[MUD-Dev] MUD universe

Maddy maddy at fysh.org
Fri Sep 5 15:27:21 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Previously, Felix A. Croes wrote....
> clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> >[...]
> > 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.  
> 
> Apologies if I am repeating obvious conclusions: the system would have
> to be <very> dynamic to avoid visible repetitiveness to a player.  If
> the princess is first kidnapped by red-headed orcs, and in the next
> quest the prince is kidnapped by blue-elbowed trolls, it won't take
> users long to discern a pattern, even if the individual components
> do not reappear.

Well thats cos you're thinking in terms of having each quest made up of one
element.  The way I've planned on going, is to have each quest made up of a
set of random subplots as well as randomly replacing certain variables.
Take the above example, the prince & princess both being kidnapped could
actually be part of a much larger quest.

The king may have banished an evil magician several years ago who is only
now getting his revenge by kidnapping the king's children and replacing them
with doplegangers who when the moment is right, will kill the king leaving
the way for the magician to take the throne.

The way this would be generated is fairly simple.  The game will know about
several subplots that it can link together (eg Rescue X from Y).  Depending
on how the players solve it, depends on what the next subplots are, and in
theory it should even be possible to have several strands of the same plot
going on at the same time.

It's perfectly reasonable that a subplot might reoccur even within the same
quest.  The kidnappers might have accidently grabbed the princess rather
than the prince and so when the princess was rescued they tried again with
the prince?

> I have the same problem with automatically generated room
> descriptions: they tend to look so...  automatically generated.

Well it's hard to describe a vast area (like a grassy plain) in such a way
where each room is different, mainly because each room usually isn't
different.  Maybe like the above quest idea, you could have a collection of
suitable phrases which you randomly string together, but I'd imagine that
might not help.

Maddy
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