[MUD-Dev] Ownership

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed Jun 12 22:02:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 12 Jun, Draymoor a Vin il'Rogina wrote:
> From: "Caliban Tiresias Darklock" <caliban at darklock.com>

>> No graphical MUD will *ever* be able to give me that, even if it
>> matched the color I imagined *perfectly*...  because I cannot
>> extend the metaphor in a picture.

> On the other hand, a text mud can't offer the same sense of space
> that a graphical mud does. Could you imagine implementing
> battlefield combat a-la Final Fantasy Tactics, where all
> combatants are at a definite X-Y-Z coordinate, on a text mud? 
> Ascii can only do so much, and query commands are cumbersome. The
> same applies really to any coordinate-based mud.

Actually,  what an image offers is not so much a sense of space as well
an "immediacy of understanding". You can get the same effect with words
but it would take a lot of prose, not to mention a talented writer.  In
Lord of the Ring  Tolkien goes through great length and with considera-
ble talent to bring a world to life in your mind's eye.  And to a large
extend he succeeds. In the movie it takes but a single shot to bring a-
bout the same image.  In less than a second  you internalised  an image
that has taken you hours to form out of prose.  On the other hand,  the
same movie will not do half as well with depicting Sauron, or the ring-
wraiths.  Simply because it is far easier to evoke emotions using a few
words where it takes a lot of footage to do the same with images.  Sim-
ply because  here your imagination works for you,  where the movie must
show you.  Lovecraft  was a master at this,  but  much of the stylistic
tools he uses in his prose do not translate well, if at all, to movies.
It is easier to make a text-based mud with a Lovecraft theme than it is
to create a graphical one.

> I think the choice of text vs graphics comes down to what you find
> more damaging, limiting space perception or limiting vision. What
> about a compromise between the two?

That would work only to a very limited extend and only for certain sub-
jects.  Better support of music scores to emphasise the mood of an area
would be  a much more fruitful approach  I think.  If you listen to the
soundtrack of Lord of the Rings you can see/hear that it does this very
effectively,  especially between the Mines of Moria, Lothlorien and the
Great River.
The problem  with mixing text and images is  that the later  is so much
more dominant that the text might as well be omitted for all the atten-
tion players are going to pay to it. Unless the images are so schematic
that they either kill the suspension of disbelief or are pointless

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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