The Worthlessness of The Artist's Vision

lunatique

Member
Oct 25, 2017
486
Good post, but unfortunately, Sekiro is the studio's fastest selling game ever, and probably on its way to become the best selling one. The game's succes proves the opposite argument of the OP is true, that it's okay for devs to not listen to people's input. They chose to not include easy mode and it's well rewarded.
 

ViewtifulJC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,398
I'm on the side that artists are the artists, and the audience is the audience. They can interact, but there's a line there. Art is not like a restaurant menu, where you can order whatever you want and demand your money back when you dont get exactly what you want. And most great art is not crowd-sourced and made accessible to all demographics. If David Lynch wanted to make Twin Peaks The Return, and he got the money to back it, then that's really the long and short of it. We can like it, dislike it, write about it, but that's about where the end of that transaction goes.

So I guess I agree that yeah, you can have a conversation...just don't expect to always have your requests reciprocated.
 

Toney J

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,635
Good post, but unfortunately, Sekiro is the studio's fastest selling game ever, and probably on its way to become the best selling one. The game's succes proves the opposite argument of the OP is true, that it's okay for devs to not listen to people's input. They chose to not include easy mode and it's well rewarded.
The game didn't sell well because it doesn't have an easy mode lol.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
Good post, but unfortunately, Sekiro is the studio's fastest selling game ever
I will say this for either the third or fourth time.

I do not give a fuck about Sekiro.

My field of fucks for Sekiro lays barren for this year.

If I were hanging from a cliff and all I needed was a single solitary fuck for Sekiro to make it, my bones would proceed to lay forever upon the rocks below.

Harrison Ford looks upon my lack of fucks to give for Sekiro and impresses upon me a look of childlike awe.

I have received numerous messages from EA complaining that the sheer lack of fucks to give for Sekiro on display is simply outrageous and they insist I try to give half of one, for "while we do not give a fuck either, there certainly must be a limit."

If aliens were to come down now and scan my body for biological impulses in an effort to gain knowledge of the human race, they might mistake my sheer lack of fucks to give for Sekiro as a sign that our species lacks the mental faculties which controls rudimentary emotion and thus perceive us as no threat to the Earth or ourselves.

I hope this has been a fascinating descent into apathy for you and everyone else coming into this topic to cheerlead about Sekiro and it's difficulty.
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
I'm on the side that artists are the artists, and the audience is the audience. They can interact, but there's a line there. Art is not like a restaurant menu, where you can order whatever you want and demand your money back when you dont get exactly what you want. And most great art is not crowd-sourced and made accessible to all demographics. If David Lynch wanted to make Twin Peaks The Return, and he got the money to back it, then that's really the long and short of it. We can like it, dislike it, write about it, but that's about where the end of that transaction goes.

So I guess I agree that yeah, you can have a conversation...just don't expect to always have your requests reciprocated.
Issues of accessibility aren't matters of preference or taste. They're a matter of certain kinds of disabled people from being able to experience anything at all. As is, in your restaurant metaphor the current state of things makes it impossible for certain people to even experience the restaurant at all.

If your vision is one that inherently excludes certain people, that vision is flawed.
 

Veelk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,999
I will say this for either the third or fourth time.

I do not give a fuck about Sekiro.

My field of fucks for Sekiro lays barren for this year.

If I were hanging from a cliff and all I needed was a single solitary fuck for Sekiro to make it, my bones would proceed to lay forever upon the rocks below.

Harrison Ford looks upon my lack of fucks to give for Sekiro and impresses upon me a look of childlike awe.

I have received numerous messages from EA complaining that the sheer lack of fucks to give for Sekiro on display is simply outrageous and they insist I try to give half of one, for "while we do not give a fuck either, there certainly must be a limit."

If aliens were to come down now and scan my body for biological impulses in an effort to gain knowledge of the human race, they might mistake my sheer lack of fucks to give for Sekiro as a sign that our species lacks the mental faculties which controls rudimentary emotion and thus perceive us as no threat to the Earth or ourselves.

I hope this has been a fascinating descent into apathy for you and everyone else coming into this topic to cheerlead about Sekiro and it's difficulty.
I suggest you threadmark this. Most people will still not read it and bring up Sekiro, but you might get a few who understand the grand vast emptiness of the fucks you do not give about Sekiro
 

ViewtifulJC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,398
Issues of accessibility aren't matters of preference or taste. They're a matter of certain kinds of disabled people from being able to experience anything at all. As is, in your restaurant metaphor the current state of things makes it impossible for certain people to even experience the restaurant at all.

If your vision is one that inherently excludes certain people, that vision is flawed.
its different in the realm of video games since they're an interactive medium, and require the participation of the audience. But at the end of the day, everything is not going to be for everybody at all times. If you can't do QCF x2 quickly, you're gonna have a bad time playing Street Fighter V online. If you're colorblind, I imagine Ikagura isn't gonna be a pleasant experience. If your hand-eye coordination is bad, then you're gonna be putting in a lot of quarters from many deaths playing Time Crisis 2. But thats the game, and that's the experience the developers created. At some point, you have to step up to it and meet the work on its intended experience, not the creators trying to break that down into as many digestible bites as possible.
 

