[MUD-Dev] Re: Recursive look

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Thu Oct 22 20:54:44 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 21 Oct, Ling wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Oct 1998, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> > On Wed, 21 Oct 1998, Ling wrote:

> > > I've called this 'recursive look' coz that's exactly what it is.  Best
> > > done with an example.  Character enters a room.  She will get a short
> > > [snip]

> > Bubba walks in from the east, smiling.
> > Bubba limps in from the east, dripping blood.
> > Bubba runs in from the east, panting.

> > In the first case, they did a "smile" social just before leaving
> > the room.  In the second case, they are heavily wounded.  In the
> > third case, they were walking quickly and are low on stamina.

When done properly this could be a very powerful mood enhancer on a
roleplaying oriented game.

> Acknowledged.  I was thinking of tying in the idea of a recursive look
> into this.  Something like: (warning, bad prose coming up)

>   A man walks in, you can see yourself in his chrome eyes.  A point
>   defence laser is mounted on his shoulder.  The gun he holds looks as if
>   has just been used recently.  There are large holes and blood stains in
>   his grey clothes.

> Eyes, first thing you notice.  Laser swivel on his shoulder and gun as
> they represent potential threat then overall view, the garment.  The
> recursive look process will start including him coz the level of detail
> described on him will be low.  (recursive look algorithm would probably
> randomly pick objects weighted towards whatever the player is paying
> attention to and things that haven't been described yet - could code in a 
> special case statement whereby male speakers will stare at breasts but
> that's probably too realistic)

Don't you dare implementing the last thing! It is very annoying in real
life and I could easily do without it in games, thank you very much!
Figuring out how to order things  according to importance to the obser-
ver is going to be difficult I think.  And mood really ought to play an
important role in this as well, as well as the character's history. You
never notice how many people have difficulty walking until you yourself
are forced to use crutches because you sprained your ankle...

> Then you meet the guy a few days later, he's not done anything about his
> appearance and has just been to a party involving bullets.  The output
> might look: 

>   A man walks in, his chrome eyes glisten in the sunlight.  A point
>   defence laser on his shoulder focuses on you.  In his left hand is a
>   gun, still smoking from its last use.  His grey clothes are bear
>   numerous large holes and blood stains.

> Mostly the same information, presented slightly differently.  Player has
> to read both thoroughly.  Both messages are not subject to customisation
> by the player, they're autogenerated and pretend I've made the effort such
> that each of those lines above can appear in at least 10 different ways.
> If you were standing in a busy area, this would probably happen a lot, for
> those that haven't already been described.  Now, same question, would this
> irritate you?

It would if I am not interacting with a person. Most of the people on the
street are just 'the crowd' until I look specifically at one, or somebody
does something that catches my attention.  Describing everything in great
detail is not so much irritating as well overwhelming.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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