Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

15 August, 2018

The drama problem in communities
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:53 PM

There’s one thing that kills groups dead more than anything else: Drama. The he-said, she-said garbage where different groups feel aggrieved and upset at the other for perceived reasons. Drama creates a wedge between people and kills communities.

Since I’m talking about communities this week, let’s take a quick look at drama.
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14 August, 2018

The importance of community culture
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:44 PM

I talk a lot about culture because this is an important thing. How you deal with the culture of your community is perhaps one of the most important things that determines the long-term success or failure of your group.

Let’s take a closer look at what culture means in a community like an MMO guild.
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13 August, 2018

When a guild grows too large
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:55 PM

One of the big sins I mentioned in my last post was how guilds grow too large. This becomes a problem because the feeling of the guild changes, and this affects how people look at the guild. Especially if a guild starts as a small group of friends, it can be disconcerting when you suddenly look around and find that the guild feels so impersonal.

Let’s look at why large guilds can feel so different when they grow too large.
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12 August, 2018

Building your own small community in an MMO
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:52 PM

A little while ago I was talking to a friend of mine who helped to run an MMO guild in a game. They lamented to me about the problems of running it, particularly when things changed in the guild. It went from a small group of friends willing to help each other to a group of strangers. Worse, some of the core people were fleeing the guild to form their own rather than try to help fix the perceived problem.

So I figured I’d write a bit about what it takes to build and run a small community in a game based upon my experiences as a developer and as a player of MMOs.
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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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