Game talkRecent News

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Dec 092000

I’ve added a recent interview I did with to the Gaming/Talks section. I hope to add the second “Myschyf’s Roundtable” soon as well (once I get permission).

The cat is out of the bag–I’m working on Star Wars Galaxies. The site went live, and I am back on the boards. It’s nice to be in contact with players again.

Nov 262000

I hope you like the new artwork. That’s what happens when I take my first vacation in a year. I had meant to also do some recording this week, but I didn’t get around to it, unfortunately.

So what’s changed? Let’s see… first off, this (News) is now the front page of the site. This should make it a little easier to find out if I’ve bothered to update lately. The Guestbook is still around, but you have to go to the Main section to reach it. I also got rid of the old Bio section and old front page and moved that content into Main under About. I tried to save all the guestbook entries, but if you entered a message right when I was putting up the new site, yours may be gone.

Under Gaming, there’s plenty of new content. For a while now, I’ve been working desultorily on a book on online world design. Some excerpts were published at The Rantings of Lum the Mad a while ago, but now I’ve decided to go ahead and toss up more here on my own site. Look under the “Book” section for that. Also, I’ve been working on a breakdown of typical design patterns for online world design (mostly extracted from the book, actually) for a GDC presentation next year. So that’s up there under Essays as a set of Powerpoint slides.

Under Writing, I finally went ahead and put some actual content in under Poetry, Fiction, and Genre. Hope ya like it. If you’re an editor starving for an author, lemme know. In fact, out of all the stuff in the site updates, this is the area that I’d most like to see comments on. I don’t write much anymore, and the stories are mostly a decade old, but I started out as a writer and I am sure that someday I will go back to it.

I reorganized the Music section. I recently wrote a guitar instrumental that I titled “Alice” after the character in the comic strip, and I’ve put up the sheet music and guitar tablature to it. There’s also another small guitar instrumental piece there called “Memorial,” with sheet music and tab.

I got rid of the Teaching Materials section under Books. I can’t locate any of ’em (somewhere in the garage no doubt). But I did add a new page on what I’m reading lately. Only four books there right now, as that is all I got to over the holiday.

There’s a couple of new images under Art; a new doodle and two ink pieces from over ten years ago.

In other news, I recently did an interview for This site is devoted to academic critique of games, developing a critical vocabulary, etc, and the folks who run it are all involved in academia. Check it out, leave a comment, support the site, whatever. 🙂

Nov 022000

As usual, I did the annual live storytelling thing on LegendMUD this year. Every year since 1994, I’ve gone to the graveyard there, and in front of an audience, improvised a spooky story on the spot. This year the story was called Sugarheart, and I’ve posted it here under Stories/Live.

If you like these stories, head on over to and check out the spooky story contest. Alice is one of my favorite online comic strips, and voting ends today–the prize is some original artwork from the strip, I believe.

I got permission from the Rantings of Lum the Mad site to reprint the Roundtable on Fiction in MMORPGs so look for that under the Gaming/Talks section. I also reprinted the RPGVault interview I did a little over a month ago. You can find it under Gaming/Talks, as usual.

I’ve also updated the Online Worlds Timeline with a bunch of new info from folks like Daniel James (formerly of Avalon & Middle-Earth Online), David R. Woolley (long-time developer on PLATO), and a great set of dates for Ted Nelson’s Xanadu project supplide by KaVir aka Richard Woolcock. And more… so if you’re into the whole history bit like I am, you may want to check out the latest there. There’s even one new law, named Dundee’s Law, since he spotted it fly by on Mud-Dev.

Lastly, today I found a UO emulator shard that is using the “Advice to Virtual World Admins” from the article on Declaring the Rights of Players as the basis of their code of conduct. Yipes.

Game talkMiscWritingRecent News

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Sep 112000

Another year, another birthday. Next year will be the big 3-0. Ah well.

I’ve done a big update to the Online Worlds Timeline (under Gaming/Essays). A bunch of info on PLATO, Minitel, MTrek, new info in the year 2000, and a somewhat nicer format.

Saw lots of citations of the Laws (& a nice quote from “Current and Future Developments in Online Games”) over at the Games Domain Review.

Game talkMiscWritingRecent News

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Aug 272000

Well, a major new essay is up. I hope I don’t get in too much trouble over it. 🙂 We’ll see! You can find it under Gaming/Essays/Declaring the Rights of Players.

I have several big updates to do to the Online World Timeline; I just got in a bunch of new data on PLATO to incorporate.

The machine the website is hosted on moved locations today, from Austin to Chicago. The domain names should still work fine, but the IP address has changed.

There’s now a search facility on the main LegendMUD site which also spiders these pages, so if you need to search the site, you can do it from there.

