Out of the Water


… This blog was always intended to be a place for me to store my thoughts when I had them, a way of venting meaningless things in a public forum so that I could taste the words when I wrote them – by forcing myself to formulate ideas I would perhaps gain new insights. That was the reason for the blog format in the first place, having a public place meant having to think a little more about what was written than writing in a mere diary would. Or maybe it just made me cowardly.

My point being that satisfying exhibitionist tendencies was never the primary intent of this blog, but I will not deny I like it when people read what I write and comment upon it. As such I feel bad about not writing anything for longer times.

A couple of months ago I moved to the United States and started working for Blizzard Entertainment – trying to settle into a foreign society and a new job has taken up a lot of my time and attention and I have not been able to reflect upon the happenings around me as I would perhaps have wanted. Due to how information is handled in the games industry – perhaps at this company in particular – there is little I can say about my job but the way different views affect how a company functions has been an eye-opener.

At Starbreeze (and I suspect at many other similar companies), most ideas came from a perceived experience. It was all about hitting the emotional target and anything that would help deliver that could be added without much thought; I imagine it was similar to working on movies in some ways. Blizzard, on the other hand, are focused on delivering gameplay first and the purity of it supersedes everything else. As an engine programmer, going from a console development environment to developing exclusively for PC has been a big change. As a gamer and part-time designer, moving from a company where games have traditionally been cinematic, single-player experiences to one making the world’s largest MMORPG and the world’s biggest e-sport has been kind of overwhelming. It all reminds me of the piece on Game Design Cognition from a few years back.

I have almost resolved the practical issues  involved in moving abroad though, so hopefully I will soon have more time to consider more interesting things again.

Posted on Jun 25/11 by Saint and filed under General game development, Meta-blog | 1 Comment »