[MUD-Dev] MMORPG, buildings, is it bad to be just props?

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Wed Feb 12 08:48:58 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Paul Schwanz" <pschwanz at comcast.net>

> I actually very much dislike the use of props.  To me, they are an
> unwelcome reminder that I am on a stage instead of in a world.  So
> I'd apply this preference to more than just buildings.

I think this goes to the core of why these games have trouble
breaking into a wider audience: Our worlds are too obviously fake.
Not just in the sense of being fake because they have Dragons and
magic (or cyborgs and nanotech), but fake in the sense that they do
not behave like real worlds.  Buildings are indestructible lumps,
NPC's stand around waiting for the players to kill them, appearing
from thin air, and so on.  I'm not talking about realism for the
sake of realism, but simple violations of common sense on the order
of "Cartoon Physics" but without the humor.  There's no underlying
logic to most of it, but simple "Because I said so" fiat on the part
of the developer.

Fantasy/Sci-Fi fans are more willing to look past it, to avoid the
dilemna of the centipede by not asking "Why?"  But it's not the
Fantasy/Sci-Fi themes that turn off the "mainstream" player, but the
lack of anything besides the theme to make them want to.


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