Ricelord

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,806
Gross.

The idea that in the year 2019 video game consumers are somehow unable to voice their opinions, or that developers are somehow insulated from the mass discussion of their work is literally insane.

You claim that somewhere, somehow, people's opinions on videogames are being silenced. You're posting this on a message board dedicated to debating videogames which runs 24-7-365, which you moderate.

You claim no one should "white knight" for game developers, when in reality should any developer venture online they risk confronting an endless toxic echo-chamber which will literally reach out and try to ruin their actual IRL lives should they land on the wrong side of whatever argument is being had.

Your point is muddled, since you seem to deride the impossibility of "artistic vision" in your personal work while upholding some nebulous "goal" of making things "enjoyable."

Strong artistic vision (be it from an individual or collective) is what gets you to the best works, in all mediums, always. Lack of artistic vision is what gets you Anthems.

Re: Sekiro, you're never getting an easy mode. And for the entitled consumers out there claiming this is somehow bad business, you need to understand that staying true to their artistic vision is precisely why From is financially successful. Not every consumer product is intended for every consumer.
should had been first post.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
I suggest you threadmark this. Most people will still not read it and bring up Sekiro, but you might get a few who understand the grand vast emptiness of the fucks you do not give about Sekiro
I am torn between that and using the realization that people are going to call this a stealth Sekiro thread thinking I have skin in the game to think up more clever descriptions of the black hole that is my interest in Sekiro and its difficulty.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,998
Canada
Gross.

The idea that in the year 2019 video game consumers are somehow unable to voice their opinions, or that developers are somehow insulated from the mass discussion of their work is literally insane.

You claim that somewhere, somehow, people's opinions on videogames are being silenced. You're posting this on a message board dedicated to debating videogames which runs 24-7-365, which you moderate.

You claim no one should "white knight" for game developers, when in reality should any developer venture online they risk confronting an endless toxic echo-chamber which will literally reach out and try to ruin their actual IRL lives should they land on the wrong side of whatever argument is being had.

Your point is muddled, since you seem to deride the impossibility of "artistic vision" in your personal work while upholding some nebulous "goal" of making things "enjoyable."

Strong artistic vision (be it from an individual or collective) is what gets you to the best works, in all mediums, always. Lack of artistic vision is what gets you Anthems.

Re: Sekiro, you're never getting an easy mode. And for the entitled consumers out there claiming this is somehow bad business, you need to understand that staying true to their artistic vision is precisely why From is financially successful. Not every consumer product is intended for every consumer.
This post is extremely thought out and written well. My thoughts on this whole subject exactly.
 

Zippo

Member
Dec 8, 2017
6,002
The perfect post. Wow. OP is out of touch and you nailed it, dude.
Any discussion about "vision" is silly and besides the point.

The only thing that matters is if something winds up being good.

There's examples of good things coming from one single leader. There's examples of good things coming from a group of people. There's examples of good things coming from developers listening to fans. There's examples of good things coming from developers not listening to fans.

Trying to come up with some sort of Grand Bargain which nails down "And So We Shall Decree That This Is Good And This Is Bad" is some navel gaze-y nonsense which ignores the fact that every instance is different.
What if the fans like those ideas and think those ideas are worth preserving? You seem to be operating on erroneous presupposition. The only reason I am interested in Miyazaki's "vision" is because I think it is worthwhile. The only reason I don't want his vision to be compromised is because I think it is FAR better than the alternative.

I criticize artists all day long. We all do. When people support a specific vision it is because they think that vision is inspired. We aren't automatons. People are coming to a conclusion.
Nailed it
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
its different in the realm of video games since they're an interactive medium, and require the participation of the audience. But at the end of the day, everything is not going to be for everybody at all times. If you can't do QCF x2 quickly, you're gonna have a bad time playing Street Fighter V online. If you're colorblind, I imagine Ikagura isn't gonna be a pleasant experience. If your hand-eye coordination is bad, then you're gonna be putting in a lot of quarters from many deaths playing Time Crisis 2. But thats the game, and that's the experience the developers created. At some point, you have to step up to it and meet the work on its intended experience, not the creators trying to break that down into as many digestible bites as possible.
This would be something I'd take more seriously if the number of experiences that didn't have a high barrier of entry for disabled people weren't disproportionately fewer than ones that do. That audience gets the minority of things, the half experience, the complete and utter lack of accommodation or consideration in a very high number of circumstances. And then when people say that they'd like that to change, they get "not every experience has to be for everybody".

It's not just a matter of "step up to it and meet the work". A person with cerebral palsy might have different ability to handle a controller than an abled person. People with autism process visual information differently. Then there's people with blindness, and on and on and on and on with myriad of examples. And frankly, disabled people are told that they need to work harder and prove themselves all the damn time in every day life, so why not stack it on top of their leisure activities?
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
Again, this isn't about difficulty and accessibility options.

