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  "No, You Can't Make Video Games"  (Read 9646 times)
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Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 266
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #90 - Posted 2014-05-21 16:33:34 »

<random Princess Bride video>
Shoo troll.

I actually attribute most of my *success* to *good* luck.

We were lucky enough to be born in countries/regions/families that had access to computers. We were lucky enough to go to schools, or have access to educational resources, that made learning programming possible. We were lucky enough to stumble across a language that "fit in our brains" early on. We were lucky enough to be encouraged to learn about programming (as opposed to how the field often treats minorities and girls).

That is not to say that it was particularly *easy* for any of us. We probably don't come from mega-rich backgrounds, and we've all had our difficulties along the way. I'm not trying to be dismissive of any of that. But I also don't think *we* can be dismissive of the misfortune that *others* go through, either.

There is a lot of stick-to-it-ness and hard work that goes into learning how to program. But attributing all of your success to your "intelligence" and all of everybody else's "failures" to laziness seems a bit short-sighted, imho.

I guess there are a couple different types of non-programmers, and we might each just be talking about different types, which is why our viewpoints seem to be so different?

Suggested reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control
...and a video: (Starts at 5:50)
http://youtu.be/xcLKlPTG97k?t=5m50s

I think the deep rooted reality is we're having an External vs Internal debate, hiding under the word "luck".

But anyway; I'm not really saying that being a brainiac is a dead-on the reason you will be successful no matter what. I mean, yeah, of course we could of all be born in a poverty stricken area of South Africa where just owning a computer isn't even a thought, because we'd rather sell it for food. But still, intellect is a major contributing factor to success in all situations. Sure, the smarty-pants may not of turned out to be computer programmers, but I'm sure (assuming the same exact genetic person) they would of somehow climbed whatever ladder they could climb in whatever situation they were in if it was related to their aptitudes anyway.

Yes, luck does matter, but once you toss out the random chance "where I was born" stuff, a lot of what you get in life is within your own control. You don't have to be a genius to be successful, and being a dummy won't cause you to fail. All I'm saying is; it sure helps. Regardless, Smarts doesn't == success, it just makes it easier to obtain. But the major factor isn't luck, it's willpower and determination. Those are the big factors.

Now the major irony to my own argument, is you're lucky to be born with a superior brain in the first place. Cheesy

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 847
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #91 - Posted 2014-05-21 17:15:31 »

There are two kinds of people: those on whom nuance is lost, and those who disagree with this statement.

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 115
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #92 - Posted 2014-05-21 17:27:12 »

I think we're picturing two different types of non-programmers, which is why we're looking at it so differently.

It seems like you're picturing somebody more or less like you: from a similar background, with similar opportunities, similar economic background, etc. You probably picture your person coming home and watching reality tv every day instead of learning something new, but then complaining that they can't "catch a break" in life. That person might look at you and say "oh, you're a programmer, I have a great idea for an app, I'll even offer you 5% of my profits if you just code it up!"

And sure, that person is pretty obnoxious. They *could* be a programmer if they wanted to, but they *choose* not to. You're blaming that on their lack of intelligence, but I would argue it's more to do with their expectations and willingness to put forth effort than it is their intelligence, and I would argue that it could be fixed if that person had exposure to programming at a younger age.

But the person I'm picturing doesn't look anything like me. I'm picturing a kid from a less fortunate (read: lucky) background, who not only doesn't have any exposure to programming, but is actively *discouraged* from pursuing any interest in programming they might have. The posts here are telling that kid that they're probably too stupid to learn programming, which is why this thread, and the original article, rustled my jimmies so much.

But I can pretty much agree with your frustration at the first type of person. I'm just not sure the language here proclaiming us all to be geniuses who are better than the commoners is exactly helpful for anything, and is part of what gives CS such a bad name to start with.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Drenius
« Reply #93 - Posted 2014-05-21 17:43:51 »

A good point.
There are we, programming, for different reasons. And there are other people who don't, but for even more different reasons.
If they could or not - we will never know. It also depends on what we mean by "can".
If they can't bring the effort, but are intellectual absolutely able - "can" they?
And so on...
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 115
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #94 - Posted 2014-05-21 17:50:15 »

I think the original article was aimed at the first type of person (the person who could be a programer but chooses not to), and it was meant as a bit of a reality check for people think think game development is easy.

