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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
What makes a great online multiplayer game? How do you design interactivity that draws crowds -- and keeps them? What crucial lessons have been learned about community design, avatars, and other key elements of online game design? How do you navigate the incredibly complex process of getting from idea to cash? Online Game Interactivity Theory answers all those questions -- and many, many more.
Markus Friedl starts with the up-front issues you need to understand (and discuss with your team) before you even begin. He explains the unique attributes of online media from the player’s and developer’s standpoint, helps you determine Where your planned game fits into the “bestiary” of online games (as organized by technology, genre, goal, type of online integration, business model, and distribution channel), and demystifies the anthropology of the social virtual environment -- making clear why people play.
Next, he focuses on interactivity in all forms: player-to-computer, player-to-player, and player-to-game. How do you ensure synchronicity amongst players? What role should AI play in your game? How steep should your learning curve be...and how do you create effective conflict and cooperation? What’s the best way to help players find each other (and keep them from harassing each other)?
Friedl also offers invaluable coverage of the online multiplayer game development process, including prototyping, playtesting, and the effective use of middleware. Maybe best of all: 50 pages of interviews with leading developers, offering incredible insight into everything from gameplay to security. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.