Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

28 September, 2016

The blank page and the distilled essence
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:55 PM

For creative people, sometimes the most daunting thing is the blank page. Sometimes you simply have no clue where to begin when working on a new idea; the idea can be so large that working from any particular perspective threatens to block out something else. Focusing on expressing one perspective could drive others out of your head, diminishing the work as a whole. Creative people usually come up with some solution for this. For me, I like to write down concepts and then organize them into a structure, usually an outline, that guides me as I work on other parts.

Sometimes that blank page can appear unconquerable. For less experienced people, it’s sometimes easier to borrow some structure from another source. In writing, a novice might borrow a universe they like and create “fanfic”. Or an experienced creator might want to take something they’ve seen and give it their own spin. An artist might take familiar characters from other media and create something new; conventions usually have art halls full of familiar comic characters in humorous or sexy situations they wouldn’t normally be found in.

So, let’s look at the use of other works as structure for your own.

20 September, 2016

Slow to post
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:31 AM

After a great Blaugust, I’ve been a bit slack about posting regularly. A few things are contributing to this.

Let’s do a brief catch-up, shall we?

14 September, 2016

“Pray I don’t alter it any further”
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:18 PM

If you don’t follow game industry news, you might have missed that Valve changed how they use reviews. The short version is that only if you’ve bought a game directly from steam does your review count by default.

This has some pretty tremendous consequences for game developers, and probably for game players. Let’s take a look at what this means in a bit more detail, shall we?

12 September, 2016

Should game developers be gamers?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:48 PM

It’s a common refrain. People grow older and they get busier. Between jobs, friends, kids, and other responsibilities, games sometimes get left by the wayside. People just don’t have the time to dedicate in order to sit down and immerse themselves in a game like they did before.

But, what happens when that busy person is a game developer? If you work in the game industry, does it make sense that you should be a gamer, too?

5 September, 2016

The importance of group culture
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:40 PM

One of the most overlooked aspects of the company is it’s culture. It’s easy to ignore culture when a company is small, as people tend to be more like-minded. But as a company grows you bring on more people, and a company culture will form whether you intend it to or not.

Especially in creative areas, the culture can be vitally important for how well a company does. Let’s take a look at how culture of a workplace or a group can affect creative effort.

31 August, 2016

In defense of multiple servers
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:09 PM

This is a special blog post done in conjunction with the MMOBro for the end of Blaugust 2016. We had a pleasant email discussion on a variety of topics, and we decided to do a point/counter-point type post on an MMO topic.

I’m going to write about how multiple servers are generally better for MMOs than single, monolithic servers. MMOBro will attempt to advocate for the single server games. Read both blogs, then join in the conversation!

29 August, 2016

#Blaugust2016 wrap up: Introspection on blogging
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:09 PM

It’s not quite the end of Blaugust yet, but I have a special post for the last day. So, I figured I’d do a wrap up today, and maybe beat the crowds of people writing posts like this in a few days. :)

So, another Blaugust has come and gone. As is my wont, I’m going to get a little introspective about what blogging means.

27 August, 2016

Testing game programming
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:23 PM

Hiring programmers is a complex process. You need to find someone with the competence to perform the work and the temperament to work well with a team. In game programming, you also have to find people who will do highly technical work while making less than they could in just about any other industry.

But, the industry does itself no favors here. The way we test and judge programmers demonstrates a mindset stuck in the past. Let’s take a look, shall we?

24 August, 2016

Creativity requires a healthy ego
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:16 PM

A friend of mine started a Google+ discussion talking about creativity. He talked about how a successful software developer had been called “a dick” and speculated how that could be true.

That got me to thinking about what it takes to be creative and how creative people are perceptive. You might be able to guess my thoughts if you read the title of this post, but let me go into a bit more detail.

22 August, 2016

How to sunset a game
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:59 PM

What does it take to sunset a game? This went from academic MMO exercise a decade ago to pressing issue for today’s mobile games with a strong online component in an increasingly overcrowded market where games don’t necessarily last that long.

So, how do you gracefully close down a game during what is a time fraught with emotional loss for the players?

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