Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Month: January 2009

Only vaguely gaming related

Does Blagojevich seem to anyone else like the guy who realized he’s not going to win his Supremacy game, so he might as well start launching nukes?


1 Billion

That’s the number of people on the Internet.

Put another way, only 1.1% of the world’s net users have encountered Night Elfs dancing on their mailbox.


There’s been a lot of talk about Tabula Rasa lately, including its oncoming demise.  TR’s launch and subsequent failure would be an afterthought, if Richard wasn’t involved – hell, MOST game projects fail or are cancelled, and to the team’s credit, TR actually did get out the door — more than the vast majority of games in this industry. Still, the history is there, and worth discussing.

The two most interesting posts on the subject should be required reading: Scott’s view from another project in the same building, andAdam’s view from across the pond. Both are required reading, as is Eric’s take here. Continue reading

Corpse Run

I get a lot of mail from people asking me to pimp this thing, that thing and the other, most of which I ignore – I post as little as it is nowadays without what things I do post being blatant PR manipulation bullshit.

That being said, Corpse Run looks like it could be pretty cool.  From the informative mail:

This was a tiny movie, that we made mostly by pulling favors, and are trying to get any notice on any blogs we can! And keep up with the awesome blog!

I promise: more updates, soon, on this awesome blog.

Rethinking service in MMOs

Adam has a good post on the whole ‘it’s not a product, it’s a service’ mentality, and what that actually means for running an online business:

What’s the most important high-level goal of a Product company? “Shift more boxes”
What’s the most important high-level goal of a Service company? “Purchase more customers”

Worth the extended read.

The Bloodletting Starts to Hit the Social Networks

The economic downturn has started to hit the social networking sites.

The bubble in social networking has burst, decisively. LiveJournal, the San Francisco-based arm of Sup, a Russian Internet startup, has cut 12 of 28 U.S. employees — and offered them no severance, we’re told…. The company’s product managers and engineers were laid off, leaving only a handful of finance and operations workers — which speaks to a website to be left on life support.

Continue reading

The King is Dead, Long Live the King…

It turns out he just needed a trip to space to clear his head: Richard Garriott voices his interest in jumping back into the fray:

“After 25 years at Origin, the last thing I wanted to make was yet another medieval fantasy game. Now, after a very interesting break, I’m keen to get back into the fray and work on a new game,” He said to BBC: “Probably medieval fantasy and probably online; there’s something very powerful about getting people together,”

Wikipedia Is What It Is…

I have no idea if the MUD Threshold RPG is any good. I do know that its founder, Michael Hartman, is one of the most dedicated and prolific posters of MUD-Dev – where, I note, him and I used to get into some knockdown, dragout fights. I note its PLAYERS do – but people are predisposed to consider things they like noteworthy. But is his MUD particularly noteworthy? Beats me. I have no idea where the line is. They apparently consider every Alpha Flight villain and bad metal band I listened to in the 80s to be relevant enough, but not CarnageMUD. Go figure.

So what to make of the Wikipedia kerfuffel that Raph, Scott and Richard have posted about? Bored to death, really. I mean, it’s not like people haven’t been arguing about this for years. Continue reading

Chess for Girls!

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