Listen to a Star Wars Galaxies and Earth & Beyond ‘post-mortem’

If you’re looking for a blast to the past of science fiction MMOs, then clear your schedule for an hour of enlightening talk by industry vets Raph Koster and Chris Klug.

Koster and Klug compare their experiences and approaches with working on Star Wars Galaxies and Earth & Beyond, respectively, in an older panel from 2004 called SciFi MMPs: Lessons Learned. In the talk, the two discuss key game mechanics and how they forged new ideas in the burgeoning MMO space.

Koster posted a link to the lecture on his blog along with a series of slides that were used for the SWG portion of the talk. While the panel was recorded while both games were operating, Koster says that he considers it “the closest thing to a post-mortem for Star Wars Galaxies or Earth & Beyond out there.”

[Source: SciFi MMPs: Lessons Learned]
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36 Comments on "Listen to a Star Wars Galaxies and Earth & Beyond ‘post-mortem’"

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greywolfe_joystiq
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greywolfe_joystiq

thank you raph/massivelyop
this is the sort of stuff i enjoy [mmo/game history :)]

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

BenOvermyer
Actually, I should take that back, because I can’t really think of any other “mainstream” MMO that did not have player avatars.
EVE is somewhat of an oddity in this industry in this respect.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

raphkoster SallyBowls1 Caec I sure wish people had tried. And TBH if Crowfall was not pvp. Good luck and keep fighting the good fight!

mysecretid
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mysecretid

I played the beta for Earth & Beyond, and I REALLY liked it at the time. I do remember, however, that just before the game went live, there seemed to be some sort of shake-up behind the scenes at the game. Suddenly, the was a new name at the top of the dev food chain, and most of the graphics got changed rather radically.

I remember the new graphics being suddenly “edgy and grimdark” and I remember the player avatars suddenly got a lot uglier. The joke we were making at the time was that, suddenly, my characters were uglier than I was, which seemed weird for an MMORPG :-)
Anybody else remember this last-minute switch, and the brouhaha it started?
Anyway, I never relly got over the radical shift in the game’s visuals. By the time E&B got shut down, I was pretty much gone. It was a great game at core (in my opinion) but the execution just felt lacking.

My take, anyway,

Cujo H
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Cujo H

I’m curious to know if Mr. Koster played any SW MUSHes.

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

raphkoster Rebel Engie Hey Raph how ya been brother been a while since I last posted on your blog? Anyways I think SWG could still work if a relaunch were in the works. Now that LA is out of the picture there would be less interference with development of the game. Now that Disney owns it I believe it opens things up the Star Wars IP to be more creative since they tossed out the Expanded Universe. With the current technology I think if done properly a new SWG could give WoW  some real competition. What are your thoughts on the issue?

BenOvermyer
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BenOvermyer

Rebel Engie Feydakin I disagree. I hate EVE, and that’s one of the reasons. I don’t play an MMO to be a ship in a spreadsheet.

raphkoster
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raphkoster

Rebel Engie This talk predates my departure from SOE, for sure, but there’s nothing new I could add since 2006. By the point of this talk, I was off the team — people tend to forget that I moved up to CCO for SOE right when the game launched… my involvement started to slip right from then, and ended just a few months later. By December of that year, I wasn’t involved anymore. So doing postmortem things on stuff I never saw is iffy. What I have done is talk about what the stats and metrics meant, and how those were indicative of what went wrong. Like I said in another comment, you can find that stuff mentioned in several places — the OGDA interview on my site is one example.

Feydakin
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Feydakin

Rebel Engie Yeah it was just before WoW, so things happened to get even worse in that respect after that…

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

Feydakin
He was pretty close for most parts, except for diversity.  :(