Playable Worlds’ Raph Koster on the ‘stuff’ inside your virtual worlds

Raph Koster, a game designer and virtual world architect, talks about the “stuff” inside your games.

“raph koster new mmo” is a blog post by Raph Koster, who was the lead designer of Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. He talks about the “stuff” inside your virtual worlds.


Raph Koster has been writing blogs about the metaverse and how virtual worlds operate for a few weeks now, and his new business, Playable Worlds, plans to create not just a metaverse platform but also a sandbox MMORPG on top of it. The most recent piece has come for your Friday pleasure and perplexity, and he’s talking about things.

As usual, Koster is attempting to divide the game down into manageable chunks. He argues that objects are more than their look; that control and ownership of objects are not the same; that functionality is typically distinct from the object; that most objects are generated from basic templates; and that decentralizing databases for objects is far from simple.

“I showed out why this is difficult previously in the first piece in the series – there are various forms for art,” he adds. “However, whether the art resides in the template or the instance affects whether it may alter or not!” Modern character customization systems save the basic avatar in the template, and a set of fields for all those sliders lives in the instance, allowing you to change the height, cheekbones, hair color, and so on. You can’t transfer runtime customisation data to another world unless the template is same. This is true not only in the area of art, but in all disciplines. If the template for people in that game doesn’t manage health, you won’t be able to transfer your existing health to another game.”

Apart from the promise that “things like web browsers, NFTs, and our platform here at Playable Worlds all depend on” the notion that not all art has to be in the same database, there aren’t many clues regarding Playable Worlds’ MMORPG itself.

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