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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Raph Koster on why fanboism is bad for the industry

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221 posts found
  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

10/16/13 7:37:16 PM#141

Someone is going to get banned.

You cant speak out against the man on these forums, it receives its advertising dollars from them. Should just be quite and act the all is right in the world.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 117

10/16/13 7:51:29 PM#142
Originally posted by jtcgs

Someone is going to get banned.

You cant speak out against the man on these forums, it receives its advertising dollars from them. Should just be quite and act the all is right in the world.

Haha, I work for myself right now. I have no ad budget, and have no leverage whatsoever. ;) So no fear on my account!

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1181

10/16/13 7:53:19 PM#143
Originally posted by Raph
Originally posted by Neo_Viper
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Neo_Viper

This website is "mmorpg.com". The audience shouldn't be a big surprise...

We've all come to an agreement on what MMOs truly are?  I must have missed the memo.

Well, one thing is sure, neither "Island Life" nor "My Wineyard" are MMORPGs.

Looks more like an ex-MMO star who had to fall back doing facebook games to survive.

At least Starr Long joined Garriott on his new project. But Raph is taking shots at a genre he's not even part of anymore. Sorry, but I have some problems with people peeing in the bowl which was previously allowing them to earn a living.

Island Life and My Vineyard actually WERE virtual worlds. They definitely weren't traditional MMOs though, not by a long shot. And they were built using the Metaplace tech we made for Metaplace.com, which definitely was a virtual world. 

FWIW, I think I'll ALWAYS be a part of the MMO genre. :)

Loving the replies, Raph.  It's always nice to see the person being discussed show up to answer questions and assertions directly.

That said, this MMORPG.com, which means a number of people here (such as the one you're replying to here) will spend more time and energy taking your statements out of context (often deliberately), arguing things you never said, and generally just trying to attack you any way they can with any ammunition they think they have. It's rare to see an actual constructive or coherent discussion around here where one side isn't engaged in at least one of those above-mentioned antics.

All you can do is state your case and leave it out there for the rest of us who are interested in learning from it, rather than  playing petty games of "gotcha".

But then, I'm sure you're no stranger to any of it, being in the industry as long as you've been.

Still, it must be entertaining to have random people on message forums attempting to tell you what your career and work has been.

 

 

"Devs need to stop trying to make MMOs for people who don't like MMOs" - thevampirelematt/Reddit

  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 117

10/16/13 9:26:21 PM#144
Actually, I have kind of missed it.  Not my first rodeo, and sometimes, it's FUN to go to the rodeo. ;)
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

10/16/13 11:41:16 PM#145

Thank you for the replies in the (now-closed) Q&A Raph ... I watched the video on oral vs literary storytelling you suggested and although I enjoyed it, I also feel it missed the mark a little, especially in the context of MMOs.   The core sandbox/themepark debate is not so much about how the story is told as whether player is a passive actor or an active participant.  It's like the difference between someone playing a role in a baseball movie and someone playing baseball.

Even looking just at the themepark style of game, I feel the association to oral storytelling is a weak model of what players think.  Certainly, I can look at it as mix of oral-style improvisation linking gates that are fixed in a literary way, but what is missing is the communication, the opportunity for the story to evolve since players have only themselves as their audience (although I may be underestimating the importance of collaberative puzzle-solving where techniques and tactics may be passed around and studied by others)

( link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC-2R_RiTac )

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5251

10/17/13 1:40:36 AM#146
Anybody who has had good ideas and input into MMOland can have more and make a difference to what we are playing. Purely on that basis what he has to say is of interest.
  Olgark

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 292

10/17/13 3:36:29 AM#147

When I play beta in a game I always try to take a few steps back and play the part of Devils Advocate. Even though I maybe a fan of the game or world. Difficult to do but its needed to help push the game away from disaster. Often been the subject of the fanboi syndrome because of this as well, some have even gone as far as to tell me to go and find another game to play if I "hate " it that much.

 

As any craftsman will tell you, to be good at what you do and to learn how to do things better you need to take pride in your work and learn to listen to the constructive feedback.

