Raph Koster

Raph Koster is a multi-award winning game designer, virtual communities expert, writer and speaker. Check out his full bio to learn more.

SDCC Game Creator Connection

 Posted by (Visited 40 times)  Game talk
Jul 192017
 

This Saturday I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con as one of the mentors for the Game Creator Connection, a new event this year.

For years, Comic-Con International has brought together comics writers and artists to help them find collaborators to create comics. That program, Comic Creator Connection, has been an ongoing part of our events, including WonderCon and Comic-Con again this year.

New for 2017, Comic-Con is introducing the Game Creator Connection, an opportunity for game developers—whether currently working in the industry or aspiring to do so—to receive valuable advice, insights, and mentoring from seasoned veterans of the game industry representing diverse backgrounds—production, programming, art, business development, and so on.

This will actually be the first (!) time I have ever done a Comic-Con session… even as an attendee (I always just stick to the show floor). Maybe I will see you there! I will also be wandering around on some of the other days of the event.

Mailbag: Action Combat

 Posted by (Visited 69 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Jul 182017
 

I was recently rereading your piece Designing a Living Society in SWG (part two) https://www.raphkoster.com/2015/04/22/designing-a-living-society-in-swg-part-two/

And I became curious. You said that you made SWG an RPG because it had a much better retention than FPS games. Which, especially given the tech back then, seems to be a sensible position to take.

But I’m curious, if you were going to make SWG today’s gaming climate, with seemingly every MMO moving to action combat, would you still make it an RPG? A hybrid? A full blown FPS?

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Jun 272017
 

Some days I wonder if we are completely screwed. So today’s post is a perhaps slightly hysterical outburst.

The news is not paying enough attention to the Petya/NotPetya ransomware, and the effects it is having on the Ukraine and on a bunch of businesses worldwide. I think it may be a harbinger of how the Internet could kill us all.

Based on what little I have read so far… A piece of widely used tax software — one used by the Ukrainian government — did its usual “phone home” to check for updates. Instead of getting back a few hundred bytes of acknowledgement, it got a viral payload. Basically, this tax software served as a means of auto-updating the virus to thousands of targets. The result is not just accounting systems down, though. It’s gas stations and point of sale systems in grocery stores.

This kind of thing basically makes me wonder how long we’ll have the Internet.

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Jun 232017
 

Five years ago, I was asked to put together a list of the best articles on the website. I did, and it’s been linked as “recommended posts” up on the menu under the Blog section for a few years now.

Just the other day, I was asked by Jordan Amaro (@JordanAMAR0) whether I was ever going to update it. Probably at some point, but in the meantime here’s a list of the ones I think are best from the last five years.

Looking over the list, the things that jump out at me are: a lot more posts about the game business and trends, about general topics like creativity, and about the intersection of the virtual with the real — the way tropes from online worlds are impinging upon our daily lives. I also note quite a lot of looking backward in these: game histories, postmortems, etc. Of course, this was also the period that encompassed the Great Formalism Wars of 2012, which seem overblown given hindsight. And lastly… despite my feeling I am hardly posting anything, this is a pretty nice list for five years!

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Microvision emulator release

 Posted by (Visited 1102 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
May 072017
 

I’ve been working for a while–five years!–on my emulation arcade cabinet, entitled Press Start: Emulating Videogame History. I started with a stock cabinet and control panel, and have been gradually modding it with stuff, like a robotics-driven auto-rotating monitor, LED lighting that matches whatever game is launched, and additional controls. I’ve been slowly working on getting emulation set up on it for everything historically important from Tennis for Two on forward.

But that’s another story. I mention it only because it led me to this little project.

The very first handheld console that supported cartridges was called the Microvision, and it was made by Milton Bradley in 1979. It had a 16×16 pixel LCD screen, and of course the only color it supported on that screen was black. Only a dozen or so games were ever made for it, and it was pulled from the market only two years later, losing the popularity contest to Nintendo’s Game and Watch series as well as the myriad other handhelds that emerged around the same time. It would take until 1989 before someone else gave the handheld cartridge idea a shot — that device was called the Gameboy. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the Microvision helped inspire the Game and Watch series.

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