[MUD-Dev] Re: Mudschool

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Tue May 19 17:05:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Sun, 17 May 1998, Travis S. Casey wrote:
> On Friday, 15 May 98, J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com> wrote:
> > Travis S Casey<efindel at io.com> wrote:

[Snippage]

> >> 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.

And/or present all relevant information to choose from with each choice,
while making prompts as informative as is sensible. I currently require
the old 'Character name: ' type thing at the start - I will probably do
away with this, so that you either enter an existing character name, or
'new', which takes you to a creation submenu.

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

Yes, very much so (obviously).
 
> > 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.

Force a choice at the start *or* set the game out differently, presenting
the game progress as developing in the chosen area, rather than starting
out fully skilled or trained as an apprentice of some sort. The 'journey'
from peasant to apprentice mage, and so forth. Has potential, perhaps.
 
> 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.

Yup. This is sometimes achieved by wandering around rooms set out to
contain information on various classes - check out Discworld, or a
faction based RP intensive game for examples.

> (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.)

No comments on web-based generation; I'm not a 'web integration' person.
 
> > 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
> choice.

Don't let them wander around. Put them into a pre-game region (a mudschool
essentially), or into your out of character region if you have one. Let
them get acquanted with people and documentation. Heck, rig up a
'temporary character' mechanism to let them experiment. :)

--
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.." -John Lennon (Imagine)


--
MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.



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