Postmortems: Selected Essays Volume One

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Few game designers have shared as many lessons learned as Raph Koster. In a quarter-century of writings and talks, he has offered up game design lessons, online community theories, and candid self-evaluation.

This first volume of a three-book set of selected essays collects previously written postmortems and many brand new pieces. They are accompanied by historical material such as posts written for players, chat logs, speeches, design sketches, and more. The result is an inspiring historical look back at the development of virtual worlds.

These are the stories behind Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, the story of the early art game Andean Bird and the story of the ambitious project Metaplace that aimed to build the Metaverse, including:

  • "A Story About a Tree," the classic piece from MUD days about whether our online bonds are real.
  • "The Ultima Online Resource System," a detailed design breakdown of the pioneering world simulation.
  • "A Jedi Saga," the popular tale of how an impossible design dilemma broke a world.
  • "Influences," a challenge to the game development community to pursue art.
Altered Tuning Press