Alternative Formats to MU



  • Yeah I rp from work using a webclient frequently and keep track of that tab by pulling it out and keeping it separate from the ten billion legal research tabs I have open plus Spotify. I feel like managing their own attention spans is up to players. Devs can only do so much y'all.


  • Pitcrew

    I mean, I would expect that if someone truly started designing an entirely web-based MU* experience, that it would involve visual or audio notifications for things like new poses. Activity notifications are the real reason I pay attention to my client, not that it's in a separate window as my web browser. I too don't want to have the less immediate RP experience as PBP or whatevs, but there's no real reason why a web-based experience has to be that and can't have a similar notification setup as a client. Or an even more precise one, really. Imagine different sorts of notifications for different sorts of activity: one for posing, one for chat, etc.


  • Coder

    A window is a window. When you start factoring in multi-tasking (aka Fragmented Attention Span) on players, layered atop RL... I just feel that more is less.

    Wikis are nice for a reference, a go-to place for Bios, logs and updates, and especially Theme information, Setting, etc. I think that all of that should be in-game to accommodate those that do a single pane of glass experience, too, however.



  • @rook See, and I don't really see a difference between having 3-4 tabs or windows up and having 3-4 (or more) spawn windows up in the client itself. And frankly, I couldn't MUSH if I could have spawn windows. That's too damn much clutter in my RP screen, I lose poses when there's channels, pages, OOC chatter, and RP all on a single window. I have to separate it out to begin with.


  • Coder

    @miss-demeanor said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    See, and I don't really see a difference between having 3-4 tabs or windows up and having 3-4 (or more) spawn windows up in the client itself.

    Yep ditto.

    @auspice said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    And in reading these ideas, I feel like I'm being asked to go back to that, just with some shiny new toys slapped on top.

    I tried Storium and I hated it because the pace was excruciatingly slow. But my opinion is that's a culture issue, not a technology issue.

    Just look at this thread here. How many posts have there been in 1 day? We have lively back-and-forth conversations all the time. I see the same thing with discord and slack conversations. It's not the app that controls the conversation, it's the people.

    IMHO you could translate that to a MUSH environment by just expecting that scenes would be resolved in 1-3 days.

    To me, the key to that is maintaining the MUs IC:RL time ratio. RP rooms and temproom scenes already enable you to have a scene spanning 2 weeks, but it sucks because by the time you finish it - events have already moved on. The time ratio keeps the pressure on to resolve things in a timely fashion, and that would be just as true on a web-based game.

    And yeah, scenes taking 3 days instead of 1 evening would change some things. There will probably be a decrease in BarRP, but I'm okay with that. Combat scenes might be more summarized in 2-3 rounds instead of 10, but I'm okay with that too.

    I think that having fewer yet more focused scenes is not a bad thing, especially when coupled with the increased flexibility that you no longer have to set aside a block of 4 hours to RP, you no longer have to turn up for event scenes at a pre-arranged time, and you no longer have to stay up to 2am to RP with your friends in another timezone. So yes, I think that in the end this will enable better stories.

    But, as stated, I recognize that I'm in the minority here. Which is why Ares is still played primarily via telnet, even if it offends my sense of progress and innovation.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday

    See, I think it'd cause more BarRP, not less. And likely less if not cancel out combat altogether. Who wants to engage in combat when it might be days before you get an answer to a question from your ST before you can take your action?


  • Coder

    @auspice said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    See, I think it'd cause more BarRP, not less. And likely less if not cancel out combat altogether. Who wants to engage in combat when it might be days before you get an answer to a question from your ST before you can take your action?

    If the expectation is that a scene will be completed in 1-3 days, then a storyteller taking 2 days to respond to a question is breaking the social contract, just like a storyteller in the current MUSH form who took 2 hours to respond in the middle of a combat scene. Not every request would need to be answered immediately, but urgent ones about a scene in progress? That should get priority.

    I mean, come on - how many times a day do people check their email, or facebook, or heck - this forum? This is not a revolutionary idea. Lots of people are on from work. They can't devote their entire attention to a traditional MUSH scene, but I'm willing to bet that a fair number of them could handle tossing out a pose an hour when they had a free moment. Add that up over a day or three, and you've got yourself a scene where previously there would've been none.



  • @faraday said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    They can't devote their entire attention to a traditional MUSH scene, but I'm willing to bet that a fair number of them could handle tossing out a pose an hour when they had a free moment. Add that up over a day or three, and you've got yourself a scene where previously there would've been none.

    Given that scenario I'd probably choose to have no scene. There's just no way that a scene staged over the course of several days would be able to hold my interest. The pace is just too slow, I'd end up getting distracted by something else and forgetting all about it. This is why I never bothered with PBEM games or forum RP.


  • Pitcrew

    There's no actual reason why a web-based RP game couldn't have the same pacing as a telnet-based one.


  • Coder

    I started my online RPG life on a dial-up BBS. I don’t mind multi tasking to fill in the time, but I could either RP on web forums or IRC, and I picked IRC every time. I prefer the back and forth of collaborative writing when I’m getting feedback within minutes, not hours, not days.

    I think there is a place for play by post. I think it exists well, and has a lot of tools and ideas, but I see Mushes as online LARPs, and as such I’d like to see the tools more geared for improv than writing circles.

    This is a wholely personal comment, but it seemed notable here.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    but I'm willing to bet that a fair number of them could handle tossing out a pose an hour when they had a free moment. Add that up over a day or three, and you've got yourself a scene where previously there would've been none.

