Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10

Author Topic: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom  (Read 24218 times)

Nintenlord

  • Bay Watcher
  • Adamantine fever
    • View Profile
The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« on: July 31, 2011, 01:59:01 am »

Being the long time follower of both Sean Malstrom and Toady One, so seeing one write something about other is interesting. For those who don't read Malstrom, he has very unique view of gaming that can't be very easily communicated from just one blog post. In short, he believes that gamers are the one true gaming god and he means gamers as in people who play games, not people who spent their days on internet gaming forums. It's his belief that game developers are mere servants of gamers and that the idea of games having value not tied to gamers is absolutely false. He also believes that business is very important thing to understand and doing so is the only way anyone can be financially free. He also considers majority of suits in gaming industry to be woefully incompetent. So keeping those in mind here's his post:
http://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/the-tragedy-of-dwarf-fortress/
Random quote:
Quote
The Dwarf Fortress creators should be living like Saudi Kings. Instead, they are living off paltry donations to a Internet jar. It is not too late. If they emotionally accept the ethical goodness of creating customers, their fortunes will immediately reverse.
Logged
The only dragon I've seen in game walked into my rats nest of a fortress and died in the flames of the conflagration he started in the dining hall.  Of course, nearly every dwarf was dead by then, but we consider it a tactical victory.

Capntastic

  • Bay Watcher
  • Greetings, mortals!
    • View Profile
    • A review and literature weblog I never update
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 02:11:57 am »

Hahah wow he makes a lot of assertions based on almost-nothing, and equates Toady not wanting to turn his life's dream into a business-proposition to tribal mutilation practices.  He interprets Toady having an 'emotional chip on his shoulder' for pretty much no reason.  All in all, a very poorly thought out article.
Logged

burned

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
    • burnedFX
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 02:35:51 am »

Quote
Academic education, which was very important in the Industrial Era, is becoming less and less important today.

I did enjoy how he stressed this point with all of his grammar mistakes.

Logged
DFMA Profile | burnedfx Graphic Set

The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination. - H. P. Lovecraft
The Delvers
. . .the middle ground between light and shadow . . . - Rod Serling
The Delvers' Podcast

darkrider2

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 02:45:45 am »

As much as you may or may not love seanmalstron, I think the guys a nut.
Logged

Capntastic

  • Bay Watcher
  • Greetings, mortals!
    • View Profile
    • A review and literature weblog I never update
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 02:46:08 am »

His random tangents and self contradictions are insane.

Here's a heavily paraphrased breakdown of the article, as I see it.

"Toady is wrong for thinking that business is 'immoral' (though he never said that at all). Society is totally fine when allowed to be at a natural state.   Horrible things societies do are abstractions and artificial creations imposed upon natural states."

"Toady and Zach were academics and academics hate finance!"

Then he goes on to say that "Toady and Zach have an emotional chip on their shoulder.  They should put that aside and turn their life's work into a profitable business venture."

And then there's a tangent about how "Civilization is changing.   The old ways are defunct and people can't deal with it.   New ways are happening and people need to change."  This last bit explicitly conflicts with the idea that Toady's wasting his time if he's not running the game like a business, and that the only way DF is valuable to society or gamers is as a commodity to be bought and sold. 

Toady's carved himself out a niche doing what he loves, and making a modest living.   Being a game developer, and doing this by simply giving the game out for free, is a fairly new situation.   It's part of Bay12's charm.  Toady's goal is, despite what Sean seems to imply is the only logical end-goal for any rational actor, not to be rich.  He simply wants to make his game.  Toady deciding, calmly and rationally, to avoid selling his game or turning it into a business-like situation, is Toady opting out of the very same sort of artificial impositions on society that Sean himself started pointing out as detrimental to a natural state of coexisting.
Logged

thvaz

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 03:01:26 am »

Look at Notch. After he got rich, development of Minecraft didn't speed up on the same scale than his fortune. If anything, too much money is more of a distraction.

I do however agree with the author that Toady deserves a lot more.
Logged

Roflcopter5000

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 03:03:45 am »

Games are art. Art's value is indeed subjective, being assessed by the viewer, but you can't objectively qualify subjective measurements, IE a more popular piece of artwork is not more objectively valuable than a less popular piece, because these assessments are subjective to begin with. So saying that the value of a game can be measured by its reception is like saying that classical music is no longer as valuable as it once was, because people love the shit out of pop music now. It's a bogus argument.

