Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

23 June, 2012

Open Thread
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:04 AM
(This post has been viewed 1727 times.)

As you might be able to tell from my last posting and the utter lack of posts this month, I haven't been terribly inspired or had time to dig for inspiration for posts on here. So, I'm going to do an open thread.

Post what you want.

I'll probably even respond.

On the Storybricks front, we've just about raised a bit more money from angels. Not the big round we wanted, but something that gives us a bit more breathing room. Hopefully it'll be enough to see us further along until someone else is willing to invest.

Anyway, what's on your mind that's game-related?

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7 Comments »

  1. To what level should exclusivity play a role in MMO design?

    Meaning, is it better to put a carrot in the hands of some players by their achievement difficult, group-based accomplishments, as a method of inspiring other players to achieve it?

    Or should accessibility rule the day? Where, all someone needs is the time and themselves to do it?

    Comment by Zeldain — 23 June, 2012 @ 5:45 AM

  2. Is there a way to prevent Real Money Trading in an MMO economy while still allowing players to gift and direct trade with each other? I really like having players be able to interact with each other in this way (happened to me in Guild Wars last week and it was really nice), but I can't afford the support required to help people with their RMT problems.

    On Exclusivity: There is nothing wrong with having difficult achievements in the game, there are huge bragging rights attached and some people will have great fun getting those. Making grouping a requirement is not an unreasonable barrier in an MMO. You just have to make sure that your whole game isn't unreachable.

    Comment by Robert Basler — 23 June, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

  3. hmm okay...

    I'm looking for an MMO with no necessary grind to get to somewhere, no mini-games and hopefully asynchronous interaction with other players. Which MMO is that?

    Bonus points if it's not something meant as a single-player game ... ;-)

    Comment by Dave Toulouse — 23 June, 2012 @ 11:53 PM

  4. How long does the PC have left as a gaming platform?

    If Business ceases to use PCs in massive numbers, as looks probable, is there any chance the hardware will continue to exist at all?

    How many years before all gaming, and indeed personal computing, is done either on tablet/ultra or on room screens via a controller and the Cloud?

    Will Surface and Win8 be the watershed?

    Comment by bhagpuss — 24 June, 2012 @ 2:37 AM

  5. Zeldain wrote:
    To what level should exclusivity play a role in MMO design?

    A bit of a loaded question, in that you go on to talk about grouping vs. soloing. The conventional wisdom has been to make everything accessible. I think that works best if you have contrast; WoW did well with accessibility because it had a lot of games that weren't accessible as competition. But, now that WoW's been around for just shy of a decade, we're seeing some fatigue. New games are coming out and people just aren't as into them as they were before. As much as accessibility might seem more accommodating, I think that there needs to be a shift back toward community in MMOs. The sticky part of MMOs was the other people, but if you make them more like obstacles than fellows, you'll see the behavior you expect. Without the social bonds, an MMO becomes a mediocre single-player game that you probably have to keep paying for.

    That said, obstacles for the sake of being obstacles need to be carefully considered in your design. Some really exclusive stuff might be neat, but a little bit goes a long way for most people.

    Robert Basler wrote:
    Is there a way to prevent Real Money Trading in an MMO economy while still allowing players to gift and direct trade with each other?

    I don't believe so. The two big experiments/designs in this area were Runescape's attempt to only allow people to trade stuff of equal value (which they have since stopped, IIRC), and KidTrade by Randy Farmer. KidTrade make trading anonymous, though, so you definitely lose the gifting aspect. I highly recommend reading the paper, though, as it goes through some basics and might spur your own thoughts about how to design an economy.

    Dave Toulouse wrote:
    I'm looking for an MMO with no necessary grind to get to somewhere, no mini-games and hopefully asynchronous interaction with other players.

    MMOs and asynchronous interaction are pretty antithetical. Have you tried browser games? That might be something more along the lines of what you are looking for.

    bhagpuss wrote:
    How long does the PC have left as a gaming platform?

    A long time. As much as we might see the future rushing toward us, there are a few truisms we tend to forget.

    1. New technology doesn't instantly invalidate old technology. We still have books, radios, and movies even though we have TV. Sure, market's change, but they don't go away instantly.

    2. People are slower to adopt to tech than you think. There's still a non-trivial number of people on dialup internet, for example. It can be hard to see this when you live and work in a high tech area and see "everyone" moving a direction. I can't tell you how many times I've had friends in Silicon Valley go on about how X is the future because everyone is shifting, forgetting there's a LOT of people outside this area.

    3. Tablets aren't for everyone. Programming IDEs suck on tablets. So, you'll still have the programmer types that will stick with a PC. Actually, that means the future PC market might look a lot like the older PC market from a few decades ago.

    So, honestly, the PC will never stop being a gaming platform. It might change, but those of us who have the need for a PC will find ways to play games on it. :)

    Comment by Psychochild — 25 June, 2012 @ 12:06 AM

  6. The article on KidTrade was interesting. I have been thinking of designing my trading like a stock market where you don't know who you are trading with and have a system daemon that sometimes completes out-of-the-ordinary trades, but if I'm doing that - why have a real exchange at all? Also there's some handy math in the article. Things to think about...

    Comment by Robert Basler — 25 June, 2012 @ 1:03 AM

  7. Hi Brian,

    Been a while, huh?

    Since this an open post, I thought I'd share this. It's not exactly pro quality but I do code, not presentations.

    http://www.slideshare.net/rich_bryant/mm-os-and-the-future

    Let me know if you enjoy it.

    Comment by Rich Bryant — 27 June, 2012 @ 7:10 AM

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