The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?


  • Coder

    @sunny Uh, I didn't say that? Was there anywhere in my response where I put my foot down and was like: "ZOMG DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS!"? Seriously, why the snark? I gave my opinion about why I don't think it's an issue. That doesn't stop anybody else from discussing it or worrying about it.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?:

    @sunny Uh, I didn't say that? Was there anywhere in my response where I put my foot down and was like: "ZOMG DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS!"? Seriously, why the snark? I gave my opinion about why I don't think it's an issue. That doesn't stop anybody else from discussing it or worrying about it.

    She even used a data point of reference. Storium. It got a lot of attention at first (and is honestly why a shift to slower RP / web-based scares me for the future of MU*), looked really cool as a concept... I tried Storium and watched as every game I tried to join died because people would disappear and the games would just... die because you needed those people to continue and days, weeks would pass and... I never got to finish a single game. Hell, of the one I tried to start, one person even finished their character.

    But it's a good example as to why we're unlikely to see a huge flood of people. I mean, it's possible, but very unlikely. Especially with the incredibly high bars we have set in other ways.



  • I think over-populated games are a 'good' problem to have, if nothing else, and the possibility of such will hopefully be a nail in the coffin of 'THE HOBBY IS DYING OH WOE' posts. Maybe? Possibly? Please?


  • Coder

    To @Sparks and @Ashen-Shugar ::

    I still think that formatting for a web interface is harder than programming for a terminal interface, and not because I've been doing the latter far longer than the former.

    Moreover, it's easier to make the terminal interface to look clean and useful than the web interface.

    So I disagree on coding for web only vs. web plus terminal cutting the work in half. Removing a fourth or a third of the work, maybe.

    This post brought to you by the continued attempt to explain what I meant to Sparks, since I don't think I'd been doing a good job at it.



  • I see overpopulated games as a consequence of a lack of choices, but also people feeling a real risk in investing themselves into RP that doesn't have staying power. The more stable something appears, the more likely they will have a satisfying experience, and they don't feel like they are wasting their time.

    I think there's like 4 general categories of challenges.

    1. We have technical challenges, specifically in how difficult it is for anyone to initially create or maintain a game. If creating a game was as easy as a single right click and then running a setup wizard, of course we'd have an explosion of games. Right now the difficulty in creating a game is analogous to the difficulty in creating an entirely new platform. It's not like starting a new thread on a RP play by post forum. It's like creating an entirely new forum with code you made yourself.

    2. We have creative challenges. It's a creative, collaborative hobby, and usually the person creating it is putting in immense creative energy. If they burn out, the setting stagnates, or even if they don't create something other people find interesting. And sandboxes by and large just pass the creative buck downwards.

    3. We have administrative challenges. Specifically in arbitrating ooc disputes. Most people don't spend their fun recreation time because they enjoy working out personal issues between strangers who are ostensibly adults. And also doing it in a mature and balanced way that doesn't try to take advantage of the other people contributing, or make them a supporting cast to staff's main characters. Worse, the lack of transparency in the hobby tends to obscure other people's challenges, promote a feeling of entitlement due to how much someone feels they are doing while they can't see what everyone else is doing, and makes those with responsibility often feel justified in rewarding themselves.

    4. We have awareness challenges. How many active MUs are out there? Fuck if I know. Doubt anyone does. We're a niche hobby, I probably run the biggest non-sandbox, and I doubt even a majority of people involved in the hobby have heard of it. We have community sites that have listings of games, but those are deeply flawed. A lot don't update, or are endless lists of things that have been dead for years. There's hundreds of thousands of new, younger gen RPers, and I doubt more than a tenth of a percent have even heard of MUs existing. Not that some games could handle an influx, but it is a little messed up.


  • TV & Movies

    @faraday said in [The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?]

