Monthly Archives October 2003

More design issues in Star Wars Galaxies

Anonymous sources have pointed out that Lee Sheldon has written a number of articles on writing and storytelling in virtual worlds, and that these articles also point out flaws in Star Wars Galaxies. From Less Is More: Chinese Menu Quest Systems & Storytelling: “The missing boy is never mentioned again. We just blow up a lair […]

Design issues in Star Wars Galaxies

Professor Timothy Burke has written a detailed critique of Star Wars Galaxies that I found interesting because it mentions some of my favorite game design issues: designing game mechanics that integrate well with a game’s fiction and designing game mechanics that are entertaining and offer interesting choices. According to Professor Burke, SWG fails in these, […]

A discussion with female MMO developers

I don’t usually write much about MMO games, but I found this interview with female MMO developers about what it’s like to be, well, a female MMO developer, quite interesting. On the one hand, I wonder if the MMO aspect is really relevant: that is, would the experiences of female offline game developers be very […]

Real world military settings too close for comfort

Sony video game to omit Quebec separatist mission to blow up Toronto subway. Although I find that Quebecois separatism always carries a note of involuntary comedy, I believe this is the first time that authorities complain about the realism and appropriateness of the setting of a video game because it impacts the public’s physical safety, […]

Hunted by his dark past

Sam Lake, writer for Max Payne 1 and 2, talks to GameSpy. However, like so many people, he was once young and needed the money.


As you may have noticed, I’ve cleaned up the navigation bar and made the content bar wider. I’ve also added a Google search box, but it’s not that great. I may switch to a different blogging system in the future. Update: the Opera / Windows glitch that made the side bar disappear has been fixed. […]

The Drake equation for games

The Drake equation was devised in the early sixties by Frank Drake to calculate the possibility of life on other planets. It looks something like this: N = R * fs * fp * ne * fl * fi * fc * L N is the number of possible civilizations to communicate with, R is […]

Some random links

While writing the earlier post about violent RPGs, I came across a few items not directly related to the topic, but still worth mentioning: Here’s how your actions affect your virtues in Ultima IV. Quite sophisticated. I don’t know of any current game that evaluates actions to this degree. Some people are remaking Ultima IV. […]


And it’s about time I write something about Thaddaeus Frogley, who joined Rockstar Vienna as lead programmer on GTA3 Xbox in June. He is a very nice guy, a very talented programmer, and his personal website is even more spartan than mine and contains much more high-tech things too. He worked for Mythos Games, the […]

More on GTA3 / GTA:VC for the Xbox

GameSpy has interviewed Hannes Seifert, managing director of Rockstar Vienna, about GTA3 and GTA:Vice City for the Xbox. He was the producer of both projects. It contains information on what exactly was improved. Slashdot linked to the interview, and, as usual, many comments were added. The most interesting comments (for me) were by a tester […]