Did Star Wars Galaxies Fail?
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 April 2015, 11:52 am
Game talk
Read the other posts in this series: PvP and temporary enemy flagging A Jedi Saga SWG’s Dynamic World Designing a Living Society, part one Designing a Living Society, part two This is the last post on SWG for, well, a while. I am sure there are plenty of other things to say and more questions [...]

Designing a Living Society in SWG, part two
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2015, 2:52 am
Game talk
Last time, I talked about the basic skill and economic infrastructure that Star Wars Galaxies provided. Fundamentally, these were about equality. They made the different roles played by players have the same standing in the game. However, it’s still a game, after all — players are going to engage in radically different sorts of activities, [...]

Designing a Living Society in SWG, part one
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2015, 10:18 pm
Game talkGamemaking
Once upon a time you could drop things on the ground. It’s one of the first things a baby does, one of the most human things to do. You pick something up, drop it somewhere else. You build piles. Piles turn into houses. They turn into furniture. They turn into gathering places, into churches, into [...]

SWG’s Dynamic World
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 April 2015, 3:15 pm
Game talkGamemaking
This post is dedicated to the memory of John Roy, lead environment artist on Star Wars Galaxies. Help out his family here. Let’s do some math. Let’s say that you need to have a pretty big world: sixteen kilometers on a side, and made out of tiles. A tile needs to know what texture it [...]

A Jedi Saga
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 April 2015, 10:37 pm
Game talkGamemaking
Continuing here with the questions that were sent in by Jason Yates! Yesterday it was the TEF system… today it’s Jedi! Some of this stuff has been told before, but it’s actually kind of hard to find it all in one continuous tale. I have to preface this with a huge huge disclaimer, though: it’s [...]

Star Wars Galaxies Temporary Enemy Flagging
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 April 2015, 1:58 pm
Game talkGamemaking
I was sent this list of Star Wars: Galaxies questions by Jason Yates; he had seen this video interview, and didn’t know enough Spanish to be able to follow the answers. I posted up an English translation of the transcript here, but really, the interview didn’t much overlap with the questions he had. Is there [...]

Video of “Community Management in the Culture Wars”
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 March 2015, 3:11 am
Game talk
The GDC Vault has posted up one hundred and forty free videos from GDC 2015. Holy Cow, almost as good as being there. Among them is the talk that Rich Vogel, Gordon Walton and I presented on “Community Management in the Culture Wars.” I’ve embedded it below, and I’ve also added it to the already [...]

Jackpot Trivia
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 March 2015, 3:18 pm
Game talkGamemaking
A while back I mentioned a few game announcements coming soon. One was, of course, Crowfall, about which I hope everyone knows at this point. This post is about another one! A year ago or so I started working with NTN Buzztime as a consultant– these are the folks who provide bar trivia to venues [...]

GDC: Community Management in the Culture Wars
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 March 2015, 4:38 am
Game talk
This morning, Gordon Walton, Rich Vogel and I presented our talk on “Community Management in the Culture Wars.” I realized as we started that the last time the three of us were on stage together at GDC to talk about community was 14 years ago (!). A lot has changed… and a lot hasn’t. The [...]

The Game Design section
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 February 2015, 2:55 pm
Game talk
It has taken me almost a year, but the Game Design section of the site has seen truly massive revisions. Among other things, I have managed to find several presentations which were never on the site: “Reinventing MMOs,” which is more or less a high-level explanation and justification of the Metaplace technology stack. “High Windows,” [...]

A Career: GameDay Peru talk
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 February 2015, 4:37 pm
Game talkGamemaking
Long-time blog readers know that I spent a large chunk of my childhood in Peru. It was there, in fact, that I first started to make games. I lived in Lima, in San Isidro, a relatively well-off neighborhood. It was the height of the Shining Path terrorism period: gringo things were blown up with great [...]

Working on Crowfall!
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 January 2015, 12:38 pm
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen me mention that after a couple of years of being fairly quiet, a lot of game announcements would be hitting soon. Well, one of them hit today! I am very happy to be able to tell the world (finally!) that I have been working [...]

High Windows
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 January 2015, 7:03 pm
Game talk
Almost exactly seven years ago, I gave a keynote at the virtual worlds-themed Worlds in Motion Summit at GDC. I was supposed to talk about why games people should care about virtual worlds. But I just couldn’t warm to the topic. I was in the midst of wrestling with Metaplace, which was the culmination of [...]

