Raph Koster's Tumblr

Right now, this is just a mirror of what is over on http://www.raphkoster.com.

Indiecade: A conversation on indie economics

Indiecade: A conversation on indie economics

indiecade largeGreg 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 to take, which was also reprinted at Gamasutraand had a great discussion…

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Speaking on “Practical Creativity”

Speaking on “Practical Creativity”

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 desire to make them. And I’ve had an incredibly prolific period; the most prolific of my life,…

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Anonymous asked: Speaking of forums... What forums / blogs / etc (other than your own if course) would you most recommend to individuals interested in pursuing game development or programming, and who want to hear more about what it's like to work in the industry, or otherwise get answers to game development and programming related questions?


There are a couple of places I will visit on occasion, but it will vary based on your relative amount of knowledge and understanding of the process. Here’s some stuff I would suggest.

General Game Development:

  • Extra Credits on Youtube - A great bird’s-eye view series of videos (updated weekly) of how things work in various aspects of the industry.
  • Gamedev.net - A page and forum for video game developers of all walks of experience.
  • Gamasutra.com - Probably the best resource for more experienced developers. Gamasutra has a lot of articles and blog posts written by developers from indie to AAA and everything in between. Many articles assume an inherent level of knowledge, however, which may make it less easy to digest than the others. Also has job listings.
  • GDC Vault - A collection of free (and subscription) videos from past Game Developer Conference talks.

Specific Stuff:

  • Programming: Stack Exchange - A great general programming resource where you can ask questions and bored programmers will answer them.
  • Game Writing: David Gaider’s game development tag - David is the lead writer for the Dragon Age franchise. He has several great writing-specific posts about game development.
  • MMO Development: Eldergame.com - Eric Heimburg is an old hand at MMO development, having worn multiple hats on multiple AAA MMOGs, and is currently working on his own indie MMOG called Project Gorgon.
  • MMO Development: RaphKoster.com - Raph Koster is one of the oldest hands in the MMOG game, and he is the one who first identified a lot of the theory we use to construct games today.
  • Animation and Art: Art-eater.com - I first discovered this blog through some posts about the twelve principles of animation, and I was hooked. It’s a fantastic resource with some amazing analysis on art, with the heavy emphasis on animation.
  • 3D Modeling: Polycount’s forums - There’s no better forum for budding 3D artists to learn, show off their work, or ask for advice. Those showing off their work or offering advice are often industry veterans. There’s no better forum for hopeful artists to get real constructive critiques and advice on their work.

Hope it helps. Enjoy the reading.

FWIW, I am on Tumblr too! :)

What makes a game last a generation?

What makes a game last a generation?

047425-rounded-glossy-black-icon-sports-hobbies-chess-pawn2-sc51Problems 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 you, these problems need to be intrinsic…

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Open letter to the gaming community

Open letter to the gaming community

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 community that allows games to flourish.

If you see threats of…

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Random UO anecdote #2

Random UO anecdote #2

UOHorseI 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” style containment system used in the Ultimas, you could position anything to any location in a…

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