A new platform?


  • Admin

    Many things baffle me, but few as much as debating these things simply because it's demonstratively the case that far fewer players enter MU*ing even as far (far) more people have internet access.

    So what gives? Come on, the literacy rate didn't diminish in the time since MU*s' heyday.

    I'll give a hint:

    @mail faraday=Hello
    -Hey!
    @mail/proof
    @mail/send
    

    is harder to figure out than clicking on "Faraday", picking "Mail", then clicking on "Send".

    Back then the convenience of the latter didn't exist, there was very little multiplayer content out there for us to play online than that, and so we learned. Internet users these days are simply used to different, higher standards for usability.


  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel I fucking hate sending @mail in TinyMUX. Penn's alright, but tbh I really appreciate the work @faraday did with her +mail code. It's the best mail system I've seen/used in MUing.


  • Pitcrew

    @rucket said in A new platform?:

    @thatguythere I think the overwhelming popularity of programs like Slack and Discord kind of indicate that people generally like having channels be their own pages. At least it's not something I've ever seen someone complain about.

    to be fair I would not complain about them I would just turn them off rather than deal with clinking over to read them. Of course I also have no fear of missing things, if I do it happens if it is important I will be filled in later. though to be fair the only channels I have on tend to be the ones for specific sub-grouping my character is a part of, and public if it is quiet enough that I have never bothered to turn it off.



  • @arkandel said in A new platform?:

    @mail faraday=Hello
    -Hey!
    @mail/proof
    @mail/send
    

    is harder to figure out than clicking on "Faraday", picking "Mail", then clicking on "Send".

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    Making something that does what you describe, however, is not in the skillset of the majority of people who want to make a game.

    This is very relevant.


  • Coder

    @faraday said in A new platform?:

    MUSHers only tolerate it because that's what we're used to.

    Except spawns. Ask any ten Mushers if they would use a client without spawns again and I'd put good money down that 8 of the 10 would threaten to chew your arm off for the suggestion. Maybe 7.

    Seriously, good money. $5.

    We only tolerated it because it's all we had.

    @Sparks was a hero because she gave us something new, something more modern, based on her experience with Trillium.

    A lot of clients are still catching up.


  • Coder

    @surreality said in A new platform?:

    Making something that does what you describe, however, is not in the skillset of the majority of people who want to make a game.

    Which is why I felt it was important to have a platform that did that out of the box. Because you shouldn't need to mess around with mail or finger code just to make a game. That's just silly.

    Now if somebody wants the joy of building all that from scratch just to have it exactly the way they want it - more power to them. Evennia is better suited to that than Ares, though.

    It's like LEGOs. Evennia is a pile of bricks, some of which have been pre-assembled into small components but mostly it's freeform. Ares is a pre-built LEGO castle, ready to play. Sure you can take the LEGOs apart and rebuild them, but it's probably going to be more work than just building your own castle the way you wanted it in the first place.

    @thenomain said in A new platform?:

    Except spawns.....We only tolerated it because it's all we had.

    100% agreed.


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in A new platform?:

    I'll give a hint:

    @mail faraday=Hello
    -Hey!
    @mail/proof
    @mail/send
    

    is harder to figure out than clicking on "Faraday", picking "Mail", then clicking on "Send".

    Unless you don't know where to find the Mail button, are not aware that you need to click on Faraday in order to select a recipient, and then think that the Compose button is the equivalent of Send.

    I think I've said it before, but a nice webpage that clearly states how to do certain key, elementary functions would make the experience more user-friendly without having to invest in substantial content development.



  • @thenomain What are these "spawns" you speak of?


  • Coder

    @friarzen said in A new platform?:

    @thenomain What are these "spawns" you speak of?

    Spawned windows. Using pattern matching to push input into a different screen. A lot of people use it for the channels that Faraday is accusing that we just plain put up with, tho a lot of people don't just put up with them if there are options. Atlantis (Mac) has them and Potato (cross-platform) does too.

    Here's this thread of...dear god, two years ago.

    http://musoapbox.net/topic/852/do-you-use-spawns-and-how



  • I've actually only ever used spawns to corral the +jobs spam when staffing on TR. Otherwise, I completely forget everything people normally put on spawns exists, and everyone gets pissed at me for not answering their pages. (No, really. Out of sight ends up being not just out of the way, but completely out of mind for me. Oops.)


  • Coder

    @surreality said in A new platform?:

    (No, really. Out of sight ends up being not just out of the way, but completely out of mind for me. Oops.)

