[MUD-Dev] (no subject)
efindel at io.com
Tue Nov 23 00:02:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999
On Monday, November 22, 1999, Marian Griffith wrote:
> On Sun 21 Nov, Travis Casey wrote:
>> On Friday, November 19, 1999, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
>> A lot of the people who set up "stock" muds seem to be builder
>> wannabes -- they don't want to design a *new* mud, they just want to
>> build some areas, and maybe add a few classes and races.
> Which is very odd, because quality -building- is probably as difficult
> as coding, if not more so. Of course I could not code my VCR if my li-
> fe depended on it, but I do not claim to be the average wannabee ;)
True -- but low quality building is much easier than designing and
implementing a rule set. And, let's be honest -- the majority of muds
*are* of low quality, really.
>> > The only thing that CoolMud lacks is the attentions of a mud game
>> > designer. There are even fewer of those than there are mud coders. >:->
>> Yep... I'll note that all the popular mud codebases seem to be stuck
>> in the late 70's or early 80's, as far as RPG design goes (speaking,
>> as I usually am, in terms of paper RPGs).
> My guess is that this has to do with the fact that players have their
> expectations of muds, as have people interested in putting a mud up.
> It is like designing a new house. Everybody knows what a house looks
> like so you can not be too different, or nobody is going to buy it.
> With muds it is the same. Even if you would create a radically diffe-
> rent mud, nobody would be interested in it, because they would not
> recognise it as such.
One could have equally well argued in 1974 that "Even if someone
could create a radically different paper RPG, nobody would be
interested in it, because they would not recognize it as such." With
the benefit of hindsight, we can see that this wasn't true -- far from
generating an infinite succession of D&D clones, the RPG industry
immediately branched out in several directions. By 1980, we had the first
skill-based RPG (Runequest), the first RPG with non-random character
creation (The Fantasy Trip, IIRC), the first RPG deliberately designed to
be simple (Tunnels & Trolls), the first "play the monsters" RPG (Monsters!
Monsters!), and the first universal RPG (Basic Roleplaying). For
genres, there was "generic" fantasy, SF, superheroes, post-holocaust,
military, detective, espionage, Westerns, swashbucklers, Arthurian fantasy,
and even an RPG based on the Dallas TV show.
All this was within 6 years of D&D's publication. It's now been 25
years -- and the RPG "state of the art" has advanced such that someone
who introduced an RPG like the original D&D today would be laughed at
by most paper RPG gamers.
Now, contrast this with muds -- what sort of muds were out there 6
years after the first one? Note that after about 20 years of mud
development, people can put up a new mud that's of about the same
level of sophistication as the original muds, and most mudders will
consider it a decent mud.
What's the difference here? Why did paper RPGs explode in different
directions so much faster than muds? Well.... I have a few thoughts,
but the clock is ringing midnight here, and I have to go to work in
the morning. More later.
|\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel at io.com>
ZZzz /,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
|,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
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