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

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue May 26 20:25:33 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Sat, 23 May 1998 15:12:40 +0100 (BST) 
Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk> wrote:

> 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? 
> :)

Quite.  This acts as a moderator, and changes the pacing, it doesn't
however do anything to encourage population collapses.  You've slowed
the pendulum's swing, now to get it swinging back and forth.

> 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.


I like this idea -- TC's as currency.  

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

Consume != kill.  cf most felines (lions, house cats etc), the males
of which will deliberately stalk and kill the kittens of other males
(genetic necessity -- returns female to heat sooner).  There's been
some quite ugly and fascinating film work done on the are BTW with
feral and farm cats.

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

Okay, now what kills the population explosion?

> Could you expand upon your intended behaviour of the spores?

Spores exist for several reasons:

  1) To allow TC's to be easily transported in quantity.
  2) To allow TC's to lay fallow ala seeds (not enough local resources
available, but spores/seeds will germinate when resources are
available (it rains)).
  3) To cause population explostions to be followed by later smaller
after-shock booms as the TC spore population mass-hatches, dies,
hatches, dies etc down to the bottom of the curve.

>> 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.

Seasons, ala winter, could kill off weaker TC's as a form of predator...

> cf Shadowrun.


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...

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list