[MUD-Dev] Dynamic muds

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Tue Oct 5 00:05:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Mon 04 Oct, Travis S. Casey wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Oct 1999, Marian Griffith wrote:

> Umm... "read the master" isn't very helpful -- who do you mean?  Tolkein?
> Lovecraft?  Dunsany?  Zelazny?  All of them created very atmospheric
> descriptions, and there are dozens of other authors I haven't mentioned
> there...

I was thinking of Lovecraft, since I thought there was some mention of
Chtulhu  (and I think that was from a story by Lovecraft)  but in fact
any good writer can be used to learn creating atmosphere in few words.

> And, BTW, authors do not violate the rules of good mud description --
> mainly because they control the characters as well as the world, so they
> can describe feelings on the parts of those characters without stepping on
> a player's freedom to decide how his/her character reacts.

But it is that control  that makes those descriptions  so effective in
creating a specific mood.  If you use the same techniques  the players
must give up some of their control over their own characters. Still, a
lot of things can be achieved with the use of props.
My personal advise would be is to use objects and descriptive props  a
player automatically connects with the mood you are trying to invoke.
E.g. things like fog, soft ticking, scraping or wet sounds in the dark
and torches are readily associated with horror and can be quite effec-
tive to create a dark atmosphere (even if they are cliches) 

> You can create atmospheric descriptions without doing that, or by doing it
> very subtly -- it's harder that way, but IMHO, it's a better way to go.

I entirely agree. The best way is to invoke the fantasy of the player.
It is eventually what writers do as well, though they have better con-
trol over story and the emotions that it shares between characters and
readers. I also think there is no hard rule against using phrases like
'You are getting nervous'.  It may not always be appropriate but it is
a very direct way  to invoke an emotion.  If you could get away with a
first person perspective on a mud that would work even better.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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