Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

12 August, 2018

Building your own small community in an MMO
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:52 PM

A little while ago I was talking to a friend of mine who helped to run an MMO guild in a game. They lamented to me about the problems of running it, particularly when things changed in the guild. It went from a small group of friends willing to help each other to a group of strangers. Worse, some of the core people were fleeing the guild to form their own rather than try to help fix the perceived problem.

So I figured I’d write a bit about what it takes to build and run a small community in a game based upon my experiences as a developer and as a player of MMOs.
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11 August, 2018

Differences in different types of RP
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:51 PM

Usually in games we try to compare one thing to what we already know. Genres are a great example of this: both DOOM and Bioshock 2 are FPSes, but they are different from each other in many ways.

So when it comes to RP in MMOs, we might try to compare it to other forms. Let’s take a look at how it’s different.
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10 August, 2018

Why RPers matter in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:19 PM

I’ve spent some time talking about why people RP and how to give them better tools, but let’s now look at the larger picture: why should developers care about RP in MMOs?

Let’s take a look at what RPers do for a game and why it’s a good idea to appeal to them.
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9 August, 2018

Better tools for RPers in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:46 PM

Okay, a few days ago we looked at RP in MMOs and why people RP. Now let’s take a look at how MMO designers can make games that are ready for RP. These ideas are based on my own experience RPing in FFXIV through the eyes of a developer.

So how can we give players better tools to help facilitate better RP in the game? I’ll give examples from FFXIV, but many of these could apply to just about any game.
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8 August, 2018

The expectation of online friendships
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:49 PM

I was discussing with a friend recently about MMOs and freindships. Their guild had started to fall apart; it had lost that friendly feeling that it had before. And there was a schism between the groups of players forming. Worse, someone the guild leader thought was a close friend left the guild to join another splinter group.

That got us talking about the nature of online friends. Let’s look at that a bit.
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4 August, 2018

How MMOs can do stories better
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:30 PM

The past two days I’ve talked about how MMOs do stories wrong, and why they do stories wrong. And there have been some great comments I’ll reply to soon.

So, let’s talk some solutions to the problems I’ve brought up the last few days. How can we go from stories that feel like more of a chore or a diversion to stories that are a meaningful to the player?
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3 August, 2018

Why MMOs get story wrong
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:21 PM

Yesterday we talked about how they get story wrong, but why do they get it wrong? Although the favorite answer may be “because developers are stupid”, there are actually some very good reasons why developers create the type of stories I pointed out yesterday.

Let’s take a look at some development realities when creating stories for MMOs.
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14 June, 2017

Overflow stats, or what to do about Accuracy
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:52 AM

The big Stormblood expansion for FFXIV is almost upon us. Lots of changes in store, which is interesting and scary both as a developer and a player. Will my favorite class still be my favorite class afterward? Will everyone just be playing the new classes? Will this be a turning point, where the game gets streamlined and the game no longer appeals to me like WoW did?

One mechanic that is going away is Accuracy. This was a secondary stat that increased your chance to hit monsters, particularly important for raid bosses. In fact, it was vitally important to be “accuracy capped” if you wanted to do the hardest raids in FFXIV.

But, the stat had some problems. Let’s take a look at those problems and the problems with other stats like it, as well as some solutions.
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10 March, 2017

Series on online anonymity and privacy, part 4
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:13 AM

Last time on this blog, I talked about why it’s futile to try to remove online privacy and anonymity, and why enforcement is nigh impossible in reality. This time, let’s take a look at what we designers can do to address some of the issues that are caused by privacy and anonymity since they are generally worth keeping.

I strongly recommend you go read the previous posts before this one to get the necessary background. Although, it may not be strictly necessary if you’re already a fan of anonymity and privacy.
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9 March, 2017

Series on online anonymity and privacy, part 3
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:32 AM

In my last post, I talked a bit about the harm in removing anonymity and privacy. This post, let’s take a look at why it’s futile to try to remove it, and why enforcement is nigh impossible in reality.

The previous posts provide a lot of context and background for this one, so I recommend you read those first.
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