[MUD-Dev] Building a \'Deeper\' MMOG

Brian Lindahl lindahlb at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 18 02:47:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: rgabbard at swbell.net

> I totally agree with you.  In the end, it's the theme of the game
> that is the 'game'.  Designing an evolving economy, ecology, and
> societal structure is not the 'end' of the game... it's just the
> foundation and the 'world' in which the game is played.  However,
> that foundation is extremely important as it adds meaning and
> context to the thematic events that occur.  I would refer to it as
> 'societal' depth rather than 'technical' depth as it really has
> little to do with the 'code' and everything to do with placing a
> context on societal relationships within the player-base.

I consider societal depth as the methods in which the player-base
can interact with each other. Evolving ecology, weather, terrain,
etc. I consider to be the 'technical' depth and does not play a part
in 'societal depth'.

Whereas guilds, and interaction methods within the game that are
utilized by the player-base to be 'thematic' depth, since the
societies and organizations are intrical to theme, not code.

> That's why the Invisible Hand is invisible.  I would argue the
> point that societal depth is any less important than thematic
> depth as that implies that player interaction with other players
> is less important than player interaction with the content.

I consider player interaction to take place from within the theme,
and therefore part of 'thematic depth'. Afterall, the theme of the
game dictates where a player's character fits into the world and how
he interacts with other players' characters within the game. In the
end we are arguing the same point.

The reason why the connection wasn't made right away is because I
think of player interaction as their character interaction, which
should be driven by theme in a roleplaying game, not by the
technical aspects of the world, such as a fancy movement system, or
a fancy combat system. Whereas you referred to interaction as player
interaction, which takes the emphasis out of theme, and into real
life.

-Brian Lindahl, coder of 'The Cathyle Project'
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