[MUD-Dev] Re: State of the art?

Andy Cink ranthor at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 17 19:54:47 CET 1999

At 01:58 PM 2/18/99 +1030, Martin Keegan wrote:
>On Wed, 17 Feb 1999, David Bennett wrote:
>> definately different to stock muds.  They had a style or idea of their own
>> which makes them successful.  In some cases it might be as simple as the
>> theme, in others it would be a more complicated relation between theme and
>> things like skills/races/eye catching.
>ah yes, but these are things I'd say were accepted means of "innovation" -
>variations of a particular set of parameteres within certain bounds.

I was discussing this with a friend of mine today. I decided to start
my mud design project over to incorporate more of what I've learned
over the last year or so. My current discussion with my friend was
about how much we dare vary the mud from the "norm". The key, I think,
is to find a way to do something innovative, fun, and original, but
without deviating so far from the mean that players can't understand
it. One good trick I've found, is to try mapping some of your new
commands to old commands, or give a message when they try and use a
popular command from another mud. (For example, if someone types
"gossip", give them a message that the main chat channel of the mud
is XXXX, or whatnot) This allows new players to use commands they may
be more comfortable with, but still learn your system.
>> By far and away the biggest draw of people to a mud is word of mouth.  Once
>sure that's what gets them there, but what keeps them there?
>> people have heard of your mud, more people start coming, which causes even
>> more people to come.  And so it goes on.  I think being different and
>> oddball at the start is actually a catcher, rather than something which
>> turns people off.
>I think the theme of a mud is the parameter you can vary most if you're
>maximising player appeal (Discworld has a strongly maintained, oddball
>theme). The next one is the player attributes (in particular races,
>classes, skills).

I would agree with this statement. In general, people want an
interface that they are comfortable with. The more things that
are familiar, the more other things can be different. If you're
already familiar with the commands to "get around" a mud, then
you're free to explore the theme without a huge learning curve.
Same with races, classes and skills, because people already know
the basic concepts behind them, so all they have to learn is
the functioning of them on this particular mud.

>In my experience, the gameplay on Diku muds is very similar cross the
>board, though the profusion of questions in the initial login procedure
>exhibits startling variety.

This is a mud's first chance to convince a new login that "Hey,
try us, we're different! See how different we are?" I'm now of
a mindset however, that most of the current choices made at the
time of character creation only serve to limit what a player can
do in the game. It would be much more enjoyable to start as say,
a peasant, and then have to find tutors or trainers, earn money,
join a profession, leave a profession, etc, all in the game.
Rather than the current "You were born. What class do you wish
to be for the rest of your life?" That prevails in stock code
these days :) Oh well, just some thoughts..


Head coder/designer of a now nameless mud
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
Ranthor at earthlink.net

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

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list