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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Thu May 22 13:41:50 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Hmmm, *snip* *snip* *snip* *snip* *snip* *snip* *snip* 

clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> 
> In <199705210941.LAA00172 at regoc.srce.hr>, on 05/21/97
>    at 08:27 AM, silovic at srce.hr (Miroslav Silovic) said:
> 
> >> In <199705190115.DAA06158 at regoc.srce.hr>, on 05/18/97
> >>    at 06:19 PM, silovic at srce.hr (Miroslav Silovic) said:
> 
> >I don't see it: If I were god, I'd change the world by something that
> >starts with 'let there be *', not by something that starts with
> >@create blah. :)
> 
> I don't see this.  Were I a god, I would expect to be bound by
> strictures that don't apply to me as a mortal.  Consider the handling
> of side effects:

	[...] 

> It becomes rather similar to the recent ambiguity debates.  I see this
> as a variant upon programming with programming merely being a semantic
> form which allows precise and formalised description of a desired
> behaviour (as well as the debugging as above).

Since programming has often been parallelled with wizardry, program code
with mystical runes, and programmers with sorcerers... not to mention
phrases like 'Go tell the database wizard to wave a dead chicken over
this core dump and see what he can divine'... why is programming so
different from divine powers? 

The gods, according to many myths, are not really all-powerful; some are
better at what they do than others; and they have their own rules and
regulations enforced by their own higher powers. How is this different
from a player-accessible programming language, a group of supervisory
staff members, and a set of coding standards?
 
> I don't make that distinction.  Programming for me very much occurs
> within the world -- its just a question of interface and presentation.

I think the difference is whether you say the PROGRAM is in-game, or the
PROGRAMMING is in-game. Yeah, the program is usually in-game, but
then... I have a rather cute little pair of objects modeled on Beavis
and Butthead. Their rudimentary intelligence algorithms make them about
as smart as the real thing (not very), and they even develop opinions of
specific characters (which helps dictate who they harass). Needless to
say, these objects would NOT be turned loose on the population at large,
but only in an OOC context. (Even then, they developed bad opinions of
some key people and nearly got me banned from one game until I managed
to demonstrate that it was their own damn fault.)  The programming is
almost always out of game... and the program *might* be in game. If I
build a magical sword, and my character is a wizard, then I could even
consider the programming in game. But it's a switchable situation.
 
> I contend that any order expressed with sufficient precision to
> guaranteedly and unambiguously define a precise and scope/function
> limited desired change in he game world is effectively
> indistinguishable from a program except for the format of its
> expression.

Agreed. Hey, I like your rhetoric. ;)
 
> I define IC as that field which is logically consistant with the in-game
> systems and rules and is not externally referencing.  

...and is intended to be part of the game. 

> OOC is thusly
> defined as that class which is inconsistant with the game world, or
> references matters external to the game.

...or is not intended to become a part of the game world in its current
context.
 
Clarification of the above: it is logically consistent with the game
world and not externally referencing for me to create an item for a
specific purpose. However, I may be creating the item for someone else
as a proxy because they don't have the real command knowledge to create
it themselves. In which case, until the item is transferred to the
person who is considered in-game to have built it, it's not in
character. The building is out of character, because although it is
entirely consistent with my abilities and the game world, it's not
really my character building it. The item is out of character, because
since I didn't build it in game, it's not mine. When I pass it over to
the intended owner, THEN it enters play.

> This is what I expect as well as what I "grew up with" in my
> early MUDs.  It is up to you to pay attention to your environment in
> the game (cf earlier comment on lack of or presence of independant
> cognitive abilities of MUD characters).

Ooooo, another old timer. Well met. But truthfully, is this really what
you wanted? It always annoyed me.
 
> I don't want a Doom-esque twitch game, and I don't want a masked fancy
> dress ball.  I do want an intellectual puzzle which I can delight in
> exploring and manipulating.  I'm looking for a more visceral and
> mental game than one where emotive content is of primary importance.

Hmmmmm... this is what's lacking in most games I play. Lots of
conversation, lots of politics, very little real intellectual
stimulation. I like puzzles. They appeal to my solitary nature and
hackish tendencies. But they're difficult to come across.
 
> This all being true, I do enjoy manipulating the presentation of my
> character in-game to create desired effects on other player's views.

In my opinion, that's more truly roleplay than anything else I've seen
discussed here. Roleplay is not a technical matter. It's a feel. If you
give your character the feel you want him to have, then there you go.



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