[MUD-Dev] Virtual rooms (was: RP thesis...)

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed May 21 15:40:04 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <33830A81.167EB0E7 at iname.com>, on 05/21/97 
   at 08:30 AM, Shawn Halpenny <malachai at iname.com> said:

>clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>> In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970518090712.185C-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
>> 05/18/97 at 09:07 AM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:

>> >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.
>> The problem with virtual rooms, which can be handled is when players
>> make a change to a virtual room which requires them to become
>> permanent, or the notice something in a virtual room and refer to it
>> later expecting it to be permanent.
>> eg:
>>   > l
>>   You are in a forest...(desc of forest)
>>   > cut blaze on tree
>>   You cut your sigil on a nearby tree.
>> or:
>>   > l
>>   You are in a forest...yada yada something about an oak tree.
>>   ...much later...
>>   > say "Just go east in the forest until you see the Oak tree,
>>   and then head west..."

>Is this something better handled by modifying the room description or
>creating an object in the room that functions as a tree with a sigil
>cut upon it?  I envision doing this with the object as a tree.  The
>room would have a method to allow an occupant to "cut" something on a
>tree (or some other synonymous variation).  The method then creates
>the tree-with-sigil that people would see.  

Yup, this would work for most cases, tho I predict problems with
determining the list of possible permanent-object-creation actions
(you're going to tend to miss some (sure you can blaze a tree, but
what about a fire scar? or re-arranging the pebbles on the ground into
a pattern, or painting a tree with woad?).  

>...As well, making the tree an
>object makes it cheap to have other trees-with-sigils at any other
>place in the world, without creating rooms left and right to
>accomodate a single change in each (i.e. it's fine to modify the room
>desc if you cut the sigil into ten trees, but say you cut it into a
>hundred thousand of them...).

Yup, but now you have a specialised object template for a tree with an
emblazoned sigil (whose sigil BTW?).  What about a tree with a sbil
that been painted with wad?  Or a sigil and painted with lime?  Or a
sigil and all the leaves picked off on one side?  Or a sigial and all
the trunk moss removed?  Or just part of the moss removed?  Or all the
above and the tree partiall pushed over?  Or a tree with an uprooted
bush tied to it?  Or a tree with a streamer tied to it?  

You get the idea.  You need a very generalist solution here to record
permanent state changes based upon generic objects instantiated from a
generated description for a virtual room.

>OTOH, this isn't as much of a factor if there is a fixed number of
>actual rooms making up the entire world (but this is not my case).

Next problem, which is not really a feature of virtual rooms or
permanent rooms per se (tho its worse with virtual rooms):

  You have an endless grassy plain.  It is uniform and compleatly 
    unfeatured from horizon to horizon.  The composition and 
    appearance of the grass is unvaried.

  A toop of users and mobiles tramp across the plain, back and 
    forth along a single route.

  Shouldn't a path be worn into the grass?

Next take a simple forest with a path wending thru it.  If nobody 
traverses the path, should it grow over and dissappear?  Should the
room descriptions be dynamic and change back from a "this is a path"
type to "this is a forest type" with possibly multiple gradations
between?  How long should the transformation take?  Can the process be
accellerated say thru magic?

Take the same path thru those verdant woods.  A trader sets up a
caravan route which leaves the path at one point and cuts thru the
untamed woods as a perceived short-cut.  Caravans travel this shorter
route with decent frequency -- should a new path form?  Should the
description of the room where the path diverges change in accordance? 
Yada yada.

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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