Transmission 028 is in the feed!
You can find it on the Zune Marketplace, iTunes, or you can direct download it from the toolbar to the right.

Note: In an effort to spend less time doing show notes, I've been doing less and less timestamps with regards to the content. With that in mind, here's the easy-to-make show notes.

Muds and Nostalgia

minutes - content
--- Star Trek
--- Sarlacc Enforcer class
--- A lot of effort for April Fools
--- Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM)
--- Muds
----Mud = MMO?
----Smaller communities in Muds
----Learning about online games from Muds
----Virtual Worlds vs Online RPGs (Sandbox vs Themepark)
----Suzina and Kal nerd-out about experience making Muds.
----Everquest, Asheron's Call and the history of MMOs
Duration - 126 minutes


Fabian said...

As there seems to be some confusion about community being the third element...

According to Damion Schubert, community is the third element next to the two apparently opposing design aspects of realism (sandbox) and game(theme park).
His argument, as far as I understand it, is that you need to balance both the game and the realism aspect against the community aspect. (Note that his argument has nothing to do with the "pillars" theory).
A game can successfully implement both sandbox and theme park aspects (and probably lean sometimes more in one, sometimes more in the other direction) as long as the player feels they have purpose within the community, i.e. that the different elements give him a sense of community and make him feel that he is interacting meaningfully with the community.

Suzina said...

Ah that makes sense. The whole pillars thing we've heard so long mixed me up when I heard "third element".

Kalvod Ku'arad said...

I gotta admit this letter got me extremely exciting, just about the notion of merging design elements from an open world & theme park model game. It's going to be real interesting seeing in the future updates on how swtor will come out.

He did mention he is striving to attain a middle ground. He's definitely got a large job cut out for him.

Ajay said...

Loved the April Fool's Joke too. The interview was a nice touch, with some amazing comments from Damion and Daniel.

I'm glad you guys mentioned MUDs! Not many people have commented about them. Here's what I wrote from another website about MUDs.

MUDs were one of my first experiences of online games. Back in 1995, with an avg/below avg computer and 56k, I couldn't really play online games like Jedi Knight without immense amounts of lag. I discovered MUDs one day and started playing them (was in elementary school at this time >_>). Played a few fantasy-based ones and a few Star Wars ones. The one thing about MUDs that I truly enjoyed was exploration and puzzles. Exploration in MUDs consisted of actually reading descriptions of rooms, noting references to certain objects, examining items, and eventually stumbling upon secret areas. With exploring new areas comes the risk of not knowing what is in those areas. There were quite a few memorable times where I would solve a puzzle on some wall and then enter a room with one of the most dangerous mobs in the game. In one of the MUDs I played, one could earn exploration points by reaching a certain point in an area or getting past a puzzle. In addition to exploration, MUDs had some fun events which really didn't take a lot of effort to implement. Starting an Easter egg hunt or an invasion of high level mobs in a city were just a few examples of some of the events.

Now that I've experienced 3D games quite a bit and have a decent computer, I think it would be hard to return to MUDs; however, I'm glad that people like Damion at Bioware still remember where MMOs truly started, and I believe there can be a few positive aspects such as exploration to take out of MUDs and place into TOR.

As far as the perma-death stuff you guys experienced with MUDs, I didn't really play MUDs that actually had that, guess I was lucky. In most of my MUDs, I started off with a group of school buddies or got them into it once I started so I could help them start. Eventually, I'd be the last one playing still :p Sometimes, I would stick around, other times I'd move onto something else. I also built a little bit for MUDs. Like Suzina, I'd lay out my areas on graphing paper first, then I'd write descriptions in Word, and finally put it all together in the world editor. Most of the MUDs I worked for never really got that far, but I was planning on making a Mos Eisley area.

I consider MUDs to be the first MMOs. You are able to interact with more than just a handful of people in a world environment. Compared to MMOs today, it isn't really as "massive" but I think MUDs started the MMO genre.

I'm hoping TOR will find the middle group between sandbox and themepark. We already know the themepark aspects, such as the extensive stories for each quest. The sandbox elements like housing/player cities and crafting are rather complex systems. I feel all we'll get in the next few months is perhaps a dev blog about these systems, but nothing concrete.

Good podcast! Really enjoyed the MUD discussion. MUDs have a special place in my gaming heart.

Suzina said...

Oh yeah the live events were awesome on Muds. Even days like easter, christmas, ect... I would log into my mud and play at some point in the day. Those days, I always made sure to have some special items on hand for events. On easter, I'd load a bunch of eggs filled with gold and hide them throughout the world.

Other times, it wouldn't be anything special, but I'd just play as a simple low-level NPC and roleplay with players. Ahhh... good times.

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