Author Topic: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?  (Read 678 times)

Offline hans

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Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:41:22 PM »
In another thread Olivier wrote:

...And I suspect a reason why we have so few UA designs these days, apart from the obvious lack in time and other interests of us community members, is perfectionism...
 

If so, how can this problem be solved?   :dontknow:  Suggestions, anybody...? 

To deal with my own perfectionism, I plan to create a pseudonym (actually my second) so that I don't have to live up to the perceived standards I've created for myself in my "hans" mods.  I'm hoping it works better than "Rocco Taku." 

Heh, maybe the next mod contest should be pseudonym mod contest, where no author uses their normal name.  I wonder if I could deduce who the real authors were, if such a contest were actually held...

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 08:16:18 AM »
I think the solution is that authors should make the kind of module they themselves would enjoy to play. After all, between all the construction and testing, the author is the one who is going to spend the most time going through the design. Hopefully others will share and enjoy the experience as well. But you have to build for yourself, first.
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Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 08:44:49 AM »
I get the impression that too much emphasis is put on the need to have new artwork. Personally for me as a player it is of rather minor importance. Nice, but not that important.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 12:16:42 PM »
I remember the days when I didn't care about being perfect and I could write a rather large module in about two weeks.  It was sort of liberating, since every module now seems like a massive undertaking.  In those days, I just wanted to get the module done quickly so my friends could play it.

Back in 2009 when I did the four-day challenge, I didn't have time to be perfect.  The goal there was to finish it on time.  In the end, I ended up with a simple module, but one I felt worthy of my name.   

Perfection goes out the window when you are on a deadline.  In that case, being "good enough" is...well, good enough.  You work with what you have and you make it happen.

Perhaps we should run a challenge where we give everyone involved a week to craft a module and then they release it.  I think it would be a liberating exercise that might change how you approach module building (the four-day challenge certainly removed some of my need to be perfect all the time).

You can do it if you take these simple guidelines to heart:

- Don't make it epic in scope.  Not everything needs to have 20 hours of play time.
- Resist the temptation to miss the deadline to tweak it, expand it or make it better in any way.
- Dedicate time to that week to actually get it done.  Treat it as though it is very, very important.
- Reuse old assets that you have handy, like artwork, combat icons and frames.  Don't make new ones.
- Focus on the main story.  Only add side-quests if you have the time.

So, any takers?  A one week challenge could be really fun and could add some new modules for people to play.  I'll be the first to step forward and accept.
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Offline SilentThief

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 02:52:14 PM »
Perhaps we should run a challenge where we give everyone involved a week to craft a module and then they release it.  I think it would be a liberating exercise that might change how you approach module building (the four-day challenge certainly removed some of my need to be perfect all the time).

You can do it if you take these simple guidelines to heart:

- Don't make it epic in scope.  Not everything needs to have 20 hours of play time.
- Resist the temptation to miss the deadline to tweak it, expand it or make it better in any way.
- Dedicate time to that week to actually get it done.  Treat it as though it is very, very important.
- Reuse old assets that you have handy, like artwork, combat icons and frames.  Don't make new ones.
- Focus on the main story.  Only add side-quests if you have the time.

So, any takers?  A one week challenge could be really fun and could add some new modules for people to play.  I'll be the first to step forward and accept.

Personally, I think this is a great idea. The issue I have when I start a project is exactly this (perfectionism, which usually leads to development fatigue and thus the project stagnates).

This affects mod creation, DMing, and probably any other form of creation. Regarding DM-ing, the website http://roleplayingtips.com had a contest which was similar, the "5 room dungeon" contest:

Quote from: roleplayingtips.com link=http://roleplayingtips.com/readissue.php?number=372
Make each room 1-3ish paragraphs long. Your 5 Room Dungeon can be as short as five paragraphs, or longer if you like.

