Keywords: cerulea, design
Right now I'm in the mood to work on Cerulea again, especially if I can get it to a stage where people can come in and have fun with it. I hate to debut my games until they're practically ready for publication... it just doesn't feel right... but seeing Midmarch growing makes me want to have some fun with players too.

The thing is, it's been a long time since I conceived of the ideas for Cerulea, and these days I have very different thoughts about what I'd want in my own MUD. So another overhaul may be in the future.

I no longer feel like I want to have a Tolkienesque game, with humans and elves and all that. I'd rather do something totally new. So I may end up scrapping all the races I have now. But I do like the general backstory, and I like the colonization theme. I especially like the "haves vs. have-hots" theme; in so many games, it's tantalizingly difficult to get gold and gear at the start, and then things get relatively comfortable (hopefully the game is good enough that there's always something more to save for). I'm intrigued by the idea of setting up a game in which life is always precarious, where you may finally have a steel sword but you're not sure if there'll be a roof over your head.

I also wanted to make it possible to play the "haves," where you start the game out with all the wealth you need. But actually being back and playing BYOND games has made me realize that might not be so feasible. It'd work fine for me. I'm very committed to roleplaying. Other random players I might get... not so much about the roleplaying. A lot of players are more about getting power. But it might still work, if the appropriate encouragements (or discouragements) were in place. The biggest problem might be having too many of the "haves" simply give away their stuff to the have-nots. If the point of the game is to play hard and save up so you can buy one threadbare wool hat so you don't freeze to death, it doesn't really work to have wealthy friends that are handing you a new one every time yours gets stolen.

There'd also have to be a change in how people saw their characters. Players get used to feeling their character (and their character's hard-earned stuff) is permanent. And they feel it really sucks to lose an item. It'd be hard to get away from that.

And I thought I might want to change the combat system. Because having such a deep combat system puts a lot of emphasis on that aspect, but I wonder if I want to put more of a focus on roleplaying.

I've also come to feel I even want to change the setting of the game. Medieval Arabia is certainly appealing, but there are so many other possibilities. I could do a truly fantastic setting, with weird landforms and plants and animals and weather patterns. Or I could write what I know, which is New England landforms and weather patterns, and I could do that in much greater detail than I could Arabia. And anyway, there's more appealing to me about snow than about sand. It's nice to imagine oneself in a snowy land. Even if that hat is all the more important.