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Old 03-20-2010, 02:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Name: Sarah
Location: Tempe, AZ
Home MUD: Ethos
Posts: 71
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Arrow Looking for information on use of game docs...

I want to do a little research and I'd like the help of willing participants in the MUD administrative community.

Basically, I am looking to talk to a few open people about whether or not they used any form of game design documentation prior to starting to build their game, and how those decisions affected their overall development. I would like to find examples of all sorts of scenarios -- successes AND failures, from those who had meticulously drawn-out plans to those who just winged it from scratch and from those who started out with MUD-in-a-box.

Other topics I may delve into include what sort of documentation was used (generic game design, story design, technical bibles for code, functional docs, etc) and to what extent was it laid out before development started.

Basically, use this thread to leave your tale of how documentation and pre-production game planning affected (or didn't affect) you. Did it play a role in administrative politics and staff hiring? Was it useful? How far did you take it? Was your MUD successful or a failure, and if so, -why-? Any sort of information you may want to throw in would be helpful.

I'll be using the bulk of this information in compiling statistics.

If you are open to later contact, please say so at the top of the reply. I'd like to get as many interviews or surveys done as I can to get a real feel for the community.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
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Re: Looking for information on use of game docs...

I spent several months discussing ideas and putting together a design document with two friends. We had very different preferences though, and ended up compromising so much that the project lost direction. We all lost interest in it, and discussions ground to a halt.

I then put together a new design, this time based on my own preferences. We spent another 11 months bouncing ideas around before we had enough design that we felt ready to start - even then we might have just carried on debating, but one of the newer team members gave us a proverbial kick and coding began.

The main design document was just a simple text file, although it was split into clear sections covering different aspects of the game to varying degrees. We also had various other documents containing rough notes, the emails where we bounced ideas around, and a prototype of the combat system (a tiny pure-PK mud) to test its viability before beginning the real mud.

The mud has long since outgrown the original design, as some things didn't work as well as expected, or better approaches were discovered during playtesting. I keep a record of all the progress reports, and it's quite interesting to see how the design has evolved over time: God Wars II - Progress reports 2002
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