A New Golden Age?


  • Pitcrew

    Some quick backstory - I started playing RPGs and MUSHes in 1996. I played MU fairly often for about 5 years, back in the dark (metal) ages, on dial-up in RAW Telnet. Back then I recal there being a lot of games, and the hobby was awesome.

    I returned pretty much full time in 2010. First at NYC, then TR and well anyone who knows me or gives a shit knows what I have done from there.

    In my experience, however, it always felt like there were slim pickings of places to play. You had HM, and then you had TR and that was about it. But this is changing, and it rules.

    Focusing -just- on nWoD 2nd Edition, I can go and play Vampire the Requiem on 3 games today. In about a month there will be another. There will be multiple games with multiple combinations of spheres and themes. The community feels like it is coming together to create, rather than stagnate.

    In general, this is a thread to celebrate what I hope is going to be a new era, at the very least for WoD Gamers. And I want to thank all of the people who have helped with this, but three people in particular:

    @Thenomain and @Cobaltasaurus have worked their code magic on multiple games, and have worked to create an easy to use system of code that can be reused to create many games. Thank you.

    @Chime is an amazing (and amazingly busy) person who provides awesome and stable hosting for these games to live on.

    So thanks everyone, and remember - If I can make a game, not once, but twice, you can steal enough code and information to do it yourself!



  • I think it all comes down to interest and branching out in the hobby. As games of one genre die, the people there move to games of other genre (as evidenced by the Firan exodus to TR when Firan died).

    It also comes a lot from people sharing code; that's something that, in my MU* experience, didn't get done a lot (you could look at each Transformers MU* I was on in the stone age, and everyone had a different set of systems because noone would be willing to share code).

    Coupled with interesting themes and concepts and ideas, as well as good mechanics (NWoD2), and good coders to make those mechanics simple on MU*, things are doing much better than they would be. Honestly, this mentality is spreading out to other areas as well (there are two new TF MU*s that are opened/opening, both sharing code and going about it in a 'community' manner that I have never seen among anything but what I see/hear about the WoD game community.)

    I'm hoping to do this with at least some of the code I'm doing for TheatreMUSH (or even the whole database, depending on if I get a wild hair to add dice into the code).


  • Pitcrew

    The Reach and City of Hope still get upwards of 100+ logins every night. Right now, CoH has 97 characters logged in (none of them talking to each other or leaving their private rooms, haw haw). Shangrila, WELL past its prime, still has over 300 logins at any given time.

    There are still people doing this -- but this is not a hobby that people casually FIND. I found it because as a callow youth I was looking up stuff about Amber and found AmberMUSH. If locating MUXes wasn't an accident, would more people play? ...Pretty sure the answer would be yes.

    Edit to add: Right now Shangrila has just over 600 toons logged in. I'll be conservative and estimate that fifty of them are five players each with ten dick-girl alts.



  • I know a good 20 or so players, myself included, transitioned way from java- and add-on-based games to MUSHes when it was going through a period similar to the won TJ described above (only 2 games, really, and the rest dying off after a few months). They honestly aren't that hard to find if you're looking for a word game. People also shout the out on RPG forums every so often.



  • I'm going to make a game. You get 300 xp to start. You can't gain xp. Every one will get random xp given to them for whatever reason I feel like but it will stay somewhere between normal and reach level of total xp. New characters will come in at the same xp. If you're Spider, you're banned because I said so, that's why. You can spend your xp on whatever because I don't want to read your stupid justifications. It'll be set in a real city, none of these bullshit towns. There will be plot or something. Once a day all the mortals will break into a song and dance number declaring how everyone is awesome and just how great it is to be part of a team. TS logs that aren't lame will get you some sort of reward.

    I know, you're all excited about this but calm down. Just get in line. It's going to be amazing.

    No really, I don't know how people make games. It's a lot of work and it just gets you hated by vocal haters. As much as I hate on SI, MedNights and persistence of memory, there were so many fun times with awesome people.

    And AmberMush. So bad. Soooooo bad. So fun. Soooooo fun.



  • I know I'm working on something, which is something I swore I would never, ever do again.

    I'm even almost figuring out minor bits of code to make things work, for which I owe @Thenomain a big thanks, due to the stuff he's assembled that makes it easier to learn by observing simply how things are working, and answering questions when there are any.

    Wiki-fu prettiness for character pages is one thing. Wiki-fu setup and customization... whole different animal. @Bobotron offered invaluable help there, too.

    Between those two things alone, I've learned one hell of a lot -- and while the project may never be more than a pile of practice and puttering, that never ever has eroded considerably. That's really sorta... huge, even if it doesn't sound like much.

    In part, I think this forum helped kick off the real sea change. The open exchange of information is, in itself, huge. While web sites have been around for ages with info on them, the interactivity factor for Q&A alone makes a world of difference.


  • Pitcrew

    I've been working on a new game, as well. Which is also something I swore up and down and sideways that no, never again. I think there's a lot of that going on right now. I've actually got a handful of players I'm interacting with these days that are 2 years or less in the hobby, which is freaking amazing, and I've been watching some people who 'quit forever' come back, too. I think I definitely agree that something good is happening with the hobby right now.



