Dynamic POIs

 Posted by (Visited 16083 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , ,
Apr 302010

Way back in Pre-CU [Star Wars Galaxies] while ‘walking’ from Eisley to AnchorHead a Twi’lek (I think) stated my avatar by name (could be wrong) and gave me a disk then some stormies spawned and killed her then came after me.

Anyone ever finish this quest? What was it like?

This was a rather complex quest. Does anyone know how this was coded? Why would my avatar be chosen over others?

Daylen, posting over at RLMMO.com

The Twi’lek slave girl quest was part of what we called “dynamic POI’s.”

A normal POI is a “point of interest” — something to break up generic wilderness. it was a term we used back in the UO days that we got from Richard Garriott, and was probably older still. POI’s are normally placed by hand, of course; you sculpt a location for them, add a little bit of something unique or flavorful, maybe some interaction, and there you go. They can be as small as a little faerie mushroom ring, or as large as a bandit camp or something. In other words, they are the static content of a world… usually not the main quest lines, but just “interesting stuff.”

Of course, adding these in by hand is excruciatingly slow and requires an army of developers. That’s the cost of content. In a game as large as SWG, we had a real issue here. At one point, there was a large roomful of junior developers who did nothing but put down little interesting locations on the maps… and it was nowhere near enough, particularly since they had no interactivity with them.

Part of the solution that we wanted to try, then was dynamic POIs.

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Cub Scouts gaming belt loop & pin

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Apr 282010

Yup, and the jokes about Couch Scouts are already flying on some news sites.

There is something oddly appropriate about this, though, given how much games have been inspired by the “achievements system” that Scouts have used for a century.

The requirements have a lot more to do with education than anything else, though. Only one of the five requirements for the academics pin involves actually playing. The others have to do with things like comparison shopping, hardware setup, evaluating the game rating system, and teaching people. The actual descriptions:

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Game censorship going to Supreme Court

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Apr 262010

California’s law prohibiting sales of violent video games to minors is going before the U.S. Supreme Court. This law was previously struck down by the appeals court on the grounds that the state didn’t produce enough evidence that games cause physical or psychological harm.

The same sort of law has been struck down in eight states based on free speech concerns from the courts. Were such a law to be upheld, videogames would be the only medium treated in this fashion — other censorship laws are based on sexual content, not violence.

Edit: SCOTUSBlog has more detail.

Facebook rebrands the Internet

 Posted by (Visited 45812 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Apr 232010

You may have noticed that each post here now has a Facebook “like” button on it. This is part of Facebook’s latest set of “social plug-ins” that were announced at F8. Rather than re-hash what they have done, though, I want to tell you what it means.

Step one: Facebook is going to make the whole Internet a community space. Everywhere you go, you will see what your friends liked on sites. You will know what movies they watched, what CNN articles they read, what YouTube videos they thought were funny. You will see their streams and comments annotating the Internet everywhere you go. And they will be able to reach out and chat to you on the chat bar at the bottom of your browser.

Step two: Facebook is going to be your identity card for the Internet. Facebook has always aimed at being the only login you will need. With this, they have made a strong play to have you just always be logged into Facebook, everywhere on the internet. All the top sites you use will simply expect you to be logged in, and over time we will see that functionality on the site will start to require this identity information. And soon after that, you will have to be on Facebook even if you don’t want to be.

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Games for Health 2010

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Apr 152010

The Games for Health conference has announced its keynotes!

Day 1: Wednesday May 26
THE MIND-BODY EXPERIENCE OF SONY MOVE: Relationships between Gaming, Play, Exercise, and More!
Dr. Richard Marks
Senior Researcher Sony US R&D group

Dr. Marks also known as the “father of the EyeToy” will discuss the relationship between gaming, play and exercise, referencing his work in the development of Sony’s new motion controller system, PlayStation Move, as well as his previous work with Sony’s EyeToy, PlayStation Eye and other interfaces.

Day 2: Thursday May 27
Chaim Gingold
Chaim Gingold, a longtime independent game developer and original designer of Spore’s creature creator will discuss how existing game genres map onto the human brain and body and how design decisions affect who will be attracted to the game and how they will play.

You can register here; and here is the nearly full schedule.

There are a couple of events happening the day before too, a Mobile Serious Games event and a Games Accessibility Day.