[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #404 - 16 msgs

Dr. Cat cat at realtime.net
Sat Aug 18 09:54:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


> From: Paul Schwanz <paul.schwanz at east.sun.com>

> While I like the idea of using a PDA to stay in touch with a game
> while away from home, I think that a good intermediate step (and
> one that would appear to have fewer technical challenges) might be
> using a web interface to similarly extend the reach of online
> games.  While many users are precluded from actually playing
> online games during the day because they are hidden behind proxies
> and firewalls, most have access to the web.  Also, tracking stocks
> or researching other investments while at work seems to be quite
> acceptable in many company cultures, but having 3D fantasy
> characters cavorting around on your screen...not so much.  It
> seems to me that a nice, customizable web interface (it could
> really be very similar in design to My Netscape or My Excite) that
> would allow the sort of interactions you mention above would be
> well recieved.  (By gamers, if not by their managers.  I would
> think that there should be at least the option to choose a display
> format for the web site that didn't scream, "game!" :P)

I think what a lot of people want is just a little mental "nudge" to
stay feeling involved or thinking about the game.  If you daydream
about the game during your coffee break that's one thing, if you
actually read a little game news, gossip, etc. on a web message
board, maybe even post a reply, then it's no longer entirely in your
own imagination, it's validated and "real".  I think message boards,
player-run and/or company run websites about the game with
frequently updated content, etc. are enough to give a lot of people
a sufficient "taste" of the game to feel involved while they're at
work.  While at the same time, they're likely to feel less guilty
about "I shouldn't be playing games at work", because they'll tell
themselves "I'm not playing, I'm just checking in a little".

Not that there isn't potential merit (and addictiveness, which might
be good or bad depending on your goals) to letting people access
some game elements with an external lightweight interface.
Certainly people can and would use it at home, too, in times when
they didn't feel enough motivation or concentration to deal with the
whole game experience.  But I'm just pointing out that the niche is
already partially filled by non-game social, news, and information
pages.

On a totally different subject - does anybody know any good sources
of documentation on DirectX 8 voice chat programming, beyond that
included with the DX SDK?  Feel free to answer off-list if this is
too off-topic here.

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