[MUD-Dev] Blending graphics with text

Kylotan kylotan at kylotan.force9.co.uk
Wed Apr 14 19:33:01 CEST 1999

u1391470 wrote:
>I am currently developing on a mud which has implemented a top-down 2D
>graphical view (somewhat similar to Ultima 4). The graphics are all .jpg
>or .gifs, and come bundled in our custom client. The world file has been
>modified to support this, moving the basic object from a room to a zone.
>Again, the best way I can describe it is to say that it strongly
>Ultima 4, in that there is a wilderness map which you move around in to
>get to the zones, which upon entering, has a new map.

<snip some details>

>Since we have associated rooms, we have kept room descriptions, titles,
>etc. I am not sure if we need these at all (after all, don't most players
>tog brief anyways?). Similarly, do we need text saying:
>    A <mob name here> stands to the <direction>.
>when that same mob has an associated icon already visible on the map

Probably not (but see below).

>For now, we have kept all this text for those players who will be
>connecting without the client (we haven't opened for beta yet), but
>as the client is free and supports most things other clients do
>(aliasing/triggers/variables/sounds/etc.), is this even a valid concern?
>Similarly, people who telnet in are able to see an asci map rather than

Well, you might not want to rely on everyone having the client unless you
make it available on multiple platforms, probably Win32 and Linux at a
minimum. Otherwise you may rule out a significant and growing number of
people from playing your game. You have to decide for yourself whether
this is important to you, after all, many commercial games survive when
only available on a single platform.

So, instead of showing redundant text (as you wrote above) to players that
don't need it, I'd simply implement some flag that indicates whether they
have the client or not. In the event of them having the client, the text
is omitted. You could also allow the player to toggle this themselves, in
case people who do have the client prefer a written guide to the graphics
on screen.

>Of course, by removing all/most text (the more graphics we are able to
>create, the less text we would need), we are "moving away" from the whole
>concept of a mud, regardless of our base. There are, of course, certain
>things that could never (realistically) be removed, such as text from
>says/tells, but most other text can be replaced by graphics.
>So, what is a good balance? Would making the mud "graphical" rather than
>text based destroy the basis of our being a MUD? Are limited graphics

I wouldn't worry about fitting the 'MUD' term. No point limiting yourself
just to stay within a genre. If you are worried about missing out on 'MUD
customers' or whatever, just make sure that all the things you like about
muds are mentioned in your feature list, on your website or whatever.
After all, I like muds in general, but I wouldn't go on the majority of
them :)  I will decide whether to try something based on features rather
than anything else, and I assume the majority of people will think the
same way.


MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list