Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

30 April, 2016

When to balance a game
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:14 PM

On Google+, Paul Gestwicki suggested a topic: “How about a post on the relative merits of different balancing schedules during incremental development: balancing each feature as it is added, balancing periodically, balancing continuously.”

This seems interesting like an interesting topic, so let me go into some of my personal observations on game balance and when to balance a game.
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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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27 April, 2016

Always look on the bright side of MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:53 PM

Okay, so yesterday I went a little dark and pessimistic. Or, as Richard Bartle calls it, “A normal Tuesday night.”

Today, though, I want to look on the bright side and respond to Timothy Lochner’s suggestion:
“What do you believe is an untapped “thing” for the MMO space that could actually be viable?”
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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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24 April, 2016

The art of disagreeing
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:57 PM

In an email exchange with a friend, we brought up disagreement. We had talked about some hot issue topics before and disagreed with each other, but we came away from that still being friends.

I think there’s a certain art to disagreeing, and that art can help one become a better game designer.
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23 April, 2016

What about the “idea guy”?

One popular topic when talking about game design is “the idea guy”. Some people think that’s what design is, while others say there’s no such thing. The complicated reality is, as it often is, somewhere between these two points.

Let me go into a bit of the mythology and reality of “the idea guy” in game design.
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21 April, 2016

The right tools for the right job
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:49 PM

One of the most important and ironically most overlooked area of game development is tools. Tools are incredibly important because they enable game developers to create content for a game. In MMOs, this is especially vital because an MMO often lives or dies by its ability to create content ongoing; an MMO without new content gets stale. In single-player games, tools can be refined and shipped with the game to give the game longevity from players who will continue to create content for the game, keeping it fresh for a group of enthusiastic fans.

Let’s take a look at the importance of tools in games.
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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.
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