    Room One: Entrance And Guardian
    Room Two: Puzzle Or Roleplaying Challenge
    Room Three: Trick or Setback
    Room Four: Climax, Big Battle Or Conflict
    Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist

Keep your designs as rules-free as possible. The best designs should serve as skeletons that other GMs can pick up and flesh out for their game system and campaign. No need for stat blocks or complex rules annotations. Maps are definitely optional. Most 5 Room Dungeon designs won't need a map as the layout will be intuitive.

(full details here --> http://roleplayingtips.com/readissue.php?number=372)

the last parts, about map optional and ruleset neutral, wouldn't necessarily apply in FRUA/DC -- but you get the idea. Each room is a different kind of encounter, and combat is not the "go-to" to progress though for most


---

summary: perhaps simple is better

ST
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 02:55:44 PM by SilentThief »

Online Milos Gulan

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 10:31:13 AM »
I think it is a good idea too. Only that I started to prepare for tabletop campaign for my friends, again Castle Greyhawk, but this time Lv5 and first I started to gather adventures which I could include in the campaign and was planning to add Return to the Keep on borderlands after bridge across Selintan river. Anyway there is a lot adventures and I was thinking to finaly start DC GH module but decided not to for now and to keep my old module active only (maybe just to play table top Ad&d because of inspiration).

But what I want to do is to make map, GH first then others with pointed locations of official and unofficial adventures. This is just to be able to GM and play things better.

Thanks for the links, I will try adding more smaller adventures to my old DC module, but if I start GMing in FRUA I might do something like that but for now I will keep trying with DC :)

Hm I wish I could actualy learn to use DC good and make as much Ad&d adventures as I can. I think teamwork might be important for that.

Offline hans

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 05:22:14 PM »
...Perhaps we should run a challenge where we give everyone involved a week to craft a module and then they release it.  I think it would be a liberating exercise that might change how you approach module building (the four-day challenge certainly removed some of my need to be perfect all the time).

You can do it if you take these simple guidelines to heart:

- Don't make it epic in scope.  Not everything needs to have 20 hours of play time.
- Resist the temptation to miss the deadline to tweak it, expand it or make it better in any way.
- Dedicate time to that week to actually get it done.  Treat it as though it is very, very important.
- Reuse old assets that you have handy, like artwork, combat icons and frames.  Don't make new ones.
- Focus on the main story.  Only add side-quests if you have the time.

So, any takers?  A one week challenge could be really fun and could add some new modules for people to play.  I'll be the first to step forward and accept.
 

I'm tempted. 

I don't know if I have an appropriate story, tho.  That would have to come first. 

With only a week, it seems to me that the mod would have to be nearly vanilla.  No time for long searches through our art archives, nor to create more than a very few new pieces of art for new monsters or characters or unusual locales. 

Can I come up with a story worth telling that fits those constraints?  I'll have to think about it for a few days...

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 06:00:12 PM »
I don't know if I have an appropriate story, tho.  That would have to come first.

That's one of the genius things about the challenge.  Don't worry about having the story.  Don't overthink it.  Just jump in and do it.  You might be surprised at the end result.

Quote
With only a week, it seems to me that the mod would have to be nearly vanilla.  No time for long searches through our art archives, nor to create more than a very few new pieces of art for new monsters or characters or unusual locales. 

Or you can use a previous module you've built as a base.  When I did the four-day challenge, I just grabbed one of my previous modules, artwork and all, and used it as the base to start with.  I still had time to throw in a few pieces of art.

Quote
Can I come up with a story worth telling that fits those constraints?  I'll have to think about it for a few days...

This sounds amazingly like the thing you're trying to avoid...perfectionism.  When you say that the story needs to be worth telling to fit the constraints, you are overthinking it.  Let it all go.  Isn't that what the thread is about?  Don't worry about it being perfect or being worthy.  I'm sure it will be fine.

