MUSH Community Revival

  • The conversation has come up on MUSH (the PennMUSH Dev/Community site) about MU visibility on the web, resources and attracting new players. I thought I would post it here, as well, since this is another active collaboration area of MUs.

    So here's the idea. What I am proposing is not really my idea, it has been kicked around a few times by several people. It has been poopooed and smirked at, but it keeps coming up.

    What I would love to see is a central community-run place where we can disseminate information. OGR/MU-Gateway used to be a great place to find new games, now it is mostly dead (sorry to those that run the place, it needs life). We did discuss a few weeks back and the ever-loving listings and how they were tied together, but suffering from single ownership (slow updates, etc). The idea came up to band a community site together where not a single person or two administrated it, but many did.

    I think it is worthwhile for us, as a community, to get together and form this idea. Elect a committee, build a damn nice website that is collaborative and solid, and ad-campaign the hell out of it to draw everyone in MU*dom in. Not necessarily the players at first, but the MU owners, the developers, the coders, etc. The players will then come naturally.

    This is an effort that we all benefit from. Game information/ads and lists, softcode releases, softcode repositories, coding forums and discussions, server/hardcode forums, Guides on how to run MU*s, etc. We all contribute everything we can find, we sort and organize it, and we invite others to curate and update that information trove.

    Software projects get big on consolidation and collaboration. That is what we should be aiming for, IMNSHO.

    Now, MuSoapbox is clearly already a step in this direction, but since it focuses on specific areas (guides, discussions, some code), I think it is a piece of the solution. I foresee MuSoapbox being either a link off of this idea-site, perhaps even worked into it so that everything is in one spot, still run by @Thenomain , @EmmahSue and @Glitch .

    The benefits:

    • One site, areas run/curated/administrated by teams that are self-electing, appointed, whatever you choose.
    • One site to advertise your game at, find help, etc.
    • One site to consolidate and point players to for information and help, like these very forums.
    • Collaborative administration, whereas it becomes the go-to resource for all things MUSH/MUX. In this manner, singular people going idle do not make a site unusable.

    To give an idea of what we envisioned,'s MUSH listings, curated and ran by a team instead of one/two people. Forums for discussions like this. Code repositories with full credit given to authors/sources but just dragged and stored in one place. Links to the github repos and project sites for PennMUSH, TinyMUX and RhostMUSH (and any others that opt in). A blog-like front-end for announcements, RSS feeds subscribable (do people still do those?), new games going up, releases, etc.

    We have this expertise in the community. We have a need. We have people looking for it. I think we should get people together and start it. I will even volunteer to get things off the ground until we get the ball rolling, people step up to take curatorship of various areas, etc.

  • There, so tell me why this is a bad idea. Tear it apart, make me stop thinking about it.

  • Pitcrew

    I actually really like the idea. I think musoapbox could even be expanded to be this idea. I rather like the idea of a website dedicated to making sure people know about MUs, with explanations, FAQs, information repositories; formalize it a bit more than just a forum.

    It might also certainly help us come together as a community to build a solid presence on the web.

  • I don't think it's a bad idea and really like it in concept. It relies on someone willing to be a central organizer for it, and for that person not to be insane (I seriously think OGR/Gateway might still be a viable thing is Ra hadn't been the one to take it over when that all happened), but that's not insurmountable and I think it's worth doing.

  • Pitcrew

    If @Glitch, @Thenomain, and @EmmahSue were the ones behind the wheel, I think we'd be stellar.

  • I'm not a'gin it. But my knowledge of how to create something like this can fit in a thimble. Nor do I know how to reach out to and invite the non-WoD community to join in; they'd be just as necessary to the effort, after all. We would need to create enough splash that folks who don't know other games exist at all, would come looking and want to join in. Not my baliwick.

    So A++ would help mod/run, but I dunno how to get the engine started.


  • We will recruit others, drag them kicking and screaming to the site, honestly. We could do some campaigning, but I think just getting it up and going would be a good starting point. Give everyone something to come to. I think enough non-WoD game runners frequent the dev sites that we could make some inroads, tap those folks to help with the campaign. But once word gets out that this is happening, I think game owners will come, if even just to advertise for more players.

    I can offer to register a domain, host it on unlimited space and DBs, and turn over control/passwords to those that are going to take the reins. Like I said, I can do some to get the ball rolling, but I'm not proposing this to take on a new project by myself. That isn't my goal, nor would it be what should be happening. So I'll write EmmahSue down as a volunteer?

