Author Topic: The Philosophy of Building on Armageddon MUD  (Read 8259 times)


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The Philosophy of Building on Armageddon MUD
« on: November 12, 2005, 01:51:19 PM »
Writing for the game world is referred to as "building", but it encompasses a wide variety of possibilities, ranging from the emotes and song for a performing bard to the taste of the kank steak sold by a street vendor.

The MUD prides itself on the high quality of the writing in the game world. I'm writing this to convey some of the philosophy that has led to that reputation.

Descriptions are ideally between 4-10 lines long. The main intention is to convey an accurate picture - don't get bogged down in flowery or overly ornate language that obscures the visual image. Don't fall victim to thesaurus-speak and substitute complex words for straightforward unless they do indeed add a layer of meaning to the writing. Don't use words because they look good and please, for the love of Muk Utep, don't use them if you're unclear on the meaning.

Show rather than tell. Don't tell the viewer that the dagger is "masterfully crafted" -- instead show us the details that make it masterful: the razor-sharp edge, the intricate braiding of the hilt wrapping, the sleek lines. Don't tell us a thobe is "beautifully embroidered" - tell us the details of the embroidery, the delicacy and subtle colors of the silk threads, the flower petals no larger than a grain of sand, the tracery along the hems and sleeves. Convey the specificity of the thing you're trying to describe.

Use Zalanthan terms. Not oak-brown, but cunyati-brown. Pink as a pymlithe blossom. Not snow white but ivory or milk. Keep in mind the differences between various areas - in the Northlands wood is the most common building material, while in the south, stone or bone will be more common.

Avoid passive language where you can, and find interesting, specific verbs that convey meaning.  Take time to proof your submission and remove the words that serve no purpose.  If you're using words like "rather", "quite" or "somewhat", perhaps you don't have the right word - instead of "rather skinny", try "skeletal", instead of "quite large", try "huge", instead of "very scary", try "terrifying".

For the love of all that's holy, run spell/grammar check over your submission before sending it in.  

Feel free to post tips or questions here.