CrystalMUSH



  • I know some former players are floating around on here.

    I know Luthe, who was the last holder of the DB (and surely still has it). I've been mulling over rebooting the place to muck around with it (since it's pretty much an idle game, y'know?). Let everyone have whatever sort of alt they want (Singer, Sorter, Tuner, *tech, etc...), reset everyone's credits to some reasonable sum...

    Would anyone be interested in this? Or is it just a crazy pipe dream of my own to just be able to zip around the claim grid and see how long it takes me to have Ameeko full of terrible injuries YET AGAIN?



  • Pipe Dream. I was pretty active there for a while with my Singer and then my Sorter. But that was a long time ago and I think the time for that kind of game has ended. It's way too code heavy in a way that's geared solely to solitary activities (Singers going out into the Range, spending WAY too much time searching a grid (BORING) and then cutting crystal. Searching took something like 75% of the time I was logged on and doing Singer stuff. Likewise, sorting isn't really a RP activity either.


  • Pitcrew

    Holy Moses. Yeah, I had a Singer - but tended to get far more rp on my Cuttertech <Evan> and Medic <Elrick>



  • While I loved the books, I would wonder about the viability of such a game for a MU* simply because the Singers were mostly solo or sometimes paired, and due to the nature of their memories and life spans it would be tricky to have anything really... plotty with them in general?

    All of Killashandra's adventures took place off planet and would be highly GM driven, for example, which is another aspect that would be tricky to balance for a MU. If all the RP happens on the crystal planet, then it would seem the biggest events would be storms, singing crystal, the occasional wreck, and bar RP.


  • Admin

    @lithium said in CrystalMUSH:

    While I loved the books, I would wonder about the viability of such a game for a MU* simply because the Singers were mostly solo or sometimes paired, and due to the nature of their memories and life spans it would be tricky to have anything really... plotty with them in general?

    Lots of book series suffer from this. Either what's cool about that stuff is super special so having dozens of PCs around goes against theme or something more specialized like what you're mentioning.

    But it's still fun to talk about running stuff we like on a MUSH, right? :)



  • This game ran well before most of the games we have today. Different era of gaming. Different mindsets.

    The only plots were really:

    • New batches of recruits to the planet.
    • Big storms (usually while the recruits were going through adaptation).
    • Every so often Staff would come up with a new plot.

    With a small player base, you didn't want to fracture people off on other planets.

    So it was a lot of social RP, a lot of letting people do their own thing. But the game never suffered for it because back in the late 90s / early 00s, people didn't just sit on their hands and wait for Staff to tell them what to do so often (sort of like how most WoD games continue to be active even tho Staff rarely runs plot). Crystal MUSH / Crystal Dreams MUSH were heavy code. You had code for Singers (to find / cut crystal), code for Sorters, code for Tuners, all the support roles (sled/cutter techs, medics, etc) had code to do their thing.

    So it was also a game where if you, say, worked 3rd shift and had nothing else going on... you could still do something and that was a large part of the lure. No one else on? Eh, I'll go cut crystal.

    And the vast majority of the claims for crystal were puzzles (Myst-like, almost; hidden exits, have to have this object, do this in sequence... some v. simple: just read the desc to find the right phrase to use) to solve, written by other players. So it could be a lot of fun to do.

    It's just lately I've had a few people comment to me how they want a MU* where there is some level of code like that, but also social RP... without being a MUD. That's why I keep going back to hmm. Maybe it's time to bring it back.



  • @auspice said in CrystalMUSH:

    It's just lately I've had a few people comment to me how they want a MU* where there is some level of code like that, but also social RP... without being a MUD. That's why I keep going back to hmm. Maybe it's time to bring it back.

    My question is what's the difference in it being a "MUD," if what you're mainly looking for are puzzles and exploration? Limits on @emits would be the only thing I can think of, and idk who common those are on these styles of games. I know that's not true of all RPIs.

    Like I do think there's an audience that might want to mess around with something like this, who do play similar MUDs, but wouldn't try a "MUSH."


  • Pitcrew

    One of the things they used to do, with regards to the plots, was have a number of different planets where Singers could go on 'vacation' <and ignored the conceit in the books that only Singers left the planet - any member of the Guild could on the game>. These planets were run by players, both OOC in terms of building and setting up the theme and IC in terms of 'governing' them, though other players could have been originally from said planets (Much the same as in Changeling games where one player could create a Keeper for their PC, but other PC's could tie into it later on). The planet leaders usually ran plots or hosted plots that other players wanted to have run on their respective vacations.

