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  • #16
    MMG:
    If we're really into producing authoritative and consistent terms, then now is the time to correct any grammatical slights, i.e. MMG is Massive Multiplayer Game (not 'massively').

    MMG is further defined to apply specifically to games where their massive nature is in respect of the number of players that are simultaneously interacting in the same virtual environment (even if this is divided into relatively independent shards) of the same instance of the game. A game is not massive simply because of the total number of players across several instances (that would be a massively popular multiplayer game).

    GAME INSTANCE:
    A game instance is one of many independent and isolated, potentially concurrent, executions of a game. Two concurrent games of Quake are two instances.
    Sometimes instances may be connected, allowing players to switch between instances as though they were parallel realities.

    SESSION:
    A 'session' is a temporal notion used to describe a period that has a recognisable 'beginning' and 'ending'.

    PLAYER SESSION:
    A 'player session' is the period in which a player actively participates in a game. It may be one of several periods, that may or may not span game sessions.

    TEAM SESSION:
    A 'team session' is the period in which a team of players actively participate in a game. It begins when the team decides to commence the formation of their team session, and ends when the team effectively disbands, even though some members of the team may continue playing. Team members may still temporarily leave and return the team without the team session ending.

    GAME SESSION:
    A game session is the phase from the notional beginning of a game to its ending, or from reset to stagnation. Thus a 'game' may be available across and in between many 'game sessions'.

    SHARD:
    A shard is a portion of a virtual world that is relatively independent from other portions of the virtual world, usually as a means to share the burden of running the game. Shards are similar to interconnected instances of the game, except that each shard is a recognisably distinct area (not a replica). While players are not meant to perceive shards as separate portions, it may be that they are sometimes discouraged (or prevented) from exploring or interacting with some of them. Shards may represent a population limited area.



    Crosbie: Instead of Massive Multiplayer for Massively Multiplayer, how about a hyphen, as in Massively-Multiplayer?

    In general: When talking MMGs, remember we're talking players per game session. Example: There may be 10,000 Internet Quake sessions with a total of 80000 people in play at peak hours on various servers world-wide, but the limit is around 8-32 players per session or iteration (depending on the version), making it a multiplayer game, but not a massively-multiplayer game.

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    • #17
      Hehe... Massively Popular Multiplayer Game...

      Well, if you can somehow convince marketers, advertisers, and executives at places like Sony and Origin that they're wrong (which they are) then you're my hero. It should be called "massive".
      Lovecraft Country: Albert Zero
      Castle Marrach: Cody the Blade


      StoryCoder Azrael tells StoryHermit Death, "I *did* get told "you're amazing" by a girl when I was saucing my hotdog..."

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      • #18
        I concur with crosbie only insofar as he indicates "Massive" is the correct use of the Queen's English.

        "Massively Multiplayer" trips off the tongue much more easily, and as Atama pointed out, when people grab on to a concept, especially one that's useful for marketing, they do so, well, massively.

        Dave

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        • #19
          What means "Monty Haul"??

          Listed, but not defined, in Raph's "large hunk of glossary".

          For personal reasons, I'm _dying_ to know! 8-)

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          • #20
            Re: What means "Monty Haul"??

            Originally posted by monty
            Listed, but not defined, in Raph's "large hunk of glossary".

            For personal reasons, I'm _dying_ to know! 8-)
            As in Monty Hall, from Let's Make A Deal. Loosely defined as a repetitive game segment that features players farming an area, quest, whatever, for goods or game gold. Farmed goods are then traded for game gold, etc.

            This has also been used in conjunction with farming uber-quests, which give out rare uber-items such as nifty armor and cool weapons.

            We could probably use a simple definition for this one. "Monty Haul" is a term used in diverse situations today, rather like "cool" was in the 70s.

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            • #21
              I've seen the term "Monty Hall" used generally to describe a method of GMing, either in tabletop or online games. Usually referred to as a flaw, actually.

              In a Monty Hall campaign, rewards are given with little to no effort on the part of the players. This quickly leads to boredom, as players are just handed everything.
              Lovecraft Country: Albert Zero
              Castle Marrach: Cody the Blade


              StoryCoder Azrael tells StoryHermit Death, "I *did* get told "you're amazing" by a girl when I was saucing my hotdog..."

              Comment


              • #22
                Monty Haul

                That is indeed the usage of the term that is common in the mud world, Atama... first used in the pen and paper RPG world, far as I know--I first saw it used in the early 80s, and spelled (punningly) as Monty Haul.

                Jess, of course I have a list. I've been trying to establish a nomenclature for a couple of years now, along with my efforts to establish a history and a sense of common practices. I know, a very "artsy" thing to do (*poke* No, I'm not gonna let you slide easily...!). Have you checked the MUD-Dev FAQ? There's several terms defined in there as well.

                Also, I believe there is a mud dictionary out there. A Goggle search for "mud" "dictionary" turns up a bunch.

