Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

31 August, 2016

In defense of multiple servers
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:09 PM

This is a special blog post done in conjunction with the MMOBro for the end of Blaugust 2016. We had a pleasant email discussion on a variety of topics, and we decided to do a point/counter-point type post on an MMO topic.

I’m going to write about how multiple servers are generally better for MMOs than single, monolithic servers. MMOBro will attempt to advocate for the single server games. Read both blogs, then join in the conversation!
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29 August, 2016

#Blaugust2016 wrap up: Introspection on blogging
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 12:09 PM

It’s not quite the end of Blaugust yet, but I have a special post for the last day. So, I figured I’d do a wrap up today, and maybe beat the crowds of people writing posts like this in a few days. :)

So, another Blaugust has come and gone. As is my wont, I’m going to get a little introspective about what blogging means.
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27 August, 2016

Testing game programming
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:23 PM

Hiring programmers is a complex process. You need to find someone with the competence to perform the work and the temperament to work well with a team. In game programming, you also have to find people who will do highly technical work while making less than they could in just about any other industry.

But, the industry does itself no favors here. The way we test and judge programmers demonstrates a mindset stuck in the past. Let’s take a look, shall we?
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24 August, 2016

Creativity requires a healthy ego
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:16 PM

A friend of mine started a Google+ discussion talking about creativity. He talked about how a successful software developer had been called “a dick” and speculated how that could be true.

That got me to thinking about what it takes to be creative and how creative people are perceptive. You might be able to guess my thoughts if you read the title of this post, but let me go into a bit more detail.
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22 August, 2016

How to sunset a game
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:59 PM

What does it take to sunset a game? This went from academic MMO exercise a decade ago to pressing issue for today’s mobile games with a strong online component in an increasingly overcrowded market where games don’t necessarily last that long.

So, how do you gracefully close down a game during what is a time fraught with emotional loss for the players?
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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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