# August 2003

- A potential best-seller?
*Richard A. Bartle* - Identifying Players
*Scion Altera* - Identifying Players
*Crosbie Fitch*

- Identifying Players
- Metrics for assessing game design
*David Kennerly* - ADMIN: Crunch thread
*J C Lawrence* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Alex Chacha* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Katie Lukas* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*David Kennerly*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Mapping real money into MUD money
*Kent Peterson* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Peter Tyson*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Mapping real money into MUD money
*Matt Mihaly* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Paul Canniff*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Research in the Gaming Industry
*Damion Schubert* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Richard A. Bartle* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Matthew S. Ayres*

- Research in the Gaming Industry

- Research in the Gaming Industry
- Mapping real money into MUD-Money
*Henrik Johansson* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ben Chambers* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ammon Lauritzen* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*T. Alexander Popiel* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*ceo* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Lars Duening* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Torgny Bjers* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ryan Underwood*

- Java or LPC (DGD)?

- Java or LPC (DGD)?
- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*J C Lawrence* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*david.l.smith@mail-x-change.com* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Brian 'Psychochild' Green* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Andrew L. Tepper* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Matt Mihaly* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Vincent Archer*

- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation

- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
- Reputation systems
*Castronova, Edward* - Reputation systems
*J C Lawrence*

- Reputation systems
- Mapping real money into MUD-Money
*Ren Reynolds* - MudDev Faq - part 2
*Marian Griffith* - PHP muds
*Peter Harkins* - PHP muds
*Torgny Bjers*

- PHP muds
- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Christer Enfors XW {TN/PAC}* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Dave Rickey* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Evan Harper* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Richard A. Bartle* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Tamzen Cannoy* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Richard A. Bartle*

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Dave Rickey* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Marc Bowden*

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
- The lack of Creativity and Beauty a game user
*james_nesfield@nesfieldcapital.com* - Artists and Copyrights
*Derek Licciardi* - Artists and Copyrights
*Paolo Piselli* - Artists and Copyrights
*Marian Griffith* - Artists and Copyrights
*Paul Dahlke*

- Artists and Copyrights
- Using Windows Scripting Host
*Owen Matt* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*F. Randall Farmer* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*Karl Dyson* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*Tess Lowe*

- Using Windows Scripting Host
- Better Game Design through Data Mining
*David Kennerly* - Better Game Design through Data Mining
*Chris "Diamonds" Stewart*

- Better Game Design through Data Mining
- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*vladimir cole* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Martin Bassie* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Craig H Fry* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Matt Mihaly* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?
*Michael Tresca* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?
*Baar - Lord of the Seven Suns*

- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?

- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
- [Fwd: Metrics for assessing game design]
*ceo* - Examine/Look
*Elia Morling* - Examine/Look
*Ammon Lauritzen* - Examine/Look
*Marc Bowden*

- Examine/Look
- Examine/Look
*Lars Duening* - Examine/Look
*Eamonn O'Brien*

- Examine/Look
- [BUS] Account-management systems
*ceo*I've recently been working on a project where each game-server is

limited to 512 players (for reasons that have everything to do with

game-design, and nothing to do with performance...the limit is

hard-coded and should never change).

From the same fundamental gameplay reasons, lots of aspects of the

game are explicitly per-server, and are exposed to the players in

that way. Each server is explicitly a self-contained "island" in

game-terms.

I've been having fun looking at how this kind of situation impacts

account-management and player-identity. I don't want to re-plough

the MCS/SCS ground again, although I find myself re-visiting much of

it now with a slightly different perspective. It seems to me to be

similar to thinking about MUD's which share a player-export/import

function, but in this scenario it's a bit closer to home, because

the islands in this game (as opposed to the different MUD's) are

mostly part of the same game, so that player's expectations of how

much integration there is are different.

On the one extreme, you can just declare each server as 100%

independent of the others. This is quite easy, and sidesteps the

issues of accounts and identities which span multiple servers. On

the other, accounts and identities can be explicitly "global" in

nature, so that if you see someone on server 123 called Bubba, you

know it's the same person you've been competing against viciously on

server 34 called Bubba (and this time around, he might be an ally).

