Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible


  • Banned

    I've been into MU*'s on and off for about a decade and a half now. A little longer, actually. It's been a long time. When I tell people about them, they seem very interested. They like that there's a strong storytelling aspect to it. They like that it's primary literary, in that you write prose to convey your thoughts and what you get is text from other players. They like that there are some rules for conflict resolution comparable to dice rolls. I tell people these things and their faces light right up. It sounds great!

    But what gets them every time is that it's command line based. The moment I tell them you have to type in commands "like a DOS prompt," their faces scrunch up and they immediately lose interest. I'm actually arriving at the view that I should be making a project that takes heavy inspiration from the game design choices of MU*'s -- like how rooms connect in a graph rather than in a strict geographic formation, or mobs and inventories, and so on -- but it comes on a cute web GUI. It would be basically the same game, but with pretty buttons to push. I think it could get a lot of people into it. But it is a deviation from the source material in a major way.


  • Pitcrew

    You might be using too specialized jargon, tbh.

    I have been enjoying the hobby now since the early 90s, and if someone asked me if I wanted to play an awesome text-base roleplaying thing where you "enter commands like a dos prompt" I too would lose interest immediately. Probably because I've never been a programmer, never had any interest in it at all (not knocking programmers, I've been married to one for like 18 years now, they're awesome, highly recommend).

    When i have described it to people I've just said "instead of talking to people in person like you would at a tabletop game, you write out what your PC is doing/saying, like you're writing a story with other people, and you all take turns doing that for your PC and their interactions with others." I guess you could say that instead of clicking your mouse, or pushing buttons, you just type the direction you want to move, ect.

    But again, usually if I'm geeking out over mushing, it's not with programmers or folks like that but has been most often other moms/wives I meet who were into RPGs once upon a time, now in various walks of life/professions, mostly not tech people.



  • There are already web interfaces for MUs. Ares has a robust web portal. I know there's been some click-and-go experimentation with Evennia but I'm not up on the status. Some MUDs have a pretty intricate web UI. I don't think having a web interface is a "deviation from the source material in a major way".

    There are other obstacles to getting new folks into MUs though beyond the interface, as we've described ad infinitum on other threads here. Here's one. I know there are others but I'm too lazy to look them up now.



  • @cyberdemon said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    But what gets them every time is that it's command line based. The moment I tell them you have to type in commands "like a DOS prompt"

    Then stop telling them that.

    Tell them it's like a chatroom. It's far more like a chat room than a command line.



  • @Tinuviel said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    @cyberdemon said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    But what gets them every time is that it's command line based. The moment I tell them you have to type in commands "like a DOS prompt"

    Then stop telling them that.

    Just gonna say it, that very line you pulled out, that one has me thinking this is the OP baiting to try and pull up a UI debate amongst the regulars (or which type of Mu/Mu-hybrid is better discussion).



  • @Lotherio Probably. We've had so many of those in the past year or so that I expect most of us have just gone into our holes and pretend the other stuff doesn't exist.

    ETA: They've also done the old "why isn't anyone making games" thing. So either this person is simply very ignorant, or they're trolling. Or both.



  • @Tinuviel said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    ETA: They've also done the old "why isn't anyone making games" thing. So either this person is simply very ignorant, or they're trolling. Or both.

    it's the usual troll. I mean c'mon he's done this cycle before.

    Step 1: post 'woe why isn't anyone making games / RPing' in Gripes.
    Step 2: reply to someone in an RL-related thread to commiserate and try to engage them
    Step 3: Start making mostly pointless threads in Mildly Constructive

    it's bait. don't bother. he'll go full racism within 36 hours.



  • @Auspice said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    @Tinuviel said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    ETA: They've also done the old "why isn't anyone making games" thing. So either this person is simply very ignorant, or they're trolling. Or both.

    it's the usual troll. I mean c'mon he's done this cycle before.

    Step 1: post 'woe why isn't anyone making games / RPing' in Gripes.
    Step 2: reply to someone in an RL-related thread to commiserate and try to engage them
    Step 3: Start making mostly pointless threads in Mildly Constructive

    it's bait. don't bother. he'll go full racism within 36 hours.

    I can't read


  • Banned

    @mietze Actually they get turned off when I don't tell them anything and just show them the interface, too. People don't like command lines.


  • Banned

    @faraday The OP is banned.



  • @cyberdemon said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    @faraday The OP is banned.

    ................................................wait, are you..........

    @cyberdemon said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    But what gets them every time is that it's command line based. The moment I tell them you have to type in commands "like a DOS prompt,"

    @Duke-Nukem said in Getting Young Blood Into MU*'ing:

    When people who like to RP but don't like to MU* prompt me for an argument for why they should give MU*ing a shot (aside from 'they have command lines', which, as it turns out, is the exact opposite of an argument to most of those people),

    ..........could you possibly be.....no, no.......

    @cyberdemon said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    I'm actually arriving at the view that I should be making a project that takes heavy inspiration from the game design choices of MU*'s -- like how rooms connect in a graph rather than in a strict geographic formation, or mobs and inventories, and so on -

    @Duke-Nukem said in Getting Young Blood Into MU*'ing:

    Going from one room to the next like they're nodes in a graph creates a psychological sense of geography. Having items which have descriptions and mobs with the same, plus weird little coded doodads that have their cute little behaviors is compelling,

    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................@Duke-Nukem's LONG-LOST TWIN BROTHER???????



  • I sometimes think I overeact by assuming everyone is This Guy, but, if you're right 70% of the time that's a bet you keep making.



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow

    It's like this guy got hit in the forehead with an aluminum bat and he keeps slipping into and out of a coma with amnesia.

    For the love of god or satan or whatever, at least switch up the routine a little. It's just boring at this point.



  • @Wizz said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    It's like this guy got hit in the forehead with an aluminum bat and he keeps slipping into and out of a coma with amnesia.

    ... okay that's my next character concept.


  • Admin

    I've been on this train for years. The future of MU* if there is one is in web-based interfaces. Game developers have taken some great steps (Ares comes to mind) though.


  • Pitcrew

    @cyberdemon You may wish to consider that the problem may not be the subject but rather your sales pitch. I mean this as helpfully as possible when I say your first post in this thread annoyed me because instead of getting to the point, you spent your first three sentences talking about how long you've been playing these games. You continued better than you began, but that first impression is of someone who wants to use the topic at hand as an excuse to discuss his favorite subject: himself.

    I don't know you, so this could be a totally unfair impression. Just something you might think about.



  • @GreenFlashlight said in Selling people on MU*'s strikes me as impossible:

    I don't know you, so this could be a totally unfair impression.

    accurate



  • So far we have 1. a username taken from a 1990s first person shooter, 2. a thread about getting new blood to sign up for MU*s, and 3. a post in the RL forum about how working in "the hood" led to guns being brandished at him.

    C'mon, don't even play the game this time, just sweep him aside and move on.


  • Banned

    @GreenFlashlight The issue definitely isn't my sales pitch because these games only seem to attract the same few hundred or so people, and that's a generously high number in 2020. There are more than seven billion people on those planet, and that's all we can get for MU*'s? Come on now. The problem is some combination of:

    1. The fact that the technology is literally decades out of date,
    2. The fact that by and large game design stopped in the MU* world, and
    3. Its community is toxic (and not in the "sometimes they do a racism online" way, in the "they treat people poorly" way)

  • Pitcrew

    Dunno if someone told me RPing online is like typing into DOS. I'd ask what DOS is.


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