[MUD-Dev] Where are we now?

Kwon Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Tue May 1 13:21:08 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Hook" <bwh at wksoftware.com>
> At 09:55 AM 4/30/01 -0600, Kwon Ekstrom wrote:

>> Agreed, there are alot of idiots out there, whether it's the guy
>> who can't understand how to do anything in the game, or the
>> anti-social player.

> I really, really don't want to sound preachy, but I can't resist in
> this instance.  Yes, there are a lot of idiots out there, but
> something that we, as game developers, have an obligation to do
> (modulo those that are purposefully designing games aimed at a
> niche, 'snobbier' market) is to understand our player base instead
> of condescending or competing with them.  If someone is an idiot, is
> it

I would like to point out that I did in fact say that it is our job as
a game developer to encourage more intelligent players.

<snip from my original post>

> I'd say that you can't prevent imbeciles and anti-social people from
> playing on your game, you can encourage the players to be more
> intelligent by writing intelligent systems (often people don't use
> what they aren't required to).  </snip>

I didn't go into the many systems I have to help players feel at home
in games that I administer.  I don't feel now is the time either, but
if you'd like I could outline a few of them for you.

> This is a disturbing trend to me because I've seen a lot of
> developers adopt a very borderline "us vs. them" mentality without
> even realizing it.  They're busy trying to prove a point instead of
> trying to let players enjoy themselves.  And in the end you get
> frustrating, complicated games that appeal to the game playing
> aristocracy instead of being accessible to the masses
> (a.k.a. "dumbed down").

I've seen alot of developers adopt that view.  I personally try to
help players whenever possible by updating help files, encouraging the
"smart" players to help out people having trouble, and requiring my
staff to stay visible unless they're working (which actually
encourages some of my staff to work more)

>> I'd say that both commercial and free muds have advanced, in
>> general, free muds can be run by any moron who can pay $20-$30/mo
>> for a server or DSL line.  Because of that, alot of people who
>> shouldn't be fit for admining get their hands in the mix and give
>> us free muds a bad name.

> cf. above comments.

It looks like your "above comments" actually support this view of why
free muds often have a bad name.  There are alot of people who aren't
fit for admining that get their hands on released code.

I know alot of people who were very good at their job, be it head
builder, coder, etc, who don't know how to handle players.  The
constant questioning of things you must have answered a hundred times,
constantly handling problems between players, etc... Being able to
maintain a codebase and maintain a playerbase are very different.

I actually prefer to have a few of the "stupid" players on my game,
because it fills out the playerbase.  Player interactions don't really
get interesting until you have several levels of ability.

-- Kwon Ekstrom

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