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PHP and telnet questions
KaVir
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#121 id:58661 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 7:39 am

plamzi said:
KaVir said:

plamzi said:
Can you use an existing client to create a Facebook web app that someone who hasn't played MUDs for at least 5 years might conceivably play?

Yeah, FMud.  I imagine you could do it with DecafMUD as well.


If you're out to attract people new to MUDs, and you think you can go toe to toe with this using this, then good luck to you.

You're doing it again.  Would you like me to compare this with this and this?  Or can we start comparing barebones with barebones, and customised with customised?

As I said a couple of years ago, generally speaking I think muds are too complex to appeal to most Facebook users.  On the other hand, "Castle Age: Heart of Darkness" is a perfect example of the Facebook stereotype - lots of pretty graphics, but very little in the way of actual gameplay.

Of course that's not necessarily a bad thing, particularly when you're targeting Facebook users.  They have 441,351 monthly active users, after all, while your app has a grand total of 1 monthly active user.

But as someone mentioned in a recent review:

"...virtually every aspect of the game, from exploring to fighting, is incredibly dull."

"...it never really feels like you're actually exploring. You just click a button, read a brief bit of text, and watch a meter slowly fill up. You can enter the game and click to explore five times and finish up all of your energy in a matter of seconds. It's not particularly fun or exciting."

"...the combat, too, is relatively dull. Though it looks fun, with a screen set-up much like what you'll find ina fighting game like Street Fighter, all you're really doing is clicking the attack button. There's no strategy. It's simply whoever is the strongest wins, which isn't very fun."

If that's the sort of "gameplay" you're after then it shouldn't be hard to encapsulate it in a pretty front-end.  But the sheer complexity of most muds makes it very difficult to discard the text window entirely - there are simply too many things you'd need to incorporate.

So in summary, I don't think that's a reasonable comparison.  You're comparing two very different styles of game.
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#122 id:58662 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 7:47 am

plamzi said:
FMud is what I load for people with older IE browsers visiting my app page. In my book, that's "degrading ungracefully."

I'd rather play a MUD that is well written with imaginative and immersive game-play than a Diku with a fancy HUD.

How long will it take new players to get over the HUD? Five minutes?

When I'm in the library I typically read the first page to determine whether I'll take the book home or not, I don't make this judgment based on the cover art or the inclusion of a pretty map. I firmly believe that MUDs fail in the literary department in combination with boring gameplay. What strengthens this belief is that MUDs that do provide pretty out of the box web based clients have failed to grow their player-base.
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KaVir
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#123 id:58663 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 8:00 am

Scandum said:
I'd rather play a MUD that is well written with imaginative and immersive game-play than a Diku with a fancy HUD.

Decent gameplay and a fancy front-end aren't mutually exclusive concepts.
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Splork
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#124 id:58665 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 11:22 am

Twisol does make a nice point. Although a couple of clients can duplicate just about any custom GUI I have ever seen, including that of Bedlam's,  the learning curve to do so is rather difficult for the average player.

Deimos does as well, there has yet to be a mention of a "feature" which can not be duplicated using an existing method, at least in my book.  A few of you can continue to banter, ignore, and blatantly bash your fellow posters and opinions but their opinions are simply just as valid as yours( and most of the time more so with less rhetoric ). Regardless of how many times you post your thoughts, worded slightly differently, over and over.

We have a pretty decent customized version of Fmud at SlothMUD( Client ) and attract a quite a few people from Facebook, Myspace, and other social sites around the globe ( we probably have 20+ facebookers who play, Facebook App ). I've always felt it is incredibly important to ease the access to our game by having some sort of web app to connect to our game. MUDs are slowly dying, our player base included and we need to attract new players, not just draw players from other MUDs out there. If we closed our mud and reopened tomorrow using simply the web app under a new name, I'm sure Runter would classify my game as a "flop" as well (as he has done with Avenshar), because it would be extremely difficult to attract and keep a solid player base using simply this method of connection. At least for a free game, such as mine with limited advertising, etc.

My own personal opinion is we need a combination of strategies to maintain a successful game and strong grasp of players. Creating a custom application to connect via the web is important to us and allowing older clients to continue to play our game is just as important. Any player who connects to my game for the first time using our website application normally switches over to one of the more developed, traditional clients within a few months( except the WoW crew ). It does not matter to me what they use to play our game, the only thing that matters is that they are playing our game.  The website application does its job of attracting new people to a MUD, and the game/players does the rest to try to keep them.

