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A New Generation Of MOOs 32

eric.costello writes "MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) are to Ultima and Everquest as MOOs (Mud, Object Orientated) are to... The Game Neverending? There's a great interview up at Mindjack with the makers of the upcoming web-based MMOG." The article states that "EverQuest puts you in someone else's world, but in a MOO, the world was yours to help create," and this seems to be a big part of what The Game Neverending is trying to promote.
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A New Generation Of MOOs

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  • It's like the MOOs play YOU.

    If the game allows you to mold the game to your liking, is the game the final product or the path leading to it?
    • by Alexius ( 148791 ) <<ten.mocituan> <ta> <suixela>> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @12:45AM (#5898595) Homepage
      I run a MOO, called 'The Keep []'. It's something I'm constantly tinkering with, and always adding new areas and sections. My friends, both online and off, also work to build new things. I don't expect this to ever finish. The building is what the point is. It is almost an art from, allowing me to express myself, as well as provide a wonderful dream world to escape to.

      It reminds me of a quote from Walt, about Disneyland:
      Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

      In other words, the point of a MOO isn't to finish it, but to create it, and to continue having that outlet.
      • I do believe you just managed to get your MOO Slashdotted. It's running terribly slowly...
      • Theme parks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by misuba ( 139520 )
        The Disneyland quote strikes me, if only because I've always been fascinated with theme parks as well as MOOs, and they've always felt, to me at least, similar in some weird sense. My own early experiments with MOO-building felt a bit Disneylandish. (Incidentally I conducted the interview linked to in this story. I might have thought to bring this topic up, if I'd had access to the GNE alpha. Probably not, though; good eye.)

        But I think the similarity is really just in the fact that, given the heterogenaity
        • Where has Jon Katz disappeared to anyway? I miss his articles. Unlike the vocal minority I happened to enjoy his articles a lot. Haven't seen any in a blue moon, though.

  • I've played on MOOs, MUDs, and MMORPGs, and I know they cater to different markets, but this sort of approach always seemed to me to be the result of a game designer somewhere who could create the rules but sucked at level (world) design...

    "Hmm... I'll just let the players build it! I can call it a 'feature'! And if it sucks, it's their fault! Woo-hoo!"
    • I have to disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @02:54AM (#5899076) Journal
      I have to disagree. Today, we have a vast, rich, and varied array of MUDs and MOOS. Every player can find the MUD/MOO that fits exactly what they like. If we take the approach that you're promoting, instead of thousands of MUDs with a good match for each player, we would have had a single (potentially very good) game, something more like Ultima Online. Sure, might have been fun, but people can MUD for years and always have a huge library of free and high-quality content still available to wander through. Granted, there's some shoddy stuff mixed in...but the sheer amount of *stuff* is wonderful.

      Finally, it may well be that the developers are not good at world design...but I'd say that it's better that they recognize that and let someone else do the world design than try to do it themselves. Quite a few commercial game developers that can code but not design good games have taken this route. It produces bad games...that cannot be fixed.
  • MUD= Multy User Dungeon (it was Dimension in the story)...
  • by Slowping ( 63788 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @01:08AM (#5898685) Homepage Journal
    Game Neverending

    this is the game that never ends.....
    it just goes on and on my friends...
  • What about the code? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JMax ( 28101 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @01:57AM (#5898892)
    But, one of the very best things about MOO was MOOcode, a very sweet little OOP language (straight outa PARC) that was elegant, easy to learn, and tightly coupled with the context... from this interview, and the hype pages for Game Neverending, I don't get the sense that they've picked this aspect up at all; it's one thing to say that players can build stuff, but quite another to make it truly fun and engaging. Can anyone fill us in on what object-building is actually based on in GNE?
    • by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @11:24AM (#5901277)
      Ahh, MOO. This article has given me attacks of nostalgia. I first started writing code in MOO nearly a decade ago. One of the more fun things I did was to code up an interesting object called a Port-O-Potty. It was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, with an entryway, party room, and men's and women's toilets. (That's just surrealism allowed by clever use of containment and room linking -- not code.) But the fun part was, it would teleport itself around the MOO randomly every few minutes. Port-O-Potty, get it? Sometimes we ended up in the inventory of other players. Most of the time we ended up in random rooms. Often enough, we would teleport in where other players were gathered. Intrigued, they would join the party.

