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Robert Plante
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One thing that we learned in Theory of Knowledge (TOK for those IBers reading) is that can we really know the truth? I mean sure, we can say something is the truth, and we can have many people agree that it is the truth, but there is no way to know with absolute certainty, without a shadow of a doubt, that what we believe is actually the truth. For all we really know the world came into existence 10 minutes ago and everything that we believe to be our memories are artificial constructs placed within our mind to make us believe that the world has been around for longer. Reading up on the different types of logical fallacies that there are can really make you rethink how you think. Appeal to authority, straw man, appeal to popularity, ad hominem, etc. There's a really good list of them and their descriptions here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ (helps you break through the bs of politics too ^_^).
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2011 on Your Brain is Not So Smart at Strange Design
I literally just read the MDA the other day because we are deconstructing games for my Game Criticism and Analysis class. But you're right, the fact of the matter is game designers are not necessarily focused on the mechanics first, then the dynamics, then the aesthetics. As you pointed out that doesn't quite work right since without an idea of what the product is to look like finished, how can one start? Basically it is both more compelling and productive to establish the overall play experience that we would like to provide and then go both ways from there (mechanics polish). At least in our class we pretty much start with the dynamics (or play experience really) and branch off to mechanics and polish from there.
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Sep 20, 2011