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Author Topic: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom  (Read 25567 times)

KFK

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #60 on: August 01, 2011, 12:20:14 am »

So KFK, I'd like to see some of the work you've done. Since you're sitting here telling us you essentially could do DF better than Toady could.

Short version: I don't have copies of that old stuff.

(Edit: was looking for an old post in response to a recent DF announcement. saw this. removed some WAAAY out of date information.)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:20:32 pm by KFK »
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Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #61 on: August 01, 2011, 12:27:20 am »

This really is a pointless argument.  What it boils down to is this:

Toady wants to make Dwarf Fortress.  It is his life's work, and a project he wants to complete on his own, for his own reasons.  For Toady, it is not about money, time spent, efficiency, or anything else: he wants to create this game his way, and that's all there is to it.

It doesn't matter if he could manage a group, or what; he doesn't want to.  I can certainly agree it's a strange decision, but it's his to make, and given that he's essentially saying "Hey everyone, here's what I'm working on; give it a try and tell me what you think.  It's free", we really have no reason to care beyond giving him that feedback.  Some people here love the game, some hate it, some donate, some don't.  Again, I doubt any of that really matters to Toady.  He started this game on his own, he continues to do so on his own, and he will finish on his own if he can live long enough to do so.

That to me is what cements the pointlessness of the various arguments about release dates, GUIs, UI upgrades, additional programmers and coders, etc.  Toady just plain doesn't want to do certain things, and isn't overly concerned (if at all) with how popular or profitable the game is.  He's making the game the way he wants to make it, and nothing we say or do will change his mind.  I could easily fill this page with things I think he should do, or what I'd do instead, or what I'd want instead, but I don't.  It's just...meaningless.  Why bother discussing it at all?
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KFK

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2011, 12:30:08 am »

Why bother discussing it at all?

Because it's fucking aggravating
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KillerClowns

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #63 on: August 01, 2011, 12:35:21 am »

That to me is what cements the pointlessness of the various arguments about release dates, GUIs, UI upgrades, additional programmers and coders, etc.  Toady just plain doesn't want to do certain things, and isn't overly concerned (if at all) with how popular or profitable the game is.  He's making the game the way he wants to make it, and nothing we say or do will change his mind.  I could easily fill this page with things I think he should do, or what I'd do instead, or what I'd want instead, but I don't.  It's just...meaningless.  Why bother discussing it at all?

I agree the specific case isn't worth discussing. Toady will do what Toady does. I would not do the same thing in his position, but I am not in his position, and perhaps this is for the best. But the general cases brought up indirectly by Mr. Malstrom -- the balance between putting food on the table and creating a true work of art, and the difficult task of being accessible without being watered down -- is worth discussing. And while we'll certainly not settle this timeless debate, that doesn't make it not worth having.
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Lectorog

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2011, 12:37:03 am »

Why bother discussing it at all?

Because it's fucking aggravating

Why? I still don't understand your argument against DF/Bay12. Are you saying he should commercialize so he can make more money, like a normal game producer?

EDIT: OK, I think I understand. Malstrom thinks that Tarn/Toady should change the game to make it more accessible to more people. That's simply not what he wants, though. The game isn't going to change its development, so this argument is pointless. It both does and does not make sense now.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 12:44:40 am by Lectorog »
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Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2011, 12:37:21 am »

Why bother discussing it at all?

Because it's fucking aggravating

Maybe so, but again; Toady himself isn't going to change, or care.  Why bother discussing it?  You're aggravated, you have your reasons to believe it could be done better.  They don't matter to the only person alive that can make that call.  It just seems like a waste of time and energy to argue with another person who's equally powerless to sway Toady either way.

If Tarn himself were here and asking your reasons, I'd say you have every reason to try and convince him, no matter HOW stubbornly he seemed to be opposing it.  It's the fact he doesn't seem to even listen to the arguments that makes it a baffling choice to me.  He's clearly content with things the way they are, fan input aside.

I agree the specific case isn't worth discussing. Toady will do what Toady does. I would not do the same thing in his position, but I am not in his position, and perhaps this is for the best. But the general cases brought up indirectly by Mr. Malstrom -- the balance between putting food on the table and creating a true work of art, and the difficult task of being accessible without being watered down -- is worth discussing. And while we'll certainly not settle this timeless debate, that doesn't make it not worth having.

Well, I'm not saying we shouldn't discuss the article and such; that's the point of this thread after all.  I for one thing that Maelstrom is missing the point: yes, the game undeniably could be altered to be more profitable and less impenetrable.  As others have repeatedly stated, Toady is not trying to make a commercially successful game.  It's not failing to make money, because it was never designed to make money in the first place, and it never will be.  It's meant solely to be whatever Toady wants it to be, and Maelstrom seemingly can't grasp WHY Toady doesn't want it to be a multimillion dollar best seller.  His whole article seems to be a rant about why Toady is wrong for not wanting that.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 12:40:30 am by Urist_McArathos »
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Nil Eyeglazed

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2011, 01:13:40 am »

If DF could make a lot of money and be a much better game, if only managed differently--

Then go start a game company and make a DF knock-off.  The things that make DF great aren't grounds for a suit should they be imitated (at least in the US).  Toady choosing not to make a particularly commercial game just leaves the door open for all of the world's enthusiastic second-guessers.  So have at it!
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KaelGotDwarves

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2011, 01:29:35 am »

All it boils down to is that some douche I don't care about with a blog in a corner of the internet gave an opinion that the summary of which I care even less for.

