MU and Data Organization



  • This is broad, and in constructive, both for a reason.

    1. What information do you expect to have readily available about a game when it opens to players? (This includes games opening for beta testers; basically: when the doors open and players may begin to arrive and create characters.)

    2. Where do you expect to have that information available: on the MU, on a wiki that can be browsed before accessing the MU directly, both?

    3. Do your expectations differ if the game is an original setting, theme, or system, from one based on an established property or system? If so, how?



    1. Setting, theme, and rules. I need to know what kind of game it is, where it's taking place, and what system it uses.

    2. All game information should be on the game itself. A wiki is a bonus.

    3. Original theme games have a larger onus to expand in depth on theme and setting since it can be assumed that no one knows anything about it.



  • Question 1

    • Setting (I fucking refuse to use the term "theme" as it is grotesquely misapplied in MU*dom!). I'd like enough detail that I can get oriented, but not so much that it's stifling to characters and actions. Even if it's from a published source (Game <spit> of Thrones, for example), novels aren't good reference materials for settings. Knuckle down and write something useful.
    • Rules, both social and game-play. If you're using established game rules, just name them (but be sure to also carefully state any exceptions and/or modifications). If you're using a home-brew, well, you now have to write rules that can be understood--get this--by people who aren't you. It's probably easier to go with established rules...
    • This is an important one that a lot of games miss: what characters are expected to do. So many games have rich, detailed settings and a bunch of people in the OOC room scared to set foot out because they have no idea what role player characters are supposed to have in the setting. Are they the big movers and shakers who forge the destiny of nations? Are they the small fry trying to eke out an existence in the cracks between powers interacting beyond their reach? Is the focus political? Combative? Looting and murdering? Some guidance for expected activity goes a long way toward making a comfortable game.

    Question 2

    I'm going to come down on an unpopular side, I suspect. MU* servers are UTTERLY FUCKING TERRIBLE for navigating complicated or lengthy information. If the only "news" entry is "our web site at address http://foo.bar/baz contains all game information we have" then I'd be absolutely ecstatic (presuming it's an actual web site and not just "news"-style files hastily wrapped in <html></html> headers).

    That being said, the advantages of web sites are lost if you don't make use of their advantages. Inline topical links (not links at the bottom where in news it would say "see also news foo, news bar, news baz") are vital. As is, unlike MU*-oriented information, not chunking the information at arbitrary levels. (That's what "paragraphs" are for, not entirely new pages.)

    Question 3

    Original settings need more information to make them accessible. Original game systems need, well, properly-written, complete, and coherent rules. Settings based on published works can assume a certain degree of familiarity. Rules based on published rules can assume that the user has access to the rulebooks.



  • Just popping in to add CLEAR CHARGEN DIRECTIONS. It will save you as staff, and your players, much sanity, if they aren't frustrated and confused while making a PC.



  • @BetterNow said in MU and Data Organization:

    Just popping in to add CLEAR CHARGEN DIRECTIONS. It will save you as staff, and your players, much sanity, if they aren't frustrated and confused while making a PC.

    I just wish they'd read the fucking directions.


  • Pitcrew

    @WTFE said in MU and Data Organization:

    Question 2

    I'm going to come down on an unpopular side, I suspect. MU* servers are UTTERLY FUCKING TERRIBLE for navigating complicated or lengthy information. If the only "news" entry is "our web site at address http://foo.bar/baz contains all game information we have" then I'd be absolutely ecstatic (presuming it's an actual web site and not just "news"-style files hastily wrapped in <html></html> headers).

    That being said, the advantages of web sites are lost if you don't make use of their advantages. Inline topical links (not links at the bottom where in news it would say "see also news foo, news bar, news baz") are vital. As is, unlike MU*-oriented information, not chunking the information at arbitrary levels. (That's what "paragraphs" are for, not entirely new pages.)

    I'm with you. Put that shit in a window where I can read it in multiple tabs and it doesn't scroll my game screen. My /preference/ for this is a good wiki, because I think a good wiki, configured right, takes a lot of stress off staff and lets helpful players be helpful. But even a good webpage will do.

    I'm actually kind of shocked that there are people who'd prefer to read things in their client still.


  • Politics

    @Tat said in MU and Data Organization:

    @WTFE said in MU and Data Organization:

    Question 2

    I'm going to come down on an unpopular side, I suspect. MU* servers are UTTERLY FUCKING TERRIBLE for navigating complicated or lengthy information. If the only "news" entry is "our web site at address http://foo.bar/baz contains all game information we have" then I'd be absolutely ecstatic (presuming it's an actual web site and not just "news"-style files hastily wrapped in <html></html> headers).

    That being said, the advantages of web sites are lost if you don't make use of their advantages. Inline topical links (not links at the bottom where in news it would say "see also news foo, news bar, news baz") are vital. As is, unlike MU*-oriented information, not chunking the information at arbitrary levels. (That's what "paragraphs" are for, not entirely new pages.)

    I'm actually kind of shocked that there are people who'd prefer to read things in their client still.

    I am downright fucking apalled and believe such people should be burned at the stake.

    I often overreact.

    THIS ISN'T ONE OF THOSE TIMES. >:/



  • Re: wiki vs. MUX: I'm of a mind that information should be accessible in/from both. It's important to have it on the wiki or website for people to be able to find out something about what the game's about before plunging in, to avoid wasting their time if it's just not something that appeals, which they could have found out with a quick glance over this or that basic primer.

    The identical information should also be available on the game for reference as needed or for the people who do prefer just to read all of that on the MUX itself if they're so inclined.

    It is a very good thing that files can be tugged from wiki to MUX these days through a variety of means, because this also means that information is consistent in both places at all times. (Consistent information wherever that information is going to appear is important.)



