[MUD-Dev] Breaking down the walls

David Clifton demosthenes810 at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 12 23:31:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 Matt Chatterley wrote:

> Heh. True. How common are custom clients these days? I've always
> prefered to just be able to log into a game through my standard
> telnet client and check it out before having to download and
> install anything (mind you, in those days, I was still using a
> modem.. now bandwidth is not an issue, really).

> Are potential players (particularly those who are newer to mudding
> as a whole) put off by the idea of needing a special piece of
> software to connect, or has the availability of products such as
> UOL etc made this a less daunting prospect to the community as a
> whole?

While I haven't canvassed the world of all mud-dom in a while, I've
been seeing a good number of special clients pop up...Just not
necessarily in the 'download and install' form as such. The type of
customers most commercial muds are looking for are just as put off
by the thought of using some strange 'telnet' program as they are
downloading some other set of 'strange' software.

I've noticed a great many muds moving to Java applet clients,
allowing users to simply click, wait for some load time, and go. It
is a great deal easier for the average user to figure out: I click
this button, I get to play vs. I click this button, I download
program, I figure out where I downloaded it to (something that the
average population seems to find daunting), I run setup, figure out
how to run it now, and on top of this, have to supply some funny
address thingy with some thing called a 'port'.

This is not to say I've seen telnet being phased out...on the
contrary, I've seen a great many implementations providing both
options...though the java implementation always seems to say
something about being 'enhanced'...i.e. it connects to a port that
works with it to update graphics and the like, as well as perhaps
special chat functionality or msg board lookup.  UOL and such
monsters have the benefit of huge marketing ventures, which
encourage the 'original cost' (in their case actual money, in our
case time spent sitting and waiting)...for smaller setups I'd think
minimizing this 'cost' as much as possible for the average user to
be a paramount issue...though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong,
business isn't my strong point :)

David Clifton
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