18 Nov, 2008, Nyxll wrote in the 1st comment:
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I have a long standing mud that I was given 6 years ago and I customized it up and down.

Lately my faith has been growing, and I still like to putter around. For my pleasure as the pbase
has left. I am not trying to get a new angle to pull in people, but was really trying to figure out
what a Christian mud would and should look like. You want to reach people, do something that
is fun but is also God honouring. Any ideas of how to really balance something like this on a mud?

This is probably why I haven't found any decent Christian video games.

18 Nov, 2008, Idealiad wrote in the 2nd comment:
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It's funny you mention this, because I think there is a rush of Christian video games recently, they might just be not well known.

I remember one Christian mud I stumbled upon way back, HolyQuest.
18 Nov, 2008, Sandi wrote in the 3rd comment:
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DIKU derivatives are mostly Christian. Any MUD with alignment would seem to qualify. Heck, on a ROM, players spend half their time in Hell. :) I think the most glaring non-Chistian element is the "reincarntion" of players after they die. Make them permadeath and you'll be a lot closer.

Alignment is deeply intertwined with everything in a DIKU, yet it does very little. For a Christian MUD, I'd think you'd want it to be all powerful - you can't level unless your alignment is 1000, spells stop working as you approach neutral, you can't recall, XP is diminished, of course…. at one point in my MUD's development if you killed a Good mob, you got negative XP. I didn't let players change alignment, either. I suppose you'd want to let players change, but only after a Baptism ceremony. You could, with relative ease, make alignment, rather than XP, the source of leveling. Just reset their align to 0 after each level, and when they get it to 1000 again, there they are. XP could then be used for bonuses of various sorts, somewhat the way the original design tried to use skill percents to slow players down (trouble is, skill percents don't make enough difference in the stock code - with the Avenger in hand you can take on anything, even with only a 66% (untrained) skill level.)

You'll want to go through the spells an sort them into "magic" and "miracles". Magic, of course, is Evil, and miracles only happen to those with a high alignment, perhaps? Perhaps you can warp "sacrifice" into "tithing", or just remove it and stick with "donate". You could have a "pray" position that replaced/reinforced "sleep", perhaps. Players tend to "sleep their health back" after a battle, you'd want to get them to "pray" before a battle. Perhaps a 'prayer' could grant a random defensive spell?

Just throwin' out some semi-random, poorly informed, ideas here. A real Christian might be more helpful to you. Then again, I might be one of the few who have taken religion in MUDs seriously. Having a Priest and a Benedictine on my staff, I do give these things some thought as my game is decidedly Wiccan. :)
18 Nov, 2008, Mabus wrote in the 4th comment:
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Nyxll said:
I am not trying to get a new angle to pull in people, but was really trying to figure out
what a Christian mud would and should look like. You want to reach people, do something that
is fun but is also God honouring.

Hmmm, this would depend a lot on the sect of Christianity, and how far you wanted to take it.

If I had to design one, the first elements I would look at would be:
* Removal of all spell systems, to be reworked. Prayers might have an effect on helping people. Anything other then prayer that was magic would be very sinful.
* Killing would be limited to demonic influences and possibly take place as an instanced "in your own soul or the soul of others" manner. Weapons, if existing, would be limited to these "soul-battles".
* An alignment system that went from damned (evil) through chosen (good). Ability to repent to change alignment back to at least sinner (neutral), with a time and quest element to it.
* A quest system based around moral choices. With an emphasis on learning about (studying), and teaching about (witnessing), the New Testament and on helping others (charity).
* An emphasis on role-playing real life, with the possibility of multiple time periods (so you could convert the ancient pagans, listen to historic biblical scholars, or visit a damned atheist future to plan how to avert it).
* Help available online, 24/7, from actual volunteer ministry that could (on request) hold private (but logged) conversations with those that requested it. As well as a weekly sabbath sermon and discussion.
* An input committee of ministers to regulate and approve content.