  • @EmmahSue said:

    Nor do I know how to reach out to and invite the non-WoD community to join in; they'd be just as necessary to the effort, after all.

    I think players from the non-WoD community would participate if the content wasn't overwhelming WoD-centric and/or filtered through the assumption that The Way Things Are On WoD Games is actually the broader Way Things Are. It would just be a matter of spreading the existence of the thing and showing players and developers that it's for everyone. I think it's about how such a thing is pitched more than anything else.

  • Really, if you make things that relate to something (any game genre, by subject or type) and keep it alive, it should draw folks. So for game balance you might want a WoD thread marker like the title says WoD balance.

    You may want to segregate games out, but I think you want activity everywhere, so maybe a section on theme discussion where all games can post would make that sense of community happen..

  • I agree. Theme-based forums, for instance, or tags that people can use. I think the WoD community is ahead with this site, and other communities could benefit from the same idea. Maybe they already have them, I dunno.

    But yes, this site would be geared directly at all MUSH/MUXes, theme-agnostic, but allowing for areas for theme discussion, etc.

  • Pitcrew

    It's not hard to do. @Rook, I'll put myself down as a volunteer for this project. It may take a while but I think it's definitely worth it.

  • As a long term goal, would you look to possibly supplant the functions of another place? EG archive their forums, provide the same or similar services? I don't mean in a competitve way, but as a possible way to merge older designs and user bases into a new model?

  • I could see the project supplanting services on a community scale, but are you asking for the project to host game-specific forums? I could see that becoming a management load on the admins of the project. But, maybe in the long-term, maybe it could be done? I envision it as possible, certainly, might just take some server-side scripting and coding to get it automated as possible.

    Your idea brings to mind places like Wikia, where projects can get a wiki for their stuff. I have no idea what bandwidth, storage and traffic that sort of functionality would need to support it. What absolutely needs to be considered is that this needs to be a free service, and thus, very cheap to maintain the hosting. I don't think any subscription-based approach would work well at all, over time.

  • If you're going to use the Soapbox as the main hub idea.. might want to go less free for all on how places are talked about.

  • Pitcrew

    Why? The Hog Pit is the only place where people can really let loose. That's going to happen either way. The rest of the site does an admirable job separating, honestly.

  • That's true. @Thenomain @EmmahSue and @Glitch do a pretty decent job at keeping things from getting as toxic as WORA became.

  • I am liking this forum software more and more, and think that Coin may be onto something about using Soapbox as the 'kernel' of the forum aspect of such a project. But I see other functionality replacing areas of the Soapbox, so it is up to the admins of THIS project on how they would want to integrate, if at all.

    For instance, a submission/update webapp would supplant/replace the New Games Advertisements forum here. Maybe it could be coded so that a new Submission could post automatically to the forum itself, for any thread conversation to be housed.

    Maybe a wiki sort of submission/approval area for code submissions, whatever solution is dreamed up there.

  • @Rook So I certainly don't mind the discussion of ways to expand things, whether through affiliate sites or with MSB at the core, but I suppose I'm curious what you think the benefits are to a "submission/update webapp" over the usual process of "open topic/edit topic" for advertisements?

    Are there features you're thinking of that would make it worth it? It's essentially the same function from what I see you're saying, but I may not be seeing all of it. Would doing a better job of tag management in advertisements make for better searchability/usability?

  • @Glitch
    I'm just referring to the standard MudConnect/MudStats sort of submission/editting of a Game page? The forum approach will soon see a game slide off the front page of posts, and then the Staff will bump the post to get it back to the top. I figure both would serve the purpose from different angles.

    Game listings can be searched, voted, commented, link to the game port, whatever the project community wanted to do. Game forum postings can be updated with news, events, commentary, whatnot.

    Some people would do the game listing route to find a game, whereas others will further research a forum thread about it. Why not supply both, you know?

  • Cross-posting from +bb2 on M*U*S*H:

    I was one of the people ruminating on a new site, and it's time for me to step up. Since actions speak much louder than words, I'm kicking off the (fully open-sourced) development of, and sponsor hosting of, a new MU* index site. I've started a temporary Github repository at and have opened a few issues that I'd like to solicit feedback and comment on before starting work on building anything. Your input is very welcome, whether you're technical or not.

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