It is about how the general belief in an uncompromising vision that cannot and should not be changed runs counter to the reality that art is made through some level of iteration and change on the road from idea to actual tangible product, and how I personally view the belief that using the "artist's vision" as a shield against criticism and fundamental disagreement with the art itself inherently insults and infantalizes artists.

That is the argument I'm a nutshell. Not how y'all love how difficult Sekiro is or how you admire Miyazaki as an auteur. You have plenty of threads to praise him in.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
Gross.

The idea that in the year 2019 video game consumers are somehow unable to voice their opinions, or that developers are somehow insulated from the mass discussion of their work is literally insane.

You claim that somewhere, somehow, people's opinions on videogames are being silenced. You're posting this on a message board dedicated to debating videogames which runs 24-7-365, which you moderate.

You claim no one should "white knight" for game developers, when in reality should any developer venture online they risk confronting an endless toxic echo-chamber which will literally reach out and try to ruin their actual IRL lives should they land on the wrong side of whatever argument is being had.

Your point is muddled, since you seem to deride the impossibility of "artistic vision" in your personal work while upholding some nebulous "goal" of making things "enjoyable."

Strong artistic vision (be it from an individual or collective) is what gets you to the best works, in all mediums, always. Lack of artistic vision is what gets you Anthems.

Re: Sekiro, you're never getting an easy mode. And for the entitled consumers out there claiming this is somehow bad business, you need to understand that staying true to their artistic vision is precisely why From is financially successful. Not every consumer product is intended for every consumer.
This is pretty much where I stand and I've worked in creative fields all my working life.
 

Modal Soul

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
I feel like people don't understand that pieces of art can flop. There is no guarantee that a piece of art will succeed, regardless of the brand or name attached to it. People care about the now, and not the gamble an artist makes when putting their work out in the open to the public (i.e. us the consumers in this case). And when that art that's been lauded in such positive light gets put underneath a microscope, people are uncomfortable because what they believe to be "objective" is actually just subjective.
 

Shpeshal Ed

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,458
Melbourne, Australia
When it comes to a videogame, the customer is paying money for a piece of entertainment.

Those customers shouldn't be discouraged from respectfully providing constructive criticism. Particularly in a world where games are easier than ever to change/update.
 

Blade Wolf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,083
Taiwan
Good post, but unfortunately, Sekiro is the studio's fastest selling game ever, and probably on its way to become the best selling one. The game's succes proves the opposite argument of the OP is true, that it's okay for devs to not listen to people's input. They chose to not include easy mode and it's well rewarded.
Why is it unfortunate that the game is doing great? What a weird, negative take.
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
There's a difference between legitimate criticism or requests for accommodation for the marginalized and the frothing masses of gamergaters. Games don't become immune to criticism once people decide they're on the right side. Look at Red Dead Redemption; it got tons of acclaim like Sekiro, but the fact remains that there were multiple issues with the production and Rockstar's treatment of its workers.

But they had a vision, right? A certain quality that they wanted to shoot for. That totally makes what they did okay, right? People who want to give all that criticism are unreasonable.

Yes, artists should be allowed to defend their work, but as long as there are problems with how companies treat their work force, or portions of the audience's needs who aren't being met, or a myriad other things, people should be allowed to make themselves heard. Selling great, getting lots of acclaim or whatever else aren't get out of jail free cards. Things can be innovative or progressive in some ways and deficient in others.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
personally view the belief that using the "artist's vision" as a shield against criticism and fundamental disagreement with the art itself inherently insults and infantalizes artists.
Whereas the idea that the consumer or user should have direct and equal say of how an artist, developer or creative should tailor their work to what they feel is better, despite knowing little of the process or understanding behind that original vision, is equally as insulting.

Criticism is free and plentiful in any creative field. Not bowing to it and retaining a sense of what you originally set out to achieve (often boiled down to the 'artists vision') while acknowledging critique or disagreement is part and parcel of great design.

There's a reason "design by committee" is such a spurned phrase and concept because at it's heart it places the opinions of the many, of those who are not in the profession of that which they aim to direct, in equal or higher weight than that of the creative.

People are free to give their criticism in spades, and they do. This is a good thing and I don't see any indication that this is in danger of being stopped. A creative deciding not to act on that criticism in favour of producing something in line with their original intent and idea isn't inherently negative and to say as much isn't a bad thing.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
Whereas the idea that the consumer or user should have direct and equal say of how an artist, developer or creative should tailor their work to what they feel is better, despite knowing little of the process or understanding behind that original vision, is equally as insulting.
That isn't my argument. Don't mistake my dismissal for this kind of typical gamer rhetoric for a belief that the audience in turn is infallible.

My argument is that the conversations that have intrinsically and overtly occurred between an artist and their audiences since art was, like, a thing, should be allowed to continue to exist uninhibited without discontented audience members being morally browbeat by the idea that their very criticism somehow infringes upon the artists' agency because "our vision" is somehow inherently always sacred or always worth preserving.

