[MUD-Dev] Re: Mud websites

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Thu Jun 18 11:41:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Tue, 9 Jun 1998 18:27:34 +0100 
Greg Munt<greg at uni-corn.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> How important are they? How relevant are they to telnet-only games?

I don't know.  Most of the (few) MUDs that I play have web sites.
Factually the only use I have ever made of them was to verify that the
server was up or down, or to discover their existance in the first
place.  That said I use sites like Legend's fairly heavily as a
research resource -- which really has nothing to do with the game or
my ever being a player and contributing to it.

> (Particularly to stock muds, where all or most of its features are
> known by almost all of its players.)

This seperates the value of a web site into two:  for existent
players, and for non (or potential) players:

  1) Act as a PR and marketing venue for the MUD in attracting new

  2) Collective resource for current and potential players (guilds,
message boards and their archives, MUD zines, notable events,
documenation and help files, etc).

Is that all a web site can do?

> 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.

There is a simpler problem, much related to JXZ's diatribe on
interface design which I recently posted here (which is why I posted
it before making this reply).  MUD players don't use a browser
interface when playing MUD's.  To access the web they need to move to
an extremely alien application (alien to telnet or a typical MUD
client) and o do something which is at an interface level utterly
unrelated to their MUD interface and activities.

Its an absolutely enourmous context shift.  Its a large enough shift
that I have never made it.  I browse or I play.  I never do both, and
I've never switched from one to the other in order to have them
complement each other.  The interfaces and mindsets are too different.
Make a MUD interface more like a browser interface, and you'll have
something.  Whether its something you want is another matter.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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