Gateway to MUX Entry


  • Pitcrew

    I received an email last night from someone who tried to start MUSHing recently. Apparently quite some time ago I had advertised RenoMUSH on Reddit.

    Anyway, I had forgotten that. I don't even have any presence at RenoMUSH any longer, but I was found and contacted by this person. And they had some things to point out about their experience.

    Let me state that none of this should be taken personally, and is not in any way a jab at the fine fiolks currently running Reno. I wanted to share this email because I thought it was telling on perhaps why we don't have new people.

    *Hello Sean,

    I'm writing this email to you to let you know i had stumbled upon your site off a reddit post and was interested to try it out a new medium for the game. I Found it extremely difficult to well navigate, create and play. The Wiki is very shallow on the technical aspect of how to connect, how to make your sheet and so on and so forth. I found another website Fallcost but not sure if the same commands work. With in the client i found the lack of well a New User tutorial lacking as well. I Spent about an hour trying to piece together a character not even sure how i can contact staff to help. Anyway i wrote this to you just to bring it your attention that as a new person to your site and to the MUX experince i was totally lost.

    p.s:I had to get this email of a thirdparty website (mudconnector?) so i hope i've reached out to the right person

    Have a wonderful and Long Weekend. *


  • Pitcrew

    As a hobby we are very closed off and borderline hostile to new folks.
    I try not to be this way and give newbies more slack then others, and for the most part I like to think I succeed.
    The technical issues would be the easiest to fix since I have seen mush plaything tutorials on some games if someone could compile one for a website, a lot of work true but would help.
    I think the bigger issue which the letter writer did not get to is that once you figure out the technical side we are still a hobby with a lot of basically anti social people, not even in a malicious way most of the time but in a I have my play group way. How to correct that is the harder question. I have no real answers to that but one.



  • Basic start. I'll prettify it once I get more time and more input.

    *Note to other games: feel free to yoink that and post it. Change it as you want/need. All I ask is that you add a little note at the bottom that says Pinball@Reno

    http://reno.mechanipus.com/wiki/NewtoMU


  • Pitcrew

    I wrote http://wiki.tinymux.org/index.php/Quickstart a long time ago. Not sure if it's current with TMC or anything these days.



  • I feel like "So you've never been on a MUSH before, here's how to pose and shit" rooms you could access off the Newbie area (not to mention on a game website) used to be a lot more common. Some games have them, but they don't seem to be considered vital anymore. It's not the only thing that makes MU*ing extremely newbie unfriendly, but it's definitely one of the things.



  • Not saying he doesn't have a point. And there are certainly ways to make things more newbie friendly. But.

    Call me elitist if you want but given the problems with punctuation, capitalization, grammar, syntax, the overuse of 'well', etc I'm not sure Mu*s need to be geared to 13 year olds.

    By all means, we should make things easier for people to learn how to use the game but I suspect he'd have problems anyway.


  • Pitcrew

    Like it or not, there's a lot of RP going on on other mediums that sometimes can and will adapt well to MU*s if you give them some guidance, but we've got a bit of a barrier to entry. The games I staff on don't have an actual room on the game with the very basics of commands that @Three-Eyed-Crow mentioned, but we have that on our wiki, which is more easy to navigate for MU newbies anyways. And we've got client guides for SimpleMU and Atlantis for folks who have never used these programs before.

    I think Tumblr RP confuses the hell out of most longtime MU RPers -- or at least me and most of my MU friends -- but it's where a lot of RP has gone and my games advertise there. And while the returns are not huge, we've gotten at least a few really cool people who just needed some guidance on the basics to get started and then were great.



  • Working on a glossary to contribute to this effort; whenever it's done anyone who wants it can grab the files from the wiki. (Reno will have a copy if they want one.)

    Are there any terms you can recall that confused you when you started? Any terms you know of that are different in the other mediums that might be good to list so we can point people toward the terminology used in MUX?


  • Pitcrew

    I wrote this thing forever ago, it's a writeup of all the basic commands and such. People can snag and c/p or w/e. It's not accurate for Rhost, but I believe it should be for both Mush and Mux.

