uuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUAHAHHHHHHHHH: Good v Bad and questions I have

everythingstaken's picture

Great Opinion and Speculation also Introspection, no Questions are Answered, only Asked:

So, I have been making, like, 3-4 games for the past few months and haven't really released anything because I'm not using the "gusto" that is required to be a glorioustrainwrecker. But, is gusto related to speed? I think it is. Speed shows confidence. It seems ironic or coincidental (lol) that I am nervous about making a trainwreck. Is this going to be a so good it's bad trainwreck or a so bad it's good one or is it going to be a it's a bad BAD trainwreck. What is good and bad?

"It's all in the eye of the beholder", lol, what a cliche, but (let's get back to the point) we all know what is culturally "good" and culturally "bad". Because I am making games on this site, you the reader is probably making games on this site, we are aware, yes, this is where bad/good things should be, this is the house in which trainwrecks sleep, this is the context of the things we are making and the house gives us that context. This context is what separates "genuine failure" from what happens here. Does this box limit us? It is freeing and limiting at the same time. One side says everything bad that you do will be in the context of "it's supposed to be bad", so nothing is bad. On another side if you do something good will it be good? Depends on the context, what is good? Will genuine good weaken intended bad? Will unintended bad weaken intended bad? What is good on www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com and what is good outside of www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com? Are they the same good? Is good outside of www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com good on www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com?

It seems "good" on www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com is usually "bad". "Bad" comes in several different forms. One form is a self aware "stupid" (when the game is disguised as if the person making the game is not aware of the cultural mainstream of what "good" games are) I.E. games in the Mr. Cat series. Another form is a clear parody of a mainstream trope I.E. games by sylvie and jams like the Flappy Bird Jam. The third kind is an "I don't care attitude" I.E. Klik of the Month Klub games. These different perspectives for the makers of "good" on www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com can and usually are mixed at different levels to create interest.

Do "bad" games have to be jokes to be good. Are "bad" games with "intended badness" automatically jokes. Should everything that is "bad" be laughed at? Are there "serious" and "bad" games on this site or elsewhere? Why don't my hotlinks to www.theglorioustrainwrecks.com work?


Johny L.'s picture

What the hell

What the hell

everythingstaken's picture

Yeah, I'm going real deep on

Yeah, I'm going real deep on this dev diary. 8-)

sergiocornaga's picture

I find my own taste strange

I find my own taste strange and dubious, as/hence conventional cultural notions of good and bad mean little to me. Many of the games posted here exceed those found elsewhere in the areas of 'charm' (e.g. the hand drawn graphics of thecatamites' marker games or Putt-Putt Saves the Stew) and 'cuteness' (e.g. You are a Blob! or virtually any sylvie game) which are attributes I personally seem to value.

While I've thought about the distinctions you mention, it's rarely been a factor in my decision to post games to the site. Many of my submissions here may not be trainwrecks! I usually just hoped the proper vibe would organically emerge out of having a short development period. I've definitely been guilty of judging games here based on their unintended/intended badness ratios, though...

everythingstaken's picture

True, I think one of the

True, I think one of the biggest point of why I have gravitated here is the "charm" factor. Whatever contributes to that factor to me I think comes from various sources, inspirations, and motives, but it seems to be a unifying theme.

I have just been thinking the people here are inspired by things that are bad unintentionally, or that is where the root is. What is it when someone is inspired by something "bad" and it is "bad"? I don't think that makes said game a failure by default, there are just different things to appreciate.

spiral's picture

I've thought about this for more than three years

If ya ask me, GT isn't about trying to be 'bad' or 'bad as a joke' or 'so bad it's good' or anything like that. People can totally do those things if they want, an that's cool. But the heart of GT to me is that there is no shame in what something you make is like! Making a game by yourself is very personal, and high production qualities are both expensive (in various meanings) and not often desired regardless. You should make what you want to make. Things can be good without having to be ironic or an intentional joke or whatever, they just gotta be the thing you wanted to make. And that's good.

Generally, opinions of what makes a 'good game' is very slanted. Look at the opposite of Glorious Trainwrecks - Tigsource. There's certainly games that get seen as good there, but often ones that have a high production quality. Not in ideas or intentions but in the visual surface. There's nothing wrong with that, and aesthetics are very good, but the games industry at large, and much of games creation around smaller places like Tigsource as a result, is focused on nothing but high visual production quality.

