Suggestion Star Army MUD/MUSH

  • It's 5月 YE 43 for September and October. IC months advance every 2 OOC months.

Raycaster

New Member
Apr 22, 2020
12
7
3
Greetings, Star Army! I've been gone for awhile. I honestly hardly ever existed here in the first place. But not for lack of will or want to do so.

I'm here to talk to you about an excellent night spent roleplaying, comfortable and entertained, writing paragraphs with a keyboard dimly lit by the monitor. But not as we know it here on the forum. I'd like to introduce you to the idea of a MUD! A Star Army MUD, more specifically. It would be a realtime roleplaying venue, and basically a text-based MMO. There'd be a system of rooms, connecting exits. You'd be able to go north, east, south, west, and a few more ways. You'd find the dining area. You'd visit the bridge, or crawl into access shafts with a flashlight to be able to see. But the best part is, you'd encounter other players as well. You could talk to them, interact with them, and either work your posting, or enjoy downtime.

A well developed system like this could be a rich and elaborate environment, rooms would live and have things to interact with, there would be NPC given quests and goals. There could even be stats, inventory, and other such systems to add some spice. Even less developed systems would also allow a player to contribute and create their own items, rooms, and area up to a quota... or unlimited, if someone has a big idea they want to work on.

For the initial opening of a Star Army MUD, I had an idea for a little plot to kick things off. The first members would be on a mission to reclaim a derelict space station outpost, somewhere off out of the way, but still significant enough to be valuable. Taking a breach vessel, the crew would board it, and system by system, bring the dead station back to humming life. First areas being the boarding ship, and then more of the station as it gets built and reclaimed.

Now for the distinction.

A MUD is a little bit more MMO-ish, gamey, with stats and level and gear. You can roleplay and describe yourself extensively, but there is still very much a coded limit to things, however lenient they might be. One benefit to this type of system is that it would allow you to select a race, and assuming they were implemented properly, you could use their abilities naturally. If there were a hatch in the cieling, but no ladder, a minkan could simply float up to it, while an unfortunately grounded crew member would be left below. You could wander in dangerous areas, wear equipment, and kill monsters.

A MUSH is a much more relaxed environment, significantly easier to build areas for, and with an emphasis on the roleplay element as its primary goal. There aren't any stats to worry about, or races to pick from a list. You are what you describe yourself as, and anything extra is just for flavor or personal entertainment. Making a room is as easy as entering a command, and then describing what the room would look like as you normally would. More mechanical systems and dice rolling, or even an entire MUD-level of a game could be implemented within a MUSH, using its built in softcode systems. One time I recreated a (basic) Cookie Clicker copy in a MUSH in an evening. It's probably still running, years later. I should check on it. Anyway, I digress!

Both of these systems have their merits and their pros and cons. Both of these types of games do typically require a client to be able to connect to them, but the same client would work for both, as they are just served through telnet, in most cases. The need for a client can be evaded, as there are plenty of web clients and browser plugin clients available.

The question now is, would you like to see something like that? I think it would be cool.

I suppose I should link some resources for people to sample to get a feel of it. I'm sure that a fair number of people in Star Army are already fairly familiar with them as well.

Grapevine: a MUD-listing website with a basic and responsive web client. There are a lot of games ready to be played there.
Arx: This is a very roleplay intensive MUSH based on an evennia codebase. It's got nothing to do with Star Army or its themes, but the way in which it lists character profiles and stores logs of canon roleplays for later reading is noteworthy.
Awakened Worlds CE: a Shadowrun MUD, with a very vibrantly coded world, and very creative systems. The extended character creation is incredible. You can load yourself up with cybernetic parts and such. It's noteworthy for its implemented game systems.
MUSHClient: Gammon MUSHClient is my preferred client for both types of games, and it is quite extensive in its features. Windows only.
Mudlet: For Windows, Mac, and Linux, there is Mudlet. It's probably in your linux package manager already.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Whisper

Soban

🌟 Site Supporter
Convention Veteran
Aug 21, 2017
984
1,338
148
I think this is possible, and plays to our strengths. It's also something that can grow over time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wes

Reynolds

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2012
2,544
1,214
143
39
As someone that was big into MUD/MUSH stuff for a while (if you've ever played the main 'tree' of DBZ MUDs then you've probably played in zones I built and possibly worn items named after me created long after I retired) I don't think this is a very good idea. MU* stuff isn't exactly seeing much growth anymore. They don't attract many new faces.

