Editorial Hat


LORDS OF MIDNIGHT is a new departure for adventure games. It is a multi-player game, in that scenes and events can be viewed from more than one vantage point. It is also the first game to bring another world to life through the use of graphics rather than text.

The ability to switch from one character to another, or to allow otheser players to assume differing personae, is something which no other adventure gamlne has successfully attempted.

This is not to say that Mike Singleton's game is flawless - it does have faults, notably interior scenes of keeps and citadels are not displayed and the game itself can become overly complex. Nevertheless, Lords of Midnight is still a great deal more fun to play than most other adventures. And the graphics are stunning.

Another game which is rapidly growing in popularity is MUD - that peculiarly apt acronym for Multi User Dungeon. Devised by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle, MUD is run on Essex University's DEC 10. The game allows different players, both inside and outside the university, to participate at the same time.

Within the next two to three years, if not sooner, it should be possible to devise an interactive adventure game involving thousands of players. Linked to a central computer by modem, adventurers will be able to battle for global supremacy or search for the holy grail. Opponents and allies will be real live people, not computer generated facsimiles.

The technology is available now, although it is still fairly expensive. If British Telecom could only be persuaded to reduce its rates for data transmission, such an adventure game might be running now. Certainly, with companies such as Century buying up the rights to MUD, it should not be too long before some such system is in operation. I believe that this type of game is going to prove far more popular than anyone now suspects.

Richard A. Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk)
21st January 1999: maesep84.htm