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Old 10-25-2002, 03:12 PM   #21
Loriel
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Molly wrote :
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Originally Posted by
Mandrake;
The tool you describe sounds awesome, but it has one major drawback - the price. I sure as heck couldn't afford it, and I bet most of the people running free muds couldn't either.
I suggest looking at a free program called AutoREALM which does something similar - see  http://gryc.ws/autorealm.htm
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Old 10-25-2002, 03:14 PM   #22
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Another option to the cartographer program, is AutoRealm which has the added value of being freeware.

ETA: heh, posted at the same time
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Old 10-26-2002, 06:21 PM   #23
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Molly,

Maps like the one you made a link to are very good for helping players rp their characters better.  Their characters have lived 24/7 in their world, so of course they know all the nearby towns and which road to take, etc.

No secrets are given away by such a map, but they might prod a player to find ways to journey to places which are on the map but which they haven't visited.

Maps don't even have to be computer-generated.  For our mud, we use a hand-drawn map to give players an idea of the surrounding lands. *cough*cheapmudplug*cough*.
http://crimson.wolfpaw.net/maps/marches.html
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Old 10-27-2002, 01:50 PM   #24
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I hate all kinds of maps on a MUD. Using maps is pretty much using pictures to me, and pictures on a mud is a bad no-no (except SOME ansii art). It is really confusing to a lot of people, espcially newbies trying to find their way around a new MUD and read a confusing map.
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Old 10-27-2002, 08:23 PM   #25
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Personally, I see maps much like the way I see global channels on a (fantasy / medieval ) MUD....true serfs or commoners of such a 'real' realm might often be ignorant of their surrounding. They might not have cellular technology with which to summon their friend from afar .... but its a game, deal with it.

The map is a tool, it communicates the setting, it allows cohesive building, etc etc. I think of a book I read as a child, called The Lord Of The Rings ..... the first few pages contained some maps of the author's "Middle Earth" that allowed the reader to get a gist of what they were diving into. The charaters in that world also seemed to have a decent clue as to the layout of their world, even though some of them had rarely wandered past their own mailbox.

As for Campaign Cartographer, the cost is pretty steep. Like most of us, MUDing is a pastime for me, and one that has no slot in my monthly budget. I bought my copy at the pan-galactic pawn shop called 'e-bay'. I happened to luch out, in that a payed a few bucks for an older version of the program, and then was able (through the publisher) to upgrade to the latest for only a few dollars more.

~Mandrake
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Old 11-01-2002, 04:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Enzo @ Oct. 27 2002,1:50 pm)
I hate all kinds of maps on a MUD. Using maps is pretty much using pictures to me, and pictures on a mud is a bad no-no (except SOME ansii art). It is really confusing to a lot of people, espcially newbies trying to find their way around a new MUD and read a confusing map.
But only bad maps?
The MUD I play on has maps in wilderness areas, and they are SO helpful it's unreal. It encourages me to wander out into the wilderness, makes it easy to follow roads...

It's basic ansi maps, with a short list of symbols, that are colour coded. And it's so good!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:45 AM   #27
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Re: Graphic Maps

Sorry for totally necro-posting. I wanted to continue this discussion since it's recently come up in my own development team.

Some muds now have automapping or a map command of some sort that creates an ansi map detailing exactly where your character is and what surrounds your character. I find this enormously helpful, but I don't really get lost anymore nor do I feel like I'm actually exploring. On the other hand, it makes the game much easier, and I find that I'm more willing to learn the game because I'm not getting lost all the time. This type of mapping is extremely convenient since it's right there under my fingers. I just type one command and get all the information I need. I don't have to flip back and forth between my MU* window and the web browser which makes it extremely convenient.

Do most players like these in game maps? I worry that it's a bad idea to try to add graphics in a medium that doesn't support graphics well. Also, how would you go about adding this to a live game? Is it worth the effort?
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:41 AM   #28
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Re: Graphic Maps

Karinth has added small automaps and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course, there is a toggle so that the visually impaired (maps don't work well with screen readers) and those who dislike the maps can turn them off. It helps people to explore, and that's always good, especially when you have such a large world. They needn't be huge, even seeing a 3x3 centred around your character is very useful. In addition, we made it so that you can only see rooms that you have been in semi-recently, a kind of "memory" so that it doesn't take away from the "fog of war" type exploration effect.

