Friday, October 14, 2005

How To Find A Good Game Designer

Here's some notes from the talk from Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment. His credits include, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II, Baldur's Gate, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.

Designers are the weird ones.

Good designers would design games for free.

Good designers play games.

Good designers watch others play games.

Good designers play games that are fun.

Good designers play games that are not fun.

Good designers are able to give the reasons for why a game is/isn't fun.

Good designers do not like not having fun.

Good designers play their own games a lot.

Good designers do their own research.

Good designers cross-pollinate.

Good designers are selfless.

Good designers fail a lot. (But that doesn't let it stop them).

Good designers are not married to their ideas.

Good designers play well with others.

Good designers communicate well with others.

Good designers know exactly their goal.

Good designers know when to stop.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Asian Game Developer's Summit

Dinner at AGDS 2005
Attended the first day of the Asian Game Developer's Summit held at CitiTel hotel in KL.

Interesting meeting up with other fellow game developers.

There were a few people here from Singapore, but it was mostly the entire game development community in KL.

It's interesting to know that at least two of them are working on XBox games. There are none that I know in Singapore that are doing this.

I learned that the problems I faced are the same problems faced by any other game developer, which is convincing people that you are able to pull off a game proposal. Things like writing 485 page proposals for government agencies are part of the game. From pitch to funding takes at least 9 months, and that is quick!

Monday, October 10, 2005

In Defence Of A Fair Weather Fan

In the 1999/00 season, I supported Manchester United. I wanted them to win the Treble and they did so in incredible fashion.

For 2003/04, I supported Arsenal. I wanted to see them win the Premier League with an unprecedented season unbeaten record.

In 2004/05 I supported Chelsea and Everton. I wanted to see Jose Maurinho win the quadruple of the FA Cup, EPL Championship, Carling Cup, and Champions league. I supported Everton who almost got relegated in the 2003/04 season but stunned everyone by qualifying for the Champions league. I was hoping that they could go somewhere this year but they got knocked out of both the Champions league and the UEFA cup. I was wanting to see a record 5 English teams in the Champs league.

This 2005/05 season, I'm supporting Chelsea and Wigan.

I like supporting record breakers and underdogs. I'm hoping Chelsea beat Arsenal's unbeaten record in the premiership, I hope Petr Cech can beat the world record for minutes of clean sheets, and I hope that the fairy tale of Wigan coming from the 4th division and staying in the Premiership happens.

Someone accused me of being a fair-weather fan, another accused me as someone who "supports the winning team".

Now, if someone asks me, I'll diplomatically reply that "I support the English game."

But the concept of being loyal to a team to me is is really purely arbitrary. For goodness sake, what has someone who has never really lived in England let alone anywhere near Liverpool, London or Manchester say that he supports so-and-so a team?

Why so many Man U fans? Why so many Arsenal fans? Why not Barnsley? Why not Preston-On-End? Why not Kidderminster? For that matter, why not Cologne in the Germany's Bundesliga?

For all intents and purposes, Roman Abramovich could very well have bought Crystal Palace instead of Chelsea and gotten all of the best players and coach into that club.

The only reasons would be purely emotional (which is how we make decisions anyway). First, because of the quality of players skill.

One good reason for support of the EPL is that it is exciting. It just doesn't make for entertaining TV watching local S-League teams lob balls badly around the pitch than seeing Chelsea play pinpoint passing and silky tactics.

Secondly, I credit the marketing prowess of EPL clubs and their players agents.
In fact, a lot of our loyalty to brands and decisions are the result of the marketing genius, plus the fact that the more media coverage the greater the attention.

A plausible reason could be that Singapore and Malaysia love the EPL because we are former English colonies and because we understand English. Goodness knows how I could support the Spanish La Liga or Italian Serie A. I wouldn't be able to relate to Spanish culture. But not just that, another testament to the marketing genius of the EPL is even Thailand which was never a British colony has a large EPL following.

So before the knives are out against me of just supporting the "English game" and being a "fair-weather fan", I would like to know how other fans choose their teams to support and their choice to remain "loyal".

If what attracted me to a certain team is that they were very skilful, would it be disloyal if I support another team if that team were just as skilled?

I am amused by armchair fans who refer to "we won the championship". No, I'm not making fun. Just realizing that people borrow their identity with teams. Perhaps I'll analyze that in another blog entry.

On a final note, I declare that I support England through and through. And that's because I lived in England for 27 months of my life.
What's your reason?