As I said in my previous reply, good enough is good enough.  It doesn't have to be a work of art.  Your fine library of work will survive if the end result isn't as fantastic as your past releases.  The goal is to learn something and to let go of the perfectionism and the need to overthink it all.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 06:05:26 PM by ProphetSword »
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Offline hans

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 09:52:22 PM »
...That's one of the genius things about the challenge.  Don't worry about having the story.  Don't overthink it.  Just jump in and do it.  You might be surprised at the end result...

An interesting notion.  Perhaps I will.  If it turned out truly wretched, well, no one would be forcing me to release it.  But, who knows, it might come out with some merit... 

Maybe this challenge of yours is deserving of its very own Topic, tho, as some prospective authors might be ignoring this less dynamic Subject heading...

Offline SilentThief

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 12:36:02 AM »
in addition, something done in short order (like a week) could be like a "rough draft" that could be filled out flushed out after the contest. People may even review the entry and give you ideas on where the mini-mod should go ("Would love to hear more about the wizards apprentice...")

ST the filler flusher

Offline Mechanaut

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 10:24:23 AM »
We tried to do this three times on the Grimrock.net forums, but the [one week] deadline would always get extended to months; (and twice it lasted for more than a year).


Perhaps with UA/DC it could really happen within in a week.  8)

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 11:41:08 AM »
Maybe this challenge of yours is deserving of its very own Topic, tho, as some prospective authors might be ignoring this less dynamic Subject heading...

I posted another topic about it.  Feel free to go and sign up!
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Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 07:37:57 AM »
To deal with my own perfectionism, I plan to create a pseudonym (actually my second) so that I don't have to live up to the perceived standards I've created for myself in my "hans" mods.

I don't quite remember how Rocco Taku was introduced, but I think for some reason it was quite obvious soon that you used him as your pseudonym, so it was like "This is another 'hans' mod under a different name." If you really want to avoid any expectations and just toy around, maybe it would help if you kept any link between you and the pseudonym a real secret this time?  ;)


I think the solution is that authors should make the kind of module they themselves would enjoy to play.

But that's not a cure for perfectionism, it's the opposite! Of course, I'd want to play the perfect game myself. :P


I get the impression that too much emphasis is put on the need to have new artwork. Personally for me as a player it is of rather minor importance. Nice, but not that important.

I'm not sure though that authors feel the need to have new artwork due to the expectations of others. I suspect that it's more likely connected to what Dorateen wrote, what authors expect of their design themselves, in order to enjoy creating and playing it. Maybe not for all, but for quite a few. Personally, I'm pretty much bored with the vanilla graphics by now. Of course, good writing trumps nice graphics, but the writing would have to be spectacular for me to overlook the boring old graphics. I will give vanilla designs by other authors a chance, but when it comes to creating designs myself, just using the standard assets would bore me to death. If I put in new graphics, it's not because I think others demand it, but because this makes the creation process more fun for me and because as a player, I enjoy designs with new graphics myself.


Offline hans

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 06:44:50 PM »
I reckon I've come to see the term "a hans mod" as something of a brand.  A high bar in certain aspects of designing that I have to live up to, any time I might now use the name.  A new pseudonym should be somewhat liberating, allowing for, hopefully, a more streamlined approach.  Perhaps I shouldn't tell anybody what my new pseudonym is...   :P 

The results of the week-long challenge should be very interesting.  I expect that I will learn things from my own experience, but also from the results as a whole.  Examining the strengths and weaknesses of these mods (of which hopefully there will be many) may reveal, among other things, how best to deal economically with a variety of storytelling, gameplaying elements. 

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Anti-Perfectionism Solutions?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2017, 11:02:09 AM »
Perhaps I shouldn't tell anybody what my new pseudonym is...   :P 

I think you should do that during the one-week challenge. 

I may do the same...use a different name.  Might be nice to be judged by the module's own merits instead of on the past accomplishments attached to the name.  Maybe if a couple of us do it, we could make a game of guessing which module belongs to which author. 
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