[MUD-Dev] The impact of the web on muds

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Jan 17 11:17:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Mon 05 Jan, Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad wrote:

> Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
> >Mike wrote:

> >I did not read this in the original post. However, because there are l=
> >clues in a bit of text, a text-only game *requires* more imagination f=
> >the player. This actually is both an advantage and a disadvantage.  It=

> Moria/rogue/nethack.. ? :) But you are probably right, if the writer
> is excellent then he can draw on vague associations.  But... will a
> mudplayer read each and every description like a poem? (wouldn't that
> be great, btw, limrick descriptions?) What if he is simply moving
> through the landscape, and ignore the text.  A volcano? Ooops..
> Couldn't happen with graphics.  Graphics is extremely effective (fast
> interpretation, lots of info in a small space if done right).

Yes, which is why graphical games are more suited for 'fast action'

> >they want.  On the other side,  it also allows the players to fill in =
> >missing details.

> That's fine in a singleplayer environment (like a novel).  This has
> some downsides in multiuser environment where you want players to
> communicate about the world though, if what you say is true.. Because,
> if players fill in the missing details, how can they interact
> efficiently?  They are living in a world of their own... :^)

You are exagerating of course.  I was referring at the difference between
saying "There is a large and terrifying dragon here." and showing one. As
a writer I don't have to worry about what is large and terrifying to you,
not even about what you think a dragon looks like.  Those details will be
more easily supplied by the imagination of the players.  As a graphic ar-
tist I would have to work very hard  to come up with an image of a dragon
that is both large and terrifying and looks like a real dragon to all the
players. Because I am not allowing for any fantasy by the players. That's
the difference I was aiming at when I said that text allows the reader to
fill in the missing parts.  Of course  the picture of a dragon is as much
an icon as is the word dragon itself. (Players don't need to describe the
dragon to know they are talking about it,  just saying 'the green dragon'
is enough to identify it to everybody.)  But this is not true for many of
the more esoterical creatures you may encounter in a mud.

> >This means that the image 'works' better  than watching
> >an image generated by somebody else where there is less room for imagi=
> >tion.

> What if users were able to draw their own drawings?

Actually the same would still apply.  Only very good artist manages to
create the impression of a specific emotion in a game.  Text does this
much more easily for some reason.  Maybe because to interpret text you
have to allow it much closer to your emotions than you need to do with

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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