[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Sun Apr 27 15:26:27 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <199704260259.TAA26474 at user2.inficad.com>, on 04/25/97 
   at 08:38 PM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at inficad.com> said:

>Yes.  What you have are two seperate sets of data.  One contains what
>you are 'attempting'.  Ie - typing 'headbutt' doesn't just headbutt
>immediately, it just sets into your attempts that you want to
>headbutt at the next possible opportunity.  If that opportunity
>happens to be now, you get an instantanous effect - and you will
>continue to try to headbutt whenever it is convenient.  As you can
>imagine, this conveys some other information to the system, since
>'headbutt fred' indicates that you want to a) get Fred into a
>position where you can headbutt him, and b) actually headbutt him. 
>This may involve a lot of things, including dropping whatever you are
>currently doing, moving into position to attack Fred (which will
>probably trigger some stuff on Fred, of course) and then doing the

How do you determine when to cease attempting an action?  eg How do
you when decide to stop headbutting Fred?

>The second set of data is much more complex, and involves what your
>character is actually _doing_, which can be an unlimited number of
>things. This is everything from hanging onto a rope, to casting a
>spell, to drinking some ale, to circling Fred.  In the last case,
>you're probably attempting to do something related to hacking Fred to
>little bits, but not always.  You may be attempting to run away, or
>teach Fred how to swordfight, or even drink a mug of ale.  The system
>then must decide what's the best way to get from the current task(s)
>to the desired (attempting) tasks.  Thus if you're hanging on a rope
>and defending against Bob, typing 'eat bread' will indeed have an
>effect, but it will have the effect of setting your attempt to be eat
>this piece of bread in my sack.  Unfortunately, this may not happen
>anytime soon, since you have to get off the rope, get to a position
>where you're no longer threatened by Fred, free up your hands, get
>the bread from your sack, and only *then* can you actually do what
>you were trying to do.  On top of this, you can be doing multiple
>things as well as attempting multiple things at any given time.  So
>you can be hanging on a rope and fighting Fred while attempting to
>eat your mutton and drink your ale.

Will your "eat bread" cause him to climb or descend the rope to assume
an "eating position" and thence eat the bread?  Or will it merely log
an intention which will be compleated once the player is in a suitable

  > l
  On a rope in hanging in mid air.
  > eat bread
  > climb rope
  You are now standing on a grassy plain.
  You eat bread.

How do you then handle the problem of the prior intenion no longer
being applicable?
  > l
  You are in an endless grassy plain.  There is a tree far to the
  > climb tree,
  You are moving towards the tree to climb it.
  You are attacked by an Orc!
  The orc is dead.
  You are very badly wounded.
  > go to healer
  You are moving towards the healer.
  You are almost dead.
  The healer is here, sitting under a tree.
  You begin climbing the tree.
  You die from your injuries.

>> >My mana is suddnely all gone, which makes me angry.
>> >My mana is all gone because of the objects nearby, so I am angry at
>> >the objects. The objects are nearby because UggUgg tossed them there,
>> >so I'm angry at UggUgg.
>> <wince>
>> That way leads madness.  The traceback of causality can (and often
>> will be) incredibly ugly especially given, say, the liquid nature and
>> flow of mana.

>Eh, how's that?  Hmmm...maybe if the effect is too delayed it could
>get difficult, but I don't see how it's difficult for the player to
>decide that the last person they saw interact with the object that
>screwed them over is the guildty party.  

I have no problem with the player assiciating case and effect.  That's
obvious and assumed.  What I have a real problem with is having the
game attempting to derive cause from an observed effect.  There's a
relative process there which I think would be an absolute nightmare to

>This has the nice effect of
>making it so that if someone does something incogneti, it's very easy
>to 'frame' others, as I think I mentioned before.  Someone walks into
>the room, drops some items on the ground...you don't really pay
>attention, but someone invisible then picks them up and throws them
>at you.  Assuming that you didn't have the spacial stuff which I
>believe you have (meaning they would get a message about the objects
>floating around on their own), they'd get mad at the person who
>originally dropped the objects, since what they saw was:

>Boffa drops a magical sword.
>A magical sword suddenly drains all your mana!

True.  What I don't want to even attempt from the game is:

  Bubba drops a sword.
  All your mana is gone!
  Its Bubba's fault your mana is gone!

>Or whatever.  I'm not saying this isn't somewhat tricky (keeping a
>list of things that happened in the character's sight recently), but
>you're the one that wanted to do it this way...

Err no.  I never wanted to do this.  I've argued against it while
asking how it could be done.

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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