My next big thing
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 May 2014, 11:14 pm
I shared this tidbit on social networks first, so let get straight to the point: I've taken a position with City State Entertainment on the game currently called Camelot Unchained. I'm obviously very excited, even if it required a move clear across the country.

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My next big thing




The importance of community
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 May 2014, 11:54 am
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who helped me out with the vet bills for Susano. I appreciate every gift, help in spreading my request, and kind word of support. It means a lot to me that people were willing to help. I wrote personal emails to everyone who sent a gift. In many of these notes, I mentioned the importance of community. I often talk about how important community is on this blog, and it was a nice reminder about how community affects me personally in ways beyond the theory I share on here. Let me share some thoughts about community.

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The importance of community




I need some help
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2014, 1:30 pm
This is a personal post. I need a little help from my friends and followers. (Click the image to see a larger one.) This is Susano. He's one of my black domestic shorthair cats. You might be able to tell from yellowed skin in the photo that he's jaundiced. Susano has been diagnosed with a [...]

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I need some help




The two faces of Kickstarter
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 April 2014, 1:00 am
Kickstarter has been a game changer, pretty literally. As I've written in a series of articles over on Shoost (http://shoost.co/2014/02/27/how-kickstarter-has-affected-game-development-part-1/), crowdfunders are taking the place of publishers for game projects, and what the consequences of that are. But, precisely what are backers getting out of a project? That's a surprisingly deep question. Let's take a look at what people think they are getting when they back a project.

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The two faces of Kickstarter




Introducing my new blog: Match 3 Mania!
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 April 2014, 3:32 am
Let's face it. MMOs are dead. We've waited for over a decade for a worthy game to realize our dreams of hacking the Gibson with our VR goggles and gloves, and nothing has appeared. So, I'm calling it: MMOs are over and done. There's no purpose for this blog anymore, I guess. But, I still like writing. So, time to write about my second favorite genre: Match 3 games! Let's dive into some discussion about what makes an interesting match 3 game. Oh, and do make sure to check out my site at http://psychochild.org/ to see the new site redesign!

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Introducing my new blog: Match 3 Mania!




Articles on how crowdfunding has affected game development
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 February 2014, 6:38 pm
Over at Shawn Schuster's brand new site Shoost.co, I'm writing a series of articles about how crowdfunding (and in particular Kickstarter) has affected game development. The first article was posted already: http://shoost.co/2014/02/27/how-kickstarter-has-affected-game-development-part-1/

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Articles on how crowdfunding has affected game development




Extreme Makeover: Random grouping
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 February 2014, 5:42 pm
I did a phone interview recently where I discussed ideas on how to improve random grouping. What I'm calling "random grouping" is perhaps best known from WoW's Dungeon Finder (Looking for Dungeon or LFD) and Raid Finder (Looking for Raid or LFR) systems, where you indicate you want to run a dungeon and you are randomly matched up with other people. I share the common lament that random grouping systems don't help players form social bonds within the game even if they would like to do so. So, let me put my designer hat on and describe a system to allow for more socialization opportunities.

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Extreme Makeover: Random grouping




Interview at over at Massively
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 February 2014, 9:04 pm
Just in case you don't read the site, I did an interview with Shawn Schuster over at Massively: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/02/20/talking-the-past-and-present-of-mmos-with-brian-psychochild-gr/ I talk about the past, present, and future of MMOs.

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Interview at over at Massively




Moving on, looking for new opportunities
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 February 2014, 4:00 pm
Let's get right to the point: I'm no longer with Storybricks. My work with Storybricks has come to a natural conclusion, and I wish the team every success. This means that I'm looking for new employment opportunities. If you're looking for an experienced technical game designer with a wealth of experience, let's talk, shall we? You can reach me at psychochild@gmail.com Read the full article for details and what sort of work I'm looking for.

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Moving on, looking for new opportunities




Python: PartialMatchDict
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2014, 6:15 pm
I wrote a class for some Python code I'm working on, and I figured there might be others out there who would find it interesting. The class lets you set up a typical dictionary data structure (where hashable items are used as keys to look up values stored in the structure), but will allow you to do partial and case-insensitive matches. A bit more details, and the code, in the full article.

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Python: PartialMatchDict




2013 in review
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 December 2013, 5:51 pm
So, we dodged the bullet on that pesky Mayan apocalypse last year, and so we had to suffer through 2013. Okay, maybe "suffer" is a bit strong. Let's go with "tolerate". So, what happened this last year?

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2013 in review




The meaning of holidays
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 December 2013, 1:31 pm
Here in the U.S., we celebrated Thanksgiving last week. The modern traditional celebration involves eating too much (in a land plagued by health problems caused by obesity), awkward time spent with family members, and usually some sort of traditional recreation like watching football or a parade. As a kid, I was told the holiday was to celebrate the generosity the Native Americans showed to struggling colonists; in recent years, however, the origin of the holiday has been reported to be much darker. But, if you look at the name of the holiday, "Thanksgiving", the core of what I celebrate is: giving thanks. As a warning: this post is going to be a tiny bit more meta than usual. There's some game design value here, but I thought taking a look at holidays and the meanings behind them might be interesting.

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The meaning of holidays




Superstition ain’t the way
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 November 2013, 6:36 pm
Superstition is an interesting thing. As a kid, I remember playing Dragon Warrior on my NES and being impatient, I'd often tap the button to get through combat messages as quickly as possible. I made a little game of it, trying to time my taps in rhythm so that I'd get through the combat as fast as possible. Of course, sometimes it seemed that I'd get critical hits more often when I did that, so eventually I started tapping the button rhythmically to get more critical hits. (In reality, it was probably survivorship bias, where I noticed the critical hits more when I was doing the tapping than when I wasn't. Also interesting to note that the later Super Mario RPG games would require you to tap the button during combat for extra damage/defense/etc.) But, in my mind a superstition was born.

