Re: Ideas

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 01/07/02

> 1) CircleMUD only comes with one town Midgaard which actually doesn't come
> with that great descriptions, but I can't put the blame on the circleMUD
> creators because writing circleMUD is hard enough with limited time, it's
> great that they even wrote a zone. I think that people with great writing
> talents should redo (or create new towns), to submit to circleMUD, not just
> for area contributions but to actually be released with circleMUD.

        A related idea - one that I've not personally thrown myself into
believeing is a good idea yet, mind you - is not that we should just have
specific zones, or well written zones, or the sort ...but rather, if we're
going to include a 'world', we may as well have it be a world to interact
        Right now, the only zone that has anything resembling what I think
of as a standard roleplaying game is the castle zone.  People move around
or call guards, and talk to eachother.  If you could talk to them and
recieve even a ruidmentary response, it'd be finally up to the same level
as RPG's made in 1985.

        Elsewhere, the stock world is barren of apparent intelligent life.
Even though midgaard is only 5 or 10 squares away from the castle though,
no one acknowledges it's presence.  No one cares if you've found 'the Old
Ring' behind the cabinet in Moria, and if Rome is still around, you can go
merrily along and anhiliate Jupiter or Mars without even a whisper of a

        I think that the world we provide should not be just a couple
of random zones, but instead, a fully fledged game.  It's an example -
like the code - that shows what's possible.  Make a world that plays like
a final fantasy game - even if that means it has to have a discrete end
and beginning, just so long as it FEELS like a game.

        To those who would protest using the old argument of 'We provide
the bare bones, it's up to you to improve' - I say poppycock.  The world
files that are provided with CircleMUD are only there for examples sake;
to help the new admin or worldbuilder get their sea-legs.  Provide an
exciting example for everyone to live up to, and you'll get a great
increase in attention.

        I wonder what sort of model NeverWinter (Er.. is that
NeverRelease?) Nights will have?  Provide a system and a few full
mini-games, and let everyone else write their own?  Something of that
sort...  From different sources we can already see that the popularity for
the game is somewhere between 'insane' and 'berserk'.  It isn't even in
stores yet.

> 2) Well I hate autopatches and if you discover the patch after you've
> edited your MUD then you have to do it by hand. And sometimes patches are
> hard to understand for newbie coders, so therefore I suggest more
> instructional things like very well explained because those are extremely
> easy to understand, which makes MUD coding alot easier.

        In the whole MPAA vs anyone who wants to watch a movie they own,
one argument for the defense was that code is free speech.  This has only
recently been upheld, based on the following idealogy (paraphrased, since
I can't remember the original):

        "People use speech as a way to convey information to others.  A
physisist may explain his theory on gravity, and a doctor could describe a
potential surgical operation.  Programmers do the same thing to convey
inform and ideas, using speech - but to a programmer, source code
represents the idea they're trying to convey in it's entierety, without
error or possibility of misinterpretation.  In short, source code is the
written expression of the programmer."

        I apply this to patches as well.  They are code which tell me
exactly what was intended, in a manner more accurate and precise than any
step-by-step guide ever could.  You just have to read it, and it tells you
exactly what to do.

        Any problems you encounter - from revision mismatches, to
functionality changes are going to occur in your more childish step by
step version as well.  In that case, the non-patch version won't
necessarily tell you what they author had intended either, whereas you
have a good chance to glean it from function, line numbers, and
surrounding code in a real patch file.

        As an aside, using the step-by-step version is only useful if you
don't understand the simple syntax of the patch program (er diff, if you
prefer), and don't know the C code well enough to fix mismatches.

        If that's the case, these people should not yet be altering the
code.  They should be learning how to program, not encouraged to run a MUD
they have no ability to fix when it breaks, or alter when they want.  This
is the source of many of the newbie questions which have nothing to do
with CircleMUD and simply point at a lack of knowledge of the C language.

        I may have a primarily neutral stance on the
non-programmer-as-administrator issue(*), but I am firmly set against the
non-programmer-as-a-programmer deal.  If you can't program, don't - learn
how and come back to whatever it is you couldn't do later.

3) as for the unix question, I'm sure someone else will represent my
opinion on it.


* - I believe it's possible, but I'm talking about an admin that does not
EVER touch code; their programming staff would do that.  Every individual
that's disagreed with me on this (who was an admin) was usually also the
sole programmer on the MUD.  Despite the fact they didn't know how to
program.  You don't need to know how to program to keep a mud going, but
you do need to have someone around who does.

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