Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

Richard Bartle on MMO Game Design

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

There is an interesting interview up with Richard Bartle, one of the folks behind MUD, a virtual world programmed way back in 1978. Running on code carved onto great sheets of stone and running on some steam-powered contraption, no doubt. MUD has had quite the influence on modern MMORPGs. There is an interview with Mr. Bartle here that details some of his views on how far the genre has come in the last 29 years and how much they’ve stayed the same.

“However, when all is said and done, reality is far more detailed than virtuality can ever be. There are some forms of social interaction you can’t get any other way. Reality always wins in the end. A kiss in a virtual world or a kiss over the phone is never going to be the same as a kiss in real life.”

The interview is certainly worth a read even if you’re only marginally interested in virtual worlds.

Guardian Unlimited via DevBump)

It’s easier to create a clone of a clone of a good game than something original

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 is running an interview with Jason Kapalka, the founder of PopCap Games. Among other things he spells out what a visit to any site with a collection of little Flash games should tell you: People make cheap clones of existing games because it’s easier than coming up with something new.

The truth is that very few games are developed without reference to past games. There’s always going to be titles that build on a previous mechanic or game. But there’s a fine line between that and very bold-faced rip-offs that aren’t adding anything to the game and are just trying to make a quick buck. There’s games like that in the hardcore gaming market of course, but the problem in the casual space is that the investment in resources can be a lot less. So a three person studio isn’t going to build a knock-off of Warcraft. But they could crank out a clone of Bejewelled in a few months. The barrier to entry is a lot lower so you get a lot more of it.

He says a lot more slightly less obvious things. Certainly worth a read.

Link! to the entire interview (