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Tag: myself

Player’s Advocate

The other day I was talking to a colleague. He tells me “you don’t have to worry about the decisions that come up, just think about doing your job. What they tell you to do. “. This for me is the best way to have mediocre products, designed for mediocre people with something to spend. Do your job right, just do what they tell you to do.

Game designers very often are exactly like that. True game design includes, instead, keeping promises to players. Game designers connect with players’ fantasies and offer them the experience they are looking for.

Game designers understand that a “daily bonus” is not gameplay, but simply a feature. They understand this and struggle to pass this concept on to those above as well. If your game as a service has been releasing only features and not gameplay for months, guess what: you have a problem!

If you are this type of designer, you quickly realize that the most important thing in your job is to make sure you create great products and services. Because a game is a language to tell a story. And this story must be true.

Your job is to get people to work on publishing a great game. Not garbage. No shortcuts.

If you are not the Player’s Advocate who will be?

Some reflections on good professionalism

Lately for personal reasons I have been working at a much slower pace and I am asking myself many questions. Since work is a very important part of my life, I think it is necessary to ask the question “what does it mean for me to be a good professional?”.

Everyone says “be humble”. Humbleness, to me, does not only mean having a humble spirit, it also means having the humility to share the little that is known. It also means having the humility to try to inform ourselves as much as possible about what we disagree with. Humble basically means allowing knowledge to arrive.

Second, have the urge to study new techniques and areas that you don’t know. The video game sector and all technological sectors need constant training. Very often in a programming language course you can’t imagine you discover ways to save a lot of time! Give it a go!

Golden rule of the good professional: there is no free job. Work is always paid. I’ll give you an example: 3 months ago I started a personal project where I am training young people in the art of game design. I only decide to continue or cancel a project. I try to give these projects an exit. My greatest mission is to pass on my knowledge to people involved. I do not claim to generate benefits.

Should I pay or not? Shouldn’t they be paying me to pass on this precious knowledge to them? No. I expect weekly deliveries, updates and meetings from them. This is work and the work must be paid.

What I see in the Supercell’s CEO message

I read the last message left by the CEO of Supercell on their official website. I really liked three things:

  1. The CEO recognizes that luck is part of the equation, when we look for the reason of success of certain games
  2. The CEO recognizes publicly his mistakes, being a true leader and also a shield for his teams
  3. The CEO still has the mentality of “be bold, take risks” needed to start a project. Also if experts say that, at some point, you should go conservative.

I don’t know this guy, I have only met him once in a fair here in Barcelona years ago. I remind a simple person. That doesn’t make a complete judgement, but messages like this I believe that improve the industry.

Experts may say that Supercell YoY growth has been seriously going down in the last 3 years, but from the other side: the industry needs boldness, the industry needs humbleness and the industry needs honesty.

I did it, I used the Story Mode today

I did it. I was tired of challenge. Still I wanted to play the game I am finishing first this 2022. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order.

I was playing at “Jedi Master” difficulty, but today I realized that my enemy was too strong for my stress of the moment. So that I switched to “Story Mode” (easy) and I defeated it. I did it.

Should a “Story Mode” be present in every game? That question makes no sense. Every game is in a different context.

How do I feel? Well, I feel a little like a cheater, still I had the chance to have a relaxed moment of gameplay in a 20 hours videogame. I do not have too much time to play, every stress I can save is a chance more to complete a game.

So, why not?

the moment I did it at 21:08. Shame on you (for judging me! xD)

World of MMO is changing and I have to accept it

When I was a young player I used to play a lot to Ultima Online. I played in an Italian shard, with real life friends. Good old times.

You started as a simple peasant with a class and lot of illusion. Then you set your goals. Most of the time I was interacting with other people. That was very interesting to me. Being able to play with a 56k connection. Good old times.