    There are ways to address that with good UX design though. A middle ground between "out of sight out of mind where you forget it's even there" and "everything in one window where you miss pages because they're munged in with three other page convos, OOC chatter and poses."


  • TV & Movies

    I think there's a lot of absurd hyperbole in this thread, and I say that being notoriously absolutist about shit.

    Decreasing general literacy? Who cares. We're pretty much a hobby of amateur (and occasionally professional) writers, we're gonna be in the 1% no matter what. 'Well there are people RPing in all these other ways'? Yeah, they were back then, too. Discord RP is basically indistinguishable from AOL chatroom RP. Web 3.0 slickness and simplicity in general? In the end we're still playing pen & paper RPGs. You can't magic away the complexity of a 300+ page rulebook by tossing node.js at it. Our hobby is what it is, and we've actually had the test case of the lite version: it's Storium. We tried it, shrugged, and mostly came back to MUing.

    I think the only 99% necessary thing is playing in the browser. Pushing some advanced (and logical, like bboards / wikis ) features there is a good goal but its not going to fundamentally change anything.

    Also, I really can't stress enough that people need to look at what @faraday's done and realize much of this has already happened, or is happening. Maybe there's a barrier due to Ares association with FS3 and its own microcosm of players, but from a technical standpoint its ridiculously impressive and a huge step forward. If someone put together a WoD module for it, I think you'd see a shitton of games pop up running it almost over night.

    (And I don't mean to discount Evennia - it's amazing - but I feel it will remain an outlier until it has similar 'out of the box' functionality. Right now it just requires a game runner to be a much more capable coder.)



  • I'm not saying that some graphical utilities aren't there to make life easier. I use Potato's mail editor all the time just because it's faster. What I'm saying is that you're never going to create a system so divorced from command line input of some nature that it'll allow you to do the things we do now without ever using the command line unless the GUI itself is ludicrously complex.

    Yes, Discord and such are gaining in popularity, but even they don't allow for some of the things that we have right now unless it's doing it as a workaround. Same with Roll20, or forum-based stuff. You run into problems with persistence, or information recall, or any number of other things.

    Sure, there are things that would be better as GUI because they don't often take different kinds of input, but I don't think that's really going to do that much, either. About the only sorts of universal things you're going to be able to rely on a GUI for are things like mail, finger, sheet. Maybe pages and channel stuff. Anything more game-unique than that and you're probably still gonna have custom commands, which is still gonna require them to learn how those commands work.

    ETA: And te things that a GUI would work best for are already simple. Where. Who. Page. Channel chat. Sheet. Etc.



  • @three-eyed-crow said in A new platform?:

    I realize some Mushers don't use spawn windows but I struggle to imagine functioning without them, and shifting channels to other tabs/rooms ala discord and slack just feels like that, only less work on my end.

    I think spawns are a great idea, but I don't use them kind of because of the nature of talking in discord vs a MU. Like in discord with friends, I might drop a comment and respond to something a few hours later, it's a very asynchronous messenger. Maybe a conversation will pass by, but I can catch up whenever.

    MUs often don't really have that feel. There might be 10 different questions in 10 different ways, that all happen at the same time and if I miss them then, like if they are filtered to a spawn I check 40 minutes later, it's probably irrelevant and someone logged off and missed something they wanted to know. The format isn't really nearly as great in easily referencing old information, which puts an emphasis on immediacy, mostly because tools like mail or channel histories or whatever are so clunky. So because of that, I feel like I need to be focused more on when things happen for immediate relevance, than being able to sort them and check tabs at my leisure like I would in discord.



  • @apos
    See, my spawns blink with the rest of my activity notifications (which Potato is shit at and often drives me nuts, I dream of better days! But will never be a Mac user so as sure I am that Atlantis is wonderful, so it goes!). Which at least keeps up with them, but it also kind of maddening. Would be nice to have the discord/slack feature to mute a particular channel window without creating a totally different spawn or leaving the channel but, as has been said up-top, Ares already seems to be heading toward this functionality. So I dream of better days on my PC more realistically.


  • Coder

    @bored said in A new platform?:

    Maybe there's a barrier due to Ares association with FS3 and its own microcosm of players, but from a technical standpoint its ridiculously impressive

    Thanks! I've mentioned it before, but since threads get buried I'll stress again that Ares is not tied to FS3. It comes with it, yes, but it's easily disabled if you want to use a different system. There's already a Cortex plugin and I'm working on a FFG Star Wars one.

