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10:43pm on Sunday, 26th April, 2009:
Where I Work #7
Continuing the occasional series...
The shelf below the useless one with old software on it looks like this:
The trays on the left were given to me in my teens by my father, as they were being chucked out by the Gas Board where he worked. The top one contains:
- A set of cards and some design notes for a game in which stories unfold as you play. It's a good game, but there are too many cards for it really to work. Maybe if I did a computerised verison some day...
- A set of cards for a run-a-taxi-service game. This is quite good too, but you have to create the city first (using the cards) and there isn't any rationale as to why this should be part of running a taxi service. I considered reskinning it for the Wild West, but that only made marginally more sense.
- A bugs/suggestions list for MUD2, including some extended emails from players setting out their ideas. I think I can probably throw these out now, as the dot matrix ink is so faded it's getting hard to read...
The middle tray contains:
- The non-digital photographs I've taken at MUDmeets.
- An A4-sized notebook containing notes for PALMER, and AI system I started work on: Plan, Act; Learn, Memory; Emotion, Response. It's a nice system, but I never got round to doing the emotion part as left university (and therefore lost my access to any AI programming languages).
- Inside the notebook is a version of ELIZA I wrote in Prolog.
- Also inside the notebook is another notebook (one of the smaller, yellow W H Smith's ones) which outlines how to implement a freeform natural language understanding system for MUD2's mobiles (in MUDDLE). The basics are there, but it's such a hard read that it would probably need a tool to be written if it were ever to be used.
The bottom tray contains:
- The MUDDLE Mini-Manual, with notes for the Second Edition.
- The design for a new area in MUD2, which I wrote on my first day at work at Gameplay (10th January 2000) because I had nothing else to do.
- A very nice hardback blue notebook containing design notes from 1997 for a virtual world called Mystique. A couple of years ago, I showed you some of the graphics I made that went with this.
- A folder containing maps and other things for Mystique.
- Some more bug lists for MUD2, dated from 1994. There are other things I really needed to do, such as graveyard (ie. high score) entries for British Legends I probably didn't get to add (or, more correctly, to get added).
- A mid-90s area design from someone who was hoping to write for Hot Hotel. It didn't work out, though.
- A partial design for a MUD2 area set in ancient Egypt. The idea was that there would be a bunch of small (50-100 rooms) areas that you could get to by spinning a globe in the study, with a random one loading each reset. I did this as a proof of concept, with the idea that players would write other rooms. Only one did, though, and he stopped playing before making the changes it needed.
- More on the aborted Hot Hotel project.
- Another MUDDLE Mini-Manual.
Underneath the trays are some hand-drawn maps of MUD2's The Land. There may be some other things in with them, but I'd have to move too much out of the way to see what was there exactly...
The middle pile of stuff is equally assorted. From the top down, it consists of:
- A copy of In Flames, the second of my Fantasy-as-Cyberpunk duology.
- Some materials from the Fabled Lands series I was potentially going to do some work for.
- A copy of the Muskeegie Herald.
- A shoe box containing some Knights of the Dinner Table volumes.
- Two sheets of yellow US Letter sized card (not shown in the photo).
- A red folder with the Dungeons & Dragons campaign I wrote for my daughters in it.
- The AD&D v3.5 source books I used for the above campaign. Also in there are the maps, character sheets and other materials used by my daughters, plus a DM shield.
- Some more KoDT volumes.
- AD&D v3.o source books.
- A book on painting miniature lead figures. It's no good, but it was very heavily discounted when I bought it.
- Maps for a MUD2 castle designed by my wife.
- Market research from 1985.
- Some forum logs of MUD2 wizzes concerning prioritising new additions to it.
- The design outline for MUD2's spell system.
- Designs for a MUD2 potion-generation system (never implemented).
- The design outline for MUD2's melée system.
- A proposal for a MUD2 command, READY (never implemented).
- A list of MUD2 commands of a kind known as NOBIND. There's a teacup stain on it.
- Photocopies of drawings of hats (used for my web site's central conceit, "Choose which hat you're expecting me to wear").
- Simon Dally's designs for Il Castellare and the deer park.
- Some player-constructed maps.
- The feedback on my original submission to the Journal of MUD Research for my HCDS paper.
- The player-designed spinning-the-globe design I mentioned earlier that would have gone in if he'd finished it.
- A folder containing letters (not emails, letters) from players to MUSE, from 1988 to 1991.
- A yellow folder crammed full of MUD2 design stuff.
- A red folder containing the discussion that led to my formulation of the player types model.
- A pink folder with some player addresses inside. I doubt these work any more...
- A brown folder containing the master maps for MUD2 (well, master at the time I last worked on it).
- A green folder containing ideas for articles on MUD2.
- A brown folder containing the Good Wiz Guide (for MUD admins), plus a list of everyone I sent it to, plus a list of all the minor changes I made to it so that if it were ever leaked I could tell who leaked it...
The pile on the right is where I put things that I want to keep for a while, but will eventually probably chuck out. It covers so wide a range that I can't really describe it without going through every document, but I do purge it every once in a while. The top thing is a domain registration confirmation; the next thing is a consent to publish an article; the next thing is a copy of a form I sent off to DiGRA, ... Some of it may actually be interesting, but that will have to wait for another post some day...
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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (email@example.com).