Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

29 April, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Guerrilla Marketing
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:38 AM

At the Indie MMO Game Development Conference, Serafina Pechan (developer of Atriarch) gave an interesting presentation on guerrilla marketing. She defined it as “unconventional methods of marketing” and mentioned that it’s usually done on a much lower budget than traditional marketing.

So, this week’s challenge is this: think of some ways to provide guerrilla marketing for an independent game.

My ideas after the jump.

21 April, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Non-combat gameplay
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:20 AM

So, let’s get back into some concrete design challenges. This one is perhaps a bit broad, but you all are smart enough to handle it.

Here’s your challenge: Describe and define a major gameplay system for an online game that does not (directly) involve combat. My thought below the jump.

18 April, 2007

Indie MMOs, conferences, and international opportunities
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:17 AM

I had the opportunity to speak at the Indie MMO Game Development Conference (IMGD) this last weekend. I spoke on the topic of “Taking Your Indie MMO International”.

Overall, it was a really great conference. I was really glad to be able to attend. I always love indie conferences.

16 April, 2007

How low can you go?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:24 PM

I saw an interesting post over on MOGBlog entitled, Wanted: Two Million Dollars. It’s an interesting post about what it would take to make a small project, and the conclusion is that you could do it fairly inexpensively. If you could fit the project into 2 years, the post says, you could do it for under $2M.

Note: I’m not saying that you cannot make a game cheaper than this. Rather, I’m pointing out some of the missing expenses from the post I linked above. You can make a game for much cheaper, and several people have. But, if you want to hire 14 people and pay them the salaries listed, you will end up spending more even if you don’t hire anyone else. A true “indie” game will have a few underpaid and overworked developers that are doing multiple jobs simultaneously.

So, as much as I like such a can-do attitude, I have to show some gentle corrections in the figures.

13 April, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Licenses for MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:53 PM

So, based on one of my comments in my last post, this challenge will be about licenses for MMOs. What makes a good license? Oh, let’s also talk about the potential trainwrecks since those are fun to laugh at. :)

9 April, 2007

Licensed game design
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:55 PM

Kelly Heckman (aka Ophelea to many) wrote an interesting post about Stargate World, the upcoming MMO based on the Stargate SG-1 TV show. Kelly is the editor for, which is a great site that attempts to reduce the commercial influence on game reviews and journalism. (Full disclosure: I’ve written some reviews for the site to help them along. It’s hard running a site that doesn’t whore out to the large game companies, and I’m happy to help out such a wonderful site.) The new blog section is an attempt to allow the staff more room to editorialize.

Kelly’s article about SGW (not SWG, mind you!) shows the problem with licensing an IP to make a game out of it. It usually boils down to this choice: alienate potential players that aren’t hard-core fans of the show, or piss off the hard-core by not following the IP 100%? Does it always have to be this way? Some of my thoughts below the jump.

7 April, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: What?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:09 PM

No, really, what? Or, maybe, why?

6 April, 2007

A bit of humor: Lord of the Rings in Meridian 59
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:03 AM

I wrote this a long time ago in Meridian 59. It’s a bit of humor in the game that I wrote. It answers the oft-unasked question: What would LotR be like in M59?

3 April, 2007

Adult topics
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:55 PM

The issue of games achieving legitimacy is something I’ve talked about a few times before. I think that this is one of the most important topics facing our industry today.

As I’ve said before, part of achieving legitimacy is to avoid the label of being a “kiddie” medium. And that’s most definitely easier said than done.

1 April, 2007

I quit
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:39 PM

On second thought, it’s just not worth it anymore. I’m just sick of dealing with stupid people.

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