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

Raz muddyraz at mushroom.demon.co.uk
Tue May 6 20:28:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 29 Apr 1997 19:33:59 PST8PDT, Chris L wrote (quoting me):

> >Remember the old, single-player text adventures, particularly the
> >later games from Magnetic Scrolls/Rainbird?
> They are also all single user systems turn based systems, where the
> definition of state is extremely distinct and nothing is going to
> happen while the user is sitting there at a prompt picking his nose.=20
> Multi-user realtime systems don't have a lot of that advantage.  The
> definition of state is a lot more gray, and that state is highly
> unstable dependant on other's realtime actions.

Very strong point, of course, though I've recently started thinking that,=
practice,  perhaps this won't always be such a major problem...

I guess I'm writing off the cuff here, and not thinking of every possible
situation, but I reckon that the goal is to have a finished parser which,
even if the 'state' the user is in at the point that the parser prompts =
to resolve ambiguity changes significantly, won't leave the player in a
'dangerous' situation.

If it handles, or rather, is informed of these changes and responds
intelligently, I'd hope that there shouldn't be too much problem.

An example, one player on the left, one player on the right:
(no proportional fonts, please ;) )

 > n

 You're in a room; it seems it was
 created on naught but a whim.
 A big bag and a small bag lie here.

 > get bag                             > n
 Which bag - the big one or the small
 one?                                  You're in a room; it seems it was
                                       created on naught but a whim.
 >                                     A big bag and a small bag lie =
 A tall, female human enters.          A lean, male human is here.

 >                                     > get big bag
 The female human picks up the big     You pick up the big bag.

 > big
 It doesn't seem to be here anymore,
 it appears you took too long!

The above seems to be a generally smooth handling of that particular
situation. Obviously, nicer interaction could be passed to the two
participants - the parser could respond to the male human in the last
instance "The big bag was just taken by the female human, take the small =
instead?" or, better, offer this prompt the instant the female takes the

And because the parser doesn't/shouldn't *require* a particular response
from the player, you can just as easily respond 'yes' or 'no', give up =
wander off, or pull out your sword and stick it through the pesky woman's

Perhaps there will be situations that can't be resolved smoothly... come =
with some and we can try and plan a chain of events that get through them=


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