Re: Coder Needed

From: Ryan A.J. Biggs (
Date: 07/17/96

> > A) Giving the coder imm status is extremely insulting.
>   I have to agree here.  You're saying you'll give someone access to your 
> source code but not trust him with what really amounts to an honorary 
> position in the game.  The coder must have trust, and must have a degree 
> of leeway in what he codes as well as authority in the game itself.  
> These are not hired lackeys, they are people doing this for you for free, 
> and they deserve some respect.

Heh heh, I would definitely agree there.  And a lot of players don't seem 
to realize that.  So many players look at the coders and take them for 
granted, and are always complaining about one thing or another.  One of 
the former coders of NoMUD gave all the mortals a lesson by loading up a 
stock circle and letting them play that for a while.  Surprisingly, a lot 
of mortals still were bitchy....that's probably why NoMUD went through so 
many coders, too little respect for those that make vision reality.

> > B) The coder could quite easily write code to make himself an imp and or
> > delete all the other imms.
>   Well now, what you say is true, but let's be realistic for a second 
> here.  If a coder does that, the results are likely to be quick and 
> severe:  He will be removed from access, his character deleted, and all 
> code restored to the way it was before the unfortunate incident (we all 
> maintain backups in a separate account, don't we?).  To imply that a 
> coder has IMP power just because he is a coder is being too simplistic.

Someone who REALLY wants to take over a MUd is going to realize that and 
be REALLY smart about that.  For example, if he knows that the main imp 
of the MUD backsups the MUD after every major code addition, or 2 times a 
week, then the coder who wants to take over can just add in the code to 
take over, then add in a mojor change, wait for the backup to be made, 
THEN take over.  Unless the head imp has a backup for each step of the 
way, he's scrwewed.  Most of the time, you should give a coder IMP power 
just because they can get it anyways.

> > Generally... coders ARE the imps.
>   Now that's just not true.  The IMPs are the ones with the vision.  They 
> are the ones who have spent nights up working out the MUDs theme over 
> pizza and Mountain Dew.  They are the ones who see everything that is 
> supposed to happen as a cohesive whole, and they are the ones who know 
> just why it is that people are going to play their MUD when there are so 
> many others out there.

And there's the problem.  An IMP should always know what is going on in 
the code.  Even if he doesn't code himself, he should know how to read 
it, and as such, protect himself from coders trying to take over.  
Luckily for me, I am both the one with the vision and the coder.  Well, 
my wiife has a lot of the vision too, but for purposes of mudding, we are 
the same person.

>   The head coder is almost always an IMP, and he is in charge of 
> coordinating all coding activities (and from my experience doing like 90% 
> of them).  But the other coders should not be higher than CIMP.  There 
> must be a strong leader for each team (coding, building, quests, 
> policy...) each of which is intimately familiar with the Vision.  That is 
> your IMP team, not everyone with knowledge of C and account access.

That is true.  You do need heads of various teams.  My wife and I had 
FINALLY implemented this system (with a council theme) and the MUD died 
and moved again.  And the worst insult was, not only were we not kept in 
our positions, and our system was put in the back-burner.  Oh well, let 
them suffer, the MUD was heading downwards because of lazy IMP's with no 
busiiness with the IMP power.

>   Levels mean different things on different MUDs, but you don't want to 
> run the risk of having too many people with the highest authority.  What 
> is it they say about too many cooks?

Heh heh.  Generally, you should really trust the IMP's to do two things.
#1. Do their job, and do it well
#2. Not try and take over

That was the problem we had with the main IMP on our Mud...not only did 
she have no vision, she didn't do her job, nor did she do it well, and 
she already had taken over.  She considered the MUD a place for her to 
meet (and MEAT guys)  Geez, if she wwanted that, she could have gone to a 
talker, not a MUD.  But oh welll, enough complaining.

Ryan A.J. Biggs
Doppleganger, Charon the Boatman and member of Dieties Anonymous
Owner of a 100% organic wibble and Plasma lamp, and rubber chicken
Keeper of the sacred butcher knife and the Cloak of Shadows
Compiler of the Net.Psionics.Handbook

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