  Drakephire

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/02/13
Posts: 363

10/17/13 10:21:44 AM#148
Originally posted by Neo_Viper
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by Neo_Viper
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Neo_Viper

This website is "mmorpg.com". The audience shouldn't be a big surprise...

We've all come to an agreement on what MMOs truly are?  I must have missed the memo.

Well, one thing is sure, neither "Island Life" nor "My Wineyard" are MMORPGs.

Looks more like an ex-MMO star who had to fall back doing facebook games to survive.

At least Starr Long joined Garriott on his new project. But Raph is taking shots at a genre he's not even part of anymore.

He never said they were mmos. Someone claimed his perspective is irrelevant because he's not done something successful for several years. He was just pointing out that he has had some successful titles just not mmos.

I've had many successful "titles" over my last years of software engineer for real time video/movie graphics, yet I wouldn't apply those successes to a genre they are totally unrelated to.

One cook may be a god when it comes to making sushi, that doesn't mean he knows how to make a good steak.

I've a lot of respect for Raph for what he did in the past, but I think he lost touch with the actual MMO industry and still lives 10 years ago when it comes to those game's design.

Sorry, but that's pure hypocrisy. You believe Raph isn't relevant because he hasn't worked on an MMO for a number of years, and yet you, who has zero experience in developing games let alone MMOs, feel you have some mystical insight into judging Raph and MMOs? Please.

 

 

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

10/17/13 10:27:36 AM#149
Originally posted by Wighty

This is a great read for anyone interested!

 

This is a snippet but the entire article is a very good read on gaming development by one of the forefathers of MMO gaming design.

 

http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

 

The meat of it:

 

People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is. Especially watch out for the ones who tell you that nobody understands your genius.

Honestly, this is going to sound horrible, but self-doubt is one of your most powerful tools for craftsmanship. None of the designers you admire feel self-confident about their work in that way. None of them think that they are awesome. They all suffer from impostor complexes the size of the Titanic.

I am not saying that you need to lack confidence in yourself. (Heck, you’ll never put anything out if that’s the case! You need to have the arrogance to assume anyone will care in the first place). I am saying that nobody is ever done learning, and people who tell you you have arrived will give you a sense of complacency. You should never be complacent about your art.

More is bad than that. Mega trolls are also just as bad as constantly telling developers they suck isn't going to make them want to do more for the players.

 

Extremely vocal people are also as bad because they will try to get the game changed in a direction that suits them even if it is worse for 90% of the player base.

 

 

Overall anyone that isn't providing constructive criticism in a polite manner, which is open for constructive debate from other viewpoints, is not helping.

Having some fan comments is good though. Think about if your boss told you every single day that what you did wasn't good enough. Your productivity would go down. Occasionally it is good for a worker to hear some compliments on their work.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19819

10/17/13 11:34:45 AM#150
Originally posted by Raph
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Raph
 

Sigh, whatever.

If you want to hear about what i did wrong, why not join the Q&A thread and ask me what my biggest mistakes were?  I have to go over to that thread rather than answering here.

Oh, and until 6 months ago I was a VP at Disney. :P

I hope you are not emotionally affected by just some random comments on the internet.

Nah. It's just disappointing when people want to do drive-bys rather than actually engage. I don't mind being called on the stuff I did, but it is disappointing when people call me out for stuff I didn't do.

Yell at me for PKers chasing off tons of UO players! Or the lack of content in SWG! All on me. :) But Trammel and NGE, not me., that's all.

Will do ..

I am one of those who played UO beta, and found that the rampant PKing was not fun for me. I did not even sub. Now i am not a game designer, and i am not going to give general game design advice.

But i can tell you what i do not like. I think UO focus too much on making a world, and too little to make it a good game. More recent MMO remedy that.

 

  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 117

10/17/13 12:48:01 PM#151
Originally posted by maplestone

Thank you for the replies in the (now-closed) Q&A Raph ... I watched the video on oral vs literary storytelling you suggested and although I enjoyed it, I also feel it missed the mark a little, especially in the context of MMOs.

