[MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility

Benjamin D. Wiechel strycher at toast.net
Fri Jun 12 12:21:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Holly Sommer <hsommer at micro.ti.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Friday, June 12, 1998 12:03 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility

>(Bah, original poster's name got snipped)
>On Fri, 12 Jun 1998, Andrew C.M. McClintock wrote:
>> > strycher at toast.net wrote:
>> ><snip>
>> >
>> >>Why get more complex, unless you really have something specific in
>> >>mind to gain?
>This is something I think gets overlooked FAR too often, when developing.
>It's one thing to slow a player down so that they don't advance "too
>quickly" (whatever your definition of that is), but it's entirely
>another, to introduce "busy work" into the game - unless, of course, this
>is part of the foundation of your game. But then, how many people like
>spending their free time doing busy work? :)

To combine a few threads:

In a situation as outlined above, on some games/muds, that may be seen as
busy work.  It's always possible.  But the thing that has kept me interested
and involved in muds and games over the years is not the hack and slash,
it's been the interesting puzzles and the strategies.  For good or for bad,
I built a wizquest for a long-gone mud called Gilgamesh that was the most
dreaded quest on there.  Top time on the quest was 2.5 hours if you knew
what you were doing and didn't make any mistakes.  But the puzzle of it was
incredibly challenging, and kept people occupied for days at a time.  I've
also recently gotten interested in Starcraft (which is an incredible game
btw).  You have to do some of the little annoying things, like collect
minerals, and build supply stations, so that you can build a better/larger

The interesting challenge that the light switch presents would be this:

Player wanders down into a cave.  They're carrying a flashlight with them.
The batteries run out, and they have no spare ones with them, nor a spare
flashlight, or candles, etc.  In a cave, there is no external light shining
in, and so it is true darkness.  This being the case, how would you wander
out of unfamiliar territory without a light?  You'd stumble around, and hope
that you could find your way out.  Presents some interesting ideas around
stumbling into walls, falling down holes, running into
stalactites/stalagmites, meeting interesting creatures of the dark, getting
wet and sick, etc.  Getting out of the cave without light, which was easy to
enter with light, becomes a decided challenge.


Benjamin D. Wiechel
strycher at toast.net

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