Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

24 March, 2011

A tale of two free to play games
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:00 PM

I’m an MMO developer, but I’m also an enthusiastic player. Not every MMO designer has the luxury of spending a lot of time in games, but I think it’s important to stay current with games given that I’ve spent a lot of my time running a rather “retro” game.

So, I like to think that I have a bit of insight on how the player side of things work as well as the designer. So, while I’m a big fan of microtransaction (or “free to play”) business models, I certainly do understand how players can be wary, even frightened by this type of system. So, let’s look at two games from the same company and see how they handle microtransactions.

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The problem with armor
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:07 PM

A lot of times people bash on the fantasy trope of the “chainmail bikini” as being too prevalent. Not only is it impractical, but it’s also sometimes insulting to women who want to play strong female warriors.

Just in case you think this is a made up problem, allow me to show you a screenshot from Dungeons & Dragons Online. Two dwarves, one male and one female, who used the exact same armor appearance kit preview that adjusts based on the type of armor you wear (and obviously the gender of the character).

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7 March, 2011

Rethinking User Created Content
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:20 AM

I haven’t exactly been a big supporter of User Created Content in the past, to put it mildly. In fact, you could say I’ve been downright hostile toward the idea. So while others have been embracing users and telling designers to “get over” ourselves, I was rolling my eyes and trying to improve in my design skills instead of waiting for players to replace my position.

But, along comes a new project I’m excited about. And, we’re talking about User Created Content. But, this time around, I’m warming to the idea. So, am I stupid or just a hypocrite? Well, after a bit of thought and self-justification, I don’t think it’s either. It turns out that I didn’t like User Created Content in the past mostly because of the context. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
(more…)

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