There are two new Developer Journals up on the Chronicles of Spellborn website. One is a Tech Journal written by Maurits "BPMM" Fassaert that covers the "chaos theory" in MMO design.
Inside the development team everyone has an interest in how the game develops as well. Artists want it to be beautiful, but graphics coders want to keep the framerate up. Game designers want it to be intricate, but server programmers want to keep the CPU load down. Usually however it's not so clearly bipolar. If the game runs choppy that beautiful scenery isn't enjoyable at all. If your gameplay is little more than rock paper scissors, the the server load might no longer be a problem, because no players bother to log in. Even marketing would rather have a good game! Wink
Competing ideas, designs and approaches bubble up in the primordial soup of a game and it is no easy trick to make a good healthy meal out of it. Ideas blink in and out of existence, often annihilated by vicious predators like logic and time constraints before they are even voiced. Sometimes a particularly resilient strain pops up. Is it the new paradigm? Or is it the new parasite that will leech resources from beautiful but fragile ideas. Who decides these things anyway? Who plays god over this wondrous realm? Why, it's mister Pipeline!
Check it out over at the Tech Journal: Chaos Theory journal entry.
The second is a brand new Art Journal, by Matthew Florianz. Matthew talks about being inspired by World of Warcraft and other games he enjoys to play, and how that directly impacts his work and motivation on Spellborn. He even gives us some screenshots of SlyWood and Deadspell Storm to whet our appetites. It's a journal well worth checking out, so head over to the latest Art Journal entry.
Last weekend, our lead art Jelmer and myself where strolling around through the Outlands. Playing for well over a year, we had both only just become eligible to enter World of Warcraft’s expansion. Anyone who’s played Wow towards a high level knows that after a certain point you walk into a dungeon, do something there, then walk into the same dungeon again to do a little more and you repeat the process a few times. The end-game routine has definitely set around this point in the game, but all of that came to an end and the Outlands re-invigorated our passion for playing WoW. The setting and the quests, the creatures and the difficulty made the game a lot of fun to play again. As we where killing a few monsters on our third or fourth quest, suddenly a big head rose from behind a hill, increasing in size as it came towards us….those Fell-Reavers are a sight to behold indeed. Given how (comparably) ancient the technology used is, they know how to set a mood and atmosphere far better than any “shader” effect could ever hope to achieve.
Matthew also provided a sound clip of some music he created - you can find it here.