    To my memory, most of the guild RP was centered around 'Classes' - basically, new players came in as recruits who, when enough were around, would come in as part of a new class to the planet. Adaptation was rped out and it was up to the medics to create them (I developed something of a reputation for mine - since I was also RL in college with a focus on going premed at the time, they got pretty visceral) and the incoming class to rp it out. No one knew what they would adapt to <though I think the Medics had an idea eventually, it was ultimately Staffs choice based on what the player listed as their preferences>, so there was always that element of chance and not knowing what you were going to get (Even Singers adpated with a random affinity except for the top three - yellow, white and black - which were assigned by staff if the player was feature-material)

    Afterwards, most of the remainder of the day to day rp was as a result of random code. Singers go out and cut. Random crap happens; there were chance rolls for injuries, sled crashes, storms, etc. They got back and would need their cutters repaired, their sled repaired, or their spleen repaired; so that usually involved getting the support crew into it.



  • @killer-klown said in CrystalMUSH:

    One of the things they used to do, with regards to the plots, was have a number of different planets where Singers could go on 'vacation' <and ignored the conceit in the books that only Singers left the planet - any member of the Guild could on the game>. These planets were run by players, both OOC in terms of building and setting up the theme and IC in terms of 'governing' them, though other players could have been originally from said planets (Much the same as in Changeling games where one player could create a Keeper for their PC, but other PC's could tie into it later on). The planet leaders usually ran plots or hosted plots that other players wanted to have run on their respective vacations.

    I was so lazy about Ameeko's planet. I never even built it out. But I assumed no one cared about vacationing on a planet of monks who took in the universe's orphans. >.>

    But overall it was basically RP plus hey here's these coded things you can do in your free time. Which is the opposite of MUD which is more kill X and I guess you can RP sometimes if you want, weirdo.



  • Us sled techs got a lot of RP out of being assholes to the Singers. Tho my sled tech was on CDM, not Crystal MUSH.

    But even so, I was never wanting for RP on her.


  • Pitcrew

    @auspice
    Yeah, I ended up inheriting Kalgoorlie from the original builder <an OOC friend of mine who both was in an unfortunate time zone at the time - Australia - and had rl overtaking her so she couldn't keep up with stuff on the game>. That was a plot in and of itself - since as it turned out the closest heir to this idyllic paradise planet was born and grew up on a war-torn hellhole that another character was running. It was amusing, if nothing else.

    But yeah, I ended up getting most of my RP on my medic and cuttertech (Especially since CM had those coded upgrades to your cutter and sled - there was actually a reason for Singers to make money, so they could pay us to get them better stuff). The singer was interesting, but uninspiring overall.


  • Pitcrew

    I suppose what it boils down to is that the place was code heavy - even today, it remains the most heavily coded and randomized MU I can think of - but the code, by and large, set up rp rather than served as a substitute for it.

    Singers cut crystal. If all went well, they would need to go see a Sorter and get their crystal Sorted. The Sorter had a bit of leeway as to how much they could mark the sale for - so keeping on said Sorters good side was definitely advisable. Also, they would acquire resonance in the ranges - so that needed to be dealt with by not being in the ranges; thereby meaning that you couldn't always be hunting by yourself.

    Your gear needed maintenance, so that meant interacting with Sled and Cuttertechs too. Plus, Sled and Cuttertechs provided the most viable outlet to spend all that money you made by kissing up to your Sorter: new cutter parts, enhancements on your Sled - all of which had in-game effects of helping you fly or search, influencing the quality of your cuts, etc.

    And that's if everything went well. If something screwed up, you could crash, damage your sled, break your cutter, or what have you - which would require additional rp since no one classification could do everything - Singers sang, Sled Techs worked on Sleds, Cutter Techs worked on Cutters, Medics worked on Singers. If you got coded damage to your gear, or to yourself, you couldn't do anything until one of the support staff cleared it for you.



  • @killer-klown said in CrystalMUSH:

    And that's if everything went well. If something screwed up, you could crash, damage your sled, break your cutter, or what have you - which would require additional rp since no one classification could do everything - Singers sang, Sled Techs worked on Sleds, Cutter Techs worked on Cutters, Medics worked on Singers. If you got coded damage to your gear, or to yourself, you couldn't do anything until one of the support staff cleared it for you.

    Ameeko was always, always hurt. My ADD made me terrible at actually... not crashing. usually with a sled full of crystal. I'd increase altitude, get distracted by something, go too high, engines would cut out... and crashing with a sled full of crystal was a bad thing. A very bad thing.

    But based on the spreadsheets I was running, I'm pretty sure she was a blue affinity, so. Y'know. A little crazy. :P

    I also had a sorter and a tuner. My tuner on CM was an ass because he felt he was DUE adapting Singer, but he ultimately settled into being tuner because well you guys fucked up this Crystal so obviously I need to fix it. And my Sorter went to the planet because she was blind and it fixed her. :D

    I mean, there's a lot of potential, I think. It's a game that really focuses more on interpersonal stuff, so if you can't handle that and absolutely need plot fed to you all the time it is definitely not a game that's for you.


