About Dancing Elephants

Does the world need yet another armchair virtual world designer blog?

Actually yes.

There is one design discussion niche that I have not seen covered in any blogs; the amateur world builder’s niche. Specifically, I mean the builder of sandbox worlds and specifically the kind of world where “roleplay” is not a superfluous term. This is a rare breed of worldsmith – something between a professional designer and a pontificating player – and it is made rarer by the fact that they are thinly scattered and divided by platform. The text MUD admins don’t much mix with those building and running worlds based on Neverwinter Nights, Minions of Mirth, Torque MMOKit, Realm Crafter, various emulators, etc.

There is nothing focused on immersion and fostering roleplay; which requires immersion and the more the better.

There are forums – sometimes many forums – relevant for each of these platforms; Top Mud Sites, MMORPGMaker, Bioware’s NWN1 and NWN2 forums, the TMMOKIt forums, the Multiverse forums, the forums of specific worlds, etc. Sometimes there are excellent discussions on them that touch on topics of interest to the roleplayer and the RP worldsmith, particularly Top Mud Sites (where I lurk) and MMORPGMaker (where I am a cranky curmudgeon). Unfortunately, I find it increasingly difficult to bring myself to contribute to discussions on any of those forums. The audience interested in RP on any one of those is small and I have often in the past found myself starting parallel threads on multiple forums. Sometimes, my writing on a particular forum has disappeared into the deadpool as that forum died. Sometimes I find that my thinking has changed and my opinions of a year or two ago are complete nonsense. It’s hard to argue with yourself when the old forum post has disappeared.

What is Dancing Elephants about?

Dancing Elephants is about immersion and roleplay in virtual worlds, how to foster it and when does it go too far.

Who is this Dancing Elephants for?

This blog is aimed at amateurs, indies and pontificators (players who like to talk design theory). It is specifically aimed at those interested in hardcore roleplay worlds and the issues around them. It is not aimed at those whose interest is large scale, diku derived, theme park worlds.

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