community design games design GDC 2009 marketing reputation systems

GDC09: Game Mechanics Without Rules

Sulka Haro, Sulake


The intersection between social and gaming, and where that should be going, instead of where lots of people are obsessing about taking it.

(I have more to add here later, but I’ve got to run to a meeting; will update the post when I have time)

games industry GDC 2009

GDC09: Worlds In Motion Summit: Keynote

Raph Koster, Metaplace


Raph promised to be nice and not make us depressed this year. It was an elegy on “look how much we progressed as an industry during 2008”.

EDIT: Alice has a shorter and sweeter summary up on Wonderland.

alternate reality games community computer games design GDC 2009 reputation systems

GDC09: Meaningful Social Reality Games

Austin Hill, Akoha


Conference organizer introduced this as “during this first talk, think about the platform they’ve made, as much as you do the game; that could be especially interesting for this audience”.

I totally support the principles and the ideals. The game looks fun and interesting, and at the same time taking a very “Don’t worry, be crappy” approach to core game design: lots of classic mistakes made, obvious stuff. Is this a case of being brave enough to deliberately make the mistakes they understand (because they’re easy to fix later when you’re more successful – and it leaves you more spare time to focus on fixing/avoiding the mistakes you don’t understand yet) – or just naivety?

Interesting to hear the philosophy that fed into the creation of the game, the speaker’s personal journey and how it informed the design. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed how little actual content there was in this talk. It was perhaps 50% or more made up of a few long video clips. They were long and very little was pulled-out / emphasised from them. Most had very little information content per minute. Worst example was a mildly entertaining video of one of their players giving an intro to the product – but, frankly, so what? This was “new” and “interesting” 4 or 5 years ago, but by now it’s happened thousands of times over, and we’ve all seen it for many games. I didn’t understand why we were watching it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that – given he’s a VC – the speaker was pitching that video stuff to show “look, we have players who love our game”. That’s interesting and exciting to investors who have little or no immersion in the online world, but IMHO for game developers that’s just par for the course these days. No?