Archive for April, 2009

“Look Ma, I’m a Producer!”

Posted: April 27, 2009 by Kendricke in Out of Character

Well, technically I’m just an Associate Producer, but I’m pretty sure my mother only heard the part she wanted to hear.  In any event, it’s a pretty big step for me, as I’ve shifted from writing about games as a hobby to helping to build games for a living.  You see, today I started my new job as an Associate Producer at Activision.  I haven’t talked about it publically because (A) it’s all happened rather quickly and (B) I didn’t want to say anything till I’d actually signed papers and put some time on-site. 

So, what exactly does an Associate Producer actually do?  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure as of yet, but I’m learning.  I’m learning pretty damned quick. 

As I learn, I’ll try to share what general lessons I can.  I’m sure I’ll put in some long hours over the next few months at least.  I’m positive I’ll feel overwhelmed most days.  I’m certain I’ll feel lost at times.  At the same time, I’m absolutely thrilled and excited to have this opportunity.  I’m pretty stoked about getting back to work tomorrow.  This time last year, I couldn’t have said that.  Frankly, I can’t ever think of a time I’ve thought that.  That has to be a good sign.


We Bond in Groups

Posted: April 8, 2009 by Kendricke in General Game Concepts

Anyone who has been in my guild longer than a week has likely heard me say this at least once, that “we bond in groups”. Generally, when I say this, it’s because I’m referencing activity levels on a particular night or recognizing longer term trends toward overall guild activity levels. After all, in our guild (as I suspect is the case with most guilds), we may solo as individuals quite a bit or raid together for shared goals or glory, but it is in the regular nightly group runs that we truly get to know each other as people and not just as names on a roster or in our chat.

Though I’ve been meaning to write this particular post for months now, it wasn’t till a recent post over at Cuppytalk that I started to really think about the subject with more depth. After all, I know that grouping is important (at least I think I know), but it’s apparent that others feel differently on the subject. They challenge the idea that significant content for grouping is good design. They raise questions. For example, is the idea of having content designed exclusively for grouping activities truly an outdated or dead concept, as Cuppycake seems to indicate in her post? Must all or even just most of an MMO’s content be accessible through soloing for the game to be good? Does a game have to reduce the importance or efficiency of grouping in order to be successful?

I’d argue no on all counts. Let me explain why I feel this way…