"Community Design" fails - The KazeoHin-TechAE Flak Example

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"Community Design" fails - The KazeoHin-TechAE Flak Example

Post by R.Flagg »

Everyone has an opinion. Fair enough. Try to please a crowd of people all at once, and what you often end up with is a watered-down version of what could have been brilliant.

Sure, I believe it is often true that having a team of creative minds can lead to better results than one artist working alone. However, when you open it up to Design by Forums, especially Design by Very Large Forums, as Epic is doing with UT4, it can often lead to "meh", instead of "F'in Kickass!"

A good example of this can be seen here: The opening post picture from an oviously extremely talented artist;

Now that, is an insprining piece of artwork. Clearly a Flak Cannon, no doubt about it. Of course it's not finished, and I'll admit, it could be improved with some tweaks, adjustments, and so forth. But when you go page after page after page of more and more opinions later, it's kinda sad to see where it's ended up. The very clear badass-ery has been removed, and -while still a Very Impressive piece of modeling work, it has ended up being much less it could or should have been.

One pic posted by a forum member I think makes my point the best:

See what I mean? Is it a flak cannon? Is it yet another rocket launcher?

Ever noticed how cars (at least American cars forty or fifty years ago were unique and had way cool designs separating them all, yet nowadays they mostly pretty much all look alike? Sorta - yeah, it's nice, but 'meh'.

Just a shame is all.
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Re: "Community Design" fails - The KazeoHin-TechAE Flak Exam

Post by Dr.Flay »

They really are difficult to tell apart.

Unfortunately there is a big difference between a think-tank for brain-storming, and a focus-group style.
You see it most in the film / TV industry.
Banter and trying options on set has added many now famous scenes to films, but presenting it to a focus-group has managed to destroy the heart of many other films.

I suspect many people are not understanding the "Unreal" in UT.
This is why I have always considered Chaos and recently Nali Weapons 3 to be the most natural extensions to a fantasy oriented FPS.

A focus-group would not have come up with my favourite Oversurrector.

Indeed most peoples first reaction to looking at the NW3 vids is that it is way to over the top.
However once you actually play with it, you see how it is balanced.
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Who is Dr.Flay ?
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Re: "Community Design" fails - The KazeoHin-TechAE Flak Exam

Post by SPA »

OMG... WTF did I just see 8O 8O 8O *gasp* :D It's a bit like a heavy metal concert and an anime show had a bastard child and someone boild it down into an UT weapon 8O 8) Crazy and fascinating!

Considering the coming UT I still have similar doubts like Mr. Flagg. No matter what project you have that needs some kind of design directions and decisions (be it the visuals or the whole gameplay) you always need some kind of "central vision", and in a traditional production pipeline this is most times represented by one person (and well, I have seen quite some projects where either that person got switched half way through or it was instead of one guy a complete team with somehow different (not bad, but different) individual ideas, and voilá you dont get a delicious soup but some incoherent mud at the end)

So... no matter how fantastic individual products for the new UT shall be, if they lack a guiding hand and vision, it will maybe just look like "just another mod made by thousand individuals" instead of a "complete" game. And if you use a too wide mass of people to judge the designs, you maybe even get quite the opposite: something smooth and clean (just like the mentioned cars) , without the nice edges and corners one group of people loves (and others maybe hate) which gives the whole product that one important thing: character.

Looking at that Flak Cannon example I see even another problem in that design. Just like a nice car it not only needs a good outside contour. It also needs a fitting cockpit. And many modelers forget, that most time, you see that weapon model in a very drastic perspective view. They put all those nice design elements up around the front, but all that stuff will be mostly hidden. And when you design your weapon outline in the upper half like a compact brick, it will later also look like a brick you hold right near your eye.
That's one reason most of the older unreal weapon models hat a) very different contour flows compared to each other and b) lots of open spaces, moving parts and nice goodies in the middle. Cause that's the stuff you see in the 1st-person-view. And that's the stuff which will bring some depth and parallaxing when moving the model near your eyesight 8)
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