Oct 172011

Yup, a tiny bit more.

Side note, I am struck how little long-form coverage there is of talks anymore, now that so much blogging has moved to Twitter…

Oct 132011

Title slide for "It's All Games Now"Here are the slides for the talk that I gave today at GDC Online. I have to warn you that more than usual, you needed the performance, I think. So keep an eye out for when the video shows up on the GDCVault — I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

It seems to have gone very very well. Lots of positive feedback on Twitter and in the hallways afterwards.

If I had to summarize my message, I suppose I would rattle off this set of bullet points:

  • We are losing (or changing) some qualities of games because of the contexts in which they exist now, particularly social media. We let the real world invade more — such as microtransactions and RMT — and we also let the real world shape design decisions — for example, giving up on the notion of not having global chat in you virtual world.
  • We’re understanding games better than ever thanks to both design theory and real-world science. And also understanding ourselves as people better.
  • That understanding is going into applying gamelike features to real life. Not just stuff like gamification, but also common features of social media that clearly draw heavily from game inspirations, such as quantified reputation systems, achievement systems, and even how our profiles look on social networking sites.
  • This is made easier because we’re in a “cloud phase” in the evolution of computing. The pendulum always swings from cloud to local.
  • But our local machines have gotten more accessible, but a lot less open over time, and the net result is that we don’t really control the cloud or our local devices now.
  • The rub there for the game industry is that we have essentially ended up recreating the console ecosystem, only with iOS and Facebook instead of Sony and Nintendo, which doesn’t bode well for several segments of the industry.
  • Instead, it just increases the odds that the process will accelerate, as we will be the product. Indeed, already our perception of reality has been greatly filtered by social media, and is less objective and inclusive.
  • But we shouldn’t forget that we are the ones who define the rules here; we’re the wizards of the game world. Games are fundamentally social media and always have been.
  • We will be OK, as long as we don’t forget that the point of games is not the points structures, but the people we played with, and the lessons we learned.

But summarizing it that way skips the fairytale I told, and the rapid-fire science-fiction story I told, and my brief Jonathan Coulton musical quote, and much more. 🙂

I ended on this hope from Ted Nelson:

I hope, that in our archives and historical filings of the future, we do not allow the techie traditions of hierarchy and false regularity to be superimposed to the teeming, fantastic disorderlyness of human life.

You can read Gamasutra’s write-up here. I think it captures the essence pretty well!

Game talkGDCA: Schubert on The Loner

 Posted by (Visited 6441 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , , ,
Sep 232009

Gamespot has a writeup, and Damion has posted his slides. I missed the talk, but it sounds like it was a good one!

“The irony of being alone in an MMO is inescapable. Being a loner is OK, but feeling lonely is not.”–Schubert, on why even solo players care about a well-populated world.

via Old Republic dev discusses massively multiplayer loners – News at GameSpot.

Slides are here (in PPTX format).

Sep 222009
Using isomorphic graphs to analyze MMORPG combat

Using isomorphic graphs to analyze MMORPG combat

I have posted up the slide deck (PPT) and a page of images of slides for my GDC Austin talk, “Games Are Math: 10 Core Mechanics That Drive Compelling Gameplay.”

This talk starts out with some game grammar stuff that may be familiar, then moves into looking at a definition of NP-complete problems, then provides ten examples of how they can be used to look at games, then finishes by examining cognitive bugs in the brain that many games exploit. Please note, I am not a mathematician nor even claim to be very good at math. 🙂

As usual, this along with all my other talks can be found on the Gaming Presentations page, reached by clicking “Games” on the top bar of the site, then choosing Presentations from the sidebar. For those of you who never click the top bar and think all that is here is the blog — there’s a wealth of stuff available there. 🙂 I’ve recently updated it to include a few presentations that were buried and hard to find, such as the audio for my Games For Change closing address, the videos for Living Game Worlds IV and Siggraph Sandbox, and more.

Sep 222009

Randomness has been part of games since their earliest inception — and when I say “earliest inception,” I mean deep into the unwritten Neolithic past. Game scholars sometimes point to The Royal Game of Ur as the earliest known game, and in a sense it is — but we also know of games from any number of Neolithic cultures that survived into the modern era, many of them documented by Stewart Cullin in a series of books for the Smithsonian, published in the early 20th century.

— Play This Thing! | Game Reviews | Free Games | Independent Games | Game Culture.

Go read, it is awesome.

Sep 182009

Gamasutra – News – GDC Austin: Raph Koster’s Deceptively Simple Coin Toss. It’s got a couple of images. 🙂

He offered several examples of complex games broken down into abstract graphs. For instance, he took the strategy board game Blokus, in which four players use tiles of various shapes to try to block other players’ ability to place a piece. Only corner-to-corner contact is allowed between pieces of the same color. No edges can touch, and the object is to use as many of your allotted tiles as possible.

Sep 182009

Xemu’s Long-Winded Game Industry Ramblings :: AGDC ’09: Raph Koster on Games and Math is a liveblog of the talk I gave a couple of hours ago here at GDCAustin.

The talk was first a very brief intro to game grammar approaches, followed by digging into the math behind very common game mechanics that have stood the test of time, and then lastly a look at some of the “bugs” in human cognition that games tend to exploit. It was supposed to be an intermediate talk, not superadvanced, so I hope I hit the right levelof complexity for everyone!

The room was pretty packed — 300 people, I am told! There’s also commentary on Twitter if you go looking.

I will try to get the slides up soon.

Sep 172009

Another liveblog…apologies for typos.

Monetizing Online Games

Lisa Rutherford of TwoFish
Karl Mehta, PlaySpan and PayByCash
Andrew Schneider, LiveGamer
Min Kim, Nexon
Moderated by Eric Goldberg

Eric: A realization at the conference that free to play is the future, these are the guys who can tell you about the future. LiveGamer recently acquired TwoFish. Can you each talk about your top three lines of business?

Andy: started in 2007b on P2P secondary market,and now we have a totalcommerce solution with nCash in Korea and TwoFish, helping partners get more revenue with microtransactions.

Karl:we monetize over 1000 games, microtransaction stack, prepaid card

Lisa: TwoFish focuses on post-purchase data, a data economy platform, what users do

Min: The most significant area I worked on, came out to US in 2005,started office in 2006, launched the payment card method here in the US, consumers had not been proven out yet. We looked at the iTunes card and said, we should do that. It started with the Nexon card. Distributed in 7/11, CVS,RiteAid, will be walgreens soon, 30k retailers in NA.
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