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Old 10-01-2003, 07:38 AM   #41
KaVir
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I don't think that because you can't control 100% of what the client sees that you shouldn't try - if you don't want to try, why have color at all?
Because colour is there to improve the game for the player. If you force your own configuration down their throat, regardless of their client or personal preferences, then you've just failed in that objective.

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Additionally, while you can't guarantee that the client will see everything, you can come pretty close for the majority of your users.
But why come "pretty close" for the "majority" when you can instead give all of your players exactly what they want?

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if clients can change the colors easily, why bother having redundant code in your game for players to do it there, too?
It's not redundant. Not only do some clients not support it, but there are also many examples which cannot feasibly be handled at the client end. In fact the only scenario I can think of in which colour should be handled entirely by the client is a mud which can only be accessed via its own custom client.

Imagine you want percentage scaled health in your prompt - white is 100% health, blue is 75-100%, green is 50-75%, yellow is 25-50% and red is 0-25%. How can you simulate that at the client level without hardcoding it according to your max hp?

Or what if you want to enable highlighting of certain keywords (eg in a help file, or player/mob keywords, etc) - the client has no way to know which are keywords and which are not.

Or how about changing the colouring on an ascii map (for example, if your client doesn't handle certain colours, as mentioned previously)? I've used clients before which didn't display the "bright" colours properly, forcing me to switch off colour completely so that I could see the map.

But the biggest problem with handling colour at the client end is that at that point the only thing you know is the colour code itself - you've no way to know what it represents, and if you change it for one thing you'll be changing it for all things. Want to adjust colour in the client so that critical hit messages are displayed in white instead of red? No problem - but it'll change your "warning" messages to white as well...

The better way to handle that is to provide colour configurations based on themes (eg "chat", "say", "warning", "health", "mana", "help keywords", etc) - but that has to be handled server-side (unless, as I mentioned before, you have a custom client which is the only way to play the mud).

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I'm not saying that I agree with this, just that you don't seem to be considering ANY of this when making your statements - there are other points of view besides yours.
I have considered the points, but have yet to find any reason for not having reconfigurable colours other than lack of time or technical ability. Almost all mud features represent a compromise - they add something at the expense of something else. Reconfigurable colours, however, add something while taking away nothing. They only apply to those who want them, and give no disadvantages to those who don't.
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:49 PM   #42
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I disagree with that point of view, then. I don't think that a MUD that doesn't have configurable colors is lacking anything, it's just a different way of doing things.
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:23 PM   #43
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An example from our own experience.

Take the Smaug default colors - from before the days of it's own colorize command. Room descriptions were bright white, room names bright yellow. I forget what alot of the other things were, but the point is, people hated it. It was ugly, and some people complained it hurt their eyes because it was so bright ( myself included ). Then you have those clients which break "bright" support and were either displaying nothing, or text so dark the user couldn't see it.

Enter the first attempt at us changing it. I polled people, nobody offered up a workable scheme, so I changed all the defaults to my own personal preferences. People complained again that they didn't like my choices. We were back to square one.

Several people on our mud play with non-Zmud clients, many of which lack the ability to alter their client-side color configuration.

When I found the custom color snippet for Smaug way back when, I jumped on it. Me being the lazy coder I am sometimes, I set the "default" color set to the preferences I had instituted before. The beauty here is that everyone can change how things look, so if they think my scheme sucks, they can do something about it without bothering the mud. This includes those people using clients that can't customize.

You should see the color settings my Head Builder uses. I can't stand them, but he loves them. I'd puke if I had to mud with those colors, but it's what he likes and he has the ability to use it and is happy. Some of the wild combinations my players pick would make most people hurl as well, but it's what they like, and they get consistent results from the mud whether they're at home using Uberclient, or at work using XP Telnet.

This makes them happy. They don't complain about colors anymore. On the occassion someone finds something they want changed, we can easily add a customization for it, which everyone else then gets to play with too.

Do we let them change everything? Of course not. Some messages force certain colors, the ansi wilderness map uses fixed color choices to represent terrain.

So I'm in agreement with those who see no reason not to include this functionality, and it's a standard feature in AFKMud and in Smaug 1.4a now as well.
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by (vedic @ Oct. 01 2003,12:49)
I disagree with that point of view, then. I don't think that a MUD that doesn't have configurable colors is lacking anything, it's just a different way of doing things.
Just wanted to point this out. Its statements like the one you just made that has resulted in this drawn out discussion. To slightly reword what you just said:

I don't think that a MUD lacking configurable colors is lacking anything.

You are contradicting yourself.

The bottom line is, regardless of whether you like sparce color, no color, or Vegas color, you get what you want when the MUD has a proper color configuration system. If it does not have one, then not everyone gets what they want.

It simply comes down to some vs. all. There is really no opinion about it.
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:33 PM   #45
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I see why you're called "Treestump" - it's like arguing with one.
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Old 10-02-2003, 04:14 PM   #46
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But he does have a point. Why *NOT* offer colour customisation?

From a mapping point of view, we actually recommend to players that they change the default zMud colours so that our main city appears as it should - in grey not green. This also corrects their client, so that when they mud elsewhere, they also see the 'correct' colours.

Our channel and prompt code is completely customiseable so if our players want a pink prompt, with value-dependant colours for hp/mana etc, then they can. we're not forcing them into any colour scheme. We do have a default colour scheme, which in my eyes is pretty good.

As a programmer myself, I'm first to hold my hand up and admit that my attempts at a colour scheme would be awful! Why inflict that pain upon players? If we didn't have customiseable colours, then a percentage of our playerbase would whinge that they hated the colours. Why even contemplate this, when with a (relatively) small amount of time, the colour scheme can be theirs!