It’s time to submit talk proposals to the Game Developer’s Conference again. Any developers out there who have requests for topics to cover, post on the Guestbook and I’ll see if I can get it past Alan Yu! 🙂

Game talkWritingRecent News

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Jun 082000

Nothing really new to talk about. I haven’t been working on the book the way I should, but ah well. Every day that goes by seems to bring some new thoughts to mind that ought to go in it anyway! I did have a couple of articles reprinted: GIGnews reprinted the Games as Art essay, and the Hero’s Journey Stratics site reprinted A Story About a Tree. This latter essay seems to keep popping up all over the place… last time I searched, I found around a half-dozen sites reprinting it in its entirety.

Game talkMiscWritingAll in all, a lot of changes, all around.

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Apr 232000

Lots of stuff to talk about! To tackle things in order of how evident they are:

Yes, I redesigned the website. A few things have moved: in particular, a couple of sections got renamed, and a few things moved from one section to another.

I don’t work for Origin anymore. I’m now at the new Austin office for Verant Interactive, makers of EverQuest. I will not be working on EverQuest however, but on something yet to be announced. It was a very difficult thing to leave Origin after almost five years, and I wish all my many friends there all the best of luck.

Lots of new material is on the site as well. A brief list:

  • That opening address I was giong to give at Online Games ’99 is now up in the Gaming Essays section.
  • There’s a new Gaming Snippet about storytelling in the online space.
  • The Powerpoint presentation from GDC 2000’s session on the Laws of Online World Design is up now in the Gaming Laws section.
  • Lots of updates to the Online World Timeline! It’s moved into the Gaming Essays section.
Mar 192000

Well, lots to talk about in the last two weeks! Let’s see…

I’m back from the Game Developer’s Conference. It was a lot of fun, but also very tiring. I spent pretty much all my time talking about game design, and basically none of it partying. 🙂 It was great to see a bunch of folks, of course, many of whose names I am about to rudely leave off my list of people it was great to see: Richard Bartle, J. C. Lawrence, Toby Ragaini, Brad McQuaid (and John Smedley, though I didn’t see him that much), Chris Allen, Serafina Pechan, Amy Jo Kim, Amy Bruckman, Mike Sellers… whew. And more. Also nice to meet folks like the guys from Loki (go Linux!), Mark Jacobs of Mythic, and so many other great folks. The online sessions were packed… special shout out to Richard Aihoshi aka Jonric, since I bet he’ll first see this when it gets reprinted on the Vault Network

Tons of updates to the Online World Timeline–I’ve gotten info now from what seems like everyone in the online games industry!

The big news is that my CD After the Flood is now available via If you like acoustic guitar, you should check it out. But don’t think there aren’t any rock tunes on it, because there are. 🙂 Since I am in the middle of shameless self-promotion, let me point out that it’s only $10. Odds are you’re a gamer if you are reading this page anyway, so think of it as being just one monthly fee for UO, EQ, or AC–except you get to keep it after you pay, instead of using it up!

For those of you who never tire of putting death threats, obscene ASCII art, and bizarre rants demanding changes in UO on my site, the Guestbook is once again operational. Just keep in mind as you do it that I’m not working on UO anymore, and threatening me over changes to UO is about as useful as threatening your local squirrel with a shotgun if he doesn’t remove stat loss. 🙂 (I must be reading too much of The Bench over at Penny Arcade

Tomorrow, I’ll be reprising last year’s MediaMOO conference panel. This year, the topic is the future of online worlds now that 3d graphics are in the picture, and just to make things interesting, Amy Bruckman and Carlos Jensen have set up a link between MediaMOO and a VWorld. Should be interesting! As before, I’ll see about getting a log up here on the site afterwards.

I think that’s all I’ve got for this update… see ya in a few weeks, if I have anything new to put up…

Mar 042000

Wow, it’s been a while since I updated anything here…. ah well, there’s new stuff today!

I’m going to be at the Game Developer’s Conference next week. I’ll be doing a panel on online community with a bunch of great folks including Brad McQuaid of EverQuest, Toby Ragaini of Asheron’s Call, Mike Sellers formerly of Meridian 59, Jonathan Baron formerly of Kesmai and Air Warrior, Dr Amy Bruckman of MediaMOO, and of course Amy Jo Kim. That should be an all-day thing and quite a lot of fun. I’m reprising the usual roundtable on the Laws of Online World Design with Rich Vogel, and also doing a production lecture.

As part of the tutorial panel, Amy B. was doing slides on history of muds, and it set me on an obsessive tear this weekend. So if you look under Gaming/Misc Writings you’ll find a timeline of important events in the history of development of muds, MMORPGS, and whatever else you choose to call them.

My CD should be getting released by in the next week or so. So for all three of you out there who want it, keep an eye out on my artist page there for more info.

A special poke in the ribs goes out to Brad, by the way, for saying in his interview with CGW that he’d pick me to play Aradune in the EverQuest movie. I dunno, Brad, I just don’t see how audiences would go for that… after all, you look soo… California. And I don’t. : Oh well, I imagine that at least Mark Asher (who did the interview & who does Game Spin over at Gamecenter) laughed–I doubt the rest of the world got the joke. Mark, next time footnote the interview. 🙂