bulletin witch


this is what it looks like when i jack into sb’s system and get deep inside the mainframe


I sympathize with Brandon because people’s basic understanding of a thing informs their ability to talk about the thing and other things adjacent to the thing. Not understanding how a game or a movie or a car or a political system or whatever else basically works in the real world inhibits people’s collective ability to know who is benefiting and who isn’t, how things can be improved, what appropriate levels of involvement are and what those look like, etc.

That’s what largely missing here, I think, and reflected in the kinds of articles and videos that brought this discussion on in the first place. It’s like a couple years ago when an article popped up about the neat trick they used in developing Horizon: Zero Dawn that was basically backface object culling used in every 3d renderer since the beginning.

It’s a sign of a serious disconnect between creators and their audiences. I think that’s more worth thinking about than having another conversation about the controversy or whatever.


Eh, I feel pretty confident dismissing it wholesale. I think most YouTubers are terrible at conveying ideas in a reasonable amount of time (and the way the ads work on the platform encourage this). I’d much rather read an article in almost every case; I can skim an article and find the information that’s interesting to me, but there’s no good way to skim a YouTube video.

Even for subjects that are visually based, an article with embedded videos for individual examples will nearly always be better than one giant video.

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I hear they used this cool film technique for the new Avengers called Forced Perspective. #mindblown


again I am probably overreacting but it is again frustrating to see

  1. game devs being called fuddy duddys (FUDDY DUDDYS) for being kind of annoyed when fairly standard practices get shown as novel by, essentially, youtubers when there are lots of devs totally willing and excited to talk about their craft
  2. when game devs get super extra about this knowledge sharing and do something as amazing as SHARING AN ENTIRE FMOD PROJECT WITH THE ABILITY TO CONNECT TO THE GAME AND SEE YOUR OWN CHANGES TO THE PROJECT MANFIEST WITHIN THE FUCKING GAME IT’S SO COOL (the celeste team did this), it’s kind of ignored even when coming straight from the devs themselves (power up audio did a stream about the FMOD project and it has 1.3k views in total, the boundary break video has 134k)
  3. the power dynamics between the devs and the consumers is such that jessica price can literally get fired from her job as a narrative designer for being short with someone coming into a twitter thread she’s making about narrative design and suggesting she do an incredibly basic thing that’s been done hundreds of times before

it is just frustrating! I literally work in game dev and teach sound design and I have just stopped even trying to put game dev related things I do out into the world because there’s no way I can compete with Your Average Youtube Channel in terms of audience and the stuff I’d have to do to get there would make it so I would not work in game dev nor teach sound design


And your post highlights the problem with the original twitter post from Brandon.

A. His post is either out of context (maybe there were some previous twitter posts leading to that one) or he is talking about something, assuming we know what he is talking about. But offering Kotaku’s article as the context. When actually, their article and the video, have nothing to do with his rant.

B. and then how we get onto something like how Twitter has become a highly scrutinizing lense through which real consequences can manifest. Yes, ok, I know about that. But…how did we get on that, from the Kotaku article/boundary break?

C. Yeah, it turns out, developing a youtube channel which gets views (or any other internet video/stream service) is often not an instantaneous thing. Its a bummer that Celeste content didn’t get more attention. However, I fail to see why Boundary Break shouldn’t be deserving of scooping some BTS content, when it has done what’s needed, to develop the channel and get those views. And it isn’t very often Boundary Break gets actual involvement from the devs, themselves. The Shovel Knight episode is pretty special. As it not only has interview audio, but it also has a camera tool provided by the devs. And camera tools are the basis of Boundary Break. Its probably the smoothest and most stable footage I’ve seen on the channel. Wonderful.

Heck, Celeste is such a critical darling, I bet they could have emailed a few game news sites and tweeted and gotten some coverage on that stream. Maybe they did, I dunno. Whatever the case, getting views isn’t automatic.


