[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Timothy O'Neill Dang timothy at nmia.com
Thu Jul 22 13:08:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Wed, 21 Jul 1999, Marc Hernandez wrote:

> 	What about Mu* games where building _is_ the game?  Is this going
> to appeal to anyone but a small subset of people?

I agree with Matthew, that building is only really fun if you have some
goal towards which you're building. I disagree with him that that goal
must be blowing other folks up.

However, there are problems with allowing building which are largely
solved by pitting people in direct competition of some kind. If you allow
freeform building with flexible tools, and if you allow the things built
to have real influence on the world, and you don't contain that influence
regionally or some other way...

...people are regularly going to come up with devices which throw
everything in the world out of whack. That's just the way innovation
works. And if a player has just spent their last three months saving up to
buy the parts, and then building their really cool spaceship only to
discover that it's completely obsolete, they might be frustrated.

One expects this sort of thing in a game of dircet competition, though,
and the person who build the latest super-ship will have everyone else in
the game trying to out-engineer them to bring it down.

While building-social-oriented MOOs don't have the kinds of physical
analogs (blocks, curcuits, etc.) you're speaking of, are they something
like what you're looking for? As I gather, in these building is a big part
of the fun, but there's not the same kind of "reality" to things you'll
find on many MUDs. The things someone build could seriously annoy you, but
not kill your character.

Timothy O'Neill Dang/Cretog8
timothy at nmia.com
H: 505-843-6966
W: 505-244-8803
One monkey don't stop no show

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