MORTAL BUILDERS IN LUSTERNIA (HOW TO GET AN ORB)

22.1 MORTAL BUILDERS IN LUSTERNIA (HOW TO GET AN ORB)

Introduction
------------

From time to time, the administration of Lusternia will take mortal
builders to help expand the world and develop new areas. These mortal
builders work closely with adminstration on the areas, and are paid in
credits for their work.

Being a builder in Lusternia is not like being a builder on many muds.
One does not become an immortal. Instead, we have Orbs of Creation.
Using an Orb is well-documented in other help files listed under HELP
OLC.

Building is not something done on a lark. It is hard work, because we do
not allow poor-quality material to go into Lusternia. Furthermore, it
does take quite a bit of administrative time, as we have to approve
every single thing that you do.

As a mortal builder, you will be expected to maintain complete and utter
secrecy on any project you are assigned. If you 'leak' information on
classified projects, be prepared to face DIRE CONSEQUENCES. As such, we
require all mortal builders to sign a standard Non-Disclosure Agreement
and send it back to us before work can commence.

You will need to work your way up from apprentice builder and prove
yourself as trustworthy, reliable and can turn out quality work before
being allowed to create your own areas. There are three stages to go
through:

Apprentice: Assigned to help a Builder Admin. Write room descriptions
and learn the basics of building. Be prepared for weekly assignments. If
you can't complete the assignments, we won't use you again. You must
complete at least 100 rooms before moving to Journeyman, and you will
receive an honorarium of 3 credits per room.

Journeyman: Assist on projects under supervision of a Builder Admin.
Larger building projects may possibly include helping to design mobiles.
Weekly assignments. You must complete at least 100 rooms before moving
to Architect, and you will receive an honorarium of 4 credits per room.

Architect: May either help with Builder Admins or start own building
project. Expect to make weekly progress reports. You will receive an
honorarium of 5 credits per room.

We wish to emphasize that we expect mortal builders to be active,
steady, and responsible workers, so consider very carefully whether you
wish to take on such a commitment.

Applying
--------

At present, you are free to submit a mortal builder application at any
time, and we will take applicants per our need.

In order to get the process started, you need to post the following
information on the Plots newsboard, which is only readable by the
administration:

- your character(s), your age (do not include your real name or email at
this time)
- five sample room descriptions
- a _brief_ description for a new Lusternian area, including its main
story and how it fits into the Lusternian mythos
- a brief bit about yourself and why you think you may be a good builder
for Lusternia

Please note that we expect the five room descriptions to be entirely
error free. If you can't manage to get five room descriptions error
free, then 50 or 100 is out of your reach.

Please also note that you must be at least 18 years of age to apply to
be a mortal builder, because of the legal need to sign the
Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Writing Tips
------------

When writing the room descriptions, keep in mind the following:

- Try not to describe actions in descriptions, especially actions that
have the person reading the description doing something. It makes no
sense to say "You cower in fear before the bloody altar." in a
description, as it's not reasonable that someone is going to cower in
fear every time he or she reads the description.

- Try not to even refer to the reader in your description. Instead of
saying, "You hear the refreshing sound of running water nearby," allow
the description itself to convey the sensations to the reader, without
forcing them on the reader: "There is running water nearby, a refreshing
sound to the ears."

- Do not include lines like: You see exits to the north, east, and
south. These are dynamically generated by Lusternia. You can, of course,
describe what a player can see in those directions, but the actual line
listing the exits shouldn't be included. Also, do not include
descriptions for actual items that will be in the room.

Please also refer to the Chronicles of the Basin section of the
Lusternian forums, where more Building Guidelines have been posted.

We feel that while these may be harsh demands compared to most MUDs,
Lusternia succeeds because we set higher standards of quality. If you
can meet these standards and do the work, you'll be rewarded.

Building Areas
--------------

Eventually, if you prove yourself to be a reliable builder, you will be
allowed to propose and build an area of your own. Note that most of what
you will be doing for this area will be writing the room descriptions,
item descriptions and mobile descriptions, as well as aiding the
administration on the general development of the area. But most of the
actual coding of the mobiles and quests will still be done by a member
of the adminstration.

The most important part of starting to build a new area is the area
proposal. An area proposal should include:

- A general description of the area, including a history of the area,
and also tie-ins to existing history.

- A paragraph or so describing why you think your proposed area would be
a valuable addition to Lusternia.

- Approximately how many rooms you will need.

- A list of the mobiles in the area, and approximately how many there
will be of each.

- A general description of quests you'd like to have in the area.

When writing an area proposal, you need to avoid the tendency to be
overly elaborate, but at the same time make the area interesting. An
area that has no compelling quests or history will be boring and fail to
excite the imagination of players. While no area will ever live up to
what you may have in your imagination, areas like the Toronada Tidal
Flats, or the multiple villages, or the Nature Reserve contain much more
variety and have more personality.

Keep in mind that areas are not built to immortalize or favour you and
your friends.

Once your proposal is approved, the hard work begins. You must now write
every single brief and verbose (room title and room description) for
every single room in your area. Once you have done this and submitted
the work for approval, you will be able to help create the items and
mobiles, and move the area toward its completion.

Conclusion
----------

While building is a lot of work and responsibility, it is also very
rewarding to see your ideas grow and take shape in the actual world of
Lusternia. It is not for everyone, but for those who have a knack for
creativity, it is something fun to do while also earning credits for
your pocket.

We look forward to having many applicants interested in helping to make
Lusternia all that it can be!