Mentsu, Polyphony Digital, & Us...

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SlipZtrEm

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SlipZtrEm
VBR
It's interesting isn't it, that when you refuse to engage with contentions people, they seem to get even more annoyed & contentious.

It's interesting that someone so obsessed with throwing the term "logical fallacy" out at any opportunity would resort to a strawman because people have the audacity to have a conversation (and differing views) on a message board.

You're operating on an assumption here. Mentsu certainly is a thing, and there is a certain... let's call it chain-of-command, at Polyphony that may or may not be different than what Western developers are familiar with. Source: interacting with multiple members of the team over the last two years at various live events.

But there have been numerous times where PD has taken community input on-board. The tough thing with that is pinpointing the exact source: the community is thousands of people, all with different preferences and thoughts on how to "improve" the game. The easiest example I can think of happened during the beta pre-release.

I imagine the disappointment arrives when individuals don't see their own desired improvements materializing, and thus construe it as PD ignoring the community's input as a whole. I get it, and I can understand that it could be frustrating, but it doesn't invalidate the changes the team does make that may align with others' suggestions.

Also, it's "GTPlanet", and "and".
 
476
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dabz343
VBR
It's interesting isn't it, that when you refuse to engage with contentions people, they seem to get even more annoyed & contentious.

It's interesting that someone so obsessed with throwing the term "logical fallacy" out at any opportunity would resort to a strawman because people have the audacity to have a conversation (and differing views) on a message board.

Well said SlipZtrEm, thank you.
 
212
Darwock
On a sidenote, I'd like to visit Japan someday. I think it'd be just about the most extreme culture shock a westerner could ever experience.

Culture shock doesn't hit you in the face. It seeps in over time, a niggling feeling that you don't belong more akin to something like depression. Observable differences at surface level, that's just tourism.

I've lived in Japan since 2006. My first significant experience of culture shock was when my wife was a victim of power harassment at work (boss throwing things at her) and she got mad at me for making a big deal out of it.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
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All arguments about Japanese culture aside, just look through the patch notes for each update and you will find examples of changes made after they have been discussed here. Whether or not that's cause and effect we will never know but it does happen.

Like I said, we will never know if this was because of community feedback or not, but I see no harm in constructively talking about our perceived issues with the game and potential solutions. I believe PD are listening, even if their communication back is limited.


As someone who has given a lot of feedback & constructive criticism over the years, that's the frustrating thing, not knowing. And, when something does get fixed/added/changed/improved; not sure if PD listening, or just coincidence (thanks Fry ;)) It would be nice if there was two-way communication.

The Q&A forum was a perfect opportunity for Kaz to get a bit more involved with us, & I even heard it was his idea in the first place. But then, after the staff had put the work in to set the forum up & the community had put all the effort into asking questions (all 18 pages of them), Kaz backed out with no reason whatsoever given to the community. We're over it now, but for many of us who were involved with it at the time, it was a right kick in the 🤬! It's things like this that make me wonder why...

Presuming that Mentsu could have something to do with it, might explain his otherwise inexplicable behaviour.


👍
 
55
Japan
Yokohama
VBR
The Q&A forum was a perfect opportunity for Kaz to get a bit more involved with us, & I even heard it was his idea in the first place. But then, after the staff had put the work in to set the forum up & the community had put all the effort into asking questions (all 18 pages of them), Kaz backed out with no reason whatsoever given to the community. We're over it now, but for many of us who were involved with it at the time, it was a right kick in the 🤬! It's things like this that make me wonder why...

Presuming that Mentsu could have something to do with it, might explain his otherwise inexplicable behaviour.

Assuming that the Q&A forum was Kaz’s idea to reach out to the community, how would you say your understanding of mentsu is applied to explain his sudden silence?

