Comments on MUDs from Shadists

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Mon Aug 25 11:25:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


The quality of the our efforts as actual *games* has recently started
itching me.  The following comment taken from the Shades mailing list
(unattributed for now) from a couple old old-time Shades players
particularly:

--<cut>--
> >Having now looked around a few other muds, I notice that it's fairly
> >uncommon to allow attacking of other players. (Or I've just been picking
> >the wrong muds [grin])
>
> Most others ones i've tried are RPG's and I hate RPG's, the only
> exception is MUD2, the best and based on the original MUG, MUD...Not
> paying 15 squid a month to play it thou!

I've not come across any pay ones (other than paying BT for all of
them); but yes, they do all seem to be role play: some being very
strict indeed.  (One I tried you had to apply by email with the name
you wanted to use... dunno if that's common; but it seems a little
OTT...  I suppose it would stop names like 'Death', 'Girl', 'Bear' and
so on... [grin]) --<cut>--

For the non-Brits out there, OTT == Over The Top, a term denoting that
something is excessive to the point of idiocy or americanism.

Shades is a very simple game, which I suspect is worthy of more study. 
It makes no pretense of offering an immersive environment.  It is
unabashedly a bit of a Monty Haul, but a blood soaked and chaotic one
(no perma death unfortunately).  It makes no pretense of grand claims,
or of even being anything other than downright mediocre in terms of
MUD design.  It has no concept of a containers (of being able to put
things in things, or of things being in other things), the parser is
extremely primitive, there's no internal language or re-programming
anything but the server itself, it did offer perhaps the first example
of templatised area creation (very primitive as well), all movement is
done under the covers by teleporting from room to room...etc.  

The big thing is that it is extremely playable.  Amazingly playable. 
I've taken MUD-newbies and dropped them in Shades to have them
enjoyably playing inside of 5 minutes.  It has all the frills done
wrong or so poorly as to be laughable.  It has gotten the basics of a
Game Design down wonderfully however.

--
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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