How important are rooms poll
I want the grid to be as thematic and important to the setting as the room descriptions. Big. Small. It's important to me to have room objects as it is to have character objects.
I'll echo Theno's sentiments. Size of grid does not matter to me, so long as it is thematic and the rooms have reason to exist, and fit the setting.
I'm third on that vote.
I voted the medium grid with easily created temp rooms.
Although I am in accordance with the rest of the voices here. I think a grid is absolutely critical both in providing the setting and in setting the tone. Think of going to a stage production, yes you can absolutely put on a play with out sets, I have seen some excellent productions done that way but for the most parts sets improve the experience.
Temp rooms are also essential in my opinion, both because no matter how large the grid you will not be able to cover every scene location, and two it lessens the need for on -grid housing. My characters rarely have many scenes in their living places, however there are many times when there is info to be shared that public locations do not work well both for IC and sometimes OOC reasons, if temp rooms are not available I will get a place either apartment or small build to have that option with temp rooms that save me and build staff the effort.
I think, also, it might be good to give some examples of what 'big' and 'small' mean here.
The games I 'grew up on' typically had base grids consisting of hundredS of rooms. I'd call them large, and I doubt anyone would disagree.
It's where 'small' and 'medium' come in that gets tricky. I'm sure we could all agree that 'small' is a game with, say, 10 or fewer main grid rooms, but to me, a base grid of 20-30 grid rooms is still 'small' due to the style of grid I 'grew up on'. Meanwhile, that same 20-30 grid rooms may be monstrously enormous to someone else (and have heard as much).
I think, also, it might be good to give some examples of what 'big' and 'small' mean here.
I'd like to hear what people who voted them say they are, that way we could get a strong sense of what the hobby thinks when they hear these words.
@Thenomain It's also worth noting that I always think of 'grid rooms' as a sort of nexus point. There may be additional 'game owned' builds with a handful of rooms sprawling off of them, like a park with a few rooms, or a forest, a series of caves, etc. that I don't think of as 'grid rooms' in quite the same way, but a lot of people consider these 'grid rooms' and count them in their totals, too.
- Small: Under 20 main grid rooms, this can be divided over multiple zones/regions/areas.
- Medium: 21-60 or so main grid rooms, this can be divided over multiple zones/regions/areas.
- Large: ...more than that.
Edit: My 'sweet spot' for design is around 35 combined over multiple zones/areas.
I voted for medium with temprooms.
I come from games in the TF MU* circuit and superhero circuit with hundreds of rooms, which are large, BUT those are 'let's map the entire world plus cities' and sometimes multiple planets (mostly Earth and Cybertron). To me, small is up to 20; medium is 20-40 rooms, and anything larger is large.
My ideal is between 30-40. But I also am of the camp of building in concepts of districts or areas, rather than Fourth and Main and such things. Gives you a lot easier time of fitting X thing into the area, if you go 'okay, this area is the poor/low-income area; what goes here' and go from there.
I really think it depends on what your game setup is.
A game where you have open scenes, where I can wander around the city and stumble into a scene that happens to be in public? I feel like your grid should directly reflect the size of your playerbase. If you have only 10 players, you probably don't need hundreds of rooms. But if you have 200 active players, maaaaybe your grid should be large enough that you don't have 10 people in every single room on grid all the time. :)
Conversely, if you're on a game where every scene is closed/invite-only, I feel like you almost maybe don't need a traditional grid at all. You could do something like have a series of preset descs to pull from, a map to show where those locations are, and a temproom system where you can use those descs easily. (After all, otherwise you have the problem of "Joe and Kate are using the bar, but I wanted to hold a scene there" and you have to use a temproom anyway.)
I voted for medium with temp-rooms.
I think that the most important thing with a grid, however, is that all of the rooms have a purpose--and not just to get from Point A to Point B. There should be at least one solid roleplaying hook in each room, and the room should tell the players something about the area that it's in and the people who live there.
If, for instance, there is a dive bar on the street, and the dive bar's pool table is torn to hell, and the dartboard has deep punctures in it, and there are peanut shells all over the floor, catching on sticky spots, that tells you something about the neighborhood (it's not a high-class one), the bar (there is (probably) violence here rather frequently, and they don't care much for cleanliness), and the clientele (they're strong and/or not very coordinated). Who this group of strong, violent, uncouth people are might be an interesting RP hook for players on a macro sense (and in a micro-sense, they can comment about the crappy dartboard, or run their fingers along tears in the surface of the pool table, or complain about it ruining their shots, or their steps can crunch on peanut shells).
