[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

Dr. Cat cat at bga.com
Sun May 10 18:02:31 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Marian Griffith wrote:
> On Wed 06 May, Dr. Cat wrote:
> > I really am starting to think that nobody on this list is interested in 
> > doing games that are even remotely like the kinds of games that I'm 
> > interested in doing.
> I don't agree with you, at least not entirely.  It may be that those
> who are simply are not very vocal about it. As this is the muddevel-
> opment list  it seems easier to talk about muds  and that may be why
> it is done so often.  I do agree with your sentiments about creating
> games that cater to other tastes than combat (or power play).

You seem to be assuming that the word "mud" means a game with combat in 
it.  I've noticed that interpretation of the word coming primarily from 
players of the combat oriented (Diku/LP/etc.) games in my experience, and 
they get upset if you refer to a social or roleplaying oriented place as 
a mud.  Whereas people from the social and roleplaying ones more commonly 
take "mud" to refer to all of the TinyMUD descendents, with or without 
combat.  (I've yet to hear one of the combat-crazed, "that's not a mud" 
people tell me what the name IS for the category of MUSH/MUCK/MOO/MUSE 
etc., or explain to me why MOO stands for "Mud Object Oriented" if MOOs 
aren't muds.)

Anyway, a group of people with interests similar to mine who aren't being 
vocal might just be wishful thinking.  But whether it is or not is rather 
moot - a group of people not talking about my interests is a group of 
people not talking about my interests, and has about the same utility 
regardless of the reasons.

> Perso-
> nally I do believe that part of the solution must lay in having real
> in-game consequences to unacceptable behaviour that limit the amount
> of damage somebody can do who does not want to play by the rules set
> by other players. As it is now on most muds, including ultima online
> a player can very easily become a pk-er  with little to no effect on
> his character. Killing somebody who does not care about being killed
> is not very effective,  especially  if he can recreate his character
> rapidly anyway. Wrecking a roleplaying environment and driving those
> players away on the other hand  is going to have a lasting effect on
> the game.

Death is so potentially dramatic a consequence to the people who aren't 
pkillers that I think in the combat-oriented games the whole problem of 
dealing with fighting, killing, and death has overshadowed all other 
social problems, with the possible exception of stealing.  Maybe it's 
nice if years of discussion and experience are leading to better ways of 
dealing with this problem in a combat oriented game.  But many of the 
types of solutions considered are absolutely meaningless when you move to 
a game context where you have no combat system and perhaps not even any 
personal property.  The problems take other forms, like lying, insults, 
gossip, cheating on a spouse, people trying to be rude or shocking to get 
attention, spamming, harrassment, rape, trying to impersonate people, 
etc. etc.  When trying to decide what tools to provide the players for 
attempting to deal with their problems, and which problems are serious 
enough to warrant staff attention and what the policies for that should 
be, the mechanisms used for dealing with murder in combat games seldom 
have any useful application.

> > That's ok, wildly different kinds of games can, 
> > should, and do exist.  It does, however, suggest to me that there's not 
> > much common ground for discussion between me and the rest of the list.
> *smile* maybe you should start talking about what interests you and
> see if you are right about there not being common ground.

Already did that a little.  I'm not interested in extending it to be a 
six month experiment.  :X)  I'd say there are maybe 2-5 people that are 
actual posters to the list whose interests have some similarities with 
mine - in some cases just tangentially.  Also, the list seems heavily 
biased towards a perspective I think of as "let's think up designs with 
so much detail and complexity that it'll be impossible for us to ever 
actually complete a working project that does all this stuff."  Blue sky 
speculation has it's place, but I tend to conserve my time by talking 
blue sky only with my business partner, and hopefully not too high a 
percentage of our time.  I need to be a builder, not a talker.  This 
mailing list and other forums where I chat on the net are really just a 
diversion, they're not part of my work or something that contributes to 
it in any major way.  Just a place to goof around between sessions of 
coding and design work.

Anyway I tend to bounce around in cyberspace, trying to have some vague 
semblance of an overview.  I think I'm going to go hang out on Robert 
Seidman's Insider Chat boards for a while now.  There's a bunch of people 
who've run SIGs on various online services, or rub big web sites, virtual 
communities, what-have-you.  Some of them are significant enough industry 
figures that impressing them might have some eventual economic value, 
too, so what the heck.

I have enjoyed posting some of my thoughts here, as it's always an 
excercise that enables me to clarify my own thinking on a particular 
matter.  Also to have it in written form instead of in my head, which can 
be useful for my own future reference or for my business partner/senior 
apprentice to read.  So I am glad to have been invited to the list, I've 
found several interesting anecdotes and technical tips, and will continue 
to lurk on the list.

But I really, really need Digest mode back so I can keep the eternal 
flooding of my mailbox under control!

> This problem has been touched in several other threads. I have personally
> come to the conclusion that because games are designed almost exclusively
> for the male taste only guys are buying them.  And that because virtually
> the only people who buy games are male, only games for the male taste are
> being developed.

Furcadia was getting about a 50/50 male-female ration on the survey one 
of the users made, at first, but now with more people answering it's 
currently at 38% female, 62% male.  Still not a bad ratio.  Of course one 
of the top selling CD-ROM games last year was Barbie Fashion Designer, so 
some inroads are being made.

Anyway I'm going to officially crawl back in my hole for now.  Best of 
luck to everyone with their respective projects.  :X)

   Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions       ||       Free alpha test:
*-------------------------------------------**  http://www.bga.com/furcadia
  Furcadia - a new graphic mud for PCs!     ||  Let your imagination soar!

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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