    I think a bigger barrier to adoption is that I'm still tinkering with it :) I want the installation/configuration/coding experience to be as painless as possible, which the beta testers are currently helping me with. There are a few games in development.

    @apos said in A new platform?:

    The format isn't really nearly as great in easily referencing old information, which puts an emphasis on immediacy, mostly because tools like mail or channel histories or whatever are so clunky

    As you say, though, the immediacy is forced by the tool itself. There's nothing technical stopping it from working more like discord/slack/etc., where folks could be @-tagged and see responses later. We just need to make it work that way. Sometimes culture drives a tool but in this case the tool is driving the culture.



  • @faraday said in A new platform?:

    As you say, though, the immediacy is forced by the tool itself. There's nothing technical stopping it from working more like discord/slack/etc., where folks could be @-tagged and see responses later. We just need to make it work that way. Sometimes culture drives a tool but in this case the tool is driving the culture.

    Yeah there's a tremendous amount of MU habits that are the tools driving the culture. Like we can give a ton of examples of MU habits that are based on tools:

    1. People having no idea who is typing, or who is posing, or who is really idle or not. Most modern messengers have indicators for who is typing.
    2. Screen scroll defaults mean spam is disproportionately annoying, with tons of cultural habits around spam because of how things will scroll that can't be ignored.
    3. Mavs happening because of lack of clarity in conversational channels.
    4. Constant small little fights because of ambiguity in who was informed of something or not, with no easy way of checking.

    etc.


  • Coder

    @faraday said in A new platform?:

    I'm working on a FFG Star Wars one.

    take my money


  • Coder

    @thenomain said in A new platform?:

    @friarzen said in A new platform?:

    @thenomain What are these "spawns" you speak of?

    Spawned windows. Using pattern matching to push input into a different screen. A lot of people use it for the channels that Faraday is accusing that we just plain put up with, tho a lot of people don't just put up with them if there are options. Atlantis (Mac) has them and Potato (cross-platform) does too.

    Here's this thread of...dear god, two years ago.

    http://musoapbox.net/topic/852/do-you-use-spawns-and-how

    For our webclient, Evennia is doing this on the server-side level in our development branch. The game dev can 'tag' messages coming from the server and the user can then divvy up their UI as they want (splitting and dragging panes around using spiffy JS) and assign one or more of those messages to go to the pane(s) they want.
    .
    Griatch


  • Coder

    @faraday said in A new platform?:

    @thatguythere said in A new platform?:

    @faraday
    I fail to see how those being split into two different windows would be better? All that does is make me flip between windows to see things.

    Then there's nothing I can say to convince you. Continue enjoying the old systems.

    This is one of the big problems. With the avent of graphical front ends and all the ooo shiney out there, people have in their heads how they want things.

    People hate Penn's @mail system.
    People love Penn's @mail system.
    People hate MUX/TM3's @mail system.
    People love MUX/TM3's @mail system.
    People love the very old Brandy +mail system.
    People hate the very old Brandy +mail system.

    I could go on, and include Thunderbird, GMail, Outlook, Mutt, Pine, Elm, Mailx/Nail, and any number of profesional grade mail systems out there, as well as the hundreds of clients.

    And you'll always get a large number of people who hate and love them.

    So the correct answer is giving tools for people to be able to make their own.

    Then of course, you get people bitching that they don't have the skill to make it.

    Then you suggest they get someone else to make it.

    Then they say it's too expensive, or the other person isn't doing it the way they want.

    End of the day, people bitch for bitching's sake. Likely they will never be happy. So here's an idea. STOP TRYING TO MAKE THEM HAPPY.

    Give them everything they need to find their own happiness, if they can't find it, their problem, not ours. Period.

    With Rhost, it had a very unique but powerful mail system.

    People disliked it as it wasn't compatible with MUX. We made it so.
    People disliked it as it wasn't compatible with Penn. We made it so.
    People disliked it as it wasn't compatible with Brandy +mail. We made it so.
    People disliked it as it couldn't be used with other clients. We made it so.

    We even made it so you can download your mail and use it in a client of your choice from an MBOX standard format.

    There's going to be a point where you have to stop say 'you know, I did all I can' and people are going to have to meet you half way.

    Some learning of new things is expected. So how about we lay that expectation on others and not trying to dumb it down so much it becomes repulsive to everyone else?