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A New Generation Of MOOs

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the don't-have-a-cow dept.

Games 32

eric.costello writes "MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) are to Ultima and Everquest as MOOs (Mud, Object Orientated) are to... The Game Neverending? There's a great interview up at Mindjack with the makers of the upcoming web-based MMOG." The article states that "EverQuest puts you in someone else's world, but in a MOO, the world was yours to help create," and this seems to be a big part of what The Game Neverending is trying to promote.

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Appropriate SOVIET RUSSIA reference (2, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898373)

It's like the MOOs play YOU.

If the game allows you to mold the game to your liking, is the game the final product or the path leading to it?

Re:Appropriate SOVIET RUSSIA reference (4, Insightful)

Alexius (148791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898595)

I run a MOO, called 'The Keep [] '. It's something I'm constantly tinkering with, and always adding new areas and sections. My friends, both online and off, also work to build new things. I don't expect this to ever finish. The building is what the point is. It is almost an art from, allowing me to express myself, as well as provide a wonderful dream world to escape to.

It reminds me of a quote from Walt, about Disneyland:
Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

In other words, the point of a MOO isn't to finish it, but to create it, and to continue having that outlet.

Re:Appropriate SOVIET RUSSIA reference (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899084)

I do believe you just managed to get your MOO Slashdotted. It's running terribly slowly...

Theme parks (3, Insightful)

misuba (139520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899283)

The Disneyland quote strikes me, if only because I've always been fascinated with theme parks as well as MOOs, and they've always felt, to me at least, similar in some weird sense. My own early experiments with MOO-building felt a bit Disneylandish. (Incidentally I conducted the interview linked to in this story. I might have thought to bring this topic up, if I'd had access to the GNE alpha. Probably not, though; good eye.)

But I think the similarity is really just in the fact that, given the heterogenaity of MOO authorship, you're going to see at least as many "themes" in a MOO as "lands" in a contemporary amusement park, if not more. The other thing theme parks and MOOs have in common, of never being complete or static, is also there, but for different reasons. MOOs change as new users discover and add to them; theme parks increasingly change due to commercial imperatives only. There's nothing collaborative about Six Flags Over Texas, you know?

At the risk of setting off everyone's Jon Katz alarm, I'll say this: there seem to be a lot of geeks into theme parks. Why do you think that is?

Re:Theme parks (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899590)

Where has Jon Katz disappeared to anyway? I miss his articles. Unlike the vocal minority I happened to enjoy his articles a lot. Haven't seen any in a blue moon, though.


Re:Theme parks (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5905761)

Yeah, likewise. Can't say I blame, him, though. Would you stick around? The threads attached to his articles were just big flame-fests...

May I be the first to say... (1, Funny)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898420)


Get the terminology straight... (-1, Troll)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898483)

"A New Generation Of MOOs"

MOO means "Master oF Orion". Thanks for getting my hopes up!

MOO... (1)

Kowh (61371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898570)

I'm sure that someone out there has considered, if there isn't already, making a MOO (text) based on MOO (Orion).

If such a thing exists, then there likely also has been a thought to making a MOO (Orion) of the MOO (text) of the MOO (Orion).

Such a game, would no doubt, involve a cow. At the very least, many of the players would no doubt make cow sounds.

The end result of this would be: MOOing in the MOO based on the MOO of MOO.

You've fried my brain... (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899320)

... you insensitive clod.

I havn't had my morning coffee yet, and you throw *that* at me. I can't believe someone would be so cruel.

Re:Get the terminology straight... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5898977)

EXACTLY! I'm FURIOUS for this totally WRONG way of using the acronym MOO, which is TOTALLY 100% RESERVED for use with the MASTER OF ORION series. What kind of ignorant half-assed lamer was the one who wrote that so-called newsitem, and who was the ignorant enough stoopid admin who let it through?! FIX IT!

Re:Get the terminology straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5899269)

Hey dorkoff, it was MOO way before Master of Orion ever came around.

MOO2 and 3 suck anyway. Only MOO 1 is worth playing.

Re:Get the terminology straight... (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5901154)

I know why its called a "MOO". If they used normal syntax and called it an Object Oriented MUD (OOM) the would sound like dirty hindu monks. So obviously they changed it to "MOO" as in sacred cow to insult their religion.

