[MUD-Dev] Re: Mudschool

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Sun May 17 22:17:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Friday, 15 May 98, J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com> wrote:
> Travis S Casey<efindel at io.com> wrote:

>> The "enter your name" prompt is something that's always bothered me
>> about many muds.  The first time I ever got on a mud, I saw "enter
>> your name", and naturally entered "Travis Casey" (after all, it's
>> asking for *my* name, not a *character's* name).  It then told me
>> that names could only be one word.  So I entered "Travis".


>> The moral is: explain things clearly during character generation.

> Another moral:

>   Allow all decisions to be delayed until the last possible logical
> point.

Actually, thinking about it, I'd say that both morals are part of a
greater moral:

  Give players as much information as possible/practical before
  they have to make a choice.

What is practical can vary for different muds.  To cover the examples
that JC gave:

> Your characters have castes (barbarian, warrior, mage etc)?  Why doe
> he need to decide that when creating the character?  Why can't he
> delay that until that point when playing the game that he either HAS
> to or feels the need to specialise?

If someone desires a realistic mud, they may want to force a choice at
the start -- after all, becoming a mage, warrior, etc. in a real world
may take years of training, so it's not very realistic to allow
someone to wander around the mud for a few days and then choose one of
these professions.

In such a case, the mud builders might choose to offer other ways of
getting information about the mud and the various
professions/castes/whatever:  for example, generic "guest" characters,
web pages with the information, etc.

(Aside:  to me, this is the primary advantage of having web-based
character generation.  The player can generate a character at a
leisurely pace, not having to worry about being kicked off for taking
too long in character generation, and other browser windows can be
opened to supply help, descriptions of the different classes, races,
skills, etc., general background information, and anything else the
player might want to look up.  Since the information appears in
another window, the player never loses track of where he/she is in the
character generation process.)

> You have races/species?  Again, why can't that be delayed?  Sure, you
> then need some non-race type, the amorphous non-descript unremarkable
> humanoid "thing", but you can still allow the decision to be delayed
> until the point where he can't continue without it.

The same points apply here -- in a realistic mud, you may not want
characters wandering around without a race.  You can, however, offer
guest characters of various races and extensive web-based help so
players can get information about the different races before making a

       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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