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Old 01-25-2007, 07:37 PM   #21
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To Gromble: Thanks for participating in the discussion I've had similar experiences listening to the foreign students talking in their native languages about mathematics here, it sounds like "wa wa wa Fourier transform wa wa integrating factor wa wa..." But as Logos said, terms != language. Hehe, I wish it were that easy.. just memorize 20,000 Chinese words and become a fluent Chinese speaker... that would be easy There is also grammar and phonology. Japanese, for example, cannot even BORROW most English words without revolutionizing the whole language, because it simply does not have the phonemes.. hence why they transliterate Christmas as Ku-ree-soo-ma-soo, for example (and no, that "r" is not like the "r" in "run", it's more like the "t" in "water"). And Asian languages in general, if I understand right, don't deal well with this Western thing we call "stress". The same problems work backwards: English speakers cannot properly pronounce the German sound at the end of "Bach", for example. Doesn't matter whether you want to copy the German pronunciation, English simply *cannot* spell that sound.

To Logos: you keep mentioning MUDs in Asia. Do you mean MUDs in our sense, or are you using it as a blanket term for MMORPGs? Are there true, text-based MUDs there already and I just did not know about it?
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (erdos @ Jan. 25 2007,6:37)
To Logos: you keep mentioning MUDs in Asia. Do you mean MUDs in our sense, or are you using it as a blanket term for MMORPGs? Are there true, text-based MUDs there already and I just did not know about it?
MUDs in the broad sense. There are few to no text MUDs aimed at an Asian audience that I'm aware of.

--matt
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:22 PM   #23
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I am all for internationalization and localization of all computer applications, to present as much of the content as possible in a speaker's native language.

The problem is: that isn't enough in a lot of cases. MUDs/MUSHes for example. The key part of the game is in the social communication. Either folks all have to speak/type the same language, or you have to have some realtime translation software (which IMHO doesn't work well yet), or people can't interact. This is what Gromble was talking about. When you get a bunch of people in the same room who need to interact, you have to fall back on a single language. For now, it's English. Maybe in the future, it'll become Chinese.

This reminds me of India. English is not the first language of most, but it is the second language of many. Given that the individual states speak different languages with different character sets, English seems (to this humble observer) to have become the language that glues the country together.

This is not to say there isn't a market for MUDs that only use Chinese. It's just the realization that English right now is one of the best multinational common languages.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 25 2007,6:52)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (erdos @ Jan. 25 2007,6:37)
To Logos: you keep mentioning MUDs in Asia. Do you mean MUDs in our sense, or are you using it as a blanket term for MMORPGs? Are there true, text-based MUDs there already and I just did not know about it?
MUDs in the broad sense. There are few to no text MUDs aimed at an Asian audience that I'm aware of.

--matt
Maybe someone should make a chineese text mud then. I'll make the client for it
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:40 AM   #25
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This is interesting: I was perusing rec.games.roguelike.development and noticed someone mentioned offhand that Rogue (the original roguelike) was translated into Japanese.

In case you didn't know, roguelikes are a singleplayer close sibling of MUDs characterized by a 2d view of ASCII graphics (or sometimes tile graphics)-- think "overworld map", only in the dungeons and towns as well.

The point is, they are close to as deeply text-intensive as MUDs are, so the fact someone translated one (albeit a pretty simple one) into Japanese despite the looming obstacle of Kanji, is pretty encouraging.

EDIT: On further inspection, it turns out multiple roguelikes have been translated into Japanese, including Angband, which is one of the more complex roguelikes.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:39 AM   #26
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Some MUDs actually use roguelike design as a jump off point for the gameplay of their MUD.

Not a bad way to go if you are trying to emulate a text action-rpg... depending on how well you execute.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:10 AM   #27
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Re: Future MUD directions

Quote:
Originally Posted by erdos View Post
Whatever the mainstream gaming scene throws to try and distract me, it will never wrest my heart away from MUDs (in particular Realms of Despair and Lands of Aethar).

But MUDs are nothing without playerbase, and we must remain competitive against the mainstream-- no, we must be mainstream, to keep attracting fresh blood. Here are some directions to consider; please discuss them!!!
2. MUDs are virtually entirely a thing of the English speaking world, and that is suboptimal! Technology is at a point now where it is no longer fantastic to imagine a multilingual MUD. I've given serious thought to translating SMAUG into Esperanto, I just don't have that much spare time. But it goes beyond translating codebases. I have a vision of a single MUD which listens on different ports and responds in different languages to each. Every hardcoded message in the MUD, and every roomdesc etc., translated according to the language of the player. At first, there would be a language barrier amid the playerbase, but technology like Babelfish could conceivably even improve *that* state of affairs.
Babelfish translation isn't that good. In many cases the translations aren't useful but only give you an idea what a text is about. However I think supporting additional charsets is very important for communication within the game. Just because room descriptions might be in English doesn't mean the players wouldn't prefer to communicate with friends using another language.

