[MUD-Dev] Re: MURKLE: Wot it is

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Sat May 23 15:12:40 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Fri, 22 May 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Thu, 21 May 1998 20:37:15 +1200 (NZST) 
> Oliver Jowett<oliver at jowett.manawatu.planet.co.nz> wrote:
> Ahh, but I need and want the wild population swings -- that is
> precisely the idea of the entire system (even outside of the TC's).
> The problem I have is that the TC population explodes and collapses a
> few times to result in their entire world drowning in TC spores.  The
> problem is that the population collapses are thru starvation not
> predation, the rate of TC spore release on starvation death is too
> high, and too little that consumes TC spores.  
Er, can't think of an example in nature...  Considered adding a few more
stages to the TC species and perhaps a season?  Eg:

TC spores are produced as per normal.

Spores do not germinate (hatch?) until there is sufficent mana in the
vicinity, this includes mana locked up in objects as well as free mana
floating around. (you use a liquid mana flow from room to room, right?)
Even then, spores still require a time period to mature.

Spores consume mana to grow into a larvae stage which has the ability to
crawl to the nearest consumable object.  Objects are consumed in a manner
similar to a fly, ie: digestion is carried out on the outside (easier to
program than having larvae TC burrow their way into swords).  Rate of
digestion is slower than a normal TC's englobe tactic (was this inspired
by the immune system?  Or Pacman? :)

Larvae stage undergoes that metamorphing thing, depending on your tastes,
either breaking out from larvae and going straight to TC or going into a
short hibernation when packed with enuff mana...  If a TC went into a
shell state, they could make valuable 'mana potions' (except they eat your
stuff if you're not lookin' closely).  Mana is consumed during metamorphis
(sp?). Mana shells would therefore lose value over time.  This might also
encourage players to act as a medium to spread TC's. 

TC's encountering larvae will not consume larvae (canabalism encourages
parasites or species specific pathogens).

TC's encountering a spore will dispatch it but not increase the number of
spores it'll release upon death limiting the number of spores in an area.

Population explosion as per usual when TC's are meandering around.

Don't have a clue if this works coz it's something I'm interested in but
never picked up any neat mathematical formulae for.

In hindsight, the above alterations make TC's look like flowering flies.

If the TC's were asexual, you could introduce the genes. Eg:  Spore
trigger level: low trigger levels mean the spores will hatch first. 
Larvae will suffer some sort of disadvantage, like slower crawling,
digestion.  This might introduce some sort of regional difference between
TC's.  The disadvantage is there to offset a region being easily taken
over by a TC with 'better' genes.

Could you expand upon your intended behaviour of the spores?

> What I want is a population curve that follows the path of a long slow
> build to a reasonable population size (they start to be annoyingly
> common), a sudden almost vertical population explosion, and an
> almost-to-zero collapse shortly after that for the whole cycle
> to start over again

A larvae stage would emphasis a slower build up and making the spores not
hatch might get the players to appreciate life without TC's. 
Unfortunately, I'm relying on some sort of season, like a nature mana
cycle.  I can't run a seasonless simulation in my head.  cf Shadowrun.

  |    Ling Lo of Remora (Top Banana)
_O_O_  Elec Eng Dept, Loughborough University, UK.     kllo at iee.org

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list