The Architect of Games Q&A Extravaganza!

The Architect of Games Q&A Extravaganza!

Hello and welcome to the Architect of games
mega fantastic Q&A extravaganza! In case you aren’t aware, this is the follow
up to the 100 subscriber special video yes that’s how many subs I have don’t check. You guys have spent the past few days sending
in questions and now, shock surprise, I’m going to answer them. These questions have been helpfully curated
for me by one of the screaming disembodied voices inside my head so whilst my answers
are scripted, they are my genuine reactions- I just don’t want to spend 5mins per question
rambing about nothing. So, without any further ado, lets get started. Jack Kahanek asks, “What’s a trend in gaming currently that
you wish would go out of style?” Well I think my biggest bugbear of late are
these kitchen sink openworldy games that vaguely hint at doing a bunch of stuff whilst providing
next to nothing in the way of focus or vision. Ubisoft is one of the biggest guilty parties
here, all the more recent farcry games are these shallow, repetative games that string
you along with cheap psychological manipulation into not exactly having fun, just playing
more. These new MMO lites are pretty bad too, I’ve
made my opinion on games like destiny and now anthem very clear, and ultimately my dislike
stems from the same source. They’re games aren’t really trying to
say or do anything beyond keep you playing and buying microtransactions, there’s no
vision or truly interesting content because that sort of stuff means taking risks and
potentially being divisive which means fewer players. I guess my answer is just capitalism – which
isn’t going away any time soon. David Bishop asks, “What trend do you want to see in games
going forward, as both a player and a YouTube person?” Ooooh, it’s like the opposite question. Nice. I want to see riskier games that think outside
the box more. I think there’s a real tendency in all established
media environments to stick with what works or just cash in on nostalgia but I think some
really fantastic games came about because somewhere down the line, someone did something
weird and experimental, and I’d love to see that attitude rewarded. Whether that’s Cultist Simulator’s lovecraftian
solitaire, or Nier automata as this unbelievably dense philosophical masterstroke or the fact
that a game like super smash brothers can exist at all in todays gaming climate – weird
games are out there, I’d just like more of them please- because time has shown that
people really do want something different and that weird, experimental stuff will be
rewarded if it’s good. A bunch of people ask: “Who are your inspirations???” Well I’ve got a huge number of inspirations,
but I’ll go with my top three because otherwise we’ll be here all day. Third place would probably be CGP grey? I know he makes very different content to
me, but I’ve got to say I’ve always really admired how he breaks down very complex ideas
into digestible and easy to understand chunks without sacrificing the nuance, and that’s
something I really try for in my videos- Ideally without parroting source material that doesn’t
stand out to academic rigour but hey, no-one’s perfect. Second would, obviously, be Mark Brown of
Game Maker’s Toolkit. As much as I sometimes make jokes at his expense,
that comes from a position of huge professional respect. Mark and his content are informative, insightful
and insanely well produced. A lot of my early videos crib quite heavily
from the GMTK style and whilst I’ve definitely found my own voice since then I owe the guy
a lot, particularly for promoting the channel in the early days. But my biggest influence is without a doubt
the late, great John Totalbiscuit Bain. The guy was… very divisive, and certainly
had his shortcomings, but if there was one thing that could be said of TB, it’s that
he loved videogames. John was this rock in the youtube gaming scene,
he had a strong set of professional ethics, was an uncompromising critic both of games
and the wider scene and I think, love him or hate him, that gaming is worse off for
his absence. Would’ve loved to have met the guy before
he passed, but I’ll have to settle for trying to fill some very big, very british and very
cynical boots. Arlo Mates asks, “If you could remove Ohio from the USA,
and make it part of Mexico, would you do it instantly, or give the residents a month to
learn Spanish? “ This is what I’m here for, insane nuts questions. Okay, this all depends on whether Ohio is
being physically moved to mexico or not, that’s a little vague. If it’s just being made into a mexican territory,
there is no way Ohio, a state hundreds of miles from mexico will not go into armed revolt
