Category Archives: Philosophy

Game production doesn’t mean just experience, technology and skills – there’s also philosophical way into games production. For example, A stress free philosophy of zen can be very practical in games production.

What Should I Do With The Xmas Game Submissions…?

I don’t mean to rush anyone, and I was about to close the submission possibility now. There’s so many games that in the following days there’s definitely more than 1 game per day to appear in the xmas site.

My idea is that… I would allow submissions, but only the ones that have been submitted so far would be shown in the site before 24th day. And… on the 24th day there would be a big icon list of ALL games that were submitted. This icon list would stay there for people to test.

I think this could be a nice compromise, as I would hate to close the submissions possibility as you guys clearly are putting new games there.

Hmm. It’s good to think out loud. In the beginning of this blog post (as you can guess from the title) I wasn’t sure how to deal with the submissions but by the end of this blog post (as you can probably guess if you’ve read this far) I now know what to do.

Thanks for your help!

This wasn’t the first time something like this happens. I talk with a collegue, ask out loud what to do with thing A and feature Y and continue talking… and finally I have the decision made before the other guy has even said anything. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same. This was probably the first time this occurred during writing a blog post though.

The Guide On How to Approach People

Words are important. Words and how one expresses himself have a big meaning. For example, whether I use a word “I”, “you”, or “one” it gives a different feeling to what I’m saying.

For example, whether you use a word “I”, “you”, or “one” it gives a different feeling to what you are saying.

For example, whether one uses a word “I”, “you”, or “one” it gives a different feeling to what one is saying.

I’ve noticed that when sharing your experiences (through a blog for example), it’s quite safe to use the word “I”. I tell what happens to me. If I’ve done something, it’s my experience and I can tell about it. No preaching, no teaching. Just sharing my experience. No big deal.

Preaching and teaching
Whenever I use the word “you”, the tone of my blog might change to preaching/teaching. You have to be careful with words.

See, there it goes again – who am I to tell to you that you should be careful with words? I can only speak about myself.

And if I use the word “one”, I go into a bit more neutral zone. There one can wander quite safely. (As you can see). One has to be careful though, this form might sound little… odd. At least to my ear.

How do you approach people? Do you preach/teach and point out how the other needs to do something. Or do you express yourself differently – by using yourself as an example, leaving the other to decide whether he will accept your thinking?

Is it about “you” or “me”?
Think of the following examples, which one are you using when you are delegating a task to somebody else:

  • 1) “… and this final graph here shows the flow of the actions, and the end result needs to produce a gadget X. Do you understand the task?
  • 2) “… and this final graph here shows the flow of the actions, and the end result needs to produce a gadget X. Have I expressed the task understandably here?

The first one is probably okay, but there’s a slight challenge in the air: by asking whether the other guy understands the tasks, you might be automatically suggesting that “if the other guy is not understanding the task, it’s his fault”. This doesn’t necessarily leave room for the thought that there might be (A) something wrong with the task description, (B) or something wrong in how you’ve explained the task description. In some workplaces (I’d guess) this might be even offending. The guy could say that “yes, he understand the tasks” just for the sake of defending himself – he understands everything.

The second point removes the “do you understand” part, and this means that even if the other guy doesn’t get the task, his professionalism isn’t in any way questioned. You have removed the threat and there’s no need for defense. The other guy can then more willingly say that there’s some unclear point. He has no need to defense himself.

I’m exaggerating here a bit you know, I’m not saying that using words as in example #1 would automatically mean questioning the other. This might not be a big deal. People might not even notice this. In some workplaces… this might be an issue. Or maybe people would see you in a different light if you’d approach them differently. (I dunno. Maybe.)

This might not be a big deal
I’m not trying to say here that you’d need to be a wimp and be careful that the people will shatter to pieces from anything.

Just a thought on something that might be useful.

GP Xmas Calendar 2009 – Door 8 (The Indie Secret)

I’ve touched the subject of “why do games” in the past. I’ve written about what reasons I have, and pondered reasons what others might have. I happened to trespass in the fine site of gapingvoid and saw a cartoon pic that kind of summarized why some (hopefully many) indies make their games.

Check here to open Door 8.

(The thing is expressed quite strongly in that pic I must say, but I can think of all that in a very positive way. Being totally in control and deciding what you do.)

Joke In a Bush Is Better Than Two In the Hand

Yesterday’s post got some comments that got me thinking about joking and how jokes affect people.

Years ago I used “offensive” jokes much more often than I do today. Offensive, as in the meaning that “they could offend”. I didn’t mean to offend anyone with those jokes, but by looking back I can see that clearly they could be taken offensively. I guess it was pretty okay since the same people joked back at me the same way and were my best friends anyway. (Anyone seen Gran Torino? Where Clint was speaking in that movie shouting very harshly to others. That wasn’t how we joked, ours speech were much milder).

I’m the kind of person who makes jokes about myself, and also jokes among friends and people I know. I’m no comedian (those aren’t funny anyway), but I do like “intelligent” humor where the words are more important than how loud they are said (think of British tv comedy over American tv comedy – very generally speaking, there’s gems in American tv as well). This wasn’t a joke so, it can’t be taken offensive. Right?

Anyway.