I feel this is part of what contributes to feeling shame for making games that are not "good". For a long time I've felt bad and conflicted about trying to release things that were intentionally shy of high production, because what's the point of working on hi-fi cool graphics when I can slap around some lo-fi clipart and re-arrange it to make something new in minutes? It goes with what I'm doing in the first place, if you've played most any of my games.

The thing is what we center around making something as bad or good tends to be a kneejerk uncritical reaction to the sound or look of something, a quick judge on the screenshot showing it off or the first song or whatever. It's hard to get over that but you just gotta keep making it and putting it out and see what happens. My first album (2011) I felt bad about not even a week after releasing it, and I still don't like a lot of it. Compare that to my second album (2014), which I've listened to many times over while working on and enjoy pretty much all of it. There's a a lot of lo-fi on it but I'm going for sounds that are interesting, the production quality isn't so important to me. It worked out!!

Good or bad is something up to you, the person experiencing it, generally. But it's important to realize that most anything you see? The person making it probably thinks it's good, or doesn't like it, or is conflicted between it being good or bad. That's just the tip of what's interesting or not about any media, though. Question why something is bad or good to you. Question why you think your own games are bad or good. Question the values you've learned to focus on for how to judge bad or good.

everythingstaken's picture

"Look at the opposite of

"Look at the opposite of Glorious Trainwrecks - Tigsource." I think just reading that answered all of my questions in a way that shows what is going on here. That's basically why I became disinterested in that community as a whole. As much as I dig graphics that isn't why I like games. I'm just surprised that that's what Tigsource has become, and I guess always was in a way. I'm not saying all of their games are superficial, but a good majority of them are or are just circle-jerks. It feels like with the success of all the games that came out of that kinda community people just want to have a cash grab and that's it.

jan_strach's picture

Amen! I am not god at

Amen! I am not god at phrasing my thoughts but you hit the nail on the head for me. It is about not being ashamed - everyone is supportive of everything and that is how creativity thrives - usually people are very critical of themselves and unjustly compare their creations to the high-end products that we see on many indie gaming pages. But here, you can show it with pride. It makes making things fun again, instead of endlessly sweating wondering if it is "good enough". There is no "good enough" here on glorious trainwrecks. Everything is equally good and gets equal exposure and that is fantastic.

everythingstaken's picture

You all are great. I really

You all are great. I really wish I had found out about you guys and this sort of mindset when I was in high school, it would have been very positive for me. Maybe I wouldn't have understood it then, but I do now and I feel at home. I hope y'all accept me as I have felt accepted into this community.

to me the characteristic of

to me the characteristic of GT lays not in the kind of games posted here, but in the infinite, forgiveful kindness of the feedback posted by the users. The lack of serious competition, and the courtesy in all the written exchanges (be them directly related to games or not) also plays a part in creating this charming, peaceful atmosphere that helps creativity flourish.
I don't really care about what is a Trainwreck or not.

This is what has inspired the mood of the game I made for mno last christmas "true.love". My games often have a sarcastic tone to them, but there I tried to just do a genuinly nice game for mno.

However, I tend to post on GT the "less serious" of my games, the ones that tend (or try) to be "funnier" or the games that are more like "real videogames", and to keep my own website for creations that are more serious, or meant for a broader audience (people who don't play videogames at all).

everythingstaken's picture

I like the idea that there

I like the idea that there is no competition and how there aren't really competitions here, but jams instead.

Danni's picture

It's actually kinda

It's actually kinda interesting. If you look through the list of games I've made for this site you'll notice that most of the old games I've made have been centered around this sort of idea of "badness" - that is, ironic use of Klipart, and game mechanics played for laughs. However, with the release of Grumper I made a pretty big shift away from that. I think in my earlier years I tried to hide my true self in the name of trying to fit in. My time on the Internet has certainly conditioned me to be like this. Eventually I saw fit to open up a little, soften up and switch tracks to making more honest, legitimate attempts at personal games.

everythingstaken's picture

Do you think making ironic

Do you think making ironic games wasn't honest for you personally? I think a lot of the more ironic games featured here or ones with more humorous tones are very unique.