Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

30 May, 2016

Review: It’s Your Ship
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:12 PM


When I mentioned an interest in leadership, one of the super-cool people I follow on Google+ recommended this book. He suggested it might be interesting because I the military is likely quite different than the game industry. (That’s actually a fairly deep topic, something that I might write about in the future. Let’s just say that there were two former military people at my last job, and they fit in just fine.)

Anyway, I ordered the book on Amazon and read it. I’ll give it a review on here for those who are interested. As an aside, this is one of the first books I’ve read about leadership, so I’m judging it based on my personal experience rather than how it stacks up to other books.

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28 May, 2016

The multiple hierarchies of the game industry

The game industry is a strange place sometimes. I was musing about the nature of the industry the other day, thinking about this. Part of my motivation was to think about my own place in the industry, and another part was thinking about my slowly developing book Thinking Like a Game Designer. When I really thought about it, the one term I’d use to describe the game industry, particularly the triple-A side, is “hierarchies”.

Interested in a closer look?
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7 May, 2016

How much control should a developer have over others?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:00 PM

A friend of mine sent me a link to a clickbait article talking in breathless tones about how kids are gambling with game skins. To be honest, I’m a bit hesitant to even link to such a brazen bit of clickbait, but there are some interesting issues here. I’m not quite brave enough to discuss the legal ramifications here, but this did spark an interesting question: exactly how much control should a developer have over players?
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2 May, 2016

My development of my leadership skills

Over the past few years, I’ve taken a keen interest in the topic of leadership. Part of it comes from my time running Near Death Studios; I think having more leadership training could have helped me grow the business better. I would like to start my own company again in the future, and so I’m looking to build my leadership skills for the next company I start.

Let me share a bit of what I’ve been looking at, and perhaps you’ll have a few suggestions of your own.
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29 April, 2016

Creative ownership and its associated weirdness
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:52 PM

Game development is mostly about creativity, about how to harness and manage creativity to create these wonderful fun works of art. But, there’s often some weirdness that comes along with that. The “ownership” of creative ideas tends to be a bit strange when it comes to some people, and this is even before we might start delving into the legal aspects!

So, allow me to take a look at creative ownership in game development.
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28 April, 2016

A call for more diversity of games
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:20 PM

Another reader-suggested topic today:

Imperien Cypher suggested:

With the notable exception of Eve-Online, every new MMO I’ve played since the late 90s has felt like a glorified tutorial meant to teach players the ropes before the competition actually begins… Which, sadly, never seems to happen.

On that basis: Are gamers today too “soft” to handle an MMO with the kind of PvP which was the norm in the M59/UOL era? By that I primarily mean tangible death consequences in the form of “exp death” and/or “full looting” appropriate to a given game’s mechanics.

TLDR Version: Is the MMO genre doomed to remain a “Sacred Haven” until the end of time?

I think there’s two answers to this question, although they are related.
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26 April, 2016

What is the worst possible outcome for MMOs?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:29 PM

My friend Richard Bartle suggested a topic on Google+: “What’s your most pessimistic (yet realistic) view of the future of MMOs?”

He’s always a ray of sunshine in my day. :) But, let me consider the worst possible case for MMOs.
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25 April, 2016

How to succeed as an indie
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:09 PM

My good friend Dave Toulouse suggested a topic on Twitter:

So, time to look at what it takes to succeed as an indie game developer.
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18 April, 2016

A life outside of work is not a sin
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:41 AM

I’m Interrupting my series of posts about tabletop RPGs to post on a topic that is generating some buzz.

Once again, the issue of work conditions in the game industry has come up in discussions. And once again, we see some poor soul trying to defend the status quo, explaining that the industry is fine and nothing needs to change at all and that game developers who “can’t love all 80 hours/week of it” shouldn’t even be in the industry.

Yeah, someone actually wrote an article saying that. So, let me work to counter some of this toxic ideology and explain why life outside of work is fine.
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29 August, 2015

Developers aren’t Green Lantern
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:42 PM

Blaugust, day 29

So now I have my project. I’ve asked the fundamental questions and gotten my audience, platform(s), genres, and business model worked out. I understand the market and am making a game appropriate for the company I’m with. I’ve got my ideal team working on a prototype of the technology and gameplay, and I’m working hard on the setting that’s appropriate for the game. I’ve raised money to support the project, and I’m carefully budgeting the money I do have, while taking care of the people who gave me that money.

Now, it’s just some hard work and time to reap the financial rewards, right? Well, not quite.
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