That is off the top of my head.
18 Nov, 2008, tphegley wrote in the 5th comment:
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I have often thought about this as well, but it would be very hard to incorporate christianity into a game. I think one idea would be to place 'saints' into the demon world and would have to use prayers and miracles to overcome Satan in the end. I think if you read 'This Present Darkness' and 'Piercing the darkness' by Frank Peretti will probably give you a good starting ground. Saints would be able to see demons and would have to slay the demons or force them out of a possessed mob and then maybe the mob can be converted. Think about how Jesus went about casting out demons and healing the hurt.

Quests could be to listen to town folk and find the demon possessed man and either A) have to battle the man to get the demon out, or B) casting out the demon with a prayer. Or maybe a quest could be to heal a crippled man in an obscure village or something along those lines.

People might laugh at these thoughts and the overall idea of a christian game but I think it could be quite fun if it was done well. It would be something different and with a purpose.
18 Nov, 2008, Dean wrote in the 6th comment:
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I dunno why, but the mere mention of a Christian MUD makes me want to hide in a rather deep hole. :devil:
18 Nov, 2008, Cratylus wrote in the 7th comment:
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I think the first question I'd ask myself is the purpose of the mud.
For example, let's say that someone wants to run a "Socialist" mud.
What does that mean, exactly? It doesn't really explain what the
motivating vision is at all.

Is Christianity the theme? Guiding principle? Explicit object lesson?

For example, it is my interpretation of Christianity (hereafter referred
to as xianity) that it is a religion that keys on compassion and charity.
Is a xian mud one where the staff are super nice guys?

Is it meant to be entertaining? Or spiritually involving?

Or is it meant to invite newcomers to Jesus? Or is it meant to
reinforce lessons from Sunday school to kids?

If it's xian, that necessarily means the focus is on the New Testament,
right? Otherwise it's a "Biblical" mud. Totally different thing. One
half has a mostly harsh god, one half has a god that is mostly love.

I'm of the opinion that many ancient texts, including the xian Bible,
are rich sources for game content. A Bible mud I bet would *rock*.
But I'm not sure a xian mud would make a lot of sense to me without
a dramatic change to the way one approaches games, because the
nature of multiplayer competition, IMO, tends to obscure what I think
is the message of Jesus. Instead you'd need a game of multiplayer
cooperation, with love, compassion, and cheek turning, rather than
defeat of the opponent, as its focus. Even if you make the opponents
"demons" or whatever, it's just window dressing over an essentially
non-xian approach if your mud is all about getting chi rho from
getting them behind thee.

I think making a Bible mud would be fun and educational. I think
making a xian mud would be very, very hard to do without a
specific vision of what you're supposed to be doing with it that
is in alignment with the point of xianity. In my opinion, anyway.
I'm not sure I have a correct opinion of xianity in the first place,
since I think that if xians actually did what Jesus wanted them to,
this world would look totally, totally different.

In any case, there's an example of this sort of thing being tried before:


18 Nov, 2008, Hades_Kane wrote in the 8th comment:
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Crat brings up some good points.

One thing I would ask first and foremost would be how you are looking to approach this.

Is the "goal" of the game from the player's perspective to be as virtuous as possible? Would you, as the game designer, allow free will within the game or take that away making the only choices a player could make good choices?

Personally, I would think a game that took away the idea of free will to make "good" or "bad" decisions could stand the chance to be very boring, as it would basically be a linear path you are being directed through with very little freedom to make choices or decisions. However, allowing players to come into the game and be "evil" might also defeat the purpose that you, as a christian game designer, might want to accomplish. Even having such things as magic and other "blasphemous" systems might run counter to your message, even if they are portrayed as bad things. Undoubtedly, you will have players interested in those things if you have them present.

It's a tricky thing to work out.

Personally, I think a bible based game where you have the freedom to be good and evil and basically play within the realm of the mythology could be very fun, but that's not what I'm drawing from your post that you might be after.
18 Nov, 2008, David Haley wrote in the 9th comment:
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I think that there is a big difference between a game theme and a game purpose/vision. You could have a game themed on the Crusades; nominally this would be "Christian" but many Christians get a little queasy about making too strong of an association between waging war and Christianity. Or you could have a theme that is completely different, on a superficial level, from Christianity, but with very strong Christian overtones and messages. The Narnia series comes to mind.

