[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Wed Jul 25 23:14:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Wed, 25 Jul 2001 22:27:47 +0100 (BST) 
Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:

> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Tue 24 Jul, Dave Rickey wrote:
>>From: Koster, Raph <rkoster at verant.com>

> It is not a place to tell stories.  It is a place to -live-
> stories.  Except that there are entirely too many main characters
> and not e- nough support cast. A plot is passive, and in most
> muds, exceedingly limited anyway (you can only kill things and
> carry loot somewhere..)  The only emotional response a mud is
> likely to invoke in a player is a brief thrill, and only if the
> player is identifying with her char- acter. Otherwise she will
> just yawn at facing the big bad dragon and see if she can defeat
> it directly or must die a couple of times.  In the game there are
> dozens, if not thousands of other players who are in exactly the
> same position, and any chance of dramatic potential is lost before
> it could be attempted.

> The only real solution that I can see is making the game world
> MUCH richer so that a great number of actions is possible,
> including some that the designers did not foresee. 

There's also a second order implication here of requiring actions
which are both very difficult and very rarely (successfully)
performed.

> One of the things this means is that the staff must give up quite
> a bit of control over the game world to the players. If one of
> them torches the city then it must stay burned until rebuilt.

Arguably Kazola's Tavern is the better for being so heavily
attacked.

> But we -are- already seeing them. In UO there are people who do so
> much play the -game- as well as play the -society-. It requires no
> other mechanisms in the game than the ability to build (both game
> structures and societies) things that last.  If you are approachin
> this thing as a game then, yes, you will need the roleplaying, or
> any other agreed upon concept. If you approach it as a society you
> only need a sufficiently rich environment and a certain degree of
> control over it.

Expressive fertility meets functional roleplaying.  That's the nice
thing about such systems -- they're not mechanically constrained,
but effective player use of the system requires behaviour in a
manner which is consistent with the desired behaviour.  They might
not believe, but they have to act like the believe AND have to be
convincing.

They might as well believe...

--
J C Lawrence                                    )\._.,--....,'``.	    
---------(*)                                   /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
claw at kanga.nu                                 `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/                     Oh Freddled Gruntbuggly
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