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

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Mon Nov 26 03:45:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Fri, 23 Nov 2001, Marian Griffith wrote:

>   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.

I would suggest that generally speaking, it's difficult for a
"can't" to be a proper Law. For instance, I've had people, including
some from this list, tell me that they actually enjoyed the 100%
linear narrative that serves as our newbie introduction. You're
prompted to do things, and you CAN screw up, but there's only one
way to do it, and most of it is being broadcast at you. Does that
constitute the whole MUD? Certainly not. But it is part of Achaea,
and so I feel like MUDs can be narratives for players.
 
 
>   2) The game world must be large enough to absorb the player's
>   ability to affect it.
 
>     The more freedom the players have to affect the world the big-
>     ger that world has to be, or the they will rip it apart sooner
>     or later.  Probably sooner.  This however requires some
>     serious change to the way games are organised, including the
>     fact that for games to be experienced as lively they need to
>     be extremely dense, which directly conflicts with their need
>     to be big.  Of course currently players have no ability to
>     affect the world in any meaningful way, which lead to the game
>     feeling stale and to repetitive gameplay.

I like this law. I'm trying to figure out the relationship between
it and my Law of Globalization: There is a proportional relationship
between the level of globalization of competitive player effort and
the number of players disaffected by that system.

I think, though, that you should take into account the ability to
self-repair somehow. "Big" as you used it seems to imply (and maybe
I'm misreading your intentions) physical space, but if the landscape
can self-repair for whatever reason faster than it can be damaged,
then physical space isn't particularly necessary.

--matt





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