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Messages - drakkos

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Discworld Discussion / Re: Error with class vs class
« on: May 11, 2012, 10:56:46 am »
Mappingp() should work, as should mapp () - what happens if you try it in an exec, such as:

exec mapping map = ([ ]);  return mappingp (map);


Discworld Discussion / Re: Error with class vs class
« on: May 09, 2012, 01:50:48 am »
It's a disambiguation problem - a class comes out of the function, but it's not sure which one.  Try:

result = (class obj_match) match_objects_in_environments(thing, caster);


General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: May 04, 2012, 01:38:54 am »
Interest in resurrecting Imaginary Realities has been strong.  Those who contacted me have been putting their thoughts and such forward at  our forums (, and one of the working group has summarised a number of these discussions on the wiki (

We're going to be scoping out the plans for the rebirth for another couple of weeks - if people are interested and want to get involved, there's still time.


General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: April 25, 2012, 06:38:46 am »
As an update, interest has been really encouraging, albeit very much slanted towards MUDs (three or four people from a mainly IF background, but nine or ten from a mudding background).  Hopefully that's a balance that could be evened out with a good, inclusive first edition.  But these are people who have mailed me with strong support and, importantly, willingness to help turn a vague idea into a sustainable reality. 

I'm definitely going to take the project forward, and will be putting up proper discussion boards and a wiki very soon - primarily for the little 'working group' that has been accumulating, but there will be plenty of scope for anyone who's interested to chip in with what they'd like to see and, ideally, what they'd like to *do*.   

I agree with you Quix that IR was one of the best things the community ever managed to do - it has been away far too long. 


General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: April 22, 2012, 03:20:19 pm »
You need an Epitaph account first, but there's no age restriction or anything on commenting.  Just log on, create a little person, and comment


General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: April 22, 2012, 12:24:22 pm »
Are you saying I have your sword?  :-D

At the moment all I'm doing is getting a feel for how many people could or would be interested.  That'll rapidly be followed up given enough interested parties with a proper route to collaborate - at the moment I've only dipped my toe into the various MUD sites, but already it's looking pretty promising.  If there's enough interest in the other related realms, I think we have a ballgame.  I'm going to put some feelers out in other text game communities (if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be delighted to hear them[1]), and I suspect we'll move towards forums/wikis/whatever in the next week or so if everything works out. 


[1] I'd say do the signal boosting yourself if you feel like it, but outside of the various MUD sites I think the message will have to be recrafted so that it doesn't seem like it's a case of 'yeah, we're about muds but I guess you guys could play too'.

General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: April 22, 2012, 11:33:33 am »
I've checked it out a few times, but it's tremendously low traffic - the last post seems to have been four months ago.  I check it out every month or so, but usually find there's nothing new to justify moving it out of a 'very occasionally' rotation.  Similarly, I don't contribute to it myself because it's just one more forum I'd need to keep track of, just like the forums for zmud or mushclient, or that new one hosted on that star wars MUD, or any of the five or six other marginal site.  The cost to keep track outstrips the benefit of doing so.

General / Re: Resurrecting Imaginary Realities
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:16:14 am »
OMG necro

Anyway, I don't usually post my own blog links around except to my facebook/G+ pages, but this one touches on the topic of Imaginary Realities - last time I got discouraged by the relative lack of feedback along the lines of 'I'd be interested in contributing', but I think now is the time to revisit the topic once more with a broader, more inclusive scope.  I've got some expressions of interest already, and I'm putting together a sustainable working group that will collaborate on scoping out the project.

Anyway, - if anyone is interested, I'd appreciate you dropping me a line on the address in the post.  And if you know people who might be interested, if you could pass the link on I'd appreciate it.


General / Re: VM to Demo LPC Muds
« on: February 22, 2012, 06:13:09 pm »
This seems like a great project - I see nothing has happened to it for a while, but how about we try to get it moving?

Drivers / Re: FuzzOS
« on: January 23, 2012, 05:01:52 pm »
That was probably me that you heard asking about it.  Sorry to hear that it wasn't going to work out, but it's great you gave it a go.  Thanks for the update!


