Optional Realities & Project Redshift


  • Pitcrew

    Hey everyone,

    I'd like to announce the opening of Optional Realities, a design blog and community supporting roleplay-focused games.. We are committed to the following:

    • We will publish regular articles every week, not only written by our own team of experienced MUD Designers, but the staff of prominent roleplaying games like Sindome, Evolution of Esos, Shadows of Isildur, Armageddon, Haven: Mists and Shadow, and others.

    • We will moderate a community forum as a place for leaders in our genre to discuss roleplaying, writing, design, and upcoming events for their games.

    • We will do everything that we can to help support designers looking to create their own games in our genre.

    • We will host monthly contests with cash prizes, ranging from storytelling competitions, to game design proposals, to submission of quality roleplaying logs.

    The Optional Realities team is also committed to our work with the Evennia engine, which we are using to create a new engine and sci-fi roleplay-centric MUD which has a sub-forum and an article out revealing our combat design.

    Please join us at Optional Realities, in our effort to strengthen our 20+ year old community and build towards an ever-better future for text-based RPGs.

    Jeshin
    Founder of Optional Realities
    optionalrealities.com/
    optionalrealities.com/forums/


    (Edit by Thenomain: Links now successfully lead to the sites.)


  • Pitcrew

    PS - Kudos to Kushiel's Debut. I was checking our their google search presence and found this forum through them.


  • Tutorialist

    Is Project Redshift your Evennia thing? Because really 'Project Redshift' is what grabbed my attention on this thread.


  • Pitcrew

    Project Redshift is the Evennia Project yes. It is a scifi MUD that will be released in 2016/2017 and is currently in development. The game will be an exploration based game with warpships traveling out from a Generational vessel (Seedship) to find planets both habitable and resource rich and possibly alien species. Built on the Evennia engine which means we're using a strong foundation but everything else will be original code so we don't have legacy issues that a lot of games (especially MUD games) have.

    This is an article on combat design in text-based games and specifically a reveal of Project Redshift's combat systems.
    http://optionalrealities.com/designing-immersive-combat-systems/

    This is the sub-forum for Project Redshift on the OR community boards
    http://optionalrealities.com/forums/index.php?board=1.0


  • Pitcrew

    Orpheus the Head Staffer over at Burning Post II writes an editorial on player-killing and whether to restrict or not restrict.

    Read the Article Here!



  • Idly, on the topic of MUDs. I've played all sorts of MUs, from no-RP levelling grindfest nonsense that's basically just a chatroom (years ago, in the beginning), to RPIs like Shadows of Isildur, to Firan, to WoD MUs, a handful of comic MUs, various anime-themed things (some Naruto MU and the SRT game), etc, etc.

    For me, MUDs never really seemed to mature. The staff of MUDs always seem to be stuck in a bygone era where there's a curtain between what they're doing and what players need to know, where they're the kings of their world and god be damned if they're going to care what players they aren't buddy buddy with think. Any clique-esque problems or staff 'problems' I've encountered on MUSHes (ignoring the atrocity of Firan, anyways, which was almost more MUD than MUSH/MUX, anyways, especially in terms of its culture), I've encountered 10x worse on RP MUDs, and I can only suspect it's because they lack the openness that MUSHes tend to have. Things like OOC global channels, an ooc bboard, the page command, logs posted, awareness of who staffers play and what factions they're involved in, etc.


  • Pitcrew

    As someone who is more on the MUD side of things than MUSHes, I can tell you that a lot of MUD players & staff view MUSHes are drama villages. I used to believe this too but in reality I think it's just a common problem amongst text-based games in general when you have particularly abrasive players or staff.

    It's basically the situation of "those guys over there suck and we're the coolest" which crops up in our genre which is why text-based gaming is so splintered and why I created OR. It's different strokes for different folks but at the end of the day most people are playing MU*s as a way to experience story or de-stress or because that is their preferred gaming choice. Some might enjoy MUDs, some MUX, or some MUSH, or whatever other text-based option with MU in front of it is out there.