From my understanding of how mentsu works, should the above scenario be assumed to be true, it would not be in his interest to back out of his own proposed action plan. Trying to save face would be if Kaz spent every waking minute replying to the threads in that forum despite the lack of productivity in order to push the point that he was right to make the suggestion of a community based Q&A forum. If he did indeed make the suggestion of a Q&A forum and then just suddenly ditched it, that would rather play to the explanation that he came up with what he thought was a better use of his resources, and that he was going to go down that path, “face” be damned.

As of right now I honestly can’t see how mentsu (as I understand it anyways) would go to explain the above example.
 

VBR

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@whiteusagi - From my own research that I did before posting this thread, which included several articles as well as some in-depth studies (linked to some of them in the OP), I understand that to certain Japanese people that they feel they lose face in the eyes of their fellow Japanese when interacting with foreigners who are behaving in such a way so as to cause loss of face.

Here's a quote from Kiyoshi Matsumoto who is Japanese, & has lived for years in both Asian & Western cultures;

"While all Japanese people know the ground rules governing face, they fear the responses of potentially unpredictable, emotional and loud gaijin (‘foreign devils’). For better or worse many Japanese have a perception that Westerners easily lose their cool and will fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. Worse, they may have personally witnessed or experienced past incidents where an angry foreigner exploded in frustration leading to a loss of face for all parties involved." Source.

So, to answer your question; based, not only on the above quote but also upon many similar ones I came across while researching, I would presume that it could be possible that Kaz may feel he would lose face in the eyes of his employees if he were to directly interact with people on this forum, & said people started to act in such a way so as to cause loss of face.

You know, like the ill thought out knee jerk reaction contention that so frequently erupts on here, when people misunderstand you but quote you & argue anyway, When they twist what you say (strawman), when correcting them seems to have no effect & they dig their heels in & continue mindlessly arguing just for the sake of it. :sly:

Another article I came across suggested some general things to avoid when dealing with Asians;

  • Do what you can to avoid all potential embarrassment for others, especially in public.
  • Avoid pointing out someone's mistakes in front of their peers.
  • Show extra respect by deferring to all elders and people of rank, title, or uniform.

Which is kind of the complete opposite to how people on this forum generally behave! It could be seen as bad enough for Kaz when people quote him & ridicule him for things he's said in interviews, so it's not such a far stretch of the imagination to presume what could happen if he were to come on here & directly interact with us.

That said, I'm only presuming...it's just a theory...
 
373
Australia
Australia
wmd351
Couple hundred years ago? If anyone is up for some light (and morbid) reading then try the Wikipedia page for Suicide in Japan.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan
Quote "while being investigated for an expenses scandal, cabinet minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka took his life in 2007. The former governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, described him as a "true samurai" for preserving his honour."

On a sidenote, I'd like to visit Japan someday. I think it'd be just about the most extreme culture shock a westerner could ever experience.
For some reason I really feel the need to elaborate on this post, as I made it without giving any context or relating personal opinion.
It probably would have been far more accurate to say that visiting Japan would be a shock to someone like me, a fat white couch potato from a country with a population about a fifth that of Japan and yet a land mass almost twenty times as big.

In regards to Seppuku or harikari, in Australia the act of suicide is traditionally by previous generations seen and considered to be a very weak and cowardly thing to do, however I'm comparing a country that's all of 200 years old to one that dates back 2,500 if not tens of thousands of years so real apples vs. oranges stuff there. And I'm not for one second going to suggest that one society or the other has the right or wrong opinion about it.
I don't expect that present day people are running around Japan practicing the ancient act willy nilly all the time in the streets of Tokyo, it's just something that strikes me as a polar difference that in some instances it can sometimes still be viewed that way.

I'd love to see Japan because I consider the feudal history and other aspects of the country to be fascinating and amazing, and what white guy doesn't love samurai and ninjas?
 
212
Darwock
VBR
@whiteusagi

Here's a quote from Kiyoshi Matsumoto who is Japanese, & has lived for years in both Asian & Western cultures;

"While all Japanese people know the ground rules governing face, they fear the responses of potentially unpredictable, emotional and loud gaijin (‘foreign devils’). For better or worse many Japanese have a perception that Westerners easily lose their cool and will fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. Worse, they may have personally witnessed or experienced past incidents where an angry foreigner exploded in frustration leading to a loss of face for all parties involved." Source.

