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in search of mentoring

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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Wed 12 Jul 2023 01:18 PM (UTC)
Message
I've come seeking help (in a way) I'm the "big idea guy" here to announce the the one that's gonna blow them all outta the water.. we all know them. I'm one of them. I don't want to be though.

I'm trying to transition from "idea goblin" to "developer elf" I've been traveling from forum to forum, discord server to discord server. There's too much noise everywhere and any feedback is only haphazardly thrown about as a result of merely a cursory glance at any content I'm currently presenting.

If there is anyone here who is bored enough to amuse themselves with my work, I'm looking for someone to take me under their wing so to speak. I'm only skilled and tested enough to basically be my own intern at this point.

This post is probably too long already (another habit)
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #1 on Thu 13 Jul 2023 03:25 PM (UTC)

Amended on Thu 13 Jul 2023 03:32 PM (UTC) by Whoa Be Gone

Message
The idea is this. D&D rules will be used as the foundation (I'm afraid to admit I'll be pulling almost everything from Pathfinder d20 OSR - it's just got everything there, everything is familiar playtested and comprehensive for the areas I want to use systems and mechanics for) it doesn't take a prodigy to get this far.

The game world is going to be an area roughly 1-3 days travel on foot with a Big Sky National Park setting. Many of the areas in the game will be locations appropriate for the setting (albeit many of them uninhabited or abandoned) Much of the gameplay here is going to be pretty survivalist oriented. Much of the content here will revolve around rewarding player care for their initially abandoned summer camp zones by these camps growing in rank and becoming the games cities.


The farther from the main road and civilized locations the players travel the more locations become typical tropes of kids'imaginations. The farm becomes a Redwall adventure. An abandoned bomb shelter has a secret backdoor to an underground Area 51.

The gimmick is much of the vendor trash+ are items that when assembled become functional pastimes. Players trading up to complete a shitty(functional!) deck of ASCII cards... A game board+12 washers+ 12 buttons = a piss poor ASCII checkers game... that works! An action figure with #charges to summon a body guard in battle...

I am well aware, this in and of itself is nothing, it is not meant to impress. But just make someone here curious. If Nirvana can be a Top 100 bands of all time, even an idea guy can produce something worth while if the magic is there..
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Posted by Fiendish   USA  (2,513 posts)  [Biography] bio   Global Moderator
Date Reply #2 on Thu 13 Jul 2023 09:07 PM (UTC)
Message
I don't know what you're asking for.

https://github.com/fiendish/aardwolfclientpackage
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #3 on Thu 13 Jul 2023 10:26 PM (UTC)
Message
Ok this is a start! Thank you! I don't seem to be able to ask the right questions. I've never done work or invested in hobbies that ever promoted any executive skills.

I'm searching forums and Discords for someone who might just be outta the game long enough that the sight of some idiot popping in one day looking lost in clothes too big for him might just spark a 2nd wind in some jaded old fool to begrudgingly tag along to bark at me when I'm doing something wrong.

I'm looking for someone I can entertain with my ideas and comically naive enthusiasm in exchange for some industry secrets and guidance from some old timers.

If any of you are interested enough in MUDs anymore to be amused at the odds this will all take flight, what can I bring to the table for you to judge if this is indeed worthy of even just enough interest for just one more question?

Everyone on discord and Reddit is all just talking out their asses in a field of silos. This place looks like it hasn't heard a fart echo in years! It's perfect. If I had the discipline and ambition to be a single developer, I'd already have a geocities instead of a Wiki for this shit. But I don't.
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,966 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #4 on Fri 14 Jul 2023 05:08 AM (UTC)
Message

There is a considerable amount of work involved in getting a MUD game up from scratch.

  • Coding (probably months of it)
  • Area design — where are the villages, shops, roads, lakes, etc.?
  • Quest design — giving players something to do, including quest chains.
  • Mob design — mob names, attributes, armour, attacks, defence, movement speed
  • Item design — weapons, armour, etc. — What does an item do? Where do you get it?
  • Vendors
  • Repairs
  • Professions — do you collect stuff like ore, do you make things like armour or weapons
  • Player support — resolve issue like abuse, lost items, players stuck
  • Game mechanics — do you have ranged weapons? If so, how do you know when you are in range or not in a text-based game? What about area-of-effect attacks? How do you know how big an area is? Are you going to have “rooms” like many MUDs do? If not, how will you describe where people are in relation to each other and the items in the world?
  • Mapping — can the players see where they are as they move around?
  • Bug management — have a way of reporting and managing bugs, and feature requests
  • Transport — how do players move around, other than walking?
  • Hosting the finished game — where will the server be? Who will pay for it?
  • Game client — what client are you planning to use? A specific one? A generic one, like telnet?
  • Testing — testing game features before they are released

It’s nice that you are enthusiastic. But where do you fit in, in what I describe? A coder? Area designer? Something else?

