Originally Posted by mogonk
Film-making is a fantastic comparison. It's high budget, high risk, it has an enormous amount of people working on it but a limited number of people in positions with real creative control. And ultimately, its purpose is ambiguous. Is it just there to entertain us for 2 hours? Or can it change us? Can it reveal the world to us in new and exciting way? Can it create worlds of its own?
Let's say there's a filmmaker who makes a film that he believe in, that has a clear artistic vision, but that is not completely transparent thematically and involves motifs that bother some audience members. Let's say he releases that film. Voila, we have Taxi Driver.
Let's say that same filmmaker produces a film, but then consults a focus group. He finds that 20% of every focus group has no idea what he's trying to do, and 30% of every focus group loathes the film because of its content. So he excises the portions that offend people and changes the ending to wrap up all the loose ends in a nice little bow. Iterate that process a few hundred times as people learn from "repeatable techniques" and you wind up with premasticated garbage. Iterating the process to make a "good" game 1,000 times doesn't yield a "great" game. It yields mediocrity. If the best possible film can only be understood by half the people who watch it, so be it. If the best possible game involves a high burden of knowledge, too **** bad.
The fact that game design is more "analytical" than filmmaking doesn't mean that it has to be approached with the soulless practicality of designing an engine.
Do you know the origin of combos in fighting games? Where it began? In Street Fighter, players discovered a glitch which allowed guaranteed hits during the recovery frames of certain moves. They discovered that these guaranteed hits could lead to more guaranteed hits, and so on. The game that people played had only a tangential relationship to the game that was intended. It was ludicrously unbalanced, as the central mechanic of the game as it was played was never even addressed in balancing. But it was beautiful. It became the core mechanic not merely of one game, but an entire genre.
If something like that was found in League, you would "fix" it next patch. "Hmm, that's not what was intended. Get rid of it." Convoluted or contrary effects yield unintended uses. Unclear optimization forces decision making that may not be as "satisfying" in a superficial, "hey, I did it right!" sense, but that is considerably more complex and interesting. I'm not interested in "hey, I did it right!". I'm interested in "hey, I never thought of that!". You should be too, if your intention is to make something amazing.
If your intention is merely to make something "fun", you're on the right track. But you're not going to make anything that has more than superficial appeal with that mindset. It's probably an ideal approach for making an existing game more viable commercially (which is what LoL is, a slicker, more accessible version of DotA). It's a terrible approach for actually creating something new.
These aren't principles for game design. They're principles for product design.
*snicker*. Really? You're bringing up FIGHTING games as an example of "anti-patterns" sucking?
Mogank, you don't get it.
Do you know why fighting games didn't fix their glitches? It's because...
a) It was the era before patching became commonplace or
b) The gain of keeping such a glitch in was interesting gameplay.
In effect, this is what you said. However, what you don't realize is that fighting game designers DO look at similar anti-patterns, they look at what anti-patterns these glitches are violating, and then they decide what is the gain of keeping those glitches in. Yes, they don't blindly adhere to these rules, but unlike what you're suggesting, they do not ignore them. Otherwise, why would you get constant patching of glitches in today's fighting game scene? That is similar to how League of Legends does it. In fact, I suggest that if you want to know about fighting game design and how they are similar to these rules, go read David Sirlin's blog and his design choices in SF2 Remix. You will see parallels to that and these rules here, and what were the tradeoffs they had to make at certain points, if you have any design and logic senses. In fact, a majority of the choices were to make the game SIMPLER.
Look, if you really wanted me to, I could run through all these anti-patterns and give you some examples of a violation in League of Legends. The difference is that there's tangible gain there. THAT's why it's interesting. Not some illogical "there's no set rules and no simplicity in design and that's why so-and-so is interesting." I can also do a similar thing for every decent fighting game and show you the design choices of why something was either made or kept in and a good 50% of the major features follow anti-pattern rules.