    EDIT - It is worth noting I actually like this forum a lot. Slick look, active community, and even though it's more MUSH centric you guys haven't shunned this advertisement or my opinions elsewhere. I think it's just as good as OR at being a place for text-based game lovers to come together and share ideas and games.



  • I didn't really mean to go off on a hate rant about MUDs, which it seems I did, so I apologize. Most recently (been a while now, admittedly), I really enjoyed my time on ParallelRPI, which is the same codebase as SoI. More, I think RP MUDs would greatly benefit from a weakening of the 'Everything is IC 100% of the time' super barrier which seems to be ever present and obscures a lot of stuff. But, that may very well just be a personal taste thing and MUSHes have spoiled me.


  • Coder

    Oh that's okay. We know that MUDs are full of minmaxers and griefers who roll-play instead of role-playing.

    Wait. I think I'm talking about WoD Mushes.

    Uh, let me get back to you on this.


  • Pitcrew

    Ah you played ParallelRPI? You are aware that it was the codebase of AtonementRPI and a mirror setting of that game after it closed?

    Crayon - Stewarded the closing of ParallelRPI
    Jaunt - Owner of AtonementRPI
    Apollo - Coder on AtonementRPI

    are actually the devs on project Redshift under me and the community leads on Optional Realities. I don't think PRPI was the best example of a successful RPI which could explain your opinion towards it. I also think there is a difference between 100% IC all the time while within the gameworld and a level of openness and communication that occurs on the games forums.

    I mean having minimal distractions from immersive gameplay is just like not using a cellphone in a movie theater. It makes sense and most of the time it's a good thing. Until you get an emergency phonecall right?



  • @Jeshin said:

    EDIT - It is worth noting I actually like this forum a lot. Slick look, active community, and even though it's more MUSH centric you guys haven't shunned this advertisement or my opinions elsewhere. I think it's just as good as OR at being a place for text-based game lovers to come together and share ideas and games.

    More communication between different kinds of text-based RP games is all for the good, and I was glad to see your site pop up even though my interest in MUDs is low (I don't dislike them, I started out on them, they just generally cater to a playerbase with different goals for fun than the goals I have for my pretendy funtime). I'd be similarly interested in what's going on in forum/journal RP, even though it's not something I do much anymore. I've always held that text-based RP as a thing, divorced from any code base or platform, is a good deal more popular than the narrow niches of it assume. I swear there are kids RPing on Tumblr who have no idea anyone was RPing on the Internet before they were born, and so just invented their own (kind of broken and not literate-friendly) way of doing it.


  • Pitcrew

    I agree wholly. The next article that I'm doing (as in I am the author) will be about text-based gaming as a genre and how it's set to compete with video games like never before.



  • @Jeshin said:

    You are aware that it was the codebase of AtonementRPI and a mirror setting of that game after it closed?

    I am. Actually, the only reason I ever wound up on PRPI was because a MU* friend dragged me there. She'd played Atonement, and had pretty much all good things to say about it. She tried to drag me to Haven too, but I never managed to get my teeth into it.

    We poked at SoI when it rebooted a year ago or so, too. I doubt I made any friends among staff either place, because I got rather annoyed at some IC-affecting staff decisions that were made based on OOC reasoning, and the fact that OOC frustration about those decisions just got waved off with shouts of "handle it IC" if not outright ignored.

    I did however, really like the codebase. It was very unique compared to anything else I'd seen. To be honest, it kind of reminded me of Firan, what with the amazeballs crafting system and what not.


  • Pitcrew

    That's understandable. I think the biggest thing holding back the text-based gaming genre is normally unprofessional staffing. Not that the SOI staff are unprofessional or particularly guilty compared to other games. I just mean in general players expect a certain amount of consideration and impartiality and if they feel that it's not being provided things tend to go downhill very quickly.

    Based on that ReachMUX thread I asked a question in, I can see that MUXs also have this concern.

