Game talkWritingUpdate #1 on revised Theory of Fun

 Posted by (Visited 8510 times)  Game talk, Writing  Tagged with:
Jan 122013
 

atof-cartoon-stack2So, the revised edition of A Theory of Fun is indeed in process. I thought I would post an update for everyone.

Where we are

I have been going back and forth with the publisher on what exactly needs to be revised. I have my own list, and I was hoping that the revisions would be shaped by responses from people as to things they disagreed with or have changed over time. I haven’t gotten a lot of those, alas… many thanks to those who have sent in stuff!

The reason this matters now, before any writing actually starts, is in order to set schedules for milestones. That said, I fully expect the coloring of all the artwork to take far longer than the text revision.

One thing that I have gotten as a vibe overall is “don’t break it.” Meaning, don’t change it too much or revise it to the point where it loses the qualities that make it what it is.

One big example of this that has come up and is still up in the air is the layout format of the book. As you know, it’s a non-standard trim size, wider than it is tall, and famously fits poorly on many bookshelves. I ran an informal poll on Twitter, and got very split results as to whether to change that. One of the biggest reasons in favor is that if it changes to a standard trim size, it cam move to print-on-demand in the book supply chain, and then it’ll tend to never fall out of print the way that it has in the past. Right now, when copies run out, the print run needs to be manually ordered. Plus, ebook versions mean that the layout aspect has already been somewhat lost. But a lot of folks seem to have great affection for what has been called “a bastard form of a picture book” … so we’ll see!

What’s done

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Game talkUO Classic Postmortem video on GDCVault

 Posted by (Visited 7307 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Jan 042013
 

Ultima Online is, of course, still very much alive. But that didn’t stop us from doing a Classic Game Postmortem at GDCOnline this past fall. The GDCVault has posted it up for free here:

GDC Vault – Classic Game Postmortem: Ultima Online.

No embed, alas.

The session was very informal — don’t expect a lot of actually useful development takeaways, five things that went well and five poorly in Gamasutra-approved format, any of that. Instead, it’s mostly war stories and anecdotes.

A thing you cannot see in the vid — when at the very start Starr asks how many people in the room worked on UO, a lot of people in the room stood up. And when asked who played — it was almost everyone. A nice moment.