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From:	"Jon A. Lambert" <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com>
To:	mud-dev at null.net
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Affecting the world

On 12 Sep 97 at 14:21, Marian Griffith wrote:
> On Thu 11 Sep, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
> 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.

What automated healing? ;) Get rid of it.  Blood loss, broken bones, 
nerve damage, sprains, amputations, etc.
That area simply screams group mechanics. 

> > 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?

Most definately.  Each position is a subgame in itself.  Coupled 
together with other subgames.  Ideally it's a game of 'how to win 
friends and influence people'.  These goals cannot be achieved 
through solo play.  Hopefully I can come up with a generic enough 
model that can handle most cases. 

How does one become mayor, councilor, warlord, dogcatcher, head 
janitor?  How do these positions relate and influence each other, the 
economy, the other players?  What benefits do players get from 
occupying these positions?  What responsibilities do they undertake? 
How much player time must be spent in this position?

> > 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'.

Well actually the last line there wasn't the most important part of 
my paragraph either. :)  The design part was.  Without an REAL 
economy, players build, create, buy, sell, trade in a vacuum.  That 
is, their actions do not influence other players either positively or 
negatively thus no group mechanics arise.  How often have you had 
someone hand you a couple hundred gold pieces out of the blue on a 
mud?  How often does one hand several hundred gold pieces to help out 
an NPC beggar?  This has always struck me as quite odd and surely
it would indicate a complete lack of an economic system or game.  

Now really what is winning on a mud?  I think you have to define 
goals. Hopefully these are dynamic and can be achieved multiple ways. 
Some goals should require cooperation.  Does an aquisition-oriented 
game really boil down to "winning"?  Be it power, money, or kills?   

Jon A. Lambert

If I'd known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.

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