Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

30 December, 2008

Patents and online games
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:26 PM

It’s that time again. No, not time for more boozy egg nog, but time for someone with a patent trying to score some easy money by suing an online game provider.

In this case, it’s, Inc. vs NCSoft over patent 7,181,690. There are a few interesting twists here, so I figured I could share some information since I’ve worked as an expert on a previous patent defense.

Standard disclaimer here: I’m not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice. This is my point of view based on what information has been available to the public so far. If you are involved in a patent lawsuit, consult your lawyer before you go out of business.

29 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Take a break
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:15 PM

It’s the holiday season. Go spend time with your family and friends and let them know how much they mean to you. We don’t often do that as much as we should.

23 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Another week for rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:03 AM

Given that I was the only person to respond to last week’s challenge, I’ll give everyone another week. But, if I get no more responses, I’ll end this project for now.

19 December, 2008

The unreality of our fantasy worlds
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:30 PM

I’ve been spending some time thinking about fantasy worlds lately, for lots of reasons. As with a lot of things, I choose to blame Richard Bartle for causing this.

First, he wrote about the now infamous torture quests in WoW. Then he mentioned The Lord of the Rings during his presentation on the Pioneer’s Panel at Living Game Worlds as being an inspiration for creating a coherent fantasy world.

So, read on for some of my thoughts about how well we’ve made coherent worlds in our online games.

16 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Game rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:33 AM

Continuing our work from last week, it’s time to start planning out some of the game rules for our proposed board game.

9 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Initial concepts
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:11 AM

Last week, we discussed the commercial viability of different board game projects. This week, like an inscrutable boss, I’m going to pick one project and tell you to work on it.

The project will be building a hospital as originally suggested by Rik.

Read on for some of my thoughts.

1 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Commercial viability
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:56 AM

This week, we’ll do something that usually isn’t part of design’s job: determine the commercial viability of a proposal. This will be a good exercise for us; it will show some of he considerations that go into this process. Understanding the process is important to knowing what your boss is looking for.

I’m going to select a few projects that have been discussed over the last few weeks and we can discuss potential commercial viability in the comments below.

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