Yeah and it sounds like a games journalist figured out how to write an article and make the connect. Gamer’s minds were blowing over how Horizon could look so good and run so smooth. So a writer featured some developer methods to explain it. It doesn’t matter if Horizon’s development wasn’t novel. Writing about it at all, Capitalized on that Horizon fever and also satisfied the curiosity of the non-dev gamers.


the gulf between people who actually make games and most audience discourse these days is pretty extraordinary to me, I imagine it’s similar for some adjacent industries with similar power structures like VFX but it still feels unprecedented

Like (I’m still thinking of mortal kombat here sorry) it does seem kind of amazing on its face that a mass market product is ever produced by this industry without being wholly reactionary given the deafeningly loud know-nothing audience. It seems like it must make developers feel really elitist to some degree, to have to carry with them this assumption that most of the critical response to their product is often incapable of engaging with it other than on this really basic level. I’m sure there are writers who have long since given up having anyone notice what they’re doing and are effectively just pushing themselves to create what they want at this point but that doesn’t seem like it should map directly onto hundred-plus person projects unless there’s a much richer body of discourse between them that we’re not privy to.


the rant is literally about standards being presented as sensational? the kotaku article calls the discovery a “revelation” and the youtube video’s title includes “SHOVEL KNIGHT IS A 3D GAME?!” even though 2D games developed with 3D engines have been a thing for a while so I’m not really sure why you’re stating that there’s a disconnect here

I’m providing you a literal example of how armchair developers have more power in the dev/consumer relationship than people employed by game dev companies? jessica price was fired from arenanet because she was frustrated that someone dropped into a twitter thread she was making about narrative design and said, essentially, “why don’t you try making branching paths”, to a person who was literally employed to do so


I watch boundary break a lot and I think it is a cool channel. I am allowed to complain about it.


yeah, I think in the rush to talk about how cool various dev techniques were there was a lot of work erased

like a lot of people still think that animation is literally just someone putting on a body suit with grey spheres attached and acting out a scene and it just goes into the game fully textured and animated

and it’s not even just an audience/dev thing - I am increasingly feeling like I will never be able to catch up on things that aren’t related to specifically what I’m employed for. like I don’t really know much about the VFX or animation pipelines and I’m a pretty basic programmer, so to invest time in trying to understand all of that stuff is just really daunting to me

much less trying to figure out the music thing that I still like doing

I can only speak for myself but I end up at this weird combination of feeling like an elitist and also kind of useless because my contribution to the project is so embedded with everyone else’s contribution that I can’t pick myself out of it, BUT when talking with someone who knows less about game dev than I do I kind of just have to default to the “I just do sound” part because to get any more detailed risks both of us sitting there for hours


yeah, I wish we were better at socializing complexity in general. as always games are the most extreme example of this I can think of because there are so many different forms of incredibly specialized labour that go into making a guy shoot aliens

I feel like some people regard any inability to simplify these things to somehow reduce alienation as a failure but a lot of them completely refuse simplification & I don’t think we accept that well

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it definitely looks a lot more polished now but I’m really unsure how the game will actually play

really hope curse of the moon wasn’t a fluke and reflects design sensibilities that go into this title


I expect that game developers view the games media similar to the way historians probably view The History Channel. Would the world be better off without The History Channel? I’m not sure, but I certainly think it is fair to criticize it.


interesting. game is charming and very cool looking but i didn’t spend much time with it, maybe time for another look.


they do both talk about Nazis a lot


as far as vg medium is concerned, most of the journalism and criticism is increasingly targeted at social issues and narrative elements anyway, so is it even surprising?


You haven’t seen ZDF Info yet, it’s a German channel that only shows documentaries. It’s 2/3 about Nazis. I mean, as it probably should be but it gets tiring after a while, especially as it’s the only channel my girlfriend and I watch. It’s on all the time when we’re home. Right now stuff about inventors is on, previous two episodes were about Marconi and Watt.

I’ve probably heard thousands of hours of stuff on Hitler’s goons but there’s always more. We’ll never reach the end of it

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Every game dev is a tiny harlan ellison