In the middle ground, you have the "human player --- game avatar"

2-level identity system, and variants thereof (e.g. 3-level system,

with human player --- global avatar --- local avatar). In this case,

some aspects of identity are local, some are global. On the whole,

in-game you interact with other avatars using almost entirely local

identity, but you are always (as a player) able to view the

global-identity associated with a local-identity. This is generally

used for making friendships, etc. And players have the option of

building these relationships either locally, or globally, at their

discretion.

W.r.t account-management, a similar 3-horse race seems to exist: all

local, all global, or somewhere in-between. If all accounts are

global, then account-management is greatly simplified for the

players. However, the game-designers lose various gameplay options,

e.g. to do with allowing / denying single human players (accounts)

to have multiple characters in a single server (this is where I

start to venture into SCS/MCS issues. I'd prefer not to go there

again :) unless it's brief, to the point, and doesn't fork into

another massive debate on SCS/MCS).

Personally, I'm inclinded towards the in-between approach for both

topics. However, I'm running into an awful lot of unknowns (mainly

due to my lack of experience with global/local account

dichotomies). I.e. when going in-between, which parts should you

make global, which local, and why? What are the gotchas. etc?

In the current scenario, the situation is further complicated by the

fact that you do NOT create new characters/avatars when you join the

game - you only ever take over an existing uncontrolled avatar

(...hence characters-per-server is constant (512). Assuming player

numbers increase over time, this adds a little more complexity to

the identity debate - because it can make it much harder to play

with pre-existing friends (and/or places further requirements on the

process by which players join a server - they need lots of info

available to make their decision about which one they join) ).

It all brings to mind Skotos's account system, and I suspect that

Christoper Allen and co (and others on this list who have also

developed similar systems?) have all this licked by now...from what

I've seen e.g. the Skotos system handles a wide variety of games,

under a wide variety of conditions - e.g. Skotos own-branded

servers; Skotos-managed, but externally branded servers etc (IIRC -

correct me if I'm wrong!) etc. In fact, the issue of "servers we

manage, but which are re-branded by someone else" is also one that

occurs almost immediately in the game I'm currently working on. This

adds some more questions to the mix, like "How do identities mix

across different-branded servers?".

I'm currently most tempted by a 3-level identity system, where the

middle-level is made up of non-intersecting sets of

global-identities. I.e. A human player has a single account. That

account can create a global identity in any one of the

(separately-branded) planets (to stick with the islands metaphor

from the beginning of this post). Each planet-wide identity can be

used to control any local-identity on any of the islands of that

planet...

...but worrying that it's either over-engineered (and wastes

implementation and maintenance time), or else too constrictive (and

will have to be replaced in the near future :( ).

What are other people doing about this? I've categorized the

possible approaches, but have I missed some out entirely?

Adam M - [BUS] Account-management systems
*Rayzam* - [BUS] Account-management systems
*Christopher Allen*

- [BUS] Account-management systems
- Job opportunity on Star Wars Galaxies
*Koster, Raph* - NCSoft yearly report
*Mathieu Castelli* - MUD using the .net framework
*Norman Beresford* - MUD using the .net framework
*John Buehler* - MUD using the .net framework
*James F. Bellinger* - MUD using the .net framework
*Linder Support Team*

- MUD using the .net framework
- Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Koster, Raph* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Nicolai Hansen* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Daniel Anderson* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson*

- Virtual property lawsuit in China
- Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Vladimir Cole* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Ren Reynolds* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Nicolai Hansen* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*ren@aldermangroup.com*

- Virtual property lawsuit in China

- Virtual property lawsuit in China

- Virtual property lawsuit in China
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Scion Altera* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeremy Hill*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*katie@stickydata.com* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ben Chambers* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Zach Collins {Siege}* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ben Chambers* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Robert Zubek* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Eamonn O'Brien* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Zach Collins {Siege}*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Bernard Graham* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Fidelio Gwaihir* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Martin Bassie* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Amanda Walker* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*John Buehler*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Dr. Cat* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*David Loving* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Pat Ditterline* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Michael Chui* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Chanur Silvarian* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Daniel.Harman@barclayscapital.com*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Oliver Smith*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Daniel Anderson* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Nicolai Hansen*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Dark Lamenth* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Fidelio Gwaihir*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ola Fosheim GrĂ¸stad* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*gbtmud* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Tom "cro" Gordon* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Sheela Caur'Lir* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Roger Hicks* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ola Fosheim GrĂ¸stad*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Tom "cro" Gordon*

- Expected value and standard deviation.