Two games, one world

 
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Two games, one world Reply with quote

In the last few months I've started playing a browser-based RTS game called Travian. The game basically revolves around building up your village, while raiding and fighting off attacks from other villages. As you get more powerful you can create or conquer other villages, expanding your empire.

Simple concept, simple gameplay, but quite a fun and addictive little game. However it brought me back to an idea I was toying with several years ago - the idea of a mud and a browser game sharing a single world.

The browser player could represent a noble, or a diety, or even (in a more abstract way) an entire tribe of people. They would begin with a new village, and build it up, trading and fighting with neighbouring villages.

The mud player would be an individual in the world. They'd see new settlements spring up, some growing into great cities, others being destroyed in battle. They could participate in great wars, and be witness to the destruction in the aftermath. They could work out profitable trade routes based on the needs of different villages, and perhaps even earn money by completing certain quests (with objectives based on the needs of the RTS player, who could use a simple checkbox system to specify jobs s/he wanted doing).

I guess the two types of player wouldn't ever really interact directly, and they might not even realise there was another game - from the RTS player's perspective it would be as though powerful NPC heroes would occasionally take up their cause, while from the mudder's perspective it would feel as though the villages were being controlled by a clever AI to give the world a completely dynamic feel.

Back when I first considered the idea, I'd been playing a browser game called Monarchy, where you earned a couple of turns per hour and could save them up and spend them whenever you liked. Travian, however, is real-time - troops take X hours/minutes/second to reach an opponent, buildings take varied lengths of time to build, and so on. In my opinion the Travian approach would be far better suited to the real-time nature of a mud.

This could also provide an interesting way of getting new people into muds - the RTS players might be automatically given a 'king' character which they could use to log on to the mud. This could even provide an alternative to the in-built chat system Travian uses, as the rulers of different villages in an alliance could meet up within the mud to discuss matters of importance. I'm sure many of them would decide to hang around a bit and see what else they could do in the mud.
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Kelvin



Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I played Travian a year or two ago in one of the fast servers. Really enjoyed it, but it was definitely a huge time investment. I toyed with the notion of coming up with something a little more simple and easier on the time demands, but never really did much other than sketch.

However, when I started learning Django, it became immediately apparent that it could be used to craft a mixed text-based and web-based environment. Thus Evennia came about (named after a cheesy character in Guild Wars).The MU* part of it runs off of Django's ORM, and the web part of it plugs directly into the same code that powers the game. While it is by no means a sparkling specimen of Python used well, it's progressing slowly with a core of 3-4 developers.

The web-based portion is completely broken right now, as we just finished major internal re-arrangements. But take a peek at the Django Project's site and see how nice this stuff meshes together across text-based and web-based applications. Not to mention Python is an incredibly accessible language that even the hobbyists many of us are can work with easily.
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ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had this idea in the back of my mind as well (for a little while). Having played Travian for a while as well I think it's a smashing idea, really. The extension to it I had in mind was also to host a forum RP community alongside the mud and the PBBG. In this sense the game bridges some text game communities (you could argue that Travian is not far removed from a text-based game) previously disparate. Most players wouldn't cross over I think, but on the other hand you could create some interesting synergies there.
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#endgame



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think several of us have had variants of this idea in some form or other for a while now. My take was to run everything over telnet, and alternate between placing moves in some kind of TBS-like game followed by a resolution step where the players go and fight. I couldn't think of a way to pace the game appropriately, though.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#endgame wrote:
I think several of us have had variants of this idea in some form or other for a while now. My take was to run everything over telnet, and alternate between placing moves in some kind of TBS-like game followed by a resolution step where the players go and fight.

The drawback of running everything over telnet is that you're unlikely to appeal to the usual browser-game audience. You really need browser support if you want to attract their interest on a decent scale.

Grulk has recently managed to get the Mud-Web Interface working on GW2, and we've already got it displaying the who list, whois information and help files from the mud. I know other muds have done the same sort of thing. The concept is already out there and works - it's just a case of extending it to a game which is accessable via (and takes advantage of the features from) an internet browser.
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Kelvin



Joined: 08 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about a BattletechMUX where each player starts in space in a jump ship. The browser serves as "central command", where orders to jump to different systems can be charted out. All econ would be browser-based, but the actual planetary invasion/combat would be handled by the MUX's real-time combat system.

Example Case:
Open the browser, order your jump ship (where your in-game character resides) to jump to the destination system. Give the order to attack planet X/facility X. In-game, your player follows the order and dispatches a Dropship, which is where the real-time combat system takes over.

This could be expanded to where you have more than one person responsible for an empire. Maybe you give a player in your empire responsibility for a single planet, or maybe over your entire economic (but not war/diplomacy) side. If you're not interested in getting your hands dirty in the actual combat, stick to the browser and have your text-based guy handle the combat.

End brain dump
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelvin wrote:
I've been thinking about a BattletechMUX where each player starts in space in a jump ship. The browser serves as "central command", where orders to jump to different systems can be charted out. All econ would be browser-based, but the actual planetary invasion/combat would be handled by the MUX's real-time combat system.

That sounds like a rather interesting hybrid approach - but wouldn't the players be pretty much required to use both a web browser and a telnet client? I know later you mention that it could be expanded so that one player could stick to the browser and another to the mud, but how would they initially come up with that arrangement? Wouldn't they first need to make contacts within the mud?

My concern, once again, is that if a player is required to connect via telnet (even if only initially), the browser-gamer is much less likely to give it a try. Likewise, many hardcore mudders may refuse to play a mud which requires them to perform certain activities via a browser.

I still feel a more effective way to appeal to both audiences is to provide a regular mud and a regular browser game, and then connect them in such a way that players of one are encouraged but not required to try the other.
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