On SiriusXM tomorrow!
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 April 2014, 8:58 pm
Game talk
I’ll be speaking on SiriusXM Business radio on The Digital Show Monday at 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern, with Kartik Hosanagar of Wharton. It’s on channel 111, and the topic will be virtual reality. This is of course occasioned in part by my post on the sale of Oculus to Facebook, but I hope we spend time talking [...]


Musings on the Oculus sale
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 March 2014, 1:24 am
Game talk
Rendering was never the point. Oh, it’s hard. But it’s rapidly becoming commodity hardware. That was in fact the basic premise of the Oculus Rift: that the mass market commodity solution for a very old dream was finally approaching a price point where it made sense. The patents were expiring; the panels were cheap and [...]


GDC: Building game retention tips
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2014, 11:25 am
Game talk
Aside from the ten minute talk at Critical Proximity that I posted yesterday, I spoke for an additional six minutes at GDC2014 (yes, that’s unusually low commitment for me!). It was a microtalk on retention tips for free to play games in the “build and invest” genre — stuff like farming games, city games, all [...]


A New Formalism: Critical Proximity talk
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2014, 1:07 pm
Game talk
On the Sunday before GDC, I attended and spoke at Critical Proximity, a games criticism conference. It was quite excellent. I am left with many thoughts, which will have to go into a separate post on the subject. In the meantime, there are write-ups available in several places: Polygon The Escapist The Man of Many [...]


Me at GDC 2014
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 March 2014, 6:58 pm
Game talk
As usual, I will be in San Francisco this year! It’s a relatively quiet year for me though. I’m giving a talk at Critical Proximity, which is a brand-new conference held on Sunday, the day before GDC kicks off. It’s a conference all about games criticism. My talk is called “A New Formalism,” and it’s [...]


Mailbag: breaking in (again)
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 March 2014, 1:24 pm
Mailbag
Hello Mr. Koster, my name is J___ A_____ and I am a recent college graduate with a computer science degree. I came across your name on the Wikipedia article about MUDs, and noticed the link to your website and in turn this contact form. I realize this is a complete shot in the dark but [...]


Video: Playing with ‘game’ posted at Gamasutra
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 February 2014, 2:24 pm
Game talk
My GDCNext talk “Playing with ‘Game’” has been posted up here as video with slides: Gamasutra – Video: Playing with ‘game’ – What games can be, and what they can mean. I described the talk thus a while back: The talk starts out with some basic semiotic theory — basically, the difference between a thing, [...]


Balancing novices and experts
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2014, 4:27 pm
Game talk
Once again, another question that came in via Quora. The issue at hand is, what do you do to balance experts and novices in a game? Especially if there are persistent elements like leaderboards in the design, which tend to cement experts towards the top? This is a big issue as games become more persistent [...]


Virtual Worlds Are (Not) Folk Music reposted
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 January 2014, 10:26 pm
Game talk
Periodically I have gotten requests for either audio or video of the talk I gave at Living Game Worlds IV back in 2008. I have the slides, but they aren’t even posted up here, and honestly, without the actual talk, they don’t make much sense. My talk was complex. I just watched it, and honestly [...]


Mailbag: what is a bad design decision?
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 January 2014, 2:36 pm
Game talkMailbag
dear Mr.Koster, I’m a design student studying at __________, of ____. I’ve read a lot of your blog entries and they’ve helped me a lot through my design project especially your article on “good design, bad design and great design.” I would just like to ask you as a designer, what is a bad design [...]


A vision exercise
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 January 2014, 4:03 pm
Game talkGamemaking
…the real work is the film, and the tasks that go into the completed film are all parts of the process. To put it bluntly, as long as the film is made, it doesn’t matter what method was used… - Hayao Miyazaki A lot of times, we don’t quite know what the game we are [...]


The Sunday Song: The Ballad of Chris and Chris
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2014, 6:21 pm
Music
I first got the storyline of this song stuck in my head maybe eight years ago. But I didn’t have music for it, and that meant I also couldn’t write it down fitting a melody. I finally shaped it into a lyric right around the end of 2012, when the guitar part came to me [...]


Guardian picks Six Gaming Books
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2014, 1:39 pm
Game talkReading
At #2: Penned by veteran games designer Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun was written 10 years ago, a long time considering the rapid pace of advance for its subject matter. And yet the book remains a key games design text that is still in print and highly relevant. While it was conceived to help [...]


How I analyze a game
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 January 2014, 11:09 am
Game talk
The first thing I do is set aside my experience. It is only mildly useful, a single data point, when everyone’s experience is subjective. Oh, I’d like to think it is in some ways more valuable than that of a typical player. After all, I have a very specific set of experiences to bring to [...]


