MUD games

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MUD games

Postby kaos78414 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:41 pm

MUDs; anyone around here play them? What is your general opinion of MUDs? Do you think that bringing one into a next-gen, browser based environment would be a draw to the genre? I see games like Achaea doing very well with their browser clients - although I'm not sure what the backend is written in.
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Re: MUD games

Postby Sim » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:56 pm

kaos78414 wrote:MUDs; anyone around here play them? What is your general opinion of MUDs? Do you think that bringing one into a next-gen, browser based environment would be a draw to the genre? I see games like Achaea doing very well with their browser clients - although I'm not sure what the backend is written in.



Maybe more then an all text based MuD.
Something like this: http://www.realmsofkaos.net/screenshots.php I think may work fairly good in a browser.
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Re: MUD games

Postby hallsofvallhalla » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:09 pm

Muds are great. It is amazing how many people still play them. Some muds out there still have 200k - 300k players.
I have a few unfinished ones :)
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Re: MUD games

Postby Jackolantern » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:14 pm

Sim wrote:Maybe more then an all text based MuD.
Something like this: http://www.realmsofkaos.net/screenshots.php I think may work fairly good in a browser.


THIS.

Traditional MUDs are on the downswing, and I really can't see devoting the time to create one. Most new MUDs opening today will be lucky to draw in 10 concurrent users at peak times.

However, things like Socket.io and SignalR allow web developers to really bridge the gap between a real-time text-based MUD and a PBBG. They allow devs to bring MUD-like elements into PBBGs, such as real-time chat, PvE, PvP, etc. PBBGs still seem to be on the upswing, with some games having active userbases in the thousands or even hundreds of thousands. If you take what is positive about MUDs (imagination, real-time gameplay, massive creativity due to low development costs, etc.) and merge it with what is positive about PBBGs (familiar web elements allowing for pick-up-and-play, graphical elements, more advanced GUI, etc.) you can really downplay the negatives of MUDs (confusing text-based commands, difficulty performing more visual-based tasks such as inventory management) and PBBGs (clunky page-load-centric model, etc.) to create something very powerful.
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Re: MUD games

Postby Sharlenwar » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:18 pm

See, I came into the computer realm after the the peak of the MUD's. I basically played on one MUD, that I can't even remember the name of, and jumped into your graphical online games like Meridian 59.

Unfortunately I was in a wave of people who decided to play graphical online games. I just didn't like the text based stuff to really latch on to it.
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Re: MUD games

Postby kaos78414 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:30 pm

Jackolantern wrote:-snip-.


This is sort of what I mean. Bringing the MUD style game into sort of a next-gen. The die hard MUD fans seem to be against these sort of changes - citing ease of access as one of the main reasons for sticking with old MUD clients and architecture.

What I want to have is the text-based commands for most things, with added GUI's for convenience. My limitation for games in general has always been in the art assets department - if I was a boss at pixel art I would be making a 2D mmorpg. But my standards are too high and my skills don't line up with those expectations. I figure making a MUD eases off of those requirements enough that I can focus on creative and fleshed out game features. I hope to have something to share at some point, but no promises haha
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Re: MUD games

Postby Jackolantern » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:04 pm

kaos78414 wrote: The die hard MUD fans seem to be against these sort of changes - citing ease of access as one of the main reasons for sticking with old MUD clients and architecture.


You could personally ask all 12 of them 8-)

Seriously though, the die-hard MUD fanbase that sticks to Telnet-based MUDs really isn't a consideration because there are approximately about 4,000 of them total from my calculations . Most of them are in either Iron Realms games or Aardwolf, with about 500 spread out across the rest (this doesn't include games like Tapestry, since those aren't MUD fans; that is something...else). Most new MUDs end up getting an amount of players online that can be counted on one hand, and that is if they can get any at all. New PBBGs on the other hand can get tens of thousands of players.

So basically, don't worry about what the hardcore MUD playerbase wants. They aren't going to be filling anyone's games. Go from the perspective of adding real-time MUD-style features to a PBBG, rather than the perspective of adding graphical features to a MUD, if that makes sense.
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Re: MUD games

Postby Sharlenwar » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:30 am

kaos78414 wrote:I hope to have something to share at some point, but no promises haha


Well, since you are developing one, I'd give it a try to play. :D
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Re: MUD games

Postby kaos78414 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:05 am

So Jack, would you be against having to enter any text commands at all? I'm sort of on the fence about that. I want to be able to enter text commands, but I want the UI to be smart enough to autocomplete for me in a lot of situations. And I want processes like inventory management to be handled through a GUI, since there is really no user-friendly way to approach something like that from a command-line style interface.

So, let's say movement could be reduced to something like this:
Code: Select all
[go | move | run | sprint | etc] <direction>

OR

<direction | direction abbreviation>


I think the key is making it all feel natural.The user should never enter a command and be confused that it doesn't do anything (lots of aliased commands).

On combat: Because combat is usually clunky in MUD games, I was thinking of automating that for the most part, allowing the user only to do things like change "stance" (just an idea at this point) or focus on a single enemy. Then the combat engine could handle a lot of what happens, presenting you with something of an interactive novel about your character. If your character is beginning to lose, you could choose to flee. Thoughts?
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Re: MUD games

Postby Jackolantern » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:59 pm

How about creating the UI around text entry, but make buttons and other GUI elements as shortcuts? For example, players could type in "go west" and hit enter to move west, or they could click on a "lit" west arrow in the GUI (which under the covers, would just enter "go west" and enter the command for them). Since you would need a text input element for chat anyway, it wouldn't take up any more of your interface to offer text along with GUI elements. But I definitely think you should have GUI elements to directly enter commands. Not knowing how to interact with the game and getting steadily more frustrated is the prime reason why players trying out MUDs quit fairly quickly (and they do...often).
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