I've made collaborative works. I've been critiqued before. I've done the critiquing. I've gone through the emotional gamut of making something dear to me. I've been there. And I will tell you that visions and ideas are fleeting in the face of experimentation, time, problem solving, and your computer just fucking breaking and erasing weeks of worth. I throw shit out in a heartbeat and I make an effort not to get attached to any one thing. If I want to change something because I think it makes my work better then I will, and it doesn't matter if the impetus for that change came from an audience member. So when I see gamers doing the literal opposite of how I work- getting so attached to my "vision" because for some reason they believe it to be beyond reproach, it honestly disgusts me. It puts me off. It makes me not want gamers as an audience because I don't believe them to have a healthy mindset (which sucks for me because I dabble in Overwatch fanart ahyuck.)

My ultimate belief. Allow audience members to make their arguments, and allow artists to receive them however they choose, whether that mean acceptance or rejection.

You know, make an actual space for free speech to function. Let it all fly, I say. It's the only way art and media gets better, not by deference to me as an artist just because I make art. Nonsense. My ideas and visions aren't perfect and y'all should let go of that nonsensical notion.

Basically, don't get in the fucking way of my audience. Let them speak freely. And let me defend myself if I feel the need to. If I ever make something and someone points out I made a flaw or even something offensive, and you come in swinging about how "Nepenthe's vision should be preserved!!!" I'll hit you over the head with Slugger of Rhetoric. I'm not special because I make art, so don't treat me like it.
 
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Dragon's Game

Alt account
Banned
Apr 1, 2019
1,624
Again, this isn't about difficulty and accessibility options.

It is about how the general belief in an uncompromising vision that cannot and should not be changed runs counter to the reality that art is made through some level of iteration and change on the road from idea to actual tangible product, and how I personally view the belief that using the "artist's vision" as a shield against criticism and fundamental disagreement with the art itself inherently insults and infantalizes artists.

That is the argument I'm a nutshell. Not how y'all love how difficult Sekiro is or how you admire Miyazaki as an auteur. You have plenty of threads to praise him in.
but i feel like you can be dissapointed in a decision of a game, or disappointed in a developer for doing something, but that shouldn't go towards criticism of the game in itself

Say GTA 6 has 3 white male protagonists, you can be dissapointed in that decision, disappointed in Rockstar for going that route, but that can't be used as the pure direct criticism of the game . I feel we have to make this distinction.

I don't remember 100 percent, and its possible that I am totally wrong here, but i recall reading a review of GTA V that said something of "there should of been a female protagonist" i feel like criticism based on what's "not there" again is just an odd decision. almost like you can't prove a negative. Criticism should be focused on how the contents within the game are interpreted or executed and not what "should" be there or not be there
 

Blade Wolf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,083
Taiwan
As an artist, all I'm saying is don't get in the fucking way of my audience. I really don't need you to do that.
That's great, but say you're making a puzzle game and a few people complain about the puzzles being too hard. Do you simply just add a new mode with super easy puzzles?

But the puzzles won't be the same that way, and the experience won't be the same. Some artists are okay with that, some are not.

Of course you would be okay with that, which is great, but it's also okay for some artists to not do that and stick to the puzzles they want to make.

Making a puzzle is harder than people think by the way, lots of time and energy are put into it.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
My argument is that the conversations that have intrinsically or overtly occurred between an artist and their audiences since art was, like, a thing, should be allowed to continue to exist uninhibited without discontented audience members being browbeat by the idea that their very criticism somehow infringes upon the artists' agency.

Allow audience members to make their arguments. Allow artists to receive them however they choose, whether that mean acceptance or rejection. You know, make an actual space for free speech to function.
I can't disagree with that but then I'm not seeing how this is in danger of being stopped, and people being unable to voice their opinions on a product in an open forum.

It's just that the other side is free to disagree and contest that point by acknowledging that just because the many believe something to be the better course, that it doesn't make it so.

A space for free speech to function includes the ability to disagree and debate points, as you yourself are doing with this topic.

If you want a through-route to a discussion with the developer themselves then a more private means of communicating should be sought.

When putting out thoughts on a public forum as opposed to directly communicating with the developer, I don't think we should aim to prevent people from posting their opinions against those thoughts. At least outside of occasions where said opinions harm or offend other users of course.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
I feel like that sentence does a better job of expressing the point you're trying to make than the OP, no disrespect but sometimes a wall of text isn't the best way to communicate a thought; people don't like reading.
I don't see how it is getting in the way of the artist and their audience though.

We aren't talking about an email conversation between an artist and a member of the audience, we're talking about posts on a public enthusiast forum.

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.
 

LuckyLinus

Member
Jun 1, 2018
1,230
The artist is free to have their vision and the world is free to critique it.

Some people just have any issue being respectful or truthful when they get their opinions across. They ridicule the other side, they twist their arguments or even make them up.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
That's great, but say you're making a puzzle game and a few people complain about the puzzles being too hard. Do you simply just add a new mode with super easy puzzles?
If I'm attached to the direction and don't want to renege on it, I wouldn't add a new mode. I'd just take the criticism and put a pin in it. If I thought my audience's argument had merit, then I'd relent and add a mode. It's my work; I do what I would like with it.