RIP, Ralph Baer
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 December 2014, 10:52 pm
Game talk
During a business trip for Sanders to New York City in 1966 I found myself waiting for another Sanders engineer at a bus terminal; he was going to join me for a meeting with a client. I took advantage of my free time and jotted down some notes on the subject of using ordinary home [...]

Practicing the creativity habit
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2014, 5:03 pm
ArtGame talkMusic
In the wake of posting up the video of my talk on “Practical Creativity,” I got this: @raphkoster how do you usually practice the creativity habit? — Karlos Zafra (@solkar) December 3, 2014 What a great question. First, I have to admit I slack off a lot. But, here are some ways in which I [...]

GDCNext Video: Practical Creativity
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 December 2014, 11:22 am
Game talk
I know it seems like most all I post on this blog lately is stuff about speaking one place or another, and you always get three posts in a row: I will speak here, I spoke and here’s the slides… and a little while later, here’s the video. Well, not to be redundant, but here’s [...]

GDCNext: Indie Grassroots Marketing video
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 4:21 pm
Game talk
At GDCnext I moderated a panel with Zach Gage, Rami Ismail, and Adam Saltsman on indie marketing. It was a fun session, made more so by the fact that they all walked into the room with one minute to spare before the session started (I was about to start pulling dev’s from the audience into [...]

Ten Years of World of Warcraft
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 12:20 pm
Game talk
Ten years of World of Warcraft. Well. So many thoughts. WoW has always been a contradiction of sorts: not the pioneer, but the one that solidified the pattern. Not the experimenter, but the one that reaped the rewards. Not the innovator, but the one that was well-designed, built solidly, and made appealing. It was the [...]

Yiynova MVP22U v3 review: 22 inch Cintiq alternative
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 November 2014, 3:59 pm
Quite a while ago I wrote a review of the Yiynova MSP19U, a Cintiq alternative tablet monitor. I was pretty pleased with it, but it did suffer from relatively low resolution and from a TFT screen with pool viewing angles for color reproduction. Now I have a review for you of the upgrade model, the [...]

Social media is broken
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 November 2014, 4:30 pm
Thinking on Wil Wheaton’s well-intentioned essay, here are some things that we know. Anonymity is usually problematic. But the real issue isn’t anonymity. It’s actually “lack of persistent identity.” Anonymity can serve as a cover for bad behavior, because humans are deeply situational when it comes to ethical choices. We fall prey to disinhibition readily, [...]

GDCNext 2014: Practical Creativity slides
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 November 2014, 1:57 am
Game talk
Today I delivered a lecture at GDCNext that was my tips for “practical creativity.” Basically, it’s a collection of techniques, habits, and ways of thinking drawn not only from lots of reading and research into creativity in general, but also my experience in visual, writerly, musical, and ludic arts. It touches on breaking down craft [...]

Gamasutra on the indie economics talk
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 October 2014, 3:42 pm
Game talk
Yesterday Greg Costikyan and I did an on-stage conversation at Indiecade about the economics of the indie market. It was pretty wide-ranging, with discussions of Rochdale cooperatives, performing rights organizations, designing games that can be hobbies rather than disposable content, and more. Greg Costikyan and Raph Koster speak about indie economics! @IndieCade -f- @SwedenGameArena @HogskolanSkovde [...]

Indiecade: A conversation on indie economics
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 September 2014, 4:54 pm
Game talk
Greg Costikyan and I will be doing an on-stage conversation at Indiecade on the subject of the economics of the indie market. This is driven by the various discussions we started having around GDC time in the spring, including his rant at GDC, and my follow-on article on the directions game industry finances are likely [...]

Speaking on “Practical Creativity”
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 September 2014, 3:00 pm
Game talk
I’ll be talking at GDCNext in LA in early November about “practical creativity.” Over the last couple of years, I have had no commercial masters over my creativity. Oh, I’ve done some consulting and whatnot, but the vast majority of my time has been on projects that I am pursuing out of pure passion, a [...]

The Sunday Poem: London Squall
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 September 2014, 2:31 pm
The Sunday Poem
London squall, Islington gusts, Wash the Barbican clean. Tidy households in tiny flats Open windows, let out cats As raindrops stop and shatter And rental bikes go clattering Down Clerkenwell streets. Puddles, unavoidable mess, Are temporary consequence. Each lost leaf in King’s Square Is labeled where it fell. London squall and Islington gusts May discomfit, [...]

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