[MUD-Dev] Unique items (was: Graphic MUDS/Ultima Online)

coder at ibm.net coder at ibm.net
Sun Feb 15 09:34:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On 31/01/98 at 03:41 PM, "Brandon J. Rickman" <ashes at pc4.zennet.com> said:

>This solution was designed for use in an extremely large (vast, even)
>virtual world.  Take all the zones from a standard mud and consider that
>to be the "recently explored" part of the world.  If the unexplored world
>is 100 times as big then there is a serious problem with object bloat, if
>you are actually trying to keep track of the state of things in an
>unexplored area.

>As the players migrate across the world (if they refuse, burn down
>Midgaard) they explore new areas, and older areas become forgotten (the
>devastated ruins of the goblin castle).  In exploring new areas the
>indeterminacy of things is applied on a different scale: houses, farms,
>dungeons are placed by probability.

>In such a case, the role of builders is to create highly modular pieces
>of scenery and write some nice code to put the pieces together.

I'm not going to add anything here except an "I agree" type re-phrasing. 
One of the points which I've been advocating since the early days has been
an extremely large world.  My basic definition of "extremely large" has
been, "All players know with certainty that they are familiar with but a
small fraction of the world, no matter how long they have been playing,"
or a little more simply, "You either stay to where you know, or you are
always lost."

Think about this from another direction.  MUDs are going to grow.  That's
unavoidable.  While we right now work with purely pre-defined worlds (eg
pre-canned area files), and are eventually going to get something ala
Gibson's Walled City, there's a long growth curve between.  Consider a
commercial perpspective with a time-to0-market consideration:  You have 12
months to get from a blank screen to a first class MUD supporting a
minimum of a few thousand simultanious users -- all on a budget.  Are you
*really* going to hand-design that entire world?

Why not hand-design the gross features of the world, its basic terrain,
resources characteristics, etc, and _then_ define the rules which govern
the use of those resources.  Plug it in, flick the switch, bake at 400 for
an hour and Voila!  Instant world of 12 million rooms (if you're still
using rooms).  Want cheaper, easier, more interesting?  Do allt he same
definition work, but skipp the baking step,  Just load the raw dough onto
your servers and throw your players in like yeasty raisins.  As soon as a
player opens his virtual eyes, the world creates itself about him.  The
question of the tree falling in the woods is finally answered: with nobody
there, there is no tree, there are no woods, and there are no ears to

Where this gets really interesting is with mobiles...

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at ibm.net
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list