I agree! The guy who did it is a developer of AAA narrative experiences for console games. So the aspects of multiplayer and virtual worlds and UGC that he mentions barely scratch the surface of what we have already seen.

I just thought it was illustrative of the gap. The world he comes from is how you get a SWTOR, you know?

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5814

10/17/13 12:57:56 PM#152
Originally posted by Raph
Originally posted by maplestone

Thank you for the replies in the (now-closed) Q&A Raph ... I watched the video on oral vs literary storytelling you suggested and although I enjoyed it, I also feel it missed the mark a little, especially in the context of MMOs.

I agree! The guy who did it is a developer of AAA narrative experiences for console games. So the aspects of multiplayer and virtual worlds and UGC that he mentions barely scratch the surface of what we have already seen.

I just thought it was illustrative of the gap. The world he comes from is how you get a SWTOR, you know?

The references and links you posted in the AMA were the most interesting to me. I do like hearing about what you did and your perspective on that, but like you pointed out several times in that thread - talking about old stuff seems to take center stage when there is so much more interesting stuff to discuss. I particularly like the link you posted to Joris Dorman's site and Machinations, but all the additional reference stuff was interesting. A little OT but I was busy during the AMA.

Curse you AquaScum!

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3177

Veni, Vidi, Converti

10/17/13 1:14:58 PM#153

It was great to hear about the various games Raph is working on. I should get up and go and start designing/developing some games. Small games have the advantage I think of being easier to be creative considering they can retain the vision from start to finish more naturally.

The puzzle game and strategy games, those two both sounded the most interesting. The idea to clear a level in a puzzle to the best extent you can is great for the skill-challenge curve it would seem or at least improving on your solutions maximally. SpaceChem which I downloaded and struggle with and TrainYard both do that really well in terms of solutions. But I hope Steph Thirion captures the skill-challenge curve more specifically with his effort. Strategy games where you make interesting decisions are always good if you can get most if not all the gameplay in the player's head I feel!

I really should try to create a game.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5547

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

10/17/13 3:40:13 PM#154
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Scalpless
 

This is the flaw in the argument as you say. But likewise I am sure we have all seen changes in MMOs based on the popular opinions of the players, which can be totally wrong. If naysayers are giving constructive criticism, suggesting solutions and not just "I don't like this" that what the devs should be looking out for.

It is very hard to distinguish between critics who know what they're talking about and those who do not. Luckily sometimes you can do something. For example, should you listen to all the players regarding PvP balance or just the top players? Or should you listen to the veteran players regarding the new player experience rather than the new players themselves?

Actualy I think it's valuable to listen to anyone who takes the time to put forward thoughtfull and detailed feedback about an application. It doesn't really matter whether the user is technicaly correct about how the application actualy works, because the users perception of how an application works is equaly if not more important then how the application works and that perception came from somewhere. It can just point to a different type of issue....one related to information rather then function. Again....big difference between....understanding what a user has to say and letting them take the drivers seat of what you are trying to do.

It's also important to understand that sometimes users can be perfectly correct in the points they are making but it doesn't really matter because they aren't really the target audience that the application was designed for.

No its not. Even if they did that, it doesn't make them experts or knowledgeable about the subject. There is a reason why you should listen to the first tier PvP players regarding PvP balance before the majority: They know what they are talking about. In many cases, they may have more expertise on the subject than the devs themselves (e.g. Starcraft 2, League of Legends).

To put it in your terms, you don't necessarily need to alter the application, but rather understand and alter the perception of those users.

Customer is wrong more often than not. If you are not the expert of your own product, you should pick carefully which feedback you trust.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5547

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

10/17/13 3:47:59 PM#155
Originally posted by BlizzardShill

I might be alone among the sea of savages here when I throw this out, but you should look up 'groupthink'.  It's a more generalized concept of the same issue.  Amusing enough, most of the discussion taking place in this thread is a rehash of the talks I've seen three to four decades ago (without the narrow focus on video games, of course).

Ah, yes... the culprit of one unfortunate space shuttle crash as well.