As for Threshold, I don't know. One thing it does do is make people pay less attention, and just run everywhere. I know that Threshold thrives on making it feel as dangerous as if you were exploring for real, and the maps kind of take away from that. It's a balance between making exploration too easy, and making players feel comfortable enough to adventure. My personal advice would be to not do it there, or make the map very small, because (and this is a dated opinion) my experience with the game was that the danger aspect and the harshness of plain text made it very absorbing, that every word was important and could have fatal consequences, kind of thing. Of course, not telling you how to run your game, that's just an opinion based on memory.

For a game with a much larger world that is a little more lighthearted and less RP-enforced, I think the automaps are very useful and well loved by most players, especially the directionally impaired.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:07 AM   #29
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Re: Graphic Maps

I love graphical maps. Unless exploration is the sole focus of your game, graphical maps probably won't not rob the players of any significant discoveries nor give them any unfair advantages. As you said yourself, as long as you don't provide details for the areas that are in fact meant to be difficult to reach, I've always found maps to be helpful and nifty. Player-made maps are inevitably going to circulate the out-of-game channels anyway, whether you allow that or not. Getting an idea of the game world's layout with only in-game exploration as a tool can be very difficult, especially for newer mudders who always have great trouble grasping the concepts of world grids and room structure. If I was to make my own mud now, I would definitely create a nice and pretty world map as well as more detailed maps of all starting areas.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:18 AM   #30
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Re: Graphic Maps

I agree that an in-game map might not be suitable for Threshold. I was thinking of creating it for a different mud and having it from the very beginning. Threshold, being rather compact, is really not that hard to learn.

What do you guys think, though, of maps posted on a webpage rather than an in-game map? Is there a drawback to that instead of having an in-game map command? I, personally, don't like to flip back and forth, but I think that's just me being lazy. In addition, I'm usually very quick to get lost, even with an in-game map.

Also, any suggestions for ways to lay out the maps?
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:43 AM   #31
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Re: Graphic Maps

NW has pretty general map on the website which players seem to like. In reference to auto-mapping, most players seem to have clients that automap for them and use that feature so frequently, I'm not sure of the benefit to code a specific game client to include such.
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #32
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Re: Graphic Maps

I think a graphical map is great to have for any MUD. When it comes down to it, if you don't create one and put it up somewhere, eventually, one of your players will. This one was actually created by a player and was better than the one we had. So, with his permission of course, we added it to the game's homepage.


Last edited by obit : 01-09-2008 at 08:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:21 PM   #33
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Re: Graphic Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
NW has pretty general map on the website which players seem to like. In reference to auto-mapping, most players seem to have clients that automap for them and use that feature so frequently, I'm not sure of the benefit to code a specific game client to include such.
Most potential players don't have their own MUD client, keep in mind, and asking them to download a third party piece of software to play your game is not very friendly to people new to the MUD world.

--matt
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:25 AM   #34
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Re: Graphic Maps

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Most potential players don't have their own MUD client, keep in mind, and asking them to download a third party piece of software to play your game is not very friendly to people new to the MUD world.
It reminds me abit of the discussions about the casual player. Those discussion seem to just keep decrease how much a casual player should need to play a game.

While a Java client on the website of a MUD is nice, the absence of one doesn't mean it stops players from playing the game. If you look at e.g FilePlanet there's a lot of very large downloads for mmrpg clients avaible there.

Eventually most MUD players will (in my opinion) want a client they can download. There are many benefits from such a client. For example in cMUD you can make maps, triggers and have those settings stored on your own computer. The data is private and it isn't there for the MUD admins to look at. Some of the clients support more secure communication as well with builtin chat clients that doesn't go through the MUD server.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:03 AM   #35
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Re: Graphic Maps

On the subject of graphical maps. Take a look at the realm map used in BatClient, it is pretty sweet. You see your own location and friends locations in the world realtime as well. It works similar to "Google maps" with a zoom and pan feature and you can see "markers" for different world locations. You can also create your own markers for special locations that you think is important.

