Weekly Summary: Issue 1

I thought a good way to get this blog rolling is to summarize things that I have read about in the game industry.  Hopefully this also gets me to write more blog posts more frequently.

Diablo III Real Money Auction House, and the Lack of Offline

When I first heard the news about the Real Money Auction House in Diablo III, I did not know what to think.  Not being a person who does a lot of trading in multiplayer games, I didn’t think this would affect me.  I’d just loot hunt with my friends (or, like most of the time, by myself and running through the story) and we’d have a bunch of fun killing enemies and bosses and have fun with all the other stuff Diablo has to offer.  Then, they say that it has the Always Online DRM, which they dismiss as not being DRM, but more of a Digital Content Management so that their Real Money Auction House is not rendered useless.  They also commented on not having any mod support for the game at all.  I’ll take this bit by bit.

Now, I think I’m with most people when they hear “Persistent Internet Connection Required”.  Why make the entertainment product dependent on people’s connectivity to their server, when it has a perfectly good single-player aspect that the player should be able to play without an internet connection.  If they want to keep the RMAH secure, and keep players happy, just add an offline character mode, so that players can have fun with the game on their terms, because that is essentially who they’re tailoring the game for:  The Player.

Blizzard has crafted an experience for the player (potential buyers) to enjoy.  As a game developer, you have to know that the player is not going to have fun just playing what you gave them.  They also want to test the limits.  Go outside and beyond what was given and see what else they can do.  What happens if I jam so many runes into this staff and have it do all sorts of cool stuff like shoot fire, ice, and lightning bolts whenever I attack?  That’s also where the mod community comes into play.  They spend their time experimenting with the game, adding additional user-created content, and get experience as game developers themselves.

Sure, they might break the game that the developers have intended to make, but that’s people experimenting with the product that they have bought.  They should have the right to do whatever they like to the product after they buy it.  If they want to use cheats via GameShark or something because they’ll enjoy the game more, let them.  If they want to play the game that they hold in their hand without being tied down to something not everyone has the luxury of having, let them.  But as of now, it seems like the only thing that the purchaser of Diablo III can do if they don’t have internet is use the disk as a Frisbee or coaster until the internet comes back on.

John Carmack Keynote at QuakeCon 2011

This was a pretty great talk.  I randomly decided to visit r/programming and this was the top post.  While I’ve heard his name before, I never actually seen/heard him talk.  While I was watching the video, I was understanding most, if not all, of what he was saying.  After I watched the video, I felt that this was someone who I have to follow.  He’s one of the great top programmers that I (now) know of.  It gave me more faith in myself as a programmer, that if I can understand what he’s going on about, I can take steps towards being someone like him.  While I don’t think that it’s going to be easy, it would be nice/cool to be one of the most talked about programmers in the Game Dev community.

Stuff I’ve done

Still working on our DePaul IGF title.  Started a new codebase while using the prototypes as reference.  It almost works, and I’m working on getting player spawns in, and from there, checkpoints!  Also watched some more PluralSight videos on C# so I can make sure I know all that I can about working with it.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some screenshots in here, with permission of our project lead.  You probably won’t be able to understand what’s going on, but it’ll be something.  Maybe I can write a small summary of what the game is currently.  After I ask of course.

Oh, and I’m also apparently staying up until 6:30am.  Which is not the best for me.

Tony out.


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