the future of MudLab?

 
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ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject: the future of MudLab? Reply with quote

Apologies for the semi-wankery of the subject, I don't mean for this to be a dramatic post or anything.

However KaVir's latest post in Design (cross-posted from MudBytes - a far more active forum) got me to wondering -- what is the future of MudLab?

Let's face it -- the forum is virtually dead, and the software hasn't been updated for years (as far as I can tell).

Now neither of these points are a problem on the face of it. I don't mind a low-traffic forum. Two, there are occasional glitches while using the forum (anyone else get kicked to the front page when hitting the reply to thread button?), but nothing is worse than a minor bug.

However a low-traffic forum tends not to attract members in my opinion, and you can extrapolate the negative feedback loop from there.

Also there are some modern conveniences of newer forum software that I like, such as keeping track of unread threads and subscribing to threads, that would be nice to have (assuming people were posting, that is ;D ).

I feel that it's useful to ask this question because MudLab as it stands has a few real advantages -- no advertising, an impressive five odd year archive of discussion usually of good quality, and minimal drama of the MudBytes variety (though I suppose that may be related to the minimal number of posts).

In short I would like it if the forum was revived a little, and perhaps a facelift and an upgrade would move that along.

In any case I wanted to throw this out there to hear if anyone else had similar thoughts, or what their thoughts on this subject are.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest I don't so much mind the low traffic - I tend to think of MudLab as more of an idea dump than anything (as I don't blog), and I frequently reference it when posting elsewhere.

I'd also point out that most of the posts on other mud forums are adverts (MudBytes seems to be pretty good lately, but I think most forums have their good phases, and then the good posts fade away over time). I prefer posting stuff here because it's less likely to get lost.

But I do see your point about the software and such. I took over MudLab because Unifex and eiz didn't want to host it any more, and I didn't want to see it vanish or turned into something different. But I'm not a forum person, so I've not bothered updating anything.
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ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like MudLab as a design journal as well; at the same time I think some more journaling in the design journal, so to speak, would be fruitful. Wink

The idea of the site as a design journal, and not a chatty forum such as MudBytes, is interesting in its own right in fact. I wonder if a different format for the site would suit this purpose better than a traditional forum.

KaVir, you don't blog, is there something about the blog format itself that doesn't appeal to you, or more a question of MudLab already filling that purpose?

What would a different format look like?

There are group blogs (such as the MMO world's Terra Nova) where members can post equally. Planet RSS blog aggregators do a similar thing from an interface perspective.

However with many posts, new posts on a group blog can get drowned out pretty fast, and I'm not sure much of a sense of give and take or community discussion takes place with planet sites.

What I think might work is a site redesign where a collection of new posts (say, 6), receive front and center attention on the main MudLab page. The archives are always available of course, and new replies to an archive thread would bring it back.

However a short tour of phpbb doesn't give me the idea that would be an easy thing to do, and perhaps it's not worth it.
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MECHFrost



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a bit ridiculous to have 4+ forums (mudconnector, topmudsites, mudbyte and what not) to discuss about MUD design with pretty much the same people - there are only at best 20 MUDs designers in the world. The conversations would be much richer if everyone was sticking to the same forum. KaVir is our natural leader so he should make the decision (I only say that half-jokingly).

In case you decide to close MUDLab, I hope that you will make an archive, because some people such as myself like to dig in old threads for information and ideas. MUDLab definitely has the best discussions with no advertisement and questions about stock code.
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ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure KaVir has no intention of closing MudLab (it's on the same machine as his mud).

It is kind of funny how the community is spread out, but I don't see the conversation happening between the same people on the four sites. TMS definitely has people who don't visit MB; I'd say most people on MB don't post elsewhere. You'll find many more people new to muds at TMC, I suppose because that's the most established and well-known site.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blogs don't feel quite the same to me - they're more a case of someone writing an article and other people making comments. I don't want MudLab to be about (or even focused on) "me", I prefer it to feel like more of a community journal.

The other mud sites each have their own crowds and their own feel. TMC is more about voting, unmoderated discussions and advertising. TMS is primarily a voting list, and is dominated by large and/or commercial mud owners. MudBytes was originally more of a code respository, although it's had some really good design discussions of late, but its community can be outright vicious at times (and the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see another split, like we did with MudMagic).

Besides which, I honestly wouldn't want all of the people from those sites posting here. The last time we had someone come over from TMS he created a big advertising sig and started making brief replies to numerous posts without really adding anything constructive. That's actually why I removed the sig option (he stopped posting immediately afterwards). I don't think we need sigs anyway though, it shouldn't matter who we are here, only what we've got to say (and we can add our mud website to our profiles if people are really curious).

I've no intention of closing MudLab, but if that were to ever change I would definitely release the archives.
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paan



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am preety much a nobody here. I got a few post from a year or so ago when I started learning muds. And maybe a couple more here recently regarding some design.

I personally like the low traffic feel of mudlab. Conversation seldom go offtopic and people that do post usually have something substancial to add.
Another big reason that I like this site is that I did not play mud 'back in the days', and a lot people that did, carry these huge baggages around. Conversation around whose codebase stole from whom and why a certain mud shall not be mention, and all the surrounding drama does not concern me. These types of conversation seem to plague a lot of mud forums. At least thats the feel that I got when I went to other mud forums.

I'm looking for conversation regarding design ideas/concepts and this is the place that provide it best.

And that is why if I decide to post at all, it will be here at mudlab.
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Deadsoul



Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Southern Hellinois

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

noooo....

i like this place. its a bookmark on the net that i actually look at. i enjoy mud thinking, theorycraft. i like wondering what works, what doesnt, why doesnt it work, and would it work on mine. i wonder if other people would like whats on mine. this place is low key and thats cool.

its a reminder that i do have a world i neglect, but its a world thats text and that makes it better. that theres other people who knew what that feeling is.

its a reminder of what was, and what will be.

lag? no. that was the matrix changing.

~Kell
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