[MUD-Dev] A place of my own

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Sep 26 00:36:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Thu, 25 Sep 1997 11:06:56 PST8PDT, "Jon A. Lambert"
<jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>I think this topic deserves it's own little time in the sun.  
>I am highly interested in this aspect of virtual worlds and I suspect 
>that there may be many others.  So off the top-of-me-head a few
>questions:
>
>Should players have houses, castles, furniture, hirelings, etc.?
>How does one go about obtaining this good stuff?
>Can it be built by the player, purchased, rented, designed?

Most MUSHes provide these sorts of constructs... but it's almost all
'build your own', which creates other problems. I got a lot of flak from
some people on one MUSH for putting a retinal scanner on my door, as
they claimed 'the technology just isn't there yet'. Actually, the
technology *is* here, but both very expensive (I demonstrated
appropriate in-game means) and difficult to manage for large groups of
people (which I didn't have to worry about). I could just as easily have
created a different in-game rationale for the lock (magstripe on a
card?), but I liked the retinal scanner too much. I keep wanting to
build one for my RL house, but I haven't gotten around to it and there
are still a few issues I have yet to resolve with my design. (It would,
needless to say, have some serious flaws when compared to actual retinal
scanners from military suppliers; the details aren't really appropriate
for this list though.)

>What security mechanisms can a player place in his own space?
>Locks, guards, wards, safes, dungeons, chests, secret passages, 
>walls, windows, etc.?

This is more or less restricted by the objects available. Obviously,
chests and safes and locks are commodities which someone in town could
sell. The usual MUSH handling of this is to have some person physically
inspect the premises and approve or decline it; as far as security goes,
it's generally assumed on a MUSH that breakins are very uncommon and
that when someone wants to break into place X there will be a physical
staff member to go "Okay, so you want to break in. How? Lockpicking?
Okay... um... *roll* you succeed." and then bypass the game-level
security to go into the place. Needless to say, on most MUDs, this is
pretty unacceptable.

>How many rooms, locations, lands, gardens, shops, farms, etc. ?

You could always charge players MUD money to have a builder create their
provided design. The drawback is what the hell you do when you have four
builders and two hundred players that want houses. ;)

>What can a player keep there, how about a family, spouse, kids, 
>brothers, sisters, parents?
>How about peasants, slaves and other hirelings?  Livestock anyone?

If you have any significant amount of livestock, you'll need people to
take care of them... I suppose some few people will enjoy simulated farm
life, so I guess we'd need some kind of 'milk cow' and 'slop pig' style
command set for those derelicts... but I think most people will think
this is really tedious. This is sort of a simulation in itself, which
isn't necessarily a bad thing, but isn't necessarily a focus either. 

This begs the question of whether we're building a game or a playground,
but I think we've covered that elsewhere.

>Does a players property produce stuff or resources?  
>How much maintenance and upkeep is required?

It ought to! A low NPV is certainly not a good thing, and TCO and CBR
are important... erm. Sorry. Uh, why would I buy it if it didn't prove
useful? It should produce food and commodities which can be sold or
used, if you ask me. Maintenance and upkeep, I sort of covered above.

=+[caliban at darklock.com]=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=[http://www.darklock.com/]+=
"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more 
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a 
new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by 
the preservation of the old institution, and merely lukewarm defenders in 
those who would gain by the new one."                      -- Machiavelli
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