Misc

Misc

Stuff that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else.

MailbagMailbag: High Seas

 Posted by (Visited 4183 times)  Mailbag
Dec 212012
 

Raph,

You probably don’t remember me, but I played Metaplace a while back. We talked a lot about your ship game and you shared a link with me of the music you made. I cannot find that conversation!! Nor can I find the music on your site (unless I forgot what it was called). It was epic and I want to listen to it again.

Also, I know that Metaplace is no more but is the High Seas game out there anywhere to play for fun? If not, you should host it on your web server. It would be epic to play it again :(

- Crystal

I am tickled that anyone remembers either the game or the music! Especially given that we are coming up on the third anniversary of the closing of Metaplace.com… hard to believe it has been that long.

The music is called “The Knyghte’s Daliaunce,” as it was not originally meant as a pirate tune at all. I posted it up on the blog (with a chord chart) ages ago. It is also on the general Music page along with links to my album (it’s not on the album though). I really should record a new version of it sometime. Anyway, here you go:

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Game talkMailbagMailbag: I want to become a designer

 Posted by (Visited 19446 times)  Game talk, Mailbag  Tagged with:
Sep 262012
 

Dear Raph Koster,

I want to become a Game Designer.

As a child I used to judge games very harshly on things like graphics and funness. Although as I’ve grown older I’ve seen there is a lot more to games then meets the eye. I don’t want to sound all professional and stodgy, I’ve just reached the stage in my life where I need to choose my path. Whether it is the correct one will be with the help of you.

I want to be a Game Designer. There are courses at Universities specifically for Designing games or Programming for games, (programming is what I would want to start doing in the industry) although it feels like I’m just the same as everyone else who picked up a controller or keyboard and said “I can do better than this”.

Simply put I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to achieve my dream. The fun is in the learning as a well written book once taught me (wink wink), and the Gaming industry is ever growing.

Thank you for your time,

H_____ P_____.

Sure.

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Game talkMiscOnline Game Legend

 Posted by (Visited 6998 times)  Game talk, Misc  Tagged with: , , ,
Aug 302012
 

Today the press release went out announcing that I was selected to receive the Online Game Legend Award at the GDC Online Choice Awards. This award is voted on by fellow developers, and it’s basically a lifetime achievement award.

The Online Game Legend Award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.

This rather leaves one thinking, “Well, now what?”

(Warning: introspection ahead…)

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MiscMinor blog downtime

 Posted by (Visited 7588 times)  Misc  Tagged with: ,
May 102012
 

The blog’s hosting server is getting an upgrade sometime in the next 48 hours… there will likely be some downtime in the early morning hours. They tell me it may last up to a couple of hours.

Mar 152012
 

This is post #2,342 on this blog (not counting the dozens of articles, snippets, and presentations not in the blog database)… yet more of the over a quarter-million words written here since the site started in 1997 and the blog in 1998. And I have to admit, I tend to take for granted the idea that people have read all the stuff that matters, so they understand me when I throw around terms or assume that they know what my past writing on the topic is. Which is ludicrous, of course.

So I got asked on Twitter for a list of my juiciest game design posts, to serve as a central jumping-off point.

This was hard. But here’s a list of ones that I think are my best. Many of these are actually talks, rather than posts. These are usually in sort of rough reverse chronological order, but there’s plenty of places where they are just in the order I found them in, or random cut & paste order.

Feel free to list your own favorites in the comments. And if you haven’t seen some of these before, well, this is the best way to catch up on my overall beliefs and philosophies on games.

Theory of fun (cognition and games) and game grammar overview. This covers the very highest level structure of the thinking on these two interrelated subjects.

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MiscBlog hosting upgrade

 Posted by (Visited 7943 times)  Misc  Tagged with:
Jan 162012
 

WebPageTest waterfall of page loading here

I just upgraded my hosting plan, and we’ll see if that solves issues with the site performance. In addition to everything I mentioned in my last post, I also took some additional steps to improve performance, captured here for the sake of anyone else who has issues.

  • I fired off an email to the maker of Category Icons, which seems to be one of the common slow queries. For a while today I had it disabled outright, but I seem to have more headroom on this new hosting plan, so the icons are back.
  • I found that wp-cron.php, which is what the blog uses for scheduling posts and other cleanup tasks, was generating a lot of hits — as in, a quarter million this month alone, far outweighing most of the blog traffic! This appears to be a common problem. I followed the advice found here on how to disable WordPress’ built-in cron stuff and instead use a regular cron job. We’ll see how that does and whether everything works more or less like before.

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MiscSpeeding up the blog

 Posted by (Visited 5727 times)  Misc  Tagged with:
Jan 162012
 

As you may have noticed if you have been visiting the site lately, it’s been both running very slow and also periodically giving lots of database errors (“error establishing a database connection”). So tonight I did a bunch of stuff to try to speed it up; I have no idea if this is enough, but it should be better!

Here’s the list:

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MiscWatchingPics from Anime LA

 Posted by (Visited 8779 times)  Misc, Watching  Tagged with: , ,
Jan 082012
 

Here is an assortment of pictures from yesterday at Anime LA. I spent the day there shepherding a gaggle of teen girls who were all doing Homestuck cosplay.

If you watch my Twitter feed, you have already seen these. The one of Darth Vader as #1 dad went a tiny bit viral. There are also a TARDIS, a bunch of candids as people try to eat hamburgers while in costume, a
walking rage comic that was my favorite costume of the show, and of course, there is an arrow to the knee.

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MailbagMiscAGH COMIC SANS!!!

 Posted by (Visited 6120 times)  Mailbag, Misc  Tagged with: ,
Aug 152011
 

Dear Ralph,

I am going to study Game Architecture and Design in a few weeks, and I received the books for this education yesterday. Your book “A Theory of Fun for Game Design” is also part of the obligatory literature. When I took a look at the book, it quickly made me deeply disappointed. The book contains text typeset in Comic Sans. Besides being ugly, the font is not intended to be used for serious messages. I won’t go into details here, but I would like to point out to you, the website http://comicsanscriminal.com/. I cannot take text printed in Comic Sans seriously, and I regret that my teachers require me to read this comic book as part of a scientific education. I hope that you (or whoever typeset the book) will choose an appropriate font next time.

Kind regards, Ruud v. A.

That would be because the book is half cartoons. The cartoons have text in Comic Sans because, well, they’re cartoons. Some of them are even actual comics with multiple panes arranged sequentially and everything.

You’ll be pleased to know that the book also has headers typeset in the comicsanscriminal-recommended (and undeniably ugly) font Basically Functional.

MiscUser Spam Remover for WordPress

 Posted by (Visited 6231 times)  Misc  Tagged with:
Mar 132011
 

Version 0.9.1 of User Spam Remover for WordPress is out, and I wanted to recommend it because it is the only tool to remove fake users that has ever worked on my WordPress database.

Earlier versions didn’t work, and the plugin author, Joel Hardi, was doggedly persistent in following up from a comment thread post all the way to emails as we sent SQL queries, logs and DB structures back and forth to one another. Now it works like a charm, and I am pretty sure the result has sped up my blog a fair amount.

If you were one of the 6000+ users who were deleted because of lack of comment posting activity, sorry. :) And if you have a WordPress blog and were driven batty by hundreds of “new users” a day, this is the plugin for you.