But my inability to commit to an answer is the point. The puzzle game is not automatically beyond the idea of change just because I'm an artist. Maybe it could stand to change, maybe it couldn't. But to say "No! It cannot change! It's the artist's vision!" before the conversation is had and the thoughts are mulled over is, to me, utterly stupid, and limits the possibilities of what could be done with it. I want to make the best work I can make in my life. I can't do that without ever changing anything.

I feel like that sentence does a better job of expressing the point you're trying to make than the OP, no disrespect but sometimes a wall of text isn't the best way to communicate a thought; people don't like reading.
I expect a forum full of adults to read before responding. If you can't do that, don't come at me swinging. You will miss.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,479
U.S.
I don't see how it is getting in the way of the artist and their audience though.

We aren't talking about an email conversation between an artist and a member of the audience, we're talking about posts on a public enthusiast forum.

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.
I'm not really saying it's a good point, or a significant point, just that it more clearly represents their belief than the OP. I can't really relate, the only criticism I'm used to is directly from other artists.
I expect a forum full of adults to read before responding. If you can't do that, don't come at me swinging. You will miss.
*internal screaming*
Hey I read it ok, but most of these comments are completely missing the point.
 

Blade Wolf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,083
Taiwan
If I'm attached to the direction and don't want to renege on it, I wouldn't add a new mode. I'd just take the criticism and put a pin in it. If I thought my audience's argument had merit, then I'd relent and add a mode. It's my work; I do what I would like with it.

But my inability to commit to an answer is the point. The puzzle game is not automatically beyond the idea of change just because I'm an artist. Maybe it could stand to change, maybe it couldn't. But to say "No! It cannot change! It's the artist's vision!" is, to me, stupid, and limits the possibilities of what could be done with it. I want to make the best work I can make in my life. I can't do that without ever changing anything.
That's awesome, I totally understand and agree.
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
I don't see how it is getting in the way of the artist and their audience though.

We aren't talking about an email conversation between an artist and a member of the audience, we're talking about posts on a public enthusiast forum.

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.
It is extraordinarily hard to have a personal conversation with the producer of a widely released work.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
It is extraordinarily hard to have a personal conversation with the producer of a widely released medium.
Sure, but that doesn't really change anything about my post, especially:

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.

The post is about people on a public forum and how they sometimes discuss public criticism for games.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
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Oct 25, 2017
6,467
It is extraordinarily hard to have a personal conversation with the producer of a widely released work.
What are you talking about? I talk to Jeff Kaplan all the time.

It's why Lucio doesn't have a short yet. Apparently I'm "annoying" or something.

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.
Because this isn't about all disagreement. It's specifically about a specific appeal to authority.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
What are you talking about? I talk to Jeff Kaplan all the time.

It's why Lucio doesn't have a short yet. Apparently I'm "annoying" or something.
For someone saying that off-hand dismissal of feedback given to someone is a bad thing, this is a bizarre way of indirectly dismissing my post.

For which the crux was:

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.

As you claim people disagreeing with others criticism of a product and invoking artists vision somehow comes between an artist and their reading of said criticism.
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
Sure, but that doesn't really change anything about my post, especially:

I'm not sure how people disagreeing with posts prevents the artist from reading the opinions of the audience, nor why the side disagreeing is any less a part of that same audience.

The post is about people on a public forum and how they sometimes discuss public criticism for games.
It can have a huge impact when developers come into read a discussion about criticism and find little that encourages discussion and sharing of ideas, and statements that compare dissent with aspects of to entitlement or hate groups like gamergate. Yeah, you're acknowledging people are saying things, but it's not really a fair or equal sided discussion.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,352
I think the artist vision is important, but it shouldn't be enough to justify some choices.
In the end the artist should have the freedom to do what he wants, as long its is something legal, but he shouldn't be protected from criticism because of this freedom.
 
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Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
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Oct 25, 2017
6,467
For someone saying that off-hand dismissal of feedback given to someone is a bad thing, this is a bizarre way of indirectly dismissing my post.
I don't think off-hand dismissal of feedback is a bad thing, or at least that's a uselessly broad reading of my point. As I edited in above, I'm talking about gamers' habitual use of appealing to the authority of an artist to dismiss contentious feedback from the audience. I made this thread because, from the point-of-view of an artist that has been there, done that, I don't find the use of "vision" as a compelling reason to not change something specifically because an "artist's vision" is inherently the result of iterative change and the tossing of ideas in the first place. There isn't a single game, movie, comic, or anything else that went from imagination to product in one perfect stroke. You have to change things. You have to experiment. And even then, sometimes the audience has a better idea (such as when I and others told Blizzard to make Lucio speak Portuguese. You're welcome.) So when gamers are insistent that things cannot be changed because the "vision" must remain intact, it literally runs counter to my very emotional core and professional experience as an artist in collaborative environments.

So like. Stop doing that. Defend our work in ways that make actual reference to the work's merits, not just the fact that we made it.
 
