Imaginary Realities 1998 September Edition

I ran across a dead link to Imaginary Realities on Evennia's website. Never heard of it before. I did some research, and it appears to be an old e-magazine from 1998-2001(?)

I am not completely sure on the dates of publication. I found reference to newer issues, but those seemed to be dead links, too. I'll try to gather as much information as I can about the original content of the magazine, but don't expect to get everything due to the legal issues surrounding abandoned intellectual property in these digital dark ages.

The most interesting part about reading this older e-zine is that it discusses social changes coming about by this new Internet that had never been experienced before. I don't really include those sections much in the summaries, but sometimes it is the full context of the article, such as "Net Relationships".

Summary of "Game Design - help files" by David Bennet

1998 September, David runs Discworld as Pinkfish

Help files are a must. "It is no good having some super zoopy feature if it is not documented and no one even knows about it." Standardizing the help files layout with one shared template, improves the player experience. Avoid large bodies of text by breaking up the space with headings and spaces. Add cross references to other related help files. Provide a mechanic for users to report typos, clarity issues, or wrong information in help files as bugs.

Summary of "Net Relationships" by Derek Harding

1998 September, Derek is an admin for Discworld

People meet and start relationships online. "As we spend time with people and interact with them, even through a computer mediated interface we form associations. From passing acquaintances through to deep and lasting friendships. It is this breadth, depth and variety of friendships which encourages me to believe that mud relationships are real."

Summary of "Strange Bedfellows Society" by Juiliann

1998 September

"Politics amongst the admin can absolutely ruin a MU*." Specifically, romantic relations that go sour among admins and staff can ruin the experience for everyone on the MU*.

Summary of "The Writer's Block" by Daniel McIver

1998 September, Gototh on Discworld

Make room descriptions interesting. Don't repeat room descriptions even when the area is large and repetitive. Slight changes in the same repetitive room description uninteresting.

When creating large areas with one theme, split the area into multiple projects with multiple builders to encourage variety of approaches when creating the area. Look at reference books on the type of area to get ideas for "beautifully phrased descriptions of locations and scenery." Fiction that give good descriptions can also inspire the room descriptions in the MU*.

Room descriptions should work whether players are in the room, or viewing it remotely via a familiar, spell, or crystal ball. "You are in a ..." and "You are standing on ...", obviously don't work if the player is viewing the room remotely. Write all room descriptions without referencing the character. No uses of "you" should get included.

Room descriptions should not include player actions, because the player may not be performing the action when they use the "look" command.

Room descriptions should not include player thoughts. "Describe the location, and let the player draw his or her own conclusion as to what they think of the place."

Keep room and area descriptions down to 50-80 words. If a longer description is needed, split it up over several rooms in a way that makes sense. Make sure descriptions don't scroll off the page.

Summary of "Welcome to a DIKU Mud" by Jonathan PR Monteleone

1998 September, Head administrator of Forbidden Lands (fl.wolfpaw.net 2000) since its inception in 1991

DIKU MUD's first release happened in mid-March 1990. DIKU's creation attempted to correct issues with the older AmberMUD. DIKU in turn spawned "Circle, Merc, Copper, Sequent, Silly, and Epic" MUDs. DIKU also spawned "Sojourn, Medieva, Mozart, Mystic, Forbidden Lands, and Perilous Realms"

Summary of "What server is that?" by David Bennett

1998 September, David runs Discworld as Pinkfish since 1991

MUDs tend to have hack and slash play with combat leveling. MOOs, Mushes and TinyMUDs put an emphasis on roleplaying and allow for "building ability" and clothing customization by players.