[MUD-Dev] User centered?

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Apr 9 02:02:06 CEST 1999

On 11:12 PM 4/8/99 +0200, I personally witnessed Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad
jumping up to say:
>Are mud designers adding features, for the sake of adding features, or is
>the aim to optimize for the user's experience?

I think the aim is primarily to have fun. Writing language code is fun. If
the players don't use it, who cares? :)

>The receiver
>won't know what the sender said, so what he receives does not matter at=
>Presenting some random strings would have the same effect for less
>implementation cost, and indeed why present anything at all?

Because something that LOOKS like language helps the player suspend
disbelief, and realise that the other player isn't just typing random crap
into his client.=20

>For languages which are
>race based... Do players care about race when they choose their friends?
>Meaning, do they have any need to selectively communicate with a race?

No, but people interested in roleplaying -- and I like the RP aspects,
myself -- like having a lot of nifty options. In the average hack-and-slash
MUD, no, this would never get used... but on one MUSH, there's a sort of
counterculture which has sprung up around the people whose characters speak
Japanese. Lacking language code, this would never have happened; with the
language code, it just sort of sprang naturally from the circumstances.

>So, what if designers "roleplay" their design before they implement it?=20
>Probably difficult.  Does anyone have any ideas about how to test out the
>soundness of ideas before implementation?=20

My opinion? Playtesting is woefully underused in MUDs. People build and
code and code and build and then open to the public. I think games need a
limited beta stage, where specific features are added bit by bit to a game
played by a small core group of players. Unfortunately, most MUDs just go
from private to public at the flick of a switch.

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com=20
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/=20
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