Just some reference material so I don’t lose the links, and because they may be interesting to some of you.
(These were compiled over two weeks or so, especially when I was home sick from work. There’s nothing really spectacular here, or I’d have written a dedicated article… but there may be points of interest worth checking out.)
Raph Koster’s classic commentary on Why Levels Suck
Casual for the Hardcore? (Noting, rightly, that aging gamer demographics suggest a market space for “short session” gaming, whether it’s traditional “hardcore” or “casual”. It’s possible to have a casual relationship with a hardcore game.)
Regarding turn based combat in MMOs:
Against RPG Decadence (this one is more generically aimed at RPG mechanics, but points out that “turn-based isn’t dead, nor is it poor design”)
GDC comments from Double Buffered: (I don’t agree with his stance on subscriptions for MMOs, but his blog is still a good read)
And speaking of data mining, Cleaver of Three Rings/Puzzle Pirates fame has another post up after a three month drought, showing some hard data for Puzzle Pirates and Whirled from his GDC address:
Metrics for a Brave New Whirled (I wish he’d post more often)
Prototyping Games from Gamasutra. It’s nice to get a prototype up and running as quickly as possible, since tuning the game with feedback is ideal before spending a lot of time and money generating assets that may not be used, or would need extensive and expensive revisions.
A couple of non-gaming articles on housing:
42. That is the answer. Now, what is the question? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Do you like spiders and/or sci fi? (Hirvox pointed this one out.)
Lessons from a Cancelled MMO (Longasc pointed this one out):
And there’s a Threadless shirt design, brought to my attention via an email sent to my contact address. It looks like a fellow trying to drum up business for a friend (or client?). I’m not usually apt to care for random solicitation, but I’m more and more sympathetic to small businesses of late. (Doing my own indie projects probably has something to do with this, as well as the busted economy.) I have no business relationship with these guys, and no financial stake in posting this link. It’s just a mildly interesting design making good use of game console controller designs.
What can I say? It appeals to the mild anarchist in me (I have little love for any government entities at the moment, though Governor Huntsman did the right thing vetoing the local Jack Thompson bill), as well as the gamer… and I’m all for a revolution in MMO design. Now, if only it also encompassed the PC/Mac in its design (we play games too, right?), and came in different colors…
Speaking of JT, there’s this little comic I ran into while I was sick:
They even do Zombies, if you’re into that sort of thing. I like the IT ninja, and this one made me laugh out loud. Also, please never play that Lennon/Ono Christmas song in my presence. They seem to have a pretty good bead on geekdom and MMOs, too. Just watch your kids, lest they wind up gamers, too.
Oh, and since it’s been a while, there’s this shirt design that I did for Phaelia:
She’s not actively blogging about WoW any more, but she has a great archive of data, so it’s worth perusing her blog… or buying the shirt. (I get no money from that, either; I gave her the design for her use. It’s all my art, though, as noted over in my Mini Portfolio.)
There’s this little gem that I may have posted before:
Dual Currency and Virtual Goods from people who have made it their business to understand internet businesses
Oh, and speaking of blogging and development,
Shamus does procedural city design (a fantastic series; I wish I knew more coding)
Ernest W. Adams’ Designer’s Notebook (another guy who writes too much in the public arena to be a good designer, I guess)
And a great little post I just happened across: It’s OK to Grow Up