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Author Topic: Game design 'moods' and autism?  (Read 11493 times)

Old School Gamer

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Re: Game design 'moods' and autism?
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2008, 10:05:00 am »

I've both been caught up in a strange mood for the last couple of weeks, as well as being mildly schizophrenic for the last 10 years (lately it's been about as debilitating as having a light cold).

The strange mood I've been in is my new website,, an "artist's chronicle" of my various drawings (many "political" drawings, though I consider democratic politics to be a mostly a sham today).  I spent about 10 hours a day for the last 2 weeks working on it.  

I've wanted to create this site for several months now, but my energy-sapping job in a bank's corporate HQ left me with no energy left to do what I really wanted to do.  I managed to get myself fired (not a difficult proposition - just call in and tell them you're taking a 3-day vacation, no matter what.), so I've had plenty of free time lately.

As far as being schizophrenic, it has been somewhat interesting, at times terrifying.  When you can't trust your own senses, it can make getting by in the world a challenge.  But it also can make a person extremely open minded and free-thinking in their approach to the world, so it's not all bad.

The difficult part is people's reactions when you tell them you are.  Many people seem to think that all schizo's are axe murderers or something.  But it's no big deal really.  But try getting a job when the employer knows you're schizophrenic, and then think about what it's like to have to be secretive about the fact that you are.  It's a lot of BS.

As far as having urges to bite peoples' noses off and things like this which was mentioned earlier,  I've read up a tremendous amount on mental health and related stuff. Urges like this could be caused by anything ranging from a vitamin deficiency,  to not getting enough exercise and eating junk foods and sugary foods,  to a number of other things.

A lot of the mental health 'industry', in the US at least, would want to put someone who had such urges on a chemical medication, but the motives for that are only profit-related; there are natural remedies for things like this which actually cure the problem, not mask it with sedative medications or medications which nullify the mind's 'range of expansion'.

But to get into a strange mood, someone would have to have an inventive personality, and would have to pretty much consider conformity to be the antithesis of a logical way to approach the world, and personally I think that such people are the only hope that humanity has for making the world any better a place.  Those who conform or don't do anything extraordinary or special in any way aren't going to make anything change.

I personally consider schizophrenia to have been a blessing for me.  I've always been a nonconformist, and extremely open-minded, and this might not have been the case if I had a 'normal' brain.  I'm also a very laid-back guy, so even if I do have strange sensory inputs, it doesn't really make me go batty or anything, my reaction is just kind of 'hmm,  cool', or 'oh well, it'll pass'.

Normal is an illusion anyway.

That's all I can think of that's relevant, peace.

Currently Playing:  DF, Galciv2, Eschelon Book 1, Helherron, Unreal World.

Currently Playing With: Linux.

Going to Buy: Warhammer Online, Space Rangers: Reloaded, Stardock's MoM Clone.


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Re: Game design 'moods' and autism?
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2008, 10:22:00 am »

Well, it's not just noses, you know...  Sometimes I think about ears.  

I mean, it's not like I've got some weird "nose fetish" or anything.


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Re: Game design 'moods' and autism?
« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2008, 10:22:00 pm »

BUMP! Again!

Status update: I'm now on Chapter 6, 100 pages written and about 2/3 left to go. I am overjoyed with it, to the point where I can actually look back and take pleasure in reading it. One part in Chapter 2 can still give me a slight jolt. Another part in Chapter 5 almost made me cry on re-reading it for the first time. I know that as the author my emotional experience is heightened beyond that of the average reader, but 'tis a good portent nevertheless.

Furthermore, altough it's been more than two months, all 100 pages have come from a full revision in about half that, probably less. I know it seems odd, but that was after yet another change in self-identity and discovering the Way of Writing.

