[MUD-Dev] Re: Simulation (Was Re: Room descriptions)

Koster Koster
Sat Oct 3 18:40:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad [mailto:olag at ifi.uio.no]
> Sent: Saturday, October 03, 1998 5:05 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Simulation (Was Re: Room descriptions)

Let me start by saying that we seem to be talking at cross-purposes
here. You apparently have a MUCH broader definition of simulation than =
do--a definition that I find useless for any sort of real discussion.
Under your description, it seems that simulation is anything which
operates according to a set of rules...

I'm using it in terms of definition 3a from Webster's:

Main Entry: sim=B7u=B7la=B7tion
Pronunciation: "sim-y&-'lA-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English simulacion, from Middle French, from Latin
simulation-, simulatio, from simulare
Date: 14th century
1 : the act or process of simulating
2 : a sham object : COUNTERFEIT
3 a : the imitative representation of the functioning of one system or
process by means of the functioning of another <a computer
simulation of an industrial process> b : examination of a problem often
not subject to direct experimentation by means of a simulating

And you seem to be mostly focusing on 3b. :) I am also coming at it =
the common usage of the term in the game industry, where it means a
fairly specific thing. So given that we just seem to be talking at
cross-purposes on most of this, I'm going to zap most of the email. :)

> Nature will rebuild.  Nature is life.  Life is nearly=20
> everywhere on this
> planet. Of course, you won't get humans, but who cares?

Well, I care. :) Seriously, though, if you destroy all life on this
planet, I would bet that you won't get any more. At least not for a =
very long time.

> > A good example of this problem is in SimEarth, btw.
> Haven't tried it.  Although I doubt it was a "full simulation".

It attempted to simulate the ecology of the entire world. It did
abstract quite a lot, as large-scale simulations do, but it was indeed =
full simulation, to my mind.

> AHA! So UO doesn't try to simulate the physical world as we=20
> know it. Why do you complain about Boulderdash then?? :^) =20

The degree of similarity to the physical world is a heck of a lot =
than in Boulderdash...

> But you have to admit this, you were expected to recreate=20
> what Garriot and
> his "followers" expect from an Ultima?  So, you were tied to=20
> a prototypical
> image of "what constitutes an Ultima". Which is partially involving
> culture?  Thus, you were trying to simulate culture, and=20
> those expecting the
> "culture" of Ultima got annoyed by "human culture bugs" (players).

Yes, except that I don't see what a single-player experienced within a
standalone Ultima as a "culture"...

> > If you only want to model one law, or two, sure. I'd say that the
> > objective of fully simulationist worlds is to have a fully=20
> consistent
> > environment that operates on defined, simulated reasonable laws of
> > physics, with a simulated ecology and economy and so on,=20
> that players
> > can interact in and with.
> So basically you define "full simulation" as the original=20
> design docs for
> UO? :^) That's pretty convenient.=20

Uh, no... DartMUD for example was a simulationist mud in many ways.
Nathan's Physmud++ is a HEAVILY simulationist world. I think that the
way the term is coming to be used on the list it means a world wherein
systems that were traditionally supplied by NPCs or false supports are
instead supplied by players or by more realistically modelled systems.
For example, instead of resets of ever-static mobiles, something else
that attempts to model populations. Instead of rooms that never change,
rooms that can be changed by players... etc.

>  I see your point though.  You want
> something which you and your average player will immediately=20
> perceive as a fair attempt at simulating the physical world in a fun

No, actually, I don't necessarily; after all, i started this thread
kinda pointing out the flaws ina simulationist approach. :)

> Then you are pretty much doomed to a top-down approach ("analysis"),
> although the bottom-up approach ("construction") is more "simulation
> friendly".

Not necessarily. After all, UO started from an alife premise and
developed from there.


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