immediately, so you may as well just do it without warning because that’s how it’ll
stay mexican for the longest. Giving americans advance notice for gun use
is never a good idea. If it’s being physically moved, then I think
education in spanish is definitely the right play, because that means it’ll stay an american
territory and whilst it’d be a diplomatic clusterfuck either way, a months notice for
the global community that Ohio is going to teleport will probably be for the best. So… uh, if you’re a supervillain in the
making that’s some advice for you. Saamady asks
What word in the English language do you think is the weirdest? Oh man. Okay. There’s a lot of weird ones, Aa is a good one, that’s a kind of lava. Yeah it’s literally spelt a a. Snollygoster is a fantasitc insult that means
a person lacks ethics or principles A pooter is fun, it’s a kind of aparatus
for catching bugs and I find it funny because I’m a child Err, there’s a bunch of english words that
dirty americans and lovely foreiners learning a second language have never heard of like
bamboozle, Flabergasted, kerfuffle and Shennigans, but I think the winner of weirdest word has
to go to Floccinaucinihilipilification which means the act of finding something to be unworthy
or not deserving of your time, much like trying to pronounce that word. A bunch of people ask:
what’s your favourite game? Okay I actually hate the idea of having favorites-
there’s no game I like that doesn’t have massive flaws and I don’t really like boiling
artistic works into this is the best one so I’ll just list 10 games off the top of my
head I really like, okay? Sound like a good compromise? Right. Fallout New Vegas, XCOM, Dark souls, Nier
Automata, Xenoblade chronicles one all the rest suck, Thomas was alone, Deus Ex the original
one, Super Mario Galaxy, Undertale aaaaaaanddd, Endless Legend. A lot of these games I’ve mentioned before
but, err, that’s because they’re good. Aiden Kress asks:
“Where did you get your mascot/logo?” Oooh, I wish I could answer this one, but
the correct response is actually… I don’t really know. My little avatar is, I’m going to level
with you, it looks the way it does because it’s easy to draw, and trying to realise
my true form in digital form just sets my computer on fire. The appearance is kind of based on a lot of
things, like the black mage from final fantsay… I want to say 10? The masters of the bazaar from fallen london,
bunch of stuff really, it’s hardly a unique design, but I wanted something a little mysterious
with an edge of self-aware sarcasm aaaand that’s what we ended up with. As for the name, in case you haven’t noticed
I don’t talk about architecture very much, it’s actually a very dumb reference to an
RPG I used to run because… err… I never thought very many people would watch
this crap so when you think about it it’s actually your fault. As for what the character in a more abstract
sense is… I guess they’re some sort of eldritch video
game demon who holds strange and forbidden knowledge about the profane art of making
plumbers jump over mushrooms oooooOOOoOOOooOOOOoOOoo And finally, Cody Jordan asks. what in your opinion was your favorite or
most important video? I dunno. I feel like my favorite and the most important
aren’t the same one. My personal favourite, and the only video
I’ve ever made that I can honestly say that I like, is the Nier Automata one- it’s wall
to wall me rambling about literature and I love it. It’s me desperately putting my degree to
use for a game that totally deserves it and I’m quite happy with how my reading ended
up even if it’s one of my least viewed videos. As for the most important, I think that’s
got to go to How great games beat the grind, because it really put the channel on the map,
and whilst I think it’s actually kind of middle of the pack in terms of quality, it’s
a video that I think really summarizes what I think sets my channel apart. I feel like a lot of games analysis people
fall into one of two camps, dry, educational videos about the nuts and bolts of actually
creating videogames, and the oppisite, which are these much more personal videos about
why someone likes or does not like a particular videogame, both have their place, but I always
felt like there was some middle ground that could be tapped. My channel isn’t really a personal platform
or telling people how games work, it’s much more focused on why they work, and the ways
we can better understand the artform. Well that got off topic didn’t it? Thank you so much for your questions, and
of course for getting me to that all important 100 sub milestone, that’s awesome! and I
will have a real video up in a few days, okay? Right… err… bye!

