Games mostly made by artists or programmers?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by 99c_gamer, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    What's your guys thought on this. Is it usually 50/50 or is the artist usually the one calling the shots?

    I know back in the ancient days before games were dominated by art it was like 100% programmers with "some art skills".

    but what about todays games?
     
  2. fgfactory

    fgfactory Well-Known Member

    As for games think designers, as for buisness app - programmers
     
  3. teamskyfort

    teamskyfort Active Member

    Oct 13, 2010
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    as our game goes, we are having headache with the art stuff
     
  4. TinyTechnician

    TinyTechnician Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
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    I think Apps are made by whoever thought of the idea for the App really. It's their idea so they are the person driving the App forward and making the decisions.

    If they're an Artist then they find a programmer to put it together.

    If they're a Programmer then they find an artist to do the art.

    With Apps though I think the Indie community is made up of people who have a strong desire to make something and therefore will learn to do the other part if need be. So usually the person is both (programmer and artist). Of course they'll have their strong side (either art or coding) but they'll be able to do basic stuff on the other.

    So you get stuff like a programmer with minimal art skills making a "doodle" art style game. And then the other side....Yeah I'm a programmer so I don't know what the comparable artist with minimal programming skills game would be :-/
     
  5. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    if you speak about the app store.. one can assume that 90% of the products are made only by programmers of some sort, thats the reason most of them do not look good, have boring gameplay and are in general not worth your money..

    thats the reason there are artists, gamedesigner, leveldesigner, programmer, musicians and alot more people working on the real sucessfull games..

    there is no jack of all trades who is also good at everything.. maybee there are a few rare who actualy exist but you might count thoose geniouses at one hand.. and no one is an indie game developer.. thoose guys make things think the sims series ;)
     
  6. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    I think the art direction and music quality would be the most obvious things the suffer in the programmer made games.
    But even without those it's still possible to make fun games.

    I dont believe in Game Design as a skill set. Like TinyTechnician said it's whoever has the initial vision.
     
  7. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    well everyone is entitles to believe whatever he wants.. game design is alot more then the initial idea.. and there is a reason game designer exist.. and they actualy do a pretty important job.

    if you are a one man party you cover all thoose spots by yourself..

    if you would have pros covering all thoose spots the outcome would be guaranteed better :)

    and yes a programmer can make fun games.. but "fun" is important AFTER!
    someone bought your game..

    before that its important that it looks like fun.. and thats something usualy a programmer can't get done..
     
  8. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Games are made by the team.

    The team consists of certain skill sets, and people in the team may wear many hats depending entirely on their backgrounds.

    Shots aren't called by artists or programmers - in professional game development shots are called by the holy triangle of Quality, Schedule & Budget.

    Depending on the situation and preferences of the team, whatever of the three is of utmost importance determines the direction of the project.

    Very few companies in the world have the luxury of not letting schedule and budget influence their decisions :)
     
  9. quantumsheep

    quantumsheep Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2009
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    The Head Cheese, Top Dog, Numero Uno Honcho, Quant
    London
  10. MrBlue

    MrBlue Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
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  11. amroc

    amroc Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2010
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    I do think the App Store has made this topic more of fuzzy area.

    Take Matt Rix for example. He's been enormously successful with Trainyard, and it was just a side project developed entirely by himself, as I understand it.

    I'm not suggesting that his example should be the rule, but nor is it the exception for that matter.

    More, I just think it shows that process/people involved in making an App Store game is whatever people want it to be. Whatever you feel the best way of getting the job done is. It certainly doesn't *have* to follow the traditional game making process/team setup. Well, not for the time being at least.
     
  12. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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  13. pchukwura

    pchukwura Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2010
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    I would think that most of the apps in the AppStore are completely created by a programmer, while most of the successful games probably also have a small team to help out (designer, marketing, maybe audio, perhaps additional developer(s) ).

    Like a previous poster mentioned, it is highly rare to have an individual who developed the game, created great audio, designed spectacular art, and successfully marketed the game, and while there are a few success stories (i.e. TrainYard), it goes without mentioning...like infomercials say in fine print... Results not typical. :)

    All in all, I would believe in a lot of scenarios the developer is the one behind the idea of the game (as he would more than likely have the iOS developer account, the know-how, drive, and skill set to develop a game) who pairs up with a designer.
     
  14. I have done games as the sole designer / artist / programmer and then typically pay someone for audio. I've also had others contribute art. It gets exhausting and honestly even though I can do all three, I prefer to just code. For my next project, I've done my first outsource of primary game art. It's nice to be able to focus more on design, which is one of my weaker areas! I don't think it takes a genius to do everything, but reality makes it very hard. Usually a better product comes out of collaboration.
     
  15. quantumsheep

    quantumsheep Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2009
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    Respectfully, I disagree.

    The video, if we're going by that, says you don't need to be an artist, but you need to know about art.

    Again, some basic programming is suggested, but really we're talking about scripting and logic. You wouldn't get a designer to code a 3D engine for you from scratch - that's why there are programmers!


    Game designers are a breed, and a skill set, unto their own in my opinion. I've worked with many talented coders and artists in my time, and I think that (as the vid suggests) both coders and artists think in a different way to each other, and to how a designer does.

    I could give examples, but I think we're just going to disagree regardless ;)

    Cheers,

    QS :D
     
  16. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    well I'm interested in examples. Not trying to step on any designers toes, I'm just trying to learn since I'm pretty new to making games.

