[MUD-Dev] Re: FW: (Fwd) Bouncing mail

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Mon May 4 22:54:09 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, May 04, 1998 7:16 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: FW: (Fwd) Bouncing mail

>Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 17:59:16 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Raph & Kristen Koster <koster at eden.com>
>To: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
>Subject: Re: FW: (Fwd) Bouncing mail
<c=US%a=_%p=EA%l=MOLACH-980420221729Z-59932 at molach.origin.ea.com>
>On Mon, 20 Apr 1998, Koster, Raph wrote:
>> [J C Lawrence:]
><<...personal details deleted here...>>
>> I have begun to fear however that the list is also functioning to
>> dissuade as much advancement in the field as it is fostering it, by
>> burying its members in endless mental masturbation without ever having
>> them actually go out and produce that next great server/game/idea etc.

There is enough content is the "There can be only...one" thread for a
commercial development team to steal to justify funding this list for 100
years. (I have almost no interest in that thread, personally, but the ideas
could produce a hell of a game.)
I do think it is tragic that many people will profit from the contributions
of the mud development community, but, by in large, not those coders.
>Ah, the peril of the ivory tower. :) I doubt it is dissuading it, so much
>as it is simply reflecting what woul dhave happened anyway. So you've got
>a bunch of "great plan" people who at least are talking about their great
>plan. I don't know that any higher proportion of them would actually be
>putting it into practice if they DIDN'T have the list... do you? My
>impression has always been that theoreticians, well, theorize, and those
>who do, tend to just go do, rather than talk much about it. :) And then
>there's the few (as we do have some on the list) who did first, and
>conduct their endless post-mortems, like me. ;)
>> We keep talking, and not one of us (notable minor exception of Chris
>> Gray) has yet to actually *produce* anything that has been released
>> since they joined the list.
>I started to deny that I fit in that category, then I realized that I
>joined the list after UO was pretty close to shipping. Possible after it
>shipped. I don't remember when exactly I joined anymore. :P
>It's certainly true that I haven't given anything to the MUD community per
>se, however, in terms of code that can be built upon, etc.

(This comment is directed at Mr. Koster, but applies to all the active
members of this list. I have created thousands of lines of code from ideas
I have gotten from the list. Now, some of the ideas have messed me up like
JL's 4-layer wear code...falls into the to-good-not-to-ripoff category and
actually puts me farther behind from public release. But these indulgences
will make for a much better product. Sure, too many good ideas can be as
bad as too few, but only if you can't exercise self control. )

I think creating a business with 20 to 200k customers(depending on whose
numbers you read) that uses significant elements from traditional mud
design along with a consumer friendly graphic interface is something of an
achievemnt. I have coded ideas from UO directly into my system. Many of my
original system ideas were similar to what was tried initially in the
commercial release of UO. The problems UO had with these ideas have saved
me days of work writing code to produce concepts that, while compelling,
have proven faulty in practice. The sheer numbers of UO players speak to
the pent-up demand for this kind of product.

As far as code goes...My poor brain glazes over when I look a C code
snippets...now pseudo-code, that's useful. When someone describes the
logical structure (as well as the Bubba/Boffo stuff), lights go on and
features get added.

>I confess to
>being at the point with text muds where I'd want a fresh new code base,
>from scratch, and I don't have time to develop one--nor, in fact, the
>expertise to make it as I'd like.
>Someday we'll release Legend's code, probably around the time when it is
>completely obsolete. :)
>> Very 1984/Kafka-esque -- keep your enemies *talking* about utopia and
>> never actually *achieving* utopia and the thought police have lost all
>> the battles and won the war.  Phyrrus would have love it.
>So your goal was to prevent the evelopment of virtual reality in the 20th
>century, eh? You fiend. ;)
>I admit to having lost patience with much discourse surrounding what I do,
>now, because I find myself with bigger fish to fry. I am more interested
>in how exactly to get us to virtual worlds, than in whether or not
>EverQuest or Asheron's Call will be a more fun GAME. (They probably will
>be--I just don't think they will advance my underlying cause much).

Baby steps perhaps, but necessary.

>of what is discussed ont he MUD-Dev list keeps that goal firmly in focus,
>but of course, I long ago concluded it would never come to fruition in the
>forms described by the folks on the list. ;) Too much talk, not enough
>action, and, frankly, too wedded to text.

I suggest that the arcane telnet/terminal-style interface is more of the
villian here than is text. The average person with a Win machine would call
a service tech if faced with a C:> prompt on a black screen. They feel the
same way with a telnet app. The web is considered a graphical interface
when, in fact, virtually the content is text. A text-based interface is
essentially all a one-person shop can work with because of the vast
resources required to produce graphics in the required quanities. Being the
only game in town, we make a virtue out of necessity. (do I win the most
cliches in one sentence prize?). The best text worlds will pale in
commercial popularity next to fully graphic ones, but the market created by
those graphical worlds will enough people into the market to make many
kinds of worlds possible. It is kind of like good lunch resturants...large
markets seem to be able to absorb an infinite number. You will never make
as much a succesful dinner house, but the risk is much lower as is the

>(Agh, I can't believe I just
>said that, I who championed literate mud area writing for so long...)

Graphic muds would benefit from extensive, literate area writing as well.

>Oh well, I knew we'd drift back into mud-talk again. ;) So much for the
>baby stuff! I look forward to hearing your comments on the mud-related
>stuff in my earlier email, if you have any...

Good luck on the baby.

>- -Raph
>J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
>(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
>---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
>...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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