86 Replies to “The Architect of Games Q&A Extravaganza!”

  1. Do you want the answers to yet more questions you didn't know you had? Follow me on the twitters:

    If you want to give me a financial motive to answer yours in particular, gimme your dosh on Patreon:

  2. Thanks for the answer, also nice to see it wasn't just a usual "battle royale" answer as well. Almost makes up for pronouncing my last name wrong 😛

  3. I haven't been watching your videos for that long as I only discovered your wonderful channel several months ago but I've quickly caught up on every video and I absolutely love your content. It was really cool to hear about your inspirations. You do a great job of doing what you mentioned CGP Grey does well which is breaking down complex ideas into simpler to understand ones. That's one of the reasons I love your content so much, and I have no doubt if he was here to see it your channel would make John Bain proud.

  4. 200k is just some blinks away. Persevere. Put your heart into every video it like it's the last time you'll do one, every single time, and you won't even see them goals coming. Also, very important: never do a face reveal. It's important to keep the mistery, as it is both alluring and magical. Especially nowadays, in which that magic is seldom seen at all. Great kudos. 😉

  5. Does not see Hollow Knight on favorite games list

    Just kidding, those were good choices, and keep on making epic content, 200k is just on the horizon!

    P.S: Silksong hyyyyype!

  6. Your NieR: Automata video being one of your least watched videos makes me kinda sad. I, for one, really appreciate just how in depth you explained the game and it's underlying themes and your passion for the subject!

  7. Y'know it's a really nice 10-20 minute break for me to watch your vids, i absolutely love what you put out there.

    Can't wait to see how the channel will grow further and what you've got planned! ❤️

  8. Wanna here something funny ? Even within Ubisoft saying that the company makes only one game is a common joke 😉
    They know all that, they just don't care because they make games for the general public and the general public doesn't care about game design, they just want to have "stuff" to do in a cool world.

  9. Saying that a game like Warframe "lacks any kind of vision" because it's a "MMO-Lite-Looter-Shooter" is unfair and kinda makes me think that your outlook on game design isn't as focused as I thought it was.
    What's your take on Hack'n'Slash games then ? Because the games you are so quick to dismiss are basically third person Hack'n'Slashes (I also include Borderlands in this category, FPS-RPG is a marketting ploy, not what defines the game's gameplay core bricks).

    The way those recent releases are used to manipulate you into buying stuff is a problem, not the genre itself.
    Again, just look at Warframe, Borderlands or PoE and how they do things. Sure, this genre isn't for everyone (I'm not even a fan of most of those games myself), but saying it lacks vision is just insulting and shows a lack of understanding of basic game design theories.

  10. Please include the titles of the video games that play in the background. In the video, description, a comment, doesn't matter. Thank you.

  11. I agree, we need more risk taken in this industry.
    But I'll add something more: AAA needs to take more risks
    Risks are being taken on a daily basis on the indie scene, but most just fade into obscurity.

    The PSVITA is a gold mine of weird experimental games, just hack one, load it with a 128-512Go MicroSD and you have the best portable console ever in your hands.

  12. Oi! Americans know Bamboozled.

    I can't say that I can blame you. A lot of Americans on the internet are idiots….

  13. Asking for a "favourite game" isn't "What's the best game you've ever played", those are two very different questions.
    One's about quality, the other about appreciation.
    Craftsmanship can be criticised objectively, how much you like it can't. None is inherently more important than the other, they are just different conversations (usually it boils down to: are you someone that focuses on how it's made, or someone that focuses on what it brings to people).

    For example, Mass Effect 3 and the Kingdom Hearts series are some of my favourite games, but they are far behind when it comes to "best games I've played".
    On the other hand, NieR:Automata is both one of my favourite games AND one of the best games I've played.

    As a professional talking about game design, that divide should be clear.

  14. It's weird, you got to the 100 sub milestone but I feel like there were way more than 100 questions in that comment section 🤔

  15. The Nier Automata video is definitely my favourite one! It's also the first one I watched and after finishing it, I knew I had to subscribe. I also joined Patreon for a month cause I wanted to leave a tip, as a thank you for that awesome 1 hour video.

  16. Imagine "loving video games" so hard that you end up helping a bunch of nazies weaponize the rampant misogyny in video games to turn "liking video games" into a recruiting scheme.

