[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Mon Oct 22 09:11:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Matt Mihaly wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Oct 2001, John Buehler wrote:
>> Matt Mihaly writes:

>>> That assumes that you can't rebuild the ship, or that game
>>> mechanics don't just automatically restore the ship. Players can
>>> be "killed" in many MUDs, for instance, and are just 'rebuilt'
>>> automatically.

>> I'm not assuming those things.  They are non sequitors.  I can
>> only repeat myself: if the entertainment of your game is
>> destruction, players look to destroy things instead of interact
>> with them.  The reuse of the content is only entertaining when
>> there are a bunch of different variables in how the object gets
>> destroyed.  My point is that there is far greater bang for the
>> buck from content that interacts with other content - without any
>> destruction taking place.

> Why? You seem to me to be slipping in and out of context
> here. When a monster is "killed" and respawns, there's no
> destruction of content taking place. It's just interaction of
> content and player.

Perhaps a better way to explain this law would include some concept
of the number of dimensions of interaction.  While killing a monster
is interaction of content and player, even in cases where the
monster is automatically respawned, it seems to me tit is a bit
one-dimensional.  Maybe this is just me, but I think it is pretty
self-evident that having monsters that can interact with players on
many dimensions is going to increase the potential for interesting
content that each MOB can provide.

Furthermore, I'd point out that respawning mobs actually removes one
form of possible (and intuitive) interaction: that of destruction.
I like the idea of giving freedom of interaction (including the
freedom to destroy) to players, but having them live with the
consequences of their actions (i.e. destroying something will remove
all other possibility of interaction with that game piece).  To me,
this seems like the sort of choice/consequence dilema that makes a
game fun.  Of course, giving players this much power over content
may require some other game features that attempt to ensure the
destruction of content doesn't get out of hand.


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