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Superstition ain’t the way




Return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 October 2013, 4:06 pm
In grand Psychochild's Blog tradition, I'm here to tell you news waaaaaaay after the fact. Anyway, this post is about the return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative! Do you write about game stuff, particularly MMOs, and want to get some attention to your writing? Want some experienced bloggers to lend some guidance while you explore the crazy world of blogging? Then this is the initiative for you! Anyway, I signed up to be a mentor, so I posted a blog post.

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Return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative




Frustrated while trying to play with friends
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 September 2013, 5:24 pm
My MMO poison of choice these days is DDO. It's a great game and I love it a lot. These days, I mostly play with a few fixed, or "static", groups; however, I have played some solo characters on other servers when the fancy strikes me. But, for the most part, if I play the game I'm playing a character that plays with others. Sometimes, however, the strain one has to go through to play with friends makes you wonder if other MMO developers actually play. Let's take a look at a recent frustration.

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Frustrated while trying to play with friends




Interesting Mechanics: Reincarnation
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 August 2013, 3:59 pm
I hit a major milestone in Dungeons & Dragons Online with my main characters: I reincarnated one of my characters. To those of you who haven't played the game before, that might seem like an odd idea, but I think it's actually a rather interesting and old idea. Let's take a closer look at it, shall we?

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Interesting Mechanics: Reincarnation




The Standard Disclaimer
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 August 2013, 5:20 am
As you might have heard, there was a little announcement last weekend about a game called EverQuest Next. They're doing some particularly exciting things, and one of those things is emergent AI. There's a little company called Storybricks who is working on that emergent AI. You might have heard of the company. (Protip: I work [...]

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The Standard Disclaimer




Memory and Loot
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 July 2013, 4:06 am
It's been a busy few weeks. I'm chugging along on a project I'm not quite ready to talk about yet. During my free time, I've been indulging in Borderlands 2. Of course, I'll try to pretend that playing the game is an important reason for doing a blog post. ;) As I've been playing, two things have stuck out: how unreliable memory is and what makes a good loot system. Let's take a look at these two elements in more detail.

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Memory and Loot




Double Fine stuck in the publisher mindset
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 July 2013, 7:42 pm
I've been super-busy with work, but I was putting together a more design-focused blog post. However,recent news has cried out for a response. It's a tale of woe in the business of game development, when a company ignores the business realities in the tumultuous reality of game development. Let's see what happens when a developer used to working with publishers instead tries goes indie.

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Double Fine stuck in the publisher mindset




The other online community: where did MMO bloggers go?
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 June 2013, 5:37 pm
I've written a lot about the importance of in-game community lately. But, allow me to write a bit about the type of community that isn't in a game or owned by a particular company. Maybe we can get draw some lessons that might come back around to game design. So, let's talk about blogging, and the community around that. As the title asks: where did the bloggers go?

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The other online community: where did MMO bloggers go?




Fun vs. satisfaction
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 May 2013, 2:32 pm
Games are supposed to be fun, duh. It seems to be a regular comment that if something isn't fun, it should be removed from a game. Why are game developers so stupid to leave in systems that nobody finds fun? Or, just look at those EEEEEVIL free-to-play games with their "pay to win" strategies, forcing people to pay money to avoid the parts that aren't fun, amirite? Except, there's a good reason why games have parts that don't seem fun on the surface, but that build a long-term feeling of satisfaction. Let's take a look at satisfaction and why it matters in games.

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Fun vs. satisfaction




We all need Camelot Unchained to succeed
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2013, 12:21 pm
So, Camelot Unchained is on the cusp of meeting its goal. As I write this, it needs just over $150,000 in 23 hours right now. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13861848/camelot-unchained The success of this campaign will have tremendous ramifications on future MMO projects. I encourage you to support it.

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We all need Camelot Unchained to succeed




M is for multiplayer
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2013, 12:38 am
I'm probably going to shock anyone here by saying that MMOs aren't living up to their potential. I've said before that there's something missing our games. (http://psychochild.org/?p=810) I think that while games are offering a little more of that spirit of adventure I mentioned in the previous blog topic, we developers still have a ways to go to realize the full potential of MMOs. One of the biggest problems is how we design the game to allow interaction with other people.

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M is for multiplayer




Work with Storybricks
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 April 2013, 5:59 pm
Are you a game programmer? Do you love games? Do you especially love MMOs? Are you tired of the same old thing in every MMO? Want to push the industry forward and have a hand in developing entirely new forms of online gameplay? If you know AI, this will be a tremendous opportunity for you. Unfortunately, the contract is still under NDA so I can't be explicit here, but we'll share the details with qualified applicants. I hope you understand that I'm not prone to hyperbole, but let me say this is an incredibly exciting in terms of professional opportunity and personal satisfaction of doing something highly original. Job title: AI programmer Location: San Diego, CA Salary: $70k + share options + relocation incentives

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Work with Storybricks




Podcast interview on Epic Slant
Posted by Psychochild's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 April 2013, 2:57 pm
You can listen to the podcast at: http://epicslantpress.com/blog/2013/04/08/game-on-esp-edition-02-brian-green/ We chatted about Storybricks, the tabletop RPGs I've supported on Kickstarter, and you'll hear me totally geek out about the cosmology of the old World of Darkness from White Wolf.

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Podcast interview on Epic Slant




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