# 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* - [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*From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster@soe.sony.com>

> I must say that the fact that players prefer to play a boring way

> that gives them advancement over a fun way that gives slower

> advancement seems to be well-proven over decades of online games.

> Here are the assumptions I am operating under: players seeking

> advancement will be driving towards optimal advancement. Optimal

> advancement will include making the activity as predictable as

> possible. Predictable activities become less fun over time.

I always try to take one step (or more) further back, and ask myself

what are the unquestioned assumptions that people in a field don't

even realize they're making? I see a lot of the word "advancement"

here. Certainly I've observed before that MUD-DEV seems to be

dominated by people who assume a "discussion about muds" is the same

thing as a "discussion about combat muds", and you rarely see people

talking about any other kind here. Hand in hand with that is what's

been one of the key elements of the combat muds since their dawn on

Plato in the mid 70s, borrowed of course from Dungeons and

Dragons... Highly tangible advancement, usually measured in

numbers.

Online games don't HAVE to have "advancement", or "numbers players

strive to maximize". Furcadia doesn't. This debate strikes me

something like scientists who experiment with laboratory mice

getting together and saying "It doesn't matter what process we make

the mice do to trigger the food pellet dispenser, they always get

conditioned to perform that process". How about the whole world of

white mice experiments with no food pellet dispensers in them that

one could conceive?

Certainly we need more experiments WITH food pellet dispensers too.

They produce useful results, and we haven't learned all that we can

learn about them. But we need some more experiments in other types

of areas, different types of games. Some human play is centered

around advancement (Monopoly) or score (Scrabble, most team sports,

etc.) Other play doesn't involve that at all - the simple and ever

popular game of "catch", for one example. One could argue similarly

for playing house, cowboys and indians, cops and robbers, doctor, or

post office. Hide and go seek and tag are competitive, but don't

really have advancement or scoring in points.

The question of whether one could be so terribly clever as to make

an advancement-oriented game that doesn't make people do the

"boring" things is a mildly interesting challenge to me, since

people brought up the whole subject. But "what can one accomplish

in the design of a non-advancement oriented game" is more

interesting to me. I will note that "boring" seems to be defined as

"boring to the developer" to some extent - if somebody is paying $13

a month to do something or other for 60 hours a week, one presumes

that many of them have decided this is "fun" enough for them to

continue doing.

Of course some quit after a while, and many lament even while doing

it that they're doing something so repetitive and uninteresting.

But they do it. Maybe we should class it amongst the "guilty

pleasures", like fattening foods, cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.

(Though for somewhat different reasons). Then the question might

become one of whether you want to try to re-engineer the experience

to keep most of the pleasure while getting rid of some or all of

what people feel bad about (the typical goal of the game designer),

or just convince people to consider the downside of the pleasure to

be not so bad after all (the typical goal of the marketing guy).

I will note that when we added cookies to Furcadia, we gave people a

number they could pump up, try to get the highest number, etc. We

didn't run into much of a problem with it though - I think largely

because of our game mechanic of having them all vanish at 5AM every

day. The kinds of relentless optimization of cookie acquisition and

"playing in a boring way" one sees in Diku-style games didn't happen

very much. (We also made them very easy to get, which probably

helped on that score as well.)

> You can define fun as being the process of discovering new areas

> in a possibility space. Once the possibility space is explored, it

> ceases to be fun.

I have to agree with that - if not an exhaustive definition of fun,

it's certainly a very major category of "what causes fun". I'd say

it's based on the fundamental brain mechanism of "forming new neural

pattern recognition networks (aka 'learning') is fun". The other

main thing being that "re-stimulating and reinforcing past pattern

recognition networks is pleasurable". Older organisms shift over

time more from the first kind of pleasure to the second - as they

have less and less uncomitted resources for forming new circuits,

and more and more old patterns in them to trigger recognition and

familiarity.

Anyway this is a big part of why I opted to focus primarily on user

created content. The possibility space in a game made by 50 people

can only get so large. With large numbers of players creating

content, you get a lot more, and in a way that's a lot more

affordable, and more scalable.

Exploring data gets boring fast. Exploring a process stays

interesting longer. Exploring the possibility space of interacting

with other humans (even if only through conversation) can remain

interesting for a lifetime.

> I don't think you're going to succeed at rewriting the human brain

> and finding game designs that don't have a boring way to play them

> unless you design games with infinite possibility spaces. There

> aren't many games like that. Some of the ones I can think of:

> - player vs player activities (assuming a playfield of

> sufficient complexity. The human body makes for a nicely complex

> playfield, for example, hence sports--simple games like tennis

> still having big possibility spaces).

Cooperative interaction between humans can fall into the "infinite"

category just as surely as competition can. All it needs is a rich

enough set of things to cooperate on.

*-------------------------------------------**-----------------------------*

Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions || Free download!

*-------------------------------------------** http://www.furcadia.com

Supporting user-created graphical worlds. || Let your imagination soar!

*-------------------------------------------**-----------------------------* - 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.