As lots of other contributors to this thread have pointed out, having this level of customisation is a win-win situation.
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Old 10-02-2003, 07:55 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Samson @ Oct. 02 2003,03:23)
An example from our own experience.

Take the Smaug default colors - from before the days of it's own colorize command. Room descriptions were bright white, room names bright yellow. I forget what alot of the other things were, but the point is, people hated it. It was ugly, and some people complained it hurt their eyes because it was so bright ( myself included ). Then you have those clients which break "bright" support and were either displaying nothing, or text so dark the user couldn't see it.
<snippy>
At least on RoD, a good many people preferred the bright yellow room descriptions and white titles. I sure did, and when they converted it to what is now I immediately turned it back to the old default, personal tastes I suppose.

This is off-topic though, I admit.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:10 AM   #48
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

Major necro here...but I stumbled across this old thread while looking for something else, and found it interesting that erdos was discussing features such as client detection, automatic identification of feature support, "hidden client-server dialogues" and such, back in 2003.

There was very little interest from other posters at the time (myself included). It's pretty interesting to see how attitudes have changed in the decade since then, with an increasing number of muds now doing exactly the sort of things he proposed.

Some people argue that the mud community is stagnant, never does anything new, etc. But clearly that's not the case.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #49
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

Re: Yellow/Brown. I see this. On my 1991 386 SX running DOS 6.2 and KERMIT as a mud "client" I get browns. On my 1999 P2 running Win98SE and PowTTY as client the same text on the same MUD is in fact yellow. It has nothing to do with the monitor hardware. I am pretty sure it is not the video cards either. It is the client...
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #50
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

It is an interesting thread, and you managed to exhume this link as well,

Mud Clients - Cryosphere

Which I hadn't seen before.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #51
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

One of the stupid complaints my players had regarding the custom client was that the 'colors were all wrong' when they used it. I had to add color schemes to simulate ZMud and GMud, as well as a 'super bright' option for a handful of others. I'd expect most modern clients let you change the color scheme however you want it; is that currently the case?

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #52
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

Just wanted to chime in with a couple points:

First, I agree with pretty much everything KaVir said.

Second, having a fully configurable prompt, for me as a blind player, is major. Prompts, for blind players are often not used as such--I personally have a trigger I put in every mud that can send it to a specific spot in the window, but I need to be able to configure it to work with my trigger. Even then, you'd be surprised how often your awsum prompt that's really nifty with color, etc, won't work for the blind.

Third, configurable color, while not used by me personally, can also increase accessibility for a varietty of things; if I weren't color-blind, I could use my limited remaining vision to see the colors, at least, placing really, really bad messages in red, for instance.

Fourth, making a custom game client shouldn't mean no telnet support. If you do that, you're limiting the potential players; blind people probably won't be able to play, nor will anyone who wants to use <unsupported platform>. You can mud even from phones now, so providing both is a really good idea. While I know no one said they were doing this, I feel it is important to mention it.

And finally, go look at just about any mmorpg before you say customization of interface is bad; a lot of the major ones let you completely reposition everything and do all sorts of crazy stuff. My interface doesn't affect you and yours won't change mine. When a player has reached the point of wanting to change the interface from the default, they probably understand the game well enough to understand that others can't answer questions about their custom version. A standard default is good, but it shouldn't go further than that--I'd love a personalized custom score layout, and I generally look for combat spam blocking options first thing when looking at a new mud.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #53
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by camlorn View Post

Second, having a fully configurable prompt, for me as a blind player, is major. Prompts, for blind players are often not used as such--I personally have a trigger I put in every mud that can send it to a specific spot in the window, but I need to be able to configure it to work with my trigger. Even then, you'd be surprised how often your awsum prompt that's really nifty with color, etc, won't work for the blind.
Could you please elaborate a little more about prompts and how they aid you?
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:00 AM   #54
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Re: Why not exploit the telnet protocol?

First, let me say that I feel rather stupid. I didn't notice this was a two-page thread started in 2003, and was arguing based on the bit I read...oopse.

As for prompts, sure:

In my particular screen reader, given that most applications on windows like to put "status" information as the bottom-most line in the window--anything from file attributes to download progress to anything--a hotkey was implemented to read this line. Mushclient allows one to set this line.

In my current setup, I've got a trigger that takes any line starting with "status:" and sends it to that line.

Essentially, I don't have to hear the prompt after everything--skipping it will skip a bunch of other stuff--but I can still read it any time. I could spend 5-10 minutes or whatever to figure out your prompt that I can't change well enough to write an equivalent trigger, or I can just use mushclient's ability to import triggers from another world at creation--it has a little thing, import defaults from another world yes/no.

So, I just change your prompt to match my trigger--it normally takes 30 seconds--and I'm done. Truth be told, I should probably use <status>prompt goes here</status> to be extra safe, but all the same.

This becomes a particularly big deal on some of the lpmuds with all sorts of important changing-every-tick guild stats that must be monitored (I'm looking at you, 3 kingdoms); I'll typically make my prompt only numbers, memorize the order, and send it to that bottom line, making reading of the prompt happen in half the time it otherwise would, and essentially giving it a keystroke.

If this didn't help, I can't really give a better explanation, as it's sort of something you have to experience. That said, prompts are the number one answer for the "I can't read the score because it has graphical bars" question, as well. (In fact, with creative aliasing and the ability to imbed newlines in the prompt, you essentially have implemented an unintended custom score; I've never gone this far, but the potential exists.)
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