  • One thing I was doing, and will continue to pursue if I pick up a project again, was +game.

    'news' and '+help' and '+blahhelp/+jhelp/and all of those other abstract permutations of +help' were in one place with an annotated index under +game.

    It pulled the data from the wiki, so it all remained consistent, and it meant that the information all had to be on the wiki -- and from the wiki, it would be imported direct to the game.

    This was all broken down by namespace, and each category of information had a namespace. 'Theme' had one, 'Code' had one, 'Policy' had one, 'World' had one, 'System' had one, etc. +game would pull up that list of topics (which had a brief description of what information was there beside the name of the section).

    +game Code would thus pull up a list of code help files and information, much like the things often found in +help. +game World would pull up the index of information on the setting, +game Theme would pull up the index of game themes, and so on.

    To me, this was and is easier. Different? Yes. ('news' and '+help' gave a message to use +game instead to help folks acclimate.) No more need to wonder which ooc command was going to bring up the info you wanted to look up, it was all under one universal index, but was conveniently sorted by topic (so there was no crushing flood of everything in a pile where a policy was next to an XP spend command, and so on).

    I don't know if this idea is useful to anyone, but keeping all the OOC information people may need or want under the same reference command is, to me, common sense, and especially helpful to folks new to the hobby who aren't already familiar with the byzantine collection of news and +help and help and +shelp and +jhelp and +ohlookanotherhelp, etc. It makes the information easier to find, and, I feel, ultimately organizes it better in a way people can drill down on organizationally to find what they're looking for much faster. (I admittedly did not fuck with 'help' itself, since that would have meant copying all of that info over to the wiki, but odds are high I would have eventually because I'm just too damned OCD like that.)


  • Coder

    @surreality
    The issue you quickly run into with that kind of system, is that duplicate topics come up quickly.
    I have a similar system I am working on mainlining, that just ignores some of that heavily relies on Pueblo links for easier navigation. Navigation gets more difficult without that information - though a typed column could resolve that. But the UI design for that seems... well, not sure how I'd do that.

    (Graph Storage SQL enginge for duplication between say, wiki and MUSH, using the kind of graph-mapping we use to remember things)

    Mind that this is an administration view, but just like you, I'd love to see that in actual use.

    +entity/list Kingdom
    .======================[ Entity List for Type Kingdom ]======================.
    Outcasts                  The Eastal Free League    The Ezzo Empire          
    The Fourland Dukedom       The Holy Empire Westelande
    The Ninetails Dominion    
    '=================[ +entity Kingdom=<Item> | +entity/list ]=================='
    +entity Kingdom=The Eastal Free League
    .=========================[ The Eastal Free League ]=========================.
    A group of territories loosely aligned by treaties. Ruled by the nobility, Eastal ultimately places great value on freedom and democracy, but like any government, those in power wish to remain in power, and the nobility clings to its might indeed. Eastals primary Wave element is Wind, emphasizing its democratic spirit and dedication to the principles of freedom. Its Root Town is Fort Ouph, the Watchtower. Its color is Green.
    -------------[ Outgoing Entity Info for The Eastal Free League ]--------------
    -------------[ Incoming Entity Info for The Eastal Free League ]--------------
    ----------------[ The Eastal Free League is a subtopic of ^ ]-----------------
    Setting                  
    ----------------[ The Eastal Free League has as member(s) ^ ]-----------------
    Shirou                    Naotsugu                  Nyanta                   
    ----------------------[ The Eastal Free League owns ^ ]-----------------------
    Fort Ouph                 Ouph Port                 Akihabara                
    '==========================[ +entity/list Kingdom ]=========================='
    +entity City=Ouph Port
    .===============================[ Ouph Port ]================================.
    One of The Eastal Free League's port cities. It has a magical elevator that grants access to Fort Ouph.
    --------------------[ Outgoing Entity Info for Ouph Port ]--------------------
    -------------------------[ Ouph Port is owned by v ]--------------------------
    The Eastal Free League   
    --------------------[ Incoming Entity Info for Ouph Port ]--------------------
    '===========================[ +entity/list City ]============================'
    


  • @Mercutio There's definitely overlap and cross-referencing, but it wasn't set up quite like that, or at least the way I was working on it, it wasn't. If I ever pull one of the old cores up again, I'll c&p it over.


  • Coder

    @surreality The only problem with something like that is that you're basically stuck with the worst of both formats. The ideal way to chunk and display info on small plain-text terminal windows is very different than the ideal way to do so on a wiki. That's not to say you're wrong for doing so; I just don't think the pros outweigh the cons just to support those unwilling to open up a web browser. I haven't had a game with actual in game news files for over a decade. People do just fine.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in MU and Data Organization:

    I haven't had a game with actual in game news files for over a decade. People do just fine.

    In fact, I'd venture to say that most of them don't even notice.

    The last two games I built had code help on the game, but no theme stuff. Never once did anyone ask me about it.



  • @faraday There are some quick cheats to make it pretty on the MUX, and break it down into digestible chunks there that are invisible wiki-side. (It helps.) You basically tell the MUX to translate a certain style of page transclusion as 'continued in blah 2 (or 3, or 4, etc.)'; you have your blah 2 page on the wiki as well, but it just shows up as a seamless continuation of the text on your blah page, and you train your dpl indexes to ignore blah 2 and only list blah.

    There is definitely some initial setup involved there that's a pain in the rump, but once it's done, it's pretty, clean, and easily digestible for both formats thereafter, and super easy to set up the wiki-side files.


  • Coder

    @surreality I'm familiar
    with those sorts of tricks. I've used them before. I believe that's still not the ideal way to display the info in either format and also that it's wholly unnecessary since - as @Tat says - the majority of players don't even notice or care about the lack of in game info. But if it works for you and you're happy with it, doesn't matter what I think.


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