Every once in a while you find a diamond in the rough in the world of MMO design blogs. There are many great sites out there and I try to link most of them. Some are so popular such as Tobold and Broken Toys that to link them would be just needless overkill.
One amazing site just came to my attention is MMO Tidbits. It’s the creation of Arnold Hendrick a 25 year industry veteran. He’s a video game producer with an impressive resume and an even more impressive series of articles on MMO game design.
Here’s just a small sampling of Arnold’s unique perspective on MMO design:
The uncommon ingredient I bring to the field of MMO games is historical perspective. It’s not just my 25 years in the computer game industry. My original academic training was in history. MMO game development now has enough history that past experience can be useful in evaluating future possibilities. If you are unaware of past failures, your chances of repeating them are higher. If you don’t know about past successes, you must reinvent them rather than build on them. Of course, there remains plenty of room for originality. Every game has novelties; some work well, some fall flat. To continue the learning process I plan to review various games from a design and production perspective.
I’d like to help promote this fine website. Here are the links to some of his articles to whet your game design appetite:
A Customer Development Strategy for Building Online Games
The Next Generation of Social Networking Games
How MMOs Designed Away Social Gameplay
Project Management for Game Development
If you are into game design or you just like to get a rare glimpse into the mindset of someone who’s produced 20 games then be sure to check out Arnold’s insightful site.
If you know of any good MMO design blogs or are linking to my blog please contact me and I’d be happy to return the favor.
Thanks for posting about this! I love Arnold Hendrick’s writing from the olde tyme internet before blogs. I didn’t know he had started blogging.
Of course, I found myself disagreeing strongly with his first two posts, but that means he’s making me think! 🙂
Awesome! Thanks for posting the link. I’ve subscribed to his RSS feed. I love reading about that sort of thing… but I’ll stay out of the arguments 🙂
Great find, he’s awesome!
@ WFS I think bloggers like feedback. No need to be shy. It does sometimes feel like we’re writing for nobody when we don’t get any comments.
I appreciate Wolfshead’s very kind words. MMOtidbits was primarily designed for game industry readers, but I’m glad that a wider audience finds it interesting. I don’t mind alternate viewpoints, especially from those who share my interest in making great games that are financially successful (i.e., earn more than they cost to build).
I like the ideas regarding a “Dark Ages” setting for MMOs. I have a soft spot for anything medieval. Dark Age of Camelot started out with this setting with a huge focus on myths and legends – there is a reason why Mythic Entertainment is named like this, after all.
A lot of cool ideas on this blog. Someone should hire Mr. Hendrick and let him put all these ideas together. Plus some really new ideas. I cannot help but think that MMORPGs as a genre have been much more innovative and creative in the past.