[MUD-Dev] A Founding Father Forgotten

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Sun Mar 30 22:37:18 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Michael Chui Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 2:27 AM

> From what I know of the D&D system, the design was made so that it
> was abstracted to the point at which you don't really have to know
> what's going on, physically, in order to play. A single attack
> roll represented several exchanges, not a single swipe. Hit points
> are a generalized approximation of health.

> You can do that in a CRPG, but it's as if your only goal is to
> make a copy, not something good. You can do so much MORE with a
> computer at your disposal. You can calculate things, like the
> effects of swinging the sword sideways instead of horizontally,
> that your average gamer couldn't even conceive of, because they
> don't process at the speed of the computer.

Right.  This doesn't change the fact that, ESPECIALLY because it's a
simple, abstract system a game developer creating a fantasy-based
hack-and-slash MMORPG sure as hell should know the background behind
what he or she is developing.

You don't have to have read every Tolkien novel either, but it helps
if you have familiarity with Lord of the Rings so you know where
dwarf and elf stereotypes come from.  D&D is like "Tolkien-lite" and
yet even D&D is given short shrift.

Do you have to know the fundamentals of the game inside and out?
Certainly not.  Should you have a passing familiarity with a gaming
system upon which a very large majority of fantasy gaming (computers
or otherwise) is based?  I think so.

That's just good sense.  Chances are, whether they realize it or
not, your customers are being exposed to a variety of media outside
of computer games.  Know your customer by knowing what he/she
watches, reads, etc.  D&D is definitely a part of that history.
Make a fantasy hack type game?  It's not unreasonable to expect
developers to have some experience in that specific niche.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org/talien




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