[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

Koster Koster
Mon May 11 11:48:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Monday, May 11, 1998 10:59 AM Holly Sommer 
[SMTP:hsommer at micro.ti.com] said:

> What, exactly, is the problem with mud schools? [snip]
> to make negative comments about a
> learning center seems... myopic, IMO. Why would newbies hate a mud
> school?

Nothing is wrong with them per se. They fill a really valuable role. 
I'd note the following interesting issues to discuss, though.

1) Where do you put all the people? Mud schools heretofore have only 
handled TINY newbie capacities. They break down as soon as you get 
more than two or three people in the same room. With larger scale 
projects, this model will not work.

2) They're typically not very fictionally involving; this is mostly a 
flaw with the ones that have been made thus far. They are also 
typically pretty long; this is an issue for those going for mass 
market, since attention span with tutorials is miniscule when on that 
playing field. It's also an issue even in the mud world. I have almost 
never seen someone completely new to muds do the mud school first 
thing. Usually they want to dive in feet-first, then MAYBE go back to 
the school later.

3)  There's alternate methods too: Avalon has a fascinating newbie 
tutorial mode for example, wherein you are essentially put in the real 
world, but everyone else is invisible to you, and you play out a few 
pre-scripted storylines that serve as tutorial instead. The "guardian 
spirit" method is another nice tactic, as discussed here earlier with 
the (failed) "talking sword" on Worlds of Carnage. There's the 
"restricted initial area" approach instead of the "school" too.

So, nothing wrong with the concept as such, but I don't think that 
it's anywhere near reaching the potential it could.

-Raph



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MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.



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