Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

27 February, 2007

Customer Service still does not matter
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:18 PM

Matt Mihaly posted a blog entry about poor CS on an airline. The airline basically screwed over a vacation he was looking forward to because the airline couldn’t find a crew for the flight he had signed up for. Matt took the opportunity to opine about how CS should be more important than it is. Even a little thing like extending some common courtesy over his plight would have helped.

Of course, I had to be the wet blanket and tell everyone that customer service doesn’t matter.

25 February, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Exploration
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:49 PM

Going with the theme of exploration, here’s this weekend’s challenge: Come up with a way to promote exploring.

Bonus points if your idea works despite sites like Thottbot, etc.

A quick thought of my own follows.

23 February, 2007

Cheat while exploring, not while achieving
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:48 AM

There’s one dichotomy I’ve found fascinating about online games: people get all bent out of shape if you cheat in terms of achieving. Botting is generally frowned upon by companies, and the mere hint of the possibility of buying items/characters sends people into a frenzy.

Yet, the equivalent behaviors relating to exploring aren’t as vilified. Heading to a site to find quest location? Not a problem. Buy a strategy guy? Go right ahead!

In other words, as the title says: cheat while exploring, but not while achieving.

Why is this?

20 February, 2007

PvP lessons from multiple games
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:34 AM

Scott has an article on PvP over on his site where he talks about PvP in terms of “gang warfare”. An interesting topic where he pulls examples from multiple games.

Yeah, it’s a PvP article, so I have to respond. Don’t I?

17 February, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Long-standing problems
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:28 PM

Inspired by my two olde tyme posts, Acting Casual About Casual Gamers and Why Socializers are our Comrades, this weekend’s challenge is this:

What long-standing problems do you still see in online games? Now, go a step further and propose a solution.

16 February, 2007

Olde tyme post: Why Socializers are our Comrades
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:51 AM

In addition to the previous article, I had a second essay printed in “Imaginary Realities”.

This one is entitled Why Socializers are our Comrades posted in August of 2000.

14 February, 2007

Olde tyme post: Acting Casual About Casual Gamers
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:26 PM

Thanks to Raph, I found some of my older writing online. Back when I was an active poster on MUD-Dev, the online ‘zine “Imaginary Realities” (IR) asked to republish some of my posts. In the interests of preserving these posts, I’m reposting them here on my blog.

I wrote a series of articles for the mailing list about various topics. This started as an exercise in creative freedom after I was no longer working for 3DO. I continued for quite a bit into my next job at the now defunct The two articles picked up by IR focused mostly on socialization.

The first was entitled Acting Casual About Casual Gamers, published in July of 2000.

11 February, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Applying data mining

Last week we looked at information about data mining. There are some good resources there; but more are always appreciated.

So, now we’re going to talk about applying this knowledge. Let’s talk about what you can do with data mining.

8 February, 2007

Drawing the wrong conclusions
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:19 PM

Talk about the Station Exchange whitepaper is making the rounds on the blogosphere. It’s actually quite nice to see SOE open up the kimono a bit and show us some numbers that could have remained a trade secret.

Of course, there’s one quote that everyone is picking on:

Station Exchange is not an extension of game play. It is a utility. It offers a fundamentally different approach to play: a means of skipping the boring parts.

Unfortunately, people seem to be missing the point and using this quote to reinforce their pre-conceived notions. I figured a bit of discussion is in order, particularly from an actual EQ2 player. ;)

7 February, 2007

The book is selling well!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:25 AM

I recently got some great news: Business & Legal Primer for Game Development has sold its initial print run of 2000 copies and there is a second print run in the works. This means the book has broken even (hooray!), so now the authors should earn royalties! Quite an accomplishment for everyone involved. It also means some of the errors will get fixed. :)

So, go buy your own copy and educate yourself!

Read on for a few more bits of good news related to the book.

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