Last Friday I apparently agreed to enter into a “blogging-duel” with a co-worker of mine, Babak Kaveh. This duel only has one rule: Whoever posts the most words related to game-design or game-development over the course of a single month (the deadline is at 14:35 pm on the 20th of March) will win a free pizza from the losing part. I’m not sure what was going through my head when I agreed to this, but in my defense it sounded like a good idea at the time. Despite the fact that I don’t even like pizza all that well (yes, color me crazy, but it’s true).
Anyhow, it’s now been two days since this thing started, and not only have I not posted anything yet, but it also seems that I’m already behind by over 5 500 words (rough estimate). Or 10 pages in Word at font size 12, if you prefer.
In an attempt to alleviate this word-deficiency I’ll be taking on Raph Koster‘s Laws of Online World Design, going through them one by one (skipping as few as I can get away with), covering them from every angle I can come up with.
At the top of the list on Raph’s page, Ola Frosheim Grostad‘s Law About Laws states the following:
Any general law about virtual worlds should be read as a challenge rather than as a guideline. You’ll learn more from attacking it than from accepting it.
This appears to be sound advice, and sums up what I’ll be doing rather accurately. I will try not to accept any of the listed laws as absolute truths (at least not at face-value), and will instead attempt to dig deep down underneath the surface of these perceived truths, where I’ll then poke and prod at every known and unknown factor (preferably with a sharp stick) until I’ve gained some insight (or run out of sticks).
Yeah, I know it’s not a very original approach. Most of the laws on that page have already been debated to death for years and years by other people in various discussion forums, blog-entries and/or in articles at websites like Gamasutra, Terra Nova etc. Heck, the main reason the list of those laws was put together in the first place was due to discussions that took place on the now ancient MUD-Dev Mailing List (1996 – 2006?, available as full forum archive if you follow the link, and a downloadable 62mb zipped version is mirrored here. A continuation of that list is available at MUD-Dev2, btw).
In other words, this has all been done before, through and through. However, I have not done this before (much), so not only do I stand to gain a free pizza from this, I might also learn some valuable lessons about game design in the process. Not to mention I’ll have something to fill up this “online diary” with other than, well, stuff one would write in an ordinary offline diary.
Both this “introduction” and whatever else I write in relation to this small project in (hopefully) the near future will be linked on the section of this blog dedicated to Game Design, for easy access.
Oh, and by the way, Babak… this counts in my grand total of words, right? Right?!?