This forum has been fairly quiet for the last few years. It used to be quite busy. I suspect that a lot of existing MUD game players have moved on to 3D games, which can be a lot more involving than reading text from the screen.

There will be some people still playing MUDs, sure. One market they cater for is people who have trouble with their eyesight, as they can use text readers to read the text to them, something not really practical with a 3D interactive game.

You might spend a couple of years developing a totally new game from scratch, launch it, and find you have 5 to 10 players. Then what?


- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #5 on Fri 14 Jul 2023 10:27 AM (UTC)
Message
I have to do all of these. I don't fit in anywhere. The core audience is effectively my family. My friends, their kids are getting to that age where they've been wanting to learn magic and DnD and stuff. I just think it would be fun to be able to let a bunch of the nieces and nephews have a place to kick around and hopefully had enough functionally that I could lure my dad or uncle online with a functional ASCII cribbage board.

It's supposed to just be a private Facebook/game table for our extended family. Any commercial success for this endeavor will be actively avoided. A bunch of old friends who can hardly fit at our game table anymore let alone find time to do it! And God knows what kids do if they ever catch their parents enjoying life without them! I have my player base I just have no place for us all to play.

Sorry for insulting your website. I was only to instigate a bit. If you believe I should, I won't be rude if you ask me to leave. I can do this...it's just a lonely bitch of a process.

I'm at work now. I will try to account for each topic you mentioned objectively so as to give an accurate window to judge my thought process and the direction I'm looking.

Additionally, if you simply want to tell me to move along I'm not gonna start a fight over it or anything. I hope my brashness is not too off-putting beyond surface level internet dummies running around. Thank you though for hearing my case. This may be the best and most receptivity worded iteration of my spiel yet. But if you must leave, can you tell me where else I might find an old Merlin or a grouchy owl to help me life my sword. You can warn them ahead of time and let them know I'm coming but I won't be much trouble =P
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #6 on Fri 14 Jul 2023 01:02 PM (UTC)
Message
These are my thoughts on everything you pointed out. They may or may not be healthy viewpoints but I've nobody yet to bounce ideas off or scrutinize my own. I'm just kinda ruminating on it all

~CODING~
Nearly all the work will be done using Evennia (evennia.com). Game Client also falls under this category. I'm spending the least amount of time on this question cuz it doesn't take long to say "I don't know" If there's anything that instills confidence in me, it's that, outside of learning how you need to think on order to communicate with a PC, everything to learn is simply a number a statements that I'll need to learn and reference. Like math, a series of truths used for reference when applying it to wherever it's needed. If I don't always understand it, I know I'll be able to rely in it's consistency until I witness something that makes it click..

~AREA DESIGN~

I'm assuming this and other categories like it are what goblins come in here thinking this is the only category of work they will need to bother themselves with right? It's "I need someone to put all my industry shattering concepts into a game for me and the put on my sunglasses for me to protect my eyes from all it's glory" This stuff is all just "fiction" and I can do all that. It's a waste of time to go in-depth before you all here because and good idea is worth nothing if cared for poorly. I'm assuming you just want to gauge my thoughts on it all up to this point maybe? You've had to have seen it all and the XYZ never matters cuz you've seen good ideas implemented negligently or selfishly.

~QUEST DESIGN, MOB DESIGN, ITEM DESIGN, VENDORS, REPAIRS, GAME MECHANICS, MAPPING, TRANSPORT~

As a whole, see above. Individually, those are a lot of cans of beans to open up all at once. It's about 30 years worth of day dreaming. This is the area that has held be back (very different than mere "obstacles") and if these questions are genuine questions, we'll have to zoom waaaay in, one molehill at a time. If you were trying to provoke thought, I understand too. I've got tricks up my sleeve but they're in limbo. Innovation will collapse if not built upon a foundation. (I'm waiting to see what parts of Designing Virtual Worlds will spark appropriate progress where I've left off on these ideas)

~PLAYER SUPPORT~
It's gonna have to be me, I'm sure your laughing now and I'm sure I deserve it. I'm a parent so I hold no illusion about countless demands and little thanks. "It's a labor of love" it's its own reward/punishment.

