[MUD-Dev] Fair/Unfair? Scenarios (fwd)

Joe Andrieu joe at andrieu.net
Tue Dec 7 10:40:08 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> It's important to remember that a game is not a story. Games don't =
have
> plots, except in retrospect, and you won't be able to make it work out =
by
> anning stuff in advance. (You can, however, cheat and make it look =
after
> the fact like you planned stuff, but that's a different flock of =
seagulls
> entirely).=20


MUDs aren't really stories or games. =20

Think of MUDs (and related media formats) as experience media.  Games =
are about fixed sets of rules. If you change the rules, you change the =
game. (This is true for chess, professional basketball, and Jeopardy).  =
This is clearly not necessarily true in a good role-driven or =
narrative-driven MUD. Who cares what the rules of the underlying =
simulation are? What really matters is whether or not the user =
experience is truly engaging. Is it riveting? Does it grab the audience =
and take them on an adventure through a fantastic new world?  It's not =
about mastering a perfect jump shot or learning the intricacies of =
possible opening strategies in chess (at least no more than mastering =
reading is what matters in good literature--it may be useful or =
necessary, but it's not the main thing).

Of course, MUDs aren't stories either. There is no fixed protagonist or =
plot or anything, except maybe for the milieu of the world. No clear =
beginning, middle, and end.

What we are all building are neither games nor stories. They are a new =
breed of consumer entertainment--one which can learn from the rich =
history of stories and games, but we must be careful not to let the =
limitations of those keep us from reinventing the media experience.  And =
that is, IMNSHO, the necessary focal point for any successful MUD: the =
user experience.

-j




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