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December 4, 2021
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Features » Resource Guide
A Software Process for Online Game Tools Development  
by Paul Frost [09.27.04]
Paul Frost, lead tools engineer at Turbine Software, makers of Asheron's Call, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and Middle Earth Online, looks at his company's approach to MMO tools development, discussing how the long-term support and continuing evolution of online games provides many interesting opportunities and pitfalls compared to regular tool creation.
Programming, Resource Guide

Weaving the Threads: Storytelling in City Of Heroes  
by Sean Fish [09.24.04]
Telling a story in a massively multiplayer game raises very different challenges to those posed by a single player game, and Fish, senior staff designer at Cryptic Studios, discusses weaving individual MMO story threads together in order to immerse, team up, and delight players who want an enduring mythos as well as great playability for their online game.
Design, Resource Guide

Aviators, Moguls, Fashionistas and Barons: Economics and Ownership in Second Life  
by Cory Ondrejka [09.23.04]
What happens when the residents of your online world revolt? Cory Ondrejka, vice president of product development at Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, explains the resistance to taxation in the game, and how the new model of land ownership has created intriguing results for the maintainers of this large-scale virtual world.
Design, Resource Guide

MMP Database Mini-Cookbook: A Half Dozen Recipes to Aid Development  
by Jay Lee [09.22.04]
This guide, by Jay Lee, lead programmer at NCSoft Austin, puts forth a number of recipes for tackling common database-related issues in massively multiplayer games, including creating unique identifiers for moving items between game shards, and finding intelligent ways to manage in-game databases for localization purposes.
Programming, Resource Guide

Unmasking the Avatar: The Demographics of MMO Player Motivations, In-Game Preferences, and Attrition 3
by Nick Yee [09.21.04]
Yee, a long-time researcher into online games currently studying at Stanford University, has collected detailed data from over 35,000 MMO players through online surveys, and presents a compilation of his findings about age, gender, motivations, and addiction over all current massively multiplayer titles.
Resource Guide

Environmental Storytelling Part III: Lessons Learned in the Virtual World  
by Don Carson [09.20.04]
Don Carson, the former art director at There Inc., and previously a theme park designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, shares some of the insights, delights, and pitfalls he discovered in four years of directing an art team, tasked with building an ambitious virtual world from scratch.
Art, Resource Guide

Real-Time Glow  
by Greg James, John O'Rorke [05.26.04]
In viewing computer graphics, the intensity of light reaching the eye is limited, so the only way to distinguish intense sources of light is by their surrounding glow and halos. D3D shaders allow us to fill real-time rendered scenes with bright, interesting objects that appear more realistic or more fantastic.
Programming, Art, Resource Guide

Goodbye Postmortems, Hello Critical Stage Analysis  
by Wolfgang Hamann [07.17.03]
A cynical definition of the term "postmortem" might be "a common artifact of the game development process whereby the game industry documents the fact that everyone seems to continuously make the same mistakes." We should change this process and get rid of postmortems entirely. It's time to consider Critical Stage Analysis (CSA). CSA provides a quick, relatively painless process to find out what went right, what went wrong, what needs to be done to fix it, who will do it and by when.
Production, Resource Guide

Extreme Game Development: Right on Time, Every Time  
by Thomas Demachy [07.16.03]
Extreme Game Development (XGD) is an agile game production method based on the popular software development method Extreme Programming (XP). XP is not simply another fancy development method; it focuses instead on the one truly crucial issue: creating a working product. Titus Interactive Studio in France is launching two projects using XGD, and here's how the head of the studio plans to roll out these methods to his teams.
Production, Resource Guide

Managing An International Remote Development Team 3
by Max Meltzer [07.15.03]
There are inherent difficulties in managing a team that's thousands of miles and a half-dozen time zones away. For starters, you might not speak the same language, and you're starting your day as the remote team is watching the sun set. Given these difficulties and myriad other organizational challenges that inevitably crop up, it's a wonder that a production could bear the strain. But many games have been made this way, and the dispersal of game development talent around the globe means it will only become more prevalent. Here's are battle-tested strategies for managing foreign teams that will make the process proceed more smoothly.
Postmortem, Production, Resource Guide