[MUD-Dev] Re: Role-playing [was Re: several messages]

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user1.inficad.com
Mon May 12 07:13:30 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Tons of dialog between Matt C. and myself deleted, as I don't have any
 more comments to add.]
> To clarify a little upon the inital question, and strike into one popular
> issue in more detail:
> If you have a 'hard core' roleplaying game, and roleplay just isn't
> happening as you'd like it, how can you direct it? Should you drop hints
> or clues in some form, hoping that a good player might spark things up, or
> direct things subtly by use of an admin-run NPC?

And here, I think, is the root of the problem.

You don't ever get anyone complaining that people don't role-play enough
while playing chess.  Ie...how come no one makes little horsie noises
when they move their knight, or makes their king call together his staff
for a discussion of the current situation?  Because, of course, this
stuff has nothing to do with the game.  It's a strategy game.  We give
it the trappings of a medieval court because it gives the game so flavor
and because we humans prefer calling the pieces "Bishop" and "Rook" instead
of "piece #5" or "piece #2".  But these trappings have nothing to do with
the game, which is strategy.

A powermud is the same way.  The point of the game is character development.
There are fantasy or sci-fi trappings, because that's a lot more interesting,
particularly for locales and object names, but it's just a strategy game.
Socialization is usually more or less external to the game, just like
two chess player chatting over the top of the board, so it's not terribly
surprising when you get a bunch of OOC crap (ie, who won the football game
last night or what other muds are fun).  Trying to force players to
RP is pointless.

Summation: If you want <x> in your game, you must design it from the ground
up with <x> as a fundamental part of the gameplay.  In this case, <x> is RP.

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