Star Wars Galaxies creator Raph Koster to release postmortem book on MMORPGs

    
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Raph Koster is certainly a well-known name in the MMORPG industry who has spent his career working on titles such as Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Metaplace, and Crowfall. But did you know that he is also a prolific writer as well? Koster has posted many intriguing behind-the-scenes and industry discussion essays on his blog, and now he’s compiled those and many other new ones for a book that he’s titled Postmortems: Selected Essays Volume One.

Postmortems is due out later this June, and it contains plenty of stories that should intrigue fans and historical buffs of the MMO genre. “It’s not a memoir or tell-all; the focus is on game design and game history,” Koster said. “There’s still nowhere near enough material out there in print covering things like the history and evolution of online worlds (MUDs especially), in-depth dives into decisions made in games by the people who made them, and detailed breakdowns of how they worked.”

Koster has been teasing the book by posting snippets of it on Twitter. One had to do with the unreleased Privateer Online: “Interestingly, the worlds of Privateer Online largely didn’t feature static content; all encounters were intended to be dynamically spawned near players as they moved around, and automatically scaled in difficulty for the group.”

We’ll be taking a deeper look at the book in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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Toy Clown

Raph Koster is my favorite dev of all time. Probably because I played nearly every game he worked on. His name became synonymous with fun. I think the book will make for an interesting read and I’ll definitely get it when I figure out where its being sold!

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Raph Koster

Preorders at any bookstore. There’s a link to Amazon in the story above.

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Tee Parsley

RE the quote there: Technically, the after action reports I’ve read on Iraq told a different story about the utility of handguns. Turned out a number of firefights took place in stairwells of multifloor buildings, where bullet penetration into civilian areas were an issue. And pistols showed up well there – if the pistols weren’t malfunctioning.

This was a blind spot in military tactics.

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Sally Bowls

Cool. Looking forward to reading it!

I assume Postmortems is “Postmortems of various MMO games” rather than an arguably somewhat premature “Postmortem on the MMORPG genre?”

P.S.: kinda disappointed the plural of Postmortem is not something more pretentiously Latin that just adding an s – say Postmortemi”

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Raph Koster

It is postmortems of LegendMUD, UO, SWG, Andean Bird, and Metaplace.

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Sally Bowls

I remember listening to one/some of your GDC talks on communities and got interesting, unexpected discussion on Switzerland and Google searches/ads.

As I would expect your writing to be worth the read regardless of the topic, I don’t have to be that worried about specific topics.

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Sally Bowls

Just because this site is anti-capitalist :-) (I joke, but it’s kinda true) does not mean you need to be bad at capitalism. Why not stick a disclosed affiliate link to the book somewhere at the end of the article? Sure, that would have made an old-school journalist blanch, but it is 2018. Affiliate links to TVs or GoFundMes for Justin’s video card would be too much but, for me, an occasional affiliate link is not too bad. You could even automate it so that every Amazon link – e.g. after Source: above – generates two links labeled: Amazon and AmazonWithoutAffliateLinkYouSanctimoniousBastard.

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TheDonDude

That screenshot brought back some good memories.

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Schmidt.Capela

I actually have the game installed :p

(But then, old as it is, it’s small enough that the space it takes makes no difference for me.)

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Alright, saved to pre-order later, happy to see the weblog articles on paper, i prefer paper to read long text, i hope articles comes with screenshots :-)

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Raph Koster

They do!

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Sashaa

This will be mine as soon as it is available in France!

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Raph Koster

In before “will it be out on Kindle?” because I am getting that a lot. The answer is yes, and I don’t know why it doesn’t show as available for Kindle pre-order already.

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johnwillo

Thank you! I keep my bookshelf in my pocket these days.

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Paragon Lost

Ditto. I love being able to change the font and size as I’ve gotten older. Reading physical books has gotten less enjoyable in recent years as my close up vision has deteriorated with age. Aging, gotta love it…. (stares off)

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Space Captain

I was very interested in reading this. Then I saw it was paper only (No ebook) and that price. Damn…

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Raph Koster

It’s 700 pages, not a small book, and the primary audience is probably academic, hence the price. You CAN get the ebook (just not Kindle yet)… try Barnes & Noble or other sites.