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, [...]


What makes a game last a generation?
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 September 2014, 6:53 pm
Game talk
Problems that aren’t actually solvable. Instead, players can only approach optimality. This means there’s always another hill to climb in terms of increasing skill, so people keep devoting the time. These tend to be problems that fall into high complexity classes. In general, NP-HARD problems that we solve using heuristics make for long-lasting games. Mind [...]


Open letter to the gaming community
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 September 2014, 2:11 pm
Game talk
I am a signatory to this letter. I think everyone should be. I think it should be pretty non-controversial, actually. We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our [...]


Random UO anecdote #2
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2014, 2:48 pm
Game talk
I just stumbled across this old story I told somewhere, and thought I’d share more widely. In Ultima Online, the player was a container — one you couldn’t open, but which held your equipped items, your backpack which was the container you could actually see, etc. Because of the freeform “gump”1 style containment system used [...]


Wikipedia is a game
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 August 2014, 6:26 pm
Game talkMisc
The tl;dr version is “go here for the talk.” This past week I was in London, attending Wikimania 2014. Many thanks to Ed Saperia and the organizers for inviting me to speak, it was a highly illuminating experience. I gave a talk about seeing the Wikipedia experience itself as a series of games: the game [...]


Wikimania 2014 in London
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2014, 2:04 pm
Game talk
I am speaking this week at Wikimania 2014 in London. I’m speaking in the “social machines” track, which is about systems wherein the code and the people are inseparable — as in Wikipedia itself, social network systems of all sorts — and of course, multiplayer games. I’ll be doing both a lecture session and participating [...]


When is a Clone
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 July 2014, 5:03 pm
Game talk
Just some relatively incoherent notes here, originally written in an email… this post may serve as useful background as it expresses many of the same thoughts in a more coherent form. This was written in part in response to all the discussion around cloning going on in the game industry these days. As it happens, [...]


Interactive Mountain
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 July 2014, 3:50 pm
Game talk
Everyone is talking about Mountain. Mountain is a game where you see a 3d mountain. It can be turned. You can play some notes on the keyboard. The mountain does things on its own. Trees grow, clouds, etc. It “says” things. Stuff falls from the sky. It’s pretty. There is nothing you can do to [...]


Interactivity
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 July 2014, 4:43 am
Game talk
One of the things I have seen a lot among younger critics who prefer narrative-centric approaches in their games is an emphasis on questioning definitions of “interactivity.” Here’s the thing: noticing that the act of interpreting something is effectively “interactive” is not a novel observation. To start with, it is a rather fundamental notion in [...]


Privateer Online
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 June 2014, 4:21 pm
Game talkGamemaking
In the wake of the excitement over No Man’s Sky and its procedural worlds, I thought that it might be a good time to tell some of the story around the version of Privateer Online that I worked on, that never saw the light of day. After I moved off the UO team, I worked [...]


How to build the scary future today
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 June 2014, 4:17 pm
Misc
Create a tiny computer using as small a chip you can get. Stick a Bluetooth LE or equivalent transmitter on it. Even better if you can get GPS. Even more if you can get a low power cellphone chip. Call this a node. A node has a unique id. Nodes get stuck on objects in [...]


Monkey-X
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 May 2014, 2:13 pm
Gamemaking
Monkey-X is my current favorite language for doing game prototypes and even full projects. It isn’t at all widely known, and has more than a few rough edges, but I still find it congenial and thought I’d share so that more people will give it a try. When I went looking for something to code [...]


The Sunday Poem: Afternoon Joggers
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 May 2014, 3:27 pm
The Sunday Poem
It has been a very long time since I posted a Sunday Poem. That is because it has been a long time since I wrote a poem. But here is one that popped out the other day. Afternoon Joggers The way they run, struggling against invisible wind, Great gusts in their chests buffeting them Like [...]


The Financial Future of Game Developers
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 May 2014, 4:12 pm
Game talk
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the financial future of developers. The supply chain for creative work To go back a ways, back in 2006 I suggested that you could look at the winding path a piece of media takes to the public in this way: A funder of some sort ponies up the [...]


Is this the future?
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 May 2014, 9:59 pm
Misc
Premise: Goods made of bits offer tremendous advantages to providers of said goods. Therefore, any good that can be described in terms of bits will be. Therefore, any good that cannot be described in terms of bits that can cheaply phone home will, in the name of better service, causing it to effectively be bits [...]


2048: Game Design Theory Edition
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 May 2014, 2:38 pm
Game talk
I have to post this here for posterity even though I already tweeted it yesterday. Anyone better at 2048 than I who can post the full list of everyone in it? I’ll update the post with the details. 2048: Game Design Theory Edition. Made by Brian Upton. I can’t get higher than Eric Zimmerman… my [...]


GDC Next Call for Papers
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 April 2014, 9:19 pm
Game talk
It’s that time again — GDC Next, the inheritor of the GDC Austin slot, is requesting submissions for talks. The high-level theme this year is, more or less, “after the game idea, what’s next?” We all know that the idea is in many ways the easiest part, and in this climate of maturing markets, knowing [...]


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 [...]


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