Former Origin veteran Raph Koster has just published a new book titled Postmortems: Selected Essays Volume One. Mr. Koster was lead designer for Ultima Online and went on to develop Privateer Online before its unfortunate cancelation. He then was hired by Sony as Chief Creative Office for Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest and many others. His new book goes back to look at the "postmortems" of the many projects throughout his career - after-action reports, lessons learned and critical analyses about what games did right, did wrong or could be improved on in the next iteration. It promises to provide some fascinating insight behind the scenes of game development. And in the run up to its impending publication, Raph has released a handful of snippets that tease various sections. Today's example provides a glimpse at his reflection of Privateer Online! The full book is available at Amazon.
My new book POSTMORTEMS is going to press soon: 700 pages of design articles on MUDs, UO, Privateer Online, SWG, Metaplace, and even Andean Bird. Tons of new material never published. Foreword by @RichardGarriott.
Today's snippet from my forthcoming book POSTMORTEMS is on the cancelled PRIVATEER ONLINE, which had some huge differences from other MMOs of the day. There's never been much info out there about this game, but the book has a detailed description (bet @wccic will be interested!)
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.