[MUD-Dev] Acting casual about casual gamers

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Thu Jul 6 11:06:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Mon, 3 Jul 2000, Madrona Tree wrote:
> From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at email.msn.com>
> >   I also believe in limited gain during a realtime period for the player,
> > but I have the notion that there is only so much skill gain that can be
> > accumulated in, say, a 12-hour period.  This permits players to decide
> > at what point in their play time that they want to go and perform
> > advancement.  The Burst Hour notion suggests that everyone should log
> > out near a location where they can do their skill gain the next time they
> > log in.
> 
> Not necessarily.  It only suggests that whatever skill(s) they'll gain the
> next day will have to do with what they're doing today.  And maybe not.  I
> mean really, the burst hour shouldn't start till you start using a skill, so
> that if you are just standing around doing nothing (that the game recongizes
> as skill-gain activity) for the first 15 minutes, you shouldn't be punished
> for that.

An alternate implementation which might work better, especially for systems
with large amounts of non-combat skills (ie, mine), would be to set a certain
amount of advancement that can be achieved each day.  So if you're a player
that spends a lot of time chatting inbetween your skill-using, it won't
punish you for doing so.  But after you have achieved (say) 50 points total
in your skills, your ability to learn drops off steeply.

> Your game will also need to be built in smaller chunks.  Teleportation is a
> boon to the Casual Gamer; it gets them where they want to go - fast - so
> that they can do what they want to do - fast - and get back to their
> extra-computer lives.  If you take that away, you'll need to put something
> else in its stead, or you'll need to design your game's map so that travel
> to anywhere won't take more than 5 minutes if you don't want it to.  Did you
> ever play Fallout?  It might be nice for the casual gamer to have a map like
> Fallout; where you travel from place A to B on a higher map, and if there
> are any hostile confrontations, it stops you for them.  Course, there are
> problems with this, too...

Someone here (long ago) put forth the idea of automated path traversal, where
you get onto a highway and type "go to bree" or something and your character
starts hiking down the road at a fixed pace.  As a casual gamer you can sit
there and munch and sandwich or browse the web for five minutes while your
character makes the trip - quite a bit less tiring for the player than
actually typing out the commands, but it doesn't require implementing any
teleportation if you don't like that sort of thing.  You can take it a step
further and type "follow caravan" or something as a carvan leaves town to
get some protection out in the wilderness.  (AnotherMUD had something like
this, but it only went one place that wasn't a very long trip anyhow.)

Adam





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