    It's completely attached. The sheets that you see on BSGU's web portal are pulled from the DB. When you edit your profile on the web, it updates the DB so those changes are reflected in the game too. The list of 'locations' you see is just a list of grid rooms. Having a tightly-integrated website/wiki and telnet game is what makes it cool.

    Well, what I meant re: the grid is that while it's pulling the locations/descs from the rooms it looks like it has its own method of including people in the location/scene (and isn't mirroring people's grid locations), allows you just to change the location on the fly, etc. So at least in some sense, it's a parallel way of RPing, right?

    I don't mean this as criticism I'm just getting a handle of what it does and how, and the location distinction is interesting because that's been one big thing separating MUs from a lot of other real-time chat based RP platforms.

    Then there are some more subtle impacts. Let's say that you allow people to log in on the web side and submit bbposts or post to scenes. Should that person be reflected on the 'Who' list or the scene's room in-game? How? Let's say you allow a GM combat management screen on the web. How does it know when someone has updated their action in-game? How does it alert the GM to that fact so they don't accidentally overwrite someone's changes with their own?

    This is what I was getting at above, I guess.

    Anyway, I dunno, both of the responses to me stressed how complicated it is, as if I was trivializing that, which I didn't mean to be. I simply meant to offer that as we have a couple of projects doing both so it seems silly for the peanut gallery to be arguing about only having one or the other.


  • Coder

    @bored Sorry, the trivializing comment wasn't directed at you personally. Just a generalized response to the theme of "just do both" I see every time this is discussed. Yes, we can do both (more or less). I believe it to be a short-term necessity, but long-term maybe not the best idea due to the weight of complexity it induces.

    As for scenes - Ares currently only shows completed scenes on the web page, to avoid the thorny issues we've both mentioned. It's my intention to allow folks to play both ways eventually, but I'm still working through all the details. For instance - you mentioned grid rooms vs. flexible locations. Well, the telnet version of the scene system already allows you to create a temproom for the scene and change its IC location on the fly. There's no reason that can't play nice with a web version too.



  • Just to throw in my cents on the client thing: I have used MUSHclient since 2001, I have tried GMUD, Potato, zMUD, web based clients for specific games, and I just cannot seem to get used to all the shinies of everything but MUSH and really I do nothing fancy which is part of the reason I Like MUSHclient, I dont have to know anything about the bells and whistles to just connect to a game. I gave up on both zMUD and Potato bc I had to go look up on Google how the f*** you even open a game world.

    Edit: maybe it was 2004? I dont remeber when it came out exactly but early 2000s


  • Coder

    For further discussion, my side of the internet was having this discussion back in 2003:

    http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78156.0

    TLDR: We need to change the way that data is sent since every codebase was written to depend on one line at a time output, but no one actually wants to do that.

    At least for this thread, it sounds like @Griatch and @faraday are trying to do that.


  • Pitcrew

    @roz said in The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?:

    But tl;dr: our platform absolutely is a barrier for new players who would totally embrace our playstyle, and the people who insist that telnet isn't part of the barrier are not correct.

    alt text



  • I honestly think that MU* s could offer something new to RPers who are looking for something lightweight, especially on tablets and phones. It doesn't need constant attention, it doesn't need a specific console or computer, and/or your internet access is limited or spotty, MU* s are great. Telnet seems to connect okay, but I've never tried to stretch it beyond 'connecting in to chat while cooking'.

    When it comes to systems, I come from the other side of the MU* coin, where combat systems and dice rolls really weren't a thing, really. It's only been in the past decade or so that my circle's kind of accepted the benefits of combat systems and the like, but every system we add onto that is largely based around 'if the system's results disagree with the fact that you got hit in the head by a hammer, RP the fact that you got hit by a hammer'.

    The new players I do see tend to come in due to a setting incorporating a theme or piece of media they like. The more complicated and rigid the system, the more overwhelmed a person may be, but that tends to be a thing even for MU* rpers in my neck of the woods. One thing Dream Chasers MU* did was have a test area that guests could access that had Digs (a system for helping GM dungeon situations).