Something similar might be fun, if it was perhaps a short text-based adventure you could run entirely on/through the main SA website. But, it'd still mostly be a fun thing to poke at for people already invested in SA.

A very small, tight little 3D or 2.5D space, with somewhat-customizable avatars, maybe your own rooms? Where you could walk around mostly-accurate ship (Plumeria/Eucharis most likely) and decorate your own room, invite people over, meet in the cafeteria, talk on the bridge, etc. That might be both a good RP/immersion tool, and a way to attract people not already invested in the setting.

But, concentrating on your strengths and what you already have some familiarity with, focusing more on a real-time Discord presence would probably be the best way to incorporate this idea. You join the OOC Discord, apply, get access to the 'public' RP server with one always-running 'newbie' plot and a big station to hang out in. Then, once you pass a few basic checks, get accepted to a ship that's its own private Discord with rooms for each area and such. Which can always dock with the station to return people to the public server. Or cross-over with another ship/plot, probably held on the public server as well. Which is where you'd likely have publicly-viewable but 'need a certain role to post' channels for stuff like Yamatai, Hanako's World (or the equivalent) and such.
 

Raycaster

New Member
Apr 22, 2020
12
7
3
Something similar might be fun

But, concentrating on your strengths and what you already have some familiarity with, focusing more on a real-time Discord presence would probably be the best way to incorporate this idea.

You do make a really good point, but I'm not sure if I agree necessarily that MU* stuff isn't capable of growth, or even a renaissance. Certain codebases also could be extended into discord, the web forum, or even having a 3D or 2.5D space built on top of it. Erm... that might be out of my scope, though. I mostly feel like some form of grounding with locations already described, and real time roleplaying would also increase player engagement.

It's more that I'm looking to see if there is any interest, and possibly, what shape a project like that could take on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wes

Reynolds

Well-Known Member
Apr 4, 2012
2,544
1,214
143
39
MUDs were that generation's version of FTP/mobile games. 90% of people were playing them because they were young and/or had no money. You had only a few people spending cash to keep them running/updated. I think there's very little chance of new people showing interest in MUDs when they could download thousands of other options with graphics that will still run on a phone or toaster.

The idea of how a MUSH/MUCK works is much more likely to appeal to the type of people who are already interested in SA, and would definitely be a way to attract a slightly broader group of people than a message board. But the actual physical way a MUSH/MUCK works, using a dedicated client to load into a text-only world, just isn't going to fly nowadays. Again, you could just go to the modern free equivalents like Twitter, Discord...is Tumblr RP still a thing?

A Discord server where every channel has a picture/description pinned basically duplicates a MUSH/MUCK setup, except for the 'being in every room at once' thing. Aggressive role distribution with limited channel-posting/viewing privileges attached could somewhat replicate that.

If SA somehow had a launchable client/.exe that had like 00s style room and avatar system, I could see that being fairly popular. Especially if you could get it off the Play/App store. And it was free. But that would require paying/recruiting for coding, art, servers, etc. It'd be the best return but require the most investment, and the ratio probably wouldn't be worth it.

Building an actual honest-to-Telnet MUD/MUSH wouldn't actually be too difficult or cost too much, but it would, most likely, give you almost no return on that investment. It'd be the same as commissioning some really nice art or a professionally written short story. The community would enjoy it, but, like...that's it.

Discord is already free, already popular, already easy to use, etc. The investment is so small that any returns you'd receive would all be gravy. I personally think that would be the best way to utilize your basic idea of 'a real time SA RP in a new space' without having to learn new (old) tech, pay/recruit for assets, etc.

I would enjoy a SA MUD as a novelty and play it for a day or two. I'd appreciate a SA MUSH/MUCK but not see the point of it. I would love to see some form of SA video game, even if it wound up not specifically appealing to me, but I (we) likely couldn't afford it.

I've tried to pitch both a podcast and a TTRPG system before, though, so I'm always willing to brainstorm for concepts that might not actually work out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soban and demibear
RPG-D RPGfix