Friday, 27 March 2009

Paul Barnett Talks

Gamasutra have an article up on Paul Barnett of Mythic's recent presentation at the GDC. Despite being one of the faces behind Warhammer, he seems very excited about the 'new Golden Age' of simple, fast-to-market indie games made possible by iPhones and the like. Makes me wonder if we're chewing the leg of a dead horse, trying to make an indie game that has all the trappings of an old-style hardware hungry, labour intensive MMORPG. But I'm not bored of immersion, of virtual worlds that feel like places you can live in. It's something games just haven't ever quite delivered for me yet, and I don't care if I chew until I hit bone - I'm doing this thing.

Wikiwiki - Documenting Game Design

I decided that the only way we were going to progress with the MMO project was to start inputting all our research, discussions, decisions and design documentation into a Wiki. I tried a few out and settled on Netcipia. It has the same problems as PBWiki - the WYSIWYG isn't, and the overall feel is cluttered and not customisable enough. But it's free, and it'll do for the time being. There are tools available for working on MMO design (e.g. Video Game Design Pro 2006 ( ), but I'm not ready to invest in a commercial package at the moment.

I made a list of articles I wanted to write for the blog, but feeding the Wiki has taken up an immense amount of time. And that's the thing with a collaborative project; you have to write everything down. Topics on the Wiki cover our initial vision for the game, background reading on sandboxes, multiplayer game design, player psychology, combat systems, skills trees, and elements of world building, such as geography, climate, flora, fauna, transport, technology and politics. We also needed to think about marketing and finance, and there's a huge section on development tools, as we're working our way through, evaluating the available options.

It's a more than daunting task. We've been talking about it for six months, and the work is only just beginning.