  • I'm there with ya Sunny. I hadn't met any new-to-the-hobby folks for years, and now all of a sudden one of my favorite MUSHers and best online-friends ever, just started three or so years ago. I've been hearing about new people a lot more frequently too (as opposed to not at all).
    Thank you to those people who have really put the time in to make the hobby fun again. All you "dinosaurs" and new people alike.
    I've noticed that, just in the last year even, there's been a huge uptrend of tabletop games. At least around where I live, and with my generation. I wonder if some renewed interest in MUSHing isn't in part because of some of that? Video games are great and all, but a lot of my thirty-something nerd-friends have been looking for something more ... just more, I guess.
    Anyway...
    Yay MU*ing!


  • Banned

    @The-Tree-of-Woe

    Shangrila is comatose, unless you are part of the established cliques, or a staffbit.

    The staff raised the age limit for charbits, when I last played there, which caused groups of people to leave.

    Also, the grid is mostly empty. At one time I distinctly remember the grid being full of bits...and so do many other old Shang heads I have discussed this with.

    @People said:

    "Hardy-har-har, CIRNO, nobody wants to play with you on Shangrila because ur gay and dumb. Lawls."

    I reasonably doubt this. On other games, people show more than a passing interest in playing with me.

    Like, right now? On Cobalt's game? The instant I log on, people want to RP with me. This doesn't happen on Shang, in spite of the hundreds of playerbits online. A quick glance at the WHO will show you that most of them have been idle for hours, in their private grid rooms, or in the OOC Bar and Grill's Rumpus Room.

    @Luna

    When you and Thenomain make this inevitable MLP/WOD MUSH Crossover, let me know. Vampires exist in the FIMverse, so it would happen quite seamlessly.

    I don't really like MLP because of the Awkward Token Ethnic Character(Zecora), and as a black individual, her whole Tribal African Zebra Vibe rubs me the wrong way, but I'd swing by, roll a Zebra charbit, all that good stuff.


  • Pitcrew

    Are you... serious?


  • Pitcrew

    @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    Are you... serious?

    /dead.


  • Banned

    @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    Are you... serious?

    About what?



  • @Cirno That would be legit amazing. And I have issues with Zecora on many levels. She's a cool concept, I love the zebra thing really on a visual level. I don't like that they made her super...just...everything. The voodoo thing is a super cop out on all fronts. And her dolls are sad but her figurines are pretty cool but still, she's not as consistently nice as the others.


  • Banned

    @Luna said:

    @Cirno That would be legit amazing. And I have issues with Zecora on many levels. She's a cool concept, I love the zebra thing really on a visual level. I don't like that they made her super...just...everything. The voodoo thing is a super cop out on all fronts. And her dolls are sad but her figurines are pretty cool but still, she's not as consistently nice as the others.

    I have an account on FiMFiction.

    http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Alsvid

    You can see a picture of me there!

    I've been putting together a treatment of the Zebra home continent. Mostly, I wanted them to have an Actual Civilization, and not just live in huts like Zecora.



  • @Cirno, apropos of absolutely nothing whatsoever, are you the dude who once posted on Shang's bb4 about ritualistic zebras?

    I only ask because that was the most dazzlingly creative, and yet surreal, post a friend of mine and I had ever seen appear on that board over a period of years. It stood out, is what I'm saying. Not in a 'to be snarked on' way, and not on a 'to be lusted over' way, but just in a 'a lot of creativity went into that scenario' sort of way, for which I can't help but offer some kind of 'well done, whoever posted that, well done'.

    It is referenced now and then when people become and remain consistently boring.

    Ahem. We now return you to your previously scheduled thread.


  • Coder

    I really don't want to be singled out for helping code things. I code WoD, which is one of the most convoluted, intricate, and annoying system I've ever coded. 7th Sea was a hundred times easier to code, and I imagine D&D is likewise. I want people to rely more on simple systems and creativity than this kind of thing, but here we are.

    I rather hate that people rely this heavily on code to make a game. It makes the barrier of entry so damn high, and I promised @Chime that if she made her Modernized Moo, I would code all over it. I think she's calling it Squidcat. Or Squishy. I don't know, but I want it.

    I also want a hot librarian nerd girlfriend. One of these things may happen before the other.

    The point there is we've been leaning heavily on WoD, when we don't really need to. It's where our friends are, though, and so it's where we're going to find one another.

    My baseline for code legibility is @Cobaltasaurus. For everyone who says, "I don't understand code," I point to her. She was still saying it when she coded +events. When I was coding WoD stuff, I would point her to things and say, "Does this make sense?" If it did, I was on the right track.


    I don't think I'm part of any such Rennaisance, tho. I think it's everyone. Either people are frustrated enough at one thing to branch out, and bring their friends with them. Their friends excite other friends. We're getting excited about ideas, interested, and that's what makes this work. Believe me, if you had nothing but a room and some exits people can use, you'd end up with as big of a game as your extended social network. Roanoke drew people to The Reach because people really like Roanoke. Sure, Haunted Memories had run its course, but if I had opened a new WoD game, I wouldn't have had anything near the response.