Good connection. I didn't see that at first.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5814

10/17/13 3:59:44 PM#156
Originally posted by MumboJumbo

It was great to hear about the various games Raph is working on. I should get up and go and start designing/developing some games. Small games have the advantage I think of being easier to be creative considering they can retain the vision from start to finish more naturally.

The puzzle game and strategy games, those two both sounded the most interesting. The idea to clear a level in a puzzle to the best extent you can is great for the skill-challenge curve it would seem or at least improving on your solutions maximally. SpaceChem which I downloaded and struggle with and TrainYard both do that really well in terms of solutions. But I hope Steph Thirion captures the skill-challenge curve more specifically with his effort. Strategy games where you make interesting decisions are always good if you can get most if not all the gameplay in the player's head I feel!

I really should try to create a game.

Every gamer should be able to create in games, even if they don't actually create the base systems from scratch themselves.

My friends and I used to take 1st Ed AD&D and combine it rules and ideas from Rolemaster. The GDW Traveller system is another we also heavily modified. Playing the games as they were written was fun for a while, but creating new campaigns with various rulesets mixed together in different ways was the most fun.

I really wish there was some way for gamers to do that with computer games and not just pnp. The Neverwinter foundry is neat enough, but too limiting. Even NWN and DikuMUDs are inhibited by their very nature. We need something that a person can take and blend elements together to create something truly personal without having to need $50M - $250M and two masters degrees so you can write your own engine.

I would so love to create a game in spirit of Traveller/MegaTraveller. How many worlds could we create in our own universe.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5814

10/17/13 4:03:35 PM#157
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by BlizzardShill

I might be alone among the sea of savages here when I throw this out, but you should look up 'groupthink'.  It's a more generalized concept of the same issue.  Amusing enough, most of the discussion taking place in this thread is a rehash of the talks I've seen three to four decades ago (without the narrow focus on video games, of course).

Ah, yes... the culprit of one unfortunate space shuttle crash as well.

Good connection. I didn't see that at first.

Wow, the space shuttle fiasco is a great illustration. I totally forgot about that and it asks a lot more questions as it pertains to development and politics. What if there is player feedback taken into account but the juniors at the bottom are quashed or afraid to raise their voice or worse outright cover it up to keep safe? Where do the problems in the feedback chain really lie and can it even be pinpointed to a single common area or is it really dependent on how the team is structured and company culture.

Curse you AquaScum!

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19819

10/17/13 5:12:34 PM#158
Originally posted by Torvaldr
 

Every gamer should be able to create in games, even if they don't actually create the base systems from scratch themselves.

Why? I don't play games to create. I play them to be entertained.

I watch lots of movies, and i feel no need, nor have any abilities, to create one. Ditto for games.

 

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5814

10/17/13 6:02:02 PM#159
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Torvaldr
 

Every gamer should be able to create in games, even if they don't actually create the base systems from scratch themselves.

Why? I don't play games to create. I play them to be entertained.

I watch lots of movies, and i feel no need, nor have any abilities, to create one. Ditto for games.

 

I never said you did. I said the opportunity should be there if the desire is present. You can choose just to play games if you want even if I want to be able to make them. Having creative tools available in no way obligates you to be a creator.

Movies and games are different forms of entertainment. I don't watch movies when I want to game, but here goes with an explanation attempt. There are some good tools available for amateurs and hobbyists to create movies if they want. Even at the simplest one can download MS Movie Make and splice AVIs together with soundtracks.

The same goes for music. I listen to a lot but sometimes I want to create it. I like having instruments available to create music and there are decent polished tools out there for hobbyists and amateurs to record and mix their own tracks.

The tools available for hobbyist and amateur game design suck. My fantasy is to have more robust creative tools that I could use to make games. You can still enjoy games even though others might create them.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Nephelai

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/13
Posts: 164

10/17/13 6:14:39 PM#160
Finding something in common then proceeding to circle jerk a manifestation of our natural human survival behavior. It served us well when there was lots of threats to our safety however it's not really required nowadays and like all our well ingrained behaviors will take a long time to phase out.
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