I downloaded yesterday Lost Ark from Smilegate. I don’t know if the product will be successful, but:

  • Loading time is extremely long and the game is extremely heavy.
  • You already have demonstrated (according to the story) that you are the hero. During the tutorial some god says that you are the chosen one.
  • Characters are hyper-sexualized
  • Combat system is all about crowd control, which is cool but you put let’s focus on the beauty and nobility of each monster
  • You have a mount from the very first moment you join the others in the server

Before you had to sweat to get things, now you have just everything. Or, at least, that is the feeling. In fact, it is a free-to-play game and I guess they will cash at some point. For sure mounts, pets and cosmetics.

My trouble is with the game experience itself. You are not the small fish trying to become a hero and then a semi-god. You are already the hero, the chosen one. What are you trying to achieve, apart from showing-off your combos and powers?

Today is Valentine’s day, do you love your job?

“Love, love is a verb. Love is a doing word.”

Massive Attack, Teardrop

I love my job because in the first place I love to see myself immersed in creating playful experiences. I love this job because I love people who can then play the games I help design. I love this job because I love the people I can talk and work with every day.

I believe that love for a job, as well as love for other things, has a very important component linked to other people. Starting with ourselves.

Today for Valentine’s Day, the day of lovers here, I want to celebrate the love for the people who make my work great every day and therefore myself. I hope that my daily action will improve your life somehow.

I also share the love scene that perhaps contributed most to forming the will to become who I am today.

Vampire Survivors – Small game, well made

I am completely engaged to Vampire Survivors. Made by few people, it’s a game about power creep. I am totally engaged. Here my last gameplay:

The goal is to collect experience and level up, becoming stronger and unlocking new characters and scenarios.

Tower of Wants

  • I want to kill monsters to get experience
  • I want to get experience to unlock the next power
  • I want to unlock the next power so that I can survive more time
  • I want to survive more time to get more gold
  • I want to get more gold to unlock more characters
  • I want more characters to have new play styles
  • I want new play styles to unlock more achievements
  • I want to unlock more achievements to complete the game

It’s a simple idea, built around a retro theme (Castelvania). I admire people who build this kind of things. It is so smart and make me always thing: why didn’t I made this?

Learning from the history

I learn about game design more from the history of videogames than from podcasts, videos and experts speaking about the next big thing.

One has to really know how things were made back then.

Documents like this one are pure gold.

Are prizes good for young game designers?

My social networks are filled with celebrations and local prizes given to people at their first experience. Then I look for the game itself and sometimes I find a demo on Some other a bad rated game on Steam.

I lived that. You feel like the new Hideo Kojima for a minute or two and then? Then the reality returns back and you have nothing really. Wouldn’t be better to work for a company learning from people better than you?

Some reality is hard, videogames are hard to make. But you should focus on making games and avoid feeding your ego the best you can if you want a bright future. A prize is a cake for the ego.

Local communities want to foster their local talent, I get it. But is give a small statue the right way of doing that? Should they expect for some kind of return in terms of visibility or actual game revenue first?

Often happens that there are people getting prizes and other making a good career and eventually earning money.

Is it really worth to get a prize?

I sell you this cloud!

I am selling you this cloud. Do you want it? 100 euros, please.

Your for 100 euros

What can you do with it? You can look at it, you can photograph it and maybe use photography to create an image. You could use this image as a desktop background. Or you could choose to use it as a profile picture on your favorite social network.

Fast, now! The opportunity is passing by. Do you want it?

What is it for? Well, obviously a cloud is for the nature to keep working as it should. A cloud could generate water for the world. A cloud is good for the World. And this cloud can be yours.

Then does it disappear? Well, sure, but in the meantime it’s yours and yours alone. You can also sell it to other people. I will only take 5% commission as the issuer of the cloud ownership contract.

Don’t you understand? Come on, but it’s the future! Are you really not able to understand the future? Ok, come on there. But buy it, it’s 100 euros. Then you will understand what it is for. A Filipino lady earned $ 1 million on a cloud last week. What are you doing, are you missing it? You would be the only fool, I can assure you.

Me? I have many. And with that lady I earned 50,000 euros. The lady helped improve the world, that cloud of hers probably generated good drinking water. The lady can now be rich with her family.

And then the cloud disappeared.

(This NFT business story reminds me a lot of the casino business. I remember the words of an old boss I had: The best way to win at the casino? Open a casino!)