    I think it really comes down to wanting different things out of the hobby, for me I would say that scene your describe would be better than no scene at all. At that pace I would much rather ditch the RP aspect and just reach an OOC understanding of what happened IC during the scene and go from there.
    To me the main enjoyment derived from RP in any form is in the moment of RP which is why I have never been a logger, it doesn't suit my purposes. So while I have nothing against people experimenting with new forms, if asked I can honestly say it holds not interest to me.
    Much like the best video game in the world would not be played by me unless on a Playstation because I have zero interest in training my brain to use another controller set up and the PS controller layout is trough a decade of use imprinted itself on my brain and while each new version has small changes those don't disrupt the pattern


  • Coder

    In the mid 80's, all there was, was table top, and dial up BBS's. The 'internet' was a 'thing' but not /the/ thing it is now.

    I had to wait sometimes days between 'poses' sometimes and you know what?

    It sucked.

    Bad.

    If I had to wait hours between poses I'd fuck right the hell off because that's literally two poses before I have to go to work.

    I don't have time to sit and wait 30 minutes between poses anymore, let alone hours.

    Then again, the idea of having discord and voice chat necessary for RP on a game with a bunch of strangers? No.

    It's weird enough on Roll20, and that is more like a virtual table top.


  • Coder

    @roz said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    There's no actual reason why a web-based RP game couldn't have the same pacing as a telnet-based one.

    I've made that argument many times before, but the counter-argument is always "but people will view it more like play-by-forum and pose differently". Which may or may no be true, but I still think that's a people problem not a technology problem.

    @lithium said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    If I had to wait hours between poses I'd fuck right the hell off because that's literally two poses before I have to go to work.

    Everyone has different things they want out of RP. What sucks for one person is literally the only way someone else would get any RP at all. All the posts here are just kinda illustrating my point about "the majority of MUSHers vehemently don't want something like this".



  • I am absolutely for a 'spread out over a few RL days' play-by-post style scene. I've tried to do wiki tool things to allow for this once in a while. I don't think it'd ever replace anything fast-paced or through a proper web interface, but for folks casually popping in from somewhere and adding something to a slow-moving, ongoing log every so often is a nice option to have available for the people who would or do enjoy engaging with the game in this way.


  • Coder

    @faraday said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    Everyone has different things they want out of RP. What sucks for one person is literally the only way someone else would get any RP at all. All the posts here are just kinda illustrating my point about "the majority of MUSHers vehemently don't want something like this".

    We are an infamously bad polling source; three people out of...how many people on Soapbox?...say that they wouldn't like it. The vocal minority has only one thing on their side: they're vocal.

    Make your system. See where it sticks. Reiterate. Sometimes you have to try something illogical before seeing where the limits of too-much and too-little are. I don't even think that the concept is bad, but it's not for some people.

    I bet if I went over to GitHub or SourceForge and looked for unused ideas, even if I weeded out the impressive and good ones I would be swamped with them.

    What's hard to attain is popularity, the critical mass to get an idea into the mainstream. This is why I only code for myself these days. I have coded so many things that have not caught on that I would be frustrated as hell if I let myself. I guess people don't want a well-designed and complete approval system. Well screw 'em. I'm going to install it where I am, because I think it's fantastic. And if people don't use it? Well, I don't do this hobby expecting praise.

    Well, not much praise.

    Just a little.


  • Coder

    @thenomain said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    We are an infamously bad polling source; three people out of...how many people on Soapbox?...say that they wouldn't like it.

    I'm not talking about three people. I'm referring to the feedback I've gotten from players on several games, the poll I did here, comments on the Ares forum, the prevalent vocal hatred of games with wikis across many threads here, and reactions to Ares' web stuff.

    Seriously. I've done my research. It's not just a handful of dinosaurs saying "I don't like this because it's new", it's a prevailing sentiment. It's all well and good to say "If you build it they will come", but the reality is that we're a community where many people boycott games because of the channel commands. Radically changing the way the game is played - without popular support - is courting disaster IMHO.


  • Coder

    @faraday said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    It's all well and good to say "If you build it they will come"

    I said nothing like this. Not even close. I said quite the opposite, thank you. I even used open source projects as evidence that good does not mean successful, and I almost posted a bunch about how bad could still mean successful.

    Not sure where you're getting this.


  • Coder

    @thenomain said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    Not sure where you're getting this.

    @thenomain said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    Make your system. See where it sticks. Reiterate. Sometimes you have to try something illogical before seeing where the limits of too-much and too-little are. I don't even think that the concept is bad, but it's not for some people.

    ^^^ That's where I'm getting that. Sometimes, no, you don't have to try something illogical to see where it will work. Sometimes user research tells you something is a bad idea. That's the whole point of the field of user research.


  • Coder

    @faraday said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    @thenomain said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    Not sure where you're getting this.

    @thenomain said in Alternative Formats to MU:

    Make your system. See where it sticks. Reiterate. Sometimes you have to try something illogical before seeing where the limits of too-much and too-little are. I don't even think that the concept is bad, but it's not for some people.

    ^^^ That's where I'm getting that. Sometimes, no, you don't have to try something illogical to see where it will work. Sometimes user research tells you something is a bad idea. That's the whole point of the field of user research.

    I feel that we're arguing semantics here. Or rather, I feel like I'm saying that you can just do something because you want to and see what happens, and being told I'm wrong.

    So I'm wrong. I'm also out.


  • Coder

    @faraday All evidence to the contrary given that RFK's web interface was widely popular even in its half finished stage.

    I feel like we always bring up this web interface discussion and some people always say 'No one will ever do that,' but the evidence is that people will in fact be perfectly happy using a web interface when a good one is available.