Rooms, 3D arrays, etc.

Michael Hohensee michael at
Sun May 25 09:28:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

	I haven't had much time to read everything that's been posted 
recently, and I hope I'm being somewhat original, but instead of trying 
to decide which system to use- diku-style rooms, or a vast 3D array which 
houses characters, why not use both?

	This idea came while i was looking at the areas that I wanted to 
write for my own MUD.  I wanted to make sea routes, but I couldn't really 
justify making it so that you have to follow one path.  It's the ocean, 
after all.  The same thing occurs in large, open plains.

	So why not set up such a 3D array, with a default description 
based on terrain type.  For the rooms that actually get "created", you 
simply give it a special description.  In this system, "exits" should be 
replaced by barriers.  In effect, you should be able to go in any 
direction you please, as long as there isn't something in the way.  The 
default would be to allow you to change position in the array.

	Heck, this could get even more interesting if we made it a 4D 
array.  The standard 3 dimensions you move around in, and the 4th would 
be time.  It would make time travel an easier thing to deal with.  Ie, 
Archon goes back in time, and moves two rooms east.  He then comes back 
to his original time, popping up in the room corresponding with his 
original position.

	This circumvents problems that you currently get with diku-style 
rooms, in which you'd have to set up some complicated vnum system to keep 
track of which room in the "future" corresponds to another room in the 
"past".  Furthermore, you wouldn't have to worry that there isn't a 
corresponding room, since the array guaruntees it's existance.

	The only trouble would be to load the original array.  I've been 
thinking of using a file with a big character map, with each character 
represtenting each room.  So you could make:


Where 	W= water
	p= path
	#= field.

Since we've got tons of individual characters to choose from, we could 
come up with every terrain type we could possibly want.  This would also 
make it easier to have natural disasters change the terrain, since it 
would be a simple matter of changing a few characters in the overall map.

	Does this sound interesting to anyone?

Michael Hohensee		michael at

Eagleson's Law:
        Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more
months, might as well have been written by someone else.  (Eagleson is
an optimist, the real number is more like three weeks.)

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