Every once in a while someone needs photos, or a bio, or artwork for an article or conference or something. Today, maybe that’s you. I grew tired of repeatedly finding pictures and rewriting the bio, so here’s a collection.
Click on one to get the full size version, then right-click to download it.
Each of these is suitable for different purposes; some are for conferences within games, other for outside of games, etc.
Raph Koster is an award-winning game designer and virtual community expert, and the author of the classic book A Theory of Fun for Game Design.
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer and creative executive who has worked at Sony Online and Disney Playdom. The lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, he’s also contributed writing, art, music, and programming to many other titles. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online.
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio; and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles.
Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is nearing its tenth anniversary as one of the undisputed classics in the games field. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. Visit his blog at www.raphkoster.com.
A professional game designer and frequent writer on issues of interactive design, Raph Koster was the lead designer on the seminal online world ULTIMA ONLINE, which first brought online worlds to the mass market. Until March 2006 he was Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment, makers of EVERQUEST, where he previously led the design of STAR WARS GALAXIES.
After departing SOE, Koster founded Metaplace, a virtual world startup funded by Crescendo Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Marc Andreessen. Metaplace created groundbreaking patented technology that allow the creation of cloud-based games and virtual worlds, making games “work the way the web does.” Metaplace operated a portal site, METAPLACE.COM, where users could create their own worlds. Metaplace then moved into social games, creating ISLAND LIFE and MY VINEYARD before being acquired by Playdom.
He worked as Vice President of Creative Design at Playdom/Disney, where he served as creative director for DEEP REALMS and unannounced titles, as well as continuing to work on technology. He departed Disney/Playdom in April of 2013. Since then he has been an independent game developer and occasional consultant helping companies solve major product strategy and design problems.
His essays and writings on online world design include widely reprinted and influential pieces such as “Declaring the Rights of Players”, “The Laws of Online World Design”, and “A Story About a Tree”. He is in demand as a speaker and lecturer on issues of online game design, particularly in the area of community building. He is a regular speaker at the Game Developers Conference, and is the maintainer of the canonical history of virtual worlds at his website, https://www.raphkoster.com. His book A THEORY OF FUN FOR GAME DESIGN was published in 2004 by Paraglyph Press (now from O’Reilly) and is used in several university courses as study material. In 2012 he was named an Online Game Legend at the GDC Online Awards.
About the author from Theory of Fun
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He started out as a hobbyist, making games himself starting in his teens. Eventually he played a key role on LegendMUD, an award-winning text-based virtual world. He’s been the lead designer or director of massive online titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio, Metaplace; and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles.
Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is one of the undisputed classics in the games field, and his essays and other writings such as “Declaring the Rights of Players” and “The Laws of Online World Design” are widely reprinted.
He was born in 1971, has lived in four countries and over a half-dozen different states, and is married with two kids. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington College in English/creative writing and in Spanish, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama. While in college, he also spent time studying most everything in the humanities, including music theory and composition and studio art. He is a past member of the famed Turkey City science fiction writing workshop. His music has been featured on television, and he has released one album, After the Flood.
In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. This award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.
Visit his website at http://www.raphkoster.com, or this book’s website at http://www.theoryoffun.com.
Theory of Fun
A Theory of Fun for Game Design is a classic exploration about what fun is and why games matter. Widely used in academic programs, game design, training and education, and many other fields, the book has been called the Understanding Comics of games.
Second edition overview
It has been ten years since the original A Theory of Fun for Game Design came out. It was a small book with a strange title, with cartoons on every other page. Part pop-science book, part philosophical tract, it was an oddity even then, when there were few books about games on the market.
Since then it has gone on to be one of the bestselling game design books of all time, hailed as “an instant classic” (Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer, Google) and frequently compared to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. Available in four languages, it is now a must-read in fields such as game studies, gamification, training, game development, and education, assigned in dozens of university programs across the world.
For the tenth anniversary, it is now available in a fully revised 10th anniversary edition, in full color. Among the major updates:
- Updated research on the latest in the scientific understanding of fun
- Full color illustrations throughout
- Expanded and revised text, including a new “Ten Years Later” afterword
- Brought up to date as regards the development of the games field since the original book
- A new vertical layout
- Endnotes linked throughout the text, for ease of reference
Press quotes on the book
Please see here for quotes.