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Old 08-26-2002, 08:47 PM   #1
Enzo
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I talked about this with one of my buddies one time. A lot of muds focus their building on just ansi art (pictures made with letters). I perfer only to have a couple pictures throughout the entire MUD. Some like none at all. Ansi art is cool, but not that great looking either.

I'm trying to get a lot of ideas to help improve the MUD I play. Thanks for the support.
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Old 08-26-2002, 10:59 PM   #2
Dionae
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I found a mud which I liked enough to stay and level for more than a day, and which I still log onto from time to time. But one thing that I didn't really like was the ansi art. I looked at a mouse and saw.. a picture of a mouse... Which just made me think, "Oh. A mouse..." It was cute, but not exactly my thing. :)

I don't think I could stand a mud where everything was ansi art... I suppose there are some places where it can add to an extended description, but I think that a room needs to be more substantial than just a picture of a house. I mean, you might as well just say, "You are in a house."

But, yes, in the login screen, it's nice. And maybe a couple other places. But other than that, I don't really like to see a lot of it.
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Old 08-27-2002, 02:51 AM   #3
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We have a few pics in some of the zones, mostly as a spice. For instance in a large ocean grid, it can be hard to think of individual descs for all those rooms, so I throw in the odd shark or dolphin as a room desc, to break monotony.

But we don't have many, after all muds are text-based, and like Enzo stated, the ansi art isn't all that good looking. It's pretty much work to make the pics too, so it's not really worth the effort.

But it's fun to play around with at times.
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:23 AM   #4
Wenlin
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You're a little mixed up.

Ascii is the use of silly looking symbols to draw dragons.

                                                /==----~~~~~~~~-----_            _,-'
                -==\\                         `//~\\   ~~~~`---.--~~~  ,-/-==\\                        | |  `\        ,'
   _-~       /'    |  \\                      / /     \      /
 .'        /       |   \\                   /' /       \   /'
/  /-~~ ~ \ _ _/'  /         \/'
/-'~    ~~~~~-----~~
                   '~~--_/      _-~/-  / \   '-~ \
                  {\\      \
                  /'   (_/  _-~  | ||      |
                 |0  0 _/) )-~   | ||      |
                 / /~ ,_/       / //      |          
                o o _//        /-~_>---<-      _-~
               ,/|           //     _-~
            ,//('(          ||     /                  .----_
           ( ( '))          ||    |                 /' _---_~\
        `-)) )) (           ||    |               /'  /     ~\`\
       ,/,'//( (             \\    \            /'  //        ||
     ,( ( ((, ))              ~-       --~
  ;'( ')/ ,)(                              ~~~~~~~~~~
 ' ') '( (/
   '   '   `

ANSI, is the American National Standards Institute, or more commonly known as what gives you pretty colors on your client.
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
ANSI, is the American National Standards Institute, or more commonly known as what gives you pretty colors on your client.
Actually, if you want to get picky, it's the ANSI/VT100 terminal control escape sequences that tell your terminal emulator how to render the text . The ANSI is a private non-profit general standards body.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:45 PM   #6
Neranz Laverani
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Mud clients themselves pose one of the biggest problems for ASCII art in muds. They do this by allowing the user to select their own font. From a user perspective, selecting your fonts is a good feature. From an ASCII art perspective, selecting your fonts is a bad feature. ASCII art must be done in a fixed with font to display properly. Most of the popular fonts are not fixed width. Because of the font issue, you are better off if you use ASCII art for flavor only. If it is used to convey key game information, some players could miss that information.

Neranz Laverani, Seeker of Knowledge
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:29 AM   #7
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Personally, I don't see the point in ASCII (or ANSI or whatever) art. For the drawing of maps and such, it's invaluable. But actually seeing pictures of things...

It's like seeing the film of a book, after reading the book. When reading, your mind conjures images of the things you read about (for example, you might see Gandalf wearing different robes or with a shorter beard). Then you see the film, and suddenly all your mental images are forced out of your brain, replaced with someone else's interpretation of the book. It defeats the magic of it. I much prefer to look back at a story and remember how I saw the characters, than to see a director's interpretation of them.

It's the same with a MUD. When it says "The red dragon towers over you, little licks of flame escaping its nostrils as it growls angrily", your mind kicks in and you see this dragon as you would wish it to look. It is your image, and it is how you identify it. Whereas if you see a picture of a dragon looking down on you... somehow, it just isn't the same.

The other thing is that in ASCII art, pictures don't look that exciting anyway. The only way to really see a picture is to squint, and even then it's like "Oh... A blurry, simple, liney drawing of a dragon. How lovely".

In short, ASCII art is good in very, very, VERY small amounts, but if overused ruins the personal touch that words can give.

Santa
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Old 09-06-2002, 12:11 PM   #8
Vesper
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Cool

As much as I love spiffy colors and a nice big ol pic at the "entrance" to a mud, I more or less strongly dislike ASCII art anywhere else in the game.

There is a mud I saw it in once, with ASCII almost everywhere you looked.

For example, I looked at this painting of a moon rising over a field of bloodstained evergreens or something. The description was absolutely beautiful. Very well written and got my imagination joggin.

Than there was an ASCII picture of it underneath.

That ruined it completely.

I'm not sure why people choose to use ASCII art. In a world where we depend on our imaginations, which I believe is a part of the strong drawing factor of muds, why try to incorporate "pictures" into it?

