Zen Of Design

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

Month: July 2013

Price Reductions on the XBox One

So the most annoying thing about the Steam Sales last week was the number of people I saw on various message boards who wished that they could get these awesome Steam prices for games on their console.  *sigh* Continue reading

XBox One Regaining Momentum, Contemplating Price Drop?

It’s always hard to know how much stock to put into market analysis of the games industry, especially because so many of the usual suspects are very, very bad at it.  Still, this prediction that the XBox One will outship the Playstation 4 by a 3 to 1 margin is pretty eyebrow raising.

Despite losing the headline battle at E3, Microsoft‘s Xbox One appears to be regaining some momentum, in part due to the used and online policy tweaks. Importantly, our supply chain checks suggest Microsoft may have the benefit of a 2-3x unit advantage at launch compared to Sony’s PS4.

Continue reading

Skill vs. Luck

It turns out that the human mind is not good at interpreting the difference between ‘lucky’ and ‘good’.

Jordi Brandts and colleagues got a group of students to predict a sequence of five coin tosses, and then selected the best and the worst predictor. They then asked other subjects to bet on whether the best and worst predictor could predict another five coin tosses. The subjects were told that they would bet on the worst predictor from the first round, unless they paid to switch to the best predictor.

82% of subjects paid to make the switch….These people weren’t just idiots plucked from the street. They were fourth year finance undergraduates at one of the best universities in Spain.

The human brain is terrible with the concept of randomness.  We desperately want to assign mental patterns to this, which is of course, a game pattern that game designers abuse endlessly.

WoW Considers Joining the Modern Age of Gaming

Congratulations to Rock Paper Scissors for uncovering and confirming that Blizzard may be looking at dipping their toe into the microtransactions pool in some territories.  As someone who has gone through the transition myself, I am completely welcoming and want to tell them from the outset that the water is fine.  That being said, it would be nice if we could get observers and the press to stop equating with evil (‘dark… alchemy’) and ‘panic’. Continue reading

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