blog

Deep instinctive changes

08/08/2022
indiedev, psychology

This post is a response to this discussion on twitter. # When I first played PUBG for hundreds of hours I could visibly notice myself becoming better at making and sticking to plans. The game is so open and you’re constantly threatened, so if you want to get good it forces you to come up with your own structures to deal with all the inherent uncertainty and randomness. The same could be said of many games, but I feel like the BR formula is especially good at it because of how high stakes it feels. ...

Super Auto Pets mechanics

28/07/2022
design

Start # I’ve been playing a lot of Super Auto Pets recently. I was kinda late to play it because last year when it came out I was quite auto battler fatigued, so I couldn’t bring myself to try it. But I finally tried it like 2 months ago and have about 100 hours in it since then and I really really like it. This is a good place for me to write this post because my thoughts on it are freshest, and I’ve already gotten most analytical insights I’ll get even though I’m going to keep playing it for hundreds of hours more most likely. ...

Unity and Godot, artists and their hatred of money

22/07/2022
indiedev, psychology

A week ago John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, said this: More specifically: Creatives are the most beautiful and pure, brilliant people. They’re also some of the biggest fucking idiots. It’s a good, somewhat Trumpian quote that rings true to me. And the response by most indiedevs was about what you’d expect: Now, I’m no fan of Unity. I don’t use Unity, I’ll never use Unity, and back in 2018, when goodwill towards Unity was still very high and its obvious problems were basically ignored by most indiedevs, here I was, autistically going on about how actually it sucks. ...

Authorship isn't real

19/06/2022
indiedev, psychology

Information wants to be free, culture follows evolutionary flows — viral memetics — and accreditation, provenance, patents, copyright are all burdens that strangle the free flow of the work and ruin its memetic fitness. Recognize memetic culture cedes no authorship, no credit; art is produced in a lucid state playing handmaiden to collective unconsciousness — and accelerated by the web — Art comes from beyond the self, comes from the network, or God. ...

Competition isn't real

15/06/2022
indiedev, psychology

There is no competition among indie developers. The more successful indie games there are on Steam the higher your future chances of success as an indiedev. Outsized success creates demand for more games similar to it, and as more of those games are created and each further outsized success happens, a new genre starts to establish itself. As the audience for this new genre increases, more developers are enticed to make games for it, creating a positive feedback loop that only ends when no more outsized successes for it happen. ...

Luck isn't real

14/06/2022
indiedev, psychology

Your body and your mind are you and you are them. Your body speaks to you through instinct, your mind speaks to you through reason. You feel in control of your mind because reason is weak, you don’t feel in control of your body because instinct is strong. Body to mind coercion is the default state. Strong ancient instinct is a natural winner, which is why you eat and play more than you should, and exercise and work less than you should. ...

Why indiedev creativity is stagnant and how to fix it

03/04/2022
indiedev, psychology

April Fool’s Day is a great example of how agreeableness acts as a blocker on creativity. Only on the day where wild and silly things are socially accepted do companies try aggressive changes to their products that might make them a lot better, as the social cost of change becomes lower. For instance, Path of Exile’s battle royale mode started out as an April Fool’s joke. People liked it so much they constantly asked for it to be brought back over 3 years. ...

Thoughts on Super People's test session

14/03/2022
design

This past weekend Super People’s devs ran a test session aimed at seeing how TTK changes and the removal of crafting would affect the game: In my previous post I went over the game’s design and outlined a few things I’d change to likely improve player counts, and they were mostly focused around removing conscientiousness-oriented mechanics from the game itself and adding them to the metagame that happens between rounds instead. ...

Super People design review

09/03/2022
design

I’ve played Super People’s closed beta for about 300 hours for the past month or so. I have a pretty good understanding of the game by now and I managed to reach a good rank (~#40 global, although if the game was properly populated I’d barely be able to reach top 500 at most, since I’m not that good). The point being that everything I’ll say comes from a place of good and fair experience. ...

The cons of compassion

23/02/2022
psychology

Agreeableness is one of the traits in the big five personality index. This is a statistically derived survey-based personality assessment tool devised by psychologists over the past few decades. It can be divided into two subtraits: compassion and politeness. The compassionate are more likely to empathize with people, to care about their feelings, to be concerned for them, to want to be connected with them and affiliate with them emotionally. Politeness refers to the tendency to avoid aggression, to not exploit people, to not take advantage of them, and to respect things like social rules and norms, as well as authority more generally. ...