[MUD-Dev] size

Amanda Walker amanda at alfar.com
Thu Oct 2 12:22:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com writes:
> From: Amanda Walker [mailto:amanda at alfar.com]

>> Why does a graphical game require multiple world instantiations,
>> large populations of players, and whacking monsters?

> Undoubtedly economics of scale. They cost a hell of a lot more to
> make, so need to recoup on that.

Hmm.  At the risk of resurrecting the "Middleware Sux!" thread, is
this necessarily true?

Writing a text mud from the ground up costs a lot.  Many text muds
use a pre-existing mud with custom content written on top of it.
Seems to me that the same strategy should work for graphical muds.

If you're not paying license fees for your back story or setting,
don't need to use absolutely every feature of the latest Video Force
Turbo 9000 video card, etc., why roll your own engine?

> One person with sufficient free time can make considerable
> progress with a MUD. I've been struggling away at my graphical one
> for some time, all I have to show are some scrappy bits of gfx
> engine, a nearly finished UDP protocol (optimised for windows NT+)
> and some design docs.

Hmm, for $100 I got source to a reasonably modern graphics engine
(Torque), which comes complete with example games, including a
prototype MMO game
(http://www.garagegames.com/mg/projects/realmwars/).  It's no SWG,
but it doesn't need to be.  I can start tinkering on the pieces that
interest me (object & character modelling, network protocols,
behavioral scripting, etc.) starting quite a ways above "sea level".

Now, the GG folks come out of the FPS arena, but take what they've
done, mix in some text-based MUD experience, and I think there are
some excellent opportunities for small or experimental graphical
MUDs.  The FPS mod arena shows that you can get good art and
graphical content without spending millions.  The text MUD community
shows that you can get good gameplay and writing.  The UO shard
phenomenon shows that smaller-scale games that don't try to cater to
everyone still manage to attract players.

I don't think that the "blockbuster" model is the only viable one.

Amanda Walker
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