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Deimos
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#125 id:58666 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 12:27 pm

@Kavir:  I agree completely.  I never claimed that existing clients were feature-complete (despite what Runter would have everyone believe).  But the way some people here argue for the need for creating one, you would think that existing clients couldn't do anything.  plamzi has been the only one thus far to bring up a "feature" that I think would justify creating a new client.

@plamzi:  That would be a good reason, provided your game doesn't require the custom client to play and supports standard protocols.
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#126 id:58669 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 1:24 pm


KaVir said:
plamzi said:
KaVir said:

plamzi said:
Can you use an existing client to create a Facebook web app that someone who hasn't played MUDs for at least 5 years might conceivably play?

Yeah, FMud.  I imagine you could do it with DecafMUD as well.


If you're out to attract people new to MUDs, and you think you can go toe to toe with this using this, then good luck to you.

You're doing it again.  Would you like me to compare this with this and this?  Or can we start comparing barebones with barebones, and customised with customised?


Thanks for the SlothMUD Client link--I hadn't come across it before. But as far as I know fmud is not open-source? And even if it was, it doesn't presently come with any features that allow for easy GUI customization from generic fmud into what the SlothMUD client looks like. So would you agree then that the SlothMUD client is actually a custom client developed on top of fmud rather than user-customized fmud? In that sense, it is not much different than my own app and supports my argument better than yours.

Also, we should be comparing Facebook apps, as my initial premise stated: http://apps.facebook.com/playSlothMUD/

I actually tried overlaying a UI on top of fmud in the early stages of developing my web app. I found it extremely difficult to do that "from the outside." Even if I had the source, I doubt I would have been able to pull off all the features my web app already has, which were all pretty trivial to do with just JS in a couple of days.

P. S. I played with the SlothMUD client for a bit. It looks sleek on initial load but once you start playing, there's some strangeness. For instance, the minimap doesn't really do anything, and the world map is pretty useless. The "avatar" button doesn't do anything for me. So that leaves us with the energy bars and a few character details, the bare minimum of what I'd call a GUI. I'm well aware that as a custom Flash app, it can do everything my client does, but I bet it's not all that easy. Which is the whole reason I ditched fmud and went my own way.

P. P. S. While you guys were arguing, we added server-side triggers, giving power players one less reason to carry their MUSHclient around on a flash drive.
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Runter
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#127 id:58670 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 1:24 pm

Quote:
@Kavir:  I agree completely.  I never claimed that existing clients were feature-complete (despite what Runter would have everyone believe).  But the way some people here argue for the need for creating one, you would think that existing clients couldn't do anything.  plamzi has been the only one thus far to bring up a "feature" that I think would justify creating a new client.


Actually I would have everyone believe exactly what you said.  You can't imagine a feature that isn't available that is useful.   You're asking me to imagine it for you.  The "is useful" part is the very reason I refuse to engage in your baiting.  I listed tons of features *I* think are important to a developer and thus to users, and you brush them aside like they're not important or too vague.  I'm not playing the old catch 22 game here.  If a feature is too onerous to achieve it's basically the same thing as it not being a feature.  A client giving you pixel manipulation and telling you to go create your own GUI with that is not featuring GUI.  To be fair, mushclient does have some important components for GUI creation.  But they're only there as far as what mushclients opinionated stance on what muds should do is.  Anything beyond that users are stuck toiling in code to get working.  We can sit around talking about what muds should or shouldn't do, and it's totally akin to what you're trying to do.  Things that, for example, you'd have for free in a web client.  Those features may not be important to you, but hopefully you'll understand my point when I don't engage you on it.  I don't care about your opinions of what features you think are useful or not.  I've got someone like that already.  Myself. 

And others can read it and make their own mind up about what is useful for their goals.  If they only want a telnet (the application) experience, then why would any of that be useful?

Last edited Oct 16, 2011, 1:28 pm by Runter
KaVir
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#128 id:58676 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 2:31 pm

plamzi said:
Thanks for the SlothMUD Client link--I hadn't come across it before. But as far as I know fmud is not open-source? And even if it was, it doesn't presently come with any features that allow for easy GUI customization from generic fmud into what the SlothMUD client looks like.

The latest version of FMud supports skinning, several MXP features (including gauges and images) and MSDP.

DecafMUD will be open source, and looks like it will be extremely customisable, although it's not yet available for download.

plamzi said:
So would you agree then that the SlothMUD client is actually a custom client developed on top of fmud rather than user-customized fmud?

No, I wouldn't.  It's a customised version of FMud.  It looks really nice, but it's still built on FMud, the same as the clients for The Two Towers and Avalon.

As I said back in post #99, "with browser clients like DecafMUD and FMud now supporting both MSDP and MXP, other muds should be able to design interfaces comparable with Primordiax without even needing to create their own custom client - as most of us have limited resources, this means less time taken away from server development."