Without reading the linked source, that bolded quote comes across as incredibly racist. I can tell you from first hand experience that there are no shortage of angry (usually old) Japanese men willing to fly off the handle in public and cause a scene - I've seen it in train stations, supermarkets, lots of every day situations - so painting a picture of a universally stable and controlled Japanese national character who can't tolerate unpredictable emotional foreigners is frankly a load of BS that needs to die.
 
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I always had this impression about PD / Kaz. The PD is on another frequency. I get the impression that Kaz made GT game to please his GT Academy friends, not the fan community, consolidated for the last few years.

It's all very strange. GT Sport has no famous original circuits, no much famous real circuits, no modern sports e race cars, like a opponents videogames.

I dont know, but Forza, PC2 and AC get licenses for modern cars and for real circuits around the world, and PD can not. Just the PD? At other times, it was just the opposite. Why did PD weaken its production? Could not modernize the production line?

This is strange, since the PD apparently has an intimate relationship with carmakers and the FIA itself to aid it in the negotiations.

I would very much like the new PS5 GT game to come with the original classic circuits, with several world circuits and with sports cars and race cars from the last decade.
 
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There's an argument to be had that throughout the company's history (Certainly since the run up to GT5's release and how long of a protracted horror show that was, though I'd argue that it came earlier, with how GT PSP was triumphantly announced in 2004, then basically left for dead as a project until it was worked on in full in 2009) that Polyphony operates with a certain level of arrogance that comes, especially now, with being one of the few wholly Japanese first party developers Sony has in the stable, when a good amount of that has shifted to Europe and especially North America. That was deftly apparent for a good chunk of the 2000's, and even up to the release of GT Sport. They still do kind of do it now (Adding micro-transactions after saying they wouldn't, the de-facto Toyota exclusivity deal, the general vibe that they threw the baby out with the bath water and scrapped making a 'classic' GT game for a console iRacing when they could have honed one and built the other alongside it instead of focusing on one, alienating a good portion of the fanbase, and having to work from essentially zero) but they're getting better about it. I still get the feeling that they kind of consider other competition (Who have been able to build upon GT's mass market beginnings and push the sim genre to the heights that it's in now) a bit as unworthy, but they've been able to at least learn from others and apply them. As others have said, there is a sense that their ambition really causes them to laser focus on some things instead of focusing on more important stuff in the grand scheme of things.

With all that though - good god this thread sure still instills an almost warning signs level of 'I know Japanese culture' when you clearly don't. Considering the OP cut and run when he began to mouth off about logical fallacies while using them, it really turned this thread, which was already a bit of a yellow pearl sort of thing, into a five alarm **** show.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
There's an argument to be had that throughout the company's history (Certainly since the run up to GT5's release and how long of a protracted horror show that was, though I'd argue that it came earlier, with how GT PSP was triumphantly announced in 2004, then basically left for dead as a project until it was worked on in full in 2009) that Polyphony operates with a certain level of arrogance that comes, especially now, with being one of the few wholly Japanese first party developers Sony has in the stable, when a good amount of that has shifted to Europe and especially North America. That was deftly apparent for a good chunk of the 2000's, and even up to the release of GT Sport. They still do kind of do it now (Adding micro-transactions after saying they wouldn't, the de-facto Toyota exclusivity deal, the general vibe that they threw the baby out with the bath water and scrapped making a 'classic' GT game for a console iRacing when they could have honed one and built the other alongside it instead of focusing on one, alienating a good portion of the fanbase, and having to work from essentially zero) but they're getting better about it. I still get the feeling that they kind of consider other competition (Who have been able to build upon GT's mass market beginnings and push the sim genre to the heights that it's in now) a bit as unworthy, but they've been able to at least learn from others and apply them. As others have said, there is a sense that their ambition really causes them to laser focus on some things instead of focusing on more important stuff in the grand scheme of things.

