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Posts tagged psychochild

Storybricks: Opening the Pandora's box of MMO design

"I could make a better game than this!" At one point or another, we've all said this, usually in disgust after we've become fed up with another tired MMO trope or lazy quest design. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the good fortune to work for a major game studio and thus will never see...

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Why we don't get more innovative games

Innovation is as often as not used as a blank check when asked why MMOs aren't as good as they could be. While the sentiment isn't constant, it's recurring: a vague sense that something isn't there that ought to be. Often, the answer thrown around is that we need innovative games -- but when the...

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Near Death Studios closes down

If 2009 hadn't claimed quite enough lives for your tastes quite yet -- in terms of companies, jobs, and games -- you might have a bit of a morbid approach to things. We're just over the border into the new year, but it looks like there was one last item on the chopping block. Near Death Studios,...

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The glamorous life of a game developer

As we all know, being a game developer is the pinnacle of wealth and glamor. Women chase you, men want to be you, and the money just rolls in by the wheelbarrow. Cypress Hill even wrote a song about it. Oh, wait, no. The other thing. Brian "Psychochild" Green treated us to an informative (and...

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Attacking the holy trinity of MMOs

If you've played MMOs for any length of time, you've probably grown very familiar with the trinity. You can't help but be acquainted with it in any sort of group content, where in more games than not there's that split between the tank, the healer, and the DPS. Certainly there are subdivisions and...

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The Daily Grind: How easy is too easy?

Difficulty in games is a contentious issue at any point. Brian "Psychochild" Green recently had a musing on the topic of difficulty as it applies to most games, but even that discussion stops shy of discussing MMOs, where multiple difficulty levels are rarely an option. Designers can make harder...

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Exploring need, greed, and team play

Brian "Psychochild" Green and Ferrel at Epic Slant recently discussed an ongoing challenge facing game developers: designing for the team instead of for the loot. Balancing game mechanics and rewards with player goals and desires, while still encouraging people to play as a group has always been...

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Learning from the newbies

Playing over someone's shoulder is always an interesting experience. You get to learn from what they do and interpret their experience from an outside perspective. But what's really interesting is not what the experienced player does -- rather it's what the inexperienced player does. Psychochild...

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Crafting, what is it good for?

Crafting in MMOs is a complex and widely varying thing. While most games include crafting in some form or another, it doesn't seem like there's much of a consensus on what purpose crafting is supposed to serve, and similar systems are often received radically differently depending on the title in...

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Age of Conan on single player mode

Age of Conan has gotten an intense amount of exposure lately on virtually every site that covers games. You might have noticed. The influence of AoC is ever-present, burned into the retinas of most of the Massively team as they slash their way through Hyboria. The title seems to have breathed new...

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