[MUD-Dev] Combat messages

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Mon Aug 4 09:59:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 13 Jul 1997, Marian Griffith wrote:

> > Yup.  A few years ago this was a problem just because of processing time;
> > now there's no reason you can't implement it.
> You can tell better than I can. What I was trying to ask was. Will it
> be possible to look reasonably like english,  and will it be pleasant
> to read? To string together phrases you usually have to reformate one
> or both phrases to make the resulting sentence flow.  I don't believe
> you should be aiming at anything resembling literature,  but to get a
> good flowing sentence might be difficult?

No. It's not hard. What you need is a sort of metalanguage, where
all the various morphological features of English are stripped out, to be
reinserted by the system. The Lima mudlib has such a system, used
extensively for doing socials (*). I do it like this:

@S @vhit @o @\WEIRD_MSG\.

Where @s stands for the subject, @o for the object, and @v + stem for a

So if you're the subject, you see

  You hit Dipsy weirdly.

If you're the object, you get

  Tinky Winky hits you weirdly.

If you're in the same room, you receive

  Tinky Winky hits Dipsy weirdly.

@\WEIRD_MSG\ calls the message generator, and expands the WEIRD_MSG macro
randomly. Subject, object and others all get the same randomly generated
expansion. In the examples above, it expanded just to "weirdly".

If people realised how easy this was, we'd have fewer Dikus reporting "You
buy an armour". The best thing about the system is that it allows random
atmospheric messages to be generated easily and not be boring and


(*) For obscure reasons, I name determiners ("a", "an", "the", "some", "")
'adams', and the building blocks of any metalanguage 'limas'.

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