Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

28 February, 2009

The Indie MMO Developer’s conference
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:48 AM

Just a quick reminder that the Indie MMO Developer’s Conference is happening April 17-19 in Las Vegas this year. I was responsible for finding and organizing speakers, and I think we have a really great lineup of speakers.

If you’re in MMO development and want to meet people crazy like you (or perhaps crazier since they don’t work with a safety net), then sign up today.
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23 February, 2009

How to replace levels, part 3
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:42 AM

In my previous post about levels, I detailed some of the pros and cons of levels. I promised that I’d propose some solutions to the problems that levels introduce to our games.

But, first, let’s define what the goals of a replacement system are, and take a look at why we want to replace levels.
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18 February, 2009

New writing project: Restless Deep
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:08 AM

I’m proud to announce my new writing project: Restless Deep.

As I say in the about page for the site, it’s kind of like a literary webcomic: I’m hoping to post up brief stories that can be read during a coffee break.

Read on for a few more thoughts.
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15 February, 2009

How to replace levels, part 2
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:00 AM

In my previous post, I discussed the history and design goals of levels. This time around, I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of using levels in an online RPG.
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13 February, 2009

How to replace levels
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:42 AM

One of the common topics for how to “fix” online games is to get rid of levels. It’s easy to say, but hard to do; especially if you’re a developer and all you know is levels.

So, I figured I’d do some posts examining levels from a design perspective and see what it would really take to get rid of levels. I want to look at some historical perspective, what the goals are, and some thoughts on alternative designs. This will be spread out over multiple posts.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the history and goals of levels in games.
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10 February, 2009

Article on legitimacy
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:36 PM

I wrote an article on legitimacy for Gamasutra entitled Legitimacy For Game Developers.

Regular readers will probably recognize most of the topics presented. This article was intended more for a professional game developer audience given that site’s readership.
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4 February, 2009

Breaking the rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:03 AM

Eric Heimburg has a little post about loot in games, particularly how it is in the new 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. He complains that loot just isn’t special anymore, and discusses how this is similar to MMOs (which people have accused the D&D developers of copying too much).

The problem, as I commented, is that you don’t get to break the rules. That’s what makes the games more interesting, and one of the major problems we have in MMOs.
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