    I'm a cheerleader of new ideas, though. Coming up with good ideas isn't easy, and that's where I try to support them in the way that is good for them; occasionally tweaking bugs, offering what code I have, helping its installation, and so forth. It's what I can do, and that means it's what I will do.

    Other people write theme, run plots, keep us even-keeled. They should get as much thanks. They're almost as rare as coders.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain said:

    I also want a hot librarian nerd girlfriend. One of these things may happen before the other.

    Stay away from my wife! :|


  • Coder

    @tragedyjones said:

    @Chime is an amazing (and amazingly busy) person who provides awesome and stable hosting for these games to live on.

    Thanks! Just had a major change of things at work so maybe stuff will get better. I'm hoping, at least.

    @Thenomain said:

    I really don't want to be singled out for helping code things.

    Preach!

    I code WoD, which is one of the most convoluted, intricate, and annoying system I've ever coded. 7th Sea was a hundred times easier to code, and I imagine D&D is likewise. I want people to rely more on simple systems and creativity than this kind of thing, but here we are.

    Preach!

    I rather hate that people rely this heavily on code to make a game. It makes the barrier of entry so damn high, and I promised @Chime that if she made her Modernized Moo, I would code all over it. I think she's calling it Squidcat. Or Squishy. I don't know, but I want it.

    Squids are THUGS of the SEA. I prefer octopodes. Or cuttlefish-- they are pretty cute too. I like nautiluses in theory, but the simpler eye kinda weirds me out. The fantastically bizarre vision capabilities of octopuses and cuttlefish are half the attraction.

    And no; I've had various stabs at it codenamed various things over the years. Initially, I'd been looking for something short, simple, and starting with MU. I discovered fairly quickly that TinyMuff might be interpreted somewhat differently by other people.

    If I finish up the Lua-based prototype I have, it'll be called TinyMoon. I don't forsee myself finishing a js-based solution, though I made some work down that direction; had a C++ prototype using V8 back before nodejs was really a thing; it had a fair bit of thought spent on scalable high-performance attributed strings (e.g. color specifications and other markup, but generalized in the way that only bored compsci people can...). It was called TinyMuut, but I don't think I'll be continuing it.

    I have a fork of MOO somewhere that adds a variety of functional-programming concepts for stacked list processing functions and essentially most of the good stuff that a proper lambda form would offer. Awkwardly, the MOO VM makes it a bit difficult to really do that right, as functions aren't first class objects and specifying anonymous closures as tiny moo-forks tacked onto the end gets messy. Really messy, considering MOO needs to decompile the bytecode back into sourcecode to show it.

    I also want a hot librarian nerd girlfriend.

    ...I can see the appeal.

    My baseline for code legibility is @Cobaltasaurus. For everyone who says, "I don't understand code," I point to her. She was still saying it when she coded +events. When I was coding WoD stuff, I would point her to things and say, "Does this make sense?" If it did, I was on the right track.

    That's reasonable. I gave up on making things understandable a long time ago, though. Instead, I aim to make the code understandable by me when I look at it in the future. Toward that end, code should be clean, concise, and move like poetry. These are sometimes often conflicting goals.


  • Banned

    @surreality said:

    @Cirno, apropos of absolutely nothing whatsoever, are you the dude who once posted on Shang's bb4 about ritualistic zebras?

    I only ask because that was the most dazzlingly creative, and yet surreal, post a friend of mine and I had ever seen appear on that board over a period of years. It stood out, is what I'm saying. Not in a 'to be snarked on' way, and not on a 'to be lusted over' way, but just in a 'a lot of creativity went into that scenario' sort of way, for which I can't help but offer some kind of 'well done, whoever posted that, well done'.

    It is referenced now and then when people become and remain consistently boring.

    Ahem. We now return you to your previously scheduled thread.

    Not likely, sorry. I haven't been on Shang in a months, and, furthermore, I haven't really been seized with a desire to role play pony stuff.

    It seems that the person who posted that was looking to satisfy their Ritual fetish. You can tell I'm a veteran Shang player because I remember nearly all the links on the Kink List off the top of my head.

    Kink Lists should be mandatory for all games. I feel weird without it, honestly.

    Mostly because you can just role play pony sagas on FiMFiction. I'd actually been role playing on there for a while; scratching that itch my MU* hiatus had caused.

    Also, the emphasis I place on my treatments of Zebra civilizations has more to do with reading, writing, art, and architecture, rather than rituals. They can make metal weapons, tools, have a vibrant literary culture with numerous written works, a developed system of government...things that the TV show implies they're incapable of doing, even though normal ponies have these things.

    By the way, I helped make a MUSH, so it's not like I'm a slouch.

    I'm about to launch a game that's a pastiche of Frozen and World War 2 - with @Thenomain's blessing - so, naturally, you should all come check it out. It will be as rad as TGG.


  • Coder

    @Chime said:

    [...] code should be clean, concise, and move like poetry

    So, code is a cat.