Batclient | www.bat.org

Last edited by Hephos : 01-10-2008 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:31 PM   #36
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Re: Graphic Maps

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Most potential players don't have their own MUD client, keep in mind, and asking them to download a third party piece of software to play your game is not very friendly to people new to the MUD world.

--matt
Trouble here matt is that most mud owners only ever target mudders as their primary audience. In the MMO world everyone downloads a client that connects directly to the server they want to play.

With that in mind for ELDHAmud we are going to develop a client that connects directly to our server, offers a minimal set of features like alias and macros and not one of those java telnet applet type things that you can imbed in your page either, but a fully featured stand alone client.

ELDHAmuds target audience is not mudders, the smart money would be on promoting to a non mudding audience and working in a way they understand.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:46 AM   #37
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Re: Graphic Maps

Obit, that's a totally gorgeous map!

Your player did a great job on it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #38
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Re: Graphic Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
It reminds me abit of the discussions about the casual player. Those discussion seem to just keep decrease how much a casual player should need to play a game.
Decreasing the 'barrier to entry' is important for getting anyone to do anything, anywhere in life really. Universally, the bigger the barrier to entry the bigger the 'carrot' has to be on the other side of that barrier to get people to go through the hassle of climbing over that barrier.

Quote:
While a Java client on the website of a MUD is nice, the absence of one doesn't mean it stops players from playing the game. If you look at e.g FilePlanet there's a lot of very large downloads for mmrpg clients avaible there.
A client that doesn't require an install has a lower barrier to entry than a client that does, and you need to remember that the big fat dedicated MMO client downloads are a barrier to entry (if you compare all the free MMOs, for instance, you'll find that the most popular ones are all those that don't require a big client download).

Beyond that though, those client downloads are free and have pretty graphics to serve as a carrot. Zmud/Cmud costs money, so you're saying to a player, "If you want to play my game well you have to buy a third party piece of software." That sucks, though Zmud/Cmud is developed enough that it's hard to expect any single text MUD company to replace its functionality. Shame that an open source client that's as capable as Zmud/Cmud has never been developed.

Quote:
Eventually most MUD players will (in my opinion) want a client they can download. There are many benefits from such a client. For example in cMUD you can make maps, triggers and have those settings stored on your own computer. The data is private and it isn't there for the MUD admins to look at. Some of the clients support more secure communication as well with builtin chat clients that doesn't go through the MUD server.
Yep, I would agree with that. There's a difference between most players wanting a client they can download once they become a regular player of a game though and telling them that just to try it out they have to put up with either a third-party download or the terrible experience that Windows telnet gives (and it's not even enabled by default in Vista).

None of this really applies to existing MUD players that already have Zmud/Cmud of course. Those people are easy to make happy though as they're already used to dealing with unfriendly text-based UIs, already know how great text MUDs can be once you get passed that initial UI difficulty, etc. Focusing on those people means all you're doing is moving the same players around the text MUD market rather than trying to bring new people into it by making your MUD friendly to people who have never played one before but who may find that they love the depth and closer-knit community that text MUDs can bring.

--matt
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:17 PM   #39
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Re: Graphic Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommi View Post
Trouble here matt is that most mud owners only ever target mudders as their primary audience.
Yeah.


Quote:
In the MMO world everyone downloads a client that connects directly to the server they want to play
Well, that's sort of true. In the Western world, the most popular MMOs are no-install clients, such as Runescape's java client or Habbo's Shockwave client. After that you have WoW standing on its own (as no other retail MMO comes even close to WoW's popularity), and then you have the popular free downloaded MMOs like Maple Story and Dofus and such.

--matt
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:17 PM   #40
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Re: Graphic Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephos View Post
On the subject of graphical maps. Take a look at the realm map used in BatClient, it is pretty sweet. You see your own location and friends locations in the world realtime as well. It works similar to "Google maps" with a zoom and pan feature and you can see "markers" for different world locations. You can also create your own markers for special locations that you think is important.

Batclient | www.bat.org
Now that is indeed a gorgeous client.

--matt
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