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Enough insane sociopaths worship Ayn Rand as is.

nil

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2011, 02:20:12 am »

It's just a difference in values, albeit one where one person abrasively chalks up the difference to a lack of "financial education."  The theme of this guy's blog is that the customer is always right and that video games should be ran more like a business; it's no shocker that he wouldn't like a model where there aren't really customers at all.  I don't even think he's necessarily wrong about how commercialization could improve the game in some, maybe a lot of ways, but he just dismisses the cost to the creator's artistic freedom, and doesn't even address his personal freedom (Toady doesn't sleep all day and work all night because he hates it).

But if any of you non-Americans want an insight into US politics you could do worse than this guy; never thought I'd see a right-wing video game blogger but that's certainly what this is.  I could tell even before I found the posts about how terrible unions are and how great Sarah Palin is; I think it was the use of random phrases as if they were proper nouns that everyone should know.

(the liberal tell is probably the semicolon)

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #69 on: August 01, 2011, 03:20:01 am »

Ultimately I think the entire point of view of the article can be summerised from this one line,

Quote
This is preventing them from actually making a consumer product which would grow gaming, make more gamers, and make these guys into super millionaires
Firstly, although Dwarf fortress hasn't become the next super Mario, it has already done things for gaming. While not every gamer knows about DF, just about every game developer knows about it, and has wet dreams over it. DF has wormed it's way into WoW and Super Scribblenaughts, so it is a super star on the dev front. Inspiring games like Minecraft, Spelunky and Dwarfs?! I dare say DF has grown the industry more than most mainstream games. Dwarf fortress is carrying the same banner that Dungeon Keeper and Populas once proudly raised, turning a real time strategy game into a reality, and DF does it the best. No really, you can debate best game ever until the sun explodes, but without a whisper of a doubt, DF is the best god game ever made, and it has spread influence over the entire industry.
There is also the massive logical falsity here that profit = influence. No. Take the latest 'Medal of Duty: Halos of war' game. Did that change anything? Anything at all? No it did not! It sold a lot of copies, but who the hell cares? Innovation doesn't sell, it just attracts a few fringe players, before somebody takes the idea, distils it, and makes it marketable (See Minecraft for examples) so you can't have your cake and eat it too. You don't get to innovate and make your billions, and when you do it is not to be predicted. Take Portal for example, nobody at value thought it would do well at all! It was an after thought, just to fill in half an hour. So yea, you can do bold and make money from it, but it works so little of the time that when when Valve was sitting on pure gold they didn't know, just because it was new.

Secondly, Dwarf fortress will never make more gamers, for the same reason that Demons souls will not make new players. They are not new players games. Games need to have a target market and a difficulty level to match. If dwarf fortress was made to be simplistic enough to draw in new players, then it wouldn't be the wonder that it is! It is like saying university should be easy so more people can join in, if you do that, it will lose it's value. Dwarf fortress is a deep, complex game, and we love it for that, but those features will overwhelm anybody new to gaming.

Finally, if the author thinks Toady should make more money, then he can donate instead of bitching. Men who choose art above cash are few and far between.

Mechatronic

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2011, 03:22:53 am »

Here's Tarn on the subject:

There are no plans to release DF in any way other than the way it is currently being released. Ultimately, I think that is probably losing us a lot of money, but there are a couple of things -- first, the game is rough around the edges and is in ongoing development, and second, I just personally don't want to sell things. I think there are a few games that sell "check out the daily developments" licenses or something, so I guess that model can work out. That leaves me with one reason, I suppose. If DF continues to attract interest at the current levels, that'll be fine, since we are doing all right. I'm not really sure what would end up happening if it dries up. It seems inevitable, and I wouldn't rule out selling some other games at that point or something. Giving away games is a matter of preference and convenience for me, and I'm able to do it that way right now.

http://www.nerd-theater.com/interview_tarn_adams.php
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RedWick

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2011, 05:25:29 am »

Because it's fucking aggravating

Let go of that frustration man.  It's going to ruin the game for you.  Seriously.
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Gatleos

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2011, 06:24:31 am »

(the liberal tell is probably the semicolon)
I guess all Germans must be reall freakin' liberal then.


Max White summed it up surprisingly eloquently. Commercializing DF and making a boatload of money off of it would be a means to happiness for Toady. But he obviously doesn't feel the need to sacrifice some of his artistic freedom to reach that goal, because for him DF is an end in of itself. It's his life's work and it makes him happy, and I don't see any reason to mess with that.
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Max White

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #73 on: August 01, 2011, 06:43:24 am »

Max White summed it up surprisingly eloquently.
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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #74 on: August 01, 2011, 10:33:56 am »

When you have no clue how to run a business and try to get into it, you have to dedicate yourself full time to learning how. It's really not easy at all. If Toady handled it himself development would stop. If someone else were to handle the business end then Toady has to take responsibility for that person. Hiring and firing people is extremely burdensome in the sense that if you do it wrong, you may be handing your life over to endless legal battles. I've seen enough of my dad owning businesses to know that business issues will forever more dominate your every waking moment, and after it all years of profit can be lost from a single mistake such as handing the wrong job to the wrong person. Its for people who can handle constant stress.
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