Self-promotion for game developers
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 January 2014, 2:30 pm
Game talk
I’m writing this for Mattie Brice, who was just listed as one of Polygon’s 50 game newsmakers of the year. We had a brief Twitter exchange after I offered congratulations, in which she mentioned that she didn’t know she could put this on a CV, and that she “know[s] nothing of self-promotion.” I have certainly [...]


Year in Review
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 December 2013, 7:25 pm
Game talk
I didn’t write that much on the blog this year. It has had the lowest traffic in years, as a result. I only know this because I actually bothered to go look at the stats, for the first time in ages. I used to track this stuff every month, adding it into a big spreadsheet, [...]


Art section updated
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 December 2013, 3:38 am
Art
The gradual conversion of the old site into the new format continues. Old links out there still point to old pages, since I haven’t put any redirects in. But the new pages are appearing, and if you are mostly hitting the front page of the site, the menu choices will start pointing to the new [...]


Major blog overhaul
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2013, 5:19 am
Open thread
You may have noticed that the site looks a little different today! It has seen a major overhaul — years of hacks in files have been overwritten by a modern customizable theme (Suffusion). The goals were Get it looking nicer, because, damn, it was dated. I usually overhaul it every few years, and it’s been [...]


Imaginary Realities is back!
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2013, 2:38 pm
Game talk
And here’s the link to Imaginary Realities vol 5 issue 1! For those who don’t know, Imaginary Realities is the mud-related journal originally published by David Bennett. It disappeared way back in 2001, but Richard Tew has resurrected it. I’ve already glanced through the first new set of articles, and there’s some interesting stuff there […]


Touring the print edition of Theory of Fun
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 December 2013, 7:49 pm
Game talkWriting
The print edition is out! Yay! Hopefully I get author’s copies tomorrow. In celebration, I thought I’d share some images of what it looks like now. I really couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. All glossy and hefty, it feels very substantial and classy. And I have trouble going back to look at […]


Theory of Fun reviews and press
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 December 2013, 12:47 pm
Game talkWriting
There have been a couple of pieces of coverage of the new edition of Theory of Fun. The first real review of the updated edition is here, in Finnish: Katsauksessa A Theory of Fun for Game Design. (You can read a Google Translated version: page one, page two). They kindly sent me a a translation […]


Theory of Fun ebook NOW OUT! 50% off!
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2013, 2:54 pm
Game talkWriting
It’s out! And O’Reilly has a special deal: Save 50% on Game Design Ebooks & Videos – Deals - O’Reilly Media. For just this week, game design ebooks are half off, including the full-color 10th anniversary edition of A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Oh, and they’re DRM-free too. Use discount code WKGMDES. It’s only good […]


EVA13: Video of “El mundo de sistemas”
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 November 2013, 3:59 am
Game talk
Here is the full video of my talk at EVA13, entitled “El mundo de sistemas” (the world of systems). It’s in Spanish, and it’s an hour and a half long! Sorry, no translated subtitles or anything. The talk starts out talking about systems and games, how there are many sorts of games but that a […]


GDCNext13: Slides for Playing with ‘Game’
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 November 2013, 11:09 am
Game talk
Here are the slides for the talk I gave yesterday, entitled “Playing with ‘Game.’” The talk starts out with some basic semiotic theory — basically, the difference between a thing, the name we give a thing, and what the thing actually means. This serves as an entry point into talking about not only the way […]


ExpoEVA 2013: El Mundo de Sistemas slides
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 November 2013, 6:48 pm
Game talk
Here are the slides for my talk at EVA ’13 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week. They are in Spanish, of course. If I had to summarize the talk, I would say that it covered a lot of the same sort of ground I have touched on before in terms of the ways in which […]


· Older Entries >>

Show: [ALL] [NEWS] [BLOGS] [PODCASTS]

Updated Today:
Bio Break [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Game Truth [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Gamers with Jobs [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Joystiq MMO [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Massively [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Ten Ton Hammer Headlines [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Welshtroll [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
WoW on TTH [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Updated this Week:
Bioware TOR Dev Blog [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
DDOcast [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
GWJ Conference Call [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Lineage II [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
MMO Gamer Chick [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
MmoQuests.com [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Morphisat's Blog [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Player Versus Developer [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Raph Koster [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Write the Game [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Updated this Month:
A Green Mushroom [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
BestLeagueBlogNA [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Finding Fiero [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Joe Ludwig's Blog [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Lost In The Grind [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
MMORPG.COM News [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Mystic Worlds [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Psychochild's Blog [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Sweet Flag [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Terra Nova [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
The Old Republic News from Bioware [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Zen of Design [HTML] [XML] [FULL]