Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

29 June, 2010

Is a death penalty appropriate?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:48 PM

There’s been some discussion about death penalties lately, and I figured it was a good opportunity to discuss some issues with death penalties in MMOs, and penalties in games in general from a game design point of view. So, let’s take a look at this topic and see how many flamewars we can fan!

25 June, 2010

Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:54 AM

I’m upgraded my WordPress installation, but I’m still testing out the multi-site code. Report any strangeness to me in a comment or email. Thanks!

19 June, 2010

Faking Multiplayer Economies
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:33 PM

I wrote an article in two parts for the Game Design Aspect of the Month blog. This month’s theme was “Multiplayer Economies”, something I happen to know a thing or two about! :)

Anyway, go take a look at the article:


15 June, 2010

Game variants
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:02 PM

One of the reasons I really enjoy offline (board and card) games is because they offer a lot of great opportunities for game design. There’s nothing quite like chewing over a game’s mechanics while playing with friends. It’s a fun exercise to think about how to turn an interesting board game mechanic into something that would work for the design of an online game.

Offline games are also a great opportunity to tweak the rules to try to make them better. Perhaps you want to make a game harder, or easier, or just want a different experience after playing the game for the hundredth time with friends. If you can find a group willing to experiment, offline games are a great opportunity to practice game design and talk it over with other interested people.

Let me talk about some of the variant rules I’ve been playing with in games.

6 June, 2010

LotRO changing business models
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:39 PM

The big news the past week has been Turbine’s announcement that The Lord of the Rings Online is going free-to-play. Since it’s one of the MMOs I’m currently playing, and since I’m a fan of the free-to-play business model as a developer, this was of obvious interest to me.

So, what does it all mean as a developer looking at this?

3 June, 2010

Startling insight about interactivity
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:42 AM

A post over at the Rampant Coyote sparked a discussion where Jay Barnson (the blog author) posted the following in a comment:

We talk about “Show, don’t tell.” An important principle in linear entertainment. But could “invite” be a more critical principle still for interactive media? Are modern games so focused on “showing” that they fail to “invite” the player to engage their imagination and contribute to the story? Are the games, effectively, treating the player like a passive audience and saying, “Sit down, shut up, watch this cool presentation and I’ll tell you when to press the buttons to make it do nifty stuff.”

A startling amount of insight about some of the problems I see in modern design. Read on for a few more thoughts.

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