Friday, 22 March 2013

MUD in your Eye…

To those who don’t know (is there anyone) MUD stands for Multi User Dungeon.
As a games genre, it has been around from the very beginning of on-line gaming, and almost from the beginning of multi-user gaming.

MUDs are predominantly multi-user text based adventure games:  the type of thing that is now referred to as ‘Interactive Fiction,’ although that label is generally reserved for stand-alone single player games.
The term MUD was originally coined in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw; a student at Essex University, in England; who wanted to make a multi-user version of the ‘Zork’ text adventure games he had played on the university systems. Although Trubshaw wasn’t solely responsible for developing the game to the form it was most widely known, and played, in he did coin the phrase and lay the groundwork.
People will disagree about what exactly happened next, but arguably the MUD game got its first major break when it was released on the pre-internet subscription-based ‘CompuServe’ dial-up computer network.
Both prior to, and after, the commercial  ‘‘CompuServe MUD’ release most MUDs were, and continued to be, run as hobbyist systems.

These hobby-MUDs were invariably run from Dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (or BBS for short) and although these were free to use accessing them often involved hefty call charges.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

3D Runes – and a return to 2D gaming...

I remember first playing Runescape around a year and a half to two years after its inception, and even at that time there were those players that complained about the 'old-fasioned 2D graphics' the game used.

But nowadays it seems the old Runscape game, now referred to as the 'original' version, is being reinstated due to popular public demand: in fact it was by an overwhelming player vote...
So it begs the question, are these the same players that were complaining about the 2D game in the first place? And if not, who or what has changed?

I remember there being some reticence and concern from a small percentage of the 'veteran' players when the 3D version was first announced, but on the whole it was very much greeted as a good thing by the community. Although even then, some players still complained that it looked 'too old.' I can only assume this was in comparison with the platform specific MMORPG programs of the time.

So what has changed? Runescape is now massively more popular than it was back then and has become something of an on-line browser-based gaming stalwart. But surely that means that the vast majority of its players are 'new' at leasty in terms of not being around when the original 2D version was at its peak. So why the overwhelming desire to see it return now? Perhaps with the proliferation of 'realistic' 3D games available now people don't see 3D as the 'magic games-playing formula' that they once did. Maybe the rose-tinted 3D glasses are beginning to slip. Is opinion maybe now becoming split or polarised between two camps, or is the playing-filed just settling down after the 3D explosion, and becoming wider and more encompassing again? Personally I think it may be a bit of both.