Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

25 February, 2005

Shitty customer service: Not just for online RPGs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:30 AM

It seems that some people think that online RPG companies go out of our way to provide the worst customer service possible. They argue that because their game issue wasn’t resolved within 30 minutes they should get their /pizza free. Or, something like that.
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22 February, 2005

Need a consultant?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:06 PM

I need to do a bit of advertising, so bear with me here.

Do you know someone that needs a bit of help with developing an online game? Could they use someone with over 7 years experience working both at a large company and as an indepdent developer? Tell them to contact me at brian@neardeathstudios.com.

I have a bit of a lull between projects and have some time I could be helping out other people. I have quite a bit of practical experience in most areas of online game developent and have a number of great contacts that could help get a project going.

Thanks!

18 February, 2005

Words fail me
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:23 PM

In game advertising, already gone too far.

(Found on Slashdot Games. Weep for humanity.)

16 February, 2005

If you can’t say anything nice….
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:40 PM

There’s an unwritten rule between online RPG developers that requires that we not say anything too bad about a competitor’s game. It’s considered bad form to criticize someone else’s efforts. I think most developers feel this way because any success helps us all, even if that success has a shaky foundation. Beyond that, the industry is a small place, really. Potentially insulting a future employer is dangerous for anyone to do.

But, is this for the best? Developers can often spot flaws in a game way before most other people do. Examining and discussing flaws is perhaps one of the best ways to move the industry forward. Do we have to wait until a game is long in the tooth like EQ or UO before we can discuss the flaws in a direct manner?

Of course, given how players generally fall in love with a game during the honeymoon period right after launch, it can be really hard to frankly discuss a game’s shortcomings. The fanbois will be out in force, defending their precious newborn game with amazing vigor. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some of the larger companies would even resort to an astroturf campaign to argue against naysayers.

Sometimes it’s best to point out that the emperor has no cloak, but for now it’s best to keep it yourself if you’re a developer.

12 February, 2005

Forever doomed to play fantasy?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:53 PM

Jeff Freeman blogged that the top five online RPGs are all fantasy, and that anyone seeking to make a top five game had better focus on fantasy. It’s a short entry, but it’s generated a lot of discussion.
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11 February, 2005

I’m a soon-to-be-published author
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:05 AM

I’m pleased to announce that I’m a soon-to-be-published author in the upcoming book, Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2. I contributed a chapter entitled, “Balancing Gameplay for Thousands of Your Harshest Critics”. The chapter deals with game design and balance of an online game in various stages of the game’s development, including live game development.

You can find more information at http://hardcodedgames.com/mmpgamedev/, which is a blog-like site set up to deal with the books in this series.
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5 February, 2005

What is an exploit?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:15 AM

A recent post on TerraNova talks about the “wisdom of crowds” in online games. It also indirectly asks, “What is an exploit?” I thought this was an important topic, so I figured I’d post some of my thoughts.
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