[MUD-Dev] Magnetic Scrolls' magical parser

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Tue Apr 29 19:46:27 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

:See, I consider this a strength.  I would *never* type a command like
:"plant pot plant in plant pot", and if I did, I would hate to think
:that the parser would try to interpret it.  Of course, I generally
:like descently fast-pased muds...this would fit into more of a MUSH-style
:situation where you could spend more time crafting your commands.
:I like a simple set of tools with which to interact with the environment,
:that are never ambiguous and always easy for me to type.  The 'plant pot..'
:stuff is confusing for everyone, player and coder alike, so I'm not sure
:what the advantage is.

The fact that the parser can handle more complex things doesn't mean that
most commands *are* more complicated. A typical command sequence in my
MUD would be somethink like this:

    g sword
    wield sword
    h rat
    h rat


If a MUD doesn't allow some kind of more complexity, its going to have
trouble handling ambiguity. How can you have containers if all you
have is <verb> <noun>? How do you let the player chose which of a couple
of swords to use if you don't have adjectives? If you allow only one
adjective, how do you disambiguate between a large red banner and a
small red banner? Or do you artificially prohibit such situations?

:We've done some basic stuff with trying to break the sentence into major
:parts, which allows the mob scripts to easily determine insults, inquiries,
:statements, etc.  Still all very basic; I'm wondering if any of you have
:played with this at all?

I've done a little, but would like to do more. My "Questor" NPC just
looks for keywords, and will respond in a few ways. My "Packrat" NPC
can be told to execute arbitrary commands, but she just strips off the
leading "xxx says Packrat" and gives the rest to the main parser. It
makes for some interesting events, simple as it is.

Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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