Laralyn McWilliams's Blog
Laralyn McWilliams has designed and helped build award-winning social, strategy, simulation, platform, brawler, FPS, and massively multiplayer online games. She was Creative Director for the ground-breaking MMO Free Realms at Sony Online Entertainment, which the New York Times called “a triumph of the company’s own reinvention.” She was also lead designer for the critically acclaimed Full Spectrum Warrior, which was the most nominated game of E3 2003.
She shared the top spot in Massive Online Gaming’s 2010 list of the Top 20 Most Influential People in MMOs. She was also on Beckett’s list of the top women in MMOs for 2010, and one of Gamasutra’s 20 most influential women in games in 2008. She’s a frequent speaker on systems design, casual game progression, the use of metrics in the design and operation of live game services, and the importance of considering the player's experience.
She's currently Chief Creative Officer at The Workshop Entertainment.
I think every game designer who's been around for a while gets the hitmaker urge. We swim in the commercial sea--our careers can easily become all about surviving wave after wave of "progress." Sometimes we lose sight of the simple joy in creation.
In no particular order, here are my top five favorite games for 2014!
We can all change. Sometimes it takes an event we'd never want and pain we wouldn't wish on anyone to drive that change.
It's World of Warcraft's tenth anniversary! The game has remained so popular (and profitable) not just because the team working on it is talented and dedicated, but also because they're not afraid of change.
Conversations about bringing more women into game development and encouraging them to stay are always challenging. Lately, they've been almost impossible. Let's start thinking about it as a development problem and acknowledge flaws in our systems design.
Graham Nelson created The Player's Bill of Rights in the 1990's. Since it primarily concerned interactive fiction, it didn't get wide distribution. It's an excellent set of design "rules," however, and with a bit of modernization it's very relevant today
Laralyn McWilliams's Comments
[Blog - 12/19/2014 - 01:27]
Yes, extremely rare. Most I ...
Yes, extremely rare. Most I used to think ALL game companies put employees under both an IP ownership agreement meaning they own all your ideas and creations, often even those created away from work and a broad non-compete agreement during employment meaning you can 't publish anything game-related .
[News - 12/16/2014 - 04:04]
There are some differentiating categories ...
There are some differentiating categories to be sure: sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, etc. It 's difficult for someone not in the situation to assess what 's a casual remark and what 's not, just like it 's difficult for someone not in the situation to understand the context of the ...
[Blog - 10/30/2014 - 03:49]
If we 're looking at ...
If we 're looking at women 's negative feedback about game development culture as a usability problem, part of understanding the problem and potential solutions is to consider our target audience--for game development, to be clear, not for the games themselves. The question is not what men prefer, in that ...
[News - 12/11/2014 - 05:23]
[Feature - 03/11/2013 - 09:35]
Yes, it is. Head and ...
Yes, it is. Head and neck radiation has other long-term effects too, like changing the structure of the jaw bone so it no longer heals itself. The side effects are manageable, though, and far better than the alternative treatment because there isn 't one... yet . :-