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 […]


Live Forum Q&A at MMORPG.com
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 October 2013, 6:13 pm
Game talk
This starts at the top of the hour: Live Forum Q&A with Raph Koster, 10/16 – The Pub at MMORPG.COM – General Discussion Forums at MMORPG.com. Feel free to start posting questions in that thread now, though!


On getting criticism
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 October 2013, 9:20 am
Game talk
Lately I have been working on multiple new games. And whenever you are working on games, of course, you get people to try them, and a lot of them don’t like what they see. I’ve gotten a lot of criticism over the years, and I haven’t always taken it the right way. These days, criticism […]


GDCNext: Playing with ‘game’
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 October 2013, 1:16 pm
Game talk
I’ll be speaking at GDCNext on this, in the future of gaming track. Playing with ‘Game’ Raph Koster  |  Designer, Independent Location: Room 515 B Date: Tuesday, November 05 Time: 11:15am-12:15pm Track:Future of Gaming Discipline:Programming & Architecture Never mind the future – the present of games is quickly carrying us well beyond the classic understandings of what a game is. […]


Upcoming AMA on MMORPG.com
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 October 2013, 1:40 pm
Game talk
This is an early heads-up that I will be doing an Ask-Me-Anything over at MMORPG.com on the 16th at 7PM Eastern / 4pm Pacific. What about? Honestly, just about whatever people want. I can’t break NDA’s, of course, but I expect there will be hefty doses of nostalgia, a lot of discussion of worldy MMOs […]


Pre-order Theory of Fun 10th Anniversary Revised Edition!
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 September 2013, 2:41 pm
Game talkWriting
Yup, it’s up on Amazon for pre-order! For those who don’t know, here’s what is different: Full color throughout. Revisions on virtually every page. Revised punchlines for a lot of the cartoons. Substantial revisions to the chapter on cognitive styles. Expansion of the sections on non-fun reasons to play games. Some additional discussion of narrative. […]


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