Design Lab / Re: Help Files
« on: January 21, 2012, 05:00:40 pm »
I agree entirely on the problem with making decisions early - one of the things most likely to drive me away from a new MUD is being forced to choose some mystical thing over some other mystical thing in the hopes that I won't eventually have to restart because of it.  I think it's relatively easy though to let people defer significant decisions until later (much as how on Discworld you don't choose your guild until you're good and ready) provided you have the will to do so.

Thanks for the link - I will mull over its contents.  :-D


Design Lab / Help Files
« on: January 21, 2012, 11:34:34 am »

Having a good help system is, I think, almost mandatory in creating a good first impression in a MUD.  Ideally a good help system will let you refer to help files by several names ('help shout' and 'help yell' should take you to the same helpfile, for example, unless they are separate commands), as well as give you a list of related reading if there's any there.

So, here's my question - if you were a newbie, on a brand new MUD, what helpfiles would you be looking for first and what would you be expecting to find in them?

For example, my first command on a brand new MUD might be 'help newbie' and I would expect to get a helpfile that outlined how to move, how to talk, how to fight, and so forth. 

What would be your first five or so attempts to get useful helpfiles?


General / Re: Starting a mud: worthwhile or not?
« on: October 09, 2011, 06:03:15 am »
On the topic of achievement systems, I wrote this today for my MUD blog:

General / Re: Starting a mud: worthwhile or not?
« on: September 27, 2011, 10:29:58 am »
As a data point on how worthwhile an achievement system can be, when I added such a system to Discworld there was a very noticeable jump in player numbers (of around 40 players or so in peak time).  Suddenly we started seeing people who hadn't turned up in ages, and some of them even stayed around once they'd gotten the taste for it again.  We even broke 200 players online at once, which is something that hadn't been done since 2004ish. 

On Discworld it was successful because it gave people who had 'left' a new reason to log on again, but I think Quix and Kaylus are right that new players will largely expect systems like this from the get-go, along with the other accouterments they're familiar with from other gaming contexts.


General / Re: Starting a mud: worthwhile or not?
« on: September 26, 2011, 12:15:37 pm »
It depends entirely on what you want out of the experience.

Most MUDs are going to end up as a 'ship in a bottle'.  They're a thing you pick at in your spare time, and after a few years you realise that you're never going to open for players.  There's nothing wrong with that - some people build elaborate model railways in their basement, others construct imaginary virtual worlds.  It's a perfectly valid way to spend your time, provided that the experience of building the world is enough for you.

If at the end of it you want players, it becomes a little trickier.  Text games have always been a hard sell, and they're a harder sell now than they've ever been.   I don't believe it's futile, but I think you need to be realistic.  Have a look at mudstats - the numbers are somewhat sobering.  Of 739 MUDs registered, less than 200 have a 30-day average of more than 10 players.   Well over that number have no players at all.   You can get players, even nowadays, but the question is - how many players are enough for you?   Realistically, you need to be thinking in terms of tens of players rather than the hundreds that the 'big MUDs' can draw in.  Is that enough?

It's not all doom and gloom though.  The pool of mudders is diminishing every year, but that doesn't mean that new ones aren't out there.  Back in the heyday of MUDs, you didn't have things like almost ubiquitous social networking on which to piggy back.  I don't believe that there is viability in mudding when everyone is still recruiting via the same MUD sites.  I think the only way a new MUD will be viable nowadays is if they can crack the puzzle of getting non-mudders to try it out and stick with it for long enough to appreciate the format.  Nobody has cracked that yet, but my belief is that it'll happen eventually.  Maybe text games will only appeal to one percent of one percent of game players, but that's actually a substantial market if you can get them to try it out long enough to become hooked.  :-P

As I say, nobody has cracked that puzzle yet, and if you feel that you *need* players for your investment of time to have been worth it, there are other ways to build games in this day and age that can achieve market viability without the extra baggage associated with text gaming.  I think you need to want to build a *MUD* for it to be worth your time, not just want to build a game.  I also think that the MUD that does crack the puzzle isn't going to be a mud as purists define it.  Personally though, I wouldn't have started Epitaph if I didn't believe that I could build a player-base around it.


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