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Has Developing Games Helped You Get Better at Gamin?


fcgamer

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So by this point in time I think it's fair to assume that a large portion of folks here have developed games of one sort or another, or have participated in something else like ROM hacking, programming for other reasons, etc.

As such, when you game, are you just experiencing the game for how it is, or are you considering things such as the hit box, palette cycling, amount of sprites allowed on a row, amount of different bad guy choices in a given segment, etc etc etc? Knowing how things work would definitely give the gamer an advantage, I'd think, anyone here use their knowledge to do so?

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I made some bad games and mods in college and I'd say absolutely not. The thing that made me better at gaming was leaning forward and actively practicing (i.e. with intent to learn), rather than just mindlessly racking up hours. I have untold casual hours in Diablo 2, but wouldn't know the first thing about being good at it, in say PVP or speedrunning, because I wasn't challenging myself beyond the bare minimum. Or like with chess you can probably gain some limited insight from studying history and theory, but the only way to get good is to intentionally play a lot of games.

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I can not speak for anyone else but I bet this will sit somewhat similarly.

In the 90s I was on the original project of the translation/testing of FF5 for SFC into english online.  I put way too many hours into that one and learned it exceedingly well, and the failures there with the script if you did X or Y to break Z stuck with me.  It also crushed my ability for a very very LONG time to play that one again from burnout.

The next decade down the line I was at MIdway and those lateral ways of thinking helped me figure out a number of things quickly once I hit the floor there and allowed me to progress from a general tester to doing technical standards analysis, checking/suggesting/tweaking future game manuals/box arts, and toward the end being a co-team lead in that area of the business.  And that ran into then the gaming media where I did writing but largely that writing was game reviews and previews.

All that around personal interest helped me gain an understanding of a lot of stuff, but in relation specifically to games what makes for a good idea, a bad idea, not the best game play mechanics to ones that are good or decidedly fresh and should appeal.  Add in the ideas of what would work nicely for sprites, background tiles, game play mechanics, finding way someone could make or break a game around what was intended (design slip ups to bugs...) You get the idea but it did all apply.  As it sits now though it also makes me hyper critical and overly harsh on the so called homebrew market of the last 15 years or so and evenly so on the aftermarket it has stepped up to.  Most the games in these realms I've found little joy in, especially of the homebrew era as I'd find one grating design flaw, bug, or mistake after another that just sucked the air out of the room for me so I wouldn't scoop that up when other people were lapping at the trough over at NA like good little doggies over the next piece of released mediocrity.  It's why when I did see that rare diamond in the rough I'd reach out to the developer wiht praise and talk it up, such as KHAN with his Larry port for example.  Another example, despite having some rough edges I'd like to see cleaned up, your Hungry Ghost Night works too until that one point ( you know the one I'm talking about as I told you as much. )

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Graphics Team · Posted

My limited experience with pixel-art and sprite animation hasn't made me any better at PLAYING games, but it's certainly given me greater admiration for the developers who make this stuff (especially "back in the day" when they did it with more primitive interfaces and tools).

[T-Pac]

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