Quote:
3. Along the same lines, one area where MUDs can be aggressively advertised is the ESL community. People learning English as a 2nd language would benefit enormously from MUDding, and I'm astounded we're basically unknown there!
While it is true that MUDs can improve your English it isn't something that makes people want to play them. People want to be entertained and enjoy whatever game they play. There are many games to chose from. Many graphical games have very high quality and are fun. A text game would need to be very well made to "compete".

I don't know how to make MUDs more popular. However I think there are things that could be improved:
  1. News. TMS could report news from various MUDs. As it is now there seems to be very little new happening in the field. Either that or noone talks about what is happening. Obviously there needs to be news for various target groups: players, developers, designers, and so on.
  2. Articles. Designers/Programmers of a MUD could write articles sharing their knowledge. This would be a huge improvement to the community, both commercial and non commercial.
  3. Uniqueness. If there are two games with the same design. One is graphical, and one only in text which one would people pick to play? My guess is most would pick the graphical one. The issue is obviously also that if a text game got very popular due to some good design chances are some graphical game would soon use same/similar design. Still text MUDs could benefit from trying to be different.
In the end I think MUDs shouldn't be seen only as text games but also include the graphical MUDs. They should probably have their place on the mud lists as well. I don't say that the text games have lost the war(was there ever one? ), but I think it is about time everyone start to cooperate. Text, graphics, sound - does it really matter that much? It is all different ways to express the same genre we enjoy to work on: MUDs.
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #28
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Re: Future MUD directions

Yeah. Supposedly there are *better* systems than Bablefish, but guess what? They are all used by high level government officials and cost so much you couldn't ever use them. They also deal with "spoken" language, not text. We badly need something adaptive for this. And that unfortunately is likely to require at least one server for every 50-100 people, at a guess, to work right. Worse, the server would probably make what ever they use to run MMOs on the server end look average in price. For now, there just isn't a useful, fast or accurate translation system, so you end up hard coding stuff, then hoping the human translator wasn't a complete dip****. Like one person mentioned up the thread a bit, you are *maybe* better watching Anime with subtitles, but personally I find them damned distracting in some cases, and its not like, unless you learn the language *properly* they don't screw them up as much or more than redoing the dialog in English. And some songs they translate from them... Gah! Its like listening to someone that intentionally dug through a dictionary for the most indirect and vague word possible in each case, then pounded it into the worst possible English sentence structure. Something that should have come out as, "I wander in the deep forest.", might end up being, "In the not shallow trees I vacation."... I mean WTF?? I sometimes can't believe Japanese people mangle their own works that badly when translating, never mind some half wit working for an English company. And again, subtitles are "not" any better.

Put simply, text is an imprecise media. That is what some people, sometimes infuriatingly, like about it. Translation is *supposed* to be as precise as possible, but usually isn't. The result is all too often like having a blind person *feel* a replica of the Mona Lisa and then *translate* that into a copy of Dogs Playing Poker. We need better language systems. We also need better AI imho, but that is a similar can of worms. Mean while, MMOs *are* getting the later, since its a lot easier to code AI to handle *physics*, than text, and... well, they have the same problem MUDs do with the language part.
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:15 PM   #29
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Re: Future MUD directions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
  1. News. TMS could report news from various MUDs. As it is now there seems to be very little new happening in the field. Either that or noone talks about what is happening. Obviously there needs to be news for various target groups: players, developers, designers, and so on.
  2. Articles. Designers/Programmers of a MUD could write articles sharing their knowledge. This would be a huge improvement to the community, both commercial and non commercial.
  3. Uniqueness. If there are two games with the same design. One is graphical, and one only in text which one would people pick to play? My guess is most would pick the graphical one. The issue is obviously also that if a text game got very popular due to some good design chances are some graphical game would soon use same/similar design. Still text MUDs could benefit from trying to be different.
In the end I think MUDs shouldn't be seen only as text games but also include the graphical MUDs. They should probably have their place on the mud lists as well. I don't say that the text games have lost the war(was there ever one? ), but I think it is about time everyone start to cooperate. Text, graphics, sound - does it really matter that much? It is all different ways to express the same genre we enjoy to work on: MUDs.

When I was rearranging the forums on Sunday just after the new software went live, I was contemplating adding a forum for "MUD Awareness" (MUD promotion is taken for specific MUDs) with the theme being how we can attract new folks who haven't played MUDs before to the genre. Have a few more thoughts on this but I'll save them for an introductory post in that forum.
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