From Tapestries MUCK
Zone Chat (zchat) is a program for zone-wide chat. Its purpose is to allow OOC chat and other socialization within an establishment while freeing you to participate in roleplays in other rooms.
Zone chat can be turned on/off by users for themselves, and on/off by the admins of public zones.
Zone Chat's deployment is to be considered experimental. If it fails in it's goals it may be changed dramatically, removed or replaced with something else.
To chat, everyone must go to the same room in a zone. This overcrowds single rooms. See Fox Plaza compared to the rest of the Muck core, or the way that only a single room in any given establishment will draw a large crowd. This makes using the rooms for their intended purpose (See Policy Mission Statement) hard or impossible in many situations:
- Using the room for roleplay is difficult due to how spammy it gets
- People are unwilling to explore other rooms because empty rooms are lonely
- People are unwilling to start a scene in the middle of other people's conversation
ZoneChat as a Solution
- Allows the solution of having an OOC area within a zone for all zones.
- People can stay in parts of the zone that they wish to, rather than being forced into a central room.
- Helps separate general chatter (light-IC and OOC) from scening and roleplay.
- Opt-out allows people RPing to focus on play. Or just ignore chatter if they wish.
- Zone by Zone enabling/disabling allows zone owners to decide if it's right for their area or not.
- Still makes people get out of their homes to chat.
- Makes people get out of their homes to chat.
Other Considered Solutions
Other solutions we looked at.
IRC/Shout like system
This allows people to chatter with out ever leaving their homes, thus failing to encourage people to be out in public on the Muck. It is thus not an optimal solution.
OOC Room off the Plaza
At least it gets people out, but it creates an area on the Muck which can't be used for the core mission of the muck. This just seems to concentrate the problem rather than solve it.
OOC Areas in Zones
Same as above, just more broken up into interest areas. Seems like a poor implementation of IRC.
Subscription based IRC
Force users to go out to public places to subscribe to channels they wish to listen to each time they connect to force them to interact with the rest of the muck and still giving channel-based chatter. Considered so contrived that people would just resent the system. (It IS that contrived.)
Lots of other things were considered too which I forget at this time. :)