[MUD-Dev] New laws. (was: Player Manipulation of Environment)

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sun Nov 25 23:53:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt writes:
> On Fri, 23 Nov 2001, Marian Griffith wrote:

>> It seems this leads to two new laws :)

>>   1) Muds can't be narratives for the players.

>>     Players "live" in the game, they participate far more
>>     directly than the reader of a book, or the viewer of a
>>     movie. Techniques and strategies that work for a narrative
>>     structure do not work for muds.  This is a direct result from
>>     the "everybody wants to be the hero of the game" law.

> This is only if you assume that Muds necessarily provide a high
> degree of freedom for the player. I'd say its more a sliding scale
> of two dimensions;

>   Free Will vs. Narration.

> The more free will you give the player the more difficult
> narration becomes. There is no problem with both being the hero
> and participating in a great narrative (see FPS game such as Max
> Paine), problem is that your free will becomes extremely limited
> (in MP its limited to shoot everything that moves or Game Over).

> The obstacle here is to _ensure_ that each and every action of the
> players become meaningful elements in a(the?) narrative, which is
> not an easy task, unless you limit the free will of the players.

Personally, I think that Marian has hit upon a partial *definition*
of MUDs.  That they are NOT narratives.  They are interactive
experiences.

I happen to think that both of her proposals are quite good and wish
I'd proposed them myself.  I've certainly made the same points in
the past.

JB

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