Somebody mentioned that the point was to honor God. I guess then that the first point of business would be to decide what exactly that means to you.
18 Nov, 2008, tphegley wrote in the 10th comment:
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Yea, I think you definitely have to pinpoint exactly 'what' type of game/purpose you wanted and then go from there. This a rather broad subject that can turn quickly into a mud (no pun intended) slinging argument in your game about how bad christians are and everything else.

Like stated above, some people might cringe at putting a 'war' type system in your game, where people fight each other, but on the other hand, a book series like the Chronicles of Narnia would be an excellent place to glean information off of if that's how your wanting it to go. There would have to be strict RP measures taken though to accordingly adjust to the christian theme of your mud. You wouldn't want someone to actually kill Mr. Beaver, or only when anyone would fight would be during a battle that is RPd by imms maybe? So you could have the evil (Jadis) against good (Aslan) in this mud, but it would have RP measures.

I don't know, just kind typing out ideas as they come. I think once we get an Idea of what the TC wants from his christian mud then we can better help him.
18 Nov, 2008, quixadhal wrote in the 11th comment:
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A couple points to consider, if you decide to attempt this.

It's VERY easy to try "too hard" to get your point across, and end up sounding preachy. Nobody wants to be lectured to, or to feel that they're being told how to think. That's true in any situation, but becomes doubly so when religion is the focus.

It's also true that the Christian religion, like the vast majority of religions, tends to focus more on stories and events as they relate to people, rather than places. This poses a unique challenge in a MUD, because the vast majority of the canvas you have to work with is room descriptions. Thus, trying to place historical events into the game becomes even more difficult, since you can't always refer directly to the people involved without sounding contrived. The only religion I can think of where this isn't a problem would be Shinto, or perhaps one of the Native American systems.

I think it goes without saying that putting any famous historical or mythical figures has to be done with extreme care. Nobody wants to see horrors like "Gabriel **$#^@*&$ OBLITERATES &&**#$*& you with his TRUMPET BLAST!!!" And if anyone does want to see that, they might consider a support group. *grin*
18 Nov, 2008, David Haley wrote in the 12th comment:
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What about: David ***WHACKS*** you with his slingshot!!!!
18 Nov, 2008, quixadhal wrote in the 13th comment:
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I'm not worried. In my version Goliath would be an endgame RAID boss, so David would have to bring a full warband along to whittle down his defenses and open the slingshot vulnerability window before Golaith breathes a knock-down fireball with a DOT component to wipe the party.

18 Nov, 2008, tphegley wrote in the 14th comment:
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quixadhal said:
I'm not worried. In my version Goliath would be an endgame RAID boss, so David would have to bring a full warband along to whittle down his defenses and open the slingshot vulnerability window before Golaith breathes a knock-down fireball with a DOT component to wipe the party.


Ye of little Faith :smile:
20 Nov, 2008, RedPyramid wrote in the 15th comment:
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What would it look like? To be a smartass, like all the other muds out there… black background and some text. :redface:

Okay but you do need to simplify the ideas out there. Do you want to code characters that are magic users? Are you for or against that? Take the bible, take your stories, target an age group (similar to veggietales or more of an adult adventure), and many many other questions have to be answered to get your story together. The experiences that those get when they log onto your MUD is usually something that people continue forward with with chatter onto those they interact with.

I would talk to your preacher that you are comfortable with. His/her values and beliefs and then compare them to your own because it would be tricky to take something that is highly open to interpretation and just give one doggmatic narrow-minded veiw on, or it will bomb. Perhaps take the stories you love, and combine them with general chatter.

