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

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Sep 17 16:34:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <199709160940.CAA30935 at pc4.zennet.com>, on 09/16/97 
   at 08:51 AM, "Brandon J. Rickman" <ashes at pc4.zennet.com> said:

>On Mon, 8 Sep 97 21:53:33 MST, cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
> (Chris Gray) wrote:

>Making things decay is tricky without introducing a weird kind of

Not necessarily.  You can also introduce various forms of carrion
consumers (for corpses), or variant forms for the other types of

>...Imagine how disgusting a mud would be if every
>room in the newbie area looked like this:

>  Happy Forestland
>  You stand in a clearing in the middle of Happy Forestland.  The sun
>  is shining on the happy green trees.
>  Your movement is slightly hampered by the rotting corpses of several
>  thousand dead bunnies.
>  A fluffy bunny is here.

With carrion consumers:

  Happy Forestland
  You stand in a clearing in the middle of Happy Forestland.  The sun
  is shining on the happy green trees.
  The bloody corpse of a bunny is here.
  A fluffy bunny is here.
  A badger dashes from the woods, grabs the dead bunny, and disappears

    back into his set.  You hear the faint sound of chewing and the 
    pleased stomache grumbles of a well-fed badger.
As always, taking a slightly different tack, I have my Trash
Collectors (TC's)as discussed earlier, which have their own in-built
ecology based on the avilability of objects for them to consume.  They
more they can eat, the more they breed (spores).  They more they
breed, they more they eat.  If they starve to death (not enough
objects to consume) their spores will hatch along later, hopefully to
find more plentiful food supplies.

The intended result is an entire species based on the ecology (and
economy, implicitly) of the supply of "uninteresting" objects.

Note: Currently my setup is over-aggressive in this regard.  TC's tend
to rapidly population explode as they hit a new area, and then starve
to death in large numbers.  The result is that the world ends up
swimming in TC spores, which then hatch at a very low
just-ticking-over rate, eating everthing that's available as soon as
its is available, and keeping the supply of spores well stocked.  I
need to fiddle with the cycles there to get a more unstable

>So should we dismiss corpses as being relatively uninteresting
>details (aside from special corpse-related activities (hey!) like
>looting and sac'ing)?  I guess it depends on the situation.

As discussed previously: on eapproach is to look at corpses as a
resource.  The question then becomes: what can I do that is
interesting with this resource.

>_But_ imagine a scenario where for some obscure quest I need to fill
>up a sack with rabbit bones.  If wholesale rabbit slaughter is a
>primary focus of the newbie area, shouldn't I expect there to be at
>least enough rabbit bones in the Happy Forestland to fill a sack? 
>Even if all the  corpses had already decayed "to dust"?  

Given that the HFL is home to a large set of badgers, and badgers tend
to treat bones much the way humans treat candy wrappers...possibly

>(Somehow I have gotten obsessed with the specific case of corpses as
>opposed to the more general case of decaying the effects of players 
>upon the world.  But perhaps the answer is hidden in the details?)

I think the problem is being looked at from the wrong end.  Consider:

  There is a grassy field.  

  50 players walk in single file across the field.

  There is now a path across the grassy field.

  It rains.

  Time passes.

  The grass grows.

  The path dissappears.

More generally this can be reduced to a question of systems and
feedback points.  The grassy field can be assumed to be a steady
state.  Once the field has achieved the state of "uniformly
uninteresting grassy field", it can be considered as uncahnging from
that point on.

Okay, now Bubba and his trolls traverse the field.  The field changes. 
It has left its steady state.  The direction of the diversion from
steady state indicated which systems will be engaged to return the
field to its steady state:

  > look north
  A field of grass stretches before you.
  > walk north
  > look south
  A field of grass stretches behind you.  The grass appears slightly 
  mussed and disturbed in a line heading south from here.

In this case the returning system could be as simple as straightening
the bent grass.

  > l
  50,000 trolls are waiting eagerly at your heels.
  > look north
  A field of grass stretches before you.
  > walk north
  The trolls follow.
  > look south
  A field of grass stretches behind you.  A broad muddy road of
    and beaten grass leads south from here.

So, now we have to plant and regrow grass, with its implicit resource

Footprints in sand dunes, dust collections in undisturbed catacoombs,
etc, can all be treated the same way.  There is a presumed steady
state, and a number of organic systems which attempt to re-establish
that state when it is disturbed.

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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