About this series: MetaStatic is a weekly column that explores the challenges designers and players of online prose games face. Written by Sam Witt, architect of the forthcoming Horizon Station game, the article series actively solicits input from the gaming community in the hopes that both sides of the online experience can learn from one another.
- I'll be back (7/4/2001) The future of MetaStatic and Horizon Station.
- Being Bad (6/27/2001) Playing a villain in online roleplaying.
- Be Prepared (6/20/2001) The art of designing a game.
- What the @% is Wrong Here? (6/13/2001) Sam Witt summarizes a bad week.
- Death of Thousand Cuts, Part IV: You Don't Look So Good (6/6/2001) or, getting down and dirty in Horizon Station.
- Death of Thousand Cuts, Part III: Your Dongle Is Bent (5/23/2001) or, managing object economies.
- Death of Thousand Cuts, Part Two: I Hunger (5/15/2001) or, making characters eat.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: I'm so tired. (5/9/2001) or Surviving Horizon Station (Part 1).
- Measuring Up (5/2/2001) The question of competition.
- Tab A, Slot B (4/25/2001) What gets cut and what doesn't?
- Player Identity (4/18/2001) Sam Witt answers the question, "Who was that masked man?"
- Finite Characters (4/11/2001) Characters should be limited too, in online games.
- Finite Games (4/4/2001) Allowing online games to evolve.
- Do we really need NPCs? (3/28/2001) An investigation into the actual purpose of NPCs in online games.
- The Power of Consistency (3/21/2001) How do you maintain realism in online games?
- Audience Participation (3/7/2001) Sam Witt wants you for a little META feedback!
- Stages and the Casual Gamer (2/28/2001) Making new friends, the casual gamer's dilemma.
- Crossing the Line (2/21/2001) Mixing the real world and virtual reality... good idea or heresy?
- The Value of the Random Dungeon (2/14/2001) Space is big. Mind-bogglingly big. So big that... you have wonder, how do you describe it?
- Fighting Burnout (2/7/2001) How do you keep players interested in a long-term game?
- The External Community (1/31/2001) How do you build a community that goes beyond the confines of your game?
- Fifteen Minutes (1/24/2001) What effect does time have on online games?
- Break Somethin' (1/17/2001) Sam Witt takes a chainsaw to Horizon Station.
- The Digital Ceiling (1/10/2001) How do you balance gameplay and character advancement?
- The Myth of Balance (1/3/2001) How do you balance different character types in an online game? The answer might surprise you.
- The Spirit of Things (12/20/2000) Sam Witt offers a sincere Christmas wish.
- Risk vs. Reward The Horrible Truth (12/13/2000) Sam Witt discusses how you balance rewards and risk in an online game.
- The Art of Tools (12/6/2000) Sam Witt discusses the tools players use to make their own game.
- Hate is Good (11/29/2000) Sam Witt explains why Hate is Good in multiplayer online gaming.
- Community Building, Part II (11/22/2000) Sam Witt outlines a plan for a community on Horizon Station.
- Spreading the Disease (11/15/2000) Sam Witt discusses the importance of community to online gaming.
- Introductions All Around (11/8/2000) Sam Witt introduces himself and discusses the excitement and fears of being one of the Skotos Seven.