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Designing virtual worlds

Author: Richard A Bartle
Publisher: Indianapolis, Ind. : New Riders Pub., ©2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This text provides a comprehensive treatment of virtual world design from one of its pioneers. It covers everything from MUDs to MOOs to MMORPGs, from text-based to graphical VWs.
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Richard A Bartle
ISBN: 0131018167 9780131018167
OCLC Number: 52814945
Description: xxi, 741 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction to virtual worlds --
2. How to make virtual worlds --
3. Players --
4. World design --
5. Life in the virtual world --
6. It's not a game, it's a ... --
7. Towards a critical aesthetic --
8. Coda: Ethical considerations. 1. Introduction to virtual worlds. Some definitions --
What they are and whence they came. The First Age: 1978-1985; The Second Age: 1985-1989; The Third Age: 1989-1995; The Fourth Age: 1995-1997; The Fifth Age: 1997-Present --
The past affects the future. Missed opportunities; Theory and practice; Whither innovation? --
The basics. Appearance; Genre; Codebase; Age; Player base; Dimensions: Change and persistence --
Influences on virtual worlds. Printed works; Film and television; Role-playing games; Other influence --
The Designer --
2. How to make virtual worlds. Development. The team; The development process; Pre-production; Production; Roll out; Operation --
On architecture. Overall architecture; Server architecture; Load balancing; Other things happen; The client/server model; Synchronization; Security --
Theory and practice. Modes; Virtual reality; Extensibility --
3. Players. Who are these people and what do they want? --
Player types. The nature of "fun"; Player types; Dynamics; General observations; Using player types; The newbie flow; The Bartle test --
Other categorizations. Social dimensions; Circles; Facets; Levels of immersion --
The celebration of identity. To be or what to be?; Identity and identification; Progression; Development tracks --
Anonymity. Life with a backspace; The name problem; Image --
Role-playing. On being others; The role-playing paradox; Soft role-playing --
Masquerading. Player rights; A story about a tree --
Community. Beginnings; Levels of community; An analogy --
Influence through design. Churn, sink, and drift; Influencing community development; Ways to promote community; Influencing immersion; Ways to promote immersion. 4. World design. Scope --
Major decisions. Ethos; Unending or circular?; Hands on or hands off; Categories; Intimate or grand scale?; Purposeful or decorative?; Closed or open economic model?; Information versus immersion --
Geography. Geographical consistency; Levels of geographic abstraction; Terrain; Movement; Settlements --
Population. Non-player characters; Player characters; Economics; Interface in economies; Tips for a successful virtual economy; Charge for advancement; Non-player players --
Physics. Laws of nature; The big six; Beyond real world physics; Objects; Common problems with objects; Time; Proactive physics --
Reset strategy --
5. Life in the virtual world. Advancement. Attributes; Levels; Skills; Skill organizations; Skill sets; Caps; Skill improvement --
Character generation. Appearance; Character generation methods; Physical differences; Long-term characters --
The virtual body. Maintenance; Survival; Sensing the virtual world; Body composition --
Groups. Formal or informal?; Temporary or permanent?; Flat or hierarchical?; Hardwired or softwired?; Common configurations --
Combat. How combat works; Enhanced combat systems; Problems with combat; Opposition; Consequences; Permanent death; Approaches to permanent death; Alternatives to permanent death; The unfortunate consequences of permanent death; The unfortunate consequences of non-permanent death; Why permanent death?; The hero's journey; Attitudes to permanent death --
Crafting. Manufacture; Recipes; Beyond the virtual world --
The elder game. Who plays the elder game?; Player-created content; Power to the player; The content conundrum --
The whole picture. Under- and over-design; Participatory design; Testing a design. 6. It's not a game, it's a ... Points of view --
Making sense of virtual world. Geography; Architecture; Anthropology; Sociology; Psychology; Gender studies; Lexicography; Economics; Politics; Autobiography; Theology --
Virtual worlds as subfields. Literary theory; Role-playing theory; Drama theory; Computer-mediated communication; Post-modernism --
Virtual worlds as tools. Computer science; Artificial intelligence; Education; Law --
Virtual worlds as ... virtual worlds. Community management; Conclusion --
7. Towards a critical aesthetic. A theory of virtual worlds. Motivation; Some questions; Template theories; Signs and symbols; Dimensions; Whence the symbols come; A chemistry for virtual worlds --
The story of story. Narrative; Why story arcs don't work; The Koster-Vogel cube; The place of narrative --
The critical aesthetic in use. The job of the critic; Content created by players; My take on all this --
8. Coda: Ethical considerations. Censorship. Unpleasantness; The real as the virtual (and vice versa); Passive censorship --
Players as people. Persona issues; Privacy; Addiction; Mental illness; Religion --
Groups of players as groups of people. Icons; Social engineering; Confounding expectations --
Yourself.
Responsibility: Richard A Bartle.
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