                -Raph

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                • #23
                  Re: Monty Haul

                  Originally posted by Raph
                  That is indeed the usage of the term that is common in the mud world, Atama... first used in the pen and paper RPG world, far as I know--I first saw it used in the early 80s, and spelled (punningly) as Monty Haul.
                  Then we'll go with Atama's for now. Works for me,

                  Jess, of course I have a list. I've been trying to establish a nomenclature for a couple of years now, along with my efforts to establish a history and a sense of common practices. I know, a very "artsy" thing to do (*poke* No, I'm not gonna let you slide easily...!). [/QUOTE]

                  Ah, but was it your intent to create Art, or science? Poke me all ya want, Raph; its all about discussing the issues. The way I figure it, if someone doesn't make themselves a target or take a stand, nothing much interesting happens and we risk a default view that might not fit. That's why I originally posted an online games history in three parts in BTH back in '99; to start getting our history down on paper and to set the stage for further discussions.

                  Have you checked the MUD-Dev FAQ? There's several terms defined in there as well.

                  Also, I believe there is a mud dictionary out there. A Goggle search for "mud" "dictionary" turns up a bunch.

                  -Raph
                  [/QUOTE]

                  Yep, been there. No doubt some of the terms should be integrated. An interesting thing, when I look back at it, is how MUDs and commercial online games kinda "grew up in different places together" and so different terminologies grew up around them. With MUDs 'growing up' in a mainly university-based setting and for-pay online games growing up on the old proprietary online services such as CiS and GEnie, it was like a Chinese wall between the two existed.

                  Not to mention almost totally different attitudes! That's probably worthy of a column...

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                  • #24
                    Ah, but was it your intent to create Art, or science?
                    Now, see, this is the second time in connection with this debate that someone used the science word. Look, I can't deny that I come from an artsy background. No hiding it. But there's this perception that artsy means pie in the sky, and it doesn't jibe with anything I know about the actual world of the arts.

                    Nobody in their right mind would say that music, for example, isn't highly technical and mathematical. The amount of pesky scientific rules you have to learn to be able to draw is impressive--let's not even get into color theory and visual design! Writing, theater, etc, all down the line--they're all heavily invested in craft, in arcane terminology (like this thread is about), in understanding the mechanics of what they're doing.

                    They're also all heavily invested in their own history. They all all about building up and tearing down what's gone before. There's critique (often savage) and analysis, there's hero worship and "school of" and all that jazz.

                    Lastly, I also don't know any actual, real-world working artists who aren't relentlessly practical. Sure, they're all out to do self-expression, but they know that if their play doesn't open well, if they can't sell a story, if their watercolor doesn't get sold at the mall, that they can't afford to do another one. And since doing another one is really what they're all about, they pay quite a lot of attention to whether or not they can afford new brushes, better costumes, etc. The only ones I know who are fat cat coasting self-indulgent twits are either on government grants or are just posers who won't make it.

                    So to me, "art" is a good thing. It means craft, and it means vision, and it means awareness of what's come before. And yes, absolutely, it means entertainment. And also yes, it means tyring to solve problems that have proven somewhat less than tractable thus far.

                    Whereas "entertainment" alone means something you forget about after you've experienced it...

                    There's no terminology for entertainment, let's put it that way.

                    An interesting thing, when I look back at it, is how MUDs and commercial online games kinda "grew up in different places together" and so different terminologies grew up around them. With MUDs 'growing up' in a mainly university-based setting and for-pay online games growing up on the old proprietary online services such as CiS and GEnie, it was like a Chinese wall between the two existed.
                    There's no doubt in my mind that most of the big mistakes I've made were the result of not knowing enough about the commercial side of things. There's also little doubt in my mind that the commercial side of things had gotten very stagnant... I think the commercial side really needs the muds. I don't know if the muds "need" the commercial side int he same sense, since they are happy to proceed as they have been.

                    Also, keep in mind that within the mud community itself, the commercial/artsy debate is recapitulated on smaller scale, with the truly fascinating and successful and cool designs (Armageddon, HoloMUD, MUME, DartMUD, etc etc etc) having to compete with the juggernauts of the DikuMUD derivatives, which offer EQ-like gameplay and addiction and haven't changed significantly in fifteen years...

                    -Raph

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                    • #25
                      I see what you're saying, Raph, and even agree woth a lot of it. let me comment on just one part of the 'art' part of your post, for brevity's sake:

                      Originally posted by Raph
                      So to me, "art" is a good thing. It means craft, and it means vision, and it means awareness of what's come before. And yes, absolutely, it means entertainment. And also yes, it means tyring to solve problems that have proven somewhat less than tractable thus far.
                      I agree; art - in moderation - is a good thing. I can even live with someone going into an online game project fully intending to do both. What I can't abide is someone in it purely for art's sake, or as some academic exercise; we have few enough resources right now aas it is, to be wasting them that way.

                      And the whole reason for the column that ranted about that was I was hearing and reading a lot about art, and almost nothing about entertaiment. I seem to have accomplished my purpose, which was to get people talking about the whole enchilada, <g>.

                      Originally posted by Raph

                      There's no doubt in my mind that most of the big mistakes I've made were the result of not knowing enough about the commercial side of things. There's also little doubt in my mind that the commercial side of things had gotten very stagnant... I think the commercial side really needs the muds. I don't know if the muds "need" the commercial side int he same sense, since they are happy to proceed as they have been.
                      I don't know that the commercial side needs MUDs, per se. Not only is the technology of them lagging too far behind current games to be of any real use in a broad way, the small numbers that play each game aren't useful as a test-bed for concepts that will subsequently be played by thousands or more. As we both know, what works for 30 won't necessarily work for 300 or 3000.

                      On the other hand, I'm glad we have them, if just so that new ideas can be tried out in a less stressful setting, without someone's job or $8 million in development funds being on the line, and people just starting out with a desire to design and development have someplace to gain a little experience.

                      Also, keep in mind that within the mud community itself, the commercial/artsy debate is recapitulated on smaller scale, with the truly fascinating and successful and cool designs (Armageddon, HoloMUD, MUME, DartMUD, etc etc etc) having to compete with the juggernauts of the DikuMUD derivatives, which offer EQ-like gameplay and addiction and haven't changed significantly in fifteen years...[/QUOTE]

                      Which rather begs the question, which is the more successful, the Diku derivatives, or the less-than-juggernauts you list? Is the measure here purely the number of players?

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                      • #26
                        What I can't abide is someone in it purely for art's sake, or as some academic exercise; we have few enough resources right now aas it is, to be wasting them that way.
                        I still don't know who you see doing that, except maybe for that radically weird Mimesis Online thing.

                        In the commercial arena, anyway. There's certainly plenty of mud people doing it for those reasons...

                        I don't know that the commercial side needs MUDs, per se. Not only is the technology of them lagging too far behind current games to be of any real use in a broad way, the small numbers that play each game aren't useful as a test-bed for concepts that will subsequently be played by thousands or more. As we both know, what works for 30 won't necessarily work for 300 or 3000.
                        And yet, there's nothing much I see in the upcoming generations that hasn't been tried in the text muds. AC's allegiance system was novel. I like to think some of the stuff we are trying to do in SWG is new to both communities. The mission system in AO was innovative. But by and large, there isn't much that hasn't been tried in the text muds. Yes, scale affects it a lot. But we're not seeing any features designed to take advantage of 500+ figures, not really.

                        Also, there are some very key things that the muds have that the commercial graphical games are missing; user-generated content being the most obvious, but also improved communication facilities, better run game economies, often better community tools, and much superior game design in terms of quest and events. Still quite a lot to learn from there, I think.

                        Which rather begs the question, which is the more successful, the Diku derivatives, or the less-than-juggernauts you list? Is the measure here purely the number of players?
                        No, I'm judging them as game designs, and I don't see game designs as being evaluated purely on the basis on number of players--otherwise M.U.L.E. would have to be a sucky game, and I consider it to be one of the greatest ever made.

                        In particular for the purposes of online worlds--the ones I named have by and large had many many years of successful operation with steady playerbase sizes. In other words, they have kickass retention and systems balanced enough to keep the game from imploding. And good "live' teams that keep them fresh. Whereas most of the Dikus have game design limitations that cause most of them to blow up in a couple of years (or necessitate a playerwipe).

                        As a classic example--the concept of a "two sided mud" was pioneered by MUME (Multi User Middle Earth) where the game was PvE but also features a two-team PvP situation. where players play the orcs, etc. In MUME, it's been stable for a decade. But in Owen Emlen's mud Mortal Conquest, the game was immensely popular--for three months. And then it blew up most spectacularly for various reasons. Both examples are probably pretty relevant to say, Mythic and Funcom, in the midst of trying out extremely similar mechanics in Dark Age of Camelot and Anarchy Online.

                        Was Darkness Falls based on the same Realm PvP thing as DAoC?

                        -Raph

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                        • #27
                          Online gaming terms...

                          *giggles hysterically* Don't forget my favorite term, from Old Man Murray's review of EverQuest:

                          http://www.oldmanmurray.com/wc.dll?p...NGLE~200001156

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                          • #28
                            I wonder if Richard Garriott would mind if I used that one?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JessicaM
                              I wonder if Richard Garriott would mind if I used that one?
                              If only to keep the dignity of poor Chuckles the Jester intact...

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by JessicaM
                                I wonder if Richard Garriott would mind if I used that one?
                                I suspect he'd rather not be glossaried in quite that way. "Gaffneylike" is still available for use as meaning "handsome, intelligent, and wise" however.

                                -jg

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