[MUD-Dev] [DGN] Creating a MUD

Edward Glowacki glowack2 at msu.edu
Tue Jun 4 10:12:10 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Mon, 2002-06-03 at 06:36, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> From: "Richard Krush" <richard_k at gmx.net>
>> Considering the above, I would like to ask people who have a lot
>> of experience with MUD development or general programming whether
>> I should do what I planned or postpone it until I get a degree in
>> CS.
> Just do it.
> What's the worst that could happen? You could do a bad job. But
> isn't that better than nothing?

To expand on my earlier comments on this thread (in which I said
"wait until after getting a CS degree):

I think that working on pieces and learning about various aspects of
the game in the meantime is definitely good (such as networking,
combat system, movement, communication, etc.), but once you have the
CS degree, you'll probably find that there are better ways to do a
lot of things, and you'll probably want to do a complete rewrite to
get rid of all the limitations and problems you unknowingly coded
into the core of the system way back when.  Consider all that early
work "prototypes". Prototypes are not meant to be put into
production, but serve only to try out ideas and gather information.
Scrap the prototypes once you are ready to write the "real" game.
You will still indirectly use things which you worked on in the
prototypes, but you should write it in a fresh codebase, possibly
even in a different language if you find one that you like better.
Which leads to my previous comments about waiting before you do
"serious development".

> I think so. And I'll bet most other people think so, too.

That depends on your goal.  If you want to write a MUD for your own
enjoyment (the enjoyment being the writing, creating, learning,
building, etc. as opposed to playing the finished game), then
whatever you do can only be beneficial.

However, if you want to release a game for the public, especially
for profit, then I'd argue that a "bad" game (as in it's missing
features, it crashes a lot, it's hard to learn/play, there's not
much content, etc.) could hurt the market as a whole.  I see the
problem a lot with existing software, where the "bad" products
outnumber the "good" products by quite a margin.  It makes it very
difficult to find a "good" PC game for example, so I've basically
stopped looking.  Sure, I'll buy a game on occasion, but not until
I've heard some pretty damn good reviews or I've had the opportunity
to play it for a while myself. Hence, adding "bad" games to the
market only serve to dilute it further.

> Never be afraid to try. Sure, it's a lot of work. So make a simple
> MUD that does next to nothing, and then add things in later. Make
> a step, then another, and then another. You'll be surprised how
> far that takes you.

Incrementality is good. =) However, having a detailed plan and a
solid architecture is also good.  On one hand, you have the
well-thought-out system that you've been so busy designing that you
never get around to building it, and on the other hand you have a
functional, running system that you can actually do stuff with.
It's a tough balancing act.

Sorry for playing devil's advocate here.  I'm not trying to
discourage anyone from writing a MUD.  Far from it, I've got plans
for my own too.  =) I just wanted to point out that good design is
important in making a quality game, and that as you gain education,
knowledge, and experience, the quality of your game will increase.


Edward Glowacki			glowack2 at msu.edu
Michigan State University	
"...a partial solution to the right problem is better than a complete
solution to the wrong one." (http://uiweb.com/issues/issue14.htm)

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