Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

27 June, 2007

Books that have influenced me
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:27 AM

Rich Bryant started a meme, and has tagged me. Damn him! Er, I mean, hooray for including me! ;)

This time around: books that have changed your life. Man, no easy answers here for me.
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25 June, 2007

An indie MMOG writeup
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:07 AM

Eric Rhea, one of the minds behind the indie online game Wraith: The Iron Horse just posted up a fascinating look at indie online game development from a practical point of view. It includes some figures and other information about what the team learned in their trial by fire.

Not much more to add, but I have a quick comment after the break.
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24 June, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Economics
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:08 AM

I’ll keep this short and sweet: Assume you are developing a game with a focus on economic gameplay. Describe what you think are the most important aspects to make economics the focus.

Some thoughts after the jump.
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19 June, 2007

Diversity and design
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:06 PM

An interesting little tidbit showed up last week that seemed not to gain too much attention. SOE announced some new MMOs they have had in the pipeline for a while. One game in particular, Free Realms is going after a more casual market and focusing on attracting women to the game. The challenges of doing so were mentioned in this quote from the above linked article:

“I just can’t explain to a 30-year-old single male why 10-year-old girls like horses,” [John Smedley] said. “We were trying to figure out what pets to put into Free Realms and before, the lead designer was a guy and he definitely wanted things that could fight. And when we got more women on the team, it was like ‘No, no, no. We need puppies and horses in there.’”

In this (likely oversimplified) situation, the problem isn’t that the lead designer was male: rather, it was that the lead designer was not properly doing his job.
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18 June, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Outside inspiration, take 2
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:37 AM

I talked about outside inspiration in a previous challenge, but I think it’s time to talk about this topic again.

I recently spent a few days at the infamous Disneyland. There have been quite a few comparisons between online games and theme parks. Some of my thoughts after the jump.
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10 June, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Dynamic worlds
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:03 AM

This week, someone emailed me in an interesting challenge they wanted me to post up. Being the lazy sort, er, I mean… generous sort, I decided I would post it up for them.

This week’s challenge involves the question of dynamic worlds in MMOs. It was sent in by Bobby Thurman.
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9 June, 2007

Interview at Ten Ton Hammer
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:25 PM

I did an interview with Ten Ton Hammer shortly after the IMGD conference. It was a pretty involved interview, split into two different parts:

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/8211

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/8324

Enjoy!

8 June, 2007

Practical Business Advice: Contracts
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:07 AM

I wrote some practical business advice before about partners and money. Time for a new bit of advice about another stick topic: contracts.

Unfortunately, this topic tends to be a nasty surprise for some people starting a business. Obviously, you can read my book and get some good information about contracts, but here’s some advice from a practical point of view.

Oh, and I’m not a lawyer, this isn’t legal advice, etc.
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2 June, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Music
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:59 AM

Let’s go cross-disciplinary this week. Let’s think about designs that involve music.

Some of my thoughts below the jump.
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