[MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility

oliver at jowett.manawatu.planet.co.nz oliver at jowett.manawatu.planet.co.nz
Sat Jun 13 17:01:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Fri, 12 Jun 1998, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> This is a tough one.  Certainly simulating different light levels and eye
> sensivities isn't *too* difficult, but the above (forgeting instantly
> about the switch) is a major stumbling block to that.

My point exactly.

> I don't have a *good* solution, but one sort of proxy-solution that
> occured to me just now is that the object 'memory' for players might
> actually help alliviate the worst of this.  Usually this is shown as:

[use of "it"]

I wonder if simply extending this to words in general would work. If you
try to flip a "switch", and there's no switch directly visible, assume
that they meant the last switch they successfully referred to if it's
still accessible.

This still wouldn't fix the switch-on-flashlight vs. switch-on-wall
problem, though. Also deciding what to remember is messy..

What about: if the player tries to refer to an object in a way that could
be done without visibility (ie. flipping the switch, not looking at it),
allow them to refer to certain non-visible objects. If the object has been
referred to in the last X unique objects (X=5 or so?)  then let them refer
to it regardless of visibility. Then you could "flip the switch on the
wall" assuming that you can refer to it in that way when visible - and it
would let you, if you previously knew about it. 

With the list of objects referred to, store their locations when
referred to as well? "You try to flip the switch on the wall, but it
doesn't seem to be there any more!".

> Note I'm assuming here that things in your possession are always visible
> at least in form, even if you can't read them.  There's nothing sillier
> than:
>   <worn on head>  a heavy gold crown encrusted with jewels
> (lights go out)
>   <worn on head> something.
> At the very least I'd expect:
>   <worn on head> a heavy crown
> or:
>   <worn on head> something heavy and metallic
> Here we get into defining object properties in realms other than vision,
> which IMO is a good thing.  But if you don't feel like doing a markup
> language or some other more advanced representation, a simple bit of code
> could check the object's material, weight, and basic type and come up with
> a name that the player could at least call it to get it off their head.

Right, this is almost exactly what the tactile description support I
mentioned does - generates a "by-feel" description / keywords for an
object based on material / object type - or a builder can provide their
own description.

It works well for objects carried or worn. It doesn't work well for
objects that the character doesn't even know exist, for obvious reasons.


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