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

Brandon J. Rickman ashes at pc4.zennet.com
Sun Sep 7 23:54:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

I think it was Wednesday when Shawn Halpenny <malachai at iname.com> wrote:
>Brian Price wrote:
>> One approach that may make Choice B practical, would be to create a
>> number of building blocks composed of human designed areas together
>> with a set of rules as to where they could be used and how they
>> could be assembled given the set of 'facts' (design parameters) for
>> the section being generated.  After the set of ...
>As a builder this would drive me nuts--I can only use this area
>building block _here_ to do _this_--not to mention this has to be
>controlled and managed somehow.  Since you're going to be generating
>sections anyway, why not assemble a pile of generic descriptions and
>some logic for hooking them together and leave it up to your
>algorithm to show them when necessary?  Then you can devote your
>energy to creating the lavishly detailed real rooms in a few ...

This is a very critical issue for me, perhaps it needs a name like
"Builder's Quandry".  If all of your world descriptions are going to
be auto-generated by some mysteriously engineered design logic then
what is there for a builder to do?  IMNSHO, there are two problems
with Builder's Quandry.

1) While I believe in the beauty of a well-turned phrase
(or long_desc), there is a whole other dimension
of building that has little to do with lavishly detailed rooms.
This is a problem of Architecture: designing facades is creative
and fun and stimulating, but there is a lot of other not-so-
creative stuff that also has to get done.

2) At a certain magnitude of scale it becomes improbable for
any person or team to be able to hand design every detail of
a world.  Consider graphical muds, or 3D worlds, where the
number of possible viewpoints and interactions are explosively
large.  What are the chances that someone will come along
and actually read/see your hand created area?  If they do
stumble upon it (a very unlikely thing), will they recognize
it as handmade?  And is that a good thing?

I think I will stop here before I start giving my "This is the
future of design..." sermon.

- Brandon Rickman - ashes at zennet.com -
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