You can have the most beautifully done descriptions in the world. And than you have this very simplistic, tacky picture added, made of semi-colon's and commas...it just takes away from the wonderment of it all. If I'm picturing this vivid landscape and than see this "ASCII picture" of it, I'll never see the vivid landscape again...I'll see this...picture.
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Old 10-08-2002, 02:25 PM   #9
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Santrilla @ Sep. 05 2002,08:29 am)
It's like seeing the film of a book, after reading the book. When reading, your mind conjures images of the things you read about (for example, you might see Gandalf wearing different robes or with a shorter beard). Then you see the film, and suddenly all your mental images are forced out of your brain, replaced with someone else's interpretation of the book. It defeats the magic of it. I much prefer to look back at a story and remember how I saw the characters, than to see a director's interpretation of them.

It's the same with a MUD. When it says "The red dragon towers over you, little licks of flame escaping its nostrils as it growls angrily", your mind kicks in and you see this dragon as you would wish it to look. It is your image, and it is how you identify it. Whereas if you see a picture of a dragon looking down on you... somehow, it just isn't the same.
That pretty much sums up how I feel about the subject. The game I play is text, however the FE we use enables us to toggle actual pictures, not ASCII stuff, into a picture window if we so desire.  The picture is brought up by us LOOKing at <object, person>.  I have played this game for 6 years, and the pictures were only added a few years ago.  After downloading the artpaks, and checking just a few of them out, I decided they were not for me.     Some of the pics of our guildleaders and creatures were just so far off from my own vivid imagined pictures that I was disappointed. I think our imagination is very important to our ability to immerse fully into our worlds, and that our own pictorial renderings in our own minds eye is by far better than any effort even the best of artists can give us.

About the only exception to this would be the wonderful character (PC's) portraits.  But then, these are worked very closely on by the player of that character and the artist.  Therefore we are getting to 'see' how that character actually looks, by the one who would know best...  the player behind it.

Note:  I play Dragonrealms. (this note added for reference)
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Old 10-09-2002, 05:12 PM   #10
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Ansi art isn't that great.. In the old days it was nice for intro art or special bits like with Tradewars 2002 and the like. But as someone else said here, back then you only had the system font and every machine used the same one. Now the system font isn't even the one built into the video card and half of them are variable width. The other problem was colors. 16 colors is practically useless and using something like MXP to color each individual character is going a bit far.

Now the problem with the idea that you a reading something and it is up to you to envision it, is that sometimes a person may want or need you to see a very specific thing and you are not seeing the way they intended. So pictures can be useful, like for puzzles and the like where the designers needs to be certain you are seeing what they intended, but ansi can't really be used to do this. Also.. If you have never seen a picture of something... how do you have the slightest clue what to imagine it to look like? Simply, you don't unless they provide 2-3 paragraphs to do so. In a book you can do this. In a game you often don't have that option.

One of my own ideas, which sadly I haven't the skill to manage, is to go one step beyond MXPs picture display and provide the option for those that want it to have a client display an actually 3D image that is rendered based on the time of day, seasons and other mud events, not to create a graphical mud, but just to provide a way to show details that would take 50 pages to describe properly. The fact that you can't actually 'see' things does severely limit what you can and can't do in some cases and ANSI art did a poor job of that even back when you could be sure it displayed correctly.

On the other hand.. One problem with trying my idea is that OpenGL and DirectX don't support basic objects and their manipulation, so you can't just do sp{<0,0,0>,10 col red rfl 0.5}, you have to feed the bloody things triangles, meaning that something which should take 30 characters and about 11 bytes of memory actually requires you download a file that is at least 64 triangles * 3 sides * 2 bytes per side = 384 + 10 misc stuff to do the color, etc. for a total of 394 bytes in binary or about 10-20 times that size as text, just to make one blasted sphere (and then not even a real one), never mind what you end up with when you try to produce an actually picture...

Oh well.. Being able to do this without going full 3D environment (where you still get stuck with triangles) is probably just my holly grail and not anyone elses. lol
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:26 PM   #11
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Well..not going to say much because i dont want people to get totally ticked off but..IMO..No ascii art except on the MOTD. IF a builder has the time to make some ascii house and title the room "A house near the square" and that's it (yes..seen this in some MUDs) then they have the time to actually do a description of the outside of the house, the walkway up to the house, looktraps on maybe the door, the knocker, etc, instead of just making some house that when color is added, looks like what some 6yo did on a Lite-Bright. Cant think of how to describe say..a 11th century keep? Easy..with the net I bet you can find tons of pictures of keeps, castles, houses, old walkways. Heck..anyone that's been to europe and walked down the "old" part of town (like say...Neurmberg) can pretty much describe what a cobblestoned marketplace looks like. Still stumped? Try films. Look at what is going on behind the actor. "Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark" is a great example..look at the market place and describe it instead of making say..an ascii pict of a turkey leg and labeling it "The Market Place".
Now on the flip side...I DO enjoy seeing a MUD's homepage where people have submitted artwork about their character or maybe the realm. Not the ascii stuff..i mean the (more than likely) pen&ink, comissioned (maybe..maybe not) artwork of say..a half-elf with her hair in a ponytail and wearing something akin to a jackcoat worn by Imperial Guardsmen from WH40K..
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