Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

16 February, 2017

The complicated nature of friendships in MMO
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:00 PM

I’m a big believer in the social fabric of MMOs. The internet was a tremendous communication platform; I was a geeky introverted kid in the Midwest U.S. on a computer talking to people half way around the world when I was in university. As someone who barely traveled, this was mind-expanding. To think I could talk to people all across the world was simply astounding.

MMOs built upon that. People we’d never meet can become close friends. This includes people who might not have a lot of social opportunities offline: people who suffer from anxiety and depression, people who are just massive introverts who can’t handle a lot of in-person interaction, or people who are physically ill can make connections that would have been impossible a few decades ago.

Yet, online designers often overlook this element. In the rush to cater to the established Achiever crowd, or the rush to optimize key performance indicators, we can lose sight that there are people behind the names and dollars we collect. We ignore their emotional well-being and consider relationships as a side-effect of our design. But, let’s take a closer look.
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22 January, 2017

The real endgame? Appearance.
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:17 PM

I made a very good friend in FFXIV last month. She started playing the game with a few friends and happened to see my showy, yet simple, tank glamour. We started talking and she admitted she was a big fan of setting her appearance in MMOs. She was very fond of her WoW transmogs.

Since I’m a crafter, that meant I got a lot of new requests for crafting stuff. Which is fine, as I really like helping out my friends. But, it also got me thinking a bit about appearance systems in games. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
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28 December, 2016

The new year, fear, and Patreon
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:51 PM

It’s almost the new year. Time for a bit of introspection and a different approach to life.

To not bury the lead here: I’ve started a Patreon for my creative work. Click the new banner on my site, or visit my Patreon page to support me.

Let me go into a bit more about why I’m doing this, and why this has been a hard thing for me to do.
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24 December, 2016

The holidays, relationships, and MMOs

Like it or not, it’s now the holiday season. For most people, this is a glad time of year as we get together for feasts to drive away the winter darkness and chill. During this time our minds often turn to families and loved ones. We look for source of warmth to drive off the emotional chill we feel this time of year. Sometimes we find it, sometimes we don’t.

Often I like to take a closer look at things and evaluate them more in depth. Like relationships: How does our perceptions affect them, particularly in the online world? It seems that we fall into regular patterns in our relationships, conforming to society’s expectations of what we should do. But, the culture in the U.S. has a terrible time really defining relationships. Even a meaningful word “love” tend to be dangerously overloaded and fraught with peril. Let’s take a look at this, and maybe think about what it means for Socializers in games.
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17 December, 2016

Watch a bunch of Gaming Legends later today!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:09 PM

So, a few people including the wonderful Dr. Cat of Origin and Fucadia fame, are doing a “Legends of Gaming” stream later today, starting very soon. It’ll be a “Johnny Carson” style show with many different people coming along to be interviewed, then stick around a bit as others are being interviewed.

Facebook info: https://www.facebook.com/events/191189097992468/

Stream at: http://twitch.tv/doctor_cat

I’m scheduled for 2:15 PM Pacific (5:15 Eastern).

Full schedule inside.
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8 December, 2016

Socialism in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:44 PM

I’ve run into an interesting situation with some people in FFXIV. Many times people have needed items which I have gladly been able to provide (or acquire easily), but people feel bad taking the items from me. They insist on paying for the items somehow, or they want to trade. One friend said she felt bad always asking me for stuff, even if I offer on a regular basis.

I wanted to take a look at this, and look at why it really didn’t bother me to offer these items or services to others. Why I’m a big-hearted socialist in MMOs.
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24 November, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:36 PM

I hope everyone out there had a good Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t celebrate it, I hope it was a good day. And, it’s always a good time to stop and reflect on what you’re thankful for.

Let me take a moment to count my blessings.
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1 November, 2016

I just keep getting older
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:08 PM

Once again I have survived a full revolution clinging to a ball of dirt and molten metal hurtling through space around a continuous nuclear fusion engine. As with most things, this makes my life sound much more dramatic than it really is. For the non-science nerds out there: it’s my birthday today.

But, as is tradition on my blog, let’s take a look at the past year or so of life.
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28 October, 2016

More details about The Humanity Hypothesis

So, this is a game development blog. I’ve announced my new project The Humanity Hypothesis, so now let me talk about some of the day-to-day development of developing the game.

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23 October, 2016

The Humanity Hypothesis, my new game project
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:01 AM

So, what has kept me so busy that I’ve been slow to post? Let me present my brand-new game project called The Humanity Hypothesis.

We’re on Steam Greenlight, so the most important thing is to go vote for it!

Okay, I’ll share a bit more information about it, if you really want.
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