[MUD-Dev] Graphic MUDS/Ultima Online

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Tue Aug 5 12:28:47 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970730072419.133B-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
   at 11:46 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:

>Yes. One way I reach towards some sort of development is with a
>system of 'tribes' of monsters which behave like real population
>groups might. Not enough time to go into depth now, though.

The Orc breader/warrior/noble/king scenario which I'ce mentioned
several times (repost on request) is a simplistic to implement and
surprisingly complex and detailed in practice in the game.  What I
find most interesting is that it is purely a linear extrapolation of a
couple base principles:

  Think of a neat/elegant system which uses a feedback loop to
establish a desired state.

  Extend the same feedback loop to also remove the desired state once

  Repeat repeatedly with new feedback loops which affect the same
tokens modified by the first two clauses.

The result is an unstable system which builds to a state, tears it
down, rebuilds it etc, all dynamically and without any concept of a
reset.  Given a little elegance in the feedback design, or enough
compeating loops, the teardowns can be to any of a large number of
possible states, and the build-ups can equally be to any number of
other possible states.  The only requirement is that there be multiple
loops attempting teardown/buildup to different targets.

The Orcs were a very nice case in point.  So did the wandering
population model I used for the "rescue the kidnapped princess quest"
scenario here.  

>> Now, I know the arguments against it; it's expensive (man hours, 
>> money, computation, space, etc). You can trick the player into 
>> thinking it is there when it really isn't, far more cheaply. (And in 
>> fact, we have used "cheats" many places where portions of the model 
>> were deemed less important to actually simulate, but we needed the 
>> appearance). But having a solid sim layer enables so much... and it 
>> renders future growth possible. For one thing, the next direction 
>> which I would like to take it is towards conquering that last barrier 
>> of "staticness"--changing the setting based on simulated environmental 
>> factors. Given a good model, there is no reason why roads could not be 
>> formed by players as they walk on the grass repeatedly and kill it. 
>> And so on.


Agreed.  Build a system that runs itself, that grows, dies, changes,
mutates, and generally has *some* form of inbuilt ecology, and you
have just created a vast pre-functioning play yard for players to have
fun int, and affect.

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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