[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Tue May 20 09:06:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon, 19 May 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

:[Matt C:]
:> I'm impressed by your level of research here! Not quite what I want.. but
:> still, very impressive. Diseases, and drugs are both interconnected with
:> food (well, the former in part), and are something else I'm looking at
:> setting up in conjunction. This more 'realistic' approach to things
:> does look like making the game a tad harder to get to grips with.. but
:> more rewarding once you are used to it.
:This goes back to what I think is cool and fun about muds, and what I
:want to take even further.  What first addicted me to muds was the sense
:of a full, functioning world, so vast that I could never explore it all...
:I was blown away at the number of things that you could do, characters
:you could be, places you could go...and it was all a world that functioned
:completely on its own and whether you were there or not, unlike conventional
:computer RPGs.  This is without even counting the coolness of having
:hundreds of people all playing the same game, at the same time, with you!
:Of course, eventually I explored the world to its limits, started to
:discover little holes in the illusion.  When I finally got to coding status
:I was pretty disappointed...the whole thing looked like one giant hack
:to me, rather than the carefully crafted system I had envisioned.
:So...now I'm writing the mud that I thought I was playing in the first place.
:Thus, what is *good* about it, is that there's always something else to
:check out; some little (or big) element that you haven't encountered before.
:This is why I demand this level of detail.

Yeah. I kinda started to see through the holes long before I started
coding (Well, it _was_ a Rom), but my first few weeks were a wonder.
Physmud++ is designed to be elegant inside, rich and detailed outside, and
versetile enough that you don't run out of things to do.

:> > > We have both normal rooms, and our own mappable virtual room areas, you
:> > > can create a map such as:
:> > > 
:> > > XXXXXXXXXX	X = impassable terrain
:> > > **########	* = swamp
:> > > *######@##	# = grassland
:> > > XXXXXXXXXX	@ = a lake
:> > > 
:> > > and set a scale for each room - this map would be converted into normal
:> > > rooms with randomly set sizes, descriptions, weather suited to the area,
:> > > and so forth.

Hmmm.... a far cry from my fields, but I wonder?

:> > How is this displayed?
:> The map exists in a textfile, which is interpreted by the mud and turned
:> into rooms (larger than normal in 'theoretical' size, with movement which
:> is costly in terms of endurance and such, representing a longish journey).
:> One of the # squares above might turn into:
:> Grasslands (Name-of-area)
:> Plains of grass stretch out as far as the eye can see in all directions.
:> Although the final descriptions will be more detailed, and pulled from a
:> random bank, with items (and modifications) based on any scenery.

Ever see The Islands (NiMud)? Its a merc derivative, but I remember its
version of the above. It pulled it off pretty well.

:Ah, yeah we have something almost exactly similar.  Allows us to put
:'16.8 million rooms!!!!1!!1' in our mud ad.  (Never mind that most of
:them are pretty darn boring, since the large majority of them are either
:underground, underwater, or in the sky.)  We actually paint the elevation
:and terrain maps straight into the game; the files are currently just
:stored as PCX.  Kind gives you a little god-complex...'and with a swath
:of my brush, the Forest of Mists is created.  Another swipe and we have
:the Cliffs of Insanity...and now - <clicks on paintbucket tool> - the vast
:Eastern Ocean!'

When we (me and a couple friends) were first designing the GURU concept,
we came up with a description of what a player would see if a god-being
was creating the world around them. The god-being character (like a low
level imm, sortof) would look like a human figure bathed in lightning or
glowing, or other, depending on the manifestation, gesturing like a
conductor as sections of landscape rose around it. Forests would sprout
here, mountains rear there, a river flood down a trail as it cleared...
we intended to create a special client for the god-beings to allow them
map editing with a paintbrushlike utility while linked online. Ah, that
was the dream... ...eventually.

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  , ,  
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            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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