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Old 12-16-2004, 03:49 PM   #1
tehScarecrow
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So I've finally gotten good enough at programming to code almost anything I want into my mud, only to find that I can't decide on what I want. I want something original, that has never been done before that people will love of course. As I work with various ideas this question came up for me, does a mu* have to be a roleplaying game? How many of you have made or played text-based games that arguably were not an rpg? The only ones I can think of would be that total war game where you build a base etc. Very cool, very interesting but not really an rpg I would think. The iron realms games also have a very complex fighting system, though in achaea if not the others roleplay is pretty dead, perhaps due to the amount of focus on pvp and pk rules.

I don't mean to insult either of these games, I consider them both to be perhaps the most innovative mu's I have ever seen. I'm sure other people have thoughts on this and I'm curious to hear them I'm sure text based games can do more than roleplaying.
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Old 12-16-2004, 03:57 PM   #2
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Text environments already do a lot more than roleplaying - although I think you're off target in saying that Iron Realms' games, or even Assault: High-Tech War, don't have RPG aspects. They do - you're playing a role of some kind, regardless of whether there's lots of posing/player interaction.

That said: There are several MU*s I know of that focus almost entirely on being social gathering spots and educational facilities. M*U*S*H, for example, serves a primary purpose of drawing folks who are interested in learning PennMUSH code. And Online Gaming Resource is a big social hub for people recruiting for their games and learning code, too. I've seen a few other programming-oriented MU*s out there too.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:54 PM   #3
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Maybe a strategy game like Wizard Wars.

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I want something original, that has never been done before that people will love of course.
Don't we all!
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:43 PM   #4
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Right, high tech war, my bad. Wizard wars reminds me a bit of those browser-based strategy war games, anyone remember what those are called? I think one was "Utopia" or something along those lines while the high-tech version was Earth 2025 (24? =). I've always wondered how a mud connected to a game like that would work, it is probably an idea worth playing with.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:06 PM   #5
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Virtually every game can be considered a role-playing game. The definition of role-playing is playing the role of another character, such as in theatre. A role-playing genre is a very hard line to define in text-based games because most involve you playing a role of some kind. I have seen quite a few games that do not make you play a specific role character-wise. Sure, you can have a character, but that is not the main focus of the game. I've seen plenty of text-based games that allow you to manage a kingdom and resources, etc., etc. These may not be text-based in a sense that all commands are issued in text, as a matter of fact, most commands in these types of games can be issued by buttons on the window. However, there are not graphics and descriptions of things and reports and other info is displayed in a text window. So, in a sense, the text-based type gameplay can be limitless in its bounds. Of course, what you need is to imagine something that can be done in a text environment and still be enjoyable. And unfortunately, most of that has already been done.
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Old 12-17-2004, 05:47 AM   #6
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As I work with various ideas this question came up for me, does a mu* have to be a roleplaying game? How many of you have made or played text-based games that arguably were not an rpg?
I think it really depends on how you define "roleplaying".  I certainly don't recall ever playing a mud in which I had to create an online version of myself (although that would certainly be interesting), so from that perspective I'd say that every mud I've played has involved at least some form of roleplaying.

However if you mean muds in which you are specifically expected (or even forced) to remain in-character, I'd say that only a minority of muds really fall into that category.

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Wizard wars reminds me a bit of those browser-based strategy war games, anyone remember what those are called? I think one was "Utopia" or something along those lines while the high-tech version was Earth 2025 (24? =). I've always wondered how a mud connected to a game like that would work, it is probably an idea worth playing with.
One of those browser-based strategy games provided part of the inspiration for the Gladiator Pits codebase I entered into the 16K mud competition.  However the real difficulty with such a pure-PK game is retaining a regular playerbase - if there's nothing else to do, and not enough other players to interact with, there's nothing to keep people online.  And if they don't stay online, the next player to come along will run into the exact same issue.  It's not so bad with a browser-based game because each person doesn't have to be on at the same time - but with a mud you typically need to hang around until another player connects.

However I suppose you could extend the mud so that you log on to configure your stats, items and combat options, and the battles are then automated (with battle reports posted on the website or available in the mud).  I'm sure some people would complain about not being able to control their character manually during the fight, but it works well enough for web-based games - maybe it'd work for a mud as well.

Perhaps you even could get around peoples dislike of "lack of control" by portraying it in such a way that they themselves don't appear to be the ones fighting.  Maybe the players represent kings in the mud, while the battles take place between their armies - or maybe they are gang leaders, and gang fights take place between random gang members in different parts of their territory.  Or perhaps the gameplay is focused in PK between various futuristic races - one player might be a human commander, ordering his ships to patrol certain locations, or squads to defend certain objectives, while the other might be an aliens-style hive queen, ordering drones around to perform the same sort of tasks.

