[MUD-Dev] Leaving characters in play

Joel Kelso joel at ee.uwa.edu.au
Wed May 13 08:48:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

I read Ben Greear's post
about a space trading MUD and problems with keeping characters around
not logged on.  It reminded me of an idea I was thinking about a couple
of months back.

I was thinking about the problems of having a space
MUD that gives a sense of size and distance in space, while still
allowing player
interaction. One of the problems is (and I notice that some recent posts
refer too
the same problem in the context of UO) that you need a world that is
large enough
for players to travel in and colonise with a real feeling of
exploration; but which is
small enough to allow frequent player interaction.

The idea I came up with (or re-invented: there might really be new
ideas, but
_I've_ never had one :-) was to use "hyperspace jumps" between star
systems as
a way allowing controlled interaction. The idea is that when players
leave the
game, they are either docked safely at some station, or they launch
into a hyperspace jump. While in hyperspace, they are completely removed

from the physical game world (although still in communication so players
chat and wander around their starships if they log on during this
period). The
interesting bit is that (a) once the jump has started its irrevocable:
the ship
_will_ emerge at the intended location at the intended time and (b) the
and its destination and emergence time is visible to everyone else in
the game. Think of it as throwing a ball into the air: everyone can see
up there and where and when its coming down, but no-one can touch it.

What this means is that ships can meet up during journeys, for trading,
or whatever at a time when the players are guarenteed to be logged on.
are vunerable to attack, but have a chance to arrange a (real and game
window in which it occurs: pirates with fast ships can lauch on
interception jumps.

There's lots of other details to flesh out, like typical distances and
times of trips.
Players with different scheduals can opt for different careers and types
starship. A player who can log on for a short amount of time every 3-4
could run a slow (but fuel efficient) long-jumping trader ship or a
patrol ship,
while a dedicated student player might be part of a millitary fleet and
expected to log in at all sorts of strange hours to interecept an enemy
or take part in a fleet battle.

Anyway thats the gist of it.

Joel Kelso

-- joel at ee.uwa.edu.au --------------------------------------------
"Wasn't it a four-year-old this time ? It makes me feel like standing
in the middle of the Atlantic with a megaphone and shouting:
'America! We know you're in there! Put the guns DOWN!'"
 - Overheard Conversations
-- http://dugite.ee.uwa.edu.au/~joel --------------------------------

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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