[MUD-Dev] RE: Storied Games

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Mon Dec 3 00:41:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Miroslav Silovic
> Matt Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> writes:

>> Hell, even the endless horrible fantasy/sci-fi "literature" that
>> many MUD players gorge themselves on (and it IS
>> horrible. Whenever someone mentions Robert Jordan, I want to
>> throw up.) could not be produced by 99.9% of people.

> Robert Jordan? Boy, I see you haven't read any TSR-published
> novels.  On a second thought, neither have I... as far as I'm
> willing to admit in public.

> On the other hand, certain things don't matter so much in
> MUDs. For instance, players are likely to forgive inferior
> literary style, for the reasons you explained yourself below:
> since they participate as not only the consumers, but also the
> actors in a story, you can make them tell stories to each other.

> In other words, I don't think Tolkien would necesarily be a great
> MUD admin, even if the room descs on his MUD would rule. The
> relevant skill for telling stories, IMHO, is social engineering;
> the rest can be picked on the way.

I have to agree with you for the most part, though there have been
authors from the TSR novels to put out good work.  I hapen to think
RA Salvatore adds insight and depth to the human condition in a very
clever way.  Drizzt's thoughts about life, friends, family and the
meaning of it all are pretty dowright insightful at times.

I digress abit though, and must admit for the most part
Scifi/Fantasy books are not at all good quality novels, though still
fun to read at times.  This applies to MUDs by noting that for the
time being, if the authors can't get it right most of the time and
produce good work, how do you expect even those seasoned writers to
be able to adapt to a new medium.  Forget that there is usually no
budget for them in games produced today.  I would venture that
investors would cut writers in the first pass of budget adjustments
during a project.  Its ashame but true for the most part.
Professional authors as a mainstream position on a game development
project are many years away.  Sure, you'll see them and sure you
will see projects praised for them, hell these guys might even put
interactive media on the Oscar map like movies, but the programmers,
artists and level designers will remain the core positions.  If this
much is true, then MUDS have a long way to go to take that
storytelling and mass manufacture it.

Sigh
Derek

ps Musicians have long been trying to do the same thing that we have
been talking about authors doing.  Its been difficult for them as
well and only recently have games begun to accept great soundtracks
and sound effects as a must-have for a successful game.

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