[MUD-Dev] Mass Creation OLC Functions (idea from Elder Games)

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Wed Mar 17 15:38:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Wed, 17 Mar 1999, Brandon A Downey wrote:
> Nathan F Yospe wrote:
> > Yeesh! Doesn't *anyone* read the archives first anymore? OK, I think the
> > old champion of the world generator had better step in once again. There
> > is nothing in those traditional Diku/LP descriptions a good program (I'm
> > refering to my own) can't match or better. A book? Maybe not. Certainly,
> 
> Perhaps I'm not the only person to think this, but I do believe mud
> worlds should
> "tell a story" if they're to be considered any sort of serious creative
> endeavour. To help understand why generated areas are bad, let's
> consider this
> from a player standpoint.
> 
> Let's take the example given in the previous threat, where a wilderness
> is
> created to expand the "boundaries" of your world. (When a player reaches
> the edge
> of the world, he stumbles into the random zone). What benefits does this
> have for
> a player?
> 
> Well, from a superficial standpoint, it opens up new vistas for
> exploration. It
> also adds an element of "realism", where the world just doesn't end
> because the
> shrubbery is too thick for you to continue.
> 
> Of course, for any explorer worth his salt, the experience of slogging
> through
> randomly described rooms is rarely edifying. Even if you throw in random
> encounters, these are seldom, if ever, any more challenging than mobiles
> situated
> in strategic places, and more often at best a nuisance, and at worst an
> irritant.  Contrast exploring a dungeon that's _planned_ with a randomly
> generated one. I would stipulate there is far less enjoyment in making
> it to the
> 200th randomly generated "forest path" by hacking through your 35th
> random
> wandering kobold than in outwitting the fiendishly planted traps in the
> diabolical dungeon, filled with the pent up rage of caged implementors,
> maddened
> by long exposure to hordes of newbies.  Imagine if they made AD&D
> modules by
> random description generators -- now imagine this is basically what
> you're doing
> with a randomly generated world.

I tend to think that this discussion is pointless without specifying
the type of game.  Obviously Diablo (and its text-based ancestors) don't
suffer one bit for having randomly-generated dungeons.  On the other hand,
I don't think Ultima Online would have done very well if their game world
was 100% randomly generated.

If you desire your areas to be ends in themselves, each one telling a story
and with a specific history, which players can explore at leisure and soak
up the atmosphere, then what you say is correct.  If your areas simply serve
as a backdrop for some other sort of gameplay, then the immersion factor
is less important (and may get overlooked anyhow as players are busy doing
other things).

Naturally I think the best MUDs are the ones that combine both of these,
for example my favorite Arctic.  But others have done quite well focusing
on just one (for example, Legend for the storytelling areas, and AnotherMUD
for areas where no one *ever* read the descriptions because they were so bad).

Adam W.




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