Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

28 March, 2009

What is “indie”?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:58 PM

I had a discussion with Bobby Thurman about being indie. He mentioned that he saw a few poor reviews of his MMO, Secondhand Lands and felt frustrated until he realized they were comparing his game to the AAA titles, not as an indie title.

We started to discuss what it meant to be “indie”. As with a lot of other terms we use, this one doesn’t exactly have set definition. So, what is “indie”?
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25 March, 2009

I can’t believe it happened to me…
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:16 PM

Dear MMO letters,

I’ve read a lot of the stories about MMO accounts, but I never thought it would happen to me. I was logging on my World of Warcraft account when I saw it…

…a female gnome in her underwear. It was at that point I realized that my account had been violated!
(more…)

18 March, 2009

Attending GDC next week
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:47 PM

I’m going to be attending a few days of the GDC next week. A friend got me a free pass, so I figure I’ll drive up a few days. If you want to meet up with me, feel free to contact me: psychochild@gmail.com

15 March, 2009

Weekend Design Challenge: The Giant’s Causeway
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:58 PM

One of the game designers I admire and respect, Brenda Brathwaite wrote me to propose a challenge based on her “Irish History Week”. She posted some questions with David Perry who mentions the Giant’s Causeway as a spectacular location. Brenda thinks this could be a great inspiration for a game.

So, let’s get into Weekend Design Challenge mode and consider this challenge. Some thoughts after the break.
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6 March, 2009

Professionals: How do we fix game business?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:15 AM

Adam Martin has an interesting article talking about how he would like to treat employees in his theoretical future company. In a comment I left, I took him to task for jumping in too deep; instead of listing a bunch of perks, we should take the time to identify problems and come up with solutions to them.

So, let’s take a look at the problems, shall we?
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4 March, 2009

The problem with PvP (spoiler: it’s the community)
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:35 AM

Over at the official Darkfall blog… wait, I meant Scott Jennings’ site (easy mistake to make these days), he’s been sounding off about the problems surrounding the game’s launch.

If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know what Darkfall is, it’s the new heir apparent to the MMO PvP throne. That is, if the game can stay online long enough to actually get played. That’s right, once again, it seems like we’re going to get a game that’s full of technical problems that won’t let the design flaws shine through. Although that sounds completely snarky, there’s a kernel of truth in it: I’d love to see a game make some honest mistakes that we could honestly critique, instead of everyone having to look back a decade and talk about Ultima Online or Meridian 59 when we talk about PvP-focused games.

But, the problem is that PvP games suffer from a lot of deeper issues beyond technical instability and insane design decisions. The core problem with these games, in two words: the community.
(more…)

2 March, 2009

Abandoning hope
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:26 AM

Damion pointed out a Kotaku article about Tabula Rasa having a last blowout event. Basically, they’re ending their existence by having a doomsday scenario when the Bane take over.

People are saying it’s kinda neat, but I don’t see it that way. Underneath the bravado, I see it as a sign of people giving up hope. To me, that’s kind of depressing. Given that I’ve been through the shutdown of a game I’ve worked on, I think I have a unique perspective on things.
(more…)

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