  17. You don't know how happy I am that you cited Totalbiscuit as your inspiration. I always sensed that but could not confirm it till that moment. Knowing that his legacy lives on give me closure.

  18. I wonder what your take in the design philosophy that losing is fun or an integral part of the game prevalent in some roguelikes.
    Also what do you think of Dwarf fortress?

  19. I'm surprised Raven from Teen Titans wasn't an inspiration for your avatar. Heck, I'm fairly certain you've referenced this likeness one or twice

    I'm not just being crazy


  20. What do you think that Open World games can do for the better to make for a more enjoyable experience? I want to design one in the future and your YouTube channel has been a great guide and source of inspiration for me. Keep being you dude I love what you do!

  21. As one of those "Dirty Americans", I actually knew all those words you said I would not. So there. 😛

    (PS: love your videos)

  22. 5:58 Wait you like X-Com? Wow, you should have mentioned that on your channel before, or used it as an example somewhere!

  23. I played a lot of Xenoblade Chronicles X and 2 but not a lot of the first Xenoblade Chronicles. What do you like about the first more than the sequels?

  24. Great to hear that TB was one of your big inspirations. The universe at large, not just gaming, is worse off for his untimely passing, and it's great to see that he's still well-remembered.

  25. I knew Bamboozle, flabbergasted, kerfuffle, and shenanigans. Confuse, shocked to the point of speechlessness, argument or fight, and poor behavior of the most entertaining sort.
    I'm slightly surprised that only one of my favorite games made it on to your list. Mine are: Undertale, Minecraft (before Jeb took over, and definitely before Microsoft did), Path of Exile (largely for having the best ethical monetization scheme I've ever seen), Portal (both 1 and 2), and Hollow Knight (which did everything I loved about Dark Souls with more polish and without the things that bugged me or the shitty PC port).
    I'm partway through Nier: Automata though, and I've heard that it doesn't get really amazing until late though, so it might make my list by the time I'm finished with it.

  26. You're such an intelligent person, and even though this was scripted, I love how you remove all filler and just answer the damn questions. Really interesting to listen to.

  27. Holy shit, I actually though of total biscuit when you got the question but I was afraid that you wouldn´t mention him because of some of his more controversial stances. The videos I´ve seen from you so far are great!

  28. As an American who does in fact know words like 'shenanigans', 'kerfuffle', 'flabbergasted', and 'bamboozle', am I allowed to feel special?

  29. It’s kind of funny how you mentioned that your Nier: Automata vid is your least watched video considering it’s what brought me to you

  30. Wow never seen someone put super Mario galaxy as one of their favourite games but I mean, we all have opinions.

  31. Great channel! Don't normally watched QAs but really enjoyed this one, also a huge fan of Game Makers Toolkit.

  32. Hahahahaha, the word A a existing is great XD Surely someone else has mentioned it too, but it's funny cause that's baby talk for poop in German… a kind of lava hehe

  33. I have to disagree with you on TB, Adam. I'm not saying he wasn't a big inspiration or whatnot, but the idea that he was somehow a paragon of ethics isn't just stretching, it's just flatly untrue. Leaving aside the entire "ethics in games journalism" canard he ran for in the last few years of his life and whether it was really just a harassment campaign, there's one thing that absolutely destroyed any semblance of him as an ethics authority: He took money from the corporations whose products he reviewed. That is the biggest ethical no-no in consumer reporting. It doesn't matter that he "disclosed" the transaction (which he only did after several years of doing it privately without disclosure, e.g. Planetside 2), money is always a biasing factor that is unbecoming of a reviewer. After all, would you trust the ruling of a judge who took money from one of the lawyers in a case he was ruling on? Me neither. It wouldn't matter if he flaunted the money or not, it wouldn't matter if he was paid before or after the ruling, it would be unethical either way. That's TB in a nutshell. Influential? Sure. Ethical? Hardly. A Snollygoster, if you will.

  34. Good. You mentioned Xenoblade aso one of your top 10 video games. Otherwise you'd have lost a subscriber 😛

    (Though I disagree that X is garbage. 2 really is, however)

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