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Whew! Thank god Time Warner got the message and bowed to consumer desires like they swore they did. Am I the only one who sees this as a 3 year old's tantrum? "Fine then! I'll just turn it off completely! I'll show you who's boss!"
*sigh* Seriously, why don't they get that this is untenable? If you couldn't deliver unlimited transfers at the rate you promised, why did you sell it that way, Time Warner? It's because you couldn't have sold it any other way, right? Consider what that means before you decide to play "screw the consumer" again. Read more»
News: City of Heroes user content surpasses dev's in 24 hours - 'Mission Architect' system generates 3,800 game scenarios in first day [GamesIndustry.biz news]
Wow. Great statistic. That's like saying, "It takes an hour of work to build a bicycle and 24 hours of work to build a car. Since we can produce more bicycles in a day than cars, bicycles are clearly better than cars."
Some bicycles are better than cars, in ways, but are bicycles better than cars? Not really. I would like to think that if they were, there would be a lot fewer cars on the highway, when I go to work. Read more»
I was asked today to speak at a conference on a panel discussing writing curriculum in game design schools. I couldn't make it due to a scheduling conflict, which is really too bad. As you are likely aware, I have a pretty well documented, if misunderstood, stance on writing in the industry: I don't think you should hire a writer, if a designer who can write is also available.
I can imagine that some people might interpret that to mean you shouldn't teach writing to new designers, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think there are few more important skills you can teach a game designer. Learning how to write well enhances your ability to think critically and allows you to more easily convey your thoughts to others. Everything else a designer does hinges upon those skills. Really, why wouldn't you teach aspiring game designers to write? Read more»
Along the same lines as the concept of a limited set of basic tools is the often muttered MMO adage that there are less than a dozen quest objective types. I actually think it's a lot less than 12. In fact, most of the folks I know who are making MMOs think there are only 7, just like my basic tools:
You could probably argue that some of those object types are really just embellishments of others as well, so maybe it's more like 5:
In either case, that's a pretty restrictive collection of things a player can do, right? There are only so many combinations of those objectives you can string together before a player has essentially done every quest you can imagine, mechanically. In other words, if you've played an MMO with questing, there's a good chance you've already played every type of quest you could possibly think of. Even on a small game, this is true: there were thousands of quests in Auto Assault across the three factions, but all of them used objective types listed above and pretty much nothing else. So how does a designer use these simple quest types to make interesting content?
The answer is context. Read more»
I wanted to print an old design doc I'd written a few years ago, but sadly I haven't heard back from the studio I wrote it for, so I can't do that. Instead, I suppose I'll just talk about an idea I worked on once. Using the parlance of junk patents, let's call this installment of French Design - "A technique for eliciting lifelike behavior using simple tools." Read more»