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Raph Koster Talks About His Upcoming Return to MMORPGs In New Interview

Posted by Poorna Shankar on Oct 28, 2019  | Comments

Raph Koster Talks About His Upcoming Return to MMORPGs In New Interview - MMORPG.com

In an interview with Gamasutra, industry veteral Raph Koster discussed why he’s back.

Koster has worked on Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, in case you’re unfamiliar with him. He discusses what he believes are core to MMOs and why he felt the time was right for him to return to the industry,

“It was super clear to me that a lot of the core things about MMOs were becoming the norm. Those are all things that I've been thinking about and making games around for a long time. So it just really felt like the time was right; the audience was ready, the technology was there...it just felt like everything was coming into place, and it made sense."

He cofounded Playable Worlds and have raised $2.7 million in seeding to begin work on his new MMORPG, and wants to apply lessons that have been learned in the interceding years as it pertains to a focus on combat,

“There are so many ways to exist and interact with these alternate, fictional worlds that to say combat is The Way is just so reductive. We've really started getting that lesson; for me it was a lesson we came into on Ultima Online."

He is focusing on preventing toxic behavior from becoming the norm by rewarding good behavior in order for games to feel like genuine connected worlds,

“Because in the end, those connections between players help many games combat toxicity. It's what helps build the notion of players as a society, right. The biggest thing that leads to toxic behavior is your ability to sort of dehumanize and objectify other people, and think of them as not real...that's what leads us to treat people worse, when we don't have that sense of ongoing connection and dependency."

He goes into emphasizing that rewarding and recognizing weak relationships are important to good design, especially amongst players,

“One of the opportunities we have is to think about weak relationships, actually; weak ties...it really opens a lot of interesting design decisions when you ask yourself okay, how do we create a game where those weak relationships matter, and matter in ways that help players understand the incredible value that other people provide?"

It's a fascinating interview and goes into much more depth. Definitely check it out here if interested.

Poorna Shankar / A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.
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