Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

27 May, 2014

My next big thing
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:14 PM
(This post has been viewed 3771 times.)

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
(This post has been viewed 2263 times.)

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 post has been viewed 2662 times.)

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.

1 April, 2014

Introducing my new blog: Match 3 Mania!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:32 AM
(This post has been viewed 3644 times.)

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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10 February, 2014

Moving on, looking for new opportunities
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:00 PM
(This post has been viewed 7424 times.)

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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31 December, 2013

2013 in review
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:51 PM
(This post has been viewed 3253 times.)

So, we dodged the bullet on that pesky Mayan apocalypse last year, and so we had to suffer through 2013. Okay, maybe "suffer" is a bit strong. Let's go with "tolerate".

So, what happened this last year?
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4 December, 2013

The meaning of holidays
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:31 AM
(This post has been viewed 3422 times.)

Here in the U.S., we celebrated Thanksgiving last week. The modern traditional celebration involves eating way too much, awkward time spent with family members, and usually some sort of traditional recreation like watching football or a parade. As a kid, I was told the holiday was to celebrate the generosity the Native Americans showed to struggling colonists; in recent years, however, the origin of the holiday has been reported to be much darker.

But, if you look at the name of the holiday, "Thanksgiving", the core of what I celebrate is: giving thanks.

As a warning: this post is going to be a tiny bit more meta than usual. There's some game design value here, but I thought taking a look at holidays and the meanings behind them might be interesting.
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15 October, 2013

Return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:06 PM
(This post has been viewed 7631 times.)

In grand Psychochild's Blog tradition, I'm here to tell you news waaaaaaay after the fact. Anyway, this post is about the return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative! Do you write about game stuff, particularly MMOs, and want to get some attention to your writing? Want some experienced bloggers to lend some guidance while you explore the crazy world of blogging? Then this is the initiative for you!

Anyway, I signed up to be a mentor, so I should probably post something, right?
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13 August, 2013

The Standard Disclaimer
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:20 AM
(This post has been viewed 17147 times.)

As you might have heard, there was a little announcement last weekend about a game called EverQuest Next. They're doing some particularly exciting things, and one of those things is emergent AI. There's a little company called Storybricks who is working on that emergent AI. You might have heard of the company. (Protip: I work at Storybricks.)

On the bright side, it's very exciting to be working on a groundbreaking title. On the other hand, I know from experience that I'm going to be watched a lot more closely and people will try to read into my words. An offhand phrase is interpreted as a solemn vow. (You old-school MMO people will remember the hilarity around Necromancy in Ultima Online.) So, let me post this disclaimer:

The opinions and points of view expressed in the posts on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or any company I am working with.

Further, unless I explicitly state so, nothing I post should be construed as a hint about EverQuest Next's design or content. (I don't get the privilege of saying "just kidding" after making a controversial statement.) So, if I write an article supporting permadeath in Storybricks development, you should already know that EQN won't have permadeath in it.

I know most of you are reasonable people, but I'm just trying to avoid any uncomfortable situations involving my words and a very talented team trying to blaze new territory. They already have a hard job, so I don't want someone taking my words and making that job even harder.

Just stay tuned for something that will continue to amaze you.
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6 June, 2013

The other online community: where did MMO bloggers go?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:37 PM
(This post has been viewed 20538 times.)

I've written a lot about the importance of in-game community lately. But, allow me to write a bit about the type of community that isn't in a game or owned by a particular company. Maybe we can get draw some lessons that might come back around to game design.

So, let's talk about blogging, and the community around that. As the title asks: where did the bloggers go?
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