[MUD-Dev] Re: Influential muds

Mik Clarke mikclrk at ibm.net
Sun Feb 28 13:50:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


Koster, Raph wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Mik Clarke [mailto:mikclrk at ibm.net]
> > Sent: Friday, February 26, 1999 3:16 PM
> > To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> > Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: Influential muds
>
> > There are a few people around trying to evolve combat based
> > muds into role playing muds.  While some of it is enhancing the social
>
> > aspects a lot of it is trying to add some story telling capabilities.
>
> Do any MUSHes actually have storytelling capabilities? What exactly IS
> storytelling capability in a mud? Can you define a feature set?

  Good question. I've not actually played MUSHes enough to tell you.  I
did spend a some time wandering around an apparently empty large scale
version of Tolkiens lands - that might have been a MUSH with very few
players on.

Storytelling (in muds, Miks view) is related to scenarios, quests and
plots.  Stories have a starting point, development paths and one (or more)
endings.  There is also a sense of progress and sequence.  You cannot
enter the middle of the story until you have started the story.  You
cannot end the story (other than by giving up) until you have been through
the middle of the story.

Most story telling adventures tend to be rather linear (do this, then
this, then this, then this, end of story).  It gives players a strong
sense of just being pawns, with no control over their own fates.  It can
also leave them stuck (and unable to progress) when they are unable to
solve a particular problem or defeat a particular monster.

The system I'm looking at should be multi-paths, basically a network of
'story events', with the sequence of events you have taken determining
what further events are available and how those events get played out.
For instance, if you met the wizards daughter and talked to her and she
gave you the map to the wizards tower, he is likely to react differently
when you ask for his help as to how he would react if you had killed his
daughter and taken the map to his tower from her corpse.  Character
alignment (and thus general behaviour) also comes into it.

It should also be possible for the world, or at least parts of it, to
react to your progress through the story.  At different stages of the
story characters may be in different locations and may be willing to do
different things for you (or to you).  Most of the world will remain
unchanged, but for the story should be able to change certain parts.

One of the big questions is whether stories run on a player, group or
world basis.  For player and group basis, only the player (or the players
in the group) are affected by the changes due to their individual progress
through the story - this lets different people be at different points in
the same story at the same time.  With world (or area) based, then
everyone on the mud gets caught up in the side effects of whatever story
is being played out.  While some stories might benefit from this, I
suspect that many will not.

Thoughts, suggestions and elaborations always welcome.

Mik



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