Wednesday, 28 May 2008 reading list 2

A few more..

It occurs to me that the links are not as neatly sorted by timestamp as I wished. Google groups seems to sort the posts by date of last post, at best. And then there's the odd thread where some of the later posts are before the original post which started a thread. Better than nothing, but unfortunate.

1995-04-05: Commercialization of MUD - part 2

This is continued discussion from an initial post about the future of online games. Unfortunately, the initial post seems to be missing from the Google groups archive. RMT is suggested and dismissed, although mention is made of it already happening in some game called Kingdom of Drakkar.
1995-04-06: Commercial MUD Feedback
More discussion of RMT in commercial MUDs. Also a reference to the monthly revenue of a MUD called Jurassic Park in Korea, which supposedly earned $60K USD per month.
1995-07-30: Paradigms for Modeling Physical Space
Relating to a 3D world as a basis for MUD development. Other possibilities come up along the way.
What is the Mud State of the Art?
Something I have always wondered myself. Starts off promising with an array of interesting features listed, but gets derailed into covering various details which aren't really that hard.
Do you use auth/identd?
The idea of being able to get the username of a player, on the machine they logged in from, was quite nice. We logged it on my MUD and found it very useful in dealing with problematic players. However, it was only as useful as long as people logged in from sites they didn't own or have administrative access to.
VRML mudding
Some discussion of the practicality and utility of using VRML to make a graphical MUD. We exposed a VRML representation of our MUD, via our embedded web server, back in the day. Given an agreement on the benefits of text as a game representation, based on the idea that it allowed more free use of the imagination, we dismissed using VRML for play. The consensus in this thread is that it was impractical anyway (required functionality was lacking and bandwidth needs). When we experimented with VRML, it was on the wane. It was a few years after this.
What would *you* pay for an excellent mud?
An attempt at polling the interest in what people would be willing to pay to play a graphical MUD. Goes on to cover what people think of advertising.
Do you think Quake/Doom/etc will end mudding as we know it?
Starts off as one of the atypical valueless topics, that graphical games (i.e. Doom/Quake) will cause the death of their text counterparts. Doesn't ever veer from it. Included just for the sake of completeness.
1996-08-08: shifting economies
Addressing shifting from a npc based economy to a player-driven one. Polls those who have made the shift, with one poster of relevance piping up mentioning Dartmud.
1996-08-11: Rethinking Rooms
More discussion of alternatives to the room-based spatial model. Mentions the problem of viewing one room from another..
1996-08-29: The Future of Muds?
A short but positive thread covering text versus graphical MUDs. Mentions the integration of graphical aids into text MUDs.
1996-09-01: Letting Coders have Players
Should coders be allowed to play the game? The possibility of cheating, the effect of that on the player base. The advantage of being able to see what the players are really doing and hear what they talk about.
1996-07-15: Skill based systems / Rethinking Rooms
This thread veers from skill-based systems to rethinking rooms and back again.

Ways to stop players gaming 'learn through use' skill systems. Lore/in-game knowledge of a character.
Limitations of the room-based model. Grid-based approaches. Technical details of grid-based implementations. Generated room descriptions. Ways to handle exits.
1996-08-19: Realistic MUDs: Mob behavior
Starts with giving NPCs a life, engaging in activities for a reason. Then devolves from this into discussion of existing limited approximations which aren't anywhere near as hard to implement. Wanders into introduction systems. Rumour systems. Adding continuity by doing away with resets.
Developing a graphical MUD in Java / java and dynamic reloading
Some back and forwards about the practicalities of code reloading in Java at the time. Comparisons with LPC, within which this is easy. Class reloading is the main thing that my code reloading module allows for in Python.
Current position: 8th August, 1996.

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