[MUD-Dev] darkness/visibility

Oliver Jowett oliver at jowett.manawatu.planet.co.nz
Thu Jun 11 15:02:02 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Any suggestions on handling darkness and visibility well? The classic
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, which
works reasonably well for carried objects but not so well for any objects
that the character doesn't have direct access to. 

The problem, I think, is one of character memory: if you just turned off
the light switch, you should know it's there to turn on again (at least
for a while), barring sadistic puzzles involving moving switches.. 
Conversely, if you just walked into the room, you know nothing about a
light switch (although searching for one by feel is feasible). 

I don't have a good solution for this. Suggestions?


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