[MUD-Dev] GM Touring Company

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Thu Jul 15 15:37:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Thu, 15 Jul 1999, Ling wrote:

> On Tue, 13 Jul 1999, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > Well, speaking as a commercial admin, there's not a chance in hell we'd
> > let, much less pay, for anyone to do this. That's not a slight on you or
> > your company either. It's simply that you can't just come in for a couple
> > weeks and carry out a scenario. You've got to have an intimate
> > understanding of the subtleties of a world's political climate, its
> > history, etc. I can't speak for stockmuds, and I don't really know how
> > similar they are to each other in those terms, so maybe it work work in
> > them, though I don't see you making a profit out of stock muds.
> 
> Having had a dalliance with commercial muds, I understand.  I had in mind
> free muds with a strong rp element.  There are plenty of good FtF GMs but
> the skills that make those GMs aren't really used to full effect in most
> muds.  (I admit to being biased towards combat based muds)

I have no idea what an FtF is, I'm afraid.

> 
> I don't see why not, later on, commercial muds won't start asking such a
> company to play on their grounds.  I imagine damn good professional people
> in the company, not a bunch of kids messing around.  The only contemporary
> example I can think of right now are club DJs that go around doing sets. 
> Okay, they spend five minutes, not a few weeks absorbing the atmosphere
> before they stick a record on but you get the idea.  You never know, you
> might get fans that follw this company from mud to mud.  This is just talk
> tho.

I think part of the problem is one of standardized equipment. It's easy
for a DJ like Sasha or Van Dyk to go to any club he wants (lugging along
his own records of course) and go to work, because everything is
relatively standard. There isn't any real atmosphere to absorb, because
HE'S making the atmosphere. He's also working on tables that all are
fairly similar, etc. 

Contrast this with MUDs though, where virtually the only thing that may be
standard from mud to mud are the fact that it is multi-player, at least at
the high end. I can see your plan working with muds that are essentially
the same (stock muds) though, as i said. 

I hate to sound so negative, but at least as applies to commercial muds, I
can't really see how anyone would follow your company around to different
muds as you did scenarios. People who play commercial muds tend to be much
more dedicated to their characters (at least in my experience) as they've
sunk lots of real money into them. Conversely, someone who is just there
for a few weeks isn't going to be willing to sink real effort or money
into his or her character. He or she certainly wouldn't have the time to
put in the 250 hours of time that I would say constitutes the minimum play
time to really be a "part" of a game.

There's also the question of you guys learning each new game that you went
to. That, in itself, is an enormous job, and one that can't really be done
unless you either had a hand in creation, or play as a mortal for a long
time (well, at least in Achaea). It sounds to me like you are talking
seriously involved scenarios, and for that, you've got to be very
detail-oriented, which requires intimate knowledge of a game. This may
work on stock muds, as they tend to be simplistic in comparison, but I
just can't imagine walking into Achaea, for insatnce, spending a couple
weeks, and having any real idea about what is going on in terms of really
knowing the game and being able to carry out a scenario.

ANOTHER problem I can see is the established players getting ticked off if
these scenarios made anything bad happen to their characters. They
tolerate and accept it when such things come from me or from the other
Gods, as they respect us. We have put a lot of work into the game, and
work hard to keep them entertained, etc. Bad things can happen (we
sometimes drive players off intentionally in order to make an example out
of someone), but that's just part of dealing with beings as powerful as
Gods. An outside company would be viewed as interlopers, however, and I
can see our players being very hostile and dismissive.

Anyway, apologies for all the negativity. It does seem like a cool idea if
you specialize in muds that are basically the same, but I think if you try
to bridge the gap between unique muds, you will find it a nearly
impossible task.

--matt




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