[MUD-Dev] Re: regulating player-created objects

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Wed May 6 08:56:27 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>

>On Wed, 29 Apr 1998 23:00:26 -0500 (CDT)
>Dan Shiovitz<dbs at cs.wisc.edu> wrote:
>> Anyway, so it seems like players creating objects is a major part of
>> any sort of "big ecosystem" game (ie, one where players play more
>> roles than "insert coins into circulation; remove loaves of bread
>> and monsters from circulation"). I know a bunch of people here are
>> working on variants of this. I was wondering what kind of regulation
>> there is on the objects players can create.
>There are two questions here:
>  1) How does the user define and selct the object he wishes to

Our system requires the predefinition of objects. Each object has a
"recipe" which is stored in a data table. You collect 20 logs and 40 meters
of heavy rope, assemble using the proper skills, and now you have 10 meters
of stockade wall in place. The server tests to see if the player (or party)
doing the building is "holding" the proper materials and tools. Note that a
player can "hold" an infinite amount of materials. Held items only become
carried items when the player tries to move. The presense of tools (axes
and shovels to dig the trench, etc.) will speed the process lowering the
amount of resources consumed during construction. The stockade wall is then
merged with the existing stockade wall. Type [> Finish stockade ] and a
message will come up with the size of the perimeter as well how many
building units will fit. If you click on build, the object is created.

Rope is created by collecting hemp and using the Ropemaking skill to
produce rope of various grades. Or it is simply purchased.
Add a gate to the stockade by making iron into hinges and a gate latch and
using those items on the wall.

Some items can be made by users using general item templates like jewelery.
The builder takes the raw materials and makes a crown. The contents of the
crown are inbeded in its basic description but the creator can describe the
object anyway they want. The problem of this method is obvious.  A program
must be written on the server to handle a new object. My system does not
allow user programming at this time. If you want to create an item that
doesn't exist, the only current way is to message the sysop and have it
programmed. I suppose you could take a list of known raw materials, add an
input box (remember, we are mucking about using HTML) to define the quanity
required and add a description field. You might even add a skill list with
minimum skill levels to attempt construction and the difficulty of
assembly. If the user had the proper level of access, the item template
("recipe") would be created and added to the list of world objects. A lower
level player could submit it as a request with a simple wizard review to
make the item active.

A superior system (beyond my coding skills) would allow for an infinite
number of type of user-made objects to be made using a rule-based system
which defines what raw materials can become. Then those objects could
assembled into anything. Example. My staff wielding mage whichs to have a
litte more combat punch. She goes to the armourer (run by a player char)
and leaves the staff and a note describing her problem. The armourer logs
in and decides to mount a conical point made of iron on one end and attach
a sling to the other. Now, our modest staff can be wielded as a spear for
penetration or turned into a ranged weapon. (It might even help on the
ice!) How this could be done is beyond me however.

>  2) How does the system manage the security aspects of user-created

If the user objects are built from templates, I can't see a problem. If you
extend the model above to a object creation language which you use to
create and then compile code on the server, there is the potential for
problems. However, since the scripting (at least in my model) takes a user
script, does a line by line parsing and conversion to native foxpro
code....I don't see how it would be possible unless I give them shell
access or let them add or delete files...am I missing something here?

>I don't have an answer to #1.  I do however keep thinking of trying to
>adapt the aggregates concepts discussed here last year to some sort of
>interface presentation.  How?  Dunno.
>#2 is of course mostly a concern with user-programming, but can enter
>into non-user programmed systems as well.
>J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
>(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
>---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
>...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

John Bertoglio

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list