Brad McQuaid’s Blog

One of the many blogs that I enjoy reading is Brad McQuaid’s. It doesn’t get updated very often (seems to be about once every month at the moment) and the guy’s only written five posts but I always savour his articles and keep them saved on my iPhone so I can slowly digest them at some convenient point on the toilet at work.

If you don’t know who Brad McQuaid is, you can check out a post here that I wrote when he first resurfaced in June this year. Essentially he’s the father of Everquest, the first 3D MMORPG and one of the most famous of them all, and the creator of Vanguard, one of the biggest flops of all MMOs and perhaps the most infamous of them all.

His blog posts are well written and currently he’s covering an extensive dissection of what went wrong with Vanguard. His latest post about the issues surrounding the size of the virtual world they wanted to create is both very fascinating and enlightening. I really enjoying reading about MMORPG design and I can’t help but be morbidly intrigued by all of the problems that plagued Vanguard and led to it’s eventual downfall and disgrace. It’s also really interesting to hear Brad’s thoughts behind it all and what he thinks the mistakes were and how they came to be.

I think we forget about the human faces behind MMORPGs and tend to treat them just as mechanical tools of enjoyment that should be both flawless and yet meet our ever increasing demands. The customer, of course, has this right and it’s no excuse for poor quality of services, bugs, queues and all of the problems we tend to often face. Still, it’s always good to remember the people who have spent years slaving away trying to bring these beasts to life.

Brad’s blog reminds me a lot of a book I read about 6 or 7 years ago called the Everquest Companion: The Insider Lore of a Gameworld. It’s very old now but still an interesting read, giving a very open and honest appraisal of the game, how it came to be and all of the good (and bad) events that surrounded it. I wish more companies would bring out these sorts of books for current MMORPGs.

Finally, I’d also recommend Elder Gamer and Psychochild’s Blog if you’re looking for some top quality MMORPG design related blogs. Both are fantastic and offer some real insights into the MMO world.

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  1. cyanbane says:

    I read the Everquest companion about 3 or 4 years ago and reviewed it on one of our podcasts on EQ2-Daily (one of our really early shows #2 in 2005) which was pre Vanguard launch. What I remember of the book and reading McQuaid’s post I think I think that were quite different in tone, but I agree that they are somewhat similar. However that being said, about your comment about us treating the faces behind the games as cogs, I think we are nurtured that way by the industry itself. 3 or 4 years ago shops were so secretive you couldn’t get an ounce of info out of them, now you can’t find one that isn’t putting out some type of periodical content (podcast, blogs etc). Back then though there was a big curtain and we never knew, and they never wanted us to know. I don’t blame us for not remembering that there are people behind the games, we were conditioned to not think about it in the early MMO periods. You had the community manager as the liaison, and that was about it.

    • Gordon says:

      Very true point. I never noticed how we’re slowly seeing a different side to the industry. 10 years ago I knew almost nothing about EQ and the people behind it yet now we know almost everything about the developers who make the newer MMOs. I guess it’s something that things like Twitter and blogs have given us :)

  2. Thanks for the hat tip at the end, Gordon! :) I keep your site in my RSS reader, too.

  3. SmakenDahed says:

    “but I always savour his articles and keep them saved on my iPhone so I can slowly digest them at some convenient point on the toilet at work.”

    Clearly you need one of those “iPood” shirts.

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