Inferiority complex?

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za909
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Inferiority complex?

Post by za909 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:01 am

Hi all, I have just read through this post, and it made me question my behavior in the process. When I was relatively new to the forums I had an immense inferiority complex that has somewhat disappeared, although I still see myself as someone who doesn't quite belong due to my non-existent programming background. I am generally more geared towards the "arts", which is best indicated by the fact that I hold an "English-Dutch" degree, and not one that has anything to do with computer science (although I did have some very enjoyable typography lectures as a part of the curriculum, where we did some HTML and LaTeX). I always loved to use any "level editor" or similar tools games offered to let me create my own take on something or to "add part of myself" to the content, eventually leading me to ROM hacking, and then sitting down and learning 6502 assembly.

It's a weird feeling that noone else my age comes to programming from the direction that I have, and even though I've been doing it for 5 years, I still find it difficult to move past the likes of C, where I don't exactly know what is happening under the hood. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to do that "leap of faith" and let some other program written by someone else define how my code will achieve its goal. Yet, everyone else here seems to be a lifelong programmer, where it might also be their job, and have the sort of "omniscient" expertise that I can't even hope to have.

This leads to me sometimes derailing and highjacking a thread just so that I can "add something", without truly adding something "of value". I might just bring up unrelated things in topics if that means I can "post something" and prove, to myself above everyone else, that I'm worthy of being here, and that I know something unique. This might actually be true when it comes to audio. I find that audio is where I really know what I'm talking about, partially because my first shenanigans with Famitracker happened more than 8 years ago at this point.

All in all, it makes me feel like I'm a bit insufferable because I insert my wish to look like an expert into places where they don't belong, just to soothe that feeling of inferiority. I wonder what all of you think about this. Any thoughts?
Thanks!

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by FrankenGraphics » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:14 am

I'm like you.. if you don't count adventures and program drawn pictures written in qBasic from school days or a bit of scripted animation descriptions in afterEffects, romhacking and then 6502 assembly was my way into programming.

You have genuine interest. IMO, that is all it takes. People are going to have different experiences and backgrounds, which shouldn't be a requirement to participate. Also, you've less than 200 posts and i remember you being helpful in nes music related threads, so how much derailing could there be? :wink:

Also, don't write yourself short on your specialities. Programmers with a formal education or an early entry point may have an easier time expressing problems and solutions using specialized vocabulary, a backpack full of technical concepts, and hands-on experience on what works conveniently and what doesn't. but an artist or a composer will likely have an easier time imagining and visualizing/expressing a design concept - especially within their field but also in general. This is what we've trained, besides the artistic techniques themselves.

afaic, nesdev is here for technical discussion but it's also a barhang for people with similar interests. You can't really have a scene without the social aspect. Much of that side seems to happen on twitter, though, which is probably a format t is better at enabling easy going conversations about nesdev related topics than a bbs or a chat/irc/discord.
Last edited by FrankenGraphics on Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dougeff
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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by dougeff » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:35 am

In the programming world there are a lot of people who have "impostor syndrome"

https://medium.com/learn-love-code/deve ... edee803cf4

due to the fact that very few people know everything about everything, and are checking Stack Overflow every 10 minutes... lots of programmers feel inadequate.

You see your coworker, who knows hardware inside and out, and feel dumb, but he probably knows jack about LaTeX, for instance.

I'd say this is a normal feeling, and forums like this one are a good place to ask questions, and get help.
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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by nesrocks » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:15 am

ps.: I too come from an artist background.

I've noticed that I do that sometimes. People create a topic showing an issue, I post what I think is a clear, problem-solving short answer and it's promptly ignored by everyone. This is usually because I was too quick to misinterpret the issue in the first place and associate it with a bug I had to fix on my earlier projects. In what is partially a desire to be helpful, but also a desire to fit in, I give my inadequate answer.

