[MUD-Dev] IF/MUD Gameplay Ideas

Opacic Patrik di1oppa at chl.chalmers.se
Wed Jun 12 12:49:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

I want to raise a question for consideration and I will offer my
solution. The problem in question, in many of the muds present at
this time, is the lack of interesting and withstanding goal(s) for
the in-game characters to strive for. What I intend to say is that
the primary goal, or more accurately the means to achieve the goal,
is often to advance the character by gaining experience, often
through killing lots of monsters. The result of this system is new
characters that can not harm a snail and old characters strong
enough to slay a dragon on their own. Old characters eventually get
bored and loose their interest in the, unreachable, goal. This is,
in my mind, the most vital and essential problem to overcome when
designing the gameplay of a mud. I will share some of my opinions of
a good design, reached after some consideration.

  1. The primary goal must be reachable, it should by no means be
  withstanding or everlasting.

  2. The means to achieve the goal should not simply be a matter of
  obtaining some known prerequisite accumulation. The idea is to not
  guarantee the characters success, preferable without adding random
  elements in to the formula. This is a good place to insert some
  human factors, i.e. the character can be president by gaining the
  majority of the votes from the other characters.

  3. Deriving from opinion 2. the game should provide multiple means
  to achieve the goal in order to satisfy players with different

  4. In order to keep the competition from growing to strong, the
  mud can have multiple goals.

I will, in my current mud project, try to implement these ideas. I
got the idea of a project while playing several textadventure games,
or IF (interactive fiction). I imagined a character being on his
typical quest to save the world by finding X and Y needed to slay
the evil Z. Then I imagined a textadventure world with more than one
PC character with conflicting (or shared) goals and agendas. This
IF/MUD game is something you would play with your friends, somewhat
like d&d games, over the internet or over a private network. I can
not go into more details as I, honestly, have not thought more about
it. What is your thoughts?

--opcid, project administrator and lead coder of Calypso (MUD)
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