Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

30 September, 2009

Peaks and Troughs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:37 PM

When you do something for fun, do you always have fun? Seems like a silly question until you look at it from a game design point of view. Few people truly have fun 100% of the time, even when they intend to have fun. A good friend of mine loved The Lord of the Rings, but he still skipped the “boring parts” despite his absolute enthusiasm for the book.

So, let’s take a look at what is “fun” and how much of it you can pack into an experience.

21 September, 2009

Designing for the team instead of for the loot
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:00 PM

This is a collaborative post with Ferrel over at Epic Slant. We worked on writing articles from different perspectives: he wrote from the guild leader’s perspective, and I wrote this from a game designer’s perspective. We hope you enjoy reading this. (If you write a blog or articles and would like to do the same thing with me, send me an email.)

Ferrel and I, by very happy coincidence, happen to play on the same server in LotRO. As he posted, we had a good discussion about loot and guild leadership. His post focuses on the trials and tribulations of a guild leader, but how does the issue of loot affect a game developer and the game they are designing?

19 September, 2009

Playing the blame game
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:06 AM

It’s the eternal question: When something goes wrong, who (besides yourself, of course) is to blame? In the corporate world, the term “blamestorming” is used to describe a meeting where people try to assign the blame to someone else.

Game development is no different. Sometimes games don’t “live up to their potential”, or some other euphemism meaning “didn’t make the piles of money desired.” Who is at fault? Unfortunately, while the answer might be useful to avoiding the problem again, it’s not always easy to come up with the solution. And, this isn’t just because people prefer to blame others rather than take a long, hard look at themselves.

So, who really is to blame?

10 September, 2009

Extreme Makeover: LotRO’s legendary items
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:03 PM

Going to try a new concept this post: the extreme design makeover. I’m going to look at a system in an existing game and turn the designer’s critical eye to it. I’ll discuss the system, what the flaws are, and what some design concepts to improve the system might be.

Today, I’m going to take a look at LotRO’s legendary item system.

2 September, 2009

Something for you superhero fans
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:10 AM

Lots of talk about Champions Online on the blogs right now, so I wanted to point out a little something that might tickle that superhero fancy:

Zephyr: A webcomic in prose

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