So now I tend to wait and see, unless I really know the answer. Also, if a topic goes unanswered for too long I may give my opinion.
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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by 8bitMicroGuy » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:53 am

Wow. Finally someone said something mentally complex which I had. I've been theorizing about 6502 and ASM for a while, but I had no good game demo for the NES ever. I only did some ROM hacks and analyzing code. And yes. QBASIC is amazing. It's good to piggyback from something else.

I've always wanted to have gamemakers that function like level editors. Think of SMBX except without copyrighted stuff and assets. Imagine if you could just have object properties and such for setting up how game stuff work. It would be like creating anything else on the computer. It's a shame you can do everything on a computer; a document, a presentation, a spreadsheet, etc.; while not being able to do anything computerish like programming. It's sad that computer programming is just as full of toxicity as the real life that I've been escaping from into the computer world. I'd love it if making games was as easy as you'd just make a Word Document or a MS Paint picture or a Windows Movie Maker video or a Sound Recorder recording. Imagine "Make your own Mario-like game" or "Make your own Sonic-like game" where you have all the tools for making such games and where you completely design everything in the game and focus on the game itself rather than on the programming before you could get a simple hello-world program.

As a kid who had a weak computer, I used to write and draw into my sketchbook all those level editor programs that I dreamed about. The best way to learn how to make games and to get ideas about how games work and what game would be cool to make is to think about how a game you like functions. Mario has players, enemies, blocks, powerups, projectiles, etc.. Crash Bandicoot has a scenery, blocks, player, enemies, effects, platforms, etc.. So imagine if all gamedev programs were made to be intuitive with how people perceive games working. Same way how text document programs were made intuitively according to what people think about writing text, that same way gamedev tools can be made.

It's just that we haven't gotten yet to take down Nintendo and Disney and Microsoft and other tech giants. Back in the Medieval times, writing was only available to those who were in the churches. Few centuries ago, mass media was only available for those who had the equipment and money. Few decades ago, entertainment was only available for those who were not the enemies of some evil authority above. And I believe that just as we could release ourselves from the clutches of these churches and resource restrictions and politics, we'll eventually be able to free ourselves from the evil copyright laws. It's like that with everyone.

If you think it won't be so beautiful and pink-visioned, think about the generations before us who thought that their times were the worst. For each generation, their own times are the worst. Same way with us. Those after us will have something even worse. And it's up to us to make things better by making better tools and things what we love and to rebuke juvenoia that's responsible for the dysfunctionality of all generations before us Millennials and for all the slander that we Millennials and Gen-Z-ers have.

Wow, yet another inspiration speech, hehe. I hope you like it. I hope I've platonically hugged and comforted and reassured someone with my post, haha X3

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by pwnskar » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:13 pm

8bitMicroGuy wrote:It's a shame you can do everything on a computer; a document, a presentation, a spreadsheet, etc.; while not being able to do anything computerish like programming.
But programming is available for anyone to learn for free through the internet. And when it comes to making games with minimal programming skills, I don't think there's ever been a better tile for that than now, with Unity, Unreal Engine and Game Maker. Even when I was a kid long ago there were thing like Klik & Play and The Games Factory but they were nothing compared to what we have today, even for their time.
Making games is harder than making a word document because a game is usually so much more complex and harder to define a ruleset for.
But even so, the tools and learning materials are freely available and a lot of people have worked very hard for it to be there. You just need to have patience and take the time to learn how to use it. Even though it's free financially, nothing comes for free. :)

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by 93143 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:39 pm

8bitMicroGuy wrote:It's just that we haven't gotten yet to take down Nintendo
You mean the company that released Super Mario Maker?
Back in the Medieval times, writing was only available to those who were in the churches.
That's not really fair, or quite true. The university was invented in the Middle Ages. Most people were illiterate, yes, but that only means most people were subsistence farmers. Books were super expensive because the printing press hadn't been invented yet (which is also why bibles were often chained to something sturdy; it wasn't to prevent people from reading them).

The learning of the monasteries and the universities was necessary to develop technology to the point that ordinary people could spare the time to learn how to read and write. Nobody was sitting on it.

