[MUD-Dev] Re: [DESIGN] To kill or not to kill?

The Wildman wildman at microserve.net
Wed Oct 7 08:44:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Michael.Willey at abnamro.com wrote:
> I'd suggest that while players will create and work
> towards their own meta-goals, you'll have to provide
> smaller goals in order to provoke the games you want
> them to play.  No. 6's meta goal was to retain his
> individuality (and, in the beginning, to escape).
> No. 2's meta goal was to break No. 6's will and/or
> find out some nebulous bit of information (why No. 6
> resigned).  In each episode they also played out smaller
> games for control of certain markers. [destroy the
> General, save the retiring No. 2's life, win the
> election, get rid of the current No. 2, etc.]
> Usually the marker took the form of a plot, rather
> than a specific object.

True. This, I think, would be the hardest part, since one would have to
subtly introduce the subplots rather than beat the players over the head
with it.
 
> This seems to tie readily into the discussion of
> quest engines, although the level of detail of
> particular markers would probably necessitate you
> taking a personal hand in predesigning many of
> these markers.  But the generic episode plot could
> be duplicated by an engine:
>   -select/create marker [from a predefined list,
>     or assembled from random pieces by quest engine]
>   -place marker in game
>   -inform wardens of marker's activation
>   -trigger clues for prisoners to discover
>     marker's existence

Hmmm... I didn't consider it like that. I figured the staff would be busy
putting together subplot elements by hand. But now that you mention it, a
quest engine would be most useful.
 
> Prisoner's exploration game is to search for information
> about marker that could lead to their control of
> it.  Warden's game is to prevent information from
> being taken, but subtly.  Acting too openly reveals
> their position as wardens, clues prisoners in to
> the existence of the marker, and penalizes warden's
> meta-goal. [See "Hammer into Anvil" for what happens
> to an unsubtle #2]

Oh, yes. That episode is a lesson in provoking and feeding paranoia as well.
 
> After the Exploration game comes a Social game,
> where prisoner and warden vie for control over
> marker, which has a certain value towards their
> meta-goal.  Apparently if warden loses control of
> marker, not only is his meta-goal not advanced,
> it appears to be penalized by the value of the
> marker.

It just occured to me to ask: how would the quest engine determine who
controls the marker, since the marker is likely to be intangible. Also, each
new player who logs in is a likely marker. (Rather disturbing thought.)
 
> (It's interesting to note that warden's team leader
> has the ability to end the game for any player at
> any time, but that exercising this seems to
> negatively affect his meta-goal, and if his meta-
> goal progress goes below a certain point, his game
> will also be ended.  The other side doesn't have
> any team organization - the rules of the game infact prohibit it.

Verily. The staff will be the collective conscieousness of Number 1 (which
is in keeping with one of the theories about how the Village is operated.)

> ["Prisoners and Wardens" - when
> No. 6 tries to organize a revolt amongst those he's
> sure are prisoners, his own test used against him
> convinces them that he's not.])

Oh, the irony!

The Wildman
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