[MUD-Dev] Graphic MUDS/Ultima Online

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Thu Jul 31 18:11:19 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Wed, 30 Jul 1997, Koster, Raph wrote:

> On Wednesday, July 30, 1997 3:06 AM, Adam 
> Wiggins[SMTP:nightfall at user1.inficad.com] wrote:
> 
> > Hell yeah.  My job is to write 'normal' (graphical) computer games, 
> and
> > I am constantly frustrated by how much art holds us back from doing
> > what we really want to do.
> 
> This IS changing, though. Computer power keeps going up, and pretty 
> soon 3d hardware acceleration will be standard. If we get clever about 
> dynamic meshes and the like, we can do quite a lot with that.

I'm actually quite out of the graphics side of hardware at the moment - it
moved too fast and I've been too busy to make an effort to stay informed.
 
[Snip]

> I hadn't ever thought of regarding equipment limits as a way of saving 
> game state. It is, of course. But naturally it has so many limitations 
> and issues with it that it doesn't really address the underlying 
> reasons to save game state in any significant way...

Yup. It also only makes sense in certain situations and from certain
angles. A plain "There can be only 12 shortswords made of Fredium in the
world at one time!" doesn't work. "There is only enough Fredium at any one
time to MAKE 12 shortswords!" is better. Limiting for 'unique' items is a
rather more obvious way to apply this.
 
> > > Evolved Diku models which save some elements of world state (say, 
> add
> > > player housing on a Merc). Full world-state saving a la
> > > MUSH-derivatives, etc. What defines persistence?
> >
> > Well, any good mud saves world states.  Saving location of objects 
> and
> > player corpses is pretty standard on dikus now.
> 
> Corpses, I'll grant. The rest of the items? I really doubt it is that 
> common, since in order to make it work with any semblance of game 
> balance, you'd have to get rid of the repop methods used by Diku-style 
> muds. What makes items go away?

Not sure why saving corpses is particularly useful. ;) I intend to have
them rot slowly, be buried, traded for cash, chopped up for food,
skinned.. but they will probably not save over physical reboots. Why not?
Partly for efficiency reasons (think how many corpses you could have if
they took a long time to rot!).
 
[Snip]

> > > Many muds do not have a changing environment *save as a social
> > > construct among players*. Their database is static. They use 
> respawn
> > The fact that they have a database at all implies that it is not 
> totally
> > static.  [snip]  If you're
> > refering to the database as in the 'world' stuff like room descs 
> and
> > mobile locations, this stuff is usually under constant change, 
> although
> > manual change, by the admin.  Definitely this is an area that needs
> > improvement, but none if it is really 'static'.
> 
> I define static as unchanging except with manual intervention, so yes, 
> that is exactly what I was referring to (see my reply to Matt 
> Chatterley). From a "game" perspective, this is what makes the game 
> predictable. From a sim perspective, this is a major limitation on 
> what behaviors you can simulate.

I have to agree. Predictable worlds are far less fun to adventure in!
Partly why purer-RP games have a great attraction over more static, more
stale (in some cases), games which focus less on RP.
 
> [snipped stuff on how crashes are special cases, which of course they 
> are]

But you can still save stuff when you crash - depending how you crash.

[Snip]
 
> > things like running your hero decked out in the best artifacts to
> > be found in the game in on a dragon and getting slaughtered.  Now 
> those
> > artifacts are essentially out of the game unless you feel like 
> trying
> > to either take on the dragon or plunder its hoarde.  Simple 
> mechanics with
> > a highly interesting result.
> 
> Absolutely. There is a LOT to recommend full world-state saves for 
> gaming environments.

Absolutely. The more you save the world, the more things such as
'permanent death' become happily do-able too.
 
[Huge snippage]

> > Your game starts to build itself.
> 
> You just eloquently summarized the original design goal (something 
> which btw we of course fell short of, it's a really hard to reach 
> goal).

<g> Don't we all.
 
> > You can move objects around in Quake?
> 
> Quake is actually very powerful and flexible. You can do a lot in it. 
> Most don't. :)

I'm regretting mentioning Quake. ;)
 
[Snip rest]

Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's
	mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." -George Orwell





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