    There are two kinds of code you'll generally need to worry about on a game. They are softcode and hardcode. Hardcode is the code that is the program itself, with certain commands already built in. They are generally the same across all games, with minor variances due to there being a few different hardcode packages. These commands can typically be identified by a lack of a prefix to start them (ie: say instead of +say), or by that prefix being @. Softcode is the code that changes from game to game, and is generally the code that was created for whatever game you are on. There are exceptions -- some pieces of softcode that are freely available and widely used -- but that's typical. Usually, these are all prefixed with a +.

    Help commands:

    +help -- accesses the index of softcode help files
    +help <topic> -- accesses a help file for a specific softcode command
    help -- access the index of hardocde help files
    help <topic> -- accesses a help file for a specific hardcode command

    Communication commands (I will use & for separating the commands and their aliases here):

    say & " -- Says something.
    input -- "Hello.
    You see -- You say, "Hello."
    The room sees -- Jobob says, "Hello."

    Pose & : -- poses something
    input -- :smiles.
    The room sees -- Jobob smiles.

    @emit & \\ -- emits something
    Input -- \\Over there, Joebob sits on a chair.
    The room sees -- Over there, Joebob sits on a chair.

    ooc or sometimes +ooc, depending on game (softcode that often masquerades as hardcode in how it's coded) -- says something OOC
    Input -- ooc Wow!
    The room sees -- <OOC> Joebob says "Wow!"
    (The output for this command varies, but that's the general gist.)

    Page sends a message directly to another player / other players, regardless of what room they're in on the game. There's a variety of ways to use it, and the command for such is 'page' -- 'p' also works. You also may use : in it like you do with a pose to get the same effect.

    p <name>=<message> -- standard page.
    p <name> <name> <name>=<message> -- standard page to multiple people.
    p <message> -- pages the last person(s) you paged.
    p <name or names>=:<message>.

    The output / what you see varies depending on whether you paged or paged a pose.

    Channels are kind of difficult for me to explain in depth, but the basics are easy. If you want to try and puzzle it through yourself, the help files are - 'help comsys', and then 'help comsys commands'. Hardcode. :)

    The basics are:
    @clist - pulls up all of the channels that are public that you can see. There are other hidden ones that will often be available to you, but you'd have to ask your staffer what they are.

    addcom <alias>=<Channelname>
    The channel name is case sensitive.
    addcom rum=Rumors

    This will add the alias for the channel and put you on the channel. That alias (rum) is what you type to talk on it -- rum La la la would then come across to everyone on the Rumors channel as:
    [Rumors] Joebob says "La la la."

    Then, to turn it on or off, it's
    rum on
    rum off

    Bboards! This is one of those softcode packages that's widely used on the bulk of the games out there. Tis a bulletin board; most games store lots of information there, and a great deal of conversation usually happens on them.

    +bbread <#>
    Lists all of the posts on board #. The # is the bboard number (on the left-ish) that you see when you hit +bbread by itself.

    +bbread <#>/<#>
    Reads a post. The first # should be the bboard number, the second should be the actual post number on that bboard.

    +bbread <#>/U
    Reads all unread posts on bboard #. Be prepared for spam.

    +bbpost <#>/<subject>
    This starts a bboard post on board# -- commands of how to write the text and actually post it will helpfully pop up when you do this.

    Mail. Like e-mail, only on the Mu*. >.>

    @mail -- checks to see if you have any.
    @mail/read <#> -- reads said message.

    @mail <name>=<subject> -- starts a mail message.
    -<text> -- adds text to mail message.
    @mail/send -- sends a message.

    Miscellaneous commands:

    +who & WHO
    Sees who's on. WHO (case sensitive) will show a listing of players, their time connected, their idle time, and their @doing, which is typically just some random comment, the maximum characters of which is not very big. +Who is the softcode version, and will generally show the player name and then some other field(s), depending on what the game prioritizes.

    @doing <blah>
    Sets your doing.

    +where
    Shows the location of all non-unfindable players. This is not on all games, but it is on a lot of games.



  • I've found that it's much easier to start new people out with @emit or the \ or \\ shortcuts. Say, pose, and semipose are useful for shortcuts later, but tend to be confusing for newbies, whereas @emit just outputs exactly what they type and can cover the functions of all three of the former.


  • Pitcrew

    One of the projects that I want to do when I have time, is to create a MUing tutorial webpage.

    It would start with why people would want to explore this type of RP and compare it to other versions that they might be interested in, along with a list of the types of people that tend to enjoy this hobby and why. From there it would move on to finding a game and making an initial connection. There would then be a section on basic MU commands that would cover important things like talking on channels, posing, paging, @mail, etc. There would then be a section on MU etiquette/conventions.

