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Author Topic: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom  (Read 24814 times)

kaijyuu

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #75 on: August 01, 2011, 02:02:36 pm »

Yeah the article has two bogus assumptions:

1) Profit/etc is somehow a measure of success.
2) That Toady should care about #1.


I'd love to hear if Sean Malstrom thinks video games are art or not. I suspect he doesn't.
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ssfsx17

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #76 on: August 01, 2011, 02:41:00 pm »

It sounds like, basically, a few people are mad that Toady One is living the dwarven lifestyle and the crafts of these few people were not done in the dwarven way. Now, these few people are known to have inferior crafts while the Toady One is known to have dwarven-quality crafts.

Sorry insane blogger and insane forum poster, it turns out that doing things the dwarven way results in higher-quality crafts. TOO BAD for you.
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Roflcopter5000

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #77 on: August 01, 2011, 03:51:54 pm »

Well, at the risk of poking a sleeping bear with a stick, I'd like to refer to a few posts back:
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.


It's sort of bogus to tell someone that their emotional response to a situation is crap, and that it isn't worth expressing. When you've gotten to the point in a debate where you realize you're just throwing subjective opinions at each-other and hoping that they stick, it's poor sportsmanship to tell the other person that their opinion is 'useless.' People don't always express opinions because they're hoping the world will change. Sometimes they just want to share their frustrations. And given that this is an internet forum, I think this is a pretty legitimate place to do that.
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Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #78 on: August 01, 2011, 04:15:16 pm »

Well, at the risk of poking a sleeping bear with a stick, I'd like to refer to a few posts back:
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.


It's sort of bogus to tell someone that their emotional response to a situation is crap, and that it isn't worth expressing. When you've gotten to the point in a debate where you realize you're just throwing subjective opinions at each-other and hoping that they stick, it's poor sportsmanship to tell the other person that their opinion is 'useless.' People don't always express opinions because they're hoping the world will change. Sometimes they just want to share their frustrations. And given that this is an internet forum, I think this is a pretty legitimate place to do that.

I didn't say his response was crap, or the like.

I'm not debating either way, I'm saying the debate is pointless.  If he wants to share his opinions, fine.  My opinion is that it's a waste of time to do so, and a waste to argue with someone who has an opposing view.  I have just as much right to share it.
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Nasikabatrachus

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #79 on: August 01, 2011, 06:06:52 pm »

Most of the article hinges on Toady's still enigmatic (to me) comment that Minecraft's success is a symptom of something wrong with society. The problem with Malstrom's post is that he probably doesn't know what problem Toady was referring to (leaving aside the idea that Toady's preferred model of development is an inability to accept society). Anyone have any concrete idea? I really don't get it. If it's a problem with Minecraft's success compared to Dwarf Fortress, I would have to say the alleged problem is no problem at all: most people are not going to be interested in a game with a multi-hour introductory learning curve, complicated controls, and a whole lot of reading, no matter what the society.
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Nasikabatrachus

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #80 on: August 01, 2011, 06:24:24 pm »

Today's attitude has completely failed to test reality (note, that's what psychotic actually means). Maybe Toady is just ignorant, maybe he's nuts. In any cayse it's bad for Dwarf Fortress, it's bad for us, and it's bad for him because if he'd listen to guys like Sean, he'd be able to FOCUS more on the stuff that makes him happy.

Psychotic does not mean "less than optimal" or "could be doing things better". Every definition of "psychotic" I've found means "affected by psychosis", which is a broad term for mental illnesses that disconnect sufferers from reality. Wikipedia reserves the term for "severe forms of psychiatric disorder". The term definitely does not apply to attitudes, and it poorly describes someone who has managed to get a stable but modest income doing what they enjoy all day.

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"I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins--it wanteth to laugh." Thus Spake Zarathustra, chapter 7, Friedrich Nietzsche

nenjin

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #81 on: August 01, 2011, 07:36:14 pm »

That's what gets my goad about the comment. Living the way you want to live, supporting yourself through donations while creating something that people love enough to throw money at you, even though you reject a standard business model? That makes him psychotic?

He pays a price for his life style and in a sense so does the game, but if that's being psychotic then I know a whole lot of people who would be much happier as psychos, both with the way they live and the kinds of games that get produced.
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KaelGotDwarves

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #82 on: August 01, 2011, 07:42:17 pm »

Eh, my last comment here -

The author of that blog is 1. a troll fishing for attention and/or 2. a Randroid actually incapable of understanding there's something other than "profit" that motivates humans.

If anything the whole scenario is sad/funny because it's probably some failure of a dude with a blog railing against someone that is actually fulfilling his dream.

Don't bother giving him webpage hits and attention, it's all he wants.

Sunday

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #83 on: August 01, 2011, 08:09:48 pm »

@Sunday
I have been a manager at a development studio, and I do think you're off base. That doesn't mean your concerns aren't grounded in reality, but there are ways of surmounting these problems that experienced management, with a responsible staff will have an easier time with than someone like Toady. I've had to deal with clients that had clear ideas about what they wanted, and almost no written specs to articulate that vision. Everything was up-stairs. You get good at playing "20 questions" and it doesn't take clients long to get a sense of what we need from them. Once there's a rapport with the client, and they understand the project needs, an outside manager CAN direct a staff.

Such an arrangement doesn't prevent Bay 12 (because yes, I agree DF is more than just Toady) from getting their hands dirty on matters of implementation, but does provide a conduit for getting things done when the "how" matters less than the "what". And it matters a great deal less often than maybe you or Toady realizes. Maybe... just maybe, Toady doesn't know he wants this. Think about it, you ever try something that seemed intimidating from the outside; was awkward at first, but as you grew familiar with the process you came to love it? We all have! We're Dwarf Fortress players.

