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The "Laws of Online World Design" in various forms.
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A Theory of Fun for Game Design
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I gave a talk at the University of Southern California's Entertainment in the Interactive Age event, held at the Annenberg Center in Los Angeles. I was on a panel with Janet Murray, author of Hamlet on the Holodeck; Tim Schafer, designer of Grim Fandango, and Ken Lobb, veteran producer at Nintendo.
The Annenberg Center has put up transcripts of the whole thing, including the question and answer session at the end of the session I was in, and at some point will have streaming video of the events as well. In the meantime, I've taken their transcript of my largely-off-the-cuff remarks and matched them up with the slides I had prepared to try to recreate the experience. I've also corrected some minor errors (mis-heard words, that sort of thing) in the USC transcription.
When I originally prepared the slides, my intent was to give a talk that was fairly dry and academic, presenting the different narrative models that have been used in games thus far. But after seeing the first day's worth of panels, I felt I had to re-do my talk to suit both the audience and the major issues that were manifesting regarding narrative as the different speakers presented their thoughts. So that morning in the shower, I made some rough notes on a printout of my slides, and what resulted was the notes you'll see in the slides.
Because I did the whole thing off the cuff, I had no way to fact-check things. So I am just about positive there are inaccuracies in the examples in the text of the speech. I don't remember what Postman77's exact illness was, I am pretty sure but not positive of the outcome of the story of the guild extorting players (and it may not have happened at the tavern I cite), and I know for a fact that the guy who said "I can run" isn't the guy who won Vor's contest, because he posted his story after the contest had ended--so please forgive the inaccuracies that arose from doing zero research and improvising the speech, and try to focus on the spirit of what is said, and not the details.
Celia Pearce's introduction of me comes first; then you can click on the link to get to the slides and transcript. The transcript is right below the slides, and you should be able to resize that window to see the whole paragraph.
Thank you, Janet. Great, as always. Our next speaker is Raph Koster.
Raph was one of the original designers on Ultima Online. He's now working with Verant on the Sony--, I mean, the Star Wars Galaxies project.
He also has a really amazing website which is linked to from our website, which is one of the most comprehensive tomes on online community role-playing I've ever seen in my life. So that's the other, that's sort of the New Testament after Janet's book that everyone should take a look at.
And we're just getting him hooked up here. He's part of the Verant Mafia that's here at the conference. Verant is a great company, because they work at three different locations, and so they actually practice what they preach, which is quite remarkable. They function completely in the mode of what they create.
Take it away, Raph.