March 7th, 2004

default, pepper


What's been sucking my brain out for the last two weeks or so is a MUCK project. God help me, I'm starting one, despite my recent assertions that I was leery about getting involved with PuzzleBox chiefly on an available-time basis. Oh, yeah, instead of joining a MUCK, start one! That'll take much less time, moron.

I didn't intend to. I intended to make a specific place on Tapestries -- a place for giants and "normals" to interact, akin to the Giants' Club on FurryMUCK. I came up with what I thought was an interesting concept, a little more rough-and-tumble as befits Taps, and a neat character and basic background.

Then several things happened. I learned that Tapestries has imposed a building moratorium, which started about the time that they surgically excised the Tavern. (This may be a coincidence.) I learned that several people had a "Tapestries, feh" reaction, which the surgical excision of the Tavern didn't help (which certainly is not a coincidence). A few people I talked with about the idea seemed interested. And the character I'd come up with was, well, very insistent about being developed.

So I've been on a spree of self-inflicted pain, getting Fuzzball 6 out of CVS and tracking down global programs (and hacking on a few of them) and brainstorming on a wiki. The wiki's primary purpose has been to keep me from working in a vacuum; I'm doing nearly all the installation and building work myself, but I wanted to have feedback. Rather than rallying builders and wizards to the server, I've been rallying brainstormers to the wiki.

I worry that this will be controversial, after a fashion, taken as a sign of arrogance or elitism. But I've watched many MUCKs start out immediately experiencing "paralysis by committee." Let's face it, in practice a roleplaying MUCK does not need a lot of rooms, given how many rooms on most systems are used for transit -- or just blithely ignored on MUCKs which have grown too huge. I'm hoping that by requiring true in-character roleplaying -- even just in social situations, not organized tinyplots -- the involvement will come from, well, roleplaying. The place is going to be made or broken on the strength of its theme and the style of roleplaying and plots that the setting encourages.

"Wait," somebody may say (just my inner voice, perhaps), "you're talking about not only furries but macrophiles here, aren't you? And you're expecting them to roleplay rather than just have strange VR sex?" Well, uh, yes. The MUCK is going to be adults-only, to be sure, and I'm not going to pretend there won't be strange VR sex there if it takes off! Nonetheless, I'm taking an uncalculated risk: that there's enough creative people within and around that community who'll be willing to try a strongly-themed roleplaying environment, one where they have to create an appropriate character with constraints imposed by that theme, to make such a place sustainable. We'll see. (I do mean "around that community," too -- the setting, I sincerely hope, will be interesting enough to draw in people who are interested in roleplaying and not adverse to RP around and with giants.)

More will appear here when appropriate -- which will probably be soon. The curious can, however, visit the BandariMUCK wiki at for disorganized details.