    Also yes I am aware that staff are 99.99% of the time volunteers and that it affects their ability to be impartial and professional, but it doesn't change my opinion that often time games fail not because of their setting, roleplay, or underlying game systems, but because of their staff.


  • Admin

    @Jeshin said:

    That's understandable. I think the biggest thing holding back the text-based gaming genre is normally unprofessional staffing.

    The way I look at it is that staff on a MU* are the rough equivalent of Storyteller + host for a table-top game. Would you tolerate a rude Storyteller or a smelly house if the campaign itself was good? If the other players at the table were fun?

    Those aren't rhetorical questions either. Many players on MU* tolerate staff because of a number of factors - often as simple ones as disliking change, or having already invested time in their current character.

    Now take that, and apply it to a new player. No investment, no attachments. If they spot abrasiveness, they're gone.


  • Tutorialist

    @Jeshin said:

    Project Redshift is the Evennia Project yes. It is a scifi MUD that will be released in 2016/2017 and is currently in development. The game will be an exploration based game with warpships traveling out from a Generational vessel (Seedship) to find planets both habitable and resource rich and possibly alien species.

    I love you for naming it "Project Redshift", but my cold dead heart refuses to suspend her disbelief that space travel is possible in anyone's lifetime. : (

    That aside, I'd be really interested in learning what sort of science and pseudoscience you're putting into the theme of it. (I've dipped my toes into AstroPhysics this college term and find it incredibly interesting, but am nowhere near an expert in it).


  • Pitcrew

    I'm about to lay down for a brief nap but I'll give a quick rundown. I need the nap because we're reviewing our game pitch submissions today to prep for the results tomorrow. We got 9-10 submissions (can't remember off the top of my head) so it's pretty exciting.

    1. The alien races will be proper alien races. I have someone who we call Science Guy. He and I consult heavily about scientific theory which we then put up against storytelling needs. Don't expect Star Trek or even Star Wars alien races were the majority are humanoids. For example one of my personal favorite races is a silicon-based lifeform.

    2. Planets will be as realistic as we can make them without interfering with gameplay and story. As Project Redshift is a story and a game ahead of a science simulator there are some things we have to accept. That being said 99% of the worlds will not be habitable by humans thus exploration will be a very engaging and tense experience.

    If you've ever seen the movie Europa Report, that is something which I consider to be a good example of tense space exploration. If you haven't seen it, it is on netflix streaming and I believe it is a quality scifi space movie.

    1. Seedship and Warpships will be as realistic as possible. This includes stuff like habitation rings, rotation for gravity, alucbierre drives, semi-realistic interiors, and so on so forth. We really want to provide the freedom to explore and adventure in space but we want it to -feel- like space. So we're trying to get the tiny details accurate.

    2. Technology will be semi-realistic. An example of this is that personal size forcefields (which are technically superheated plasma) wouldn't be possible. It'd either kill the user or prevent them from being able to shoot at someone else and a bunch of other things. So for combat design we instead turned to an existing technology which exists today such as regenerative armor. Basically the armor is designed with these capsules of material which are broken when the armor is damaged and then an electrical current causes it to basically re-seal the armor and excess material is re-capsulated.

    3. Yes I am aware of what Redshift is and that is the reason the game is called Project Redshift while being about space exploration.



  • @Jeshin You remind me that I would love to see or take part in a game of Eclipse Phase someday.


  • Pitcrew

    http://eclipsephase.com/

    You should also check out the Warhammer 40k setting released by FantasyFlightGames. The Dark Heresy 2.0 and Rogue Traders are especially fun to toy with in my opinion. I need to ask Hex if she wants to play this eclipse phase game, it looks interesting. Also love d100 percentile systems. Percentile for life baby.



  • Speaking of Eclipse Phase, I'd totally offer to staff on there. I'm trying to work on SPACE for one, slowly but surely.


  • Pitcrew

    Is there an eclipse phase game I'm missing? When I read the website it looks like an RPG tabletop book series or do you mean staff on Project Redshift?


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