[MUD-Dev] Level abstractions - Realism vs Game Issues

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Mon Jul 7 10:33:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970704222127.742A-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
   at 02:35 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:

>> On Fri, 4 Jul 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
>> > at 01:36 AM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:
>> >> On Wed, 2 Jul 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>> >>   Causing any effect within the game increases your own liability 
>> >>   to have that same effect created on you.  
>> >Thats really, really, really evil. :)
>> Thanks.
>I love the way that all the best mud designers (on all levels - from
>server level coders to area builders) are really evil b*stards. :)

I think part of it has to do with the component definition of a game. 
Games consist of goals, barriers, and freedoms (things you can do). 
The trick is to get that trio in balance.  Too many barriers and the
goals seem unobtainable.  Too few and its a cake-walk.  Ditto for
freedoms -- there's little challenge in defeating the red dragin when
any player can pogram up a 50,000,000hp wet noodle and hamburgher it
in 3 seconds.  Make the goals to abtruse or remote (another form of
barrier), and the players get lost, and unsettled.

Where the "evil" aspect comes in is in making these components
interesting in their own right.  Its not a question of pretty graphics
or huge bouncing bazooms in the slave pits, but of one of two things:

  1) Making the components seem personally directed at and tailored to
the player.  Of a sudden it then becomes potentially fascinating,
"This game is out to get *me*, directly."

  2) Making the components only reveal themselves to the players
*after* they are already involved and (partially) committed to them. 
I think of this one as the "hook" method.  You can hook them before or
after thay are too far committed to back out -- that's a choice
dependant on the item and game requirements.  They key is that they're
already there, they've been bit, and now its time to sketch out just
enough details to force them to try and paint the rest of the picture
(think syncopation) for themselves.  

>Yeah - I read the stuff you posted recently on this. It seems a
>goodly way to approach things given the sort of way you seem to
>intend on going about things - I like it.

Urrgggh.  "The way I seem to intend to go about things"?  Whazzat? 
I'm usually not all that sure.

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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