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Old 05-29-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Talking Steampunk community seeking design advice

Hello, I'm a member of Brass Goggles. We are a Steampunk forum & roleplay community and a group of us there are fermenting ideas on a steampunk based MU* called 'The Cog'.

We're not trying to make anything super big or amazingly complicated, just something fun and expandable for our community. Right now we're discussing the game design and we could certainly use advice and guidance from experienced designers and/or programmers. We're not in any rush and know the project will take a few years to reach any kind of fruition.

Anyway if you'd like to help us out, our current thread is here.


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Old 05-29-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Ide will become famous soon enoughIde will become famous soon enough
Re: Steampunk community seeking design advice

hi Maize, welcome to TMS. I had a quick read of your thread and the main thing that jumped out at me is that there is no common consensus over what kind of game your community wants. Given this point, and that muds are extremely niche and probably unknown to 95% of your community, you're setting yourself up for a serious barrier to entry once you have a prototype to show your forum members.

I would recommend selecting several example games and polling the community on that, to see what's most interesting to them, and my choices would be Echo Bazaar, Maiden Desmodus, and a mush, perhaps Haunted Memories. For an example of a system (i.e. code) heavy mush Firan is a good example, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend that as a game.

In the thread there seems to be a sentiment that you can decide on your game features and then pick the kind of game afterward, but IMO these choices absolutely must proceed in parallel.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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Re: Steampunk community seeking design advice

I agree with Ide.

It would appear that many of the potential contributors in your thread are not even familiar with what a MU* even is: it's important to remember that in this decade, a lot of people don't even have a frame of reference for them, unless they distinctly remember the old BBS days and AOL chat-room role-play.

I think it would be important to decide WHAT you want to build, rather than HOW you're going to build it, first. Grabbing some code and slapping some features together and then later trying to fill in the blanks has spelled disaster for many a MU*. So, I definitely support Ide's suggestion of getting folks to try out different games, to see what they like.

Try and think of answers to direct questions. Things like,

Do we want a casual "gamer" environment, something like WoW, or do we want a story-telling/realistic/involved environment? (If the latter, check out "RPI" type games, along with casual roleplaying games.)

Do you want a distinctly D&D feel? Or something unique or completely different?

Do you want "dice play", or do you want systems to be automated / game-controlled?

Do you want people who connect to the game to create their own objects (through programming, not general crafting), areas, etc, or do you want these privileges to belong solely to staff members?

The answers to these questions are really going to narrow down what sort of system you should start off using.

Understanding what kind of features you want will narrow it down some more. There are lots of codebases out there, not all are created equal. If you want something totally unique, you may be better off getting yourself a fancy programmer and starting with scratch or a light codebase -- if you want a game "out of the box", you might want to look into one of the matured ones out there.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Re: Steampunk community seeking design advice

Thanks for all your thoughts and advice. Things are kicking off in the group so thank you to those who've wandered over and got involved in the project.
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