[MUD-Dev] travel times (commercial/graphical vs grassroots/text)

Fredfish {E. Harper} oxford_thames at on.aibn.com
Thu Oct 19 20:33:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Richard Tew wrote:

>> Kingdom of the Winds, Dragonrealms, and so on is at least, I'd
>> esimate, 75% of the mudding population.

> I am not going to argue the definition of mudding, but I don't
> consider that relevant.  Graphical muds are in a completely
> different area to my text based mud and I don't read mud as
> including them - not by choice, but subconsciously by what I
> understand as the definition of mud.

I don't really think the distinction between 'graphical muds' and
'text muds' which you are talking about has much to do with
graphics. Lest you think I am consuming mind-altering drugs, let me

  - Graphical muds are (as far as I know) exclusively commercial
  undertakings, with the explicit aim (at least among the people in
  charge) of making money. Text muds are (mostly) grassroots hobby
  efforts, with aims such as - as Jeremy Elson put it re writing
  Circlemud, 'adding to the coolness inherent in the universe, if only
  by a small amount'.

  - If you want to make money you need a lot of players. Like, a
  LOT. If you want to add to the universe's coolness, 30 players at a
  time is plenty.

  - Getting a lot of players requires you to cater to the whims of the
  masses.  Getting 30 players requires you to have something a few
  like-minded individuals can share and appreciate.

  - The masses are stupid.*


To make a succsesful graphical mud you must cater to the whims of the

Now, I'm not suggesting projects like EQ, UO, et al are crap. They
aren't, it's just that I feel, and I think most of the people on this
list will agree with me, that you compromise quality to some degree
when you make something designed to appeal to the masses. An example -
(at risk of drawing a meta-argument into this) - the first Star Wars
kicked ass. It wasn't supposed to be a mega-hit. By comparison, The
Phantom Menace was a tepid monstrosity of mega-CG and pup-cultural
kitch. (Meesa Jar-Jar Binks! Meesa help George Lucassa shovel money
into coffers!) Whether or not you feel SW1 was crap, you have to admit
it would have been a lot better without the cutesy elements. (I
remember someone saying 'It kicked ass! The only parts I didn't like
were the end and all the parts with Anakin.)

I guess my point is this: The differences apparent between graphical
muds and text muds are not so much due to pretty graphics vs. ANSI
colours, but due to the underlying factors which make pretty graphics
possible and those which make ANSI-art the best you can do.

* Please note: this argument and most of the ones above it are heavily
* simplified. I just left out the 4 pages of qualifiers for clarity's
* sake.

>> Fredfish <<

Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but
humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To
plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one
need only pick up a shovel.
			-Aldo Leopold

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