Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

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.
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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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20 August, 2016

Ask me (almost) anything
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:17 PM

Today in honor of passing the midpoint of Blaugust 2016, I’ll do an “ask me (almost) anything” thread.

Read the guidelines, and then post a comment!
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18 August, 2016

I wrote some new DLC for March of the Living
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:01 PM

My good friend Dave “Over00″ Toulouse released some new DLC for his game March of the Living. What you may not know is that I was the writer and narrative designer for the DLC. Dave provided a basic idea, and I fleshed out the story and wrote the content for it.

I’ll go into a bit more detail, but definitely go check out “The Three of Us”.
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17 August, 2016

Cargo cult game development

Theoretical physics Richard Feynman popularized the phrase, “cargo cult science”, referring to “cargo cults” on some Pacific islands that sought to bring material wealth by performing rituals and building elements that seemed to attract it before. In particular, they built airplane runways, hoping to attract the airplanes that carried cargo to them before. The connotation is that the islanders (and scientists practicing “cargo cult science”) were going through motions they didn’t understand to get a result.

As an aside, modern scholars think the islanders weren’t ignorant of technology, but rather performing an elaborate ritual. But, the term has remained and used in the original sense and I’ll use it here without rendering judgement on those Pacific islanders.

We can just as easily point to “cargo cult game development”, where game developers of all stripes copy something they don’t understand in order to get result they want. They blindly copy rather than understand. So, let’s take a look at how this work across different disciplines.
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15 August, 2016

Toxic, passionate fans
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:37 PM

We’ve seen a more people being abusive to game developers recently. The most recent example is No Man’s Sky, where people are angry for a number of reasons.

The stated reasons don’t matter, but the actual reasons might be useful for knowing how to handle this as a developer.
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13 August, 2016

Weekend Design Challenge: Explaining your game

So, let me dust off this old thing and let’s talk about explaining your game. This is a vital part of game development on multiple levels.

Let’s take a look at why it’s so important, with a little challenge for you to ponder.
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10 August, 2016

“There’s a philistine and an aesthete in all of us”
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:16 PM

My friend Jay Gischer shared a link on Google plus entitled A Pixel Artist Renounces Pixel Art. An artist who just spent a few years creating lovingly hand-crafted pixel art gives up hope and accepts people are cultural philistines while bending over backwards to forgive them.

Now, I’m a fan of pixel art, so I have a few things to say on this. Buckle in…
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8 August, 2016

The things certainly were stranger
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:46 PM

Like a lot of nerds, I watched Stranger Things on Netflix recently. Although I didn’t binge watch it in one go like some people, we did go through the episodes pretty quickly. But, the show got me thinking about a few topics that have been rolling around a bit. Figured I’d post about them today.
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6 August, 2016

Abstraction of game reality
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:13 PM

While discussing games with a friend, we started talking about abstractions. While some games attempt to simulate reality, not every element in a game is a direct simulation of reality. Some elements are abstractions of reality.

Let’s take a look at abstractions and why they’re used.
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Posts Copyright Brian Green, aka Psychochild. Comments belong to their authors.