You'd probably end up with something more like a mud version of the web-based strategy games, but I still think it could be fun (and fairly original for a mud) if handled properly.  Ideally you should also add extra activities for players to do while online, rather than limiting them to just configuring their troops.  It could even work well as a subgame (godlike players commanding their mortal worshippers around?  Hmm....)
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:00 PM   #7
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The main difference between an RP game and a non-RP game is the type of players you attract. Non-RP play being all about points and advancement brings out people who are very focused in that sort of direction.

RP people are more likely to group togther and simply live the game.

What I am now working on is going to be an environment that brings together a number of different types of RP play into a single game. Part of that game will be Colonies which between the huge animal population and visiting intelligent hostiles, can easily be one long running battle.

I guess I will always see RP styles as the ultimate form of any game. Sure it is always a blast to hop in my stand-alone jet fighter and mix it up, but when I do it as part of a team of other humans it is much more intense. When I do it as a Team but playing some sort of 'part' in a StoryLine, it gets as fun as I think I can stand.

RP is not just anyother set of Actions you must take, or more Rules to learn, or even hard to do. It is the mechanism of Escape from this World with all it trials and troubles to enter a World where you have a whole lot of control over what happens to you. A new place where you can win something everyday but it is not the winning that matters, it is how you play the game.


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Old 10-29-2005, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (tehScarecrow @ Dec. 16 2004,16:49)
I don't mean to insult either of these games, I consider them both to be perhaps the most innovative mu's I have ever seen. I'm sure other people have thoughts on this and I'm curious to hear them I'm sure text based games can do more than roleplaying.
Keep in mind that MUDs != text-based. The interface has minimal (though not zero) impact on what is possible in the world, and a mainly graphical world (never seen a completely graphical MUD) is not really fundamentally different from a mainly text MUD (I've only seen a few pure text MUDs. Virtually all have some graphics).

MUD is a generic term and doesn't imply any particular type of interface or gameplay at all. You could have MUD where you're not even controlling an avatar and thus not roleplaying in any sense of the word. You could have a MUD where all potential speaking options are pre-scripted and so there's no easy free-form communication (such as Disney's ToonTown). You could have a MUD where people must roleplay or be deleted. You could have a MUD that exists to model new ideas in architecture and see how user traffic patterns flow through them.

MUD possibilities are literally endless and bounded by nothing but your imagination for the most part.

--matt
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:08 PM   #9
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(I've only seen a few pure text MUDs. Virtually all have some graphics)
Interesting, since I've been involved in the development of significantly more than "a few" MUDs with no ASCII-art allowed, and no other way I could think of to implement graphics.

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MUD is a generic term and doesn't imply any particular type of interface or gameplay at all.
That's because the community has been rewriting it for years, bringing in more and more different things until the point where for all intents and purposes, basically any online activity involving multiple people is a "MUD".



For the rest of the post, I'm going to assume he means something along with the more traditional definition - mayhaps text augmented with graphics, maybe pure text, etc.

Also, I'd like to remind everyone he asked about muds that were not "RPGs", not RP muds. Character advancement and/or the assuming of a character in a deep manner are the things he wants to avoid (I think).

Under that assumption, yes, there are certainly non-RP muds. For one, there are MUDs that exist for an educational purpose - whether teaching kids to code or helping people write or for random Tinysex.

Further, depending on your definition of an RPG, the economic sims (Federation and so forth) may or may not qualify. It may also depend on how deeply they involve a character aspect - some of them seem to be more stock sims, I guess.

Also, as someone mentioned earlier, Assault:HTW is definitely loaded with RPG aspects, but in the same way that Infantry (2 AM or 3 AM or something like that, it... dates back a while, I think) had RPG aspects. If you really want to sever the RPG-ness, just reset it periodically, so it feels more like a short strategy game. Or, you can simply remove the character as a defining element, and leave him with armies and what not - ala Utopia or Earth or Civ.

You also have the option of doing something involving PK without character advancement. I'm thinking along the lines of... Genocide, was it? Game resets every so often, everyone runs around and grabs the biggest, baddest gun they can find, and starts shooting.

So, yeah, there are a lot of options for you, even within the... "conservative"? "traditional"? text interface. I, for one, would suggest thinking really outside the box, though...

How about a system for communal essay composition, without the communication? Oooh.

Group data exploration with text filters? Oooh.

Teaching little kids _insert_subject_here_ in an awesome, meaningful way and inspiring them for the rest of their lives? Oooh.

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