[MUD-Dev] Affecting the world

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri Sep 12 22:07:05 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Thu 11 Sep, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> I wrote :)

> > Currently they are geared to-
> > wards  what I (cautiously) would call a masculine playing style: 
> > going out and be the strong powerfull hero  by beating monsters and
> > demons.  I do not attach any value to that but I have observed that
> > this is the kind of thing that is primarily enjoyed by males.  If 
> > my own opinion may serve as an ex- ample,  I would say that females
> > in muds  in general are more interested in group mechanics than in
> > going out and kill. 

> What sort of games involve this type of group mechanics, other than
> pure role-playing?  The percentage of women playing on Mush-type
> servers is higher. (I agree with Miro's observations)

Even on a pure hack and slash game groups and group mechanics can be
important.  E.g. when solo characters have a severely limited proba-
bility to survive it's important to form groups, and to cooperate as
a group.  Especially when it goes beyond the automated healing  that
can be performed by a client.

> So then the question might be:
> Outside of traditional muds, what games attract a large female 
> following?  

I tried to avoid this kind of discussion. It isn't particularly con-
structive. Attracting male or female players should not be a goal in
itself. What I wanted to point out was that 'combat' muds are single
minded. At least that was the most important thing I wanted to say.

> > Nothing of the above can be very new to anybody on this list.  But
> > what has made me wonder is, how do you get around the limitations of
> > players to have an effect on the game world.  What is the point of
> > having politics if there is nothing that a politician can
> > effectively do?  

> A politician holds a position.  That position should allow control of
> certain environmental systems.  Those systems should affect the game
> in positive and negative ways.  If there's nothing the statesman can
> do, it's merely a title.  A couple things come to mind. Allow
> statesmen to control taxes, pass laws, commision buildings and
> improvements, regulate guilds, raise and equipment armies, etc. 
> Create positions that have effects on players.  

I agree with this. Now the next question is: is anybody considering
to expand their game to include this kind of things?

> [full agreement with resets being bad, limiting equipment and 
> persistence in general]

> > I do not really expect anybody on this list  to fundamentally
> > disagree with this, it has been discussed in many forms already, 
> > but are there any ideas how to go about it? I mean not in the
> > technical sense although that is part of it also,  but how to design
> > a game  around this goal?  

> I think there is something to be said for a layered approach to 
> designing these things.  One could attempt to model a simple economic
> system and a biological system for starters. I think these two things
> are the basic blocks to build from.  I also look at other games.  My
> ideas on economics come from the games "Rails" and "Tradewars".  My
> ideas on biological systems come from "SimLife" and "SimAnt".  All of
> the games, save "Simlife", have aquisition as their goals.  I'm not
> sure this is any more attractive to women than combat oriented games. 

I don't think attracting women specifically should be a goal anyway.
No doubt there are many men who don't enjoy hack and slash, or sim-
ilar games with a single focus to 'win'.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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