[MUD-Dev] Random Quest Generation

chris at realm.zfn.uni-bremen.de chris at realm.zfn.uni-bremen.de
Fri Nov 6 19:41:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


Greetings people,

  For like three days now, the MUD I code for benefits from a Random Quest
Generator, which I have been designing and implementing for some weeks now.
What I would like to hear, are comments on it's implementation, and maybe
suggestions for improvements; and of course I would like to hear experiences
of other implementations of random quest generators.

  The Random Quest Engine (RQE in short) is placed on top of a database, 
which contains references to special landmark rooms, NPCs, monsters, 
objects, and question-answer pairs (riddles). Hard-coded are various
'mission-types' (the engine was inspired by the Wing Commander series),
where each type takes the elements from the database needed for 'filling'
the quest. The mission type also determines the 'quest final state' which
the player must reach in order to be rewarded.

  An example: a player receives a random quest of type 'escort mission'.
An NPC is loaded, and starts following the player. A room is randomly
taken from the whole world (not a landmark room...landmark rooms are
taken when really the *ROOM* is in focus of interest). The quest final   
state would be, when player, NPC are in the quest room. The player is
then randomly rewarded.

  This approach (mission types on top of a database) offers the greatest 
variance in my opinion. What is of course a bit harder to do is adding   
new mission types, as this requires hard coding. But I guess seven
different mission types as a start are not too bad.

  Also interesting to mention is, that the quests are scaled with the
player's level of experience. For example: a newbie will receive a quest
which is within his current 'zone', whereas a high level hero will have  
the 'whole world to their feet', so-to-speak. Also the stats of the NPCs
and monsters are adapted accordingly.

  Now, if anyone out there has a different approach...I'd like to discuss
models of random quest generation; also (of course as creator of the     
above model I'm sort of 'blind' to its flaws :) ), I'd be happy if people
could point out possible flaws of the above system.

Regards,
- Chris

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