[MUD-Dev] [DGN] MUD developer's motives

Shane Gough goughsw at bigpond.com
Thu Apr 11 20:51:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: Brandon J. Van Every

> I am curious why some of you are motivated to create MUDs, as
> developers.  I'm not interested in why *players* play
> MUDs. Personally I feel the divisions between pkers, power gamers,
> socialites, role players, and builders is well trodden ground.
> I've had those discussions to death 8 years ago.  I'm more
> interested in why some of you keep going as MUD developers, what
> drives you, what continues to inspire you.

Well, I'm not a professional MUD developer (although I am a
professional developer) and I have never released my MUD code to the
public (or had anyone playing it but myself for that matter)
although these are goals I hope to achieve.

So why do I spend hours working on something that no-one sees, and
why did I pick a MUD for this? There are many reasons -

  1/ The technical challenge. Writing a single piece of software
  that is shared by many different people (not many different copies
  but many people using the one running instance) is quite a
  challenge and poses some interesting technical challenges outside
  what I do 'for real'.

  2/ I always wanted to create realistic fictional environments. At
  high school I always wanted to be an author but it's just not
  something I'm very good at unfortunately. Creating a realistic,
  emersive environment that people can take part in simultaneously
  is a big goal. I always did like the definition of MUSH =
  Multi-User Shared Hallucination, a good description of 'reality'
  as far as I'm concerned :)

  3/ I haven't played a MUD that had exactly the right mix of
  rp/social/SF theme to suit me. This is more on a 'why do you want
  to run a MUD' level than 'why do you want to develop a MUD'

> So why do these particular MUD developers stridently participate
> in the imagined and projected social consequences of their
> actions?  Is it a form of social activism, much like

Personally I like the idea of having some sort of effect on the
social development *inside* my MUD. I don't kid myself for a second
that it has any global consequence but there are certainly things
that a developer can put in place and an admin enforce that sets the
tone for the social aspects of a particular MUD.

There is also the 'GOD Factor' - where developers and admins feel
they have much more power than they really do. *shrugs* - we are
only human after all.


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