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by FrankenGraphics » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:09 pm

Yeah, i think it's more material conditions of the times, (the lack of) technical acceleration, and inherited privilege... i wouldn't attribute illiteracy to evil intent. Although there have been displays of political will in the 19th & 20th century especially to make leaps forward in widespread literacy.. for motives maybe not always altruistic.

Reading the icelandic sagas, it's clear the oral tradition was that people who could write/read runes also were thought to been skilled in magic (often through the explicit practice of writing) which also granted those who knew the practice social status and gifts from people in need.

This is not totally unlike how people who have never tried writing code sometimes perceive something like an NES game or a touch phone to be the work of "black magic", if with a wink, and how programming is one of the most valued forms of skilled labor today.

Labor is exponentially more divided today, yet it's something about writing things (language, code) that is somehow perceived as something mystical. Maybe this can be attributed to closed software culture, if writing mysticism could be attributed to the scarcity of written media up to the printing press?

Or well, i guess the same happens when people look at art and wonder about things like divine inspiration or natural talent, when it's mostly just like any other profession: lots and lots of life long training.
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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by nocash » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:01 pm

When I was at school, I might have had have some potential for artist background, plus some interest in game programming. But then I've shifted to lower level coding & reverse engineering, originally thinking that I could use that knowledge to make games - but it turned out not to leave any time for doing that. I still like to believe that "everybody could do everything" in theory, but in practice it's not so easy to do everything (and more so with more newer hardware). Perhaps teamwork could help on getting bigger projects done... but I am also lacking time/motivation to work on coordinated teamwork.
8bitMicroGuy wrote:It's a shame...
Now that you've mentioned it... I've been wondering for some years about the meaning of sentences like "it's really a shame that... we can't eat more ice-cream... and that he looks so ugly... and that we can't just shoot them dead". I've originally treated such statements as absurd jokes (which might even imply the exact opposite meaning in form of irony), but then I've started to wonder if large numbers of people might be actually serious (or at least half-serious) about what they are saying. If yes, self-shaming is rarely helpful for inferiority complexes (and shaming other people isn't anyone's business anyways).

My advice to get things done would be to start doing it, and continue step-by-step, and continue despite of to be expected "unexpected" problems (or find another way if something turns out to be too difficult). Learning curves can be quite nasty, and even finding a starting point might take weeks or months. And even if you have figured how to do things, translating imagination into actual things can take much more time than expected. Maybe that could be compared to movie-making: There might be months of work behind implementing a 20-second special effect. If you can't reproduce that effect in a few minutes doesn't mean that you are doing it wrong, it's just normal, and can be solved when not giving up.
dougeff wrote:very few people know everything about everything, and are checking Stack Overflow every 10 minutes... lots of programmers feel inadequate.
Checking sites like Stack Overflow every some minutes doesn't sound so wrong & might even indicate good progress (unless you were checking the same topic every some minutes and still didn't get a clue how it works). Reasearch is probably the best (or only) way to get things done. I am still focusing on writing my own code and want to understand how everything works - but as said above, that doesn't leave time for anything else, so I begin to admit that people whom are using libraries & include files & copy paste aren't total lamers (and to admit that they could get more things done in less time, and with potentially more stable code as than doing everything from scratch up).

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by NovaSquirrel » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:21 pm

za909 wrote:I always loved to use any "level editor" or similar tools games offered to let me create my own take on something or to "add part of myself" to the content, eventually leading me to ROM hacking, and then sitting down and learning 6502 assembly.
Exactly what I did. My level designs outgrew the games I was making them for and required me to make games to hold them, and while I enjoy programming quite a bit my focus is always more on game mechanics and other creative parts. I think getting into programming to provide a framework for your artsy stuff to exist in totally valid.

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Re: Inferiority complex?

Post by tepples » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:06 pm

NovaSquirrel wrote:My level designs outgrew the games I was making them for and required me to make games to hold them
Sort of like J. R. R. Tolkien with his languages. The Lord of the Rings was ultimately an excuse to show off Quenya and Sindarin.

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