Books vs Movies

MUDs are to graphical MMOs as stone tablets are to movies

MUDs are more like stone tablets.

The folks over at TMS love their books vs movies analogy when it comes to MUDs and graphical MMOs, but I’m not so sure that it’s very accurate.

If World of Warcraft is a movie then your average text MUD is not a book.

Fallen London is a book. Mafia Wars is a book (albeit a children’s book with simple words).

MUDs are more like stone tablets, or in the case of those horrible stock Diku clones a few letters on a cave wall scrawled in excrement.

2 comments on “Books vs Movies

  • Whiskey Shah  says:

    I skimmed over the thread.

    Sometimes, I like to write scripts for movies, animate and edit them ,record and tinker with audio and soundtracks. I’m pretty scattered in my interets and I tend to learn pretty slow (bouncing from one thing to the next) but I also notice some differences and simularities between the formats. Also, I often have to relearn how to do things, when too much time passes, as I can only focus on so much..and I forget things. 😛

    If I wrote a script that I wanted to produce myself, it would be written completely different as a speculative script. The reason is that the angles and everything would be up to the producer to interpret, so I would want them to be able to visualize it without interpreting them.

    In-game cut scenes and machinima can be like a movie, I guess. Though machinima can save alot in production costs, alot of machinima that I see seems to lack the art (golden ratios, rules of *) and the pre/post production that someone making a movie would want to use. Pretty limiting. I think the best thing about using machinima as a trailer is really the just fact that it shows off gameplay using the cameras, lighting, assets, etc of the actual game and doesn’t portray the gameplay in a way that is misleading.

    From what (very) little I’ve learned of HTML5 and javascript tutorials, it looked pretty versatile from my perpetual noobish point of view. I’d like to think someone could find new ways of integrating elements of books, movies and games, as we know them. Is the canvas capable of that? :/

    I was never a huge fan of those analogies either, I don’t like to think of everything as black and white. My least favorite analogies are the ones found in tutorials. The ones that usually have nothing to do with the subject of the tutorial but the author wants to assume it does, those can be so bad, hehe.

    Some weeks ago, I was working on a simple Interactive story, simular to a ‘choose your own adventure’ style. I started the first few chapters, keeping it all out of the editor, without any code. It was kind of experimental. I kept note of the data and variables I thought I’d be using. I had an idea of how I wanted to try and use them with the synopses, timeline and scenes as they unfolded.

    I planned 12 scenes for the first chapter, mostly storyline and character development. I thought 12 scenes would be enough to set some variables, through multiple choice and get a good idea of what kind of path the player would set out on, in the story. I didn’t want a player/reader to feel alienated and I also wanted the reader to have enough description and dialog to make informed decisions, based on what they read.

    After the first few chapters, I liked the idea of having at least, bare minimum, 100 words a scene. I also planned having 12 chapters, so I could easily achieve a 10k wordcount ( I thought that sounded like a good figure) with all the text, not including code. I had an idea of where I wanted to build my climaxes and the rest is outlined. I’d also hammer out some monoalog for scenes when inspiration hit, that I thought I could use in later chapters.

    A game creator, who was working on a sequel to his game, happened to post a call for fanart/fanfic’ a week or so ago. So, (naturally) I drop everything I’m doing to hammer out some fanfic’ for him, being an inspired fan of his first game.

    In doing so, I chose a completely different format than the WIP that I was doing before that. Not being as familiar with his characters, timeline, background and such, I wanted to write some flash. I didn’t want to overpower what he’s already created, merely blend with it, much like an old anthology such as a twilight zone episode, is what I had in mind. A short story that causes a ripple in the world and then disapates without much of an effect on the rest, as a whole..just a glimpse of something small happening in the fictional universe.

    So to make a long story short, he said he liked the stories and wanted to use them. He also considered using the characters and stories in other formats, in and out of game. He says he likes the idea of fictional universes being expressed in different forms of media. I thought that was cool and look forward to the possibility of something different as well. I’m happy writing flash fic’ for now but am open to the possibility of changing formats and adapting as best I can, I keep it in mind as I go. I look forward to linking it all together and collaborating in something new.

    I guess my point is I’ll aways see differences and simularities in and between mediums but I think we’re really only limited by our imaginations and ability. I don’t see anything wrong with rejecting seeds that that get implanted in the mind that may feel like inbred thoughts and saving room for innovation.

    Lately, I’ve been doing alot of writing alone in different formats but different formats. Even though it’s all fiction, there just seems to be too many differences for me to lump all the works together as merely text and compare them to non-text. I’ve been flowing with the flash fiction but I tend to tear up scripts and redo them several times.

    Hopefully that made some sense.

    I can’t really condemn a MUD of any codebase, myself. I’ve never made a working game anywhere near the size of a MUD. I’ve only played small parts in any I’ve been involved in, head builder at the most, usually not.

    I wouldn’t expect a coder, of all people, to accept someone else’s logic when it didn’t set right with ’em anyway.

    I’d also like to believe that ya haven’t given up on MUDs entirely, just yet.

    • Matt  says:

      You should check out StoryNexus and see if you could use that to bring your fiction to life.

      I wasn’t really criticising Dikumud itself, just those games where the owner has taken a stock codebase and added a couple of snippets or changed a few skill names and all of a sudden they think they have this great new MUD that everyone should play. Admittedly there is less of that around these days.


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