[MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility

Michael.Willey at abnamro.com Michael.Willey at abnamro.com
Thu Jun 11 13:12:52 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

     ____________________Reply Separator____________________
     Subject:  [MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility
     Author:   mud-dev at kanga.nu (Chris Gray
     <cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA>)
     Date:          6/11/98 2:21 PM

> >Any suggestions on handling darkness and visibility well? The
> >either-you-see-it-or-you-don't system doesn't work too well..
> >
> >> l
> >You are in a large well-lit room. There is a switch on the wall.
> >> flip switch
> >You flip the switch. The lights go off.
> >> l
> >It is very dark! You might be eaten by a grue.
> >> flip switch
> >You don't see anything like that here.
> >
> >I experimented with a system of tactile descriptions and keywords,
> >works reasonably well for carried objects but not so well for any
> >that the character doesn't have direct access to.
> >
> >The problem, I think, is one of character memory: if you just turned
> >the light switch, you should know it's there to turn on again (at
> >for a while), barring sadistic puzzles involving moving switches..
> >Conversely, if you just walked into the room, you know nothing about
> >light switch (although searching for one by feel is feasible).
> >
> >I don't have a good solution for this. Suggestions?
>Is there a real problem with the default situation? If the player
>the command, then either the player knows the object is there, or is
>intending to try to find one. If there is one, and nothing prevents
>the action, then let it go ahead. Why get more complex, unless you
>really have something specific in mind to gain?

I agree in part - I see a problem with the default
'either-you-see-it-or-you-don't' system, but not the one originally
referred to.  The problem as I see it is the clear dividing line between
what light level A, where you see perfectly and light level B, where you
can't see at all.  Realistically there are gradients between the two levels
where your vision is impared, but you still see - you can certainly
identify a book, navigate to it and pick it up, but you can't read the
writing on it.  In a slightly darker room you can see objects, but can't
identify them.

Many muds have implemented a kind of variation of light levels, but they
still retain the clean lines between level A and level B, usually adding a
level C, where the light is too bright to see, and adjusting the effective
position of the lines dependant on your race/class/spells/equip/whatever.
This adds some complexity to the system, but it doesn't correct the basic

On a graphic mud, this seems like a non-problem - since the players are
interpreting their surroundings with the human eye already, simply turning
down the lights causes the same effect as it would in RL.  Assuming a
text-based mud, how could you present the same effect?

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list