    Because, yes, we are a very hard hobby to start getting in to and I think that is what is keeping us from growing, even while RPing in general continues to be a popular pastime.


  • Pitcrew

    @ThatGuyThere said:

    As a hobby we are very closed off and borderline hostile to new folks.

    Borderline? Hehe. Watch what happens when I say,

    "I'd like to try to get folks who are into play-by-post forum games to try MUSHing,"

    (This is actually true.)

    I've got a How-To-MUSH wiki-page. It'd be nice to have some feedback on how to improve it. Anybody who wants to copy it, edit it, and use it for their own game is welcome to it.


  • Politics

    @il-volpe said:

    @ThatGuyThere said:

    As a hobby we are very closed off and borderline hostile to new folks.

    Borderline? Hehe. Watch what happens when I say,

    "I'd like to try to get folks who are into play-by-post forum games to try MUSHing,"

    I played on forum games. MSN Chats, IRC, forum, LiveJournal-with -AIM-adjacent... I even played on Ethereal Realms for a bit in their Exalted rooms. I met Holden Shearer there.

    Most of the difficulties with making the transition from forum to MU is that people who play on forums are used to a much slower pace.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said:

    Most of the difficulties with making the transition from forum to MU is that people who play on forums are used to a much slower pace.

    Slower as in pose speed or plot movement? Or both? Never did the forum rp thing, was recruited to mushing via college gaming club, so never tried much of the other online options.


  • Politics

    @ThatGuyThere said:

    @Coin said:

    Most of the difficulties with making the transition from forum to MU is that people who play on forums are used to a much slower pace.

    Slower as in pose speed or plot movement? Or both? Never did the forum rp thing, was recruited to mushing via college gaming club, so never tried much of the other online options.

    Well... slower in everything. Usually getting in 2-3 posts a day is pretty good. I mean, sure, there are people who play forum games like they're MUs or chat Rp, posting back and forth at light-speed, but it's definitely not the norm. On LJ games, a lot of the "fast" RP happened in comment threads for journal entries and they were exactly that: characters interacting via comments on a fictional journal (I can't stress how much fucking fun this can be). The ones I played almost always ended up having the actual RP stuff happening in AIM chat (later private MUs).

    Forum is just not conducive to real-time play. You post when you can at the pace dictated by the speed at which everyone posts, really, which is usually quick enough for something you're only gonna check in on twice or thrice a day, but compared to a scene on a MU, it's glacial.

    It does lend itself to longer poses, even though I was usually a jerk and Hemingwayed the shit out of it.


  • Admin

    I haven't done non-real time roleplaying in ages but a problem I recall was some people either simply outpaced the rest by posting way more often or they were held back by having to observe a post order enough to be frustrated.

    It's different, for sure. Handling stuff like combat should be an interesting experience, too.


  • Politics

    @Arkandel said:

    I haven't done non-real time roleplaying in ages but a problem I recall was some people either simply outpaced the rest by posting way more often or they were held back by having to observe a post order enough to be frustrated.

    This is actually pretty much exactly the same as MUing, just on a different scale.

    It's different, for sure. Handling stuff like combat should be an interesting experience, too.

    Combat via forum RP is the worst. The worst.


  • Pitcrew

    I could not handle forum rp from the sound of it.
    I just don't have the patience for it, I mean i am fine with the pose speed of MUSHing for the most part but then I realize it takes 6 hours to get something done and am like ugh.
    I am not even sure i want to think about how long combat on forum rp would take. I mean I remember timestops that have lasted days in mushing.


  • Pitcrew

    I can see lots of people liking both formats. But while forum games seem to be abundant, possibly even growing in numbers, MUSHes are not. It seems like a rich territory to find potential new players.



  • Forums are just easier to set up. Any rando can do it in 15 minutes (same with Tumblr games), and just as quickly abandon them. I'm cautious to call this kind of thing 'growth', but there's certainly a lot of it out there. Whereas with MU*s, you have to know something about the back-end to get one going, and at this point it's not a technology college students are fucking around with anymore regularly.

    I do think there's potential in recruiting from those kinds of games. I sometimes want to try forum RP again (I haven't in years), since I can actually still do it from work, but I can never manage to find one that holds my attention.


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