General features to consider for a MU*:


Gameplay properties (complexity of areas, obscurity of puzzles)

A text-based game is inherently more restrictive than one of a graphical nature. As such, it is important to consider a MU*'s room as a larger area than the immediate location afforded by an MMORPG. Unlike an MMORPG, a MU* player cannot readily face and move in arbitrary directions, and must instead approximate the action to other players via a pose. However, the fact that this pose must be entered by the player means that a far greater range of activity is possible on a MU*.

Areas should be feature-rich. Since the actuality of distance afforded to an MMORPG is unavailable to MU*s, a coder might be tempted to create masses of simple 'filler' rooms that exist only to increase the sense of scale. This should be avoided. A method of delaying the player's movement is another way to accomplish this task, but this too will surely only annoy the player, and speedwalking as a means to utterly negate distances defeats the point of having many rooms. How can a sense of scale be effectively portrayed?

A good puzzle is challenging but able to be reasonably deduced by the target audience. Be careful when assuming with which commands a player is familiar if the puzzle is in an area easily accessible to those not necessarily familiar with the MU*. If an uncommon verb is used, be sure to allow for different ways of expressing the same action, or provide clear hints as to the correct syntax (if not as to the specific details of that particular puzzle).


Display properties and descriptions:


Creation and initial set-up of the user's avatar:

Avatar interaction with game world:

Avatar interaction with other player characters:

Stories and quests:

Non-player entities:

Environment properties:

A major element that increases the immersiveness of a game is the inclusion of environmental features; when out-of-doors, terrain, flora and fauna, and ambient weather (including time of day, time of year, precipitation, et cetera) all contribute to a description's appeal. When in a building, the perceivable effects of ambient weather (rain on the roof, wind whistling in the eaves, patch of sunlight moving across the floor as the hours pass) are also something to consider. Finally, if the environment doesn't directly affect a player, it is but a stage backdrop-- pleasant to look at, but irrelevant to the player's activity. However the variability of environment is accomplished, it is ideal that it is present, though it very quickly becomes necessary to automatically generate descriptions in this case.

Climate and weather: