Wanted. Area Creator. Dead or Alive
by Selina Kelley
"I have this mud. It is great. Come build there." Well, not quite, but here is what I do have: All the current administrators are coders. We have build the mudlib almost to our satisfaction. We have added the modules to our satisfaction. But we lack something... Area Creators.
Wanted dead or alive! Well, dead.
Where are they all? I see hundreds of posts a week both on bulletin boards, newsgroups, and other assorted means asking for coders, but it seems everyone but me has their full staff of area creators. Help! What am I doing wrong?
OK, granted I have not really advertised much for area creators. Not because I do not care, but because I would prefer that the people that I "hire" to build are at least in some respects familiar with the mud they are building on. OK, I also understand the fact that the current code base we are using is a no-longer-available, highly modified LP mud. Definitely not the flavor of the ROM.. err.. month.
But where exactly does that leave me? I have created a customized area builder that allows the creation of simple rooms, amours, weapons, and actually fairly "smart" monsters. The builder allows auto-upload direct to the mud of files as well. That should make it easier, right? Unfortunately not, as the people that have it, and use it, take the exact same amount of time creating an area than they did before.. (which amounts to.. way too long).
Am I expecting too much from the current area creators I have? All I really want, is an area every, say, three months. I do not feel that I am asking too much, but it seems as soon as an area creator that I have "hired" completes their first apprentice area, they suddenly become "too busy in real life" to build more areas. Not too busy to log in and chat though. Or they become more interested in creating "mudlib" than building areas. You know the type, too "good" to make areas, but that is the reason you hired them? Argh!
So I have supplied my area creators a program to make their (area coding) lives easier, a fairly stable platform to create on, a "test" mud-port that they can go ahead and crash to their hearts content, and as much help in learning how to code as they ask for. What do I get in return? Two areas this past year that were not made by me.
I am not always the most motivated of people. Maybe I am strange, but what motivates me is seeing others get motivated. I will always be more willing to create and finish an area when others around me are creating at the same time. So is the lethargy of my area-creating staff a direct result of my own laziness? I would hope not.
My ultimate fantasy is to have a staff of two to three area creators. All they love doing is creating areas. Not just generic hack-n-slash areas either, but areas with depth, areas with secrets, areas where reading the room descriptions are a vital part of unlocking the special "cool stuff" in the area. I want quality, in quantity.
I guess I am asking too much.. Area creators.. are you out there?
June 2000 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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