  • Pitcrew

    My Singer was Yellow (Largely because he was my third character and I'd already done a lot of work on Elrick with regards to adaptations, and writing up a general guideline as to what each Adaptation got and lost; like Singers being the 'perfect' adaptation, Sleddies being deaf but having a greater physical tolerance for having to deal with storms face first, medics losing their sense of smell and taste, etc - much of it taken from the books, some of it extrapolated from the respective roles and how people were playing>

    There really weren't any major 'plots' as people would describe them. There were the individual non-Ballybran planets that sometimes had plots going, or little storylines for groups that would probably equate to a series of private +events; but the major plots centered around the Classes every few months, and the microstories that the randomized code initialized.

    On the plus side, this was the one and only game where you could never, ever have to question why your character was in a location.

    Medic - There's RP in the medbay!
    Singer - I'm not sure why my character would show up there right now...
    Medic - Because you're wearing your lower intestines as a hat?
    Singer - Oh. Right. RP in the medbay!

    I also got unusally invested in some of my characters backstory because of that. Like, my medic actually used elements from Sassinak (Another McCaffrey space opera-y book), and I busted my ass on my Singer to get a perfect on the Sled qualification tests - because, as per his own backstory, he'd been flying similar devices since he was a child.



  • @killer-klown said in CrystalMUSH:

    I busted my ass on my Singer to get a perfect on the Sled qualification tests

    Oh man, the challenge of outdoing everyone else in quals as a recruit. Because those top tens. I remember the day I managed to actually beat one of the sorting cartons that everyone was convinced could not have a better solution was a goddamn crowning moment for me.


  • Pitcrew

    It's really a fine line between having something to do on a game when the RP is sparse and those things becoming something that replaces RP. But let's be honest as well, how many game runners/admin have within the past year bitched about how players have 'no self motivation to do things' or the like. That they constantly wait around for plots and events to happen but won't start stuff themselves and that as admin you're tired of feeling like you have to spoon feed players.

    Flash back to the 90's and 2000's. I'm thinking of games like CrystalMUSH, Wing Commander Red Horizon that come to mind where the games went and there was activity and RP happening without the constant hand holding of staff. Yeah, staff dove in and made things happen but there seemed to as well constantly be something to do as well. Right now it seems most games exist for players to log on and mill around in rooms; hope that some plot or some person is interested in RP, and then if they aren't they wander off. They do this for a few weeks or months then they stop logging in and staff wonder why their game is dead; blame the players for not being self motivated and there you go.

    There must be some kind of balance out there right? Somehow? Not a MUD where it's automated existence, but also not a MUSH (Multi-User Sit and Hover).

    What I want is a Multi User Fantasy.
    Something I can dive into.
    That I can really eat up.
    I just want a MUF.



  • Not sure if black was assigned or not but it wasn't because of any feature thing. My very first character on the game (only had 2) was attuned to black. Made it very easy to upgrade everything and become the richest singer.

    There was still a decent number of people on the game but maybe it was already past its heyday as not a single planet ever had anything going on.

    Also, it's not MUDlike in that there are no mobs, no combat (unless RPed), no stats. Once you figured out which claims would maim you, it was easy enough to just avoid them as they never changed though the location on the grid did.



  • Black was generally assigned, yes. I don't think white and yellow were. Maybe they were at some time. I think I actually suspected Ameeko of being yellow-attuned (I'd have to double-check my spreadsheet; it's still in my Google Docs).

    And so is my 'claim notes' sheet and some of them do have the view from above marked as 'DO NOT LAND HERE.' :D



  • @auspice Yeah, I still have all my claim notes.

    mountainous - row 0,1,1,3,4,6 - You fly along what appears to be a mountainous region. Perhaps if you fly lower you'll find a place to land your sled. - safe - push boulder - clear rubble

    mountains - row 0,0,1,2,2,3,3,3,4,5,6,6,7,8 - Below, three huge mountains nearly obscure a tiny valley. If you circle a while, you might find a place to land. - minor injury, carton dest - just wait under falls

    keyword, description you see flying above it, notes on how to how to get to the crystal and what, if anything, is needed. I was also keeping track of which row the claim was being found in each time in case there was a pattern.

    I was Jasen, btw. And Olaf was my sorter.



  • I was Ameeko (Singer), Bob (Tuner - I've spent years suggesting people use the name, so I finally did :P), and J.... shit, I forget my Sorter's name. On Crystal Dreams I was Teallan (Singer) and Silt (Sled Tech).

    My Claim Notes were a bit more defined:

    Running list as:
    <Name>, by <credit>
    <description of what you see from the sky>

    Then further down I'd have:
    <Name>, by <credit>
    <hint if any>
    <first room desc>
    <directions to solve>


Log in to reply