My point being that if existing clients can already do what you want, you don't need to develop your own from scratch, you can just build your GUI on top of someone else's work - and the various mud protocols are a huge help in this respect, because they provide a standardised way for the server and client to communicate.

Perhaps one day I'll think of something I want to do that existing clients don't support, and end up creating my own.  But even if I do, I'll use existing protocols where possible, and create an open protocol where not, in the hope that other mud clients may also decide to add support in the future.
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#129 id:58677 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 2:38 pm

Just an FYI, the SlothMUD web app is quite unfinished. As we have time, we add more to it. Simple as that. Our game does not depend on one form of connection to keep us running and competitive with others. The app is not meant, in any way, shape, or form to replace wintin.net, mushclient, and the other clients commonly used to play the game. It does its job though, which is to introduce new players to the game in a very quick, easy, and semi-flashy way.

Commenting that the world map is useless might make sense to an outsider, but talk to someone in our game when they die and see how they feel ( quite a few other reasons the map is useful, but you would actually have to play the game to know that). There are obviously plans regarding the mini-map and avatar options, but time is limited and other priorities come ahead of a second tier connection to my game.

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#130 id:58680 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 3:57 pm

@Runter:  I disclaimed my argument with "is useful" simply to stop the inevitable "well no existing client can <insert off the wall stupid feature here>" type replies; not to bait anyone.  And your examples were absurdly vague.  What is maintainability from a user's point of view and why would I care if client A is more maintainable for the developer than client B?  Etc. and so on with your other features.  You seem to be quite content believing I was trying to press my opinions about what is or isn't worthwhile or useful, despite be reiterating multiple times that this is not the case, so I'll let you go on setting up straw men to knock down.  It's no skin off my nose.
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#131 id:58682 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 4:41 pm


Splork said:
Just an FYI, the SlothMUD web app is quite unfinished. As we have time, we add more to it. Simple as that. Our game does not depend on one form of connection to keep us running and competitive with others. The app is not meant, in any way, shape, or form to replace wintin.net, mushclient, and the other clients commonly used to play the game. It does its job though, which is to introduce new players to the game in a very quick, easy, and semi-flashy way.

Commenting that the world map is useless might make sense to an outsider, but talk to someone in our game when they die and see how they feel ( quite a few other reasons the map is useful, but you would actually have to play the game to know that). There are obviously plans regarding the mini-map and avatar options, but time is limited and other priorities come ahead of a second tier connection to my game.



Splork, are you the maker of the SlothMUD web app? I'm genuinely interested in what can be done to customize the latest fmud version, mainly because my web app degrades to fmud for IE users and currently that degradation is not as graceful as I'd like. A skinning would be a good start, and I see the energy bars are supported via some special tags that should be very easy. But what about the map popup and the player circles--is that via a protocol?

The "useless" comment on the world map I think has to do mainly with the minimap not working. I just thought that in pretty much any game, a player's immediate surroundings are more important than their world location. When you get the minimap working, I think the world map will begin to make more sense, and I'm sure you put it there for a good reason.
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#132 id:58683 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 4:52 pm

@plamzi, Orrin made this post recently, to quote:

Quote:

MSDP SUPPORT AND EXTERNAL INTERFACE

The client will negotiate MSDP and can accept basic MSDP_VAR and MSDP_VAL data which is then passed to the container in the receive_msdp function. Each line from the server is also passed to the container using the receive_text function:

function receive_msdp (msdp_var:String, msdp_val:String):void
function receive_text (txt:String):void


In addition, FMud implements the following callbacks from the container for sending data back to the server:

function send_msdp (msdp_var:String, msdp_val:String):void
function send_text (txt:String):void


In theory this should allow you to build a GUI in javascript on the embedding page around FMud and communicate back and forth.

This was requested by a couple of people but it’s not something I have much experience with and is basically untested so please let me know if it isn’t working as intended.

Last edited Oct 16, 2011, 4:53 pm by Idealiad
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#133 id:58684 Posted Oct 16, 2011, 5:51 pm

Deimos said:
Did you miss most of the discussion?  The difference is that by creating your own client, you're doing a lot of extra work for little to no added benefit, and potentially a lot of drawbacks, unless you're able to replicate all the stuff that existing clients already have/do.  Nobody that I can see is arguing that either method isn't providing benefits over vanilla telnet, so again, I think you're either misrepresenting the argument, or you don't understand it.

The discussion started out as custom client vs. vanilla telnet client.

A MUSHclient scripting extension is not a vanilla telnet client.

So, you tell me which part of the discussion has been missed by whom...
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