    As for overpopulation, I think applications tend to help in MU*s I've been on, as long as new players understand it's less 'job interview' and more 'will your character be able to fit the theme and thrive on the grid'. If someone apps a loner who drinks their darke ale in the corner of the tavern without more hooks or attributes beyond that, staff's going to offer suggestions and send the app back. If there's an excess of a specific trait or type in characters that isn't meshing well with the theme, they may be added to the 'restricted' list.

    I used to think MUs were on their way out, but seeing more and more preferences for different and unique types of gaming that are free, not tied to a specific site that could change & make RPing impossible (ie Tumblr) and flexible for players (not talking code-wise, as that's another bag of worms), I'm beginning to wonder if there there's a lot of attractive qualities MUs can have, as long as we're aware of them.



  • @tanyuu said in The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?:

    I honestly think that MU* s could offer something new to RPers who are looking for something lightweight, especially on tablets and phones. It doesn't need constant attention, it doesn't need a specific console or computer, and/or your internet access is limited or spotty, MU* s are great. Telnet seems to connect okay, but I've never tried to stretch it beyond 'connecting in to chat while cooking'.

    I've always wondered how you'd go about making phone RP better, and I'm not sure I have an answer for it. I always find it torturous when I have to interact with a MU that way, and I never feel like it's the fault of the client (there are some perfectly fine ones out there). I just don't enjoy playing without a full keyboard. Maybe people who text more than I do have a different take on the experience, though.


  • Pitcrew

    @three-eyed-crow
    I have never tried to mush from a keyboard but just the simple act of texting makes me appreciate my full keyboard so much. I couldn't imagine trying to write a full paragraph on a phone.
    OOC chatting I could see doing but not full RP.


  • Pitcrew

    I don't know a line of code from a line of coke or potato from a potato, so a lot of the details of this thread might as well be in low earth orbit.

    I do know that I've been on chat games since '99 and tabletop since '95, and warnings of the death of the hobby have been ongoing for at least eighteen years now.

    Being welcoming to newbies is definitely important, both in terms of accessability and player culture. RPGs are a niche hobby, and occasionally (read: twice ever) get a pop culture presence as a fad. I love it, but I don't think it's ever going to be a big mainstream thing; at the same time, we can keep going for a while with the initiation thing. (I.e., friends getting friends into it.)


  • Pitcrew

    @three-eyed-crow it really depends on the client. I use MUDRammer for 95% of my MU time and it really isn't too painful once you accept that scrolling spam sucks big time. I limit scene size, avoid people that do novels for poses or expect them and in general it works out pretty good


  • Coder

    @tanyuu said in The Death Of Telnet: Is It Time To Face The Music?:

    I honestly think that MU* s could offer something new to RPers who are looking for something lightweight, especially on tablets and phones. It doesn't need constant attention, it doesn't need a specific console or computer, and/or your internet access is limited or spotty, MU* s are great. Telnet seems to connect okay, but I've never tried to stretch it beyond 'connecting in to chat while cooking'.

    This is another reason I think web access—specifically, web access designed natively for the web, not just a SimpleMU-esque client running in a browser—has a significant benefit. On an Ares game or an Evennia game with web-enabled bboards, I can read boards and emits and such from my phone or tablet easily, without having to log in. If I'm somewhere with spotty connectivity, engaging in a scene is all but impossible, but I can at least catch up on bboards and all.

    If I could actually engage in scenes readily from a pure-web interface like that, I might actually try RP'ing (from a tablet with a keyboard, at least) the next time I'm on an airplane headed somewhere. In-flight WiFi is terrible and I've often been disconnected from a stateful link like telnet, but something like Faraday's pure-web prototype with scenes played from on the web? That would work great while I'm on airline wifi. If the link hiccups, I still see the poses the next time I reload the page, etc.


 

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