[MUD-Dev] Blending graphics with text

Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt hhs at cbs.dtu.dk
Wed Apr 14 20:20:22 CEST 1999

On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, u1391470 wrote:
> 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 playe=
> 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
> screen?

That depends on what information you wish to give the player, certainly
if the information in the icon is all the player wants then yes, but
if you wanted to give the information that a especially mean looking
pirate is standing here, probably from the eastern seas, perhaps an icon
simply does not cut it.
> 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 see=
> as the client is free and supports most things other clients do
> (aliasing/triggers/variables/sounds/etc.), is this even a valid concern=

It certainly would be for me, since i have a Silicon Graphics
Unix machine... does your client run on anything but Windoze?

> Similarly, people who telnet in are able to see an asci map rather than
> jpg/gifs.

> 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 who=
> 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 tha=
> text based destroy the basis of our being a MUD? Are limited graphics
> best?

Regardless of your 'moving away' from the mud concept, or not;

I would say that the mix depends on how good your resources in graphics
are. Are your artists very skilled? Are your zone writers very skilled.
If your artists can do better graphics that your zone builders can do the
text, and the builders does not feel restrained from the fact that they
cannot put in text to describe things, i would imagine that going all
graphic would be a wonderful move. If you do not want text, you could
enhance the medium and let a voice describe whatever you needed described
by text (such as the fact the engraving on the sword you find is
remenicent of ancient M'ka). I understand that the text-to-speech synthes=
is very good (or you could do with some highly compressed sound like
realmedia or mpeg), and it certainly would not encumber the user interfac=
of your client as much as you obviously feel that the text would (or
rather; i imagine it would).

Would going graphic destroying the basis of being MUD? Well it would
indeed introduce a paradigm shift. At in the text medium, the information
is carried through story telling, and this may be lost in the graphic

Hans Henrik St=E6rfeldt         | =20
email: bombman at diku.dk        |  voice:      +45 40383492=20
  hhs at cbs.dtu.dk              |  voice work: +45 45252425
phone-mail:                   |  address:
  40383492 at sms.tdm.dk         |       Hans Henrik St=E6rfeldt,
WWW-home                      |       Dybendalsvej 74 2. th,
  http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/hhs/  |       2720 Vanl=F8se, Danmark.
Student of Computer Science   | Scientific programmer at Center for
  and Information Psychology. |   Biological Sequence Analysis,
  at University of Copenhagen |   Technical University of Denmark.

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

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