[MUD-Dev] Re: Storytelling vs. Simulationist (Was Re: Room descriptions)

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Mon Oct 5 10:33:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Fri, 2 Oct 1998 ApplePiMan at aol.com wrote:
> At 10/2/98 11:24 AM Adam Wiggins (adam at angel.com) altered the fabric of 
> >On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Brandon J. Rickman wrote:
> >> [snip good argument against simulation-style muds]
> >> There is the potential that you might
> >> log in one day and find that all the characters have been killed and eaten
> >> by starving wolves.  This is not fun.
> >
> >Hey now: that's just *your* definition of fun.  You've just pinned
> >down one of the best parts of sim: big sweeping changes can, and
> >occasionally do, affect the game world, and there's not always anything
> >the players can do about it.
> I agree this could lead to some entertaining (if not exactly "fun" by my 
> definition, either) situations. But note that big, sweeping changes are 
> not the exclusive property of a sim. A self-sustaining dramatist approach 
> could conceivably come to the conclusion that such a big, sweeping change 
> was the best course to promote (literary) conflict in the game world.

Indeed.  Arctic makes huge changes to the world on a regular basis; for
this they have a staff of several dozen hard-working admins.  Dragons storm
a city, laying waste to everything in sight; later, they've replaced the
city area with a duplicate (as far as room layout) but with new "burned to
slag" room descriptions.  Weeks later they start chaging room descs one by
one, adding merchant tents and new townsfolk, rebuilding from the ruins.
A year later and there is a new town in place, different from the old.

This is extremely cool, but only possible through the very hard work of the
staff.  A simulationist mud, done right, could experience this whole
pheonomenon without the slightest intervention of the staff.  (Well, maybe
they sent the dragons out in the first place...)

Adam W.

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