Zen Of Design

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

Month: December 2009

The Tank is the Trinity

Reading over Brian’s article on the trinity, and (moreso) the responses made both on Gamasutra and his blog, and its clear, there’s a lot of ill-formed thought about the trinity and what’s right or wrong with it. So let’s start with the obvious.

Myth: The Trinity exists to justify healers.
Fact: The trinity exists to justify the tank.
Healing is not less necessary in a trinity – in fact, it is moreso, as anyone who has done warsong gulch or one of the ‘aggroless’ boss fights in WoW knows. It is also much, much more challenging to pull off, as your healing now has to hit unpredictable targets, including ’soft’ targets like squishy mages. Continue reading

Game Rules: “Junkyard Carousel”

Junkyard Carousel is a poker variant that centers on hand building and bluffing. No betting is involved (and the game was in fact invented to be a no-betting version of poker). It is typically played with a 54-card deck (with jokers), and is best played with 4-5 people.

Goal of the Game

Players will end the game with 7 cards in their hand (usually). The goal of the game is to have the best 5 card poker hand out of those seven cards. Jokers do not count towards this goal.

Note: Straight flushes will be common until your table learns to play defensively. This is normal.

Continue reading

Avert Your Eyes

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the reverse Uncanny Valley.

Note: don’t go to Photoshop Disasters unless you have some time to kill.

Players Take Cues From Their Avatars

Interesting research being done right here in Austin.

The first experiment randomly assigned either black- or white-robed avatars to gamers playing “Jedi Knight II.” The second experiment assigned gamers roles as Ku Klux Klan members or physicians in a virtual museum. The control group was assigned transparent figures…. Subjects using the black-robed and KKK avatars consistently exhibited negative, aggressive and antisocial behaviors, Pena said.

Ahh, the fruits of college kids attempting to turn their gaming habits into a thesis paper.

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