Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

11 August, 2018

Differences in different types of RP
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:51 PM

Usually in games we try to compare one thing to what we already know. Genres are a great example of this: both DOOM and Bioshock 2 are FPSes, but they are different from each other in many ways.

So when it comes to RP in MMOs, we might try to compare it to other forms. Let’s take a look at how it’s different.
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10 August, 2018

Why RPers matter in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:19 PM

I’ve spent some time talking about why people RP and how to give them better tools, but let’s now look at the larger picture: why should developers care about RP in MMOs?

Let’s take a look at what RPers do for a game and why it’s a good idea to appeal to them.
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9 August, 2018

Better tools for RPers in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:46 PM

Okay, a few days ago we looked at RP in MMOs and why people RP. Now let’s take a look at how MMO designers can make games that are ready for RP. These ideas are based on my own experience RPing in FFXIV through the eyes of a developer.

So how can we give players better tools to help facilitate better RP in the game? I’ll give examples from FFXIV, but many of these could apply to just about any game.
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8 August, 2018

The expectation of online friendships
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:49 PM

I was discussing with a friend recently about MMOs and freindships. Their guild had started to fall apart; it had lost that friendly feeling that it had before. And there was a schism between the groups of players forming. Worse, someone the guild leader thought was a close friend left the guild to join another splinter group.

That got us talking about the nature of online friends. Let’s look at that a bit.
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7 August, 2018

Why people RP in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:29 PM

I think it’s important to think about why people RP when we look at role-playing. Of course, it gets a little dangerous to make too many ground pronouncements without data, but sometimes observation and experience can help make sense of things.

So, let me share some of my observations about why people RP in MMOs.
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6 August, 2018

Looking at RP in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:46 PM

Role-playing in MMOs is an interesting thing. Despite the “RP” in MMORPG standing or role-playing, the origin of this comes from computer RPGs where the focus was more on mechanics than collaborative storytelling. MMOs adopted this, taking the mechanics and world building but not leaving much room for structure storytelling between players.

But this has been tried before. UO was notorious for expecting players to clean up and bring justice to those who broke social norms. Eventually the developers realized this wasn’t going to work, because the cost to create mischief was much lower than the cost to enforce social norms. And some players exploited the system to take advantage of mechanics to let them create mischief while remaining untouchable by the enforcers.

So, let’s take a look at RP options in MMOs, with an eye to how a designer could improve the experience.
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5 August, 2018

A thoughful pause
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:55 PM

Usually around March I post on by blog asking for feedback. I like to hear what people say and get some inspiration for what’s going on. I’ve done in March because the holidays are past and there’s not much to distract. An real “news” that isn’t a lingering hangover from the previous year is likely to be fresh about then.

Since I’ve been a little slack this year, I wanted to ask what people thought, and maybe get some ideas about what would be interesting to write about for the rest of the month.
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4 August, 2018

How MMOs can do stories better
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:30 PM

The past two days I’ve talked about how MMOs do stories wrong, and why they do stories wrong. And there have been some great comments I’ll reply to soon.

So, let’s talk some solutions to the problems I’ve brought up the last few days. How can we go from stories that feel like more of a chore or a diversion to stories that are a meaningful to the player?
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3 August, 2018

Why MMOs get story wrong
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:21 PM

Yesterday we talked about how they get story wrong, but why do they get it wrong? Although the favorite answer may be “because developers are stupid”, there are actually some very good reasons why developers create the type of stories I pointed out yesterday.

Let’s take a look at some development realities when creating stories for MMOs.
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2 August, 2018

How MMOs get story wrong
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:25 PM

Most of the recent MMOs have had a strong story component, a central narrative told by the developers. FFXVI has it’s Main Scenario Quests (MSQ) that gate progress through the game as a quite obvious example. WoW has story told through quests, environment, and dungeons. GW2 has story that is the main focus of your progression through the world as well.

But these games tend to get the stories wrong. Let’s take a look at how these go wrong.
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