Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

16 May, 2016

Designing away the economy
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:49 PM

A major focus of a lot of MMOs is the economy. People have written academic papers analyzing game economies, economists have drooled at the prospect of tinkering with game economies to test theories, and game companies have even hired economists to help with the design of the game.

But, here’s a radical idea: what if a game didn’t have an economy? What if the design didn’t have currency that people use to buy and sell items from NPCs and from each other?

Intrigued? Then, let me share my thoughts for such a design.

20 April, 2016

Go buy March of the Living
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:08 AM

My very good friend Dave “over00″ Toulouse released his latest game today: March of the Living.

The short version: It’s FTL on Earth with zombies. That should excite you enough, but I’ll go into a bit more about why the game is amazing.

8 March, 2016

Creating your own fun in depreciated content
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:23 PM

One problem with the typical PvE type content in WoW-style PvE games is that old content gets depreciated eventaully. That old dungeon you ran dozens of times before the expansion becomes mostly meaningless after the expansion; item stats jump so high that a player can easily obtain gear better than the high end raiding gear of yore.

Let’s take a look at depreciated content and how I’ve found some fun in the depreciated content of FFXIV.

13 November, 2015

Measuring raid performance

As I’ve posted before, I play FFXIV as one of my primary MMOs. I’ve been playing the new “Heavensward” expansion recently, and the first major patch lands this week. With the patch comes the first of the new raids.

As I might dip my toe into some of these raids, I was thinking about how to measure raid performance. How do you identify a good raider from a poor one?

4 August, 2015

Advancement in the games I play
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:10 AM

Blaugust, Day 4

So, let’s take a look at the actual gameplay of my two main games. How does advancement work in each of them, and what keeps you going to the maximum level?

21 August, 2013

Interesting Mechanics: Reincarnation
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:59 PM

I hit a major milestone in with my main characters: I true reincarnated one of my characters. To those of you who haven’t played the game before, that might seem like an odd idea, but I think it’s actually a rather interesting and old idea.

Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?

27 January, 2012

You’re just making it harder for yourself
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:49 PM

So, I lied, but only a little bit. I have been getting into EverQuest 2 lately. But, as I said, it wasn’t the new content sucking me in, but the old content.

Turns out, it’s the really old content that’s been keeping me playing.

1 May, 2010

Design: Elemental Advancement
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:42 PM

This is an advancement system I’ve worked up. I figured that since I bellyache about innovation and change, I might as well show off some of what I would like to see.

I present a design for advancement in a fantasy RPG based loosely on the four classical (Greek) elements. The goal is to give a simplified system that could be used in a typical fantasy RPG without having to deal with old standbys like armor class, etc.

24 November, 2009

Interesting Mechanics: Multi-role classes
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:56 AM

The multi-role (aka “hybrid”) class is often looked at as an aberration in MMOs. One character able to fill multiple roles has the problem of being properly balanced against other classes. Make a hybrid class too strong and specialists feel left out. Make the hybrid class too weak and the hybrids feel like they have no place in the game. Trying to balance things properly is very difficult for an average designer to do.

Let’s take a look at some hybrid class designs and how they have worked out in games.

15 August, 2009

Interesting Mechanics: Exploration rewards
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:05 AM

I tend to mention Meridian 59 mostly in passing on here. But, in the current installment of the Interesting Mechanics series, I want to point out one of the better mechanics in M59: the mana nodes. This fits into a larger design pattern I like to call exploration-based rewards.

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