Reviews: What Level Am I?

I just updated my Twitter feed with a snarky comment about MMO reviews. Then I realized I had more to say than the Twitter window allows.

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/LFG

I feel like I’m on a particularly bizarre bandwagon. There’s a lot of drinking and black humor, so it’s a FUN bandwagon, but still.

As you already know if you’ve been reading, oh, any gaming news site in the WORLD, Austin got a little wild-eyed and scary recently. A lot of good people are looking for work right now.

So am I!

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Way To Confuse The Issue

Ben Silverman makes me sigh, but this link makes me laugh.

“Fat Princess” kind of amuses me. Yes, it’s another dose of the same old, same old. Yes, it’s sexist and vaguely stupid. No, you’d never see a game where you feed chocolate to a male character and make him slower in combat. But if you DID, it would be funny. And that’s really my point. It’s just funny.

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So Far, The Experiment Hasn’t Killed Me

Awhile back, I posted some comments about anonymous behavior on the internet.

I know, I know, but low hanging fruit is so TASTY.

Anyway, while I was writing that, it occurred to me that I was not entirely practicing what I preached. I have always stated that professional community people need to use their real names in connection with their products. It keeps them honest, and in so doing, increases the community’s trust in their honesty. No community weenie worth their salt would ever create a sock puppet for any purpose.

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Best Practices, Part 2

Put an actual best practice in the comment thread. Doesn’t have to be gaming related. And if you can find it in a fortune cookie, I swear I’ll delete you. In other words, no “plan time to plan.” Just once, I want to see an actual list of best practices.

I’ll start. If a regular status meeting (not a planning meeting, not a design meeting, just your weekly touch base meeting) takes more than sixty minutes, you are doing it wrong. Possible causes:

– Too many people are invited. Managers of other people should be taking notes and passing on the information, and if they are not and you find yourself including someone’s minion just to be sure the team is informed, make the minion into the manager. It can be that simple, if you’re willing to use your balls instead of playing with them.

– The attendees feel that this meeting is their only chance to be heard. If people feel like their ideas don’t count unless they are spoken aloud in a roomful of people, you have a leadership problem, and/or your people are not using the CC function on email correctly. Provide faster written, public feedback throughout the week.

– It is straying off topic. Write down an agenda and stick with it.

– It is being hijacked by someone who is showing off. Do not reward this behavior with your attention. Disinvite extreme cases from the meeting.

Best Practices

The last conference I went to was very strange. I was on several different panels, but I said essentially the same things that I’d said in the years before, and the same people took notes while I was speaking, and the same people must have lost those notes two days later judging by their later online performances. I wasn’t affiliated with a studio, but no one seemed to mind. Also, I was sober.

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I’m Coming Over To Slap Your Face

What is the etymology of “slap in the face”? Is it from the courtly convention of one gentleman challenging another gentleman to a duel? A rapiers at dawn sort of thing, perhaps. Pistols at twenty paces. The word “slap” itself meant “insult” as far back as the eighteenth century. “Unexpected” turns up in some definitions. It’s a sharp blow, an emphatic censure, administered with the flat of a hand or other broad object.

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See, Wheels Are Round

One of my pet peeves about MMO development is the burning need everyone has to reinvent the damn wheel. “Hrm, in THIS game, individually animated blades of grass and body morphing created ungodly lag? Well, in OUR game, our magic technology will save the day!” Or, and I can’t count how many times I’ve heard this one in regards to too many titles, “By the time we launch, people will own processors that can handle it.” That should be translated as “I can’t even predict what I’m going to have for lunch, but trying to predict the pace of technological advancement and consumer adoption will make me look like a Visionary the next time I speak at a conference.”

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My Top… However Many

I was included in a Top Twenty list of MMO people. I was tremendously flattered. I haven’t sent Brucie any money in months, and he still included me.

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Come Home

I’m not the type to waste time with regrets, especially when my only regret is that I didn’t do more to regret. Robert Heinlein says in many of his later novels that “when the ship lifts, all bills are paid.” My particular ship lifted off from EA Mythic over a year ago, and I have but one regret. And it hits me hard this time of year.

In the chaos of departure, I left behind my Armed Forces file.

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