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Amanita

Member
Oct 27, 2017
84
You're right that artistic visions aren't always worthwhile. Sometimes they are truly worthless. But when they're worthwhile, they're worth defending.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
I don't think off-hand dismissal of feedback is a bad thing, or at least that's a uselessly broad reading of my point. As I edited in above, I'm talking about gamers' habitual use of appealing to the authority of an artist to dismiss contentious feedback from the audience. I made this thread because, from the point-of-view of an artist that has been there, done that, I don't find the use of "vision" as a compelling reason to not change something specifically because an "artist's vision" is the result of iterative change and the tossing of ideas.
I've worked in creative fields with extensive user feedback all my working life, so my point of view and line of discussion comes from a similar place too.

I don't think someone blurting out "but the vision" is worth anything, don't get me wrong, but it's the same level as someone saying "game is shit" and equally poor posts that few take as valid contributions. I think it's possible to invoke "artistic vision" in a coherent argument against some criticisms and think many - who are discussing in good faith - do. If you're just highlighting how shit some of the more shit posts can be while using the term than I don't disagree that they're worthless for both discussion and feedback.

Reading some of your other recent posts this is the most distilled I've seen the argument (and apologies if I've missed the same line prior):
The puzzle game is not automatically beyond the idea of change just because I'm an artist.
Which seems such an obvious statement to make that you'd have thought (and perhaps I've incorrectly assumed) that anyone looking to discuss in good faith wouldn't be relying solely on that and that alone in their posts.

To which am I right in thinking that your primary point is people using that as their sole argument in an effort to just blanket snuff out criticism should be warned or somehow otherwise discouraged from doing so? If that's the case then it's hard to disagree with, but I don't see that as something special to the point of "artistic vision" more that that's the phrase idiots use to shut down discussion in those topics, in place of whatever phrase they use in others.
 
OP
OP
Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
I don't think someone blurting out "but the vision" is worth anything, don't get me wrong, but it's the same level as someone saying "game is shit" and equally poor posts that little take as valid contributions.
I take more umbrage with gamers talking about "the artist's vision" as a defense than I do with them insulting a work like that because they're effectively speaking on behalf of artists. As I noted in the spoiler, a lot of what I see on this front isn't in good faith anyway and is usually made in an attempt solely to defend problematic content. It's disingenuous. I don't like the idea of being a shield, because I don't like shielding myself and my work from reasonable critiques. I also don't like the implication that my vision needs protecting. That's for me to decide; not you. So yeah, I would much rather you tell me my drawing is shit then to defend my drawing on the basis that it's good simply because I made it a certain way, especially if you know diddly-squat about my ongoing thoughts, attachments, and artistic processes. Don't speak for me.

To which am I right in thinking that your primary point is people using that as their sole argument in an effort to just blanket snuff out criticism should be warned or somehow otherwise discouraged from doing so?
Whether or not it's their sole argument is irrelevant. Again, I don't like the idea of gamers speaking for the artist in an effort to defend a work in general whether they are or are not conducting the argument in good faith or are doing it in specific circumstances. I think a work should be able to stand on its own merits and in the context of broader sociopolitical lenses and environments, and the moment you point to an artist's vision as a shield, to me you've failed somewhere in your critique.
 

Veelk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,999
So like. Stop doing that. Defend our work in ways that make actual reference to the work's merits, not just the fact that we made it.
The funny thing is, to truly defeat this argument, all you have to do is cite a few works that they don't like for whatever reason.

Before this thread popped up earlier today, I had a conversation about this on discord, and I pointed out that people who defend sexual objectification and exploitation use the same "IT'S MY ARTISTIC VISION, DON'T CENSOR". To which the person I was arguing with said that wasn't the same thing as real artistic visions like Sekiro's difficulty being used to instill feelings of accomplishment. So then I pointed out that this argument is also technically valid if a racist bigot wanted to create a dehumanizing depiction of minorities, since he would also have a vision he would be trying to instill into an audience, but then that also didn't count because that person is malicious, and apparently malicious people are somehow incapable of artistic visions. So I decided to use an innocuous examples of Jar Jar Binks, who an usual failure of artistic intent, as that character actually did what he was designed to do (be entertaining to little kids). But we all know the story of Jar Jar's critical reception, even though he was an explicit part of Lucas' vision and even succeed in it's intended role.

There are endless examples are nearly universally panned games, movies, books or individual design decisions that are clearly stupid and bad and should not have been made. Tommy Wiseau's the Room. Kojima and his idiotic "breathes through her skin" narrative. The shitty, toxic garbage like Rapelay on Steam. But you don't even need to go to these extremes. What is the Last Jedi if not a meticulously crafted Auteur project, yet there is no shortage of people who rebel at the entire movie because they disagree with it's artistic vision. And yet, even as frustrating and tiresome as discussions around the Last Jedi have become, no one that I can recall disputed Rian Johnson's artistic vision in terms of him being allowed to make it, as an artist, because the debate is never about whether Rian Johnson should be allowed to write star wars how he wants, just that the way he did write it was questionable in their eyes, then then they bring the reasons why they feel that way. As crappy as the discussion around TLJ, it's atleast consistently about the quality of the writing decisions that were made, not the artistic freedom to make them.