I do, however, like a grid that is relatively compact (20-30 rooms, in 3-4 areas) so that RP doesn't get spread out too far--on the other hand, I don't want all scenes to take place in the same 3 rooms.
It's fun to see how implicitly colored this is by the common MUSH game style dominating musoapbox . In the MUD world, 10 000 rooms could be heard as being a "large" or even "medium" grid. For a game featuring a lot of single player/group content and exploration the number of rooms is important, especially if you can claim those rooms to be of good quality (which is certainly not always the case). Below 100 rooms is generally a very small grid in a MUD. Obviously in most MUDs there is also no concept of temporary rooms or scenes, so their use is often quite fundamentally different.
Not saying there is an advantage to having 1000s of rooms (personally I prefer small grids also in a MUD setting so people actually have a chance to meet). It depends on the kind of game you want and enjoy. Just noting that it's interesting how different the expectation is between the different MU* communities and game styles. :)
I don't like large grids. I don't like memorizing routes from A to B and the process of going from A to B adds nothing to my fun; it's just... a chore. My immersion isn't helped in any way, no RP is generated (I'd not join a scene at random just because I walked by, at least without asking OOC, so +where achieves the same purpose but better).
All I'm asking from a grid is to have a few good 'public rooms' available so I don't need to come up with them each time - a few bars/taverns, a couple of meeting hall types, parks and gyms... then... that's it. I'm good with that. So about 30-50 rooms are more than enough for my purposes.
Temprooms are great, especially temprooms that live on grid so they feel connected to the rest of the universe rather than floating off the OOC room in the ether of things.
Mushes are more like Puzzle Pirates or URU; technically MMOs but not what most people think of when they talk about the genre. There are few "zones", and character ability does not unlock new areas, or at least no where at the rate that a game like Warcraft does.
Muds are the dungeon crawl that Lord Bishop turned into the MMO; conflict is programmed, automated, so a larger set of zones is critical. I can't speak for the RPI or cross-breeds where challenges come from mini games like crafting as much as mobs.
I wouldn't be surprised to find that the more the game relies on social interaction, codified or otherwise, the smaller the grid will be.
I have run games with a moderate to smaller player base with a hundred rooms, knowing that most of the rooms would barely be used, because it set the tone and pressed home the setting. This happened slowly, over time, by the players' need.
I think pushing the wrong sized grid on the players can easily backfire, and stresses the importance of an aware build staff.
I like large grids. I enjoy the ability for players to spread out across the map, I enjoy reading well-done descriptions of places that builders thought would be interesting to make public, and having a lot of established options for where to go sometimes helps me think of things that would be fun to RP. (Yes, with temprooms I have infinite options for where I can go, but that obliges me to pick one out of that infinite number, and I'm vulnerable to option paralysis.)
However. Large grids really, really, really need to have good navigation tools. If I need to go somewhere, then the game needs to be able to tell me how to get there from where I am in as few steps as possible. Ideally through something like RtA's +go that just takes me there, rather than telling me the fifty exits I need to take to get there.
I am of the opinion that the problem with large grids is not grid size per se, but rather, that large grids require more tools to take best advantage of them, and often don't get those tools.
This might sound weird, but I enjoy grids that have interesting built in hooks, which was kind of how Multiverse Crisis MUSH's last grid was (I haven't seen the new one, so I can't comment on it). There was always cool stuff to do with a particular room.
I also enjoy plot hooks being hidden in a room desc, which is something that Megaman MUSH does. A lot of people don't even catch that they -are- plot hooks, so it's a pretty interesting thing.
I think not catching the plothooks is endemic of not reading the room descs and treating the rooms as 'whatever you think it looks like that matches your need based on the name', rather than not realizing they're plot hooks.
@Bobotron Yeah but I think that's the point, that's what makes them hidden. Like, a lot of plot things in general, especially when I run plots, or even when I play characters, are based around player expectation. Understanding player expectation and doing things that kind of warp that perspective (and I don't mean lolrandomplottwist) is one way to make things a hell of a lot more interesting.
It not only plays to that expectation, but broadens it.