There isn’t really a safe spot when it comes to joking. Joking only about yourself is a good start, but even then there’s dangers if you move to the areas like “my religion” or “my favourite politician” or “my handicap” or whatever. You might also use harsh language or use jokes related to sex – it all can be too much to some people.

Let’s take a few examples:

  • Is it okay to make jokes about handicapped people? Some people would say “no, it’s not okay” while some people – including those with a handicap – might say “yes, sure – it’s okay”.
  • What about South Park – is it too much? Some people dislike it a lot, some people think it’s just fine.
  • Monthy Python? They joked about very many things (mainly British…)
  • Or take Ali G / Borat / Brüno – do you think this guy has bad humor?
  • Joking about British tv comedy over American tv comedy? Some people will not tolerate if somebody jokes about comedy shown in American tv (especially when shown in comparison to British tv – even when this is merely an opinion of one person who prefers one after another).

My guideline (where I aim to), is to minimize insulting people/peoples/genres/age/sex/stuff with my speech (it’s been greatly reduced compared to what it was years ago, but still need to work with this area), and to keep joking about myself and voices in my head.

Joking is a very serious issue. The jokes and humor is important. Joking affects people around you. It’s way to handle difficult things. It’s way to build team spirit and connect people. It’s way to sell games.

It’s (hopefully) fun too.

What you think about jokes & humor?

What’s the Color of Your Tongue? Brown?

Do you say different things about your boss in these situations:
1) In front of boss (will you honestly say what you think when your boss hears you? Do you laugh at his jokes and nod like an idiot on any of his suggestions?)
2) Somewhere else (do you complain about your boss in behind his back, and talk about things you wouldn’t say in front of him?)

Why? Why not?

I Have This Crazy I-Might-Drop-Car-Keys-Down-to-Sewers Fear

Not sure if I have mentioned this (and definitely not sure if I should), but here we go (again).

I have this weird “I might drop my car keys to sewers” fear. Whenever I go get some gasoline to our car, I look for those sewer things (plug holes?) that might be located near the gas pump. If I see a one, I immediately start to think how my car keys could accidentally drop… way down to the sewers. Where they would never be found again.

What this has to do with anything? Especially about game development?

I’m making a point here that even “rational game developers” like me (and even those genius C++ experts who know loads of 3 letter acronyms) have some weird ideas and thoughts stuffed in their brain.

I know that this fear is (somewhat) irrational. I hold my car keys tight enough or keep them in my pocket, so the chances for the keys to drop are close to me same as the odds for me winning in a lottery (and I don’t even play lottery).

I’m a pretty rational guy. I make all sort of calculations. I liked math, physics (but also arts) in school. I try to make “rational decisions” and think “will buying this shit make my game sell more copies – or help me get it done faster” before I do something. I keep my papers pretty organized, and desktop in ok shape. Overall I keep thinking that I’m sort of a rational guy.

Yet… with all said and done.

I keep fearing that one day I’ll drop my car keys to sewers. (At least it’s not as weird as one famous Finnish astronomy-professor-guy has: he is afraid of dark)

What weird fears your have?

We Game Developers Are Whine Masters (Free Business Tip About Dealing With Portals)

Here’s a fun experiment to do:

    Go to your favourite game development forum

  • Search something about “portal”
  • Count all the posts where people whine about portals (favourite topics including stuff such as “they’re evil”, “they pay shitty”, “prices are too low”, “piracy is overwhelming”)
  • Join the fun and become a master whiner. I’m sure within no time, practically anyone can become a master portal-whiner.

(I’m no better either. In case you didn’t notice: I just whined about whining…)

Or alternatively here’s a 100% free tip for those of us who complain about portals:

if portals are such a bad idea, then like… stop working with them.

Okay?

Habits Are Hard To Break

I’ve re-started my “daily blog post” mission for this blog, and it’s strange how difficult it is to break the habit. I just gotta keep publishing these posts. It’s kind of like a public promise I’m giving – and I want to keep that promise.

Creating this sort of habit works for pretty much anything: whether it be game development or using Twitter… it’s hard to break when it has come a habit.

Do You Trust Your Gut Feeling?

We all have experienced this – making decisions based on gut feeling. It can be small or big things in your life, but at some point you cannot rationally tell why you chose to act the way you did – it was just a gut feeling. Or hunch. Or intuition. Call it whatever.

In game development (or game business), do you trust your instincts?

How much you trust them?

Have you tracked how successful your instincts have been? (Tracked rationally, not just on “gut feeling” way of tracking, but actually putting down stats…) I haven’t tracked things down, and now as I think of this, it’s quite hard to say how much my hunch plays role in me doing decisions.

I’d say that I’m the sort of guy who tries to be pretty objective (like that could ever be possible) – and rather than guess what works, I like to test it (or see if somebody else has tested it). But, every now and then I might get into a situation where I just gotta trust my instinct and do quick decisions based on what I see the best way. There might not be a good rationale, but it “just feels right”.

For example, today I wrote a blog post… but deleted it. My gut feeling was saying that it wasn’t the right time for that blog post. So, I deleted it. I can write about that topic later, but now wasn’t the day for it. Was it the right decision? Don’t know, but my hunch was telling me that it would have been the wrong decision to publish that post today.

How’s your hunch working for you? You ever listen to it? Or always?