Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

30 December, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Farming
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:56 PM

No, this isn’t a gold farming post. That comes later this week.

I got Rune Factory for the DS for Christmas. This is a fantasy version of the Harvest Moon games. These games are built around the rather interesting premise of farming. You wouldn’t think it would be compelling gameplay, but it turns out to be really interesting.

The challenge this week is to taking an unusual topic, like farming, and make a compelling game (or mini-game in an RPG) out of it.
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27 December, 2007

Trying to please everyone
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:23 PM

I had an interesting conversation with some people in my current WoW guild and their complaints with the game. One core problem was that raiders were upset over the PvP rewards. True to the raider stereotype, some of the raiders complained that the PvPer didn’t really “earn” the gear.

I thought it was an interesting case of trying to please everyone but just upsetting some people.
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23 December, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Winter holidays
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:08 PM

The main challenge for this weekend is to get ready for the holidays! I hope everyone has a good holiday season surrounded by friends and family. Well, at least the ones you like. :)

For those ahead of the curve, a small challenge: think of a winter-holiday themed game. My idea after the break.
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20 December, 2007

Your audience does the unexpected
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:08 AM

One truth that online game developers face is that players will do things we don’t expect. They’ll reach the highest level faster than we expect. They’ll figure out ways to get around that encounter we thought was impossible. They’ll abuse our game systems in ways we hoped would never happen.

Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those lessons that people never take seriously until they see it. But, once again, it’s useful to see how this lesson applies to offline games as well in order to demonstrate this lesson clearly.
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16 December, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Tools
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:13 PM

For this challenge, we’re going to go a bit meta. This weekend, imagine you’re a designer on an MMO project during the planning stages. Your job is to suggest a tool (or a feature for a tool) that will make creating your project easier for you. You have to describe it well enough that the programming team can implement it for you.

My example after the jump.
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10 December, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: PvP design
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:54 AM

A recent post on Broken Toys talks about the problems the PvP game Fury is having. The short version is that they ran into a lot of the same problems that developers saw back in the days when M59 and UO launched.

So, let’s talk about PvP design and how to do it “right”.
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5 December, 2007

Who created what first?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:18 PM

Who created the online RPG? While almost every informed person recognizes Dr. Richard Bartle as one of the co-creators of the original text MUD, finding the source of the modern graphical MMORPG as we know it today is a bit harder.

But, this isn’t just a problem with online games; the origin of many popular types of games tend to be hard to divine as well. So, who does get the credit for creating “the first” of a type of game?
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2 December, 2007

Weekend Design Challenge: Things that don’t fit
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:54 PM

For this slightly delayed challenge, we’re going to focus on things that don’t quite fit in games, but that are still there anyway. Most of the time, its convention that keeps something in the world that doesn’t make sense within the context of the world.

My thoughts after the jump.
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