Re: The PerfectMUD? Just an opinion

From: Admin of The Keep (
Date: 10/31/96

On Thu, 31 Oct 1996, Christopher M. Ryan wrote:

> I would just like to say two things.
> 	1) The interface (or options and commands) a user has is not the most
> imppportant thing. Think about it. if all muds were identical to this point
> mudding would be easier on a whole with a user only haveing to learn a few
> new things rather than an entire system for every mud he/she plays on. I
> have personally experienced this myself. I can't even get onto a circleMud
> mud without getting confused on how to do something. On the other hand some
> people like different types of interfaces and you can attract lose people
> due to this factor.

The interface is a very important ingredient into the
MUD.  It defines part of the experience you and your
players will have.  I find it silly that some MUDs say
that ANSI color support is an extrenous feature that
they don't need to implement.  The meer idea that all
MUDs should look alike in some way repulses me.

A mud must define it's uniqueness is several ways, and
one way is to place emphasis on the experience by ways
of showing things in a different (read, more prominent)
style that best befits the purpose of the mud.  No mud
aiming to become a futuristic space travel game should
have the cardinal directions implemented as a form of
movement.  Just the same as a mud focusing on the
coding and implementation of a physics engine should not
rely on the standard way of representing rooms in muds.
It hardly befits the ideas of the mud to represent things
in such a way that, despite being different, it looks the

That would be like implementing rooms with size, but
making every room the same size, so that the new concept
does not interfere with what the player is used to.  I
think changes to the mechanics of the game require the
tweaking of the interface to highten the experience of
playing the mud.  The problem is that too often people
look for originality in a familar enviroment, which seems
to contradict itself.

> 	2) MOST IMPORTANT ingredient in a mud.... CREATIVITY and ORIGINALITY! You
> may say the originality is the interface but think about it! how many
> people really look at the interface for whether they think a mud is
> interesting (unless your a coder ;> ) For example i could go to the great
> mud connector pick 10 random muds and i bet over half will all start in...
> can anyone guess??? Midgaard. If i log onto a mud and see you stand in
> midgaard temple i type quit and delete the char right there.

Now this is further silliness, imho.  First you say that
it's easier when the interface is similar, then you say
you delete yourself when you find something familar within
the game?  Since the mechanics of the game are bound tightly
to how you play the game, it seems to me that you are setting
yourself up for massive disappointments.

If you want a familar interface then some of that has to spill
over into game-play.  People looking for something familar to
them may be happy picking the same four classes, typing the same
old commands, but what about the actual game?  If you make them
feel like they're in something they're used to then just start
throwing oddities at them they'll come away shocked and probably
a bit wary of entering your mud again.  You need to define the
differences between your realm and the ones they are familar
with, then you can set what should be the SAME.  Having the good
old city of Midgaard is by no means a crime, as to some people,
it's a blessing that helps them get comfortable with the rest of
the mud in a relaxed familar setting.

Remember that you are seeking a balance between the mechanics of
the game, the interface of the game, and the game world.  If one
of these things is off balance then you end up with adverse effects
that may or may not be intended.

To me, it appears that you need at least two of these things closely
balanced to have a mildly successful mud.  These three things, in a
particular order, will define what kind of mud you have.  If you have
a lot of mechanics and a good interface, but little of a world you
are most likely going to end up with a player-killing mud or a pure
hack-n-slash mud.  Interface and world will make for a more social
based mud.  Mechanics and world will make for a strict role-playing
mud.  The three together form something I've not seen, I have strived
for, and I don't think I'll ever see.

Each of these things is linked to originality and one-another in
such a way that it's hard to foretell how things will turn out with
the change of one thing or another.  Adding a little weight to the
mechanics of the game may cause it to balance out better with the
others, or it may cause the game to tilt too far into that and the
game will change in leaps and bounds.

> 	3) ok i lied, besides this i my opinion here. I am removing all the gossip
> and such commands to restrict communications. I know that there are others
> who have and will do the same for various reasons so you really don't know
> what people want. If you really want to try and make a new mud fix bugs,
> and maybe do somethings like make a mud that uses ques and linked lists
> instead of the way stock circle does it. add some whaco feature(s) that
> would specific to your mud (at least until everyone copies it :) (i.e.
> write a special client that can do something cool with your mud like
> translate special chars like HTML does!?.) maybe make your mud C++ ;)

This is heavy on interface.  People often focus on interface and
forget about the rest of the mud.  I'm tired of seeing Midgaard,
Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Mage, magic missile, and brand new prompt
code.  <rolls eyes>

Daniel Koepke
Forgive me father, for I am sin.

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