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.