[MUD-Dev] Re: Real-world skills

Justin Rogers justin at mlstoday.com
Tue Jul 24 01:50:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


[Luke]

> That is a very good point. Sort of makes me wonder though, why
> aren't MUDs used more for educational purposes? Instead of
> requiring the skills of patience, aliasing, and killing, why not
> require/teach important things like economics, engineering, and
> science? Just make some quests with the appropriate problems.
> Seems like most "educational" MUDs I've visited are MUSHes and
> MOOs that try to make a virtual clone of their university or
> something. Has anybody made a MUD with an actual tutorial for a
> real-world peacetime problem, where the characters could get real
> points for solving it? Could such a MUD even be fun?

This falls under the primary idea of logic puzzles and teasers.  If
you have any problem on a MUD that allows users to gain points or in
some way advance you'll almost always find those who are simply
going to post the solution and those who are simply going to use
that solution.

Now setting it up so that each puzzle has some random variant might
be a good start, because even if people post solutions to their
problems it won't be a solution to everyone's problem.  A simple
series of algebra equations for instance might be one puzzle.  But
each user gets different equations.  If someone posts the *methods*
for solving the equations instead of the actual solutions, then
you'd actually hope that people would go view those methods.  In
that way they are learning the methods and you've obtained your
goal.

Another problem is finding a large enough group of problems to keep
users interested.  I remember several graphical puzzle games that I
played for weeks (possibly months) because there were so many levels
of difficulty and different puzzles.  A second problem is explaining
those puzzles to the user in a way they can use the appropriate
sense to solve them (sometimes puzzles are visual, sometimes pure
brainwork, other times you need to feel the puzzle).  Puzzles are
generally well described in a 2 dimensional perspective.  However,
nobody has yet to release a decent client for a 2 dimensional MUD.
We see text muds and 3D muds, but the only 2D MUD I've seen is
something akin to Pueblo or RIP graphics (which suck).

Okay, that's enough of a brain dump.  Its definitely intriguing,
and I have a 2D DirectDraw client written in C# using .NET Beta 2
bits that would work very well if I defined a protocol for
transferring graphics information down from the server to the
client.  Maybe we can mock up some prototypes.

Justin Rogers

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