But I disagree with its purposefully-insulting tone, which just comes off as condescending and rude. CS has come a long way in the last 20 years or so, and this guy apparently didn't get the memo about not being a jerk about it.

I also disagree with his "we don't need more noise" argument. Do we tell kids that they shouldn't bother playing with crayons because the art world has enough "noise" in it? No. We encourage them to explore their interests. We should be doing the same with programming.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline StumpyStrust
« Reply #95 - Posted 2014-05-21 18:03:41 »

Yes but kids with crayons are not pushing for their "art" into art galleries.  Clueless

Offline ags1

JGO Wizard


Medals: 77
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years


Make code not war!


« Reply #96 - Posted 2014-05-21 18:11:59 »

Google Play is not the guggenheim :-)

Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 115
Projects: 11
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klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #97 - Posted 2014-05-21 18:16:30 »

Yes but kids with crayons are not pushing for their "art" into art galleries.  Clueless

The original article criticizes places like DeviantArt where anybody can post their art. I believe he says that DeviantArt is where "art goes to die". Who cares if not all of the art is the Mona Lisa? And who is it to decide what is "good" art? Who decides what is a good game? How is encouraging more people to try something out a bad thing, for anybody?

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 115
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #98 - Posted 2014-05-21 18:19:27 »

Google Play is not the guggenheim :-)

Exactly. If we're going to criticize somebody, I would aim my frustration at the "talented and intelligent" programmers who instead of doing anything creative are working at clone factories just to make a quick buck.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline saucymeatman
« Reply #99 - Posted 2014-05-21 19:23:23 »

Does that really happen?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Online philfrei
« Reply #100 - Posted 2014-05-21 19:27:29 »

1  
2  
if (*success*) self-image += hard work + persistence + intelligence;
else self-image += bad luck +  external obstacles + unfair handicapping;

The point being, this is all about the story we tell ourselves, and project onto others, and the correspondence to reality is shadowy.

The above coding could also imply the following:

1  
if (*success*) self-image -= good luck + external advantages + positive handicaps;

i.e., an increasing tendency to overlook or discount the above as being contributing factors. There is also an increased tendency towards self-satisfaction and complacency, and arrogance towards others who are not as *successful*.

There is a remarkable tendency towards tautologies in this sort of discussion. If *intelligence* and/or *hard work* determines *success* and *success* is an indicator of the presence of *intelligence* and/or *hard work* then the terms become useless if one is trying to say anything meaningful.

Luck doesn't have to be as extreme as being born in an impoverished country vs. the USA. Being born into a family in which there has been someone who works in a scientific sort of field is a big plus factor. One has to consider the imprinting that starts from day 1.

Being born in a cultural niche where group identity actively discourages being a pointy-headed nerd is also a factor, where "book knowledge" or being a bookwork is a cause for derision. Someone who tries to succeed in such a negative emotional environment has got it tough, especially if they hit a conceptual obstacle and receive "I told you so" rather than encouragement. There could also by well-intentioned but misguided *help* from a family, such as teaching a study model that is ineffective for that stage in the child's development (e.g., rote memorization & drilling instead of problem solving? or maybe turning them loose to solve something on their own before they have the needed tools/skills), or otherwise turning the learning task into a system of negative-feedback shocks, turning it into a chore.

I know a brilliant women mathematician, but how many young girls with talent in this regard are encouraged? More now than in the recent past, but the pressure to not "show up" young boys or to be "unfeminine" still exists in various degrees. This friend had one incredible advantage, a father who was a University level mathematics professor. Imprinting, anyone? Sure, she also *worked hard* at her studies (is it still hard work if much of it happens to be fun and relatively easy?), but maybe was lucky her parents weren't subscribers to strong preconceptions about appropriate roles for the sexes that would have conflicted with this career path, and grew up in a community that also supported rather than discouraged her.

