Interactive Multi-User Computer Games

Dr Richard Bartle,
MUSE Ltd.,
34, Grantham Road,
Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex.
CO6 4TU, UK.

email: muse@connect.on-line.co.uk

Copyright © MUSE Ltd, British Telecom plc.
December, 1990.


Abstract

This is a short research report covering the field of interactive, multi-user computer games. Its main component is a comprehensive overview of what presently constitute the most important products in this category. The report ends in a discussion of ways by which existing services may be improved to the benefit of both the user and the vendor.

Author's note
This document grew from a longer report commissioned by British Telecom plc. It is commercially oriented, so was delayed for six months after delivery prior to being made publicly available. Certain commercially sensitive details have still had to be struck out, in particular a comprehensive contact list of leading people in the field. Furthermore, some of the information (particularly that concerning game access) has been superseded since it was written. I hope that what remains is nevertheless of some use.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. The Field of Study
    2. Narrowing the Field of Study
    3. Acceptance Criteria
    4. Categories of IMPCGs
    5. Brief History (Industry)
    6. Brief History (Academia)

  2. Game Architecture
    1. Technical Aspects
    2. Operational Aspects
    3. Managerial Aspects
    4. Scenarios
    5. Clients
    6. Bots
    7. Indicators

  3. Reviewing Strategy
    1. Review Format
    2. Accuracy
    3. Locations
    4. Genealogy

  4. Reviews -- UK
    1. Federation II
    2. Gods
    3. MirrorWorld
    4. MUD2
    5. Shades
    6. AberMUG
    7. Avalon
    8. Bloodstone
    9. Empyrion
    10. MIST
    11. Mosaic
    12. Prodigy
    13. Quest
    14. Realm
    15. Trash
    16. Void
    17. Zone
    18. Chaos World of Wizards
    19. Rock
    20. Sector 7
    21. Other MUAs

  5. Reviews -- Rest of the World
    1. British Legends
    2. Gemstone III
    3. Other Commercial MUAs
    4. AberMUD
    5. LPMUD
    6. TinyMUD
    7. TinyMUCK
    8. TinyMUSH
    9. TinyMOO
    10. UberMUD
    11. Other InterNet MUAs

  6. Reviews -- Non-MUAs
    1. Air Warrior
    2. Astroid
    3. BattleTech
    4. Fantasy Sports
    5. Island of Kesmai
    6. Megawars III
    7. Nethack
    8. Sniper
    9. The Spy
    10. You Guessed It!

  7. Discussion
    1. Organisation
    2. Why Do People Play?
    3. Why Do People Not Play?
    4. Why Do People Stop Playing?
    5. What Does the Future Hold?
    6. Conclusion


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