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

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Wed Sep 17 21:13:21 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Nathan Y:]

::I have done some thought experiments with this kind of idea.	Without
::decaying the effects of players (as below), user changes will
::require a larger and more complicated amount of data as your world
::seed becomes more simplified.  It really is an entropy effect: when
::the world is just an abstract function it is in a high state of order.
::Added details to that world, which from an individual point of view
::might seem to help organize the world, just add disorder.  But few
::would disagree with me that these details are what make the world
::interesting.	If only there was a way to identify which details were
::slightly more interesting and get rid of the rest...

I'd say this kind of representation problem is on par with the problem
of coding up all of the general realism stuff in the first place. All
that realism code can generate lots of changes to the world, some of
which are subtly influenced by players, and so not really amenable to
pseudo-random regeneration.

However, I do think that fairly straightforward decay, even of things
that players have seen and manipulated, is just fine. For example, a
couple of months ago a small business down the street was getting their
front area re-planted from grass to natural flower-beds. The lady doing
it appears to have left her trowel there. I noted it, and otherwise
ignored it. It stayed there for about a week, and then was gone. I don't
know who took it, and it really doesn't matter - that sort of thing
simply happens in the real world, so there is no reason it can't happen
in the MUD world too, especially as it reduces the needed storage space.
(Of course, she did complicate things by replacing nice uniform grass
with a pseudo-random set of several kinds of flowers, but we can class
her as a "builder", and her changes as substantive, and to be preserved.)

Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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