The Infamous Noob

May 25, 2010

New Beginnings

Filed under: Design, Games, Real Life — Tags: , , — infamousnoob @ 12:50 am

I finally got organized enough after the recent culmination of my higher education to apply to what I imagine to be my dream job: Game Designer for Blizzard Entertainment. Even though this has almost nothing to do with my extremely expensive piece of paper proclaiming my qualifications, I’m very excited at the prospect of it. I’ve been preparing for the interview that probably won’t happen by reading, listening and watching everything I can get my hands on by famous game designers.

The latest installment of this endeavor was a lecture by Brenda Brathwaite given at the GDC about how video games are a powerful medium to convey emotion. She talks a lot about her game Train that attempts to convey some idea of what happened to Jews in Germany during the 1940s. It’s very interesting (titled “Train: or How I Dumped Electricity and Learned to Love Design”), but I think that it plays too much on political charge. Her other projects currently in progress are about how the Irish were driven of the island and how the American Indians were relocated to Oklahoma. All of which are very much the same vein of politics, if not exactly the same events.

The secondary point that she makes is how design is not about writing lines of code or anything like that, but more about imagining a complete experience and using a corollary to Sid Meier’s “interesting decisions” in the form of interesting designs to elicit a particular response from the audience. I think that this is the more important part, though she doesn’t spend much time talking about it. I hope to be able to get enough practice to become deft enough at wielding game mechanics to tailor the response I want to get a more refined emotion that just “happy” or “angry”.

June 9, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect (I hope)

Filed under: Design, Games — Tags: , , — infamousnoob @ 2:16 pm

I’ve been away from blogging for a while, but with good reason. I’ve been in hiding with the good Doctor trying to iterate through the game design process. It’s mostly an excuse for me to learn HTML and CSS and then segue into Javascript and Python. We’re working on a web-based app that might actually be fun at some point, but the main direction of it is to provide really good experience programming in those various languages so that next time around we can do even better.

The biggest problem that I’ve foreseen with this project is the graphical part. Neither one of us are artists by any stretch of the imagination, and the general public has come to expect a certain amount of shiny in their games. The stopgap solution that we decided on was to hire a starving art student to draw for food and see what we end up with.

In that same vein, I’ve come to realize that to make it anywhere, I really need to be on YouTube. The public virtually demands a face to put to a product for whatever reason. I’m not sure what my little talking head will be about on the magic box part of the internet, but I need to come up with something to cultivate an honest, personal, genuine interaction with millions of people simultaneously in a commercial and assembly-line manner.

So, once that’s all figured out, I really just have to have some kind of product for the masses to give me money for. Then it’s time to retire while I’m sill young enough to jump out of a working airplane and not die from the heart attack it induces.

May 13, 2009

The Fall of a Guild

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — infamousnoob @ 11:30 pm

So I think the guild I’m in now will be crumbling soon. The GM left to join another guild, but left someone in charge to keep progression flowing. I’m pretty sure that the new GM is too nice to make the guild work, and it’ll regress to merely a casual guild with raiding being something to pass the time. So that being said, I’ll be looking for a new home for my three 80s soon. On that note, I have two more 80 up-and-coming, and I’m not sure what that means. It’s a lot of characters at max level, but leveling is so easy that I don’t think it represents an inordinate amount of time.

Time is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, too. I think that there is a need for a time management system within WoW. Or at least an achievement system for accomplishments within a certain amount of time /played. I might see if I can develop an addon to measure something like achievement points per hour or something like that, I think it would be interesting to see what it averages out to be.

Actually, now that I think about it, time has always been an interest of mine. I read a bunch of things like Einstein’s General Relativity and Brian Greene’s books about physics in high school, always looking for a way to cheat the system of methodical marching of time. I still haven’t found one, but I’ve always thought that life should be lived backwards, like the lucky Benjamin Button.

Anyway, what brought this issue up was the amount of time required to raid and be successful. “Hardcore” guilds spend 30-60 hours per week raiding to gear people up and learn new content. After that, achievements (and by consequence 310% mounts in this expansion) take precedence and titles are handed out. I would gladly spend that much time if I had it, but I don’t. I only have 10-20 hours per week to play, and I don’t want to spend half of that farming for stuff to make flasks and repair money. It could be that this game just isn’t for me. The dependence on other people being “good” at playing irks me. I only trust a handful of people to be as good as they need to in this game, and the rest I just close my eyes and hope that they aren’t as horrible as the average player is. I wonder if I’ll go through real life like that, too.

I’ll keep the failing guild drama up to date here. Back when there’s more to share.

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