Category Archives: Design

How To Balance an MMO, And How To Stop

Can you perfectly predict the weather? No, because it’s too complex — the “chaos factor” makes it impossible to perfectly predict. The same holds true of the balance of any modern MMO. This may be surprising. We create every aspect … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 9 Comments

Being Aware of Genre Conventions

It is December of 2002, and Asheron’s Call 2 has been launched for a month. It is already clear that the game is not going to be a huge success, but I still want to work on it. I have … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 26 Comments

This is How Systems Designers Think

I make fun of systems designers a lot because I am one. I wear a lot of hats, and I actually love to code, but deep down, it’s all about the game systems. People who think like me are really … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 7 Comments

Deathtrap Design and the Invisible Gorilla

It was a viral video going around for a while — the Invisible Gorilla experiment. (If you never saw it, you can watch it here… the rest of this blog-post is a spoiler!) (Although to be fair, just saying the … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 34 Comments

Indie Games, Prototyping, and Fun Finding

Our indie MMORPG development continues! Together, Sandra and I are able to put about 20 hours a week toward the game, which isn’t much, but makes continuous progress. It’s coming along well, and it’s been very exciting to get past … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 15 Comments

Fun Verbs First, Problems Second

Blizzard has been revealing newly-revised classes recently. The Priest has a new power that sounds pretty fun: Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 7 Comments

STO: Hey, Not Too Shabby

[This post was written about month ago when STO was first launched. I tried to age it like a fine wine ... which didn't work. So I might as well post it before it spoils completely! But anyway, the server … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 11 Comments

Side Note: Turbine Games Still Need More Polish

Side Note: Turbine Games Still Need More Polish What’s Turbine been doing the past year? Nothing too exciting, it seems… even though DDO went free-to-play and is apparently making lots of cash, it still has only a skeleton crew working … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 14 Comments

2009: A Year of Shitty MMOs

I read Scott Jenning’s blog post about how terrible the year was for MMOs, and I had to agree that it wasn’t a fun year for MMO companies. “But still,” I thought to myself, “If I had my own blog, … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 35 Comments

Champions Online: Please, Fix This, Hurry

I know how easy it is for a game to die early in its life. Asheron’s Call 2 had a promising career as a small but profitable MMO, but that was dashed very early because the game’s chat system broke … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 31 Comments