And let me tell you as an artist... well let me repeat/clarify: not compromising your artistic vision is overrated. Sometimes the compromised version is way better.

Fair enough. I think you make good points.

It might be that I'm coming at it from a less artistic, more formalistic perspective, where having a single vision is a lot more important.

That said, I think it's probably pretty clear that I approve of the direction Bay12 is going in. A lot of it is probably just ideals on my part—I am generally enheartened by the thought of Toady and ThreeToe doing something they love, and being able to do it their way, while still making a living. It makes me hopeful, even though I haven't played DF in months and months.

Still, you have a different idea of what you'd like to see, and I respect that.
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Rowanas

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #84 on: August 01, 2011, 08:55:50 pm »

I dunno. I like Dwarf Fortress. It's on the list of things that I WILL be paying for when I'm not skint (along with a bunch of Spiderweb software games). If Toady charged for this, I'd never have paid him, and neither would thousands of others. He hasn't charged, and as a result, he'll garner good will -and- as much or more of that sweet, sweet nectar that we call money.


He'll have to wait a bit, though.
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Mazonas

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #85 on: August 01, 2011, 09:59:28 pm »

That article looks like the worst instance of missed-the-damned-point I've seen in a long time WRT dwarf fortress.  A poorly researched piece based almost entirely on the assumptions of the writer rather than  the facts.

Take the comment about the DF graphics...

Quote
I’ve always wanted ‘more hand craftiness’, more gameplay, more imagination coming from the player, but to go all the way back to the non-graphics of 1978 where all images are words and symbols is too primitive. It will never become mainstream looking like that.

He seems to assume that the simple, old-fashioned design is purely aesthetic.  Truth is, you can't have your computer simulating everything down to the progress and changes of scars from battles and the growth of hair and nails up to the political relationship between the fortress and local elves, and also have it rendering even simple graphics at the same time.  Not on any household computer that exists today.  I can only assume that the writer isn't appreciating, or aware of, the sheer complexity of DF.

And that isn't even getting into the issue that a lack of marketability and mainstream potential is only a tragedy if the game developer wants those things in the first place.  Toady clearly doesn't.  If he wanted that, the game would need to be so cut down and simplified, and prettied up, that it would basically end up being dwarf-based dungeon keeper. 

I was saddened to learn how sparingly Toady lives, and would love for him to have a better life for the effort he puts into his work, but this is just ridiculous.

EDIT
On a happier note, some small nugget of proof that DF does have the potential to appeal to a surprising range of people exactly as it is.  The other half and I brought a saved copy of DF with a simple tileset around to the MIL's, and got little sis' to try it.  After an hour of repeatedly telling us "it is so boring" and "nothing happens" we told her she didn't have to play if she didn't want to.  The reply?  "Okay, just let me finish up what I'm doing and I'll quit."  Three hours later she experienced her first ambush and, after much swearing and panic and complaints of "noooo I don't want to fail now I've just worked out my system!", she fought off the attack (with our help) and had to be forced away from the computer for dinner.  She was still playing it the next day when we left.  I feel so proud.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 10:04:03 pm by Mazonas »
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NobodyPro

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #86 on: August 01, 2011, 11:19:48 pm »

http://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/starcraft-2-and-the-boat/#respond
I tried to read some of his posts. I stopped here. I have little-to-no internet connection on my gaming computer and couldn't play my copy of Starcraft 2 but Steam allows me to play offline provided I verify my games while I have a connection. Someone kindly tell him he's an idiot.
I'm not even going to try and be smart about the insult.
It would make me more like him.
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Cespinarve

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #87 on: August 01, 2011, 11:30:38 pm »

I skimmed it, but the reek of crazy scared me away.
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Ampersand

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #88 on: August 01, 2011, 11:34:51 pm »

The only thing I have to say to this conversation is, If freedom does not mean being free to do what you want without needing a financial motivation, I don't know what it is. Toady is doing what he wants, and he is doing it the way he wants to do it. Anyone who thinks that he should do it some other way that would make it better; just NO. That way may be your way, or the way you work the best, but it isn't Toady's way, and Toady has a right to decide the way he does it. For better or worse, this is the difficult path he's started on, and until he genuinely feels that he should divert course, no one has the right to question the moral purity of his decision.

Sean Malstrom's article encouraging Toady to see the 'Moral Goodness' in making his players Customers implies that there is a moral failing in not doing so. I would be shocked if we combed through his articles and COULDN'T find some objectivist preaching in there.
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Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Tragedy of Dwarf Fortress by Sean Malstrom
« Reply #89 on: August 02, 2011, 12:02:37 am »

The only thing I have to say to this conversation is, If freedom does not mean being free to do what you want without needing a financial motivation, I don't know what it is. Toady is doing what he wants, and he is doing it the way he wants to do it. Anyone who thinks that he should do it some other way that would make it better; just NO. That way may be your way, or the way you work the best, but it isn't Toady's way, and Toady has a right to decide the way he does it. For better or worse, this is the difficult path he's started on, and until he genuinely feels that he should divert course, no one has the right to question the moral purity of his decision.

Sean Malstrom's article encouraging Toady to see the 'Moral Goodness' in making his players Customers implies that there is a moral failing in not doing so. I would be shocked if we combed through his articles and COULDN'T find some objectivist preaching in there.

As others have pointed out, he's clearly an Ayn Rand fanatic; I personally can't stomach her opinions, but this is neither the time nor the place for a discussion on that can of worms.

Suffice to say, his criteria for what would make Dwarf Fortress a success and Toady's criteria for the same cannot be reconciled.
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