[MUD-Dev] Population container

Wout Mertens Wout.Mertens at rug.ac.be
Fri Jun 27 16:02:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 24 Jun 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> In <Pine.SOL.3.94.970619203725.20110E-100000 at eduserv1.rug.ac.be>, on
> 06/19/97 
>    at 08:39 PM, Wout Mertens <Wout.Mertens at rug.ac.be> said:
> >What is it? Well, you take a kind of monster that you want to
> >populate a zone with. Now make a population model, something like
> >Fibonacci's row or so (rabbits!), and update the model every once in
> >a while. Now, if a player is about, and he 'spots' one (or more) of
> >the population, decrease you population by one (or more) and make the
> >appropriate monster appear.
> >This way, you can have zillions of flies, musquito's, dwarfs, etc
> >etc, you could even describe the critters from the container (some
> >dwarfs are lurking about) (tho I think that's a bit farfetched), and
> >all with virtually no memory or cpu overhead.
> A good idea.  Problem:
>   Bubba does a speed run thru the zone and manages to "see" every
> single mosquito (he's exceptionally shard sighted).  You container is
> empty and you have lots of live, animated mosquito objects.
I think Firebrand kinda gave a solution to that one: His grouping
container doesn't instantiate objects until very close inspection.
Otherwise, it just gives a group desc with special descs for people you
Now, if Bubba happens to be affected by 
Flaming_Torch_Of_Musquito_Killing_Area_Spell, then the zillion of critters
will have to be decimated in hitpoints and a large number killed. But that
was very predictable and the same problem would have arisen were you to
have the actual 1 zillion objects.
This can, of course, be rectified by letting the population model handle
the killings, and the spell would have to be redesigned a bit to do that.
Which is not too great, but then again letting loose 1 zillion musquito's
and allowing people to hurt them all isn't either...

> You also need a way of folding the "dead" (ie unseen) objects back
> into the container at some point.  The problem is guaranteeing that
> that folding is not detectable by players:
>   > l
>   You are in a corridor that runs east west.
>   There is a T-Rexx here.
>   > w
>   You are at the end of a corridor that runs east west.  
>   The only exit is to the east.
>   > e
>   You are in a corridor that runs east west.
>   There is a T-Rexx here.
>   The T-Rexx leaves west.
>   > wait a really long time.
>   > w
>   ...no T-Rexx...

Well, the only feasible solution to both problems seems to me: Allow only
a certain number of instances max. to run loose in the area controlled by
the population container.  It would involve a slight redefinition: The
population container is a virtual container, that contains both the real
and virtual ('real' meaning virtual to us, of course. This is getting
philosophical :)) instances of the population, and the model is
calculating the numbers. 

Which leaves me to think that maybe it should be called Population Model
and not Container... Or how a clever idea turns into a standard solution
Ah well, it's not as if I'm not used it on this list :)


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