[MUD-Dev] Re: Mud websites

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Jun 14 12:45:02 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


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On Tue, 9 Jun 1998, Travis S. Casey wrote:
> On Tue, 9 Jun 1998, Greg Munt wrote:
> 
> > How important are they? How relevant are they to telnet-only games?
> > (Particularly to stock muds, where all or most of its features are known by
> > almost all of its players.)
> 
> Never assume that.  Almost everyone I know who muds started on a stock or
> semi-stock mud (since they're so dang common), and, of course, they didn't
> know much about the mud to start with.

I think what Greg means is more 'muds that begin and end stock' - where
they grab stock code, put it online, put up a webpage, and purport to have
'massively modified' code (changing those entry screens is /hard/ work,
remember). A lot of games start out stock and then evolve, at least enough
to be vaguely interesting, too.
 
> I've found that muds are like a lot of computer systems -- users beliefs
> about them are a mishmash of truth, things remembered from similar systems
> that aren't quite true on this one, rumors, and superstitions.  Players
> usually lear the practial end of the mud fairly well, but they're often
> way off base about how things work on a deeper level, which can cause
> misunderstandings between players and admins.

Interesting way of putting it, I like the notion, and it's pretty true,
too. Rumours certainly circulate amoung the 'lower levels' of a
development team - I've had creators/builders ask me how to operate <x>
feature, when the only discussion of <x> was a recent administrative
decision to add it eventually, and so forth. This doesn't happen too often
- - after a couple of months I decided that everyone should just get a say
in all design issues, and threw it to a mailing list made public to the
staff, with the clear statement that I retain a casting vote.
 
> > My perspective is that mud websites, as a medium, are wholly under- and
> > mis-used. Most are put up to say 'here we are' and/or 'this is what you can
> > do at myMUD!' - not much more than advertising spiel. The web could be
> > taken advantage of so much, even by telnet-only games. Mostly, to encourage
> > internal socio-political and cultural development (the more RP, the more
> > advantages to using a website that there are). You can have online
> > newsletters, websites for clubs/guilds, maps, histories if the world, lots
> > and lots of things that could not be effectively achieved through telnet.
> 
> Well, it's not a mud, but feel free to take a look at the website I'm
> starting for my new PBEM game (it's not open, so please don't ask to
> join... I'll just have to say no):
> 
> http://www.io.com/~efindel/tobara/

PBeM games have /a lot/ in similar with muds in many ways, just they have
a lot more direction, and (in my opinion) greatly reduced (not restricted)
interactivity. They also seem to attract the same sorts of people. Any
thoughts on why?

> As the opening page notes, it's not complete yet, but there's background
> material there that may be of interest, and it's an example of how to
> introduce players to a world.

Heh. Introductions are huge fun. I'm currently going through a related
debate (as part of the games 'intro'); whether or not to employ the other
kind of introductions (naming, non-global namespace, and so forth).

It's been hashed over many, many times here, but I'll try to post my ideas
at some point, incase anything new is therein; if it all looks same old
same old, I won't bother. ;)

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

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