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Role Playing (Games)

Raph Koster's New Studio Unveiled 29

Posted by Zonk
from the any-chance-for-an-interview-raph dept.
Gamasutra reports on veteran MMOG designer (and sometimes Slashdot Games commenter) Raph Koster's new studio. The company, called Areae, is gearing up for a new title in the Massive space. Raph's comments in the article are overly coy, and despite his statements that 'you can find some tidbits if you look on the site', there's not a whole lot of details yet on what exactly they'll be doing. From the article: "We're going to run quiet for a little while and finish building out the platform so we can actually start talking about what it is that we're going to put out there. I would guess that you'll be hearing from us again in three months or so.'"
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Raph Koster's New Studio Unveiled

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  • sounds like... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AliasTheRoot (171859) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @09:41AM (#17268014)
    ...some kind of middleware, world building platform. Kosters games have consistently been sandboxes, and don't see that he will change focus on this. There were some quotes on the site about having a a couple of worlds on the back burner, and also about making frontier spaces available for players to colonize. A more game orientated second-life?

    The graphic on the site certainly indicates a genre neutral social MMO.
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      Yep, sounds just like the Sims Online. Raph Koster has done one great MMOG (early UO) and one disaster (SWG), so it could go either way.
  • RAPH KOSTER (Score:2, Insightful)

    by genrader (563784)
    You ruined Star Wars Galaxies for 300,000 people. None of them trust you anymore, backstabber.
    • Re:RAPH KOSTER (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16, 2006 @02:08PM (#17269910)
      It is not my intention to defend the man with this post. Only to look at things a different way, or in SW terms, from a different point of view.

      What if, just if, SWG was able to have been finished the way Raph had wanted it to? What if, they did not remove him from daily interaction with the project by promoting him? What if, Raph had the chance to create the project he promoted early on?

      SWG had so much going for it. That is all gone now, except for the Emu which is all over the place with it's development, but they are working hard and getting there.

      SWG was supposed to be a sandbox game. Where we could go be whoever we wanted to be, outside of the main characters. The current version of SWG is where I am thinking SWG would have been at launch if Raph had not been a part of the beginning. And I think if he had remained in a daily role with it, then we would have had a much better game from day one. He showed a foresight for the game and then it was compromised down. By who? A large number of people, including Raph himself.

      I still believe in a game where there is no "phat" loot to gather. Where someone who starts a year into the game will still have a chance at being the biggest merchant in the game within a month. Armor was not supposed to be worn by every player at all times. People were supposed to group up, (unless they used well planned techniques for various animals). Krayt Dragons were not supposed to be 300K+ HAM. (The 30K HAM ones were difficult enough with 20 people, as people did not wear armor without realizing the hurt it could cause.) Where I can sit in a major area for hours just watching how others interact in a virtual world, how they talk, how they role play or don't role play. I will never play another MMORPG. SWG was my first and last. However, I still believe that if so many compromises were not made from Raph's original plans then the game would have been better.
      • What if, just if, SWG was able to have been finished the way Raph had wanted it to?

        It pretty much was before the combat and tradeskill revamp.

        I still believe in a game where there is no "phat" loot to gather. Where someone who starts a year into the game will still have a chance at being the biggest merchant in the game within a month

        It's called second life.

        Where I can sit in a major area for hours just watching how others interact in a virtual world, how they talk, how they role pl

    • Re:RAPH KOSTER (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Surlyboi (96917) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @02:12PM (#17269948) Homepage Journal

      You ruined Star Wars Galaxies for 300,000 people. None of them trust you anymore, backstabber.
      Don't blame Koster alone for SWG's failure.

      Blame LA for pressuring SOE to rush it out before it was done.

      Blame SOE for bowing to that pressure and also thinking it could still coast on the laurels of EQ when it wasn't the only kid on the block anymore.

      Blame the players who stood around cantinas and city centers dueling each other during beta periods trying to find "that perfect PVP template" rather than actually working toward making the game better for everyone that played, not just themselves.

      Blame the players who decided that yet-another-diku based MMO like WoW where you played the role assigned to you by the game makers was more in line with what they wanted rather than a sandbox where you could create your own story.

      And lastly, blame yourself, because each and every person that played SWG is partially responsible for its current state. Either by not speaking up in a cherent constructive manner when it mattered, or by letting too much go by without a word at all and for many, many reasons too numerous to mention here. I shoulder part of that blame too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SkeptAck (558548)
      I thought I did that.
    • Re:RAPH KOSTER (Score:4, Interesting)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @09:06PM (#17272982)
      You know, I used to think that too -- he sucked. After UO, and then the SWG fiasco, one really has to wonder if he knows what the hell he is doing as a designer. But I've been reading his "Theory of Fun", and I'm starting to change my mind. Maybe mis-management was just as much part of the problem -- seen it happen in the games industry too many times.

      Have to wait and see. The proof is in the pudding, or game play, as they say.

      • I've never once blamed him for the SWG fiasco. He's always looked to take the sandbox concept in new directions and has proven very sharp with all of his writings. In my mind, it appeared that his influence diminished before the rewrites. I for one look forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve.

    • When Star Wars Galaxies game out, I had never played an MMORPG before. Several friends of mine purchased it, and I finally caved and bought it.

      I signed up, created a brawler, and entered the game. I despised it from the moment I started. I finally got a mission, headed out of town and ran for what seemed an unreasonable amount of time. Finally I met a bug, and it killed me immediately. It happened again shortly after that. This wasn't fun in the least - it was just stupid and boring.

      I cancelled my acc
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's a bit like .hack, where you have players playing games playing players playing games. Raph's character is a hybrid Armchair Psychobabbler/MMOG Designer. His specials include getting Cheetos orange powder on everything he touches, and beard growth.
  • by Lordfly (590616) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @02:18PM (#17270010) Homepage Journal
    ...sounds like they don't even have a programmer on board yet. Game companies are made every day; let's wait until they actually release something other than a press release.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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