[MUD-Dev] MUD universe

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Thu Sep 4 11:23:09 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

I suspect I've replied to this one afore.

In <199708281631.SAA15911 at xs1.simplex.nl>, on 08/28/97 
   at 09:33 AM, "Felix A. Croes" <felix at xs1.simplex.nl> said:

>clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>Removing resets leads towards a mud ecology, as far as killing
>monsters is concerned.  But if quests do not reset, it means that you
>can only do them once.  But that implies that a quest can only be
>solved by a single person, unless each solved quest forks off a new
>alternate universe: one in which this particular player has solved
>the quest.

Not quite.  You can also have quests created by systems, which create
a desired state where the purpose of the quest is to restore a state. 
The key is to make the incidental specifics of the state indeterminate
(who kidnapped, where held, why, what obstacles need to be overcome,
etc), and only have the defining points predictable (ie princess is
missing, get her back).

The kidnapped princess scenario as discussed here a few months ago was
a good case in point.  There any of a dozen different compeating,
cross-affecting and unpredictable systems could result in the princess
being kidnapped.  The same systmes continued after the kidnap to
shuffle the princess about and change her
what-needs-to-be-done-to-recover state frequently and unpredictably. 
The princess could wander away from her kidnappers, get lostm be lost,
be multiply kidnapped (from other kidnappers), never get kidnapped in
the first place but just be wandering, etc.  

This leaves the solution to the quest dynamic.  The breadth of the
state engine becomes huge implicitly huge but actually never needs to
be represented as it is an inferred side-effect of the normal
operation of multiple systems.

>Another fascinating view of alternate realities that could be used to
>provide the background is that of Keith Laumer, in his "Worlds of the
>Imperium" books.

I'd also reference Vernor Vinge's "Fire Upon The Deep", where the
actual physical nature of reality and the physical laws which form the
physical universe, vary depending on where you are in the universe (eg
FTL possible/not possible, anti-gravity possible/not possible, etc
with an interesting twist that often while the structure of the
universe may allow say anti-gravity materials to work, they can't be
manufactured there).  An excellant book FWIW.

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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