[MUD-Dev] Re: [DESIGN] To kill or not to kill?

Michael.Willey at abnamro.com Michael.Willey at abnamro.com
Mon Oct 5 13:59:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

Wildman wrote:
>First, I'll introduce myself:

Welcome, Wildman!
[snip rest of intro]

>I'd like to start a discussion about game design
>relating to a more intellectual game, where the
>conflict is not combat-oriented. I'm thinking of
>something along the lines of the old TV series The
>Prisoner played out.
>I've done this before as a tabletop RPG and it
>worked out quite well, being something like Paranoia.
>I have some ideas on doing this on a mud, but I
>think the concept makes for some interesting discussion.
>Note, this isn't quite the "Tailor" discussion,
>as it doesn't involve violent conflict at all.

I commented about this in another response, noting
that The Prisoner as a world idea gives you a good
opportunity to reduce violent conflict by making
it unproductive as a problem solving method.  This
world cannot be conquered by brute force.  (Although
I'm sure players will *constantly* try.  There's
an ingrained line of thought that if their guns
aren't enough to solve their problems, they need
bigger guns.)

You've clearly defined what you *don't* want in
this game - My question is, What do you want?
The conflict in this setting is clear: the Individual
Vs. the Collective.  But if conflict is not meant
to be resolved through violence, how *will* it be
played out?  What goals will your players be striving
for?  Escape?  Dominance?  Survival?  (Or for the
other side - protection of the collective and the
induction of new members.)  What markers will you
use to show the players their "score"?

I guess my point is that in order to keep things
from regressing back to violence, you have to interest
your players in another game.  I'm very interested
in this discussion - I'd like to offer a number
of these other games as alternatives to combat in
our own system.  Combat keeps resurfacing because
it's simple, direct, and well-defined.  Perhaps
a complex, indirect and nebulous game could capture
player's attention without having to directly compete
with the all-powerful combat systems?

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