      Yeah, it sounds stupid. You have to have been there. :)

      The thing I like most about MOO, though, is that it is just an engine. You can do just about anything with it. For example, many MOOs double as Web servers, processing game data into HTML. Some also speak IRC -- a bot coded in MOO can be a bridge between a MOO and an IRC channel. Many MOOs also generate colored text on the terminal by generating the ANSI escape sequences from MOO code. Picture a scripting language sitting on top of a network interface. The server provides a basic framework, but all the real behaviors are programmed in the scripting language and part of the "database". (A MOO database is a collection of MOO objects, with inheritance, properties, and program code. It's not a relational database.) In a MOO, an object in the game world sense is the same as an object in the programming sense. A "verb" is the term for a function -- you can pass in args like you would in most any language, but these also have an additional layer to allow a verb to also be a command a player types in. Some verbs are only callable as commands, others are only callable as functions -- and some are both! Since new script can be compiled in on the fly, you can change a MOO around significantly without ever having to restart it. (Of course, you can also have MOO code that generates and executes other MOO code.)

      The language has some interesting strengths and some key weaknesses. It'll teach you some bad software engineering habits if you let it. On the other hand, its huge flexibility is a good teacher. And it's definitely a wonderful geek toy.
  • MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) are to Ultima and Everquest as MOOs (Mud, Object Orientated) are to... The Game Neverending?

    Man, it's a shame a certain kat from a #td channel isn't around, she spent about 3 hours insulting me because I claimed that Everquest was a natural evolution of MUDs. That psycho spent her entire life on ECrack, so I wasn't that surprised that she had gone a bit soft, but the rabid energy and complete narrow-mindedness with which she defended her point of view was seriously disturbing
    • Hehehe... EverCrack *is* a natural evolution of a MUD. How can people not see that? :P What was her argument...? "We get to *PAY* for this crap, instead of getting it for free...".

      • She was pasting bits of text from Everquest and saying "see, you can't tell everything from the text! It's not a mud!" She was not making much sense, to be honest. Her main argument was "have you played it?" To which of course I truthfully replied "no" and then she tried to imply that I could not have an opinion on the origins of Everquest because I had never played it. Just shows how some people become seriously deranged after playing such games too much. However, as it was on irc and she was a she and I w
        • Hehe :P I have played EverQuest, Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot. They are so natural an extension of a mud, that people even use the same terms I've been hearing on muds for years. Newbie, mob (short for mobile), pkilling, and so forth. Hang around in town long enough on EQ, and you'll hear those words used. As for being deranged from playing the games too much... heh, there comes a time when you let go of the mouse, turn off the monitor, and go outside and play. :P Seriously, some people have
  • I'm still waiting on that elusive graphical MUSH. MUD's have their modern counterparts in hack n' slash MMORPG's like EQ (and every other MMORPG out today). Now MOO's are getting theirs. When will we get an environment to sit back and really role-play a story instead of being suckered down the path of stat maxing on the leveling treadmill?
    • One could argue that The Sims Online is a graphical Mush. I mean it is social... Sadly it seems that while MU* seemed to attract bright people who could communicate, the Sims is just middle america on-line.

      Okay, maybe it's just a changing demographic. There seemed to be no shortage of sci-fi muds and mushs (particularly of the fantasy kind). But I do agree with you, where has the role playing gone?

      One of my favorite quotes of the pre-web days was how Muds were to IRC what herion is to marijuana.

  • Are there any screenshots anywhere about what GNE looks like? I seen some of their encyclopedia ... but I want to see what it is like to travel through the game. (Second beta is closed aparently ...)

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.