No big deal, this suggestion is just twenty-three days late. I was actually writing a comment to suggest these groups when the group suggestion topic was locked. Professional levels of procrastination ensued, causing this to be delayed until now.
Please keep in mind that I'm making this suggestion and proposing these ideas for the immediate inclusion of these groups. Potential future features that might affect the placement of these groups aren't something this suggestion is concerned with.
I'd also like to point out that there is definitely some overlap between the subjects of the two groups I'll be suggesting. How that might be handled in the future (such as cross-posting and shared comment sections between groups) is another thing I'm not concerned about at the moment.
It would be nice if we could have groups for discussion about game design and game development, so I'd like to go ahead and suggest those groups.
The idea is to have both a game design group and a game development group. The relationship between these two groups would be similar to the relationship between ~tech and ~comp. The game design group would be for more general discussion about the design of games. The game development group would be for more "technical" discussion about the creation of games. By "technical" I mean "specialized", not "technological". So, content in the game development group would not be just about programming, it would be for any of the specialized aspects of game development, such as level design, art design, asset pipelines, QA testing, and a myriad of other subjects.
The game design group would be for discussion about the design of games. The game development group would be for discussion about the process of building games.
Now that I've explained the subjects and distinctions of each group, let's move on to the more contentious topics of when, where, how, and why to create these groups.
When should these groups be created?
If you ask me, I'd say "soon". As in, tomorrow, next week, or whenever the rest of the new groups are created. There's a decent amount of topics tagged with
gamedev already, with several more being posted every month. Topics tagged with
game design are slightly less popular than topics tagged
gamedev, but only by one or two topics. Both of these subjects are very easy to source content for, so I don't doubt I'd have an easy time populating these groups with content, just like I do with ~comp. I'd also personally be more active in these groups than I would in ~comp because, as much as I like to post topics about programming languages or whatever, I don't usually feel knowledgeable, confident, or qualified enough to really get into discussions about those articles. (One day...)
On the other hand, any schmuck can come by and give their opinion on a game's design. I've done it several times already.
So, I think that answers the questions of whether these subjects have or would have enough content to be worthy of their own groups.
However, the bigger question here is, in my opinion, will ~games have enough content left if both of these groups are created?
Yes, it will. Go browse ~games right now and count the topics yourself.
Where should these groups be placed in the hierarchy?
This is the part of this suggestion that I'm least enthusiastic about discussing, because the placement of topics is almost always a contentious subject.
Let me start by saying that there has been some previous discussion about the separation of ~games into subgroups based around digital/video/computer games and analogue/tabletop/traditional games. It may end up being that we get a ~games.digital and a ~games.analogue (which I unironically like the most compared to ~games.tabletop or ~games.video or whatever else). We may even only get ~games.digital and have the ~games top level default to analogue game content. Personally, I think ~games.digital and ~games.analogue is cleaner.
Whatever, my point is, if we get both a group for digital games and a group for analogue games, or even if we only get one of those, I think we should initially just have ~games.design be the only game design group and it would include game design content for both digital games and analogue games.
At the same time, the reasons for wanting a separation of digital game and analogue game content in ~games could hold true for the ~games.design group as well, in that the digital content might overwhelm the analogue content.
So, where, when, and how many game design groups we should create is kind of just up in the air until we know how ~games is going to be modified. I think the cleanest solution would be to just have ~games.design regardless of what digital or analogue specific subgroups we get, but I can understand the reason for wanting separate digital and analogue game design groups as well. I don't particularly care how it gets set up, so long as it does get set up.
Then there's the game development group, which is a whole other ball game.
As for the name of the game development group, I think ~gamedev is the most immediate, obvious choice.
Typically, "gamedev" or "game development" means "video game development" and I was initially of the opinion that the game development group should only be for digital game development.
However, I think we would be better off by bucking the rule that "gamedev" means "video game development" and also accept analogue game development content in ~gamedev. The downside to allowing analogue content in ~gamedev is that, in my experience, analogue game development content is most often synonymous with analogue game design content, but I think we'd be better off allowing both digital and analogue content in ~gamedev at first and just see how it goes. If there's too much overlap with analogue content between ~gamedev and ~games.design, then a stance could be taken.
The location of the game development group is going to, I think, have a great effect on the culture of that group over time. For that reason, I strongly think ~gamedev should be its own top level group.
At first glance, you're probably thinking that doesn't make much sense compared to just having ~games.gamedev or even ~comp.gamedev, but thinking about the placement of the game development group strictly based on nomenclature could lead to disastrous consequences for the development of that group over time.
Think about the relationship between ~tech and ~comp. There's certainly a lot of overlap between those two groups, but ~comp is easily defined as a place for more specialized content versus the general, more approachable, overarching content of ~tech. That specialization is important. It's basically the only thing separating ~tech and ~comp, but it's imperative for the culture and development of those two groups.
Preserving the specialization of ~comp, especially as an entirely separate, top level group from ~tech is going to, I think, make the experience much better over time for the users who participate in ~comp.
If we were to tie the game development group much closer to the more generalized ~games and ~games.design groups in the hierarchy, I think that would ensure that the content of ~gamedev would be less specialized by way of "contamination". I say this because it would put ~gamedev in closer proximity to what would inevitably be a much larger network of consumers rather than developers. Having an overwhelming crowd of game consumers so close to a space meant for the development of games could make it difficult to discuss aspects of the gaming industry where consumers and developers differ on opinion and practice.
Similarly, I think placing the game development group under a group like ~comp would not only contaminate the game development group, but also contaminate ~comp itself, as the goal of the game development group would be to include content not just about programming, but about all aspects of creating games. Some of ~gamedev's subjects just wouldn't be a good fit for the more narrow focus of ~comp. (And ~tech, as an alternative parent group, is too general, so we once again run into the issue of contamination.)
Being a group dedicated to specialized content, I think ~gamedev deserves its own specialized space.
So, I think the game development group should just be ~gamedev. Give it its own, top level space and let's call it a day.
from tildes.models.group import Group request.db_session.add(Group('games.design')) request.db_session.add(Group('gamedev')) request.tm.commit()
this is a joke
We're lucky enough to have a handful of users on Tildes already who are not only interested in the development and design of games, but who are actually undertaking the journey of building their own games as well, both digital and analogue.
Aside from them, we also have a strong coalition of users who are knowledgeable enough to effectively engage in discussion on both the subjects of game design and game development.
The gaming industry is a brutal, rapidly evolving, increasingly popular, and increasingly profitable newcomer to the realm of entertainment. Despite its relative youth however, it has already proven itself capable of shaping our society in very meaningful ways. Whether it be groups of friends dungeon diving at a table, the potential malice of microtransactions, or even the dark underbelly of the Internet harassing game journalists, the gaming industry is only going to continue to grow and have a greater influence in our lives and the lives of those around us.
At the center of this behemoth industry are the people who actually design and build these games. They're some of the most intelligent, passionate people on the planet and from them millions of others are inspired every year to take up the noble mantle of creation. It would be foolish of us not to eventually carve out spaces dedicated to these subjects where these people could congregate and exchange their ideas, experiences, and opinions.