Imaginary Realities 1999 January Edition

The first issue of 1999 was a bit shorter with only four articles.

Summary of "Dangerous Realism" by Scatter ///\oo/\\\

Scatter hides in the UK, and is much better than the real person behind the persona.

"Realism" destroys game enjoyment. Realism can mean like the real world, or believable and consistent. Pursuing the first in an attempt to achieve the second type of realism creates a mud world that "ends up a jarring combination of real world detail and fantasy or sci-fi setting."

Real world details don't necessarily add value to a mud. Making the game more like real life takes away the fun experience for many players. "Another danger of making things realistic is that they become too complicated to be fun." The trick is finding the amount of realism that will be enjoyable to the most potential players.

Players understand that not every detail of the world is modeled by the game. Focus on the second type of realism--believability--and players will forgive missing details of reality. "For example, magic as represented in most muds is impossible in the real world, yet how many players complain that having magic is unrealistic? None, ... The key is that magic can be believable in a mud world, despite being totally implausible in real life."

Realistic details tend to decrease the things players can do in the game. Whereas, adding believable features to the game tends to expand the number of things players can do in the game. As a result, more players are attracted to play the game because of believability than because of real world restrictions.

Summary of "Multilayed Mapping" by Telford Tendys

Traditional mud maps consist of rooms and exits with no regard to sizes or distances involved. Other games often use square or hex grids, but run into scaling issues. For example, a small town in the middle of a vast forest cannot be to scale on the grid with the forest.

The author gets around this scaling issue by using multiple "grids that are based on the powers of two. Each grid is named by a logarithmic scale number such that scale 0 has squares with length of 1 unit, scale 1 has sides with length of 2 units, scale -1 has sides with length 1/2 of a unit."

The author provides diagrams and examples of how this scaling of overlapping grids work. Using this method, grids will overlap. In the case of overlaps, the grids with higher resolution are considered authoritative over the lower resolution grids.