Escaping prison: system analysis and strategic planning

As I discussed in my articles Bael the Thief – part 2: prisoner practice, and Heroic Thief: the process of making a villain a hero, part of taking my thief character build and story, and ascending them past being a petty criminal is the process of allowing him to fall and then redeem himself. As such, and important component…

Glorifying OT: the law of diminishing returns

Video game development philosophies have grown by leaps and bounds since the development of the first commercial video games.  However, one facet has become a mainstay of development which has had a detrimental effect on the talent within the industry, and that is the glorification of working overtime or “crunch”. Leadership and planning The concept of overtime…

Turtling: the fearful, the arrogant, and the lucky

Within RTS games there is a strategy known as turtling; in which the player builds a formidable base and waits for their opponent’s assault.  The idea is that when the player has survived the onslaught of their opponent’s aggression the player can then easily counter attack while their enemy is busy rebuilding their army.  However,…

The little AI probe that could: persistence in the face of failure

Within games, artificial intelligence opponents can teach us a lot about the folly of human behavior due to our emotions and a spiraling defeatist mindset. The computer only calculates the likelihood of victory, the risks involved, and always keeps their eye on the prize. This determination and commitment to their goal is astounding to observe….

Aspirations & plans: lessons learned from The Sims

The Sims is a popular franchise which focuses on establishing a fulfilling home life while also creating goals for a lifetime. Players develop their Sims starting as young as children within a family all the way through the older stages of adulthood. Along the way they make decisions on whom to socialize with, what skills…

Skill trees: choosing a path to follow 

We spend a lot of time planning out our future, dreaming up what we wish to become, to achieve, and what we’ll need to get there. What school we will go to, what our major will be, what industry we will work in, where we will live, what our hobbies will be? It can be…