best when viewed in low light


Damion Schubert's Life of the Game

6 "Oh my God"s
3 "Holy shit!"s,
1 "No fucking way!!"
(within the first 5 minutes)
= Mega Hit Game

Damion's talk is called "The Zen of Online Game Design". (Here's the ppt) He's currently designing something Top Secret for Bioware

Since zen is an attempt to free oneself from concepts, and to see the world directly, how can that happen in contemporary (virtual) reality? (That's a whole other can o' worms.) But Damion's take is that enlightenment can only come through experience, meditation and understanding. Here's what he means...

Some kernels of wisdom:
Designers! Keep your heads in the game!
Loving an MMO can be a long term commitment, so evaluate the potential of your chosen partner like you would a human.
There are lots of reasons to leave, so don't make more!
Love your hard core - you want people emotionally, temporally, and financially invested. (Just not too hardcore.)
Your world is your culture. Be aware and be in control of it.
Find balance between the elements of Worldliness (realism, immersion), Gameyness (limitations, levels), and Community (competition, cooperation).

MMO Industry 3Rs:
Recruitment (of customers)
Reduction (of costs of services)

Some of my tangential thoughts:
Maybe we need to build in skills that people can apply in RL (and know it).
Maybe there's a way to ramp skills so that the "beginning" is not necessarily easy, and doesn't require feeling like such a n00b (without being too hard).

Here's more from Damion.

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