying to do.
I had assumed that because the skills required to do things my way weren’t required for people doing things the easier way, they weren’t as skilled and their work wasn’t as valuable as a result. I was an idiot for thinking it, and I was an asshole every time I voiced my opinion on the subject.
I’m going to say something, and it might blow some people’s minds, so prepare yourself;
THE AMOUNT OF EFFORT REQUIRED TO CREATE SOMETHING, HAS NO BEARING AT ALL ON THE VALUE OF WHAT YOU CREATE
just because something is hard to make doesn’t mean it is good, and likewise just because something is easy to make doesn’t mean it is bad.
for creations that require great effort, dedication and/or skill; we admire the creators. their acts are impressive. but if they could accomplish the same vision without so much strain, and don’t, these creators are fucking morons. and if they insist everyone else do things the hard way when it isn’t necessary, they are assholes too.
Personally, I use Unity. it’s a game engine and editor that has been put together, it saves me a ton of time. I don’t need to program a renderer for every game I make, I don’t need to study any particular model of physics to add collisions to a game, I DON’T NEED TO SPEND YEARS OF WORK TO BUILD SOMETHING THAT, WITH UNITY, I CAN MAKE IN HOURS.
I could make my own game engine if I wanted, I spent enough time in computing lessons, I dabbled with C++ enough to have a healthy appreciation of pointers and memory allocation. but why should I fuck with all that stuff if I don’t have to? I’ve written down hundreds of game ideas in my life, but at no point have I ever added “needs to be coded using <blah>, otherwise the game won’t be fun” to a design doc.
is there value in writing things yourself? yes, but it’s value for you, your experience of creation. you have a more intimate connection to what you are doing. but I don’t make games to feel connected to my code,
I MAKE GAMES BECAUSE I FUCKING WANT TO MAKE GAMES
I use unity because whilst it may be easy, it does not limit my vision at all. I love Unity, it has been great for me personally and professionally. but I would drop the bitch in a heartbeat if I wanted to make a game and unity was holding me back, I’d grab the gnarliest, most unwieldy, abstract piece of shit tool available if it was the only way to make what I wanted.
it’s stupid to encourage people to do things the hard way if their creative vision isn’t hampered by simpler tools, if you do that it makes you an asshole.
But what really pisses me off? people who do this are turning newbies away from making games. or at the very least making our community less than 100% comfortable and welcoming for them. people starting out should be able to use whatever the hell they want, I like to suggest they try everything they can get their hands on, different tools are good for different jobs after all.
These people, starting out with a vision (even if it’s just to try something little and have a go) don’t need to see you being a prejudiced asshole. at best you are making their day worse without good reason, at worst you are giving people a reason to give up.
So, I’m pretty much out of points to make, I could go on swearing a bit more on the topic for some time, but I think you get the idea. There’s nothing wrong with doing things the easy way if it’s going to help you create what you want to create. and there’s nothing wrong with doing things the hard way if it helps you do things you want to do. If someone complains that they are limited by their tools, offer them an alternative by all means, but if they are happy with their tools and their creative output, don’t criticise them for their choice of tool, it’s an asshole move.
Edit: “if they could accomplish the same vision without so much strain, and don’t, these creators are fucking morons.” – I wasn’t clear here, if you want to create something difficult when you don’t have to, I consider that part of ‘your vision’. you’re welcome to make your stuff however you like. it’s not my place to tell you what to do, especially in a post telling you not to do that to others. sorry if I offended anyone with this (not sorry at all if I offended anyone with the rest of it though 😉 )