But more directly, The assertion that Tarn Adams consider's business immoral is utterly baseless. He made a decision, and that decision was that he would rather have complete creative control over his life's work than make a lot of money with it. For as Randian as this Sean Malstrom obviously is, it's awkward that he hasn't figured that out. And I don't think Toady was necessarily accusing Notch of selling out, so much as he's saying that Minecraft is pretty featureless. Which it is. It's a giant sandbox with randomly generated and completely disconnected content. It has no sense of purpose or direction, in design or in play. It's kind of a cop-out of a game. I find it fun, personally, but I totally understand the criticism.

Near as I can figure, this guy is essentially just angry because Mr. Adams is giving out his game for free. He makes no mention of any the failings of Dwarf Fortress, other than to state that it has graphics from 1978 (which is apparently a failing because it will 'never be mainstream;' IE, it will never succeed at a goal that it never had), and completely fails to illustrate why he might believe that Tarn should start charging money for DF, other than a passing reference to the 'ethical goodness of creating consumers.'

This guy isn't issuing a critique of Toady, Bay12, or even Dwarf Fortress. It's just a man on a ship passing at night, yelling needlessly at the far away lights on the shore.
Logged

darkrider2

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 03:22:55 am »

Quote
This guy isn't issuing a critique of Toady, Bay12, or even Dwarf Fortress. It's just a man on a ship passing at night day, yelling needlessly at the far away lights on the shore.

Yelling at the bikini girls for going on to the beach and not making money off their bodies instead.
Logged

KFK

  • Bay Watcher
  • Keeper of the enchanting pixie dust
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 03:50:47 am »

This is a great article. I have often noted that Toady's borderline psychotic attitudes have hurt Dwarf Fortress, and kept something beautiful from the world.
Logged

pruwyben

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 04:06:02 am »

I like how he argues that our society trying to change our society shows that our society is wrong, because our society isn't wrong.
Logged

thvaz

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 05:16:09 am »

This is a great article. I have often noted that Toady's borderline psychotic attitudes have hurt Dwarf Fortress, and kept something beautiful from the world.

I find more psychotic offending someone in his forum because he doesn't do things the way you would like.
Logged

yggiz

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 05:49:08 am »

This is a great article. I have often noted that Toady's borderline psychotic attitudes have hurt Dwarf Fortress, and kept something beautiful from the world.

I find more psychotic offending someone in his forum because he doesn't do things the way you would like.

Yeah, if ToadyOne is psychotic, then Sean Malstrom is a mass murderer.

Dwarf Fortress is out there for those who want it. I saw a margin article in some gaming magazine, that is what brought me here. If folks can't be bothered to find a diamond, they will settle for anything flashy.

If the Dwarf Fortress creators hated money, then they wouldn't solicit donations. I love the idea that if the fans are able to support the creation, and the creators get to focus more on creating rather than finding a "real" job. God bless the Toad and Threetoe and this marvelous game!
Logged

PsyberianHusky

  • Bay Watcher
  • The best at being the worst at video games.
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 05:55:46 am »

It seems like he is basing this all from Toady's quote on minecraft, and his donation method of business.

It is silly, and opinionated, I need to read some more of this person's works to understand how serious he is about what he is saying.
Logged
Thank you based dwarf.

Vherid

  • Bay Watcher
  • [CREATURE:SLARK]
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 05:57:50 am »

This guy is a nutjob.

gimli

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 06:32:45 am »

Look at Notch. After he got rich, development of Minecraft didn't speed up on the same scale than his fortune. If anything, too much money is more of a distraction.

I do however agree with the author that Toady deserves a lot more.

Indeed, but it just won't happen because of various reasons. The game is very complex, and the "presentation" method is very poor, IE....the game could be very popular, but first of all, it needs a decent UI. AFAIK text and graphics are separated in the SDK version [??], so "full" tilesets are working. That is a good thing if I am correct [I haven't played since ages], because most of the "potential players" are getting scared away cuz of the ASCII symbols. So a fully graphical DF [via a proper gfx mod] + decent UI = tons of new players. The another problem is, that the development of the game is extremely slow, but maybe it's understandable, since only Toady is coding it. However it IS a problem as well.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10