[MUD-Dev] Hard Sci-fi muds was Character evolution

Brian Price blprice at bedford.net
Tue Sep 2 18:47:35 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


> Date:          Tue, 2 Sep 1997 09:18:55 PST8PDT
> From:          Nathan Yospe <yospe at hawaii.edu>
> On Sun, 31 Aug 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:
> :At 08:44 PM 8/31/97 PST8PDT, Brain Peirce wrote:
> :>Now all that is left is the design of the generator.   I'll have to 
> :>think about it for a while, I'm still a bit shocked by your solution. 
> 
> :lol, thats what they pay me the big bucks for ;)
> 
> Just a note here, as someone who has, as they say, "been there".... I only 
> do this (but, yes, I do do exactly this) on a planetary scale, not an
> interplanetary or, heaven forbid, galactic... but the biggest worry here is 
> repetitiveness. I can circumvent it on a planetary scale, as there are
> multiple climates and geographies, and it tends to give a given planet a
> certain native feel... but just barely, and not if I don't manage a little
> more out of my generation algorithms...
 
Years ago I designed a system (on paper at least) for a multi-path 
story system.  It used three levels of primitives; a single plot element 
node (analogous to a micro-plot expressable in a  paragraph or two), 
a short sequence of plot element nodes to express a subplot or 
minor-plot, and a long sequence of plot element nodes and perhaps 
subplot sequences to encapsulate a major plot line.  All of these 
components could be combined in ways described by a set of rules as 
influenced by player action, random influences, and element 
inter-dependancy.  

My experience with that system suggests that a parallel system could 
be designed to work within a virtual area generator.  Rather than 
working just with components, the system would work with differing 
sized sets of components together with combinatorial rules.  This 
would tend to make areas feel more cohesive.  However it runs into 
the same stumbling block that the earlier multi-path story system 
did,.. it is a difficult task to design the building blocks together 
with the combinatorial and dependancy rules.

If such a system worked, it would improve the quality of the machine 
generated areas, but it would still repeat itself.  The only real 
solution I can see would be to provide more building blocks.  Perhaps 
'dungeon dressing' techniques could also be applied to mitigate this 
problem.  A given description could have a many to many relationship 
with a set of 'dungeon dressing' tables whereby random spice could be 
added to any room.  

Probably the practical solution to these problems is to use a 
restricted travel universe model, letting the machine generate most 
areas and then go in and modify the machine generated areas by hand.  
This would reduce the builder workload to a more reasonable level 
although it wouldn't do as much for reducing storage requirements.

Brian Price aka Delver  <blprice at bedford.net>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We have reached a level of technology where all ailments can be
laid to rest by the a universal cure - death. 
- Delver as a mythical stone age philospher
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