~MAPPING~
umm, this one has some story behind it but in regards to being able to do it, yes.
Evennia has an amazing contribution called Xyzgrid that is basically all this in a box

~BUG MANAGEMENT~
Again, it's just gonna have to be me. I'm not sure how anything is going to look when I get there. If it's been done obviously there's a route or method out there that works for these things and that part doesn't seem like rocket science. But as far as the weight of of this topic, the rest boils down to the care and involvement of the developers.

~Hosting~
From talks with friends (all my friends love playing with cables but not goblins lol) I believe there are cost free options which would suffice. I'm not sure how much more I get by choosing go with a service backed by say, Amazon though?..
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #7 on Fri 14 Jul 2023 05:19 PM (UTC)
Message
Area design

So design is the word that's sticking to me as I'm gathering my thoughts.

I'm unsure what ideas you would want to hear. I'm also unsure if you meant all this rhetorically just to point out that there are mountains of seemingly innocuous details that make larger waves that we don't know till we've seen it in action.

what does it mean?

~ how pretty things look
~ is the design practical and additionally, well suited for a virtual environment
~ is the world linear? open? too much one way or the other?
~ do the places I built for player downtime give them a reason to want to be there when they're not out getting pounded?
~ a "scope" and "size" just a bunch of extra clicking to get one place to the next just to disguise the emptiness?

how do i do it?

~top to bottom
~left to right
~ wherever our whims take us that day?
~do everything in incremental layers or flesh out each room fully before moving on

I do have a "world map" indeed. I'm too afraid to show it cuz it's what everyone does when they want to look like their working without establishing much. It's meaningless to bring a map and say "I'm working on a game" nobody cares.

In regards to how this is going to be done, in Evennia, there's a contribution called Xyzgrid. I'll probably be using this for most of it cuz it's got a lot of functionality that addresses many of the first wave of questions when it comes to the topic. It handles mapping as well. It's all done in a .py file and then Evennia will build it when it's imported.

This way hot fixes or changes made in the world can still have a safe backup and on the flip side, it's a place to make changes that I'm not prepared for putting in yet.

The other method which also works in conjunction with this is called the Wilderness contribution. It's more used for generating large areas of same or similar rooms. It teleports players back to the same room and gives a random description from your list keeping track of player coordinates until it meets an incompatible room (if a player is there or someone dropped an object) these rooms will be created on the fly until the need for consistency passes. Then they are deleted.

This is what I'm sitting on so far on AREA DESIGN
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,966 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #8 on Fri 14 Jul 2023 09:13 PM (UTC)

Amended on Fri 14 Jul 2023 09:15 PM (UTC) by Nick Gammon

Message

Sorry for insulting your website. I was only to instigate a bit.

I wasn’t insulted.

Additionally, if you simply want to tell me to move along I’m not gonna start a fight over it or anything.

I don’t mind MUD design being discussed here.

(Coding) Nearly all the work will be done using Evennia (evennia.com). Game Client also falls under this category.

I hadn’t heard of them, but a quick browse indicates it seems like a good starting point. At least you will have the code on your PC so you won’t need to worry if that website goes down.

Judging by their tutorial, they have done a variant of the MUSH genre, rewritten in Python it seems. The MUSH genre is less combat-oriented and more for building your own virtual world on-the-fly. That sounds like it may suit you.

If you want D&D style combat you may have to put quite a bit of work into implementing that.

(Player support) It’s gonna have to be me, I’m sure your laughing now and I’m sure I deserve it.

Not at all. I was just seeing what size project you were aiming for.

(Mapping) Evennia has an amazing contribution called Xyzgrid that is basically all this in a box

OK, an ASCII map. I was wondering if you where thinking of a graphical mapper, like shown here and here.

I’m not trying to sell anything, but with a modest amount of server support the mapper described there can map “out of the box”. The support needed is to tell the client where you are in the world, and where the exits lead, preferably using out-of-band messages (ie. ones the player doesn’t see). It is really designed for an orthogonal world layout (exits to N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, Up and Down) rather than the more fluid system of exits that MUSHes use.

(Hosting) I believe there are cost free options which would suffice.

You can host at home if you are just doing it for family and friends. There are sites that provide hosting services comparatively cheaply.

(Area design) I’m unsure what ideas you would want to hear. I’m also unsure if you meant all this rhetorically …

I am just prodding you rhetorically to see where you are in your design process. You don’t have to answer in detail.


- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #9 on Wed 19 Jul 2023 12:37 AM (UTC)

Amended on Wed 19 Jul 2023 12:54 AM (UTC) by Whoa Be Gone

Message
It'll be a rickety conglomeration of fun.

Idk I kept typing stuff up but just sounded insincere.

Yeah, all the mechanics I can fit will be taken from d20. It's so comprehensive and close enough to familia....hoooold up! Tell me how THIS might be handled with enough tact to pull it off in a fun manner! So ya know how I may or may not have at least alluded to the whole real world survival sandbox side of the game as part of the backdrop and just about any of the areas could sorta just pop into some fantastic settings? I'm jumping around but if I'm on the topic maybe it can prove something interesting to speculate (EDIT: just removing some less than classy shit talking not really adding much quality or humor to the post) but I wonder how a class/race system could be incorporated using "magic hats" since it's kinda supposed to juxtapose (fancy word, not for every day room descriptions but still a fun one) the heartless DM difficulty of DnD with an almost SNES or Animal Crossing feel to it...

This would warrant scrutiny as to how vendors, quests, and loot now permit access to content, correct? Also the ability to "switch" race/class on the fly (abusing games is the best way to expose one's brilliance IMHO what would you do?) I'm sure many others but these are 2 that already warned me so far..

The existing race system I had was to use age brackets as one's race, so

Kindergarten
Elementary
Middle School
Highschool

this would basically level up your character on a timer.. just spend your time playing the game how you want, don't worry or try to have fun by minmaxin please at least not here.. just look for fun stuff, try not to get the shit kicked outta you too much (aww Jimmy played too hard and woke up in the first aid tents), we'll just get you to max Level (13 grades). Things like saves, HP, 'racial bonuses' will be moved along their paths as they grow old and character functionality should slide along from something fair tied to a Wonder or Imagination stat being drawn from them to being able to use motor vehicles or firearms (high schoolers may take a gun safety class or get their permit)

I'm not tied to much. But how does something like that strike ya?
P1 "I can help you get your gnome hat so we can both do
our Jeweler missions together!"
P2 (P1s bot) "Sweet, thanks! This game rocks!.."
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #10 on Wed 19 Jul 2023 01:19 AM (UTC)
Message
Oh shoot! Also glad the forums are up! I didn't wanna blast on in like rick james and not have some kinda courtesy for that kinda hassle you and others do to give us platforms communities and entire realities.

To be honest I thought I was blocked and all my years of rudeness and some ungrounded (and ungrateful!) need for an audience finally showed me up.. so thanks and sorry for the hassle. I probably owe a few more admins out there some of that
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #11 on Wed 19 Jul 2023 11:26 AM (UTC)

Amended on Wed 19 Jul 2023 11:30 AM (UTC) by Whoa Be Gone

Message
That's just a wild idea. I know it wasn't productive thinking. What were really working on is ha wel basically nothing yet lol

Still in regards to area design cuz I guess we need a nice spot to screw up everything else.

We've (I asked my wife and nephew if they wanna help) decided to model the game world of a Yellowstone National Park map (see how it makes basically a giant circle like TES Oblivion did?) and we're starting in West Thumb. This is gonna probably be the entire tech demooooooprototype whatever so it's gonna be a copy of Keep on the Borderlands since that's got a mini sandbox design to it already.

Area Design? Well, I've resolved to laying a grid over the world map at a 3mi per "move" scale and maybe using rations or something of a tax to provide a bit of "scope" to the area? Like an old NES rpg, players just go "in" to the rooms which of course is just a new map.

I'm leery of taking on the "one huge seamless world" approach. Especially with no experience and little tolerance for "that doesn't look right" I'll be asking players for a bit of leeway but it's the best approach I have thought of.

There's 4 locations in this map. And I remember something about gameplay loops so I'm tryna work this in. What I would LIKE to attempt is ways to make all these abandoned camps to provide players a spot they "want" to come back and dump their resources that haven't already been stolen from by such a cruel game.

The idea is that these will initially be "dungeons" to clear out and after a condition is met the rooms will kinda "acquire a new condition" and will then be safe but still pretty pitiful.

From here I've no idea how to handle an idea like this. I want to make sure I've thought about it.

Can the areas be cleared in parts or only as a whole?
Will players get to make choices for how the camps are grown? Will they fight about it? Would that be my fault?

Should areas decay over time needing commitment to keep the rewards of players' efforts? Is that cheap?

