[MUD-Dev] Re: World Creation Notes, version 061098

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Sat Jul 11 16:15:40 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

[Mike L Kesl:]

 >The detail of the image should be apparent now, and you may have some
 >questions about the scale of things in the world. For example roads. The
 >above example take from SS, shows a road as a plus sign and the character
 >as a star. The character is obviously not as wide as a road, and the road
 >does not exactly represent the same size plot as a forest or grasslands
 >area. However, making roads 5 pixels wide and characters 1 pixel wide, and
 >general terrain types 100 pixels wide would be pretty senseless. So, it is
 >assumed that the road square is a road going through another terrain type,
 >such as a forest, and that the character is on a road, which is in a
 >forest, which is all represented as one square. You might find it helpful
 >to think of roadmaps. On a roadmap you might see a city represented as a
 >circle and roads leading into it as lines. These representations of roads
 >are usually not to scale with the city. This does not mean the road is as
 >wide as half a metropolitan city, and the big X you draw on the map to
 >represent your house does not make your house the city of 3 or 4 cities. I
 >hope this is understood. In practice, just draw roads as 1 pixel, but
 >remember that they are really much smaller than 1 pixel.

Understood, mostly. Do you plan to display other characters and NPC's on
the world map? If so, to what scale - the same visual size as the player?
The problem I've had with stuff sort-of like this is in deciding how
much the map and the player actions interact. To clarify, one thing I've
played with is a tiled top-down view of a big castle. Small corridors
in the castle are one tile wide. The character's icon is also about the
same width. If two characters meet in the corridor, what should I do
about it? Can one block the other? Do they have to cooperate in getting
past each other? Do I need to represent that with a little animation
of the icons flattening out and going past each other? What if there is
a whole line of people - how do I figure out where anyone can move to,
in response to player input?

General question to you, relevant to my comment about space to your
previous post. Why does your ATOM program have to run at all? Can you
not just have the bitmap maps stored in the system, and then produce the
other needed stuff (e.g. textual descriptions) at run-time, working
just from the bitmap? That'll save a lot of space. Only if you need to
do something special in a given room or area do you actually have to
instantiate it. Somewhat more work in the server, but it might be
possible to off-load some of it to the client if they have the
bitmaps (which you might want, if you give players some magical or
technological way of seeing an area from on high).

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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