[MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game designers]

Eli Stevens listsub at wickedgrey.com
Sun May 6 11:02:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Auli" <auli at bellsouth.net>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 2:04 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game

>> From Sie Ming's essay "I Want to Forge Swords

>>     Where are the resources? Location, Location, Location... First
>>     of all, make locations meaningful. If movement between two
>>     locations is quick and easy, then they are --for all intents--
>>     the same location. We would prefer that you have distinct
>>     locations in your game. We would like to be known as the best
>>     bronze smith in Three Creeks, or the only certified droid tech
>>     on Revoli Seven. If popping from location to location is too
>>     easy, then people will not settle down and call one location
>>     home.

> I must say this is one thing I completely disagree with.  I'll take
> two games I have both played and moderated to explain.


> And that is exactly what the space is that I'm trying to describe,
> home.  Home for me was not my avatar's house.  It was a room in
> another city with a fountain and a tree.  The avatars Icicle, Pixie,
> and Ididit were constants in that space with me.  I was home because
> we could go home whenever we wanted.  > You guys build big worlds.
> Very, very big.  I have always respected the logic that limiting
> travel makes these worlds seem even bigger.  But that is not a way
> to build community.  People want to explore these worlds, to go to
> the farthest reaches.  You design them with rewards for doing just
> that.  But at the end of the day, if you really want to build
> communities, you have to provide a way home.

This all assumes that the community aspect of the game requires the
avatars to occupy nearby locations in the gameworld.  This assumption
is not really valid - the community could be built around a buddy-chat
metaphor, or the guild hall could be a halfway point between being
logged into the gameworld and being logged off.  Or the community
could be based (in a sci-fi setting) around plugging into the matrix
and meeting your friends online (geez, log onto the 'Net to play a
game where you plug into the matrix to meet your friends?  Can you
play games there?  Will there be grief players? ;).  Or any number of
other ideas.

One method that might work with a little refinement has a guild's
halls scattered around the world in logical places.  Each of those
places is an entrance to the same interior.  There, the players can
interact socially, but can only leave to the location that they
entered from.  Of course, a glass wall would have to be up to keep the
avatars from interacting in any way with permanent game mechanic
manifestations (unless they came from the same entrance), as this
would probably be used to defeat the reason the world is so large in
the first place.  Illusion / projection might be the explanation to
use in a fantasy world, but I am sure there are better, depending on
the setting.

Have fun, 


"Ultimately, if it is possible for a consumer to hear or see protected
content, then it will be technically possible for the consumer to copy
that content." -- Dr. Edward Felten

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