With all that though - good god this thread sure still instills an almost warning signs level of 'I know Japanese culture' when you clearly don't. Considering the OP cut and run when he began to mouth off about logical fallacies while using them, it really turned this thread, which was already a bit of a yellow pearl sort of thing, into a five alarm **** show.

That's actually a great point. What part of mentsu accounts for PD making an about face and building a last minute Single Player mode for their game? Sure, they had an initial vision independent from the gaming community and they executed that vision with flaws and all. Since then though, they've constantly made concessions in some way towards the demands of others.

I could see mentsu being more of an issue in their licensing dealings though. I feel that PD has always viewed themselves as the Apple Computer of the gaming genre. A designer boutique game studio compared to their competitors. I'm sure they even feel that they were the ones who made many of these real world tracks famous in games so it's no surprise that they would abandon expensive tracks and scan cheaper tracks that will drastically grow in popularity from the relationship.

I could imagine PD's licensing people on the phone with the licensing team at Spa, "WE MADE YOU!"
 
212
Darwock
They'd be wrong on that one - Spa didn't appear in GT until... GT5?

Yet I remember caning that track back on the original Psygnosis F1 game on the Playstation before the first GT had even been made.
 
476
United States
United States
dabz343
I imagine the disappointment arrives when individuals don't see their own desired improvements materializing, and thus construe it as PD ignoring the community's input as a whole. I get it, and I can understand that it could be frustrating, but it doesn't invalidate the changes the team does make that may align with others' suggestions.

I'm fine with never receiving credit for my suggestions from PD. This is not why I post here--I just want a better game experience. However, I believe there are others that desire some recognition, especially if they spend many hours investigating, analyzing and imagining solutions for PD.

Some that are so dedicated to GT, they seem like co-developers. For these guys, I understand their frustration and hope that PD is able to address their passionate fans appropriately. I've said it many times that PD should improve their engagement with their fans. Develop a communication (or prototype) platform that only could be imagined through the collaboration of PD and their loyal fans.

This to me is a clear competitive advantage for PD. No other title has such loyal fans and PD could reap enormous rewards if they are able to innovate here. But with that being said, I don't believe the way to move the discussion forward is through imposing a narrow lens on Japanese culture and becoming entrenched.
 
210
United States
Massachusetts
The one thing that I'd like to start seeing is some kind of community response. For example: "Update 1.39 the physics were changed because ... " versus the very silent treatment that the community seems to receive. There's nothing.

In other words if they anticipate theirs going to be a kickback from the community due to a change that they make, an explanation however small it may be, would be very welcome.

Whatever the culture may be, when a company has an international consumer base as PD does I can't see a reason behind a wall of silence like this.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
The one thing that I'd like to start seeing is some kind of community response. For example: "Update 1.39 the physics were changed because ... " versus the very silent treatment that the community seems to receive. There's nothing.

In other words if they anticipate theirs going to be a kickback from the community due to a change that they make, an explanation however small it may be, would be very welcome.

Whatever the culture may be, when a company has an international consumer base as PD does I can't see a reason behind a wall of silence like this.

They're an older company. They come from a PR era where you kept everything secret because falling short of any expectation would anger all of your customers. Just look at No Man's Sky to see what excessive communication about development goals can looks like. The newer communication approach that you see from titles like The Division, Destiny, or Overwatch is exactly that, newer and it takes some nuance and ability to pull it off right.

Does that excuse their lack of communication? Of course not. The bar on community management in the gaming industry has been drastically raised and PD has failed to step up to the task.
 
476
United States
United States
dabz343
So what sort of communication from developers would be preferred?

I don't play video games so I lack reference. Would be good to send PD some suggestions...I think an idea that they could implement fairly quickly and effectively is the formation of a players council that can test and inform changes to GTS prior to implementation.

Members can be selected based on simple criteria and facilitated through in-game features...the benefits of knowing initial impressions on changes in the pipeline should help to mitigate pitfalls and enhance the evolution of GTS.