Over at Mudbytes, Idealiad has questioned the wisdom of trying to bring together such diverse game types and while I see his point, from a reader’s point of view I’d love to have material from the worlds of Interactive Fiction and Persistent Browser Games alongside more familiar MUD specific content. You could even include forum or play by email type RPGs in the text game mix.
Drakkos is right that the current text game community is spread thinly over several different sites, and even within the MU* community there doesn’t seem to be much crossover between sites like WORA or TMC for example. It’s very easy for us all to get absorbed in our own little worlds and I know I sometimes get frustrated at people who seem to think the MUD world begins and ends with Diku, or that IRE invented commercial MUDs.
While I think that community support and consensus is important, what the project really needs to be successful is an individual (or a small group) driving it. You could probably say it’s like making a MUD in that respect; while you want to try to cater to your community as much as possible, you’re never going to give everyone everything they want (if they even know what it is they want!) so in the end you have to follow your own vision.
Given that the original Imaginary Realities was abandoned and the material left languishing in copyright limbo it’s reasonable for people to be hesitant to contribute to a new version. Hopefully this time the material can be contributed under a license (Creative Commons perhaps?) which would allow others to mirror or archive the material against any future problems.
It’s definitely a tall order, but I’d love to see the end result and I’d be happy to contribute in whatever way I can.
[Update: there is a forum to discuss the scope of the new publication here.]