What will keep players loving the camp after they've blazed through all the process I thought would keep them occupied for at least 6 months? What will be there to keep them after that happens?

So ugh I hope some bits provide a clear indication of the blurry picture so far. There's more here but even this I a bit of a grind to even try to iterate in some comprehensible fashion =/

It'll make more sense and not seem so pathetic if I can hammer get to connected topics. I try to read a lot of your posts here and I'm glad it's already helped realize how many different things I'll have to consider with all the choices. So if anything, at least I'm not foolish enough to be confident in an idea until if proves itself a bit more.

Wow, the grammar.. the typos.. I'm not even gonna fix it and I apologize for what that indicates..(it would be different if I was going back to fix my game than a post) BIGGER FISH TO FRY RIGHT NOW..
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #12 on Fri 04 Aug 2023 08:46 AM (UTC)

Amended on Fri 04 Aug 2023 10:15 AM (UTC) by Whoa Be Gone

Message
now we changed our ideas to pokemon. the IP is familiar to youth (it's supposed to attract the youngsters in our friends/family circle. it's just going to be a private server) and familiar or even tolerable amongst the adults. me and the wife will be playing it for sure!

when we get Internet back up and our computers set after we move, we're going through the entire tutorials with Evennia. the documentation is super good in Evennia and I imagine that I should be doing a lot of boring stuff before I can be appropriately eager about the exciting parts of putting something together like this.

but is there something you all know from experience that will take time to think through that I'll need down the road so I can at least direct my thoughts to something I can set aside as "done" while we autopilot through a bunch of tutorials. i just don't have experience to find something that i will establish with any certainty before moving on?

this is the part I'm not good at. I can try to reassess those first questions again now about the idea of pokemon.

it says in designing virtual worlds that a visualization document is something that needs to be made before we start so that's my first thing I'm gonna make!
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Posted by Fiendish   USA  (2,513 posts)  [Biography] bio   Global Moderator
Date Reply #13 on Mon 07 Aug 2023 01:01 AM (UTC)

Amended on Mon 07 Aug 2023 03:56 AM (UTC) by Fiendish

Message
You came here for mentoring about MUDs. Instead here's some mentoring about writing effectively, because I think the way you think about writing and other people's time bleeds into the reason why you're not finding an audience.

Quote:
Wow, the grammar.. the typos.. I'm not even gonna fix it and I apologize for what that indicates

*shrug* As long as you don't mind that I've only read a tiny fraction of what you wrote because I don't have the energy to dig through pages of meandering stream-of-consciousness looking for whatever it is that I'm supposed to be looking for.

Quote:
any feedback is only haphazardly thrown about as a result of merely a cursory glance

I'm not surprised.

People will always have other things going on and other things to do that they want to do much more than they want to help you work on your project. You have to convince someone that spending their time and energy on your thing is more valuable to them than spending the time and energy on something else, and your writing is getting in your way.

Let's go back to a question you asked earlier:

Quote:
what can I bring to the table for you


You need to demonstrate that interacting with you is worth someone's time. This is the most fundamental absolute truth of every interpersonal interaction, and this is your problem to solve, not the audience's.

Your writing cavalierly demands a lot of the reader's time and mental energy without getting to a point. It isn't organized, and it doesn't flow, and it doesn't build, and that feels disrespectful, because it shows other people that you either aren't thinking about or don't care about the value/(time+energy) proposition of even reading what you wrote let alone when any actual work needs doing. Even the people who might be both able and willing to help are just going to stop reading and move on to something else because their time and energy are finite resources.

https://bernoff.com/blog/iron-imperative-of-writing-dont-waste-time
https://www.idunn.pro/first-rule-great-writing-respect-reader/

Now that you've gotten all the way to the bottom and have hopefully read those two links I just provided...

Quote:
is there something you all know from experience that will take time to think through that I'll need down the road


Yeah. Dentists are all basically a scam. https://www.rd.com/article/how-honest-are-dentists/

https://github.com/fiendish/aardwolfclientpackage
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Posted by Whoa Be Gone   (12 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #14 on Mon 07 Aug 2023 06:41 PM (UTC)

Amended on Mon 07 Aug 2023 11:21 PM (UTC) by Whoa Be Gone

Message
Thank you for taking the time to post. that feels embarrassing to read but helpful nonetheless so. I'll just read that stuff and let it sink in. thanks a bunch I really appreciate it.

I don't understand why dentists seem to be brought up alot in the mu*/MMO community though? is that something specific or just banter of some sort?
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