blog

Super People's major update

17/11/2022
design, super people

It’s been 1 month+ since Super People released and the developers just announced their first major update to the game so I thought I’d write a small post on it. My previous posts on the game: Super People design review Thoughts on Super People’s test session Thoughts on Super People’s final beta Skill death spirals In these posts I roughly analyzed the game’s design from a personality trait based framework and followed up on my thoughts whenever the devs changed the game’s design in any significant way. ...

Game quality is all that matters

03/10/2022
indiedev

Recently I got into a small discussion with a few other devs over how much your reputation as a developer matters. The automatic position most devs have on this is that it matters quite a lot: if you have a good reputation further releases will be more likely to succeed, whereas if you have a bad one further releases will be more likely to flop. I disagree with this very strongly. ...

Self-expression vs. vesselization

18/09/2022
indiedev

I was watching this talk by Edmund earlier and it’s a very good one. I think I agree with pretty much everything he says in it, except the very first point: I think honesty is what art is and, you know, business makes it dishonest. It’s a difficult field as an artist to be in, because, to some degree, the dishonesty of selling something or being a salesperson can easily taint your work and you can attempt to manipulate people into feeling a certain way, playing more, putting more money into the machine, and it’s a dangerous thing. ...

Skill death spirals

09/09/2022
design, skill death spiral, luck, super people

Recently I’ve been playing Rumbleverse a lot after watching NL play it and also because I need to somehow fight my Super People withdrawal, and it’s a very fun game. However, playing it has made me think more and more about a problem I’ve mentioned in my past two Super People posts, which is the problem of the “skill death spiral”. This is a problem every competitive multiplayer game has to manage somehow, but it’s especially problematic with BRs because they uniquely need a very high population of players so matches can start in a timely manner, which means that they’re more sensitive to the problem and thus are the best games to use for its analysis. ...

Thoughts on Super People's final beta

02/09/2022
design, super people, skill death spiral

Super People’s final beta just ended so I’ll go over my thoughts on it, which are a continuation of these two previous posts: Super People design review Thoughts on Super People’s test session To summarize, in the first post I looked at the game’s design from a high level personality based perspective and gave my thoughts on how I thought the developers should have changed the game to make it more fun for a higher number of people. ...

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. ...