[MUD-Dev] Convincing Players to Read Documentation

Colin Coghill C.Coghill at auckland.ac.nz
Sun Oct 1 17:32:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Sunday, October 1, 2000, at 12:11 PM, Jon Morrow wrote:

> The question is, "How do we convince players to read the =
documentation?"=20
> Honestly, I don't know.  I make references to my help system several =
times=20
> throughout our guided tutorials in hopes of players following through =
them.=20
> But I don't feel this is sufficient.  Does anyone have other ideas?=20

I think players are out of the habit of reading documentation because
it is nearly always *terrible*.

Once you've been through ten or twenty MUDs with painful documentation,
you stop even bothering to try it.

I think the best way to encourage people to read docs is to:

1) Make it *good*. I've seen many MUDs that were proud of their
    cumbersome, inefficient, help systems. Documentation is almost
    never good. Get someone who does it for a living to look over it
    and make it useable.

2) Hide little things in the docs that give people an incentive to read =
it. Quest
     clues, suble ways of using commands that give a slight improvement, =
etc.

I think the biggest problem, though, is that it's usually so bad people =
don't
bother.

For example, one MUD I was on had pages and pages of game history, in =
depth looks are certain areas of the world. A convincing story line, and =
so on.  But it couldn't tell
me the syntax on the "give" command.=20

- Colin Coghill=



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