Important Stuff!

Friday, April 24, 2015

What bad implementation looks like

If Valve has done one thing very well with it's Steam platform games, it was finding ways to bring players into the creative process and ride the coat-tails of their ingenuity into wealth. For a few years now Team Fortress 2 and DotA 2 players have been able to create items for those games, submit them to the workshop, and potentially get approval from Valve. If they got approval they could even get money every time another player purchased that item. For a game company it's basically printing money; you earn goodwill with your fans by letting them contribute and giving them a cut, and you get art assets for your game without having to hire as many artists. Plus the community will tell you which ones they want.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Data Mining and the death of surprise

A few years ago some enterprising players realized that they could glean information on upcoming MMO content by datamining the game. Posting this information on popular websites offered information-hungry players new insights into what the next patch had in store. Yet, at the same time every single MMO developer in the universe let loose a collective groan.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Liebstering! Lobstering?

Liore has tagged me with this Liebster thing, and I'm flattered! It's new to me and sounded like fun so here I go with the ten questions she posed!

Monday, February 23, 2015

[ESports] Streaming went and got complicated

Earlier today Kotaku ran a piece on an issue emerging in the streaming world. In short, Faker, a professional LoL player, has signed a deal with streaming service Azubu to only stream his games using their service. However, another user, StarLordLucian, is using a Riot-approved mod to stream Faker's games on Twitch using League's built-in spectator mode. Thus Twitch users get the full benefit of the stream, sans the player's image and commentary.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interpreting player feedback is an art

I was reading Wilhelm's post about Torchlight 2 being too late for the Mac market. Wilhelm points out that three spiritual successors to Diablo 2, Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, and Diablo 3 were released roughly around the same time. Yet of the three Torchlight 2, despite its developer carrying over a lot of good will after the cult success of Torchlight, more or less flopped into obscurity. The problem was that while Diablo 3 and Path of Exile correctly identified portions of the Diablo 2 formula people liked and disliked, Torchlight 2 didn't, and thus couldn't hold players.

Friday, January 23, 2015

[WoW] Reputations gone wrong

WoW has had a mixed history with faction reputations, and each expansion has tried to shake things up. Burning Crusade brought us gated grinds with daily quests. Wrath brought us tabards to wear in dungeons. Cataclysm combined the two. Mists drastically changed things by adding dailies, removing tabards, giving rep for a dungeon run per day, and eventually the faction Insignias. Personally I liked the variety approach, the problem is they had to set caps on most of them to avoid people grinding out reputations in a single day due to each giving a relatively big burst. Then we got Warlords where Blizzard transitioned most of the reputations into straight-up grinds with the occasional burst from a follower mission.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Heroes of the Storm] Free to spend $40

Today Blizzard announced the Heroes of the Storm Founder's Pack, finally granting eager fans a means to get into the Heroes of the Storm beta if they weren't lucky enough in the lottery, a popular streamer, press, or the friend of a Blizz employee.