What a great way to get fellow Christians together to talk about your life experiences! Nice idea, but needs some work still.
20 Nov, 2008, Igabod wrote in the 16th comment:
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i'm not a christian and yet i think i would enjoy a bible based mud based in the old testament. an old testament mud would be fairly simple to do compared to some of the other ideas i've seen here since the old testament has people killing other people pretty frequently. You could have different "clans" set up as the major tribes depicted in the bible, you know, the cainites or whatever they were and all those. you could even throw in the ability to choose which religious group your character is in. if you choose to set the time frame as somewhere around the time moses led his jews into the desert, you could have the choice between egyptian and jew, or you could set it in the time of jesus and have the romans/jews/whatever the jesus followers were called. this would probably be the easiest of them all if you portray the romans as "evil" the jews as "neutral" and the jesus freaks as "good" but i guess that would all depend on your point of view. of course you could also have a futuristic bible mud where the apocalypse is actually happening and use revelations as a guide on building your areas and creating classes/races/skills. now that i am thinking about this whole genera i'm getting a bunch of ideas i'd actually enjoy seeing. i hope you get some sort of inspiration from this and actually DO something with it. i would do it myself but i'm nowhere near knowledgeable enough when it comes to the bible to make anything really good.
20 Nov, 2008, David Haley wrote in the 17th comment:
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I'm not sure you could really center the game around events. So you choose Egyptians or Jews when the great plagues hit and then… what? Or you choose Romans vs. Jews vs. Disciples, and then you do what?

If the idea is to have it be a game in the common sense of the term, you need some kind of dramatic tension to get people doing something. Given the fact that it is a persistent multiplayer world, the dramatic tension has to be renewable and shareable, i.e. not centered around one player.

Of course a lot of holes need to be filled in here: what is the desired goal, is combat acceptable/encouraged/unacceptable, is there supposed to be roleplaying, can people play the "bad guys", (are there bad guys?), etc.

Igabod's suggestion of a MUD set in the future when the apocalypse has come is an interesting one, but presumably this would only be possible if combat were a major theme (fighting demons and whatnot). (Would a Christian MUD allow players to take the side of the demons?)
20 Nov, 2008, tphegley wrote in the 18th comment:
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I think it's a very shaky subject and to pull it off would be monumental to say the least. It would be very easy to lose the ground from under you and everything go down the drain. it would have to have a SOLID foundation BEFORE you even started working on it to cover the angle of a christian themed mud. I am a strong christian and the idea of this both intrigues me and kinda scares me at the same time to what someone could do with it.

It would be a blast to make something like the narnia series but you just never know with all the overzealous people out there, both for and against Christianity. I have a great knowledge of the bible, but I don't think that I would undertake something like this simply because it's such a broad area to cover.

On a side note. The mud I am currently working on, the players know I'm a christian and they respect that. I don't base my mud around being a good christian, but they know my values and they respect that and I respect theirs. Though the mud is not christian theme by any means, it has some christian values in it from my own touches. (although I am putting in necromancers this next patch :devil:)
20 Nov, 2008, Tyche wrote in the 19th comment:
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Our Christian RPG group has been playing a campaign set in the historical 12th century around Jerusalem for about 4 years now. We meet about 4-6 times a year and alternatively use the Savage Worlds system and a home rules miniatures system. Our gamemaster has linked quests together that feature scenarios which are medium scale miniatures battles with classic dungeon style adventuring, the battles setting the stage for the maps and clues to the quests. Most of the group are in fact war gaming enthusiasts, myself included. We've ran quests for the True Cross, Spear of Destiny, Ark of the Covenant and currently the Holy Grail. There's a whole wealth of ideas here, but I've never known the fun of playing FTF small group RPGs to translate very well to mudding.

Good Luck.
27 Nov, 2008, Nyxll wrote in the 20th comment:
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I wanted to say first and foremost I am so humbled by the insight and maturity of the posts. Each of the comments is profound, and really has helped me look at the spectrum of what it takes to build such an endeavor.

I am starting to think that a levelless system would definitely be the best way to go. Having areas based on biblical history would be cool. I like the idea of prayer instead of magic. There would be a significant reduction in the number of spells and offensive spells would go. I am not sure about using alignment to govern things … but I was thinking that there could be some kind of law and reputation system, that get triggered. I keep flipping back and forth, but I was also thinking that the closer to God that you get, (alignment) the more he trusts you with, so it might need to be incorporated.

I love the idea of quests for biblical artifacts. Weaving political conspiracies into the story lines would be awesome as well. What other skills and quests would you want to see?

Are there other ways to make this challenging and fun? I would honestly hate to restrict people actions. I think the freedom to do bad things is necessary.

I still am in awe with this thread. What a great community you have here.