Month: August 2005

Off to Japan!

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I’ll be in Japan for the next two weeks exploring the countryside and eating delightfully squishy foods. Once a year I try to get outside of the US and I always follow the same rules of thumb. First, I try to have at least one good meal. Second, I try to sketch the local population. If you haven’t been by the galleries, there’s a good collection of past sketches from Bali, Peru, etc. This time, […]

News: Station Exchange deemed an early success

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Here’s the newsarticle. There will be people saying that paying for virtual goods is an poor practice that drives customers from the game. The reality will be that most people are willing to pay and that the revenues they generate will easily offset the lost revenues from the players who are morally outraged. I’d be surprised if a substancial portion of the next wave of MMOGs do not have some form of non-subscription revenue model. […]

News: China restricts MMOG playing time

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You know, I’m seriously starting to love China’s attitude to MMOGs. It is a precursor to how governments will attempt to influence many immersive online activities managed by a legal entity. The opportunities for abuse of civil rights is both delightfully immense and ill defined. Yet, because we are talking about virtual worlds any abuse that occurs is purely voluntary. Is this a victimless crime?Admittedly, the owners of the MMOG have complete control over all […]

Why you should share your game designs

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Here is a conversation I’ve had many times throughout my career. “Dude, I just thought of the greatest game design”“Really, what is it?” “I can’t tell you that. You could steal it.” Remarkably quickly, the conversation comes to an abrupt dead end. This happens with professional developers, indie developers and people who happen to have picked up a game controller at some point in their sofa-bound lives and dream of breaking into the game industry. […]

What do you want to see on Lost Garden?

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Hola, I just checked my site stats and things finally seem to be settling down to normal after the spike in June of being linked to on Slashdot. Here are some numbers and a question for all those kind souls who appear to be regular readers. Daily unique visitors: 515 per day on the week days. 381 per day on the week ends Average page views per visitor: 2.1 Monthly unique visitors: 5600 It’s not […]

Common Game Prototyping Pitfalls

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I’ve spent some time in previous posts describing the benefits and process of game prototyping. You’ll create more innovative game mechanics, weed out bad concepts early, and help ensure that your final product is highly addictive. As with any good technique, there are several notable pitfalls and drawbacks to prototyping that a savvy practitioner should be mindful of. How can you prototype successfully when… Your programmer tells you that he needs 8 months to implement […]

Secret Life of Aliens: First Prototypes

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Harold whipped together some sweet prototypes of SLOA this weekend. He agreed to let me post them as an educational example of how prototyping works. Think of this exercise as speed dating mixed with the post mortems that you find in the back of Game Developer magazine. Update: I added the latest prototype. You can download it here Version 1 The first version of SLOA sported the core game mechanic, a simple conversation system. There […]