    My thought is that most designers are former coders/artists who could actually do the work themselves but instead they focus on the higher level structure. They know things should be done a certain way because they've "walked the walk".

    Maybe i'm wrong here but I think most coders and artists doing game development can also fill as game designers.
     
  17. GlennX

    GlennX Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2009
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    Ground Effect was almost all my work. Most of the work that wasn't mine was from other programmers. An artist made the load screen, the models for the craft and trees but everything else was either generated by code (the levels),
    recycled from (mostly unreleased) game source I had lying around or made by me or my kids.

    That said, I was an artist 22 years ago back in the days where most of the competition was programmer art (my last graphics in the original Populous in '88) and the lack of design/art input was certainly a problem with Ground Effect. The TA review and many others said it looked like an unfinished demo which is, I guess, a fair comment in many ways. The UI was all kind of sparse looking because I was too focused on level tuning and engine optimisation.

    At the end of the day, you can't make a game without a programmer but you can make a game without an artist. To answer the OP, there must be many more programmer only games on the app store than art only. That doesn't mean it's a good idea though :)
     
  18. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    Glenn Thanks for the insight.

    Actuall My motivation for this thread was actually based on an experience I had with an artist who was acting game designer and I was the programmer.
    He knew a little bit of how programming works but not enough in my opinion to communicate how to tune the underlying mechanics.

    I guess that would be the job of an actual game designer.
    actually Glenn with your experience you would probably make an excellent game designer. Though I'm sure you probably want to code yourself :)
     
  19. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Well it shows that you are new to making games.

    Because your assumption is wrong that a game designer need to be a former coder or artist.. Why should he. He is the one who give a game its structure.

    A game designer works closely with all departments.. He doesnt need to code but the programmer he works with needs todo jus that.. If you are in a meeting talking about the new gameplay mechanics you thought about you dicuss the technical implementation of things.

    The game designer doesnt need to know how the technical stuff is implmented.. It can help if he understands the basics and thats what most game designer know.. The basic logic behind games.

    That doesnt mean they can code in c++ or any other language, why should they thats the job of the programmers.

    You as a coder cant do high quality art... But why should you.. You are a programmer thats the reason there are artists..

    If you check single man projects they usualy lack on some department..

    For example the nice game trainyard from matt, is such an example.. Yes its very sucessfull.. thats great but the gfx are very simple and typical for "good" programmer art how i can them...

    Most programmer say their games are retro or minimalistic by choice but that is usualy bs, they just cant do it better and thats totaly fine they are programmers.

    And if you take a second look at programmers games they are usualy the more "dry" games like puzzle or strategie because thoose dont need ton of explosion effects and high res models etc.

    At the end the appstore is different, its catered for casual products and thoose can be made by a single person if he is talented enoug.. But most people arent. So they work together build a team and combine their strentgh.

    ;)
     
  20. quantumsheep

    quantumsheep Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2009
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    The Head Cheese, Top Dog, Numero Uno Honcho, Quant
    London

    Firstly, I just want to say that I have the utmost respect for both coders and artists. They both do stuff I would have no hope of doing, and most that I've had the pleasure of working with have been extremely talented!

    I think though, and I will invariably be generalising a bit here, that coders in particular are interested in making things 'just for the sake of it'. I've seen so many personal projects by coders that look absolutely amazing. When I ask 'so, what kind of game are you going to make with it?', having seen it and immediately thought of about 10 different games you *could* make with it, I'm usually met with a blank stare.

    Their primary focus is to make clever stuff. Tech demos, if you will.

    I've seen coders make entire procedurally generated planets. Attack ships off the shoulder of Orion.. (hang on, I've gone a bit Bladerunner!). Basically, I've seen lots of cool shit that could be the basis for a great game. Yet most programmers just shrug and say 'It's not for a game, I just did it to see if I could'.


    Artists can be just as eccentric. Many times they'll make something that looks absolutely amazing (of course they do! They're artists!) but no thought has been given to how it will actually work within a game!

    One example was the chat window in an MMO I worked on. It had been designed to be a certain size so that you could see a good amount of chat in the window from other players/system messages etc etc.

    The artist went away and totally ignored what we'd specced out. He came back with something that looked absolutely amazing, but was just impractical with regard to how it would be used! It was too small for starters and you couldn't read the text without a magnifying glass!

    I've seen plenty of iPhone games done by artists or coders that look absolutely amazing, but don't play particularly well because they have no concept of how difficulty should increase, how level progression should work, how levels should be designed, risk vs reward etc etc.


    There are exceptions though, it's true. Some coders have some incredibly good ideas and the knowledge to see the potential in the code they've written. Some artists are capable of making great and beautiful experiences also.

    In general though:

    Coders make the cool tools for the designers and create the engine that powers the game.
    Designers spec out the game, and use the tools provided to create levels and entities- content, essentially.
    Artists make the levels and entities look lovely.

    The app store has certainly blurred the lines between the three disciplines, but make no mistake, they are all disciplines. They all rely on each other! As a designer, I would always run my ideas past the coders and artists - to better understand the technical limitations of what we could do, as well as the artistic limitations.


    Apologies to any coders/artists that I might offend, it's not my intention! Just giving my personal opinion based on my experience!


    Hope that helps!

    QS :D
     

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