#1 Posted by DazbotAthertron (875 posts) -

Being a programmer, I am not very artistic and often struggle for game ideas etc. However, recently I have been thinking more about how personal games are (i.e. compared to movies/book storylines).

How personal do you think games are to most developers (say the lead designer)? Can you tell when a game story or concept has been influenced by a person?

#2 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

You can usually tell when there's a unity of vision in a videogame which tends to come about because of the personal relationship between the lead creator(s) and their game.

#3 Posted by DazbotAthertron (875 posts) -

I think that it's a lot easier to see a developers' personality shine through in indie games in particular (which I hope to make) since the story may have been formed by just one person.

#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (35780 posts) -

Doesn't it depend on the game?

#5 Posted by DazbotAthertron (875 posts) -

Well of course, i.e. indie games and story driven games etc apply, whereas say sports or driving would not. I'm specifically talking about maybe real life experiences being mirrored in their game.

#6 Posted by Echofoxz (98 posts) -

One example I can think of out of top of my head is The Binding of Isaac. If you seen the opening of that game, then you can tell there definitely is personal influence on the game.

#7 Posted by DazbotAthertron (875 posts) -

@Echofoxz said:

One example I can think of out of top of my head is The Binding of Isaac. If you seen the opening of that game, then you can tell there definitely is personal influence on the game.

Interesting, I shall take a look!

#8 Posted by believer258 (11554 posts) -

You can't always tell. I don't think the Infinity Ward or Treyarch guys really care that much about Call of Duty. It's a job in the game development industry so, hey, why not keep it?

However, I wouldn't be surprised if I somehow found out that the DICE guys really do care about Battlefield. They keep trying different things with it, tweaking it, making sure it looks great and runs well and everything about it is interesting. I haven't actually played 3, but I have played BC2, BC1, and 1943, and all of them just feel like they've been tested and edited and made sure to run perfectly.

To contrast, the campaign of 3 doesn't have a very good reputation, and neither did BC2's. They may have just been created to fill in a checkmark or to show off the engine. BC1's campaign, however, was given some good props for being the first FPS campaign that DICE had ever tried, and the fact that it separates itself from the others by being wide-open shows that a little bit.

None of these things are readily apparent in the games themselves, but after thinking about it DICE seems to care about their games at least a little bit.

#9 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4672 posts) -

I think I can tell when a game maker has a big influence. For instance Deadly Premonition and the Metal Gear solid game feel like they are working towards one mans vision while games like Assasin's Creed feel like a collaboration between a large creative team.

#10 Posted by DazbotAthertron (875 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

feel like they are working towards one mans vision

You see this is how I wish my future indie games to come across, which is what made me think about how challenging/easy it would be to convey a story compared to say, an independent movie.

#11 Posted by Gamer_152 (14049 posts) -

I think it can sometimes be hard to trace games back to individual personalities, but whatever field of games development you're working in, you're going to have a personal effect on what you're creating. To lead designers in particular games seem to be a very personal thing.

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#12 Edited by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

That's the beauty of games, it's like a layered dessert, there is the aesthetic of looking at it, which usually the lead of the studio crafts, but then you dig deeper and the sound design and story harmonize, much like a rockstar north game, or even any rockstar game, you know it when you see it, but it's only when you sit down and play it does the experience feel crafted by like minded people in different fields. From my experience, no other medium can do that, movies are often affected by many people (action or superhero movies are passed along to tons of people), or just a couple people have major influence (Fincher, Kubrick, Coen bros). Music is closer to that, but still only has one layer, the sound, granted, there are different sounds that can mesh from single work to band work. So for short, I think games are best when it's a group of minds and not just one personal idea, very rarely are fantastic games done by one influential person (Fez, Braid, Blueberry garden).

Edit: Didn't get where the question going first, but to me, I think music is the most personal to the creator, and you can see his/her style the easiest, then I think games would come in second, then books, then movies. Visual art is so all over the place I can't even link it in.

#13 Posted by Echofoxz (98 posts) -

Another example is Bastion. Greg Kasavin was responsible for nearly all of the writing behind the story, narration, characters, and world of Bastion. Even though the story doesn't mirror Greg's real life in any way, his gaming background and experiences certainly had an impact on the game.

#14 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

It varies game to game. Some games such as Call of Duty, probably don't have a whole lot of personal love/attachment to it anymore, after it became a 2 year release thing and the studio heads were fired. One most remember that most of the programmers and artists are passionate gamers. The things we make, we probably care about them and strive to make do our best in making a quality game. Of course, this once again, is dependent on the studio. Studios that produce shovelware probably don't feel the same way.