Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

20 August, 2016

Ask me (almost) anything
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:17 PM

Today in honor of passing the midpoint of Blaugust 2016, I’ll do an “ask me (almost) anything” thread.

Read the guidelines, and then post a comment!
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18 August, 2016

I wrote some new DLC for March of the Living
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:01 PM

My good friend Dave “Over00″ Toulouse released some new DLC for his game March of the Living. What you may not know is that I was the writer and narrative designer for the DLC. Dave provided a basic idea, and I fleshed out the story and wrote the content for it.

I’ll go into a bit more detail, but definitely go check out “The Three of Us”.
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17 August, 2016

Cargo cult game development

Theoretical physics Richard Feynman popularized the phrase, “cargo cult science”, referring to “cargo cults” on some Pacific islands that sought to bring material wealth by performing rituals and building elements that seemed to attract it before. In particular, they built airplane runways, hoping to attract the airplanes that carried cargo to them before. The connotation is that the islanders (and scientists practicing “cargo cult science”) were going through motions they didn’t understand to get a result.

As an aside, modern scholars think the islanders weren’t ignorant of technology, but rather performing an elaborate ritual. But, the term has remained and used in the original sense and I’ll use it here without rendering judgement on those Pacific islanders.

We can just as easily point to “cargo cult game development”, where game developers of all stripes copy something they don’t understand in order to get result they want. They blindly copy rather than understand. So, let’s take a look at how this work across different disciplines.
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15 August, 2016

Toxic, passionate fans
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:37 PM

We’ve seen a more people being abusive to game developers recently. The most recent example is No Man’s Sky, where people are angry for a number of reasons.

The stated reasons don’t matter, but the actual reasons might be useful for knowing how to handle this as a developer.
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13 August, 2016

Weekend Design Challenge: Explaining your game

So, let me dust off this old thing and let’s talk about explaining your game. This is a vital part of game development on multiple levels.

Let’s take a look at why it’s so important, with a little challenge for you to ponder.
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10 August, 2016

“There’s a philistine and an aesthete in all of us”
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:16 PM

My friend Jay Gischer shared a link on Google plus entitled A Pixel Artist Renounces Pixel Art. An artist who just spent a few years creating lovingly hand-crafted pixel art gives up hope and accepts people are cultural philistines while bending over backwards to forgive them.

Now, I’m a fan of pixel art, so I have a few things to say on this. Buckle in…
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8 August, 2016

The things certainly were stranger
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 7:46 PM

Like a lot of nerds, I watched Stranger Things on Netflix recently. Although I didn’t binge watch it in one go like some people, we did go through the episodes pretty quickly. But, the show got me thinking about a few topics that have been rolling around a bit. Figured I’d post about them today.
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6 August, 2016

Abstraction of game reality
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:13 PM

While discussing games with a friend, we started talking about abstractions. While some games attempt to simulate reality, not every element in a game is a direct simulation of reality. Some elements are abstractions of reality.

Let’s take a look at abstractions and why they’re used.
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3 August, 2016

Negativity and its effect on indie developers
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:19 PM

Let me tell you a story about my good friend Dave. He’s a smart guy and an indie game developer. He’s stuck with game development for many years. He finally had a success big enough that he’s working on making games full time.

Dave wants to work on a new game. He’s trying a lot of things. He’s trying some 3D this time instead of going with 2D as he has before. He’s working on some AI-driven stuff, instead of heavily scripted and content-heavy games before.

Dave showed the game to some fellow indie developers. But, you know what he found? Negativity.

And negativity doesn’t help.
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1 August, 2016

Wait… what month is it again? It’s BLAUGUST!
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:42 PM

So, it’s that time of year again, where I post a lot more often. Some people call it “the next sign of the apocalypse”, but most people just call it “Blaugust”. Especially since the world didn’t end when I posted every day last year for an entire month.

So, let’s gear up and get ready to go hard core and post… wait a minute, I’m getting a message….

Blaugust 2016 Super Relaxed Edition

Well, okay then. No need to shotgun the Red Bull, I guess.
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