Dead Souls and Subversion

December 20, 2007

One of the key features that I enjoy about developing an LPC mud is the ease with which one may modify code on the fly at runtime. The vast majority of the game’s functionality can be developed and tested very rapidly without any interruption in the game environment or rebooting the mud. This rapid development is compounded by the ability to grant code access to any user, which has the potential to result in a very chaotic environment of concurrent development.

In order to help ensure code quality and manage the development of the mud in such rapid-pace environment, I’ve employed the use of subversion, an open-source revision control system. I’ve had a few issues pop up while getting subversion and Dead Souls to play nicely, but most of them have been smoothed out by now.

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Mechanics!? What!?

December 14, 2007

One of the first major game systems that have been discussed by the current development staff (read: me and my co-owner) is what basic game mechanics the game will implement. First we had to decide if we wanted to completely engineer the mechanics from scratch, or if we wanted to adapt an already existing game system for our needs. Since we’re such a small team and this is a hobby project in our spare time, we decided to save ourselves some headaches and start with an existing RPG’s game mechanics and slowly refine them to better suit our theme and make the adjustments necessary to make a pen-and-paper roleplaying game work in a roll-playing MUD.

Rate This Thread

December 7, 2007

It appears that The Mud Connector (aka TMC) has implemented a method of rating the topics on its discussion forums. While I appreciate offering the community an opportunity to do a little self-policing and moderation, I can’t help but wonder at the actual usefulness of the system.

“TMC members can now rate discussions threads from 1 to 5 stars, 1 star indicating that you feel the thread is a meaningless pile of trash, 5 stars indicating you feel the thread is very useful.” — The Mud Connector

If I were to be honest with myself, I’d most likely rate every thread on TMC as a 1. The vast majority of threads are uninteresting and contain very little discussion that isn’t laced with ego-driven, off-topic drivel. The only truly worthwhile postings on TMC are those that involve the least amount of discussion: the Mud Promotions and Mud Staffing Board. On the flip side of the coin, every post can be useful from the right point of view. The MUD community is rife with meta-gaming and there’s a lot more to consider than a forum thread’s face value.

I typically find that self-policing in such small communities tends to lead to very polarized user cliques, where a few relatively large groups of users dominate the moderation and quickly rate down any threads that contain any elements unapproved of by the clique as they vie for forum dominance. It’s for this and similar reasons that I’ll likely not take advantage of the rating viewing threshold, so that I might at least retain the full ‘fair and balanced’ view of the threads.