[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Fri Jun 7 18:44:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Fri, 7 Jun 2002, John Buehler wrote:
> Matt Mihaly writes:
>> Ugh. This illustrates what is, to me, the singlest ugliest trend
>> in MUDs (whether graphical or text), which is the idea that thing
>> <X> -should- work like Y. To me, saying that something like
>> magic, which doesn't exist in the physical world, should have
>> properties Z and effects A, B, and C screams box-thinking. Surely
>> magic can be whatever a designer designs it to be. There's
>> nothing inherently good nor bad about magic doing damage, or not
>> doing damage. It's all dependent on your specific design. We have
>> enough people who can't or won't think beyond D&D as it is. Let's
>> not create new boxes.

> There are implications to the introduction of any capability,
> whether 'magic' or based in some activity that uses a traditional
> prop, such as a sword.  Or a chair, a tree, a bucket or anything
> else you can name.  As software designers, we can make any player
> action through the keyboard do anything that we want.  This is a
> given.  Should objects that appear to be swords be used by
> characters for actions that swords were traditionally used for?  I
> assume that they should.  How can magic go into such an
> environment?  Should magic be permitted to supplant any of these
> items while they are still in the game environment?  I assume that
> they should not.  Therefore, I assume that magic is best relegated
> to actions orthogonal to whatever I already have props for.

Well that's my point. You assume that these things should be used in
specific ways. I'm not sure why you're willing to cast aside a whole
range of game designs that might do it differently.

I don't see any reason why a fun game couldn't be designed in which
swords were primarly used to plant trees. Perhaps the Gods have
determined that violence is bad, and that weapons are now able to be
planted and grown into a forest of lovely trees. Shrug. Stupid
example maybe. I just see no reason to impose arbitrary rules like
that on a game designer. There's so much box-thinking already.
> If magic can be implemented such that it is no more effective at
> doing what the prominent props of the world are capable of doing,
> with appropriate checks and balances, then I could see magic
> providing the same functionality as those props.  For example, if
> a warrior walks up to me with a sword, intent on lopping my head
> off (I know magic), then when he gets close enough, I can reach
> out and touch him, casting a spell that knocks him back twenty
> feet.  And I must have some corresponding alteration to discourage
> my excessive use of the ability - lest I supplant some other
> conventional social convention or prop ability.

So you supplant some other social convention or prop ability. I'm
not sure what the problem with that is. I don't see a problem with
the above scenario, in and of itself, either.

> I always get a kick out of how I can write paragraph after
> paragraph, attempting to be eloquent about a topic, and seemingly
> have it all get ignored.  But as soon as I drop in a one-liner
> that says anything the least bit controversial, I can get traffic
> on it.  :)

It's because many posts (everybody's) are easily boiled down to one
line. We, as a group, aren't very good at getting to the point.


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