Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

29 January, 2011

Mastery of Might and Magic
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:33 AM

There are a certain set of what I like to call “occupational hazards” in being a game developer/designer. The biggest one is that you spend a lot of time playing games. The corollary is that you spend a lot of time analyzing games, too. Having a wide range of experience with different games gives you a lot of reference points for the “rules” of different types of games. Not merely to copy them, but to also know when your “original” idea has even a chance of truly being original. Plus, I like the phrase, “You have to know the rules in order to break them.”

I’ve been playing some Might and Magic: Book 1 (M&M1) lately. So, let me share some of my analysis with you, so I don’t feel like I’ve completely wasted my time playing a truly old-school game.

27 January, 2011

Are you a serious PHP developer?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:46 PM

If so, I’d love to chat with you about a project I’m putting together for Psychoavatar. I’m envisioning a fairly large-scale project, so experience with something big is a bonus. Being a gamer, especially if you like traditional tabletop RPGs, is a huge plus. This could turn into paying work in the future, but currently I’m in the exploration phase for the project to see if the concept is even feasible.

Anyway, write me at or send a link to this blog entry along to anyone who know who might be interested. Thanks!

20 January, 2011

Stay classy
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:24 PM

After making a new year’s resolution to post more often, Eric over at Elder Game has decided to re-animate the corpse of an ancient discussion about Classes vs. Open Skill Systems.

Oh, look, this topic again. But, let me try to look at this in a new light.

19 January, 2011

Send in the clones
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:32 PM

…don’t bother, they’re here.

In game development, clones are seemingly a way of life. A popular idea gets lifted and repurposed and hopefully expanded. It might be good, then we call it “inspired by” or an homage to the original. It might not be so good or a bit too blatant, then we call it a rip-off. (The difference between an homage and a rip-off reminds me of the joke about the difference between a religion and a cult: one is more popular than the other.)

Let’s take a look at clones, why they’re so tempting, and why they can be so harmful to game development.

14 January, 2011

Order vs. Chaos
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:43 AM

I came across another interesting review of TRON: Legacy today over at Terra Nova: Blizzard is CLU. It goes into some interesting detail about the nature of MMOs and how the “living parts” were driven out, reminiscent of the plot of the movie. (Warning, there are some mild spoilers in that article if you haven’t seen the movie yet.)

This brought up some thoughts about chaos and order as they apply to game design trends. Read on for my take.

5 January, 2011

Looking forward in 2011
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:28 AM

I’m not usually one to put a lot of significance on the new year, but it’s as good a time as any to contemplate change. So, allow me some time to do a bit of tidying up here in the metaphorical sense.

So, what will 2011 bring?

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