I haven't noticed a collective of PBBG's. Noticed more that focused on flash games but it would seem much more of a commercial endeaver. There might be a site that focuses on RPG's for example or selling the games at what-ever stage they are developed.
One example I've noticed, a site might allow users with no studio/company to collab and submit games for ad rev sharing. Upon submission it would allow the project leader to assign percentages of the ad rev shares to those who worked on the project and promote any sountracks and such. I think the stats would reflect more of what would calculate their earnings. Though they would probrably be mixed in with games that weren't PBBG's it may be in the genre of RPG/adventure or strategy. They would also have a dump for files you want to tinker with and a forum of people who may help you with something your working on.
To my knowledge, MUDs don't usually have people sign NDA's and such.
I remember someone post up a TADS link a while back. Haven't been to their site/forums but the newer version (3.1?) had an option to export it as a browser game or as an app and incorporate graphics as banners.
I've been considering building a PBBG instead of a MUD for a while now. There are a bunch of them, but it seems that they are a bit hard to find. There are several top lists, but you have to dig for the PBBGs that are not really flash or anything. At one point, the only games that I could find where AAA (Alien Adoption Agency) clones, but there are a bunch of nice ones out there. Here's a list of a few of my favorites:
Here's a top site if you are interested with a few more:
Edited to add: I haven't found a real developer community, but I've been talking about my plans at Dreamincode.com in their game dev forum. I googled PBBG dev related stuff a while ago and just found pretty inactive blogs and stuff. I have found a coolphp text game engine. There are two versions if I remember correctly. One helps you connect a browser client to your MUD, the other is for an actual text based PBBG.
I think there's little community, but because it actually falls into the purview of general webapp development (especially the persistent web based model) I think maybe people get what they need in other places.
@Runter, yes I'm getting that impression – there's a lot of forums out there all over the web and people giving PBBG development a go just settle in wherever. I guess because muds grew up before the web was big they had a tighter core to start with.
I just tried a few for the first time (Amaranthine, Syrnia, Syrth, and Echo Bazaar), and maybe it's just because I'm so used to the linear scrolling display of muds, but the UX on these games felt very disjointed, with the flow all over the place and the UI generally pretty bad. Echo Bazaar was definitely the best UX-wise.
This makes me wonder something. Most muds use a linear display. PBBGs on the other hand grew up with static browser pages, I'd say before real-time updates (i.e. linear displays) a la Facebook were commonly used. Have PBBGs overlooked advantages of linear displays due to their medium? Of course most PBBGs have linear chat, but everything else is arranged (of course) like a web page would be.
One obvious advantage I can see for linear displays is that it's easy for a player to view the chronological flow of events, but maybe this isn't so important. It's natural in a mud but you could just see it as a bunch of spam (i.e. a bunch of 'you improved your woodchopping' messages over time).
Of course, video games in general don't use linear displays. Then again, PBBGs use a lot of text, and maybe text and linear displays have some natural synchronicities?
One obvious advantage I can see is that it's easy for a player to view the chronological flow of events, but maybe this isn't so important. It's natural in a mud but you could just see it as a bunch of spam (i.e. a bunch of 'you improved your woodchopping' messages over time).
I think that's right, but another way to look at it is that (most) muds offer no interface and you play the game by looking at a log and commandline entry. Most games that do offer an interface still have both of those elements. So what I'm suggesting is that you could still maintain the same log that muds give players for chronological flow of events that could be recalled at any time with the same type of messages. (Like last 20, last 50, whatever.) And even some advanced ways to filter the information, too.
I think when I play games that allow it, I keep these types of logs open at all time even if it's in the bottom corner of the window.
I was editing the prior post but I'll continue here. Yes, this is where my thoughts are leading – the log, a cornerstone of muds.
Recently I've been sketching on an interface that basically is made up of a stream of logs. You can mix them, filter them, combine them and separate them as you wish. Still a text game but with graphical elements in the stream. The idea being that a linear flow says more strongly that 'this is a story'.
Do you think that UI elements for things like stats are better off not in a stream like that? I'd like to keep the extra UI elements to a minimum; I suppose for a small set of stats it'd be fine to have them in a side or top bar.
Guess it depends on the stat. I particularly like bars for representing things which have full and empty states like hp or mana. Also doesn't hurt to completely segregate UIs, like typing "score" bringing up a modal window with an interface for displaying all statistics as opposed to needing to develop it on the same page as everything else. I like separating interfaces from a development standpoint especially.