Honestly, if scrutinized across all art, I think you'd find people backing off the "artistic vision" worship pretty fast. Artistic vision is only a valid defense when they like the particular art being discussed. It crumbles pretty fast when you bring in either Jar Jar or TLJ into the mix (depending what kind of fan they are). One you do, you'll generally get them to admit "Yeah, X was a really poor decision to make, they should have instead-" and whoops, suddenly artistic visions don't count for as much anymore.
 

N. Tyranno

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,335
The funny thing is, to truly defeat this argument, all you have to do is cite a few works that they don't like for whatever reason.

Before this thread popped up earlier today, I had a conversation about this on discord, and I pointed out that people who defend sexual objectification and exploitation use the same "IT'S MY ARTISTIC VISION, DON'T CENSOR". To which the person I was arguing with said that wasn't the same thing as real artistic visions like Sekiro's difficulty being used to instill feelings of accomplishment. So then I pointed out that this argument is also technically valid if a racist bigot wanted to create a dehumanizing depiction of minorities, since he would also have a vision he would be trying to instill into an audience, but then that also didn't count because that person is malicious, and apparently malicious people are somehow incapable of artistic visions. So I decided to use an innocuous examples of Jar Jar Binks, who an usual failure of artistic intent, as that character actually did what he was designed to do (be entertaining to little kids). But we all know the story of Jar Jar's critical reception, even though he was an explicit part of Lucas' vision and even succeed in it's intended role.

There are endless examples are nearly universally panned games, movies, books or individual design decisions that are clearly stupid and bad and should not have been made. Tommy Wiseau's the Room. Kojima and his idiotic "breathes through her skin" narrative. The shitty, toxic garbage like Rapelay on Steam. But you don't even need to go to these extremes. What is the Last Jedi if not a meticulously crafted Auteur project, yet there is no shortage of people who rebel at the entire movie because they disagree with it's artistic vision. And yet, even as frustrating and tiresome as discussions around the Last Jedi have become, no one that I can recall disputed Rian Johnson's artistic vision in terms of him being allowed to make it, as an artist.

Honestly, if scrutinized across all art, I think you'd find people backing off the "artistic vision" worship pretty fast. Artistic vision is only a valid defense when they like the particular art being discussed. It crumbles pretty fast when you bring in either Jar Jar or TLJ into the mix (depending what kind of fan they are). One you do, you'll generally get them to admit "Yeah, X was a really poor decision to make, they should have instead-" and whoops, suddenly artistic visions don't count for as much anymore.
But don't you get it? Those examples are different. George Lucas is a "hack", and Miyazaki is an "auteur".
 

L4DANathan

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
673
Fairfax, VA, USA
OP, this touches strongly on the topic of debate about the quality of games (or really, any art) and how people handwave away comments about the quality as "just your opinion" and whatnot. The discussion of whether something is good or bad CAN be had somewhat objectively from the perspective of human psychology and many of your points regarding the goal of the creator while making it versus the goal that is impressed upon the consumer by the art itself.

In the cosmological sense, the art has no inherent goal, but when viewed through human eyes certain things do have an inherent meaning regardless of the creator's intent. Learning about rhetoric let's you understand how people's words impact how you think of them and what they're talking about, learning about how movies are edited or shot let's you understand how scenes without words or even human presence can evoke emotion, and learning about music theory let's you understand how your favorite songs are structured let's you do the same for them. I have a favorite xkcd comic which is relevant:

I think an appropriate addition to that saying would be "Art is just applied sociology." Once the art leaves the hands of the creator, it is no longer judged by the creator's standards, it's judged by how many people it can reach and its impact on the consumers. This applies even outside of a capitalistic standpoint as well, even if it is the single most beautiful thing one person has ever seen, the point of the very act of releasing the art is for it to be consumed. As a result, once it's released, the "objective" merit of the art is in how the art signifies its own goal, and how the aforementioned methods (being rhetoric, editing, structure, etc.) are used to enhance said goal.

That's not to say that every little aspect of art can be picked apart that way, once you hit a certain level of specificity, individual opinions that can vary wildly do start to kick in (carry weights in video games are the worst mechanic and have never been done well, ever. Don't @ me), but general structure can have a fairly objective discussion regarding its effectiveness. Ultimately, I'd say the structure of any art is akin to this essay I've written, the author needs to establish WITHIN THE ART what the goal of it is, then proceed to use the tools at their disposal to illustrate that goal (pun fully intended), and tie it all together.

By skipping reading it, you cheated both the author and yourself.
 
OP
OP
Nepenthe

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,467
The funny thing is, to truly defeat this argument, all you have to do is cite a few works that they don't like for whatever reason.
Basically.

I caused people to short-circuit regarding Overwatch's representation issues when they used the "artist's vision!!!" as an argument by simply saying "Y'all got Hanzo's beard changed without saying a thing about how sacred that ugly-ass grey color was."
 

