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 the administration 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 and reliable, and you will need to show you can
turn out quality work before being allowed to create your own areas. At
this time, there are three stages for Mortal Builders to go through:

   * Apprentice
   * Journeyman
   * Architect

The differences between the three stages are based on the amount of
credits they receive per room for their honorarium, as well as the
ability to develop full-fledged areas for Lusternia. Apprentice builders
receive 3 credits per room designed, and they will move onto the
Journeyman stage upon completing 100 rooms. Journeyman receive 4 credits
per room designed, and they will move onto the Architect stage upon
completing 100 more rooms. Architect builders receive 5 credits per room
designed, and have the opportunity to design areas.

The workload for builder projects work on a first-come, first-serve
basis, with opportunities appearing upon request of the administrative
team. The most frequent project is basic room description, with a
project requiring 10 rooms described within the span of a week (or a
week and a half). Other types of projects may have larger room numbers
or they may include designing custom items or mobiles. Additionally,
there may be time-sensitive projects that ask builders for a higher
turn-over rate for their projects.

We wish to emphasise 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, we have two methods of applying to the Mortal Builder
program. The first is a general rolling admissions, to which interested
players can simply submit an application with the following information
listed below to the Plots newsboard (which is only readable by the
administration). The second is a formal call for applicants, initiated
by the Camenae, where players will submit their application to
camenae@lusternia.com directly. The application for both requires the
following information:

   * Your name and your character's name(s)
   * Five sample room descriptions, preferably of varied locations
   * A brief (250 words max) description for a new Lusternian area,
     including its main story and how it fits into Lusternian mythos
   * A brief (250 words max) characterisation of yourself and why
     you think you may be a good builder for Lusternia

We expect the five room descriptions to be entirely error free. If you
cannot manage to get five rooms without errors, then 20, 50 or 100 will
be out of your reach.

Please note that only those who are 18 years of age or older may apply
to be a Mortal Builder, due to the legalities associated with the NDA.

Writing Tips
-------------
When writing your room descriptions, keep in mind the following:

   1.) 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 is not reasonable that
       someone is going to cower in fear every time they read the
       description.

   2.) 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. For example, "There is
       running water nearby, a refreshing sound to the ears."

   3.) 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.

A useful thread from Lusternia's old forums may be helpful for you,
found here: 

http://forums.lusternia.com/discussion/3007/building-tips-and-guidelines

While these may feel like harsh demands compared to most MUDs, Lusternia
succeeds because we aim for higher standards of quality in building. 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 may be
allowed to propose and build an area of your own. Note well, most of
what you will be doing for this area will be writing the room, item and
mobile descriptions, as well as helping the administration on the
general development of the area; however, most of the actual programming
of the mobiles and quests will still be done by a member of the
administrative team.

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

   * 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, you must make the area
interesting. An area that has no compelling quests or history will be
boring and fail to excite the imagination of our players. While no area
will ever live up to what you may have in your imagination, areas like
the Kiakoda Nature Reserve, the Meliashmora of Imperial Secrets, or
villages like Dairuchi contain much more variety and have more
personality.

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

Once your proposal is approved, the hard work begins. You must now write
every single brief and verbose description (room title and actual room
description, respectively) 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 then 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!