[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD Design doc (long)

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue Jan 12 16:11:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Tue, 12 Jan 1999 13:52:03 +0000 (BST) 
Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Mon, 11 Jan 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

>>     > l
>>     You are standing outside of a ramshackle store.  A sign,
>>     creaking in the wind, reads, "Bubba's Inn".
>>     > name store moshpit
>>     Okay.
>>     > l
>>     You are standing outside the moshpit.
>>     An ugly troll approaches from the south.
>>     > name troll sucker
>>     Okay.
>>     Sucker says, "Hi!  My name is Boffo!  Want to go do the castle?"
>>     > l
>>     You are standing outside the moshpit.
>>     Sucker is here.
>>     > kill sucker
>>     ...etc.  

> Having mucked around on a mud that uses private namespaces between
> characters, my only gripe with it is that I wish the mud would
> help me name people by keeping a token of some sort in memory.

Aye.  This is a problem that my old approach to time travel was
supposed to address.  Part of the idea was that you could
time-travel back to the prior incident (talk about "recall") and
then ad hoc assign names to past objects to have them carried
forward into the present.

> More often than not, I go around naming people I meet random names
> so I can associate a bunch of letters with someone until I get to
> know them properly. Otherwise I feel everyone I meet to be one
> stranger with lots of anonymous identities.  It's the equivalent
> of knowing faces without the names.

An idea I've had for approaching this is creating a time-ordered
queue which is attached to characters which stores identifying
characteristics of objects met.  This would allow things like:

  > l
  There is an elf dancing a jig here.
  ...several hours of play later...
  > tell @dancing elf@ Hi!

with the queue being consulted for a fair memory match to "dancing
elf" etc.

This probably would not work as-is.  For one the storage overhead
across the character base is enourmous.  

Most likely a better approach, which would support Wiggin's ideas
about "how you best know/last knew XXX character" would be to store
a time-ordered list of notable objects encountered cross indexed
with a notability ordered list of objects significant in the player
character's life, each tagged with a last-seen timestamp.  Then,
queries such as the above would devolve to recursing those lists,
regenning the referenced objects in their prior states, and then
attempting matches.  This is of course, expensive.  I suspect that
time costs would be acceptable under the explanation of "pausing
while you try and remember".

> Like you posted an age back, it would be nice to be able to do:

>    > name that man who I saw doing somersaults down the street Bubba.


> Maybe the player can access a list of people recently met for just
> this purpose.

Not totally happy with the above, but it might be a good-enough
hack, most especially in the Zawinski sense of the term.

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
(Contractor)                             Internet: coder at kanga.nu
---------(*)                    Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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