MOOs (1)

azhrarn33 (669951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898610)

I've played on MOOs, MUDs, and MMORPGs, and I know they cater to different markets, but this sort of approach always seemed to me to be the result of a game designer somewhere who could create the rules but sucked at level (world) design...

"Hmm... I'll just let the players build it! I can call it a 'feature'! And if it sucks, it's their fault! Woo-hoo!"

I have to disagree (3, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899076)

I have to disagree. Today, we have a vast, rich, and varied array of MUDs and MOOS. Every player can find the MUD/MOO that fits exactly what they like. If we take the approach that you're promoting, instead of thousands of MUDs with a good match for each player, we would have had a single (potentially very good) game, something more like Ultima Online. Sure, might have been fun, but people can MUD for years and always have a huge library of free and high-quality content still available to wander through. Granted, there's some shoddy stuff mixed in...but the sheer amount of *stuff* is wonderful.

Finally, it may well be that the developers are not good at world design...but I'd say that it's better that they recognize that and let someone else do the world design than try to do it themselves. Quite a few commercial game developers that can code but not design good games have taken this route. It produces bad games...that cannot be fixed.

Re:MOOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5908771)

Well, to some extent in any online game, the content is never 100% under the control of the developpers. E.g., all those player houses clogging the whole landscape in UO, are not placed there by a designer. E.g., the simple fact that you talk to another player online, already means you're seeing content and gameplay which doesn't come from a developper. E.g., the moment some troll shoots his team mates and spams in CS, there you have it, you're experiencing content and gameplay which doesn't come from the game developpers. Etc.

It can come to pass that this user-created content is great or that it royally sucks, but it exists. The moment you have netcode, you have it.

So basically the idea to officially let people build their own stuff into the world isn't really that radical. And it's not even that new: see the houses in UO again.

The only issue is which kinds of players you're cattering to. MOOs work great for socializing. (Which for people like me is the only reason to go online in the first place.) There is however, no point (or way) to actually have anything even resembling a game once you basically gave everyone god powers. So anyone looking for hordes of monsters to kill for level an loot is not going to find that.

It will also take a _lot_ of admin effort to keep that world anywhere near consistent or fun. On a MOO with 100 players total, you may already have to regularly kick some rear if you don't want a medieval castle next to an UFO, next to a dragon's lair, next to a 20'th century DVD shop.

Now picture having 100,000 players. And half of them are the same trolls which can only get attention by stabbing team mates and spamming in a FPS. They _will_ do everything to create the most inapropriate content possible in your game. They _will_ try to block roads and whatnot with their houses. Etc.

So basically IMHO it's downright suicidal to try that in a commercial game. You'd need a whole horde of moderators.

I always thought that (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898665)

MUD= Multy User Dungeon (it was Dimension in the story)...

Re:I always thought that (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898927)

People decided that "dungeon" was too kinky!

Game Neverending (2, Funny)

Slowping (63788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898685)

Game Neverending

this is the game that never ends.....
it just goes on and on my friends...

Re:Game Neverending (1)

pyman (610707) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899013)

some peoples started playing it, not knowing what it was...
and they'll continue playing it forever just because...

Re:Game Neverending (1)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5917961)

This is the game that never ends...
It just goes on and on my friends...

Re:Game Neverending (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934681)

some peoples started playing it, not knowing what it was...
and they'll continue playing it forever just because...

What about the code? (3, Interesting)

JMax (28101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5898892)

But, one of the very best things about MOO was MOOcode, a very sweet little OOP language (straight outa PARC) that was elegant, easy to learn, and tightly coupled with the context... from this interview, and the hype pages for Game Neverending, I don't get the sense that they've picked this aspect up at all; it's one thing to say that players can build stuff, but quite another to make it truly fun and engaging. Can anyone fill us in on what object-building is actually based on in GNE?

Re:What about the code? (5, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5901277)

Ahh, MOO. This article has given me attacks of nostalgia. I first started writing code in MOO nearly a decade ago. One of the more fun things I did was to code up an interesting object called a Port-O-Potty. It was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, with an entryway, party room, and men's and women's toilets. (That's just surrealism allowed by clever use of containment and room linking -- not code.) But the fun part was, it would teleport itself around the MOO randomly every few minutes. Port-O-Potty, get it? Sometimes we ended up in the inventory of other players. Most of the time we ended up in random rooms. Often enough, we would teleport in where other players were gathered. Intrigued, they would join the party.

