[MUD-Dev] "short" Introductory Message (fwd)

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Sat Jun 28 04:33:48 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed, 25 Jun 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> Re: Island
> >> What are the hardware requirements?
> >Well, it runs on various Unixes (Solaris, NeXT, Linux), and takes up
> >about 8Mb of memory. Annoyingly, the atrociously written OxMUD code
> >requires a select() call with an insanely low timeout, which can keep
> >the main processes above 'top' on top without raising the load above
> >.05 . If it ever comes back, the OxMUD stuff would be ripped out, as
> >it's more trouble than it's worth.
> I will probably be able to offer a site within the year.

> Re: Quests
> >Well, the game didn't attempt to make any allowances for people who
> >completed all the quests - once you were finished, that was it. You
> >normally sat around as some flavour of wizard until the next quest
> >upgrade. These only happened every 18 months or so, and the game
> >simply wasn't designed to deal with people who played that long.
> Outside of the faults of repeatability, this is a fault of goal
> oriented games where there is a single primary goal.  Shades, MUD1/2,
> MIST, and all their descendants more or less suffer the same problems. 
> Once you've reached the top there's little to nothing left but the
> attack the system itself.

What I distill from this is that goal-oriented games are basically
single user games like Advent with multiplayer capability. When you finish
a SUA, you terminate the game. This doesn't happen with muds, hence the
> I'd propose a system where the primary goal is not accomplishable.  It
> is factually and logically impossible.  Then have the game being
> approximating the goal in various flavours.  cf Legend and its
> balancing of the skill tree.

Hmmm ... is there any mud with an Eightfold Path?
> >> trite once you've done it the first time.  Cf my recent description of
> >> the Fortress Fract, King Mandel, and Princess Julia for a "quest"
> >The various scenarios mentioned here ought to be written up as some
> >sort of reference and posted every month, so that newcomers will know
> >what is being discussed.
> Not a bad idea in general.  But instead of making it a library of
> scenarios, how about a summary of the outcomes of threads, a detailing
> of the tools and scenarios used in those threads, and an outline of
> the list members and their activities (ie condensed intro)?

"I volunteer not to do this."
> >I think it was Mtf who first said that Island was a great example of
> >things NOT to do.
> Its so much more intrigueing to do a game which exemplifies the things
> *not* to do, yet which remains playable.

	have the name of another mud as a swearword
	use the OxMUD terminal code
	let the players get bigger than the game
	ever use a contruct like:

	for(i = 0; i < MAXOBJS; i++) {
		if(!strcmp(objarr[i][0], some_string)) {
> >I'm afraid that this issue has design implications. Most people don't
> >like to be challenged (see Marian's similar thoughts). Once you have
> >enough muds competing for players, muds can gain a competitive
> >advantage by not doing things players don't like - by not challenging
> >the players. 
> Thus we have standards, and things that break standards.  QWERTY vs
> Maltron vs Dvorak etc.  I think we are early enough in the growth
> cycle that its still breakable.

Oh come on! People log onto a non-StockMUD, type a single stock command,
and quit when it doesn't work. The diaspora of which you speak last
happened with AberMUD spawning Tiny, LP, DUM, Diku and YAMud. Not much
else apart from Mordor has happened since 1993.

> >in muds, and probably know just how to calculate a sane "cost" for
> >creating objects.
> <ponder>
> Gotta go talk to some o' them people.
> <<remembers: me'n'economists mix about as well as rabid cats and
> dogs>>

I'll look into this.
> >Well, CamMUD is going to have a system where the arches penalise bad
> >spelling, grammar, punctuation and general Badness.
> A voice is heard thundering down from above:
>   "Thou are Bad!  Learn to spell!"
> God has spoken.

In recent discussions with EdFromO, it was noted that "We should have had
a rule preventing anyone who can't spell "you're" from becoming an arch".
I'm surprised the RP people don't lash out at bad spelling for its
potential to destroy the suspension of disbelief.


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