[MUD-Dev] Re: Prepositions and parsing

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Mon May 12 11:31:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Fri, 9 May 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

:Aside: I've been really hoping to get some more RP type members in
:here.  I suspect we tend to get more than a little buried in the
:technical aspects of the games and lose sight of the RP underpinnings
:(me especially as I don't RP at all).

Sounds like a good idea. Me, I run a paper and pencil (and 2 20 sided
dice) game once a week, which I always figured was one of my biggest
advantages in creating a codebase of the type that Physmud++ is. Using a
style totally apart from D&D, meaning that it is non symbolic
representation, or appears that way to the players, and still totally
governed (unlike tinys) was one of the principal goals. I like RP issues.
I just tend to disagree with the popular approach.

:In <Marcel-1.09-0508162555-b49Ky&5 at Gryphon.iaehv.nl>, on 05/08/97 
:   at 09:19 PM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:
:>On Tue 06 May, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
:>> What with the recent discussion of parsers and methods of parsing
:>> commands, and old entry from my to-do list popped up:
:>> Support for prepositions such as "under", "on top of", "behind" etc.
:>Jumping in the middle of a discussion with my first post to this
:Go for it.

Oh, BTW, my welcome, Marian... Chris invited you of his own volition, I
hadn't mentioned it yet. (Chris: I was about to suggest the same thing,
and had coresponded a bit with Marian before you invited her. Good
timing. =))

:>...and at the risk of pointing out what's been said many times
:>before.. You should start out by knowing where things are with
:>respect to each other. At the moment it seems that games only know
:>about 'inside' and 'outside', and there's no 'real-thing feeling' to
:>them when interacting. I.e. they have no size, weight or true
:>position. Unless you have those there seems to be little point in
:>thinking about more complicated ways of locating things.

:True.  I'm attempting to resolve this from several angles, including
:moving to a real coordinate space system, giving objects dimensions,
:doing collision detection for things like trying to fit a dragon thru
:a mousehole or a boulder into a purse. etc.  I suspect to really
:resolve the job I'll have to move to a 3D graphical system (I'm
:already leaning that way), but I'd like and try and resolve the
:virtual aspects first (which text represents perfectly),  

I am working on both simultaniously, but the longer I work at it, the more
my text project (Physmud++) resembles my graphical project (GURU). In
fact, the graphical project is looking somewhat simpler, conceptually,
though a little more complex technically, at this point.

:I really want to to make objects generic.  I want some player to be
:able to take some clothes, a couple branches and a broomstick, make a
:scarecrow, cast a spell on it to animate it, and Voila!  Have a
:mobile.  I want a player to be able to take a couple pebbles, put them
:in a small box, seal the box, and instantly have a rattle.  It this
:interpretive behaviour of objects that I think is the *real* key.

Believe it or not, I have actually got the first one in Physmud++. This is
a direct result of the definition of a Character: an object that
_controls_ the set of connected (or related) objects that compose its
body. As for the second... we are getting into rough waters. I would be
interested in any ideas as far as this goes, as I have been trying to
achieve a complete model of this for GURU for a while. At this point, I
define functional objects, and any collection of components that
constitute the required mandates for that functional object become an
instance of it, when acted upon.

:As a start on such, given a coordinate space say, (and no, the user
:won't ever see X,Y,Z coordinates) the question is how to parse and
:handle prepositions.  I know the LIMA MUDLib can do it -- anybody here
:familiar with it, or want to dig into it?

Ugh. I dunno about Lima.... I think I'll skip.
As for parsing prepositions: I transform into and out of a local spherical
coordinate system for this sort of thing. A couple of matricies go a long

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  , ,  
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            First Light of a Nova Dawn
 /   / / \ /_  /_) / \ /-|/ |/ /_/            Final Night of a World Gone
Nathan F. Yospe - University of Hawaii Dept of Physics - yospe at hawaii.edu

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