[MUD-Dev] Re: Room descriptions

ApplePiMan at aol.com ApplePiMan at aol.com
Fri Oct 2 21:45:58 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

At 10/2/98 9:49 AM Travis S. Casey (efindel at io.com) altered the fabric of 
reality by uttering:

>On Thu, 1 Oct 1998 ApplePiMan at aol.com wrote:
>> One problem I often see these days is that the emphasis on striving for 
>> total realism in a game's graphics works against the "believability" of 
>> the characters (whether PCs or NPCs) in the game.
>I'd just like to say:  Yay!
>I agree that trying for photo-realistic graphics isn't necessarily the
>right way to go -- it can make things less believable instead of more, and
>it requires more time to create, more processing power to animate
>properly, and more storage or bandwidth.
>And, while I'm at it, I'd like to reiterate that a graphical interface
>doesn't have to be a 3D real-time animated interface.  Overhead views,
>static pictures, etc., can be used as well.

Exactly! Just as, in the early days, cinema was struggling to discover 
new techniques that fit the medium to give viewers a world-view that 
allowed them to suspend disbelief, I think we're doing the same with 
graphical muds today. In fact, the "conventional wisdom" to this point 
seems to be merely transliterating those same cinematic techniques to 
this new medium (when any thought beyond RT 3D is given the subject, at 
least =) ), since both media are working in, largely, the same problem 

But I think we need more than transliteration. We need a fundamental 
re-writing of cinematic techniques from the ground up, so that the 
limited bandwidth we have available becomes, rather than a constraint 
we're working against, a strongpoint of our new techniques (cf. my 
original suggestion that simplifying, as in the case of animation, can 
give you something more "believable" than poorly managed complexity). 
Again, that's not advocating animation, per se (though that's certainly 
an alternative), but a fundamental shift in our techniques of visually 
communicating our worlds to our viewers.

What's the answer? I don't know yet. My company is studying it (and what 
limited concrete suggestions we have are under NDA =) ). But I don't 
think graphical muds will really thrive because of the graphics (though 
possibly in spite of them) until we either have the bandwidth 
(computational and network) available to use true cinematic techniques or 
rewrite those techniques to our medium.


Rick Buck, President and CEO  <mailto:rlb at big-i.com>
Beyond Infinity Games, Inc.
See you in The Metaverse! <http://www.big-i.com>

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