The definition of *hard work* is especially dubious and shadowy and dangerously high in the degree of self-deception & tautology. Theories and effectiveness of useful skill-building strategies vary wildly. The clearest example of this that I can think of may not translate to this programming crowd; it comes from the music world. A young player can practice 8 hours a day, but if they are not practising effectively, no matter how *hard* or how *persistent*, they will fail. It is not uncommon for a teacher to have misguided conceptual framework for how they achieved their success, and ruin (despite being well-meaning) their most promising and talented students.

My main take-away here is the following (sorry for the tldr):
(1) If someone wants to try, if you can afford to help, then give them a hand.
(2) If they fail, try and put yourself in their shoes and figure out what the hitch is, don't just judge them and write them off.
(3) Don't assume that a strategy that you adopted and brought you *success* is necessarily the right one for the current situation. Try to understand the OP's position and issues and tailor the answer accordingly.

That is what I try to do when I give OPs coding advice on threads where they are getting tons of flak and attitude. There are an infinite number of ways to succeed or fail, many of which will be new or eye-opening to those of us who are trying to *help*.

"It's after the end of the world! Don't you know that yet?"
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard


Medals: 99
Projects: 1
Exp: 7 years


Not a glitch. Just have a lil' pixelexia...


« Reply #101 - Posted 2014-05-21 22:02:12 »

This conversation has went to the moon and back when it comes to discussion. Every science and research that can be involved, was involved. However, I believe if people did have an unlimited existence, eventually, you would be capable of learning everything either by technology or by willpower.

Luck or learned skill; We live in a very privileged time. We are on the verge of another industrial revolution, and we are seeing failures in models that have evolved for decades. The new minds of this generation, are just different than ours. This overload of information access has created individuals that do not like sticking to one task for too long. It could be why programming has always been a tough fit for many. I mean, even among people who believe it is the right career path, only a small subset make it out with a degree.

No question, we all have varying levels of retention, persistence, and resistance to outside pressures. The factors that persuade this is all over the place: Our ancestors, our upbringing, our friends, our environment. People's ability to absorb knowledge and actually find a field they'd like to pursue is a complicated process.

To wrap it back to games..

The main factor I see in many people who want to design games is that they are good "idea people." In short, they have great ideas for the next big game, however, they lack the patience to find the tools to carry it out themselves. So, they depend on others to carry out that dream for them. The reasoning why they don't varies for the reasons gone through in this thread.

However, I'd be lying if I were to say that every single game idea I wanted to carry out has gone to 100% completion. The fact is, I just don't have the time to carry out all the ideas that I have in my head. I just choose the best ones and carry it out. Truly, in this case, it isn't about intelligence or luck. It is about finding the time.

Hard work actually reveals your abilities. In other words, you can be a very talented snowboarder, but if you never picked up the snowboard in your life, that ability would never be found. Luck follows this exact same path, without trying to do that trick, you would have never achieved that lucky landing.

Even though I know not everyone is cut out to be a game designer, you can't just tell people not to try. The only way that abilities are shown in individuals is by hard work. Intelligence and luck support the work done, not the other way around.

TL;DR

It is a wise choice for people to encourage individuals to try new things. You have to work at those ventures in order to know what you're capabilities are. Otherwise, the notion of talent, luck, and mental capability is useless.

Offline StumpyStrust
« Reply #102 - Posted 2014-05-21 22:26:49 »

Sheesh I am not saying that we should discourage people from stuff but that we should tell them the reality. Programming is hard. It is not simple. Game dev has huge amounts of coding that needs to be done in order to produce anything worth while. That is not to say that if something is not "worth while" it shouldn't be produced but to say that you will NOT make money off it.

It seems like there is a huge influx of indies thinking that their first 5 or 10 games/projects will be hits when the reality is their first 5 or 10 games/projects will suck. There is nothing wrong with making something that is crap as that is how we get better but people need to understand that no one want to pay to play bad games.

Even the oh so glorified notch was a game dev BEFORE he did minecraft. It wasn't like he learned to code in a year and then made minecraft.

I don't think people are discouraging in this thread but trying to get across the hard reality of life. No one becomes a game dev or anything over night. And those that seem to succeed rapidly (first few games made) is generally due to prior experience.






Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 115
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #103 - Posted 2014-05-21 23:11:51 »

This just popped up on my twitter:


Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline Grunnt

JGO Kernel


Medals: 95
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #104 - Posted 2014-05-22 07:57:03 »

As others mentioned, there's no one singular thing called "intelligence". Programming involves math, analytic, pattern recognition, language, social, project management and many other skills. I'm not so good at math but I compensate by having a more generous dose of other capacities (and experience / practice of course). Overall I've been a very valuable addition to any software development team I've had the pleasure of working with.

Similarly, there's no one singular thing called "game development" which you either can or cannot do. In this sense it's much like cooking:

"You Can Cook" (some simple dish)

"No, You Can't Cook" (like a master chef)

It's the same with coding. Yeah most people will be able to learn how to "code", in the sense that they can make some nice unpolished little game using an accessible language. Just like most people are able to learn how to cook, in the sense that they can prepare several different simple meals. To imply that someone that "can cook" simple meals has the same skill as a master chef, however, shows a total lack of understanding of the incredible skill and hard work involved in becoming a master chef. 

So yeah you can code (a simple game) with hard work. And no, you can't code (like a master, e.g. John Maccarmack). To throw "coding like someone who did a tutorial once" on the same heap as "coding like a master" is insulting to the incedible skill and dedication of a master coder.

Offline gimbal

JGO Knight


Medals: 25



« Reply #105 - Posted 2014-05-22 08:34:03 »

I actually attribute most of my *success* to *good* luck.

I can also relate to that. I was lucky enough that an old classmate got me into a company where I became a junior Java programmer (which switched me from hating Java to loving it), or else I would have stuck in shady PHP development companies that rise and crumble by the minute and would probably have ended up flushing out of IT.

If that made my life worse or better, I can't really know though. I live a good life money-wise but I do feel a bit like what I do is a fart in the wind.
Offline Herjan
« Reply #106 - Posted 2014-05-22 08:53:30 »

As others mentioned, there's no one singular thing called "intelligence".
...
So yeah you can code (a simple game) with hard work. And no, you can't code (like a master, e.g. John Maccarmack). To throw "coding like someone who did a tutorial once" on the same heap as "coding like a master" is insulting to the incedible skill and dedication of a master coder.

You deny the existence of intelligence? That's quite funny, even after reading this topic. Wink

I think you made up a nice theory about cooking, and ofcourse there is a lot of difference between coders, a lot of people here are fine coders, but in comparison with other coders like Notch or Mario (LibGDX creator) they are peanuts. But I know there are lots of people who can't just even make a simple game, I have seen it multiple times in my life. Guy comes from middle school, likes games, and so he does a CS education, but he didn't understand a single piece of the program. He didn't understand anything of it, he just didn't get it. There are just those people who can't understand programs no matter what, but everybody understands/can learn how to cook, I think it has to do with human nature, since every human has some sort of survival-instinct, and so knows about cooking, but computers are an invention which have nothing in common with innate survival things like cooking or building houses.

In my opinion another reason that the 'suck-rate' in CS is at 66%, according to the data Cas shared with us Wink

Offline Roquen
« Reply #107 - Posted 2014-05-22 10:00:15 »

I've barely skimmed this.  The notion that "if you smart enough and apply yourself" then you can become excellent/good or even merely competent at any technical activity is rubbish.  I know brilliant people who've spent massive amounts of time programming that pretty much suck.  So it goes.
Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 437
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #108 - Posted 2014-05-22 10:10:26 »

For the same reason you can't teach a monkey to write. They've got the hands and opposable thumbs but their brains just aren't wired for it, no matter how hard you try.
Although it seems you can teach an elephant to paint.

Cas Smiley

Offline gimbal

JGO Knight


Medals: 25



« Reply #109 - Posted 2014-05-22 10:34:22 »

I've barely skimmed this.  The notion that "if you smart enough and apply yourself" then you can become excellent/good or even merely competent at any technical activity is rubbish.  I know brilliant people who've spent massive amounts of time programming that pretty much suck.  So it goes.

It is also rubbish to completely dismiss it because you know people who don't apply. The only thing that's rubbish is making it black & white.
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 847
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #110 - Posted 2014-05-22 10:35:25 »

Nobody is making it black and white, except for those completely misinterpreting what was written by others.

