Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

26 October, 2014

I’m not dead, just really busy
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:53 PM

So, wow, where did the time go? I certainly didn’t mean to ignore this site for so long, but it just kinda happened. Hopefully someone still checks the site on occasion, or has me in their RSS reader. :)

Let’s play a little game of “catchup with Brian” shall we?
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27 May, 2014

My next big thing
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:14 PM

I shared this tidbit on social networks first, so let get straight to the point: I’ve taken a position with City State Entertainment on the game known as Camelot Unchained.

I’m obviously very excited, even if it requires a move clear across the country.
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8 May, 2014

The importance of community
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:54 AM

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who helped me out with the vet bills for Susano. I appreciate every gift, help in spreading my request, and kind word of support. It means a lot to me that people were willing to help.

I wrote personal emails to everyone who sent a gift. In many of these notes, I mentioned the importance of community. I often talk about how important community is on this blog, and it was a nice reminder about how community affects me personally in ways beyond the theory I share on here.

Let me share some thoughts about community.
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1 May, 2014

I need some help
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:30 AM

This is a personal post. I need a little help from my friends and followers.

Our cat Susano
(Click the image to see a larger one.)

This is Susano. He’s one of my black domestic shorthair cats. You might be able to tell from yellowed skin in the photo that he’s jaundiced. Susano has been diagnosed with a liver problem. He has lost his previously voracious appetite and now weights a mere 5 pounds 6 ounces.

Susano was found as a stray in Iowa. He was a friendly kitten, willing to come up and get food from any stranger. I brought him inside to keep him safe. He wasn’t overly fond of our other cats, but he learned to fit in. We named him after the Shinto god Susanoo; all our cats have names of deities.

If you’ve read my blog for some time, you know my cats are precious to me. I have a soft spot for the little guys, and I’m very much one that treats them like good friends and family. I feel a bit more obligation to Susano, since I did choose to bring him into our home.

He fell ill pretty suddenly a few weeks ago. It started with an uncharacteristic lack of appetite and then he started dropping weight. Normally he was always begging/stealing/waiting for food. We took him to the vet, and the test results came back showing a liver problem. We were prescribed various medicines, including Vitamin K, Vitamin B mixed in with a bag of fluids we administer subcutaneously (via a needle under the skin), milk thistle, and SAM-e. We’re also feeding him some prescription food to try to put some weight on him.

I’m not giving up on him yet. He’s a small slip of a cat, but he’s still active despite his lost appetite. He’s not showing the usual signs of being ready to leave this life, so I want to fight as long as he is. Unfortunately, this costs us money.

The vet bills and medicines have put some strain on us. Normally this would be something we would handle; we would just use credit cards and pay it off when we can. But, my significant other and I are about to do a major move soon from the California to the East Coast. We’d like to do what we can to make him better before we have to make the move.

I enabled a plugin on this blog as a way for you to help. The money raised will go toward bills and medicines, and other expenses Susano needs.

Thank you for your help and generosity. I appreciate it.

Update: Unfortunately, Susano did not get better. I posted about my appreciation for the community. The generous gifts and kind words gave me the peace of mind that let me know I did the best I could for my friend. Please accept a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped in any way.

I will not easily forget your generosity, and I will continue to share that kindness with others.

6 April, 2014

The two faces of Kickstarter
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:00 PM

Kickstarter has been a game changer, pretty literally. As I’ve written in a series of articles over on Shoost, crowdfunders are taking the place of publishers for game projects, and the consequences of that are.

But, precisely what are backers getting out of a project? That’s a surprisingly deep question. Let’s take a look at what people think they are getting when they back a project.
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1 April, 2014

Introducing my new blog: Match 3 Mania!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:32 AM

Let’s face it. MMOs are dead. We’ve waited for over a decade for a worthy game to realize our dreams of hacking the Gibson with our VR goggles and gloves, and nothing has appeared. So, I’m calling it: MMOs are over and done. There’s no purpose for this blog anymore, I guess.

But, I still like writing. So, time to write about my second favorite genre: Match 3 games! Let’s dive into some discussion about what makes an interesting match 3 game.

Oh, and do make sure to check out my site at http://psychochild.org/ to see the new site redesign!
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27 February, 2014

Articles on how crowdfunding has affected game development
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:38 PM

Over at Shawn Schuster’s brand new site Shoost.co, I’m writing a series of articles about how crowdfunding (and in particular Kickstarter) has affected game development. The first article was posted already: http://shoost.co/2014/02/27/how-kickstarter-has-affected-game-development-part-1/
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26 February, 2014

Extreme Makeover: Random grouping
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:42 PM

I did a phone interview recently where I discussed ideas on how to improve random grouping. What I’m calling “random grouping” is perhaps best known from WoW’s Dungeon Finder (Looking for Dungeon or LFD) and Raid Finder (Looking for Raid or LFR) systems, where you indicate you want to run a dungeon and you are randomly matched up with other people. I share the common lament that random grouping systems don’t help players form social bonds within the game even if they would like to do so.

So, let me put my designer hat on and describe a system to allow for more socialization opportunities.
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20 February, 2014

Interview at over at Massively
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:04 PM

Just in case you missed it, I did an interview with Shawn Schuster over at Massively: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/02/20/talking-the-past-and-present-of-mmos-with-brian-psychochild-gr/

I talk about the past, present, and future of MMOs.
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10 February, 2014

Moving on, looking for new opportunities
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:00 PM

Let’s get right to the point: I’m no longer with Storybricks. My work with Storybricks has come to a natural conclusion, and I wish the team every success.

This means that I’m looking for new employment opportunities. If you’re looking for an experienced technical game designer with a wealth of experience, let’s talk, shall we? You can reach me at psychochild@gmail.com

Read on for a few more details and what sort of work I’m looking for.
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