On one of my recent “class” streams, a conversation evolved about how the flaws of games can give them character. It really started out as looking streamlining between generations of genres. In our case we were playing Borderlands 2, and I was observing how a lot of tropes of that generation were present in Destiny as a more modern “rpg-shooter” hybrid, but had been hyper streamlined. Some of the older conventions of the late PS3/XBox 360 era of shooters now felt a little clunky – things like waiting on NPC positioning for events to occur, the “turn-in” experience, accomplishing different tasks via different menus which sometimes had limited access, how sometimes the relationship between systems and options made some actions obsolete and other decision making processes feel paralyzing.
Tonight, internet, I will be discussing the new World of Warcraft Looking for Group interface and how it affects community.
I’ll catch up old WoWers who may not have played in awhile about the system, then ramble a bit about the design and community and some things that surprised me. Then a tanking anecdote for your enjoyment.
After chatting with some friends in WoW today, I’ve decided to try an experiment. I want to see if I can progress as a character without doing damage to anything.
I’m going to track my progress and any insights I have along the way here:
So if you’re on Thorium Brotherhood, say hello!
Me: Can you use Iceweb Spider Silk for anything?
Will: I can make pants upgrades. The pant enchants
Will: pantgalactic chantleblaster
The first thing I learned when looking back on 2008 was that I forgot to do a year review for 2007. Doh! Oh well, such is life!
08 was a good year for me. I think I have changed into something different by the end of it, but something for the better.
– The ETC West Coast Trip: adventure and fun and education! I went to Disneyland for the first time and sniffed out more companies than I had any right to see. It was a fantastic opportunity, and I’m so excited to see this year’s first-years head off on the same trip. Wee!
– I was lucky enough to land a sweet deal for my first project course at the ETC. Bandology was amazing, and I was so grateful to be on a team with such awesome people. I feel like it was a first step in boosting my confidence, and convincing me that yes, I could be a designer.
– speaking of which, GDC ’08 was a pretty big turning point for me. That was when I figured out that I should be looking for a design internship, not a production one. For some reason, I’d held the role of game designer in my head as something that I couldn’t do, reserved for people more awesome than me. At GDC I reached up and plucked it out and held it right there in my hand. It was some kind of magic.
– Ah, the summer. Pre-Insomniac Lisa and post-Insomniac Lisa were two completely different Lisas. Oh, Insomniac, you will forever be the incubator that hatched a new phase of Lisadom.
– Dorky though it may be, ’08 was the year where I did some semblance of end-game content in WoW. Rather, it was the Year of the Tank. Confidence boosts come in more forms than one would guess, you guys.
– Imagine my luck when my second ETC project team was also awesome! Get In Line harnessed a freshly hatched new Lisa and drove her to new levels.
– I got to go to Project Horseshoe! What an awesome experience. I met cool people and stretched my brain in cool new ways and learned a thing or two about myself in the process.
– Which brings us to the most recent: ringing in the holiday season with the Tuesday Night Ballers. It was as though we’d all gone off on our own adventures, then came back to enrich one another with all that we had learned. Such wonderful friends, I am lucky!
I am extremely excited about 2009. A little scared, sure, but who isn’t? It’s going to be some kind of adventure, I can tell already.
Internets, I need your help! I require input for decision-making.
1) Go to Gamestop tonight to pick up my pre-ordered copy of WotLK and see all the fun costumed people and bask in the camaraderie of nerd-ism and have fun and a party.
2) Go to freakin bed and pick up WotLK tomorrow because I’m tired as hell and I won’t install it tonight anyway.
Edit: After handing over my decision to the coin of fate, I went along. It was quite well organized and they gave us free pizza! No one dressed up in crazy costumes though. I still haven’t installed it, as I went to bed immediately upon my return.
I am in a startlingly good mood today, and I am unsure of exactly why.
Part of it, I think, is that I am so excited about going to Project Horseshoe this weekend that I can barely stay in my seat nor stay focused on any one thing for too long of a time. I have a feeling that it will be something like a Game Design retreat, and I am oh-so-excited to see Insomniac Drew again. I was also delighted to see that James Ernest and Nick Fortungo will be attending, both of whom recently visited the ETC. Plus, I’ll hopefully get to visit with Bryan Cash while in Austin!
My good mood could also be attributed to the fact that Resistance 2 is coming out, and though it probably marks me as an excitable young whelp in the industry, the launch of my first credited title does have me dancing and skipping and giggling in anticipation. First steps!
It could ALSO be attributed that my WoW friends have finally managed to do a full all-guild Karazhan run (with the addition of one helper), and will hopefully do another one this week. Granted, this was enabled partly from the nerfage, but it fills me with joy and love to be able to play the big instances with friends. I think I’ve given up on the notion that I am a casual WoW player, and will move it over into the “hobby” category. It is just such a fantastic means for me to nurture my friendships with those people I love who are far away from me!
Perhaps it is the weather. Who can say!
Project work at the ETC has been advancing at a steady yet exciting pace. I am finding myself facing a HUGE game design challenging: designing an interactive gameplay experience that can sustain an opt-in audience for 3 hours. Eek! Challenging, yes, but I can do it!
If you’re curious about my project this semester, you can read up about it here: http://etc.cmu.edu/projects/getinline
Progress has been impeded slightly by a few days of illness on my part. It’s been a strange sickness, with fever dreams and dizziness. It’s like having the feeling of having slept on a boat, and getting that leftover dizzy off-balance feeling even while awake. Bleh. I have been dutifully sent home and to bed day after day by my producer, advisors, and professors. I am TERRIBLE at being sick. I feel so guilty that I can’t be contributing! It’s a silly thing, I know, and logic brain knows…it’s emotional brain’s fault.
WoW has become much more exciting of a hobby since I nosed my Insomniacs into transferring their mains to my realm, and since some other ETC guildies were able to transfer their mains (the PvE -> PvP transfer enable was the best ever!). We are preparing for a guild Karazhan run, which will be the most fun ever! It’s almost like we’re a real guild, albeit a casual and super low-key one.
I am hoping my sickness subsides soon, for Kyle and Angel’s wedding is but a week away! How exciting!! It’ll be nice to spend time with the ballers on this happy occasion. I miss them terribly!
For a long while, I’ve had my eye on a hawkstrider mount for my mage in WoW. The pink and purple plumage on the silly chocobo things would match my troll’s hair so well! Well, after much effort, I finally obtained my oversized chicken.
But, something peculiar happened along the way. Somehow, I managed to get good at PvP. Go figure?
(x-posted to wow_fanart)
A billion years ago, someone posted a picture of My Little Dreadsteed, and I thought “that’s awesome! I want to make one of those for my warlock friend!” and everyone said “You should!” and I said “Okay!”
I actually finished most of this a long time ago, and then it came to rooting the mane…zomg, I don’t see how those MLP customizers do this on a regular basis!! Anyway, it’s done, and my friend squealed in delight upon giving it to him…