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social
Offline gimbal

JGO Knight


Medals: 25



« Reply #111 - Posted 2014-05-22 10:38:59 »

Nobody is making it black and white, except for those completely misinterpreting what was written by others.

Yep, I realized that about 5 seconds after I hit submit that I had slammed myself into a brick wall :/ Words man, they're so difficult.

My apologies, I'm going to stand in the corner of shame.
Offline Roquen
« Reply #112 - Posted 2014-05-22 11:46:41 »

In my teens I read an interview with one of the grandmasters who was attempting to explain how he played chess.  He didn't think in terms of "if I move this then" for some number of moves ahead but described how he saw lines of movement for the entire board at once and how they changed if he were moved pieces from a given area.  Some skills are impossible to learn regardless of motivation. 

From my own personal experience I've been able to pick-up bits and pieces of things that don't interest me in the slightest with about zero effort, while some things which I find very interesting the ideas/basic concepts simply refuse to stick in my brain.  So it goes.
Online philfrei
« Reply #113 - Posted 2014-05-22 12:40:12 »

Quote
In my teens I read an interview with one of the grandmasters who was attempting to explain how he played chess.  He didn't think in terms of "if I move this then" for some number of moves ahead but described how he saw lines of movement for the entire board at once and how they changed if he were moved pieces from a given area.  Some skills are impossible to learn regardless of motivation.

Exactly! If a person makes the choice of trying to play chess by calculating 'if this then that', then they are going to achieve a pretty mediocre level of play, no matter how hard they work at it, or however many openings they memorize. There's some that talk about the ability to see and calculate tactics as being a talent, not a trainable skill. I'm not so sure, though, and have been working through Polgar's massive puzzle book (used to train his daughters), and several other tactic books. I try to solve via using patterns, not so much the this-then-that method, and I do think my tactics are improving as a result. I've definitely had some fabulous sacrificial attacks work out that I never would have dreamed of trying in the past. Very fun!

I also hit a plateau long ago with playing the oboe, but am revisiting technical fundamentals and feel like I'm making progress again. For example, I've been spending a few hundred hours playing with a drone, testing pitch, and imagining pitches before I play them: all helping with what has long been a problem with intonation that has made it very hard to *succeed* at a more professional level of performing. (Previous mediocre strategy: play and react, evaluating resulting pitch if I remember to do so or adjust quickly if a bad sound jumps out at me. Good enough for community gigs, casuals, lower-paying jobs.)

As one gets older, progressively more learning requires the unlearning of *bad* cognitive habits that tend to waylay or sabotage more effective thought processes. When you are young, it is more about simple acquisition, though it is dicey as to whether your acquisitions are fundamentally sound and will serve you well throughout your career.

"It's after the end of the world! Don't you know that yet?"
Offline Roquen
« Reply #114 - Posted 2014-05-22 13:11:27 »

To paraphrase Clifford (I think it was at least): "Geometry is so easy only a child can learn it."

BTW: I rather happy with some of my deviant art - http://roquendm.deviantart.com/gallery/
Offline kpars

JGO Kernel


Medals: 125
Projects: 5
Exp: 4 years


// No Comment.


« Reply #115 - Posted 2014-05-23 06:37:06 »

No one was a born programmer. We all had to learn.

John Carmack.

- Jev

Edit: Please don't take this seriously.

Offline Roquen
« Reply #116 - Posted 2014-05-23 09:13:09 »

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scientist-Crib-Early-Learning/dp/0688177883
Offline StumpyStrust
« Reply #117 - Posted 2014-05-24 04:21:50 »

No one was a born programmer. We all had to learn.

John Carmack.

- Jev

Edit: Please don't take this seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SARbwvhupQ

I think that even those born with some sort of inclination still have to try. They do not magically know what to do.

Offline kpars

JGO Kernel


Medals: 125
Projects: 5
Exp: 4 years


// No Comment.


« Reply #118 - Posted 2014-05-24 07:21:15 »

Sorry if you didn't get the sub-text I left there.

Quote
Edit: Please don't take this seriously.

What you're saying is completely true, I was just joking. \o/

- Jev

Offline StumpyStrust
« Reply #119 - Posted 2014-05-24 08:32:42 »

Hehe. My laptop screen is small as is. Didn't even see that.  Tongue

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