Writing

Stuff that I have written.

POSTMORTEMS is out

 Posted by (Visited 892 times)  Game talk, Writing  Tagged with: , , ,
Jun 262018
 

My new book Postmortems is now shipping. If you pre-ordered the Kindle version, it should be there for reading now.

You should be able to get it from pretty much any bookstore. I get a little bit extra if you order it through this link on Amazon:

It’s a hefty 700 pages. Early reviews are pretty flattering, and make me happy; I am looking forward to seeing what readers think! If you read it, please leave a review on Amazon; they matter a lot.

Also, if you are an academic who might be interested in using the book in your classes, reach out to the publisher here to request a review copy.

Here’s a sampling of press reviews, in case you aren’t sold on it yet: Continue reading »

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May 312018
 

POSTMORTEMS book coverMy new book Postmortems is now available at various booksellers. The print edition ships on the 26th. Various sites may have the ebook already, some may not just yet.

This is the first volume of a projected three that gather together many of the essays and writings that I have been sharing on this blog over the last several decades. This book focuses specifically on games I have worked on, from LegendMUD up through social games, and is a book of design history, lessons learned, and anecdotes. Richard Garriott was kind enough to write a foreword for the book.

It’s not a memoir or tell-all; the focus is on game design and game history. There’s still nowhere near enough material out there in print covering things like the history and evolution of online worlds (MUDs especially), in-depth dives into decisions made in games by the people who made them, and detailed breakdowns of how they worked. So I hope that this will be useful to scholars and designers, and that players might find it a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes. Just don’t expect salacious stories and secrets.

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while will find much in there that is familiar; if you have ever wanted the SWG postmortem series in book form, here it is in expanded form. If you have ever wished that the various articles on the UO design were gathered together, here they are, along with new chapters covering things like all the things we tried doing to curb excessive playerkilling. If you ever wondered what happened with Metaplace, this is how you find out, as there’s a new and extensive postmortem. Many blog commenters make cameos in footnotes.

The contents: Continue reading »

The Sunday Poem: Made of Moon

 Posted by (Visited 522 times)  The Sunday Poem
Aug 062017
 

every corner we turned there was the moon
north south east west the moon
full and every corner bigger
until the sky was made of moon

you stood between me and moon
and said i'll take the hit
and you did

now when i see the moon i reach
it is always waning

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Some updates

 Posted by (Visited 2068 times)  Game talk, Misc, Writing  Tagged with: , ,
Feb 252017
 

Wow, I have been slacking off on the blogging. Not since October? Yeesh.

What’s happened is that I have been posting updates to Twitter, instead. Which this blog does notify (as well as Facebook), of course, but it does mean the site itself gets neglect!

So, to catch you up!

  • I am speaking at GDC 2017 next Friday, 1:30-2:30pm, on the topic “Still Logged In: What VR and AR Can Learn From MMOs.” This talk will be going over lessons painfully learned going clear back to the text mud days, on issues like harassment, governance, importation of bias to the virtual world, and much more. It’s cross-listed on the Design and Advocacy tracks; I think this latter means that I am allowed to be grumpy on stage.
  • The 10th Anniversary Edition of A Theory of Fun for Game Design goes to press in Korean next week! It looks like the picture on the right, and I hope to get a copy soon. Meanwhile, despite the book’s advanced age, it continues to get featured regularly in various places, such as this podcast.
  • I improved my “history of all videogames” arcade cabinet with upgraded robotic parts so that the monitor now smoothly auto-rotates from horizontal (for landscape arcade games and most home consoles) to vertical (for stuff like Centipede, Raiden, and of course, Vectrex emulation). I did a lengthy write-up of the process and am incredibly tickled that it’s now stickied on the ArcadeControls.com forum (the central hub for anyone building or restoring arcade cabinets) for reference for anyone else who wants to do the same. Video of the rotation is also at that link.
  • My 2014 talk on “Practical Creativity” also keeps getting attention, most recently as a GDC Video on YouTube (also on preceding link), which also has prompted folks to request a PDF of the slides, which was helpfully assembled by @B4ttleCat on Twitter. Grab it here.
  • You can also find an abridged version of my little piece on Games design and UX design in Portuguese now, thanks to Andressa Antunes. This is another one that seems to have legs, and gets cited a lot lately.
  • I managed to make it, despite a cold, to Doctor Cat’s amazing marathon “Gaming Legends” Twitch stream of interviews of developers. Video was posted up a while back. I encourage you to check out all the videos, if you have a full 13 hours of free time… there’s some amazing stuff in there. Scott Adams, Jordan Weisman, Steve Meretzky, Bruce Shelley, Lord British, John Romero, and lots more.

There’s been quite a lot more, but maybe I should just direct you to the Twitter feed (which is now working again in the sidebar).

Um, I’d promise to blog more often, and particularly, not just make it be random brags and updates about talks but back to meaty articles. But my track record hasn’t been great. Tell you what, once I get back from GDC, maybe people might throw me questions. 🙂

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A Sunday Poems update

 Posted by (Visited 4899 times)  The Sunday Poem, Writing  Tagged with: , ,
Dec 062015
 

CUFA7Z4UYAAbQruAs hopefully you know, I released a little book of the poems that I have been posting here on the blog on Sundays.

Today Motherboard did a little piece on it:

I think next time I should make a game that has the poems in it, and I bet it would be seen by a much larger audience. Why should these things be tied down into traditional media and release methods? Why couldn’t we commingle them much more? If you were doing the game adaptation of that poem about network optimization, what the heck would that be?

Of course, it also got plenty of exposure from BoingBoing’s feature on it, which included several of the poems and illustrations. Gaming sites like Massively Overpowered and The Ultima Codex wrote about it too. All of this coverage is quite out of the ordinary for poetry, I suspect, which mostly gets covered by sites about poetry.

Continue reading »