Raph Koster's Blog
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He's been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; founded his own company; worked at places like EA, Sony, and Disney; and he's contributed writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player titles for handheld consoles. He's also the author of the classic book A Theory of Fun for Game Design. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. Visit his website at www.raphkoster.com.
In the wake of PokemonGo, it's a wise idea to look at the history of MMOs and virtual worlds for lessons learned.
"They're just entertainment." "It's not our problem." "No, they don't." "Do you want games to be censored?" Lots of developers don't want to talk about if and how games affect people! But let's do it anyway.
To quote Paul Simon, "every generation throws a hero up the pop charts." We all know the game industry is cyclical; here's how it works.
Star Wars Galaxies has been controversial for years thanks to a series of design decisions made both before and after launch. Among these was how Jedis were handled. Here's the design postmortem!
World of Warcraft has now been with us for ten years, dominating the MMO landscape in the Western market. From where did it spring, why was it so successful, and what has its influence been on MMOs?
We toss around the word "clone" pretty liberally. What actually is a game clone? Why isn't every game in a genre a clone? What does "genre" even mean? Augh!
Raph Koster's Comments
[Blog - 07/11/2016 - 05:38]
Enough people challenged me on ...
Enough people challenged me on the title that I wrote a follow up. You can read it here: http://www.raphkoster.com/2016/07/14/i-really-did-mean-mmo/
[Blog - 06/02/2015 - 01:19]
Keeping things straight is never ...
Keeping things straight is never not useful : r n r nThere 's too much to answer in detail here so I will just hit some high points. r n r nFirst, yeah, I disagree with Dan 's arcs idea to some extent. He ends the arc on feedback. But ...
[Blog - 06/30/2015 - 07:44]
I apologize if I gave ...
I apologize if I gave offense. r n r nI quite intentionally selected one book that is widely reviled one book that is generally seen as a positive and one somewhere in the middle, and tried to use the phrase depending on your philosophical bent to indicate that different groups ...
[Blog - 06/11/2015 - 01:08]
Nah. The same games, not ...
Nah. The same games, not that long ago, were 15 to 60 sold via casual portals or even on disc. You used to be able to buy Bejeweled for 40 in a box. Candy Crush Saga is actually quite noticeably higher value to that original release in pretty much every ...
[Blog - 06/03/2015 - 02:15]
I think marketing is MORE ...
I think marketing is MORE critical than a good game, as it is in all mature markets. r n r nTop KSes now regularly spend tens of thousands just on the video, for example. r n r nI also think that there aren 't enough LPers and YouTube channels with ...
[Blog - 04/17/2015 - 02:06]