What is the Way? Simple: Do whatever your intuition tells you. Blocky logic makes for blocky prose. Let go of fixed plans. If you have decided that Character A should be the murderer, but you intuit that it would be more interesting for Character B to have that position, then choose B. If you intuit that the second part of the setence you are currently writing sucks, cut it off and start again. If there's some detail or scene you want to put in but you know in your guts that it doesn't add anything, remove it. That last one is harder than you would think.

The benefits of this are massive. The first time I wrote with my intuition directly in mind, (this was just minutes after the third idenity change, by the way), I not only wrote about 10x faster and with far far more quality but also when I was done I didn't have any of my normal Post Writing Depression. This was simply because for the first time the internal dream of the novel was the same as the external reality.

I dropped one sub-plot and one scene, plus a bunch of other scens were merged into each other. None were integral (which is why I knew I had to dump/merge them), and although I was somewhat sad to see some of them go, I spontainiously got a new, much better, sub-plot in return.

So, that's it for the update, if anyone cared about it.

Check out my books at O and H Books


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Re: Game design 'moods' and autism?
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2008, 04:17:00 am »

Gigalith's response is the second step, of course. The initial steps that must be taken at the beginning of any of these "mood" undertakings are built-in to the structure that the professionals use. These steps are organizational. At the beginning of the undertaking, no matter what it is, it must, absolutely must, start with a plan. As a result, one must map out what they will be doing, be it design documents or plot outlines. It always starts with a plan. Without one... well of course you're gonna get off track! You don't have anything telling you where to go when that inspiration wears off. Honestly.

While the need for an attitude like the first post is needed, that is not the whole process. It works something like this:

1) Get Inspiration.
2) Make PLAN.
3) Flesh out section (*) of PLAN.
4) Revise section (*) of PLAN.
5) Repeat 3 & 4 until all sections of PLAN are complete.
6) Revise completed form of PLAN.
7) Make changes as needed/wanted.
8) Publish completed & revised PLAN.

It seems self-evident, but unless put into a system, or subconscious routine, the PLAN gets nowhere fast, because there isn't a system to decide on the implementation of PLAN. Therefore... the numbers. Thank you for reading.

Peace, Devath

"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." - Unknown


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Re: Game design 'moods' and autism?
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2008, 08:17:00 am »

Originally posted by Stromko:
<STRONG>Trouble with autism, especially high-functioning autism, is how easy it is to self-diagnose. Any nerd can self-diagnose themselves with asperger's syndrome, just because they're very passionate about some very obscure things. If you spend 12 hours a day playing videogames for most of your youth, you just might be an awkward person.

I've been through a self-diagnosed autism phase, you could say I'm still /in/ that phase some days. But what occured to me, was that the idea that one has a cognitive or emotional disorder that justifies being weird and 'special' can be destructive to any effort to improve. It's also a seductive idea, as self-diagnosed mental disorders tend to be.

When you ask yourself, "Am I autistic?" you have to also ask, "What does this mean I can't do?". You might dislike doing certain things, but that's not the same thing. I /hate/ talking to people on the phone or meeting new people and I don't need real-life friends, I'm a terribly shy person and a shut-in.

However, even though I start from what I perceive as a below-average level of social talent, I can and have improved from practice and experience. My 'limitations' logically follow from my choices and interests. So, perceiving myself as autistic, believing that I will always have a disadvantage, would be unnecessarily limiting.

Forgiving yourself for your current limitations is a good thing, believing that you are special is (arguably) a good thing, but believing you will always be 'retarded' in some axis of your life, even one that you don't value that much (socialness), isn't helpful. It's not even a matter of whether you're right or wrong, you might very well have Asperger's but over-estimate your limitations.

Though I must say, "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly." is an excellent axiom and made this thread worthwhile.      :D

--There: Indicates location or state of being.
"The ale barrel is over there. There is a dwarf in it."
--Their: Indicates possession.
"Their beer has a dwarf in it. It must taste terrible.
--They're: A contraction of the words "they are".
"They're going to pull the dwarf out of the barrel."
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