Modal Soul

Member
Oct 27, 2017
103
The funny thing is, to truly defeat this argument, all you have to do is cite a few works that they don't like for whatever reason.

Before this thread popped up earlier today, I had a conversation about this on discord, and I pointed out that people who defend sexual objectification and exploitation use the same "IT'S MY ARTISTIC VISION, DON'T CENSOR". To which the person I was arguing with said that wasn't the same thing as real artistic visions like Sekiro's difficulty being used to instill feelings of accomplishment. So then I pointed out that this argument is also technically valid if a racist bigot wanted to create a dehumanizing depiction of minorities, since he would also have a vision he would be trying to instill into an audience, but then that also didn't count because that person is malicious, and apparently malicious people are somehow incapable of artistic visions. So I decided to use an innocuous examples of Jar Jar Binks, who an usual failure of artistic intent, as that character actually did what he was designed to do (be entertaining to little kids). But we all know the story of Jar Jar's critical reception, even though he was an explicit part of Lucas' vision and even succeed in it's intended role.

There are endless examples are nearly universally panned games, movies, books or individual design decisions that are clearly stupid and bad and should not have been made. Tommy Wiseau's the Room. Kojima and his idiotic "breathes through her skin" narrative. The shitty, toxic garbage like Rapelay on Steam. But you don't even need to go to these extremes. What is the Last Jedi if not a meticulously crafted Auteur project, yet there is no shortage of people who rebel at the entire movie because they disagree with it's artistic vision. And yet, even as frustrating and tiresome as discussions around the Last Jedi have become, no one that I can recall disputed Rian Johnson's artistic vision in terms of him being allowed to make it, as an artist, because the debate is never about whether Rian Johnson should be allowed to write star wars how he wants, just that the way he did write it was questionable in their eyes, then then they bring the reasons why they feel that way. As crappy as the discussion around TLJ, it's atleast consistently about the quality of the writing decisions that were made, not the artistic freedom to make them.

Honestly, if scrutinized across all art, I think you'd find people backing off the "artistic vision" worship pretty fast. Artistic vision is only a valid defense when they like the particular art being discussed. It crumbles pretty fast when you bring in either Jar Jar or TLJ into the mix (depending what kind of fan they are). One you do, you'll generally get them to admit "Yeah, X was a really poor decision to make, they should have instead-" and whoops, suddenly artistic visions don't count for as much anymore.
Basically. "I like this piece of a medium, but don't you dare try and convey the reasons why you think it may be lacking or else you'll be encroaching on the artist's vision." Like...that's such a non-sequitur.
 

Veelk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,999
Basically.

I caused people to short-circuit regarding Overwatch's representation issues when they used the "artist's vision!!!" as an argument by simply saying "Y'all got Hanzo's beard changed without saying a thing about how sacred that ugly-ass grey color was."
Off topic, but I still have no idea how that happened. "Wow, our fans REALLY like this Hanzo skin we made for the comic and they want it in game as part of the winter event....Lets change his face before we do tho." Why?
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,609
I take more umbrage with gamers talking about "the artist's vision" as a defense than I do with them insulting a work like that because they're effectively speaking on behalf of artists. As I noted in the spoiler, a lot of what I see on this front isn't in good faith anyway and is usually made in an attempt solely to defend problematic content. It's disingenuous. I don't like the idea of being a shield, because I don't like shielding myself and my work from reasonable critiques. I also don't like the implication that my vision needs protecting. That's for me to decide; not you. So yeah, I would much rather you tell me my drawing is shit then to defend my drawing on the basis that it's good simply because I made it a certain way, especially if you know diddly-squat about my ongoing thoughts, attachments, and artistic processes. Don't speak for me.


Whether or not it's their sole argument is irrelevant. Again, I don't like the idea of gamers speaking for the artist in an effort to defend a work in general whether they are or are not conducting the argument in good faith or are doing it in specific circumstances. I think a work should be able to stand on its own merits and in the context of broader sociopolitical lenses and environments, and the moment you point to an artist's vision as a shield, to me you've failed somewhere in your critique.
Thank you for taking the time to discuss and elaborate on this with me. The above really expounds your position in a way I didn't fully get before. Which is likely due to me having misread or taken the wrong angle from your other posts alongside having not fully thought out my own position on it. So apologies as I know that can be frustrating, it's somewhat embarrassing that you managed to articulate and pinpoint my own opinion better than I had until now.

We effectively share the same opinion but yours was more succinct than mine. I'd been suggesting that it's alright when used in conjunction with detailed criticism without appreciating how redundant that makes the phrase in turn. Your points on the blunt feedback still having more value are true and obvious in hindsight even when thinking back to how you account for it as an artist. Someone saying it's shit is still acknowledged as negative feedback where 'but artistic vision' would be meaningless, and only ever used to dismiss criticism as there's no point in ever saying it to the artist themselves.

Anyway, that last post is a great one. Highlighted both the pointlessness of the phrase and that I should probably consider my own position more before wading into a discussion at 6am after being up all night with jetlag.