February 23, 2006

Personality Types

A long time ago in college I took a personality test for my Psychology 101 class. I thought this test would be a complete waste of time due to the fact that questioning for most any testing purpose usually harbors some degree of cultural bias, which ultimately skews the results. Wanting to get a good grade which in this case was pass for taking the test and fail for not taking the test, I decided to sharpen my No.2 and get busy. The test instructions were quite clear and concise with the overriding idea being the participant should answer as honestly as possible in terms to self-reflection. It sounds simple and oddly enough it was quite simple. The questions were fairly vanilla with a few strangely worded sentences sprinkled throughout.

An hour later my pencil was barely dull and the test was complete so I passed but had to wait a few weeks for the test to be scored for my personality type. A week or two of class passed and the test was lost from memory until one day I walked into class and many four-letter combinations were written on the board and no they were not the ones used during rush hour on at the 405/101 junction. I sat down and my test was passed back revealing my personality type, "INFP" - INTROVERT INTUITIVE FEELING PERCEPTIVE. The ensuing hour of class was devoted to explaining what the four letters meant how they determine my problem solving process, group dynamics role, romantic tendencies, and even why I will wash and use my special bowl to eat some cereal when there are plenty of other clean bowls already available. Imagine the number this does on your head when the test is almost completely correct in determining all these things about a person without knowledge of gender, race, or religious affiliation.

I have taken this test several times since then and I always seem to score the exact same personality type "INFP". However I border on the line between "INFP" and "INFJ" by the smallest of margins, which might explain my grumpy moodiness!

Now what you have been waiting for, WTF does this have to do with game design? Nothing really although I am sure someone much smarter than myself could apply some type of formula to satisfy the needs of all personality types within one universally accommodating game, Tetris?

However, what I did learn from the results of the test, which I may have never come to understand about myself on my own, is that I thought I had a gift for mathematics and scientific logic. Yet at the end of the day my gut feelings on game design yield me considerably better results once both of prior tools have been exhausted. All that being said, this magical gut ability is damn near impossible channel on a regular basis which makes creating "Fun" all that more difficult. So when the gut check is telling you nothing its nice to know you can "Math it out" until the gut feels like speaking up.

I could go on and on about the importance of this test in my personal opinion but it's like 3am and I need to play some games before bed so perhaps I will revisit this topic again at a later date. Until then see below for links to the test and profiles of each of the 16 personality types.

Here is a crude from of the test I took all those years ago, followed by a list of the personality type profiles...

Test -
Personality Test

Introverted Profiles -

Extroverted Profiles -

February 9, 2006

Capcom - I love you, I hate you

All bow down to my retrieving skills! Seriously bring your pooch on over and throw the stick but be prepared to watch him get devastated by my newfound talent. I owe it all to Onimusha 4’s Advanced School of Fetch, while attending I also minored in key finding so locksmiths beware. Go ahead and try to make the key before I find it deep in a well filled with Demon Soldier spawns. Trust me don’t even bother stepping up because you fools will get rocked just like Fido… Oh yeah, the game was boring overall yet entertaining on some subconscious level of male hunter/collector instinct. The game went down a little easier since I could skip all cut scenes and get back to awesome amounts of backtracking and uber-designed tests of valor, which totally do not kill any of the story momentum, which I skipped in the prior cut scene. Just to summarize, a “Test of Valor” is a fight scenario, which is governed by a timer, the scenario objective is explained during a splash screen. What this is doing in the middle of a heavy story driven game that is trying to achieve character feeling and emotion is beyond me.

Development teams please stop putting crappy side games in the middle of the real game, I am even going to call out the mighty Resident Evil 4 on this one. Shop Keeper shooting ranges should have been after the game was finished ONLY, you had me all the way until that came up and then the wheels started to rattle but thankfully never fell off so tragedy averted. Thinking about it more, I am going to call so much bullshit on that idea that it leaves me no choice but to say those were put in for the sole purpose of letting people know this was made by a Japanese team who thought they might lose their “we’re crazy Japanese game developers” membership card because otherwise it’s probably the single best example of an immersive genre game ever made! Regardless the game was awesome and I will be drooling for RE5, just check the needless extra games at the door, thank you.

Back to Onimusha 4, did I mention the game is fully translated into English? I mean all menus, subtitles, text, and spoken dialogue. Now while this is great for me, it makes me wonder is this saying something about the state of the Japanese game market? Perhaps it is simply a cost effective way to get a game ready for both shores? The series as a whole has been declining in sales since the initial release yet Capcom like all their franchises that start strong continues to make them. This brings up yet another question, why does Capcom care about their fans so much? Megaman is a license to print money since there are like 4957947 versions of the little blue guy they call Rockman but does it seriously generate that much cash? Well here is what I think about Capcom as a company or let me rephrase that, here is what I would love to think is true about Capcom as a company, THEY LOVE MAKING GAMES 1st and PROFIT 2nd! Admittedly this is sort of true on some level for me because they split off teams to try new things such as Clover Studios and their upcoming yet doomed to sell like 47,000 copies "Okami". These guys made Viewtiful Joe, which again sold like crap but was full of neat ideas. So Capcom I applaud you for fighting the “good fight” and making the games I still want to play even though you probably lose money on them. I’ve supported you on the backs of many dead blades of grass during my youth and will continue to do so especially since you put God of War out in Japan for us, thanks!

February 6, 2006

FILO: first in last out

So as you can see I started this thing way back in September 2005, well now all my friends are doing it... NOW I feel like the last kid picked for the kickball game. Thanks for not dropping the Ball!

Yeah! Game Design the thing I do for a living and hope to keep doing for a living if I do not screw it up with my grumpy attitude. Yes, I am grumpy yet have one of the best jobs in the world ain't life odd like that, sucks to be you happy guy that is not making games for a living! Oh wait the phone is ringing, yes was "Karma" leaving a message saying she'll be seeing me tomorrow for that shitty comment, please oh please let it be stubbing my toe on the wall I love that one so so much.

Onimusha 4 how you pique my curiosity yet bore me, thank goodness you have full english translation toggle in the options menu!

Ok that is plenty of rambling for tonight, I promise next time I will tell you about me and all that stuff that might actually get someone to care about reading this thing. Oh yeah I take requests too so if you want me to give my 2 cents on a game or donut (aplpe filled bear claw is top tier) just contact me by whatever electronic means you feel comfortable with attempting.

Future Topics will include:
Why Kill Bill should have been a game (the insiders dish dirt!)

the path of least resistance