Yeah, it sounds stupid. You have to have been there. :)

The thing I like most about MOO, though, is that it is just an engine. You can do just about anything with it. For example, many MOOs double as Web servers, processing game data into HTML. Some also speak IRC -- a bot coded in MOO can be a bridge between a MOO and an IRC channel. Many MOOs also generate colored text on the terminal by generating the ANSI escape sequences from MOO code. Picture a scripting language sitting on top of a network interface. The server provides a basic framework, but all the real behaviors are programmed in the scripting language and part of the "database". (A MOO database is a collection of MOO objects, with inheritance, properties, and program code. It's not a relational database.) In a MOO, an object in the game world sense is the same as an object in the programming sense. A "verb" is the term for a function -- you can pass in args like you would in most any language, but these also have an additional layer to allow a verb to also be a command a player types in. Some verbs are only callable as commands, others are only callable as functions -- and some are both! Since new script can be compiled in on the fly, you can change a MOO around significantly without ever having to restart it. (Of course, you can also have MOO code that generates and executes other MOO code.)

The language has some interesting strengths and some key weaknesses. It'll teach you some bad software engineering habits if you let it. On the other hand, its huge flexibility is a good teacher. And it's definitely a wonderful geek toy.

MUDs to Everquest? (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5899603)

MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) are to Ultima and Everquest as MOOs (Mud, Object Orientated) are to... The Game Neverending?

Man, it's a shame a certain kat from a #td channel isn't around, she spent about 3 hours insulting me because I claimed that Everquest was a natural evolution of MUDs. That psycho spent her entire life on ECrack, so I wasn't that surprised that she had gone a bit soft, but the rabid energy and complete narrow-mindedness with which she defended her point of view was seriously disturbing. Makes you wonder whether we need more of these games. When will they turn into BTL (Better-Than-Life, for the red-dwarf-unacquainted amongst you)?


Re:MUDs to Everquest? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5902953)

Hehehe... EverCrack *is* a natural evolution of a MUD. How can people not see that? :P What was her argument...? "We get to *PAY* for this crap, instead of getting it for free...".

Re:MUDs to Everquest? (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5905912)

She was pasting bits of text from Everquest and saying "see, you can't tell everything from the text! It's not a mud!" She was not making much sense, to be honest. Her main argument was "have you played it?" To which of course I truthfully replied "no" and then she tried to imply that I could not have an opinion on the origins of Everquest because I had never played it. Just shows how some people become seriously deranged after playing such games too much. However, as it was on irc and she was a she and I was a he, everyone else of course sided up with her. Typical lameness :-P


Re:MUDs to Everquest? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5911330)

Hehe :P I have played EverQuest, Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot. They are so natural an extension of a mud, that people even use the same terms I've been hearing on muds for years. Newbie, mob (short for mobile), pkilling, and so forth. Hang around in town long enough on EQ, and you'll hear those words used. As for being deranged from playing the games too much... heh, there comes a time when you let go of the mouse, turn off the monitor, and go outside and play. :P Seriously, some people have forgotten how to do that...

Where are the MUSHes? (2, Insightful)

th3walrus (191223) | more than 11 years ago | (#5900117)

I'm still waiting on that elusive graphical MUSH. MUD's have their modern counterparts in hack n' slash MMORPG's like EQ (and every other MMORPG out today). Now MOO's are getting theirs. When will we get an environment to sit back and really role-play a story instead of being suckered down the path of stat maxing on the leveling treadmill?

Re:Where are the MUSHes? (1)

ghunza (669642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5915274)

One could argue that The Sims Online is a graphical Mush. I mean it is social... Sadly it seems that while MU* seemed to attract bright people who could communicate, the Sims is just middle america on-line.

Okay, maybe it's just a changing demographic. There seemed to be no shortage of sci-fi muds and mushs (particularly of the fantasy kind). But I do agree with you, where has the role playing gone?

One of my favorite quotes of the pre-web days was how Muds were to IRC what herion is to marijuana.

Re:Where are the MUSHes? (1)

ghunza (669642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5915303)

that should say "heroin". {Fill in the sentence... "Slashdot needs a spell checker like Bush needs ...."}

Screenshots? (1)

Warped1 (68788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5901326)

Are there any screenshots anywhere about what GNE looks like? I seen some of their encyclopedia ... but I want to see what it is like to travel through the game. (Second beta is closed aparently ...)
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