[MUD-Dev] Reputations, More Mazes

Eli Stevens {KiZurich} c718157 at showme.missouri.edu
Fri Jan 15 04:05:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

J. C. Lawrence:
>At the danger of treading into meta territory, considering MUD-Dev
>as a MUD, what of the same danger and problem with the more
>established (well known, reputations, etc) posters in MUD-Dev, or
>even of myself here?  There is a definate peerage (nod to Lambert)
>in the older posters in MUD-Dev.  I find it worrisome.  It also acts
>as a significant barrier to entry for new posters.

After I read this, I noticed that I have had ideas that I have not
posted because I questioned the signal to noise ratio.  Quite frankly,
the list can be rather intimidating for a sophomore in college with a
scant four years (mostly self taught) of programming experience.  In
any case, I have a bit more to add to the subject of mazes...

Quzah's thread on the "maze of the mind" system got me thinking on
a better way to model vast, twisting, untamed wilderness without
having to store thousands of rarely visited rooms  (much less code=20

My first thought was to randomly generate them.  But, it seems to me
that forests should be more static than that, trees and boulders do
not jump around that much.  Instead, the descriptions, exits, etc.=20
could be generated from a known seed value for a random number=20
generator set aside for the mazes.

Consider this:
While a player/group is walking around inside the maze they "carry"
with them a 32-bit number (or 16, 64...).  That number is used as
the seed for the random room generation, and as long that value is
put into the generator, the same room should result (I don't think
that it is possible to do otherwise, without another value).

Every time the party steps north, a set value (preferrably a prime=20
number in the area of 2^16, to help prevent repitition) would be=20
added to the group's seed value.  If they go south, that same
value would be subtracted from the seed, making it possible to go
n-s-n-s-n-s... and keep bouncing back and forth between the same
two rooms.  In fact, for any number of steps north, an equal number
of steps south would return the party to the starting room. =20

If the coder wanted, east-west movement could also add a set (but
different) value, and going n-e-s-w would bring the party back to
the start, but I would code the e-w axis of movement to something
like a bitshift.  That way, n-e-s-w would bring the players to a
new room, but their steps would still be retracable.

Note: by bitshift, I mean that=20
      10011100 << 1 would become=20
      00111001    More like a rotate, I suppose.

Ohh, brainflash:  For every direction axis, there could be a=20
value to add AND a bitshift/rotate, and as long as the numbers
added and the number of bits shifted were chosen carefully, the
pattern would almost never repeat, and certainly not by walking
in one direction for any human atemptable length of time.

To sum up:
Random number generator that can be seeded easily (1)
Mad-libs style room descriptor (1)=20
   (There is a [pick size] [pick type] tree in front of you. =20
    The forest floor is littered with [pick ground cover].)
Reversable bit masher used when party travels=20
   (1 per movement axis allowed)

I have more thoughts on this, but I would like to see where it=20
takes everyone else before I potentially bias anyone with more=20
details.  That, and it's way past my bedtime.  :)

Silence is in a maze of twisty passages, all alike...
Eli - c718157 at showme.missouri.edu

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